Personal Health and Safety

Public safety a concern in B.C.

Two days after being sworn in as Premier of British Columbia, David Eby announced a package of plans November 20 he said are designed to address growing concerns about public safety. They include proposals expanded emergency mental health resources and the formation of “repeat violent offender response teams” to address what’s been criticized as a “catch and release” justice system. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. minister challenges deportation order

British Columbia’s health minister, Andrian Dix, wants the Canada Border Services Agency to cancel a December 19 deportation order for a Mexican family. Dix says New Westminster hospital employee Claudia Zamorano, who fled her country in 2017 with her family after gang death threats and who applied for permanent residency in 2021, should be permitted ed to continue to contribute to the province's health-care system. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians’ detention defended as legal

The Dominican Republic’s envoy to Canada says her country, bound by law, had no choice but to detain a Canadian airline crew and passengers for seven months after they had reported cocaine hidden in their aircraft. Ambassador Michelle Cohen also denies that the five Pivot Airlines crewmembers and te\heir passengers had spent time in prison despite accounts to the contrary. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians hoping to leave Dominican Republic

Seven months after they were arbitrarily detained by the Dominican Republic for reporting an attempt to smuggle cocaine, 12 Canadians learned today that repatriation is on the horizon after the prosecutor submitted the requisite paperwork. They include five employees of Toronto-based Pivot Airlines and seven passengers, who had chartered the aircraft to assess real estate investment potential in the Caribbean tourist destination. [node:read-more:link]

Natural gas: cleaner but not “clean”?

Canada’s natural gas industry is under a Competition Bureau microscope after the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment accused the industry’s lobby group of misleading claims about its carbon emissions. The CGA’s latest advertising campaign promotes gas as a form of low emission energy but the CAPE argues that natural gas is not as “clean” as the industry claims and that extraction and production “pose a serious health risk.” [node:read-more:link]

Return to virus masking recommended

The emergence of new COVID-19 variants, coupled with outbreaks of respiratory syncytial virus and seasonal flu, has prompted the Chief Public Health of Canada to recommend a return to masks indoors. “this third winter of COVID-19 comes with some cautions,” Dr. Theresa Tam warned November 10, but she refrained from suggesting a return to mandatory masking, leaving that to provincial and territorial authorities. [node:read-more:link]

Latest healthcare talks unproductive

Provincial and territorial leaders say there was “no progress” in their health ministers’ latest round of health care funding talks with the federal government, which ended November 8. The federal government has been pressed for years to boost Canada Health Transfer contributions to 35 per cent but Health minister Yves Duclos said that a plan to move forward on several key issues were effective scuppered by the financing focus. [node:read-more:link]

Canadians mostly support mask mandates

With health care facilities across the country overwhelmed with cases of respiratory illness, some 70 per cent of Canadians would “support” or “somewhat support” mandatory face masks if deemed necessary by public health officials, according to the results of a national Nanos Research poll. Support ranged from 72 per cent in B.C. to 62.9 per cent in the Prairie provinces and was generally highest among women and respondents aged at least 55. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. hopes to address doctor shortage

A new physician payment model will be rolled out by the B.C. government in February in a bid to recruit and retain more family physicians. At least 20 per cent of the province’s residents do not have access to family doctors and Health Minister Adrian Dix said October 31 that the new model will consider an array of factors involved in patient consultations rather than a single fee for all visits. [node:read-more:link]

Federal dental bill in Senate hands

The minority Liberals’ bill to subsidize dental care for children in families earning less than $90,000 a year has been referred to the Senate after third reading in the House of Commons October 37. Supported by the New Democratic Party, the bill was approved 172-138 with Conservatives and Bloc Québécois voting against it. [node:read-more:link]

Pelosi attacker a Canadian expat

A man charged with attacking U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home October 28 originally was from B.C. David Wayne dePape, estranged from his family for years since moving to the U.S., faces several charges, including attempted. [node:read-more:link]

A look inside Wuhan laboratory

A report prepared for a U.S. Senate sub-committee offers intriguing and potentially alarming insight into the Wuhan laboratory in China long suspected to have been as “ground zero” for the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, the report discloses “intensive pressure” to produce scientific breakthroughs despite a “dire” lack of resources complicated by “a lack of transparency” by government and public health officials. [node:read-more:link]

B.C. protecting healthcare workers

Violence against doctors, nurses and other personnel at hospitals and other healthcare facilities has prompted the B.C. government to begin recruiting 334 protective staff at 26 sites identified as having the most incidents. “Most health-care employees have experienced or witnessed violence,” says Health Minister Adrian Dix. “And we know workplace violence significantly affects their physical and mental health, requiring health-care employees to take time off work, or worse, leave the health-care field entirely.” [node:read-more:link]

Transplant policy challenged in court

An Alberta woman who refuses coronavirus vaccination despite needing an organ donation has asked the provincial Court of Appeal to overturn her removal from the transplant waitlist. Alberta transplant doctors mandated vaccinations after finding that nearly 40 per cent of unvaccinated organ recipients died before vaccines were available. That decision was upheld by a lower court in July. [node:read-more:link]

Anticipating the next COVID wave

As the latest coronavirus wave builds in Europe and almost certainly set to cross the Atlantic, the overloaded health care system is girding itself for a surge in confirmed cases. However, an apparently growing public apathy could be problematic, hence Chief Public Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam’s call this week for Canadians to get their shots [node:read-more:link]


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