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Syrian refugees at local elementary school receive $12,000 donation

Carson Grove Elementary School in Ottawa recently received a donation of $12,000 from a group of mosques and other Muslim groups in the city.

The school, which began accepting refugees in February 2016, currently houses 110 refugees who make up over one-third of the school’s student population.

Sheema Khan from Kanata originally began the fundraising, being influenced to do so after her experiences being an immigrant child in the school system.

“This was my introduction to Canada. It was the place where I integrated, the public school. And I can not over-emphasize how important it is for kids,” Khan told the CBC.

An additional $11,000 has also been raised to assist children in other low-income schools in the city. Many of the donors from the groups were also immigrants to Canada who wanted to give back to current refugees.

Ottawa to see installation of potentially hazardous LED streetlights

In 2015, the City of Ottawa partnered with Energy Ottawa, a subsidiary of Hydro Ottawa, to install 58,000 light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights across the city over the next four years. However, this change comes as a recent study in the United States found that these streetlights could be hazardous to people’s health.

This summer, the American Medical Association released a report saying that some LED lights can lead to “discomfort and disability,” and that the use of LED lights during the night can lead to impaired sleep, which can result in poor functioning during the day, as well as obesity.

Robert Dick, a physics professor at the University of Ottawa, told the CBC that the use of bright lights during the night time, such as LED lights, “throws off our biochemistry,” as humans are programmed for darkness during the night, and light during the day, as opposed to bright lights during both.

The City of Ottawa, however, believes that these lights will lead to more benefits for residents, such as low maintenance costs and better visibility during the night time.

New embassies banned on Sussex Drive due to security threats

Following concerns by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) over the potential of “violent events” on Sussex Drive, the federal government has banned the development of new embassies in the neighbourhood.

Current embassies on the street include those of Saudi Arabia, France, and the United States. Sussex Drive is also home to Rideau Hall, the permanent residence of the governor general of Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his family also live on Sussex Drive.

The RCMP began their security assessment in the summer of 2015 to determine how new embassies on Sussex Drive would affect nearby facilities.

Part of the assessment highlighted that a truck bomb could affect multiple embassies in the area, and so spreading our embassies across the city would lead to increased security.

According to the RCMP, to tackle the issue of threats to security “the only appropriate risk response is risk avoidance by not allowing any additional foreign missions to be located on Sussex Drive.”