Personal Health and Safety

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]

Canadian nuclear protocols updated

Federal emergency protocols for dealing with fallout from the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Europe or other radiation sources are being updated, including measures toensure that the government continues to function. The updates are in response to Russian rhetoric during its invasion of Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Alberta’s take on opioids

Premier Danielle Smith said today that her province will not implement a “safe supply” approach to its opioid crisis. Calling British Columbia’s approach ineffective, she said "the solution is to get people off of opioids to get their lives back.” [node:read-more:link]

NDP pushes for pharmacare

National pharmacare was a key requirement for the New Democratic Party when it agreed 15 months ago to prop up the minority Liberal government but today, fed up with the lack of progress, the NDP introduced its own draft legislation. “With this government, even if we got things in writing, it's not a guarantee,” NDP Leader NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said. “We've got to continually […] push them to deliver. [node:read-more:link]

Enhanced protection for politicians?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the government is considering more protection for cabinet members and other MPs as threats against them increase. “We are looking into real measures,” he replied May 31 when a Quebec MP pointed out in the House of Commons that ministers in his province have bodyguards. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. cancer patients going south

Beginning May 29, British Columbia plans to send up to 50 cancer patients a week to two clinics in neighbouring Washington state. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the transfers to the “partner” clinics in Bellingham are necessary to reduce wait-times as the province builds up its capacity to meet an anticipated surge in demand. [node:read-more:link]

Pandemic “over” but not gone

The World Health Organization says the coronavirus pandemic is no longer a “public health emergency of international concern” and many Canadians have stopped wearing masks in most public places. However, health professionals are counselling continued vigilance among vulnerable populations and those close to them. [node:read-more:link]

Wildfire emergency in Alberta

Alberta Premier declared a provincial state of emergency on the weekend to deal with an “unprecedented” outbreak of wildfires. Some 25,000 residents have been forced from their homes in north and central Alberta and thousands more were on evacuation alert. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian linked to suicides

Toronto resident Kenneth Law has been charged with two counts of counselling and aiding suicides in Canada, Britain and the U.S. He is alleged to have marketed sodium nitrite, a common food preservative which is safe in small amounts but lethal in larger quantities, to buyers in possibly as many as 40 countries. [node:read-more:link]

Dispute over drug pricing

A former member of the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board has suggested that Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos made the board’s work difficult by asking that consultations on drug pricing be suspended. Matthew Herder, who quit the board in February, told a parliamentary committee May 2 that the industry knows that it can “get the minister to do its bidding.” [node:read-more:link]

Sudan: Canadians stuck for now

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said April 20 that evacuating citizens and diplomatic staff from Sudan is currently “impossible” due to security risks arising from the fighting between two military factions. However, she said “we are assessing the situation constantly” and advising personnel to shelter in place. There are at least 1,500 Canadians in Sudan but registration is optional. [node:read-more:link]

Sudan: U.S. set to evacuate diplomats

The U.S is moving additional troops and equipment to a naval expeditionary base in Djibouti to prepare for the potential evacuation of personnel from its embassy in war-torn Sudan. The plan was accelerated after an embassy convoy was attacked in Khartoum. There are some 70 personnel at the embassy and at least 16,000 private U.S. citizens registered in Sudan which is separated from Djibouti by Eritrea. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian drug prescription end-run

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos says the federal and provincial governments are working to limit the “outrageous” exportation of essential medications to the U.S. He was responding April 13 to reports that a Texas-based physician licensed in Nova Scotia had written 17,000 prescriptions which were filled by two B.C. pharmacies in B.C. then mailed to American residents. [node:read-more:link]

Canada’s healthcare debate continues

As various levels of government and the healthcare sector continue to debate private-versus-public care, the Supreme Court of Canada announced today that it will not hear an appeal (Docket No. 40412) by a Vancouver physician who has been challenging government policies for 14 years. Dr. Brian had argued that a statutory ban on patients accessing private care when the public system can’t provide timely care is unconstitutional. [node:read-more:link]

Delivery issues with costly Land Cruisers

Five years after Canada contracted with South Carolina-based Jankel Tactical Systems to buy 76 armoured Toyota Land Cruisers for its diplomatic missions at a unit cost of $261,622, less than half have been delivered. The Public Services & Procurement and Global Affairs departments are saying only that they are “working with the supplier […] to schedule delivery of vehicles as needed.” [node:read-more:link]


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