Personal Health and Safety

B.C. mine worries Montanans

Plans by Vancouver-based Teck Resources to expand coal mining operations in British Columbia are worrying residents of a small town in northern Montana. Still suffering from the health impact of long-ceased local vermiculite mining, the town’s inhabitants fear that selenium already in their downriver reservoir pose a threat to their drinking water, but Teck says it understands that current selenium levels are safe. [node:read-more:link]

British coronavirus spike a harbinger?

A 30 per cent jump in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Britain over the past week, prompting concerns about a fall wave, is seen as a potential harbinger for what lies ahead in North America. “Generally, what happens in the U.K. is reflected about a month later in the U.S.,” says Dr. Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London. He says a study of data since early 2020 has accurately captured the start of each wave. “I think this is what I’ve sort of been seeing.” [node:read-more:link]

NDP draws line for Liberals

The minority Liberal government has been reminded by New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh that continued support depends on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau fulfilling commitments that would prevent a general election until 2025. First and foremost is full implementation of a national dental care plan by next year. [node:read-more:link]

Vape company takes major hit

The Washington-based e-cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs agreed today to pay nearly US$440 million to settle a two-year investigation by 33 states into the marketing of its high-nicotine vaping products. The states and Puerto Rico had launched a 2020 inquiry into the company’s earlier promotions and it still faces hundreds of lawsuits on behalf of teens and others who claim addiction to its products. [node:read-more:link]

Health Canada: Product Highlights 2021

The Health Products and Food Branch of Health Canada reviews and authorizes health products to ensure safe, effective and high-quality products, including vaccines, tests, treatments, personal protective equipment, disinfectants, sanitizers and other health products Canadians rely on every day. Read intro here. [node:read-more:link]

Omicron vaccine approved

Health Canada has approved Moderna's updated COVID-19 vaccine against the Omicron BA.1 variant for use in adults 18 and older. The department also said today that clinical trials suggest it elicits a “stronger immune response” against more recent and dominant BA.4 And BA.5 variants. [node:read-more:link]

PM open to health care reforms?

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agree that health must be delivered “differently” as most jurisdictions deal with staffing issues. Ford also reiterated August 30 that his other counterparts want more federal money for the programs they are mandated to deliver “and we're gonna make sure that we sit down and really work out a deal.” [node:read-more:link]

More security for politicians?

The federal government is considering options for tighter security for politicians faced with increased harassment and threats in what Public safety Minister Marco Mendicino says is an increasing “complex” political environment. “We are seeing more incidents,” he says, notably against women and indigenous and racialized Canadians. “I don't believe that is a coincidence, and we need to be sure that people can contribute, that they can lend their voices to our politics.” [node:read-more:link]

Alberta politicians get death threats

Several candidates for the leadership of the United Conservative Party in Alberta say they have received death threats and other abuse over the course of the campaign. Calling for more “civility in public life,” one of the candidates said some threats originate from people seeking publicity and that their actions encourage copy-cat behaviour. [node:read-more:link]

Federal employees happiest at home

The prospect of having to move back into offices after working mainly from home from the past couple of years due to the pandemic evidently isn’t sitting well with many federal government employees. Their unions say that while some welcome the idea or are happy with a hybrid approach, most want to continue working from home as another coronavirus wave builds. [node:read-more:link]

New vaccination program for Quebeckers

With a new school year looming and summer holidays winding down, Quebec Premier François Legault has announced that residents aged 75 or older could book another coronavirus vaccination immediately. Those aged at least 60 as well as anyone 12 or older who are considered vulnerable could begin booking August 22 and that all others over the age of 18 will be eligible a week later. “More people will be inside, there will be more contagion,” he said August 16, calling the immunization effort so far a success. “It's a really good time to be launching a massive vaccination campaign.” [node:read-more:link]

Motorcyclist threatened over “ISIS” licence plate

An Ontario man who fled Afghanistan amid the threat of a militant takeover says his life has been endangered by his motorcycle’s dealer-issued licence plate, 1S1S6, which resembles ISIS. He says the province refused to change it until he was nearly killed after receiving death threats as a supposed supporter of the terrorist organization. [node:read-more:link]

ArriveCAN app rule relaxed

Canada is giving fully-vaccinated travellers entering through the land border a one-time exemption from fines or quarantine requirements if they unknowingly fail to submit the required health documents through the ArriveCAN app. Canadians citizens, permanent residents, persons registered under the Indian Act, and foreign nationals are eligible. [node:read-more:link]

Medically-assisted deaths increasing

New data show that 10,064 Canadians died with medical assistance in 2021, a 32 per cent increase from 2020. A third annual federal report shows that 3.3 per cent of all deaths in Canada last year were assisted and that all jurisdictions reported increased rates with the highest in B.C. and Quebec at 4.8 and 4.6 per cent respectively. [node:read-more:link]

CAF Afghan supporters in jeopardy

Cory Moore, a former Canadian military officer who helped to develop the Afghan National Army’s legal branch, says a group of lawyers and others who supported his work have been “left in the dark” by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. He is pressing the department to to accelerate its processing of the claims by 12 individuals and their families who fear Taliban reprisals. [node:read-more:link]


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