Personal Health and Safety

Pharmacare plan at risk?

The Liberal government’s first draft of a promised national pharmacare has been rejected by the NDP with time running out for introduction of draft legislation this year. “We're waiting for a next draft,” says health critic Don Davies, whose party’s support for the minority government is contingent on that deadline being met. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. restoring some masking

With a new coronavirus variant spreading, the B.C. government plans to restore mandatory masking for staff at all health-care facilities and long-term care residencies October 3. While masks would not be mandatory for patients and residents, a health ministry note states that they “will mask when directed by a health-care worker or based on personal choice.” [node:read-more:link]

First new Covid in Canada

The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control has confirmed a case of the BA.2.86 strain of SARS-Cov-2, the first in Canada. While it has been added to the World Health Organization’s watchlist, officials say “there does not seem to be increased severity” and that the infected individual is not hospitalized. [node:read-more:link]

Travel advisory for LGBTQ+

A Global Affairs Canada travel advisory posted today warns the LGBTQ+ of possible discrimination in some U.S. jurisdictions. While none were identified, 18 states have legislated restrictions and more than a dozen others seem to be following suit. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian connection to U.K. deaths

British police confirmed today that they are investigating the deaths of 88 British residents who bought products from Canada-based websites allegedly offering lethal substances to people at risk of self-harm. It’s one several international inquiries sparked by the arrest in Canada earlier this year of Kenneth Law, charged with two counts of counseling and aiding suicide by offering potentially deadly sodium nitrite for sale. [node:read-more:link]

Coronavirus bouncing back

Wastewater sampling indicates that there is an upward trend in Covid-19 diagnoses and hospitalizations across Canada and in the U.S. Public health officials expect the uptick to continue into the fall. [node:read-more:link]

NWT returnees blocked

Yellowknife residents who evacuated due to wildfire concerns earlier this week are encountering official roadblocks when they try to return. The fact that the fires have not progressed has prompted some evacuees to believe the threat is over but the territorial government said April 23 that it had not cancelled its state of emergency. [node:read-more:link]

New Covid-19 variant monitored

Health Canada is monitoring a new coronavirus variant which has been detected in the U.S. and elsewhere. The World Health Organization added Covid-19 BA.2.86 to its watchlist last week but no cases have been confirmed in Canada. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. still in state of emergency

Wildfires across B.C. have destroyed structures and forced more than 27,000 people to evacuate as the province remained in a state of emergency today. While some jurisdictions have lifted air quality warnings, reinstatement is always an option and crews continue to fight more than 375 active fires. [node:read-more:link]

U.S. citizens advised to quit Belarus

Concerned about spillover from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. has advised its citizens in Belarus to leave “immediately” and urged others not to visit because of “the arbitrary enforcement of local laws” and the risk of detention and civil unrest. [node:read-more:link]

Profit before safety at Meta?

With wildfires laying waste to many communities western Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau said today that Facebook’s parent corporation, California-based Meta, is putting profit ahead of public safety by blocking Canadians’ access to “unbelievably essential” local news coverage. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. declares state of emergency

Thousands of residents of south-central British Columbia were advised to evacuate August 18 and even more were on standby due to proliferating wildfires. The provincial government also announced that it prepared to make evacuation compulsory if necessary. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta service provider hacked

Personal records of more than 1.4 million Albertans were cyberattacked through a company’s IT system in July. Alberta Dental Service Corporation confirmed that a “third party” was able to obtain names, addresses and potentially banking information and that some health providers’ corporation information appeared to be affected too. [node:read-more:link]

Preparing for the next pandemic

An independent inquiry into Canada’s Covid-19 response is being recommended in a series of papers published in the British Medical Journal. Written by its international editor, they are based on input from Canadian healthcare providers and researchers as well as legal and humanitarian specialists. One contributor in Toronto called it “the start of preparing for the next emergency.” [node:read-more:link]


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