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Update 10-22-2014

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Toxic Baby Bottles

Toronto February 10, 2008–

A harmful chemical found in some 90 per cent of plastic baby bottles sold in Canada leaches into the infant formula, milk or other liquids being drunk by babies, according to a new study released today by Environmental Defence. The chemical, bisphenol A, is a known hormone disruptor and is associated with adverse health effects, including breast and prostate cancer, early puberty in girls, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, and obesity.
The study, Toxic Baby Bottles in Canada: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Polycarbonate Baby Bottles, found bisphenol A leaches at significant levels from plastic baby bottles when they are heated. Lab results found leaching of bisphenol A with a range of 5-8 ng/ml (parts per billion) among the bottles tested. Recent scientific research shows that bisphenol A can be harmful at doses below the levels found in the study.
 “Clearly, we are putting our babies’ health at risk by using brand name plastic baby bottles,” said Dr. Smith, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “The federal government must act immediately by banning bisphenol A from baby bottles and other food and beverage containers.”
Three major brands of bottles were tested in Canada – Gerber, Avent and Playtex. Lab results show the highest level of leaching from the Avent brand baby bottles. Playtex brand baby bottles had the lowest level of leaching. Significantly, levels of bisphenol A leaching increased exponentially when the bottles were heated, with the Avent brand bottles showing the highest concentration.

“As parents, learning about which products are unsafe and choosing healthy and safe alternatives is the first step towards protecting our children and families from toxic chemicals like bisphenol A. Ultimately, we need our provincial and federal government to step up because these toxic products shouldn’t even be on store shelves for an unsuspecting parent to pick up and give to their children,” said Monique Fabregas, a mother and founder of GreenMom.

Tests were also conducted on baby bottles bought in the U.S. – Avent, Dr. Brown, Evenflo and Disney. The results were similar as those of bottles bought in Canada, with Dr. Brown bottles showing the highest concentration of bisphenol A after the bottles were heated.
Health Canada is currently conducting a safety review of bisphenol A as part of the federal government’s Chemicals Management Plan, and will recommend whether to regulate the chemical in the coming months. In Ontario, the McGuinty government is creating an expert panel to review toxic chemicals, starting with bisphenol A, with a view to introducing stricter regulations to protect Ontarians’ health. Environmental Defence is calling for a ban on the use of bisphenol A in baby bottles, reusable water bottles and all other food and beverage containers.
“With so many scientific studies showing harm in low doses, there’s no excuse for failing to act to protect children’s health,” said Dr. Kapil Khatter, Pollution Policy Advisor for Environmental Defence. “The absence of regulation is needlessly putting children’s health at risk.”
Environmental Defence is also encouraging retailers to stop selling products that contain bisphenol A. Both Mountain Equipment Co-op and Lululemon recently chose to take bisphenol A products off their shelves. Parents can take action immediately to protect their children’s health by choosing safer alternatives, including plastic baby bottles made without bisphenol A, or glass baby bottles. For further tips, parents can download the Toxic Nation Guide to Toxic Baby Bottles from Environmental Defence’s Toxic Nation web site –
The full study, Toxic Baby Bottles in Canada: Bisphenol A Leaching from Popular Brands of Polycarbonate Baby Bottles, is available to download for free on the Toxic Nation web site –

Health Canada warns Canadians not to use the sexual enhancer Vigorect Oral Gel Shooter due to potential health risks

OTTAWA -- Health Canada is warning consumers not to use the unauthorized product Vigorect Oral Gel Shooter, because it contains an undeclared drug substance tadalafil, which should only be available by prescription. The use of Vigorect Oral Gel Shooter could pose serious health risks, especially for patients with existing medical conditions such as heart problems, those taking heart medication, or those at risk of stroke.
Products containing tadalafil should not be used by individuals who are taking any nitrate medication because combining these products could result in the development of potentially life-threatening low blood pressure.
The use of products containing tadalafil has been associated with serious side effects including serious cardiac events such as heart attacks, sudden cardiac death, angina, irregular heart rate, or stroke. In extremely rare instances, use of tadalafil may potentially result in penile tissue damage and permanent loss of potency.

Vigorect Oral Gel Shooter is advertised as a natural sex enhancer and is not authorized for sale in Canada. The Canadian importer has been contacted and is recalling the product. Consumers who have purchased Vigorect Oral Gel Shooter are warned not to use it and to consult with a medical professional if they have used the product or have concerns about their health.

Products containing tadalafil should be available only with a prescription written by a medical practitioner licensed in Canada. The use of such a product may require a physical check-up, individualized directions for use, and on-going monitoring by a physician.
Vigorect is sold in packets of liquid gel. There have been no reports of adverse reactions associated with the use of this product. The product is available at retail outlets and is also sold over the Internet. Health Canada is taking steps to confirm that the product has been removed from the Canadian market.

Drugs and natural health products that are authorized for sale in Canada will have either an eight-digit Drug Identification Number (DIN), a Natural Product Number (NPN) or a Homeopathic Medicine Number (DIN-HM) on the label. These numbers indicate that the products have been assessed by Health Canada for safety, effectiveness and quality.

Consumers requiring more information about this warning can contact Health Canada's public enquiries line at (613) 957-2991, or toll free at 1-866-225-0709.

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Johns Hopkins University Awarded $15 Million for New AIDS Research

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"Veterans Get Retraining"VA and Department of Labor Program to Retrain 99,000 Unemployed Veterans - Now Accepting Applications

Spare the Air Actions
During a Smog Advisory, Take Actions to Help Spare the Air.

Travel tips - all year round:

leave your car at home - walk, cycle, carpool or take public transit - tele-conference instead of driving to meetings - limit car trips by doing all your errands at once, and do not let your engine idle - keep your car well tuned, check your tire pressure and drive at moderate speeds
Health tips:
- avoid exposure to vehicle exhaust fumes - consult your doctor for specific health advice - wear light clothing at work while air conditioning is reduced - avoid strenuous exercise in the heat of the day
Electricity saving tips:
- save electricity at home by setting your air conditioner temperature a few degrees higher (health permitting) and turning off lights you are not using
Other pollution reduction tips:
- leave lawn mowing for another day - restrict the use of gasoline-powered equipment - delay using oil-based paints, solvents and cleaners.


This site was started as a resource and referral for people after the 9-11 Tragedy. Because the scope of this task has grown tremendously as the world has changed and communications are more important than ever we need to further expand. This is a one person endeavor, and because of the enormity of the coverage needed, I am asking that companies who regularly check in with us to take out advertisements to help defray the costs involved. Your message will go to as many as twenty countries, and have a major impact between Washington, D.C. and Toronto, Canada. We are consistantly reaching over 3500 hits a month. Update 12-06-2005

Email to ask about the other details. Thank You Webmaster Diane Knaus

Have a Great Day

Canada Health

"This year, every day almost 1,000 Canadian baby boomers will turn 60, and cardiologists say it's a prime age for heart disease and stroke"
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

Methyl-1-testosterone, a derivative of the steroid testosterone, is a controlled substance in Canada. There are currently no authorized methyl-1-testosterone products on the Canadian market. When used improperly, methyl-1-testosterone can cause serious adverse reactions, including reduced fertility, hardening of the arteries, liver damage and enlargement or tenderness of male breasts or nipples.

Canadians using M1T (methyl-1-testosterone) Andro Technologies or any other supplements containing this steroid are advised to:

stop taking these products immediately

and consult with a health care professional if they have health concerns.

Health Canada has notified the Canada Border Services Agency to detain any shipment of M1T (methyl-1-testosterone) Andro Technologies or any other products containing methyl-1-testosterone at the border.

Canadians are advised to contact the Health Products and Food Branch Inspectorate at 1-800-267-9675 if they find M1T (methyl-1-testosterone) Andro Technologies or any other products containing methyl-1-testosterone on the Canadian market.

Consumers and health care professionals are encouraged to report any adverse reaction suspected as being associated with methyl-1-testosterone use by contacting the Canadian Adverse Drug Reaction Monitoring Program (CADRMP) of Health Canada by one of the following methods: Toll-free telephone at 1-866-234-2345 or by toll-free fax at 1-866-678-6789.


Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, account for the death of more than 70,000 Canadians per year. 

Pfizer Canada, a leader in cardiovascular research and development, is dedicated to partnering with, and supporting Canadian research.   The Pfizer CardioVascular Research Awards program is the most recent initiative in the company’s ongoing commitment to cardiovascular care in Canada.

Pfizer Canada is proud to introduce the Pfizer CardioVascular Research Awards program to promote partnerships for better cardiovascular care in Canada.  The Awards program, announced today at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress, will support a variety of initiatives, from traditional clinical trials, to smaller, often under-represented projects in Canadian research.  All proposals will be reviewed by an independent expert review committee which has been established to evaluate and grant the Awards.  This committee will be chaired by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director, Research Center, Montreal Heart Institute, Associate Professor of Medicine, Université de Montréal, and recipient of the Pfizer-Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair of Atherosclerosis.

As Chair of the independent review committee, Dr. Tardif’s responsibilities include, development of the criteria for grant selection; chairing the committee’s activities to review and award the grants; participation in developing opportunities to share the results of the research grants; and facilitation of the overall process.  “Canada has a long history and commitment to cardiovascular research.  It is an honour to be part of such a prestigious and valuable program.  In order to advance our understanding of the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease, it is important for new researchers, as well as established experts, to have support for research projects and initiatives.  And, ultimately, it is the Canadian public that will benefit from this partnership for research and knowledge. I look forward to working with Pfizer Canada on this innovative project,” says Dr. Tardif. 

Young Canadian Man Shoots up Parliament Members in Ottawa, Pays for it With His Life 

10-22-20014 First, he shoots a guard and kills him at a national monument, then two days later he runs into Parliament and shoots into the crowd. Originally from Quebec, the gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau aged 22 years old, was living in a homeless shelter nearby where he befrended two muslims and tried to buy a cheap uesd car before the event. Known for petty crimes and some drug offenses, there is no immediate knowledge of why he would have taken peoples lives in such a violent manner like this.

One breaking theory is that these two attacks were put into place because of the plans between the U.S. and Canada for joining together to fight the ISIl violence. A few days ago, Canada sent six fighter jets to attack Islamic State targets in Iraq because of a request for assistance from the United States.

“We will not be intimidated,” Mr. Harper said at a special session of Parliament held on Thursday to punctuate its determination to resume normality. “We will be vigilant but we will not run scared. We will be prudent but we will not panic.”

Susan Bibeau and Bulgasem Zehaf, the gumans parents said of the soldier in a statement given to The Associated Press. “We send our deepest condolences to them although words seem pretty useless.”  Even now his parents do not understand what happened or why he killled the young man on duty at the war memorial, or why he went into Parliament to try to kill others.

Kevin Vickers, the sergeant-at-arms at the House of Commons, who was seen on Wednesday rushing after the assailant with a pistol drawn,shot him dead. Many of the government buildings were closed down and people were ordered to stay inside while the buildings were being searched to see if there were more people involved. None were found. When Parliament was back in session today, the crowd clapped when Mr. Vickers came into the chambers.


Canadian Government Cracks Down on Gasoline Competition in Ontario

OTTAWA, March 20, 2012 — The Competition Bureau announced that Pioneer Energy LP, Canadian Tire Corporation, and Mr. Gas pleaded guilty today to fixing the price of retail gasoline from May to November 2007 in Kingston and Brockville, Ontario.

The Bureau uncovered evidence that the competitors agreed among themselves to set the gas price for consumers at the pump. The companies pleaded guilty before the Ontario Superior Court in Brockville to price-fixing under the Competition Act and were fined a total of $2 million. Each of the companies will be subject to a court order for ten years and they must educate their employees about the Act.

"Consumers in Kingston and Brockville were denied a competitive price for gasoline as a result of this criminal price-fixing cartel," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. "The Bureau will not hesitate to take action when it uncovers evidence of illegal price-fixing."

The pleas are as follows:

Pioneer Energy LP pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Kingston and Brockville, and was fined $985,000;

Canadian Tire Corporation pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Kingston and Brockville, and was fined $900,000;

and Mr. Gas pleaded guilty to price-fixing in Brockville and was fined $150,000. Today's criminal charges and guilty pleas are the result of an extensive Bureau investigation that found evidence that gas retailers or their representatives in these local markets phoned each other and agreed on the price they would charge customers for gasoline. The Bureau's investigation into potential price-fixing in the retail gasoline market continues in the Southeastern Ontario market.

Price-fixing conspiracies are difficult to detect and prove. High or identical prices are not in and of themselves evidence of criminal activity. There must be evidence that competitors have made an illegal agreement to set those prices. When there are substantiated allegations of wrongdoing in the marketplace, the Bureau will not hesitate to investigate.

For further information on the investigation, price-fixing and the Bureau's investigative tools, please consult our backgrounder.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.


Photo of Dr. Chil-Yong Kang Courtesy of the University of Western Ontario

FDA Approves Clinical Trials for First AIDS Vaccine

12-2-2011 London, ON – The first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus has received approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start human clinical trials.

Developed by Dr. Chil-Yong Kang and his team at The University of Western Ontario, with the support of Sumagen Canada, the vaccine (SAV001) holds tremendous promise, having already proven to stimulate strong immune responses in preliminary toxicology tests with no adverse effects or safety risks. It is the only HIV vaccine currently under development in Canada, and one of only a few in the world.

“FDA approval for human clinical trials is an extremely significant milestone for our vaccine, which has the potential to save the lives of millions of people around the world by preventing HIV infection," says Kang, a researcher and professor at Western's Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry.

Western President Amit Chakma says, "This joint venture between Sumagen and Western is a prime example of what collaboration between private industry and university researchers can achieve. Dr. Kang and his team are to be commended for their exceptional talent and remarkable persistence in developing a vaccine that addresses a tragic health crisis affecting millions of people around the globe."

Dr. Dong Joon Kim, a representative of Sumagen Co. Ltd. says, “Our company has committed substantial resources to this project since 2005 and we are ve

HIV/AIDS has killed more than 28 million people worldwide, and more than 35 million people currently live with the virus infection. Since the virus was characterized in 1983, there have been numerous trials through pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions around the world to develop vaccines; however, no commercialized vaccine has been developed to date. Other HIV vaccines evaluated through human clinical trials have focused on either one specific component of HIV as an antigen, genetic vaccine using recombinant DNA, or recombinant viruses carrying the HIV genes. Kang’s vaccine is unique in that it uses a killed whole HIV-1, much like the killed whole virus vaccines for polio, influenza, rabies and hepatitis A. The HIV-1 is genetically engineered so it is non-pathogenic and can be produced in large quantities.

Before it can be commercialized, the SAV001 vaccine must go through three phases of human clinical trials:

* Phase I, set to begin in January 2012, will double check the safety of the vaccine in humans, involving only 40 HIV-positive volunteers.

* Phase II will measure immune responses in humans, involving approximately 600 HIV-negative volunteers who are in the high-risk category for HIV infection.

* Phase III will measure the efficacy of the vaccine, involving approximately 6,000 HIV-negative volunteers who are also in the high-risk category for HIV infection.

Through WORLDiscoveries, Western’s technology transfer office, Sumagen Canada has secured patents for the SAV001 vaccine in more than 70 countries, including the U.S., the European Union, China, India and South Korea. The vaccine has been manufactured at a bio-safety level 3 (BSL3) good manufacturing practice (GMP) facility in the U.S.

Coperation Between Canada and The U.S.

11-30-2009 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Public Safety Canada Minister Peter Van Loan today announced initiatives between the United States and Canada.

Those initiatives build on their shared commitment to tackle common threats like terrorism and organized crime while ensuring the lawful flow of travel and trade across the border.

They reviewed progress on the mutual goals they announced in May—including enhancing information sharing and expanding integrated law enforcement while protecting privacy and economic security.

“Close cooperation and coordination between the United States and Canada is critical to the national and economic security of both nations,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Minister Van Loan and I are committed to working together to combat transnational threats and facilitate lawful travel and trade on both sides of the border.”

“A shared understanding of the threats and risks we face is paramount to our common objective of enhancing U.S.-Canadian security. We are working together to achieve this,” said Minister Van Loan. “We have a joint responsibility to secure the safety of our citizens.”

Secretary Napolitano and Minister Van Loan also made announcements to strengthen both trade and security:

Streamlining Border Shipping: Canada and United States have agreed to work toward aligning the U.S. Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) and Canada’s Partners in Protection (PIP) program, in an effort to achieve harmonization as quickly as possible. These trusted shipper programs focus on improving the security of private sector supply chains and benefit shippers.

Maritime Emergency Cooperation: Canada and United States have created a Maritime Annex to the Joint Framework for the Movement of People and Goods During and Following Emergencies. This is an addition to the Framework the countries established in May. The new annex guides communication and coordination during incidents that affect shared waterways and ports, enabling both nations to assist one another during emergencies.

NEXUS and FAST Cards Now Accepted Everywhere: Canada will join the United States in recognizing NEXUS and Free and Secure Trade (FAST) trusted traveler program cards as valid identification documents in all lanes at all land and sea border ports of entry beginning Nov. 25. It was also announced that the programs are expanding with new enrollment centers opening in St. Stephen, New Brunswick – Calais, Maine and Lansdowne, Ontario – Alexandria Bay, N.Y

Immigration Information Sharing: Secretary Napolitano announced that the United States will join a biometric data sharing initiative involving Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and, eventually, New Zealand – an initiative designed to strengthen the integrity of immigration systems and the security of each country while protecting privacy and civil rights. Minister Van Loan, with the Canadian Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, Jason Kenney, welcomed the United States’ participation.

“Previous trials show that biometric information sharing works. For example, when the fingerprints of some asylum claimants in Canada were checked against the U.S. database, more than a third matched and 12 percent of these individuals presented a different identity in the United States,” said Minister Kenney. “The data sharing helps uncover details about refugee claimants such as identity, nationality, criminality, travel and immigration history, all of which can prove relevant to the claim.”

Fighting Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing: Secretary Napolitano and Minister Van Loan announced that the two countries are in the final stages of completing a Memorandum of Understanding to share data on currency seized at the border. This will significantly enhance the ability of law enforcement officers in both countries to investigate and track illicit cash movement. It will disrupt the flow of funds that support the activities of criminals and terrorists.

Security Cooperation: Secretary Napolitano and Minister Van Loan also agreed to exchange best practices and broaden collaboration in the areas of critical infrastructure protection and countering violent extremism.

Continuing Cooperation: Minister Van Loan and Secretary Napolitano expect to meet again in approximately six months to continue their strategic work on mutual initiatives to combat security threats and expedite travel and trade.


05-26-09 Canadian auto union workers sacrifice again.According to a report in the Windsor Star, retiree benefits and a $7-billion deficit in GM's pension plan were major issues in the negotiations, said Bill Reeves, president of CAW Local 1973.

Acccording to CAW union president Ken Lewenza "They wanted us to eliminate our 30-and-out plan, eliminate survivor income benefits. We said 'no way. What we had to sacrifice was significant,” he said. “Not one (concession) was less painful than the other.” The negotiations were “tortuous,” but Chrysler operations in Canada “will live to see another day.”

$19.00 an hour were supposedly cut from union members wages to meet the demands of Chrysler in order to stay in business.

And The US President Says

THE PRESIDENT: I think there are a lot of sensitivities right now because of the huge decline in world trade. As I've said before, NAFTA, the basic framework of the agreement has environmental and labor protections as side agreements -- my argument has always been that we might as well incorporate them into the full agreement so that they're fully enforceable.

>But what I've also said is that Canada is one of our most important trading partners, we rely on them heavily, there's $1.5 billion worth of trade going back and forth every day between the two countries and that it is not in anybody's interest to see that trade diminish.

Q Especially now.

THE PRESIDENT: Absolutely.

Q Part of that trade involves the energy sector, a lot of oil and gas comes to the United States from Canada, and even more in the future with oil sands development. Now there are some in your Canada -- and Canada, as well -- who feel the oil sands is dirty oil because of the extraction process. What do you think; is it dirty oil?

THE PRESIDENT: What we know is that oil sands creates a big carbon footprint. So the dilemma that Canada faces, the United States faces, and China and the entire world faces is how do we obtain the energy that we need to grow our economies in a way that is not rapidly accelerating climate change.

That's one of the reasons why the stimulus bill that I'll be signing today contains billions of dollars towards clean energy development.

I think to the extent that Canada and the United States can collaborate on ways that we can sequester carbon, capture greenhouse gases before they're emitted into the atmosphere, that's going to be good for everybody. Because if we don't, then we're going to have a ceiling at some point in terms of our ability to expand our economies and maintain the standard of living that's so important, particularly when you've got countries like China and India that are obviously interested in catching up.

Q So are you drawing a link, then, in terms of the future of tar sands oil coming into the U.S. contingent on a sense of a continental environment policy on cap and trade?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think what I'm suggesting is, is that no country in isolation is going to be able to solve this problem. So Canada, the United States, China, India, the European Union, all of us are going to have to work together in an effective way to figure out how do we balance the imperatives of economic growth with very real concerns about the effect we're having on our planet. And ultimately I think this can be solved by technology.

I think that it is possible for us to create a set of clean energy mechanisms that allow us to use things not just like oil sands, but also coal. The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, but we have our own homegrown problems in terms of dealing with a cheap energy source that creates a big carbon footprint.

And so we're not going to be able to deal with any of these issues in isolation. The more that we can develop technologies that tap alternative sources of energy but also contain the environmental damage of fossil fuels, the better off we're going to be.

Q I know you're looking at it as a global situation, in terms of global partners, but there are some who do argue that this is the time; if there was ever going to be a continental energy policy and a continental environmental policy, this would be it. Would you agree with that thinking?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, you know, I think one of the -- one of the promising areas for not just for bilateral but also trilateral cooperation is around this issue. I met with President Calderón here in the United States, and Mexico actually has taken some of the boldest steps around the issues of alternative energy and carbon reductions of any country out there. And it's very rare for a country that's still involved in developing and trying to raise its standard of living to stay as focused on this issue as President Calderón's administration has.

What I think that offers is the possibility of a template that we can create between Canada, the United States and Mexico that is moving forcefully around these issues. But as I said, it's going to be important for us to make sure that countries like China and India, with enormous populations and huge energy needs, that they are brought into this process, as well.

Q Afghanistan. As you know, Canada has been there from the beginning, since the fall of 2001, and has suffered extreme casualties in its combat missions there. And the Canadian parliament has decided, out of combat by the year 2011. When you get to Ottawa, will you have any suggestions to Canada that it should reconsider what its role in Afghanistan is?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I think the Canadian contribution has been extraordinary, and for all the families who have borne the burden in Canada, I think we all have a heartfelt thanks.

I'm in the process of a strategic review of our approach in Afghanistan. Very soon we will be releasing some initial plans in terms of how we are going to approach the military side of the equation in Afghanistan. But I am absolutely convinced that you cannot solve the problem of Afghanistan, the Taliban, the spread of extremism in that region solely through military means. We're going to have to use diplomacy, we're going to have to use development, and my hope is that in conversations that I have with Prime Minister Harper, that he and I end up seeing the importance of a comprehensive strategy, and one that ultimately the people of Canada can support, as well as the people of the United States can support, because obviously, here as well, there are a lot of concerns about a conflict that has lasted quite a long time now and actually appears to be deteriorating at this point.

Q But are you saying that you will or you won't ask Canada to remain in a combat role?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think, you know, we've got until 2011, according to the Canadian legislature, and I think it's important for the Canadian legislature and the people of Canada to get a sense that what they're doing is productive. So what I will be communicating is the approach that we intend to take. Obviously I'm going to be continuing to ask other countries to help think through how do we approach this very difficult problem. But I don't have a specific "ask" in my pocket that I intend to bring out in our meetings.

From the Windsor Star November 26.It's hard to escape the bad economic news as the automotive sector continues to shrink, and Windsor has one of the highest unemployment rates in Canada. On Tuesday, Statistics Canada said Windsor saw one of the largest year-over-year increases in regular employment insurance beneficiaries in September, up 30.4 per cent.

Letter To The Editor

Brian Masse MP
Windsor West

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, congratulations on your re-appointment.

I listened to the discussion by the member for Essex with regard to the auto industry and it is a very trying time right now. Having worked in the Pillette Road plant as well as plant 3 where they make minivans to this day, I can say a lot of people are anxious about their jobs. Men and women who actually have good skilled trades are really concerned.

One of the things we have not discussed, though, is trade agreements. With market share disappearing for the traditional three because of imports coming into Canada as we have the most open automotive market in the world, we have not seen from the government any leadership on trade issues.

One thing we saw in the Speech from the Throne is more discussion again about trade with Asian countries. That is my specific question to the member for Essex. What countries is the government looking at expanding in terms of Asia? Is it back to South Korea? We know, for example, there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles that are shipped into Canada from South Korea and we do not ship any automobiles there, just farm equipment, which is probably going to dissipate as well because we lost our only farming equipment manufacturer in Welland recently.

We are going to see a greater imbalance there, as well as potential trade coming in from China. Will it have open access to our markets here without us having reciprocal access there? It is important to note that because as we look at the troubles in the industry we know that we have to regain market share and that needs to be a better balance.

I would ask the member for Essex to describe what is meant in the Speech from the Throne in terms of more free trade with regard to Asia. What are the countries and why can it not be fair trade? Why would the government not move to fair trade instead of free trade? That is a better balance.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Madam Speaker, congratulations on your appointment to the chair.

I was curious about the infrastructure comments that the member made, particularly for my region, the Windsor-Detroit corridor. A massive infrastructure project there is in the initial stages of getting going.

There has been a site selection for a new border crossing. It is very important for our economy despite the troubles that we have right now. We do need to have a new bridge replacement and a new plaza. The city as well is pushing for a solution for the roadway system up to the actual new border crossing. It is a little bit controversial because the Ontario Liberal government will not move ahead with a proposal to make it a greener project and although it is an insignificant difference it just seems to be stuck on not doing it.

Given the importance of the corridor and the fact that 40% of Canada's trade goes along the corridor and adding another bridge is very essential, not only just to Ontario and Quebec but the rest of the country with our GDP so tightly wound around basically a private American operator that owns the current bridge, why did his party take the position of objecting to the project going ahead.

In fact, a former cabinet minister was one of their candidates in our region and does not want the project to go forward. Why would the Liberals not want to support that when it is going to create a lot of jobs, will green and

HANSARD – November 26, 2008   
Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): Mr. Speaker, earlier today, Magna Auto Parts announced it is closing two more plants, so 850 more people will be fired in the auto industry.

Yesterday the Conference Board forecast 15,000 more auto jobs will be lost in the next year. That is 100,000 more jobs that will disappear across Canada.

Already EI claims have risen by 30% in Windsor and 96% in Oshawa. Workers all across southern Ontario are worried about providing for their families, keeping their homes and securing their retirement.How many more jobs will have to be lost before the minister gets the message? He has to show leadership and he has to show it right now.

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I was made aware of this decision just before question period. Of course I am saddened by the decision, which affects many lives and families in the Newmarket--Aurora area and indeed throughout the GTA. Obviously we will be there with all the support programs that one would expect from the Government of Canada.

However, we are here to look after the long term sustainability of an industry as well, which includes the parts industry, about which we are engaged with the auto sector, about which we are engaged with the government of Ontario and having regard to the situation in Washington as well.

Mr. Brian Masse (Windsor West, NDP): What is sad, Mr. Speaker, is when we compare what is happened in Canada to what is happening in the United States.

Earlier this year the U.S. government already allocated $25 billion to transform their auto industry to build the new, green fuel efficient vehicles of the future. They are fighting for the jobs of the future while the government is doing nothing. No wonder nobody wants to meet with this minister in Washington.

Will the minister at least come to Windsor tomorrow to meet with the leaders from industry, unions, suppliers and municipalities to explain what the government will do? Will he at least show his face to the workers, the families and the businesses that are on the brink of losing everything?

Hon. Tony Clement (Minister of Industry, CPC): Mr. Speaker, these kinds of issues affect everybody throughout the country. It affects my riding as much as the hon. Member's riding perhaps, or at least in the same industry.

We have been active. The hon. Member should know that we created an auto innovation fund, which we have agreed in our platform, in our throne speech to continue to improve and augment as well.

We are there for auto innovation. We are there for making sure that the cars of the future are built, in part at least, in Canada. The fact of the matter is we want long term solutions and that is exactly what Barrack Obama is saying and what Dalton McGuinty is saying.

Letter To The Editor

"The reality here is that the government does not want to deal with the real issue." Brian Masse MP
Windsor West

Canadas Carbon Footprint, but no $ for Poorest in Ontario

The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, recently announced several initiatives that will advance clean energy technology in Canada, during his tour at the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy at the University of Calgary.

"Our Government is ensuring that Canada is at the leading edge of clean technologies to reduce emissions and adapt to environmental change. That is why in Budget 2008, we announced $5 million for this Institute to complete important work: to collaborate with stakeholders and address outstanding issues in the deployment of carbon capture and storage technologies," said Minister Lunn. "I would also like to announce a Call for Proposals under our two new funds that will accelerate the development of clean energy technologies in Canada."

Industry can submit proposals under two new funds:
• A $125 million fund to advance carbon capture and storage technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands and coal-fired electricity plants;
• A $15 million fund to advance the development of technologies that will reduce the environmental impacts of oil sands production, such as tailings ponds.
"This federal support will enable us to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) solutions that help Alberta and Canada reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Dr. David Keith, Univeristy of Calgary's Canada Research Chair in Energy and the Environment. "Implementing CCS is one of the best options we have for achieving large cuts in emissions within reasonable costs and timeframes."
The $5 million commitment in Budget 2008 is intended to ensure the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy can collaborate with stakeholders on outstanding regulatory, economic and technological issues in response to the Canada–Alberta ecoENERGY Carbon Capture and Storage Task Force Report
For more information on the two calls for proposals and the ecoENERGY Technology initiative, visit

While it is a great thing to take care of the carbon problems in Canada, the governmetn has ignored the plight oof its poorest and renigged on their promise to feed their hungry.

Canadian Journalists for Free
Expression (CJFE) International Press Freedom


ZIMBABWE: Mugabe Resorts to Violence, Intimidation

Foreign journalists and rights activists were detained last week and offices of Zimbabwe's main opposition party were ransacked, ominous signs that President Robert Mugabe will engage in a post-election crackdown in trying to avert threats to his 28-year rule, say the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) and other IFEX members.Heavily armed riot police surrounded and entered the York Lodge, a Harare hotel popular with foreign correspondents, and arrested five people on 3 April.

"The New York Times" correspondent Barry Bearak, winner of a 2002 Pulitze Prize, and a freelance journalist from the U.K. were arrested and charged with practising journalism without accreditation, report MISA, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other IFEX members. The three others, who were not identified, were later released. Bearak and the British journalist were released on 300 million Zimbabwean Dollars bail (US$10,000) after spending five days in detention, says CPJ. Bearak is due to appear in court on 10 April.

According to the Associated Press, Adrienne Arsenault, a reporter for Canada's CBC Newsworld, said she was standing in the driveway of a different hotel earlier on 3 April and was grabbed by riot police. She was taken to a Harare police station but eventually released. The hotel had warned her that police were ordered to be on the lookout for journalists, she said.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) says the arrest of journalists is an attempt to sabotage media coverage of the current political crisis and a possible runoff election.
On the same evening police raided offices of the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in another Harare hotel. MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told the Associated Press, "Mugabe has started a crackdown. It is quite clear he has unleashed a war."

The police raids came a day after official results showed Mugabe's party had lost control of parliament's 210-member lower house.

"We fear this is the prelude to a government crackdown on the political opposition and civil society in the wake of hotly contested elections," says Human Rights Watch. "Government harassment of the opposition and journalists only serve to inflame the political environment in Zimbabwe."
Zimbabwe's restrictive journalist accreditation law, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, has been used to block international and local reporters from covering the elections. Even two South African broadcast engineers - not journalists - were arrested and accused of practising journalism without accreditation, MISA reports.

Only a handful of foreign journalists received accreditation despite 300 requests, says CPJ, and despite the act being amended earlier this year to remove restrictions, says MISA.
In the months leading up to the presidential, parliamentary,
senatorial, and local council elections on 29 March, the government cracked down on local and national journalists, shutting down newspapers and allowing members of Mugabe's political party to harass and attack journalists with impunity.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has yet to release results of the presidential election despite increasing international pressure. MDC already asserted its leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the presidency outright, but said it was prepared to compete in any runoff.

First Nation Communities Bring Case to Ottawa 2-15-2008

Touted as "The Most Destructive Project on Earth"

Ottawa – The federal government is failing to uphold its duty to clean up the Tar Sands, according to a new report by Environmental Defence released today on Parliament Hill. Canada’s Toxic Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth shows how failure to enforce federal laws is allowing the Tar Sands to become Canada’s most serious environmental liability.

“Ottawa is letting the Tar Sands hold Canadians hostage on global warming,” said Matt Price, Program Manager with Environmental Defence. “The federal government is not using laws already on the books to require companies to reduce emissions and clean up their toxic mess.”

First Nations living downriver of the Tar Sands are also bringing their concerns to Ottawa today. The community of Fort Chipewyan made headlines last year when Health Canada launched a complaint against the town doctor for speaking out about abnormal disease rates in the community.

“Nobody lives closer to the land and water than we do, and we’ve seen bad changes over the past dozen years,” said Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation. “As goes the water so go we, and we are seeing strange diseases now.”
“Elders tell us water is the boss, and without clean water we wouldn’t exist. Now the boss is in trouble and needs our help,” said Councillor Willis Flett, Mikisew Cree First Nation.

Key report findings include:
• Weak federal “intensity” targets will allow Tar Sands greenhouse gas emissions to double by 2020, wiping out progress that other parts of Canada are making to combat climate change.
• Toxic tailings ponds, visible from space, are seeping into the region’s groundwater, and pollution is rising in the Athabasca River contrary to the federal Fisheries Act.
• New federal pollution measures will let Tar Sands Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions grow by 60% by 2015.
• Tar Sands pollution is causing acid rain in Saskatchewan and beyond.
• Tar Sands upgraders and refineries are creating health “sacrifice zones” in Alberta and Ontario.
• Supertankers as big as the West Edmonton Mall are planned for the coast of BC to take Tar Sands oil to Asia.
• Federal environmental assessments rubber stamp massive new Tar Sands mines by relying on industry-driven management bodies that are known to be broken.
 “When even former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed, who started the Tar Sands ball rolling, is calling for change, you know this is a major disaster,” said Aaron Freeman, Policy Director, Environmental Defence “This is Canada’s problem – our federal elected leaders need to clean it up or shut it down.”
Canada’s Toxic Tar Sands: The Most Destructive Project on Earth is available to download for free on the Environmental Defence web site –http://

Canadian Online Study on Social Bullying Behaviour Catholic School Board Says No 2-9-2008

Egale executive director Helen Kennedy says " It is not about sexual behaviour, it is about social behaviour. It about bullying, harassment and taunting in our schools. Homophobia is as prevalent in the Catholic system as it is in the public system," Ms. Kennedy said. Egale Canada is a national organization that advances equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans-identified people and their families across Canada.

The Catholic trustees from Toronto, Guelph, Ont., and Alberta have all said no to the survey.

In December the organization produced a survey to address just that, social behavior which results in bullying and harassment of students. They sent the form out to all school districts."We are working with School Boards, Gay Straight Alliances, agencies and service providers to make sure as many youth as possible across the country have access to the survey," said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. "It's available online at and is easy to navigate."

"This project will document the school climate for straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, Two Spirit, intersex, queer and questioning (LGBTTIQ) students in Canada," says Dr. Catherine Taylor, Faculty of Education, University of Winnipeg, and the project's principal investigator. "It's the first comprehensive study of its kind in Canada and the results will provide us with the information needed to make schools safer and more respectful."

LGBTTIQ teens are more likely to be threatened with weapons, drop out of school because of harassment and are forced to leave home because of conflicts with parents. One such teen, Jen Blaser, tells a story that is all too familiar in our school environment. "As an out queer youth, I received death threats and suffered several physical assaults," says Blaser, "eventually I left school because I had no sense of security or safety."

British Columbia educator and Chair of Egale Canada's Education Committee Noble Kelly explains that the survey is long overdue, "it will give us the statistics necessary to help develop the kinds of supports kids need while coming to terms with who they are."

Protect Yourself From Cancer / Tips From Health Canada

1. Be a non-smoker and avoid second-hand smoke.
2. Eat 5–10 servings of vegetables and fruit a day. Choose high fibre, lower fat foods. If you drink alcohol, limit your intake to 1–2 drinks a day.
3. Be physically active on a regular basis: this will also help you maintain a healthy body weight.
4. Protect yourself and your family from the sun.
This year tens of thousands of Canadians will develop skin cancer because of over exposure to UV (ultraviolet light). Skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in Canada.
Reduce sun exposure between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Seek shade or create your own. Keep babies under one year old out of direct sun. Tanning parlours and sunlamps are not safe. When you are in the sun, always remember SLIP, SLAP, SLOP:
• SLIP on clothing to cover your arms and legs
• SLAP on a wide-brimmed hat
• SLOP on sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher)
5. Follow cancer screening guidelines.
6. Visit your doctor or dentist if you notice any change in your normal state of health.
7. Follow health and safety instructions at home and at work when using, storing and disposing of hazardous materials.

Clean Coal Technology Exists

CALGARY – Canada's New Government and the Province of Alberta will partner with EPCOR Utilities Incorporated and the Canadian Clean Power Coalition (CCPC) in a $33 million research and development project that promises to make Canada a world leader in clean coal technology. The Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, joined Alana Delong, Member of the Legislative Assembly for Calgary Bow, and Dr. David Lewin, EPCOR's Senior Vice-President, IGCC Development, for today's announcement.

"This is the very first project to be supported by our ecoENERGY Technology Initiative, and it is a perfect example of the clean technology partnerships that will keep our economy growing and protect our environment," said Minister Lunn. "The clean-coal technology we are developing is going to help Canada and countries around the globe in reducing greenhouse gases and pollution."

Doug Horner, Minister of Alberta Advanced Education and Technology and Minister Responsible for the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI) said this study could be a historic step in energy development. "When we decided to support EPCOR through this study in 2006, Alberta recognized the importance of producing power from our vast coal reserves with reduced environmental impact. We're very pleased to see the federal government join us in this project, which is designed to realize the benefits of clean coal technology."

This front-end engineering design project is an important step before construction of a full-scale coal gasification power plant that will demonstrate this advanced clean coal technology to Canadians and the world. The Government of Canada is investing $11 million in the project through ecoENERGY Technology, and both EPCOR and AERI will contribute equal amounts.
"The application of this technology, on this scale, with this type of coal, has not been used anywhere else in the world," said Dr. Lewin, who is also Chair of the CCPC. "By converting coal into synthesis gas, and capturing and sequestering CO2, we can create electricity that's cleaner than the best natural gas facility operating today."

In addition to further reducing emissions of air pollutants associated with coal-fired electricity generation, the technology is designed to take advantage of opportunities for carbon capture and storage, which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to almost zero.

The project will be located at EPCOR's Genesee Generating Station west of Edmonton. The Genesee plant is already the most technologically advanced and cleanest coal-fired generating station in Canada. Researchers will conduct front-end engineering design work for a power plant that would turn sub-bituminous coal into synthesis gas and hydrogen. This gasification process could virtually eliminate smog-related air emissions.

The work is scheduled for completion in 2009, and if subsequent investment and construction decisions go as planned, a 500-megawatt generating station using the new technology could be in operation in Alberta as early as 2015.


Gun Reform

“In this city (Toronto) , police report that almost 1,000 crimes involving firearms or restricted weapons have been committed so far this year,” Prime Minister Harper said. “Nearly 40 per cent of them were committed by someone who was on bail, parole, temporary absence or probation. Gun crime is a menace to public safety, and protecting Canadians must be the first priority of our bail system.”

The reforms, e introduced last week in the House of Commons by the Honourable Vic Toews, Q.C., the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, will require those accused of serious crimes involving firearms to provide sufficient justification to be granted bail while awaiting trial.

Currently, it is up to Crown prosecutors to prove that the accused should not be granted bail, either because they represent a threat to society, they may flee to avoid prosecution or to maintain the public’s confidence in the administration of justice.

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller both attended the announcement. The Prime Minister acknowledged the support he has received from them and many other municipal and provincial politicians from across the country for bail reform and other anti-crime bills introduced by his government since it assumed office.

Meanwhile, at a press conference in Montreal, the Prime Minister’s announcement was echoed by Conservative Senator Michael Fortier. “Unfortunately, Montreal is not immune to violent crime,” Senator Fortier said. “Whether break-ins or crimes linked to street gangs, newscasts are reminding us daily that Montrealers too have to cope with the violence, which is all too often tied to firearms.”

Quebec Workers get Pay Equity

Many women workers will get pay equity checks in the mail by Christmas. Workers who have been underpaid for years will now receive back payments in excess of 1.5 bilion dollars in Quebec.

Stem Cells in Adult Skin Transplanted and Function in Mouse Models of Disease

TORONTO — Researchers at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University of Calgary have found that stem cells derived from adult skin can create neural cell types that can be transplanted into and function in mouse models of disease. This research is reported in the June 14, 2006 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

SickKids researchers previously discovered what type of cells can be made from these stem cells (called skin-derived precursors, or SKPs) based on the role played by neural-crest stem cells during embryogenesis. In addition to generating the peripheral nervous system, neural crest stem cells generate other tissues such as bone, cartilage, some types of muscle, and even part of the heart.

In The Journal of Neuroscience paper, the research team found that SKPs can efficiently generate a type of glial cell, called Schwann cells, that can myelinate demyelinated axons (part of a neuron), and that have been shown to provide a good growth environment for injured central nervous system axons. These types of axons normally do not regenerate.

“Schwann cells have been proposed as a cell type for treatment of nerve injuries, demyelination disorders such as multiple sclerosis, and even spinal cord injury,” said Dr. Freda Miller, the study’s principal investigator, a senior scientist in Developmental Biology in the SickKids Research Institute, a professor of Molecular and Medical Genetics, and Physiology at the University of Toronto and Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurobiology. “Our finding that we can efficiently generate and isolate these Schwann cells from SKPs raises the possibility that we could treat humans with Schwann cells derived from human skin stem cells, and perhaps even use the patient’s own skin to generate Schwann cells for treatment.”

The research showed that these SKP-derived Schwann cells can myelinate axons in culture, in the injured peripheral nerve, and even in the central nervous systems of mice that don’t have myelin in their brains. While the research occurred in mouse models, some of their data indicate that human SKPs can do the same thing.

Support for Those With Cancer

A big part of the equation can be summed up in one word: support. Many will tell you that fighting this disease takes a team effort, a team that includes family and friends.
Support comes in many shapes and forms and from many different sources to help those with cancer, their families and their friends adjust to living with this disease. Support is what helps people move through the shock and fear to a place where they can accept that life has changed and make decisions about how best to move into the future.

You are not alone
"I don't think you ever get over the issues surrounding cancer, but by meeting other survivors and learning how to cope, you do start to feel that you are not so alone," says Ann Mantini, co-founder and chair of Wellspring Niagara, "These programs can help with so many different things, including stress and relief from fear and feelings of isolation."
Being a person living with cancer makes you look at life differently, say those who attend support groups. Graduates of The Healing Journey Program, for instance, say that the program has left them feeling more grateful for life's blessings, more in touch with their needs and how to meet them, and less inclined to make self-sacrificing compromises.

Learning how to celebrate life, trying new things and reaching out to others are some of the tools in the cancer survivor's 'kit'.
Many paths to support and healing
In Canada, there is a range of programs to support people living with cancer, their families and friends, depending on their needs. For more information about what's available in your province, check with your local Canadian Cancer Society office, call toll-free 1 888-939-3333 or ask your provincial cancer care agency.

Cancer and Canadian Health

Dr. Alastair Cunningham, director of The Healing Journey Program, knows first-hand the emotional turmoil that cancer patients experience. A cancer survivor himself, Dr. Cunningham has helped thousands learn self-healing techniques over the past 20 years.

Now, he and a small group of therapists and others, operating their three-level program out of the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, are making the program accessible to many more cancer survivors, over the Internet. "Belonging to a group of like-minded people, even if it has to be via the Internet, can be immensely helpful," says Dr. Cunningham.

• Level 1 of The Healing Journey, teaches ways to cope with the stress of cancer diagnosis and care
• Level 2 teaches healing skills such as mental imaging, relaxation, goal setting and journaling
• Level 3 focuses on spiritual healing through forgiveness and self-acceptance.

People who have been there are just a phone call away
An innovative telephone peer-support program, CancerConnection connects people living with cancer to specially trained volunteers from across the country who have had similar experiences. "Many Canadians experience a cancer diagnosis each year and our team is there to help support them with hope and compassion and information," says Heather Sinardo, National Coordinator of CancerConnection for the Canadian Cancer Society. Not only do volunteers have an understanding and firsthand experience about the disease, they are also positive role models and excellent listeners, points out Sinardo. "Talking with someone who has dealt with similar issues makes someone living with a cancer diagnosis feel more hopeful, less anxious and better able to cope. People who have used the service say they find it very supportive, informative, encouraging and helpful."

For more information about what's available in your province, check with your local Canadian Cancer Society office, call toll-free 1 888-939-3333 or ask your provincial cancer care agency.


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