CBC podcast investigates Adrien McNaughton cold case

 

The story is about this child, who vanished in 1972

adrien-mcnaughton-newspaper-pic
Adrien McNaughton

In the summer of 1972, five-year-old Adrien McNaughton disappeared one night without a trace, over four decades ago. Today he would be 49 years old.

The tragedy still haunts his family and the town of Arnprior, Ontario.

David Ridgen grew up in the same area as little Adrien McNaughton and was a young boy at the time of the disappearance. Ridgen is the host, writer and producer of a new CBC podcast called Someone Knows Something that hopes to shed light on the cold case.

For the Podcast and more information

Go HERE

Vanished 40 years ago: what happened to 5 year old Adrien McNaughton?

There is photo that has been updated, to show how he might look today, plus more information at this site HERE
Were there any people wandering around, attempting to pick up little children?
This  is a long time ago, so what were you doing back then?
How old were you at that time?
Maybe you know something, you did not realize you knew.
If you know of anyone in this area let them know about this.
They may know something or had seen something.
Maybe they might be able to answer some of the above questions.
To this day this little boy has not been found.
This is a parents worst nightmare.
Help find this little boy.
The more people looking and asking questions the better.
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Published in: on March 14, 2016 at 10:18 pm  Comments Off on CBC podcast investigates Adrien McNaughton cold case  
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Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Angela Mulholland, CTVNews.ca Staff
December 19, 2013

The death of New Brunswick teen Ashley Smith at a federal prison in Kitchener, Ont., has been ruled a homicide by the jury at a coroner’s inquest.

The verdict came down Thursday after jury members at the inquest listened to nearly 11 months of testimony from prison guards, psychiatrists and Smith’s own family about the teen’s final year of life in prison before her death in October 2007.

Though homicide verdicts at coroner’s inquests are neutral findings not determining liability, it is an indication that Smith’s death was neither a simple suicide nor an accidental death, but rather other persons contributed to her death.

Along with their ruling of homicide, the five-member jury released several recommendations for preventing future similar incidents, including that Smith’s story be used a case study for front-line workers of the Correctional Service of Canada.

They also recommended that all female inmates be accessed by a psychologist within 72 hours of admission to any penitentiary or treatment facility, to assess any mental health issues

Smith, 19, choked herself to death in her cell at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., six years ago using a cloth strip. Guards who videotaped her death testified that they did not intervene in time to save Smith’s life because they were under strict orders from prison management not to enter her cell.

For almost a full year, the jury listened to thousands of hours of testimony and reviewed hundreds of exhibits as they heard about the teen’s treatment while in federal custody.

They watched several shocking videos, including images of a hooded Smith being duct-taped to her airplane seat, guards in riot gear restraining and pepper-spraying her and injecting her with sedatives against her will, and finally, the video of Smith turning blue and dying on the concrete floor of her segregation cell after strangling herself.

The videos also helped reveal how ill-equipped prison staff were in coping with Smith, who had a long history or self-harm and appeared to suffer from severe borderline personality disorder

The videos became key to the inquest, although it took several years of in-fighting to get them released.

The Correctional Service of Canada, along with the Grand Valley Institution, fought for years to keep the videos out of public view, while the Smith family insisted the images were crucial to the inquiry.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle eventually ordered the videos be screened.

Smith was first incarcerated at age 15 after she was given a 90-day sentence for throwing crab apples at a postal carrier, but a number of escalating in-custody incidents kept her behind bars until her death. In the 11 months leading up to her death, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine different federal institutions.

The inquest heard several bits of stunning evidence, including that the Grand Valley warden and deputy demanded that reports into incidents involving Smith be falsified, in order to play down the amount of force that was used against her. Source

Teen choked to death in prison cell at Grand Valley Institution in 2007

CBC News Posted: Dec 19, 2013

Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.

  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.

    An Ontario coroner’s jury in Toronto has ruled the self-inflicted choking death of Ashley Smith in her segregated prison cell was a homicide.

    ​Smith, 19, originally from Moncton, N.B., was imprisoned at the Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., when she died in 2007.

    She had tied a piece of cloth around her neck while guards stood outside her cell door and watched. They had been ordered by senior staff not to enter her cell as long as she was breathing.

    Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle read the jury’s findings Thursday afternoon, concluding, “May she rest in peace, and may God bless her memory.”

    The five-woman jury made dozens of recommendations after hearing evidence from more than 80 witnesses in almost 11 months of testimony.

    Among the recommendations was that there be no requirement for staff to seek authorization prior to intervening in crisis situations.​

The recommendations include:

  • Smith’s death be used as a case study to demonstrate how health care and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) failed her.
  • Within 72 hours of admission to a federal institution, all female inmates be assessed by a psychologist to determine whether self-injurious behaviour exists.
  • Female inmates receive support from female psychologists and support workers.
  • The CSC ensure nursing services are available on site for inmates at all times.
  • There be adequate staffing of qualified mental health staff at every women’s institution.
  • The CSC expand the scope and terms of psychiatrists’ contracts to enable them to perform duties in a meaningful way.
  • A federally operated treatment facility for high-needs, high-risk women be created.
  • Decisions about clinical management of inmates be made by doctors, not CSC staff.
  • Inmates must have access to an independent patient advocate system
  • Indefinite solitary confinement for prisoners be abolished.
  • Until indefinite solitary confinement is abolished with CSC, its use must be restricted to no more than 360 hours.
  • Meetings between prisoners and support staff should not happen through food slots (something that happened frequently with Smith.)
  • Prison staff be allowed to refuse orders without fear of reprisal.
  • Prison staff at all levels be personally responsible for everyone’s right to life.
  • Female inmates be accommodated in regions closest to family and supports.

Hoped for homicide verdict

Smith’s mother, Cora-Lee Smith, was not in Toronto for the reading of the verdict.

However, Julian Falconer, lawyer for the Smith family, said the verdict was “a clear statement that those in charge caused Ashley’s death.”

Falconer said they will call on authorities to reopen the criminal investigation into who issued the order not to go into Smith’s cell.

“They are a law unto themselves. The leadership is terribly tainted. You have to lop the head off correctional service and start over. And the auditor general has a job to do. We expect him to do it,” he said.

Kim Pate, executive director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies — a group that works with female inmates — had hoped the jury would return a verdict of homicide.

“Many staff members have reported that she did advise them that she knew what she was doing was dangerous, but she also knew it was their job to save her,” said Pate.

“So it is very clear that a combination of the order not to intervene that was sanctioned, seemingly right up to national headquarters of Correctional Services Canada, combined with the impact that had on staff, is really a major contributor to her death.”

Homicide is defined as the killing of a human being due to the act or omission of another.

Pate said a homicide verdict would not mean any criminal or civil responsibility, but would only categorize Smith’s death.

Meanwhile, Steven Blaney, federal minister of public safety and emergency preparedness, said in a statement, “My thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Smith’s family. I’ve asked my officials to review carefully the jury’s recommendations.”

In the last year of Smith’s life, the mentally troubled teenager was shuffled 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces. Source

Related

This from 2012

Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison
Published in: on December 19, 2013 at 8:49 pm  Comments Off on Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide  
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ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION IN RENFREW BOGUS

ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION IN RENFREW BOGUS
May 15 2013


Police in Renfrew are now saying that a reported attempted abduction Monday (May 13) did not happen. They are not saying who made up the story but a full investigation of the reported attempt to grab a 10 year old girl has led them to determine the incident never happened. Police thank members of the public for their assistance and they are continuing to deal with the situation. Making a false police report can lead to serious criminal charges.

http://www.renfrewtoday.ca/default.asp?pid=522256&wireid=00018_ARP_BogusAbduction1_104858

Thank you to all who passed on the story. Everyone should be relieved it was bogus. At any rate Always keep a watchful eye on children as it could happen, fortunately this time it was a false alarm. Next time it may not be. Again thank you to all who forwarded the story and please forward this one to everyone you may have sent the previous one to as well, so everyone will know the truth.

Published in: on May 16, 2013 at 12:10 am  Comments Off on ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION IN RENFREW BOGUS  
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Child Abduction Attempt in Renfrew Bogus, Ontario, Canada

Sent out the story to everyone the other day. It has since been found that the report was false. So if you come here to view the story it has been deleted.

ATTEMPTED ABDUCTION IN RENFREW BOGUS
May 15 2013
Police in Renfrew are now saying that a reported attempted abduction Monday (May 13) did not happen. They are not saying who made up the story but a full investigation of the reported attempt to grab a 10 year old girl has led them to determine the incident never happened. Police thank members of the public for their assistance and they are continuing to deal with the situation. Making a false police report can lead to serious criminal charges.

http://www.renfrewtoday.ca/default.asp?pid=522256&wireid=00018_ARP_BogusAbduction1_104858

Thank you to all who passed on the story. Everyone should be relieved it was bogus. At any rate Always keep a watchful eye on children as it could happen, fortunately this time it was a false alarm. Next time it may not be. Again thank you to all who forwarded the story and please forward this one to everyone you may have sent the previous one to as well, so everyone will know the truth.

Published in: on May 14, 2013 at 4:10 am  Comments Off on Child Abduction Attempt in Renfrew Bogus, Ontario, Canada  
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Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison

Updated November 3, 2012

Public opinion I do believe has motivated a few changes.

Government won’t interfere in Ashley Smith inquest, Harper says

Even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper concedes the treatment of Ashley Smith while in custody was “unacceptable,” he says his government is not in a position to interfere with the coroner’s inquest called to look into the New Brunswick teen’s death.

Corrections told to to ‘co-operate fully’ in Ashley Smith inquest at link below

Parliamentary secretary calls videos of ill teenager’s custody ‘completely unacceptable’

Corrections Canada to drop Ashley Smith inquest challenge

Lawyers for Corrections Canada have told Ashley Smith’s family they are dropping their challenge to the scope of an Ontario coroner’s inquest into the circumstances of her death.

What are Torture methods used on Ashley.

If you take the time to read the articles and watch all the videos

This is what you find. There may be a few missing bit most of it is there.

She was beaten by a guard. Head pounded into the floor.

After someone reported it they too were intimidated, threatened and had their tires slashed. Etc. So not only was Ashley intimidated and threatened, so were people who worked there who wee willing to come forward.

Ashley was-

Intimidated

Shamed, she was stripped naked and left that way for some time.

Shunned, Isolated/Solitary confinement with absolutely little human contact or the lack of anything to do.  No mental stimulation makes matters even worse for anyone.

Prisoners who are isolated for prolonged periods of time have been known to experience “depression, despair, anxiety, claustrophobia, hallucinations, problems with impulse control, and/or an impaired ability to think, concentrate, or remember, increased risk of suicide, PTSD, visual and auditory hallucinations ,hypersensitivity to noise and touch, insomnia and paranoia, uncontrollable feelings of rage and fear, distortions of time and perception”

She was in Solitary Confinement for the majority of her stay in all the Prisons.

In rooms with nothing. She was lucky to get a small blanket. She slept on the hard floor. Just a room with a toilet and sink, 4 walls and a video camera.

Pharmacological –She was given drugs against her will.

Ridiculed her- like “Are you dead Yet! Stand out.

Threatened her-“I will Duck tape your face!” as said to her on the Plane while being transferred.

Being pepper sprayed or threatening to do so. Both were done to her.

Being threatened with more drugs shoved into her.

Those are just a few.

Lights were left on 24 hours a day/Sleep deprivation

Being tied up for hours on end in a certain positions- often

Defecting or urinating herself, with no choice and left that way for hours. This happened when in the Wrap as they called it.

Also while being transferred by plane after being Duck taped up, with the 2 spit screens over here head.

There were probably many times she had this happen which have not come to light as of yet.

Being trapped in a room filled with pepper spray with no way out

These are all forms of torture.

Just imagine how you would feel if these thing happened to you..

Number of prisoners harming themselves triples in five years: reports from 2012 check the links Below.

There are more Ashley’s in the prison system it seems. The numbers are growing.

Suicide attempts, self-harm rising in Canada’s prisons-Aboriginal offenders account for 45% of all incidents, ombudsman’s report finds

From 2009

Risk of prison suicides ‘unacceptably high’: ombudsman

Mental health issues overlooked in Canada’s prisons: report

By Allison Cross, December 19, 2009

OTTAWA — The number of inmates who died in Canadian jails as a result of homicide, suicide, accident or drug overdose increased this year, as prisoners with mental-health issues continued to be denied the treatment they need, according to a report by Canada’s prison watchdog.

The Government cannot say they do not know, there is a growing problem.

But obviously they can.

Toews ignores facts, evidence

October 26, 2012

A couple of  paragraphs from the story
Days before Public Safety Minister Vic Toews told Winnipeg reporters in July that the federal government’s tough-on-crime agenda hadn’t brought on an “influx of new inmates,” he received a report from Canada’s correctional investigator saying the exact opposite.

Not only did the June 26 report by Howard Sapers clearly state “in recent years, corrections has seen significant growth,” but it said that the prison population shot up by 6.8 per cent between March 2010 and March 2012.

————————————————————

A criminal justice system that appears by design to target the mentally ill, racially marginalized and socially disadvantaged is a symptom of a sick society.

Since 36 per cent of those entering prison are identified at admission as requiring some form of psychiatric or psychological care, and 63 per cent are there because of substance abuse, it would seem wiser to expend efforts to deal with those issues before victims are created than to into overcrowded jails people who need help for their illnesses.   Read more

The affects of Solitary Confinement

Psychiatric Effects of Solitary Confinement

The Health Effects of Solitary confinement

Solitary would enhance her wanting to harm herself.

Many people cut themselves because it gives them a sense of relief. Some people use cutting as a means to cope with a problem. Some teens say that when they hurt themselves, they are trying to stop feeling lonely, angry, or hopeless. Some teens who hurt themselves have low self-esteem, they may feel unloved by their family and friends, and they may have an eating disorder, an alcohol or drug problem, or may have been victims of abuse.

 

Teens who hurt themselves often keep their feelings “bottled up” inside and have a hard time letting their feelings show. Some teens who hurt themselves say that feeling the pain provides a sense of relief from intense feelings. Cutting can relieve the tension from bottled up sadness or anxiety. Others hurt themselves in order to “feel.” Often people who hold back strong emotions can begin feeling numb, and cutting can be a way to cope with this because it causes them to feel something. Some teens also may hurt themselves because they want to fit in with others who do it. Source

Self Harm is also a cry for help.

A way to alleviate Psychological pain they feel.

It helps to calm themselves.

Among other things.

They are often victims of abuse.

Research has been done on Self Harming.

Here is one I found and there are probably many many more who have also done research into this problem.

This approach may have been much better, then what they did to Ashley.

Helping Those Who Hurt Themselves

By Tracy Alderman, Ph.D.
The Prevention Researcher,
The year 2000,

If you work with youth, it?s likely that at some point you will come in contact with someone who self-injures. This article is intended to provide some support, advice, and education to those who have students or clients who engage in activities of self-inflicted violence.

What You May Feel

Shock and Denial
Because self-inflicted violence (SIV) is a secretive behavior, it can be shocking to learn that someone you know is a self-injurer. You may not have noticed many of the signs of SIV, such as a refusal to wear shorts or short sleeved shirts, even on the warmest of days. You probably gave no thought to the frequent “accidents” or the numerous bruises and cuts on the arms and legs of a student which were always accounted for by a logical source. Self-inflicted violence lends itself to secrecy quite well ? it usually takes place in isolation and the results can be concealed with relative ease. Also, most people are often eager to ignore or deny many of the tell-tale signs of this behavior. Thus, when you find out about the self-injurious behavior, it is shocking.

Denial is related to the shock. At times, denial is appropriate, useful and necessary. However, with self-inflicted violence denial is detrimental. People who injure themselves are in a great deal of psychological distress. To deny this distress will communicate that you are not interested, not able to help, or do not understand their SIV behaviors. When you are confronted with the self-injurious behaviors it is important you do not deny the reality and implications of the situation. Although this may be difficult, responding to the SIV, rather than denying its existence, is necessary in order to aid those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Anger and Frustration
Anger is a common response when learning of an individual’s self-injurious behaviors. There are many reasons for this. First, anger may stem from the deception which often surrounds SIV. Many individuals who hurt themselves lie about the causes of their injuries. Deception is used as a way of reducing feelings of shame and warding off possible reactions of anger, disgust or rejection from others. However, when the deception is discovered it often produces those very same feared reactions.

Additionally, believing that the self-inflicted violence was not necessary may also anger you. Watching individuals do things to physically damage themselves is frustrating. You may be inclined to scold them or force them to stop hurting themselves. Frustration stems from our inability to control the behaviors of others.

Self-injury, as opposed to many other self-damaging behaviors, usually produces visible, physical evidence. This evidence forces us to realize the extent of our helplessness in changing the individual’s behaviors, causing us frustration and anger.

Empathy, Sympathy and Sadness
Empathy is often a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it allows you to be more helpful while also causing you to feel similar sadness and psychological pain as the individual with whom you are dealing. Individuals who engage in self-inflicted violence experience enormous psychological distress. It is essential to understand the immense nature of this distress providing support and assistance. However, by doing so, you run the risk of allowing that person’s inner world to penetrate you. The result of our inability to remain detached is that you may feel some of their sadness and pain.

We may also feel sad for the individual who is performing self inflicted violence. However, feeling sympathetic towards others, may cause you to see them as figures worthy of our pity. In many ways, this is condescending. While empathy is helpful, sympathy is not. Individuals who hurt themselves may view their SIV as a positive action, an action which helped them to survive. Being sympathetic, you may see their SIV as a negative and pitiful behavior, an act of desperation. Thus, sympathy is not a particularly useful.

Guilt
Self inflicted violence often provokes feelings of guilt for those who are close to the individuals performing these behaviors. You may feel as if you did something wrong which caused this person to self-injure. Perhaps you may think you weren’t the best teacher, parent, or friend. Guilt can be a useful emotion, but in the case of SIV, it is often not appropriate, necessary, or useful.

It is more helpful to surpass these feelings and focus your energy in a more positive and useful direction. Talk with the self injuring student and find out how you can be helpful at this point in time. Wallowing in your own guilt will keep you immobilized instead of becoming an active and helpful participant.

What You May Think

A variety of thoughts commonly accompany the knowledge that someone you know is performing SIV. Some of the more common are:
* It’s all my fault.
* I can fix this.
* You’re nuts!
* This changes our whole relationship.
* You’re not who I thought you were.
* You’re doing this to manipulate me.

Considered objectively, many or all of these thoughts are erroneous and could easily negatively influence your feelings. It is important to be aware of your thoughts so you can prevent them from influencing negative emotional responses which could damage your relationship with the self injurer.

What to Do and Not Do

We don’t like to see others in pain. It is almost instinctual that we try to end another’s misery. When we see students or clients injuring themselves, we begin to understand the enormity of their psychological pain and it is only natural that we want to help. However, without the proper education and training, helping could do more damage than good. This section will provide some ideas of what you should and should not do when trying to assist those individuals who are injuring themselves.

Talk About Self Inflicted Violence
As mentioned previously, SIV is surrounded by shame and secrecy. SIV exists whether you talk about it or not. Ignoring something does not make it disappear. The same is true with self inflicted violence: it will not go away by pretending it does not exist.

Avoiding SIV has several negative effects. First, it reinforces and strengthens the feelings of shame attached to this behavior. Individuals engaging in SIV may get the idea that the behavior is so shameful that even talking about it is taboo. Thus, the secrecy and feelings of shame surrounding self inflicted violence are strengthened.

When communication is decreased, feelings of isolation and alienation, the same feelings which often precede an act of self injury, are increased. Not talking about SIV, may actually increase the likelihood that the self-injurer will hurt themselves again. Silence makes a very powerful statement.

Talking about self inflicted violence is essential. Openly discussing SIV helps those who are hurting themselves. By addressing the issues of self injury you remove the secrecy which surrounds it and reduce the shame attached. You are encouraging a connection between you and the self injurer. The mere fact that you are willing to discuss SIV helps to create change.

You may not know what to say to the individual who is performing acts of SIV. Fortunately, you don’t have to know exactly what to say. By acknowledging that you want to talk, even though you’re not sure how to proceed, you are opening the channels of communication.

Here are some questions you might want to use to facilitate the discussion.
* How long have you been hurting yourself?
* Why do you hurt yourself?
* How do you hurt yourself?
* When and where do you usually injure yourself?
* How often do you injure yourself?
* How did you learn to hurt yourself?
* What is it like for you to talk with me about hurting yourself?
* Does it hurt when you injure yourself?
* How open are you about your self injurious behaviors?
* Do you want to change your SIV behaviors?
* How can I help you with your SIV?

It is necessary to talk about SIV so that the person who is engaging in these activities feels more supported, less isolated, and more connected. Simply talking about SIV will help to decrease the individual’s need for self injurious behaviors.

Be Supportive
Talking is one way to provide support, however, there are numerous other ways to show your support to another. One of the best ways to determine how you can best offer support is to directly ask the self-injurer how you might be helpful. In doing so, you might find that your idea of support is vastly different from how others view it. Knowing what kind, and when to offer support, is necessary.

A key component in being supportive is to keep your negative reactions to yourself. This is not to say that you should not, or will not, have judgments or negative reactions to SIV. However, you must conceal these beliefs and feelings while you are being supportive. Later, when you are not offering assistance, you may release and express these thoughts and emotions.

Be Available
Most individuals who injure themselves, will not do so in the presence of others. Therefore, the more you are with those individuals who hurt themselves, the less opportunity they will have to inflict self harm. By offering your company and your support, you are actively decreasing the likelihood of SIV.

Many people who hurt themselves have difficulty recognizing or stating their own needs. Therefore, it is helpful for you offer the ways in which you are willing to help. This will allow your students to know when and in what ways they are able to rely on you.

Don’t Discourage Self Injury
Typically, when we are told that we can’t or shouldn’t engage in a given behavior, it is for a good reason. However, these reasons take on much more meaning and relevance if they are self-determined. The consequences of our behaviors help us to determine what we should or should not do. Rules, should?s, shouldn’ts, dos and don’ts, limit us and restrict our freedom. When we maintain the right to choose, our choices are much more powerful and effective.

It is both aversive and condescending to tell an individual to not self-injure. As mentioned previously, SIV is a method of coping, and it is often used as a final attempt to relieve emotional distress. Most individuals would choose to not hurt themselves if they could. Although SIV produces feelings of shame, secrecy, guilt and isolation, it continues to be utilized as a method of coping. Because some individuals engage in self injurious behaviors despite the many negative effects is a clear indication of the necessity of this action to their survival.

When you tell someone to stop something, you are inserting a barrier to communication. This barrier will likely increase the secrecy around self inflicted violence. Even a casual comment indicating that your students should stop hurting themselves, runs the risk of damaging the communication and relationship which exists between you. Self-injurers will continue to injure themselves as long as they need to. Your directives will not change this. However, the amount of secrecy and shame experienced because of these actions might change significantly.

Additionally, some individuals who injure themselves may have an adverse reaction to your demand of cessation. By imposing your limits on others, you are creating an atmosphere for failure. Thus, in order to feel control, some who self injure will increase their SIV behaviors in order to feel as if they have choice and control over these actions.

Although it may be incredibly difficult to witness someone’s fresh wounds, it is important that you offer support, and not limits, to that individual.

Recognize the Severity of the Person’s Distress
Most people don’t self injure because they are curious about what it would be like to hurt themselves. Instead, most SIV is the result of high levels of emotional distress with few available means to cope. Although it may be difficult for you to recognize and tolerate, it is important to realize the extreme level of emotional pain individuals experience surrounding SIV activities.

Open wounds are a fairly direct expression of emotional pain. One of the reasons why individuals injure themselves is so that they transform internal pain into something more tangible, external and treatable. The wound becomes a symbol of both intense suffering and of survival. It is important to acknowledge the messages sent by these scars and injuries. An ability to understand the severity of the self-injurer?s distress and empathize appropriately will enhance your communication and connection. Do not be afraid to raise the subject of emotional pain. Allow the youth to speak about his/her inner turmoil rather than express it through self-damaging methods.

Get Help For Your Own Reactions
At some point in our lives, most of us have had the experience of feeling distressed by our reactions to someone else’s behavior. Al Anon and similar self help groups were created to help the friends and families of individuals dealing with problems of addiction and similar behaviors. At this point in time no such organizations exist for those coping with SIV behaviors. However, the basic premise upon which these groups were designed clearly applies to the issue of self inflicted violence. Sometimes the behavior of others affects us in such a profound manner that we need help in dealing with our reactions.

Entering psychotherapy to deal with your responses to SIV is one such way to handle the reactions which you may find to be overwhelming or disturbing. You may also ask friends or colleagues for support or speak with a religious counselor.

In conclusion, dealing with those who self injure can be tremendously difficult. Your own reactions and responses can make all the difference in helping those who are hurting themselves. Remember, you don’t need to be perfect ? you just need to be willing to learn, grow, and be honest with yourself and those who you’re helping. Source

There is a lot of information on how to deal with these types of behavior other then what was done to Ashley.

There are no excuses that are acceptable from Doctors, Guards or the Government.

The treatment of Ashely is unforgivable considering all the knowledge available to all concerned.

I have not found any reports about further trials, other then the one for throwing the crab apples. How did a 1 month sentence get turned into years in a prison and death of young woman?

Are those in the prison system Judge, Jury and Crown Attorney.

As I said I have not found any information on any further trials. What happened to innocent until proven guilty and the right to stand before a court to plead your case? It seems that is thrown out the window when you enter the Prison system.

Who decided that Ashley must stay in prison?

She should have been released after 1 month. Not kept there for years.

Have Canadian prison become like Guantanamo Bay in Cuba? There are a few similarities unfortunately. Well if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, looks like a duck and acts like a duck. It’s probably a duck.

So many questions and so few answers.

Here is another Report from Fifth Estate on Ashely

Fifth Estate Out of Control

This one I moved up so they are together.

Behind the Wall: the fifth estate’s award-winning doc on the Ashley Smith case

Both are well done and extremely informative.

The other 3 videos are below in the October 31 Update

Updated October 31, 3012

Link to some videos released below. Both are must watch videos. They wore gas mask. Full body Armour etc.

In and out of youth jail since she was 14 for disturbing the peace in her Moncton neighbourhood — playing chicken in the streets with traffic, pulling fire alarms, making harassing telephone calls and breaching probation —She also threw crab apples at a postman and stole a CD.

There may be a couple of other things I missed, but she was not a hardened criminal, by any scene of the word.

She may have been a bit of a problem child, but she did not deserve to die the way she did. There is certainly a lot that needs to be brought to the forefront. She wasn’t even, what I would call a criminal, just a kid who needed direction. I have come across a few teens who have done many of the same things.  They were not really all that bad either.

At New Brunswick Youth Centre in Miramichi — where she served two-thirds of her sentence in solitary confinement and was sometimes restrained in shackles or a full-body “cocoon” topped off with a hockey helmet in case she toppled over or tried to bite someone — staff levelled more than 500 “institutional” charges against her.

She was transferred 17 times, to different prisons, in 4 different provinces. This 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country.

Being in Solitary confinement in of itself, could drive a person insane.

Being out of the province away from her family could also cause a lot of torment to her. She must have been horridly lonely.

Videos show ‘dehumanizing’ treatment of teen Ashley Smith

Corrections Canada had tried to stop videos from being made public

CBC News

Oct 31, 2012

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Videos of teenager Ashley Smith taken in the months before she died in a prison cell show the teen was subjected to “degrading and dehumanizing” treatment, her family’s lawyer told a coroner’s hearing in Toronto Wednesday.

Julian Falconer led the hearing through the video clips shot prior to Oct. 19, 2007, the day the New Brunswick teen died from strangulation after tying ligatures to her neck in her cell at Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont.

Corrections Canada had gone to court to try to block the videos from being made public, but lost the case. Falconer is now fighting to have the videos played in front of a coroner’s jury.

“To people who think this can’t happen in Canada to a mentally ill 19-year-old, you know a picture speaks a thousand words. I’m embarrassed to be Canadian when I look at that video,” the lawyer said outside the hearing.

In one of the videos, the 19-year-old is seen on an RCMP plane being transferred from a correctional service psychiatric facility in Saskatchewan to one in Quebec.

Smith is wearing two mesh hoods to stop her from spitting.

The RCMP co-pilot can be seen duct-taping her hands together and then to her seat. He then threatens to duct-tape Smith’s face if she does not behave.

“This is how the [correctional service] does business in transferring a victim,” Falconer said.

Another video shows Smith tied to a gurney at Joliette Prison in Quebec after she tried to cut herself in her cell. She is surrounded by corrections officers in full riot gear, including shields.

One of the officers places a shield on Smith’s torso while a nurse injects her with a tranquillizer, described by Falconer as a “chemical restraint.” She received five more injections over the next nine hours, the hearing was told.

Another video taken on July 26, 2007, shows half a dozen guards in riot gear entering Smith’s cell at 5:32 a.m. and telling her she had to have two injections in preparation for a transfer to another facility. Smith objects mildly but, surrounded by the guards, she presents her arm for the shots.

Falconer said a correctional service inquiry board had determined Smith agreed to the shots of her “own free will and without force being used.” Falconer pointed out that a psychiatrist had only recommended drugs be administered to Smith if required and said the “abuse” of the rules contributed to her death.

Smith was first incarcerated at the age of 15 for throwing crab apples at a postal worker.

She racked up six years worth of additional time behind bars for infractions while in youth custody — so many that she eventually ended up serving time in the federal adult prison system.

During the year she spent in federal custody, Smith was transferred 17 times between nine institutions in five provinces.

The correctional service is arguing that presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle has no jurisdiction to investigate how Smith was treated in prisons in other provinces and that the videos should not be shown to the jury.

The agency is fighting to narrow the scope of the inquest into Smith’s death, claiming the coroner has no jurisdiction to delve into the federal prison system.

Falconer called the position absurd.

“Don’t let them get away with it,” he told Carlisle.

“If you mistreat someone often enough, surely that will affect how they behave.”

Focus of inquest questioned

Carlisle wants a broadly focused inquest that looks, among other things, into how the teenager was treated after repeated episodes of self-harm.

Lawyers for the correctional service and three Ontario doctors involved in Smith’s treatment argued Carlisle’s approach oversteps his legal and constitutional authority.

“This has become an investigation into how [Corrections Canada] treated Ms. Smith, and not an investigation into her death,” correctional service lawyer Nancy Noble said.

Carlisle wants to turn the inquest “into full-blown inquiry into operations and management of [Corrections Canada],” she said.

The agency wants the inquest limited to Smith’s time at Grand Valley Institution, said Lori Pothier, a spokeswoman for Corrections Canada.

The hearing was adjourned until Nov. 13.

The coroner’s inquest is set to officially start with a jury in January.

You must see them to believe it.

For the Videos go HERE and HERE

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

On April, 12, 2007, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon prepared to transfer Smith following an alleged assault by a staff supervisor. A staff member reported seeing the supervisor strike Smith’s head against the floor.

Falconer described the decision to transfer her out of the facility where she had been receiving mental health care a “breach of trust.”

“You’re beaten and the way to deal with it is to ship the victim out. . . . This is how Correctional Service Canada does business.”

At 6:27 p.m., Smith boarded the plane en route to Institut Philippe-Pinel, a psychiatric centre in Montreal.

Surveillance video shows guards putting two mesh-and-canvas “spit hoods” on her head — a penal garment used to deal with troublesome inmates.

Smith, though, appears relaxed.

“Make a knot,” a female guard said, instructing a colleague on how to fasten the two hoods around Smith’s neck.

“Does that work?” one guard asked?

“It’s going to work,” another replied.

“We’ll have to cut it after.”

She asks guards to use the washroom, promising to not remove the hood.

Her pleas are ignored.

“You stay calm for a little while and then maybe we’ll talk,” a female guard tells Smith.

“Trust me, I am calm,” Smith says.

She begs guards to stop pushing on her left hand, which looks red and bloated.

“I think she took a dump . . . it smells,” a male guard says.

“That’s great,” another replies.

At 6:33 p.m., the plane’s co-pilot emerges from the cockpit in dark sunglasses; a reel of duct tape in his hand.

“First, tape the two wrists together and then after strap (inaudible) legs,” he says.

“Owwww!” Smith screams, her entire body jerking as the co-pilot works the tape around her arms like a lasso.

“Don’t bite me,” he tells Smith.

Her mouth is concealed behind the black veil; there is not a tooth in sight.

“I’m not!” Smith says.

“It will get worse if you do,” he says.

“How can it get worse?” Smith asks.

“I’ll duct-tape your face,” he replies.

Smith snickers.

“He’s serious,” a female guard says.

and HERE

Smith, who spent 23 hours a day in isolation wearing little more than an asbestos gown, tied a cloth ligature around her neck on Oct. 19, 2007 after telling a guard she had the urge to “tie up” again. Ordered by managers to not intervene so long as Smith appeared to be breathing, seven correctional officers watched as she strangled herself. Sapers issued a report last year, concluding her death was “preventable.”

Videos in Ashley Smith case will not be blocked

Published on Thursday October 25, 2012

THE CANADIAN PRESS An undated family handout photo of Ashley Smith. She died in an isolation cell at the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener, Ont., in October 2007.

Diana Zlomislic
Staff Reporter

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Teenaged prisoner drugged

Treatment ‘barbaric’

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Crime and Punishment series

Did other inmates die?

From generous girl to ‘caged animal’

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Correctional services form

PDF: Inmate complaint form

PDF: Ashley Smith lawsuit

The federal government will not make a last, last-ditch attempt to block graphic prison videos depicting abuses against teen inmate Ashley Smith from being shown at the inquest into her death next week.

The Correctional Service of Canada said it accepts a Divisional Court judge’s ruling on Wednesday dismissing its bid for an emergency stay of the inquest.

A government spokesperson said the prison service is “not only committed to openness and transparency, but the integrity of these proceedings.”

That doesn’t mean the legal battles that have plagued the Smith inquest are over.

Next Wednesday, lawyers will reconvene at coroner’s court in Toronto to argue about the scope of the inquest and the witness list.

Presiding coroner Dr. John Carlisle wants the inquest to examine the 19-year-old woman’s entire time in federal custody; 11 months spent shuttled from one solitary confinement cell to another across the country. She was transferred 17 times before she choked herself to death on Oct. 19, 2007 while a group of guards at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ont., who were ordered not to intervene unless she stopped breathing, watched.

The coroner, the Smith family and almost every other party with standing at the inquest maintains that the conditions of Smith’s confinement had an impact on her mental state; that her self-harm attempts became more frequent with each transfer.

The inquest’s purpose, to prevent deaths in similar circumstances, cannot be fulfilled, they say, without looking at the entire sequence of events.

But the prison service and a group of doctors who treated Smith in institutions outside of Ontario disagree. They say the coroner’s authority to examine Smith’s life begins and ends in Ontario.

The videos to be played next week offer a glimpse of Smith’s incarcerated life outside of the province. A portion of the footage will show her being duct-taped to the seat of an airplane, forcibly tranquilized, and left lying in a wet gown on a metal gurney for hours without food or water.

This is the second inquest into Smith’s death. The first was derailed after the presiding coroner decided to retire after months of legal wrangling.

“If the Correctional Service wants to be a constructive partner, it would abandon the challenges to the inquest and work with the family to get to the truth,” said lawyer Julian Falconer, representing Smith’s parents who live in Moncton, N.B. Source

They just watched her die. Her death was preventable.

There are a lot of links below. This is a long story and it is far from over.

The first of it all is at the bottom of the page. So for the beginning, go to the bottom and work your way up.

This could happen to anyone. This could happen to your child. We should all be concerned.

Oct 24, 2012

Ashley Smith videos to be shown in court

The inquest into the teen’s death will resume next week with what is expected to be…

Oct 23, 2012

Ashley Smith: Prison videos to be shown in court

“Shocking and disturbing” prison surveillance videos of teenage inmate Ashley Smith…

Oct 16, 2012

Prison service wants Ashley Smith videos kept secret

Federal prison officials are fighting to prevent disturbing videos of teen inmate Ashley Smith duct…

Sep 27, 2012

Doctors fight scope of inquest into Ashley Smith’s death

Doctors who treated a deeply troubled teenager are fighting the scope of a coroner’s inquest into…

Sep 20, 2012

Coroner’s inquest into death of Ashley Smith starts fresh in Toronto

Lawyers submit clients’ applications for standing as inquiry begins anew.

May 09, 2012

Mentally ill female prisoners treated cruelly, inhumanly, report finds

Canada’s treatment of mentally ill female prisoners amounts to “cruel and inhuman..

Jul 19, 2011

Health board criticizes Ashley Smith’s prison treatment before death

A delay-plagued coroner’s inquest into Smith’s death has been put off until September, when it will…

Jun 29, 2011

Embattled Ashley Smith coroner replaced

The embattled coroner at the inquest into the prison death of teen inmate Ashley Smith has been…

Jun 21, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until September

The high-profile coroner’s inquest into Ashley Smith’s prison death has been delayed once again…

Jun 21, 2011

Star challenges secrecy around teen’s death in jail

The province’s youth ministry and attorney general have deployed an army of lawyers to keep records…

Jun 15, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest may be webcast

Ontario’s chief coroner may webcast an inquest into the death of teen inmate Ashley Smith so the…

Jun 14, 2011

Fifth Estate wins Michener Award for Ashley Smith story

CBC-TV’s investigative program The Fifth Estate has won the 2010 Michener Award for its…

May 30, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors might return June 13

Inquest into teen inmate’s death delayed two weeks, possibly longer, while coroner deliberates…

May 28, 2011

Coroner in Ashley Smith inquest faces barrage of criticism

A bumpy first two weeks at the coroner’s inquest into the death of teen Ashley Smith has some…

May 27, 2012

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

A vague public statement says coroner needs more time to decide contentious issues about release of…

May 25, 2011

Coroner’s decisions under fire at Ashley Smith inquest

A dozen lawyers challenge Dr. Bonita Porter on her order to restrict the public’s access to prison…

May 24, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest: Guards want faces on video blurred

Media lawyers at the Ashley Smith inquest argue that not showing guards’ faces amounts to censoring…

May 19, 2011

Graphic videos show Ashley Smith turning purple in cell

As Ashley Smith’s sentence grew, so did her self-destructive behaviour. The Smith family says her…

May 18, 2011

Ashley Smith guards told ‘If she’s still breathing, don’t enter cell’

The inquest into teen Ashley Smith’s jail death sees the first video of her, shot by guards as they…

May 17, 2011

Ashley Smith charged over 500 times for behaviour in jail, court hears

Guard’s charges, for self-harming, disruptive and violent behaviour in jail, greatly hiked…

May 16, 2011

Prison wants Ashley Smith documents kept secret

The Ashley Smith inquest jury will hear its first witness Tuesday as a detective describes the teen…

May 04, 2011

Exclusive: Ashley Smith’s family settles wrongful death lawsuit

Smith’s family sought $11 million, but the parties would not release details of the settlement…

Apr 27, 2011

Court will not see Ashley Smith tapes

Court ruling on ashley smith tape access.

Apr 18, 2011

Judge weighs release of Ashley Smith prison videos

Superior Court Justice will take week to decide whether prison service should produce controversial…

Apr 15, 2011

Prison chief fights release of Ashley Smith video

Correctional Service of Canada says Ashley Smith’s family is abusing the legal process by demanding…

Mar 31, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed

Jury probing teen’s prison death to hear first witnesses on May 16

Mar 29, 2011

Ashley Smith’s family challenges coroner’s ruling

Ontario Divisional Court to hear arguments on disturbing video evidence in teen inmate’s death

Feb 28, 2011

Ashley Smith jurors barred from stark video

A prison video showing a teen inmate forcefully injected with tranquilizers while strapped to a…

Jan 11, 2011

Ashley Smith inquest delayed until April

More than 100 witnesses are expected to testify at expanded inquest into teen inmate’s death.

Nov 12, 2010

Ashley Smith coroner’s inquest scope expanded

Inquest will probe repeated use of solitary confinement in teen inmate’s death.

Nov 11, 2010

Ashley Smith’s requests for help ignored

Internal prison documents reveal the teen inmate was trying to turn her life around.

Nov 02, 2010

Family calls for RCMP to probe Ashley Smith prison death

Smith’s family wrote two letters in mid-October asking the RCMP to investigate the Correctional…

Sep 06, 2010

Did nine other inmates die like Ashley Smith?

Since Ashley Smith’s death, Canada’s prison watchdog told the Star he has discovered nine similar…

Aug 23, 2010

Ashley Smith’s prison files to be released

The federal prison service has dropped its bid to keep the personal files of a teen inmate who…

Jan 09, 2010

Family boycotts inquest into teen’s death

The family of a teenager who strangled herself in a Kitchener prison cell while seven guards…

Oct 17, 2009

Ashley Smith suicide prompts probe into other prison deaths

The federal prison watchdog is probing two more “troubling” inmate deaths, which he says question…

Not so long ago a women who was pregnant was put in Solitary when she went into labour and had the premature baby, a breach birth, in the cell.

On October 18, Julie Bilotta was reunited with her newborn, whose in an Ottawa jail cell three weeks earlier shocked and angered a city. As Ms. Bilotta laboured, she was ignored and ridiculed by guards. Eventually, she was relegated to solitary confinement where she would birth her baby.

That our justice system failed Ms. Bilotta is beyond debate. The guards at the Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre (OCDC) were callous and cruel, robbing Ms. Bilotta of the basic dignity all women – innocent, accused or guilty – deserve. Those who ignored her pleas for help deserve whatever comeuppance they receive. That her ordeal will lead to better care for pregnant women at the OCDC is about the only positive aspect that can come out of this ordeal.

Location: Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre

But for all that Ms. Bilotta endured, there is a second victim: her son. Not only was he given inadequate care as he was being born, he was robbed of the basic essentials of life for his first three weeks out of his mother’s womb. Until October 18, her son was not given the benefit of his mother’s touch or his mother’s milk.

Contact, skin-to-skin contact, is vitally important in establishing the mother-child bond, facilitating breastfeeding and offering the much-needed emotional support every child deserves. For twenty long days, this child was robbed of what most of us were afforded during the beginning of our lives.

We do not know if Ms. Bilotta intended to breastfeed her son, but we do know that any such intent has likely been thwarted by our corrections system. A mother is an automated milk-producing system. The breastfeeding relationship must be cultivated in order to stimulate the supply of the mother’s milk and to ensure that the baby “learns” to suckle.

We also know that human milk is the ideal food for newborns. Both the World Health Organization and the Canadian Pediatric Society recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a child’s life. It is further recommended for that breastfeeding continue for at least the first two years of a child’s life. This child has likely been robbed of such a start to life.

The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services needs to fix the problems in Ontario’s detention centres. (Ironically, had Ms. Bilotta been convicted of her alleged crimes and sentenced to prison, she and her baby would have received far better treatment.) The current neglect on display by our government not only unduly punishes people like Ms. Bilotta; it gravely punishes the most innocent among us, newborn babies. Source

The mother and child could have both died. Breach births are very dangerous. No matter what anyone thinks of the mother, she deserved better then what happened to her. Her child absolutely, deserved the best care possible. He committed, no crime whatsoever. o come into the world like that was just unthinkable and certainly not acceptable.

—–

Why Canada’s prisons can’t cope with flood of mentally ill inmates

Kirk Makin

Milton, Ont. — The Globe and Mail

 Jan. 26 2011

The “headbanger” arrived in a police van and wasted little time in earning his nickname. “He would just dive at walls and doors,” smashing into them head-first, Janet Gauthier recalls.

“It is a very traumatic experience,” she adds. “There are cases here that would confound any psychiatric facility.”

But the Maplehurst Correctional Complex, where Ms. Gauthier is deputy superintendent, is not a psychiatric facility: The young schizophrenic is one of the thousands of mentally ill people flooding Canada’s prisons.

“We try to learn from each one of them,” Ms. Gauthier says, but the central lesson is simply that jail is an abysmal place to stuff the sick and demented.

The ritual is never-ending. Offenders who are often disoriented and babbling are disgorged at prison gates, leaving harried staff to gauge how dangerous they are and place them where they are least likely to run afoul of tougher inmates or try to take their own lives.

The mind-bending isolation of a segregation cell brings no peace to a depressed or unhinged mind. Nor does an environment of slamming cell doors, fear and intimidation. Behind bars, effective treatment is rarely more than a promise while reality is a severe shortage of psychiatric professionals and a patient population so diverse it can explode if different kinds of inmate mix.

The cost to society is immense. After clogging cell blocks for months or years, untreated prisoners often are released only to get into trouble all over again.

Recent figures indicate that nearly 35 per cent of the 13,300 inmates in federal penitentiaries have a mental impairment requiring treatment – triple the estimated total as recently as 2004, and far higher than the incidence of mental illness in the general population.

“The numbers are staggering,” says Correctional Investigator Howard Sapers, whose office oversees the operations of Correctional Services Canada (CSC).

Yet, even as correctional officials appeal for saner strategies, the federal government’s much-publicized policies designed to get tough on crime are pouring thousands of new offenders into prisons that are already perilously overcrowded.

“It is a huge problem,” Mr. Sapers says. “The pressures are going to be even more extreme.”

In a report last fall, Mr. Sapers was unsparing in his criticism of CSC’s long-term strategy for treating the mentally impaired more humanely and effectively. A recent infusion of $50-million represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shore up facilities for the mentally ill, but the money was mismanaged and poorly targeted, he wrote.

“Funding is delayed to such an extent that, at this pace, it could easily take decades to fully implement.”

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, the government’s law-and-order point man, declined to comment on the situation this week, but CSC spokesman Suzanne Leclerc says the new laws will bloat the system with 4,500 new inmates by 2014.

Thus far, the government has committed $600-million to create 2,552 beds to accommodate them, but Mr. Sapers says the new and renovated cells are “based on existing designs that are inadequate. We are not going to see more common space, more therapeutic space or more treatment capacity.”

Jails are hard-wired to mete out punishment, not therapy, so the mentally impaired often go untreated, sometimes languishing in isolatation 23 hours a day.

Some correctional officials concede that the best they can do is limit the damage. “As long as there is a valid court order, we are required to admit them and take care of them,” says Steve Small, assistant deputy minister of correctional and community services for Ontario. “We do our best, but there are certainly other locations that would be preferable for these types of inmates.”

Cells on suicide watch

Less than an hour’s drive west of Toronto, Maplehurst is a sprawling complex guarded by high fences and overhead mesh (designed to foil slingshot delivery of drugs to inmates in the exercise yard) that primarily houses offenders on trial or waiting out adjournments. About 200 of its 1,200 inmates have a serious mental impairment, including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, brain injuries and the effects of fetal alcohol syndrome. Others suffer from dementia or low intelligence and a lack of coping skills. The most floridly psychotic inmates are kept under suicide watch in bunker-like cells.

Unlike staff at a psychiatric facility, guards have difficulty responding instantly to emergencies – such as a recent case in which a schizophrenic became hysteric in the belief that his cell was crawling with mice and snakes. “Staff knew how terrified he was,” Ms. Gauthier recalls. “The look in their eyes was compassion. But they had to force him back in his cell.”

On a 50-man range reserved for the most severe cases, offenders float quietly between their cells and a narrow corridor with tables bolted to the floor. Like a herd of deer, they appear docile, yet leery; most are heavily medicated.

“I used to say that I had never seen anyone as sick as I had seen in hospital forensic units, but I can’t say that any longer,” Ms. Gauthier remarks. “A psychiatric facility has different equipment, a different model. Correctional centres were never set up to be mental-health centres.”

Guards and nursing staff on the mental-health ranges appear genuinely caring, referring to inmates by name and keeping elaborate charts of any change in behaviour that may point toward a suicide attempt or sudden attack. However, they are not always trained in the finer points of mental illness.

“A schizophrenic may think that a guard is the devil and start calling him really foul names,” Ms. Gauthier says. “If he were a healthy person, he would be up for misconduct. One of the challenges is to understand that this is a symptom of an illness.”

Graham Glancy, a forensic psychiatrist who works three days a week at Maplehurst, sounds like a battlefield medic as he describes what it’s like to process patients in 20-minute intervals all day long: “Basically, it’s a matter of medication and management – and trying to drop one little pearl of wisdom on them.”

Some offenders are violent or hallucinate wildly, but exercise their right to refuse treatment. Staff can try to persuade local hospitals to medicate them involuntarily, Dr. Glancy explains, but getting them there requires diplomacy. “You have to be very careful about it. I can only send one or two at a time, or the hospital can get swamped.”

On another range, 50 inmates with brain damage or subnormal intelligence gaze warily at strangers. All they have in common is the fact that, in prison, they’re highly vulnerable. Some are chronic bedwetters. Others are old, scraggly and demented. Some are hulking men, but behave like school kids.

“The developmentally delayed are the forgotten population,” Ms. Gauthier says. “… It is like putting four-year-olds in custody. They cry all day for their mommies. Social workers give them colouring books and crayons.”

She recalls an inmate who arrived clinging desperately to a Beanie Baby, which prison rules didn’t allow in his cell. “He had never been separated from it. He finally let us take a picture of it so he could hold that.”

How did Canada’s prison system turn into a holding tank for mentally damaged individuals?

Many officials trace it to the deinstitutionalization of psychiatric patients over the past 30 years. Patients wound up on the street when neighbourhoods shunned them and social-service agencies failed to provide adequate housing or care. In many cases, their mental state deteriorated, and they turned to crime, everything from the mundane to murder.

“We see people who … felt there was no other way,” says Mr. Small, the assistant deputy minister. “We also see people with mental-health issues who couldn’t even form the intent to commit a crime.”

Treating mentally damaged offenders can be close to impossible in provincial jails, where inmates are on short court remands or serve sentences of less than two years. Longer federal sentences allow time for treatment, but it’s rarely available.

“There are waiting lists for almost every program at every institution,” says Mr. Sapers, the federal investigator. “Although a program may be advertised as being available at a particular institution, it very likely isn’t. This is where it all falls apart.”

If mentally impaired inmates do not get appropriate treatment, they’re unlikely to qualify for early parole, winding up warehoused until their sentences are almost over. Thus, parole officers have little time to help them return to the community. “This leaves them at a higher risk of reoffending,” Mr. Sapers says. “It is a great irony. The cycle is very counterproductive.”

Correctional officials scramble to link the mentally ill with agencies that can provide beds and medical care after they are released, Mr. Small says. But many offenders have wandered far from home or been abandoned by their families, making it an enormous challenge.

To complicate matters more, ex-convicts with mental problems tend to be shunned even by well-meaning agencies. “Once you have been in jail, you have a stigma,” Ms. Gauthier says. “Those beds are closed off, so we end up having to rely a lot on hostels and transition housing.”

Uncertainty on the horizon

Looking ahead to the spike in the penal population, the correction service says it has no idea how many new inmates will require mental-health care. Ms. Leclerc says her department works hard to meet its legislative mandate “to provide every inmate with essential … services” and “reasonable access” to services that aren’t essential, but “will contribute to the inmate’s rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community.”

In the past five years, she adds, the $50-million has been spent largely on assessing new inmates and helping offenders after they are released. But Mr. Sapers says that money has done little to make treatment or more suitable accommodation available to most inmates.

He says it is urgent that the federal government work more closely with provincial correctional systems and psychiatric hospitals.

If not, Maplehurst’s Ms. Gauthier adds, people like the headbanger will remain caught in a revolving door between jail and the street. “The primary concern is getting medication and the right treatment,” she says. “There was a day when these offenders all would have been in psychiatric facilities. That day is gone. Now, we have incarceration.”

And what has become of the young schizophrenic?

To prevent further damage, he was placed in a special restraining cot and had to wait in his own private hell until the hospital could be persuaded to medicate him. Returned in a much more placid state, he was able to complete his two-month sentence and then released.

For how long is anyone’s guess. Source

Update December 19 2013

Ashley Smith Death has been ruled a Homicide

Other Canadian problems.

Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Three

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue Part Two

“Canada”Trouble in Toryland: their Dirty Tricks catalogue

Recent

Japan: Radioactive cesium levels in most fish has not declined

US Election Fraud

US Drones that kill innocent Civilians is Murder – CIA chiefs face arrest

Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

U.S. meningitis cases rise to 64

//

Published in: on October 26, 2012 at 6:20 am  Comments Off on Canada: Coroner’s Inquest of Ashley Smith’s death in Prison  
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Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers

Farmers need 50,000 bales of hay to make up for drought: Ont. Federation of Agriculture. I can understand their disappointment considering how much hay they sent to the West in their time of need in 2002. Stories are below.

CBC News

Oct 9, 2012

Some farmers in eastern Ontario are receiving hay from Western Canada today, but many say the amount likely won’t have much of an impact after this year’s drought.

The first delivery of 30 bales of hay from Western Canada arrived in Cobden, Ont., northwest of Ottawa, as part of the assistance program called Hay East.

The Mennonite Disaster Service is organizing the deliveries, which are coming via train. They said over the coming weeks, they will ship 200 bales of donated hay from the West to Eastern Ontario farmers.

The 200 bales are far less than what more than 130 farmers in the area say they need — more than 13,000 bales.

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture has also estimated farmers in the province need 50,000 bales of hay from the west to make up for the amount of hay they have lost.

“There’s no way we can meet all the demand, no way at all,” said Hay East chairman Glenn Buck.

Buck said donations were not as high as he had hoped and shipping the hay to the east has been expensive.

“With the cost of transportation, to get it to the various parts of Ontario where it’s needed, we can only deal right now with donated hay,” said Buck.

‘A drop in the bucket’ for farmers

At Ron McCoy’s organic dairy farm in Cobden, the hay supply is dwindling.

McCoy was happy to hear he’d be getting fifteen donated bales this week. But considering he has 60 cows to feed, the delivery won’t be enough.

“It’s really just a drop in the bucket…in terms of how much everybody needs. Fifteen bales will probably last me about fifteen days,” said McCoy.

The drought forced McCoy to cull some of his cattle herd. But on the heels of Thanksgiving weekend, he appreciates the gesture.

“It just makes you feel grateful and thankful when farmers work together and help each other out,” he said. Source

Western farmers may return hay favour to easterners

Ontario farmers could receive deliveries of hay from prairie farmers, returning favour from 2002

CBC News

Aug 30, 2012

Prairie farmers could be sending hay to Ontario farmers to help them through the summer drought, a decade after 110,000 tonnes were sent by easterners to help their western counterparts.

Volunteers have been touring Ontario farmland to find the hardest hit by the unusually dry conditions. They are looking to help them out by bringing hay East, instead of sending these farmers.

“At some point, the cost of hay makes feeding the animals ludicrous, so you’re throwing money down the drain,” said Glenn Buck, chairman of Ontario’s Mennonite Disaster Service.

Buck said money does not help farmers buy hay. The transfer of hay itself is more logical and makes more financial sense.

In 2002, for example, farmers in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan were hit by a devastating drought. But in Ontario, crops were plentiful, so hay was sent to western farmers.

Buck received a phone call from a farmer who used to live in eastern Ontario, but has moved to Western Canada. That farmer said he had excess hay and wanted to help those struggling in Ontario.

Farmer hopes for good karma

Wyatt McWilliams, who owns a farm in Navan, on the eastern outskirts of Ottawa, sent hay West 10 years ago along with his father.

Now, he says the possibility of hay donations from prairie farmers is a heartening proposition.

“Fellow farmers are always trying to help each other,” he said.

“Hay West was the Canadian spirit. A lot of people got behind the initiative and helped out. We certainly appreciate any help we can get because it’s going to be a long winter.”

A meeting was held Wednesday to help co-ordinate shipping costs and how hay would be distributed.

The Hay East campaign is currently in the “investigation” phase, Buck said.

He added the transportation will most likely be using trains and it is still unknown where and how much hay will be transported to the East.

The Ontario Mennonite Disaster Service also said it has been contacted by organizers of a Farm Aid concert for Sept. 16.

More financial help could come via that avenue, as well. Source

Under Jean Chrétien In 2002

More hay headed West

August 11, 2002

CBC News

The Drought of 2002

Prince Edward Islanders taking part in the campaign to get hay to drought-stricken western livestock are optimistic they can get the feed shipped out.

CN Rail has agreed to put on box cars in Moncton, N.B.; Truro, N.S.’ and Quebec City to ship hay west early next week.

P.E.I. officials are trying to arrange to get the hay across the Confederation Bridge. Dozens of farmers and ordinary Islanders have said they will donate money to help defer transportation costs.

In total, rail companies are freeing up nearly 200 cars to bring the hay to the West. The federal government has chipped in $150,000 to the Hay West campaign for the short-term, as well as freeing up money for drought-assistance.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister Lyle Vanclief announced that $10 million will be released immediately and will be used to fund water supply projects in drought-stricken areas in Canada.

But all that may not be enough. Thousands of donated bales of hay won’t feed the million of animals on the prairies. So producers are selling off cattle at rock-bottom prices.

Elaine Boon is trying to give away her prized Arabian horses. She says she can’t afford to feed them and nobody wants to buy them. If someone could take them off her hands, it beats the other option. “If they don’t have feed they’re going to the slaughterhouse,” she said.

It’s all taking a toll financially, and emotionally. Drought-related stress in Alberta has led to calls for a province-wide hotline for farmers.

“Emotional issues, financial issues, farm business issues, drought issues, we need to focus information about all that into one location and disperse it from there,” said Rod Scarlett of Wild Rose Agricultural Producers.

There is a hotline in Saskatchewan and the phones won’t stop ringing. “There can be an impact on relationships. So that’s a factor that falls into place. In addition to that, it’s a look towards what the future holds. People are looking for an alternative source of income job-wise, whether it be training, those sorts of things,” said Ken Imhoff of the Saskatchewan Farm Stress Line.

Big industries are worried about the effect of the drought as well.

Canada’s beer-makers depend on Western barley. This year, the crop is stunted and there’s not much of it.

It’s possible brewers may have to import huge amounts of barley from around the world to make Canadian beer.

The Canadian Federation of Agriculture is touring the Prairies next week, hoping to help governments come up with a disaster plan.

There’s also a Farm Aid benefit concert planned for Thanksgiving weekend. Source

Seems the Western Farmers have forgotten, what the Eastern Farmers did for them. Shame on them. Shame on the Harper Government, for doing little to nothing, to help the Eastern Farmers in their time of need.

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Published in: on October 11, 2012 at 2:19 am  Comments Off on Hay East donations disappoint Ontario farmers  
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Privatization in Canada’s Health Care System is Killing People

March 22 2012

Poor hospital cleaning revealed as major problem

‘Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster’

The health of hospitalized Canadians and their visitors is being seriously put at risk by hospitals that have cut corners in cleaning budgets to a Marketplace investigation has revealed.

The program took hidden cameras inside 11 hospitals in Ontario and British Columbia. What they found in many of them were surprisingly inadequate cleaning regimens – in short, dirty hospitals that could make you sick.

In many hospitals, Marketplace staffers applied a harmless gel to places that many people would touch – hand rails, door handles, light switches, elevator buttons.

DIRTY HOSPITALS

The full story, Dirty Hospitals, can be seen on CBC-TV’s Marketplace tonight at 8 p.m., 8:30 in Newfoundland.

The gel glows when seen under an ultra-violet light. But most of the time – and this was true in every hospital where Marketplace carried out gel tests – the gel was still there more than 24 hours later, meaning the surfaces had not been cleaned at all.

The program talked to cleaners, supervisors, nurses, doctors, and hospital administrators to get a handle on what has become a major problem at Canadian health-care facilities – a shocking number of hospital-acquired infections.

While Canadians love to crow about their first-rate health-care system, it also leads in one area that doesn’t get the same glowing reviews.

About 250,000 Canadians come down with life-threatening infections while in hospitals every year. That’s the highest rate in the developed world. As many as 12,000 people a year die.

Denise Ball’s husband Gary became one of those statistics last year.

He was admitted to Niagara General Hospital for treatment of pancreatitis. While there, the 63-year-old retired school teacher contracted C. difficile – a life-threatening superbug that is all too common in Canadian hospitals. It ended up playing a role in his death a few months later.

Denise Ball remembers the cleaning regimen in her husband’s room was less than adequate, saying the cleaners would spend only 10 minutes on a room everyone knew was infected with C. difficile. She says a proper cleaning would have taken much longer.

“This has to stop,” she says. “This is Canada.”

More with less

Time and again, hospital insiders told Marketplace that cleaners were being asked to do more with less. “We used to have one person to one wing of a hospital to clean,” one cleaner said. “Now, we have three floors to clean.”

A cleaning supervisor at one hospital told Marketplace host Erica Johnson that it’s “common practice” for cleaners not to change the cleaning solution in the bucket when mopping up. “They just don’t have the time,” the supervisor said.

‘Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster.’—Infectious disease expert Dr. Michael Gardam

Sometimes there aren’t enough cleaning supplies. A nurse, whose identity Marketplace protected, said she’s seen a cleaner mopping common areas after having mopped the rooms of infected patients because she didn’t have enough mops to change. “She’s just cross-contaminated the whole area, so there’s no area that was actually clean.”

Sometimes, only one cleaner would be on staff in an entire hospital during night shifts. “That kind of day-night difference is very common, and it makes no sense,” says Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease expert at the University Health Network in Toronto.

Gardam has seen enough in his time looking at hospital cleaning practices to know that some hospitals are worse than others – much worse. “Some hospitals are a real freaking disaster,” he told Marketplace.”They’ve been told to actually cut their number of housekeeping staff by outside auditors who are trying to help them balance their budgets.”

In recent years, many hospitals have cut the portion of their budget that is devoted to cleaning. Sometimes, they’ve done that by contracting out cleaners or their management.

C. difficile outbreaks common

It’s not like we haven’t seen the devastating results of hospital-acquired illness. Newscasts and newspapers have been filled with stories of hospitals under quarantine because of C. difficile outbreaks. In the last decade, outbreaks have hit hospitals in most provinces. A huge outbreak in 2003 and 2004 led to as many as 2,000 deaths in Quebec.

Last year, there were outbreaks in at least 10 hospitals across Ontario alone. One of the worst was the Niagara Health System in Ontario. More than 100 cases were diagnosed and the infection was a factor in the deaths of 37 patients, including Gary Ball, the patient mentioned earlier in the story.

The man appointed by the Ontario government to get the Niagara outbreaks under control, Dr. Kevin Smith, denies that hospitals have been cutting back on cleaning. “I think they’re experimenting with new models of cleaning,” he says.

When informed that workers in the Niagara hospital system told Marketplace that they still don’t have the time or resources to do an adequate cleaning job, he says, “I haven’t heard that message,” saying “everybody” feels rushed in health care these days.

The outbreaks are officially over in the Niagara Health System. But when Marketplace showed Smith several areas where researchers had applied test gel in three hospitals he supervises, most of the surfaces showed no evidence of cleaning. The ultra-violet light showed uncleaned hand rails outside an isolation room, uncleaned support rails in a public washroom and uncleaned hand rails in a ward with highly contagious patients.

“I’m obviously very disappointed to see that. That is a less than optimal cleaning opportunity. We need to fix it,” Smith said.

There’s something else that some observers think is helping to drive the pressure to skimp on cleaning. In Ontario and British Columbia, for example, hospitals are given bonuses for turning over beds quickly – hundreds of extra dollars each time a hospital gets a patient out of a room before a certain time. More money is dangled for quickly transferring a patient from the emergency ward to a room. Hospital CEOs, already well-paid, receive bonuses that depend, in part, on reducing wait times.

While the goal of such rewards may be admirable, critics say the actual effect has been to speed up cleaning to an unhealthy degree.

“They just don’t get it,” says Denise Ball. “And maybe until one of their loved ones that went in healthy and … a few months later … they’re going to their grave. Maybe that’s what will wake them up.” There is a video at the Source

Related Stories

8 tips to ensure you won’t get a hospital-acquired infection

FAQs: What is C. difficile?

Opportunistic superbug present in most hospitals

Since the cleaning services have been privatized, the problems began.

The ones now doing the cleaning are not trained well. Poorly paid and over worked. They have to much to do and not enough time.

It is actually costing Canada more to use private companies.

A lesson leaned the hard way. Remember:

About 250,000 Canadians come down with life-threatening infections while in hospitals every year. That’s the highest rate in the developed world. As many as 12,000 people a year die.
The Ontario Ombudsman is the only provincial watchdog in Canada restricted from investigating and resolving issues/complaints in hospitals, long-term care, children’s aid. And there are serious issues that are not being resolved. Please check out how Ontario compares to the rest of Canada:

http://www.ombudsman.on.ca/About-Us/The-Ombudsman-s-Office/Who-We-Oversee/MUSH-Sector.aspx

Please download a copy of this petition and speak to your MPP about expanding the mandate of the Ombudsman to ensure the public is protected and issues of mistreatment, abuse, poor care are addressed properly in these institutions.

http://ontariocfa.com/documents/ombudsman_petition.pdf

http://ontariocfa.com/

Pass this on to all your Canadians friends.

Don’t let Harper privatize any more in Health Care and the privatization that has taken place, must be reversed to save lives. The life you save may be your own.

Update March 27 2012

CBC’s ‘dirty hospital’ report sparks changes

Niagara health authority ends relationship with private U.S. cleaning company Aramark

March 26, 2012

A CBC investigation into unsanitary conditions at the nation’s hospitals has sparked a change in policy by Canada’s biggest health authority and a flood of email messages from concerned viewers.

With hidden cameras, including Canada’s first hidden camera glow-gel test, the consumer show Marketplace visited several hospitals in Ontario and British Columbia, secretly applying a harmless gel to high-touch surfaces, then returning 24 hours later to see whether the gel had been removed, which would indicate the surface had been cleaned.

The program revealed many instances where cleaning had not been carried out, and that sparked a response from the Niagara Health System (NHS), the biggest in the country, whose hospitals have suffered a recent Clostridium difficile outbreak. It has decided to end its relationship with the private U.S. cleaning company Aramark.

NHS authorities wouldn’t specify why they made the move, but did tell CBC News they will be adding “the equivalent of 18 new full-time cleaning positions.” It has been suggested that Aramark was at least partly to blame for the C. difficile outbreaks.

“They made decisions around staffing levels,” Eoin Callan of the Service Employees International Union told CBC News. “They made decisions around what was cleaned, what was not cleaned — how frequently things were cleaned. And they also had an incentive to use cheaper diluted cleaning chemicals that were not as effective because it allowed them to pad their profit margins.”

Ontario Minister of Health Deb Matthews wouldn’t talk on camera, but told Marketplace: “We expect our hospitals to make the best decisions to protect patient safety in their communities.”

The NHS decision may be good news for those awaiting a hospital stay, but cold comfort to people such as Ken Hough, who returned home three weeks ago after a stay at St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital in St. Thomas, Ont.

“You really wouldn’t believe it, unless you’ve seen it,” Hough told Marketplace reporter Erica Johnson, describing rooms where he says dirty bandages and plastic needle covers littered the floor.

The bathroom was the worst, he said.

“Feces on the back of the toilet,” he recalled. “You’d go in to use it, and you’d pivot. I put on rubber gloves to use the toilet seat and just thought, no, I’m not doing this.”

Emails from across the country echoed Hough’s observations.

“The waste baskets in the bathroom were overflowing,” an email from Vancouver read. It took “three days to clean up vomit,” a Calgary viewer wrote. And an email from Winnipeg described “feces left on the floor” for days.

About one-third of hospitals in Ontario outsource their janitorial services, CBC News has learned, and that figure is higher in British Columbia and some other provinces. With files from the CBC’s Erica Johnson Source

That is good news for a change. Now if they could get all the hospitals cleaned up.

With the number of deaths and those who got sick, because of the filth, there were no savings.

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Poorer Canadians less likely to survive cancer

August 2, 2010

Cancer patients from poor communities have lower survival rates than those from more affluent neighbourhoods, a new Canadian study has found.

What’s more, the research team discovered that the explanation for similar disparities in U.S. research — that patients from poorer areas are more likely to be diagnosed when their cancer is at a later stage — did not hold true.

The researchers, led by Dr. Christopher Booth at the Cancer Research Institute at Queen’s University in Ontario, found that poorer patients had a greater chance of dying prematurely from their disease even though cancer stage at the time of diagnosis was similar across socioeconomic groups.

“Contrary to what has been reported in studies from the U.S., we have found that stage of cancer at time of diagnosis does not account for any substantial component of the difference in survival across social groups,” Booth said in a statement.

The findings, though only gleaned from Ontario data, suggest other factors play a role in survival, including the unique biology of each patient’s disease, the presence of other illnesses, access to treatment and overall quality of care.

The study was published Monday in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.

For the study, the research team compared median household income data from the 2001 Canadian census with diagnosis information from the Ontario Cancer Registry. The team analyzed all cases of breast, colon, rectal, non-small cell lung, cervical and laryngeal cancer diagnosed in the province between 2003 and 2007.

Their findings include:

  • The chance a woman from a poor community will be alive five years after a breast cancer diagnosis is 77 per cent, compared to 84 per cent for a wealthy woman.
  • Fifty-two per cent of patients with colorectal cancer from poor neighbourhoods are still alive five years after diagnosis, compared to 60 per cent of patients from wealthy communities.

The team said the fact that stage of disease at the time of diagnosis was similar across socioeconomic groups may be explained by universal health coverage in Ontario, “which may facilitate access to primary care physicians and/or cancer screening,” Booth said.

However, the disparity in survival rates, while they seem small, “are important and meaningful differences,” he told The Canadian Press.

“If we had a form of chemotherapy or cancer treatment that led to an improvement or difference in five-year survival of seven, eight, nine per cent — the order of magnitude we’re seeing with these differences — it would be a blockbuster home run as far as cancer treatment advances,” Booth said.

The team said further research is needed to identify the specific factors that are leading to the disparities in survival, which will then allow experts to devise strategies to reduce those disparities. Source

Poverty means less food, more stress and worry.

You can have the best medical treatment in the world but if you don’t have proper food you will be less likely to recover from many illnesses not just cancer.

People living in poverty are under a great deal more stress as well. Their day to day lives are filled with things like can I afford rent, heat and hydro. They have less of an ability to get to treatments, (Cost is always a factor which adds to their stress and anxiety).

So do they buy groceries are go for treatments? Well what would you do?

People living in poverty are also more prone to illnesses as they are under stress and do not have proper food to start with.

One doesn’t have to be a genius to figure out what the problems are.

Even the stupidest person should be able to figure that one out.

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Qatar sends aid to Gaza flood victims

January  21 2010

DOHA: Qatar Charity has sent aid to flood victims in Mighrafa area in the centre of Gaza Strip. The Charity’s humanitarian gesture is aimed at alleviating the miseries of the families affected by flooding that forced them to evacuate their homes and farms.

Abdullah bin Hussien Al N’amah, Chairman of the Charity, said that Qatar has sent instant relief material to families and has begun distributing it to 40 families.

The relief goods consist of foodstuff and cash doles.

The Charity is also coordinating with local authorities to asses the damage to further provide aid and also to contribute in the reconstruction of damaged houses.

At least 12 people were injured in the flooding which destroyed scores of homes and inundated animal shelters.

The flooding cut off roads and washed away a bridge linking Gaza city to the south of the territory. Flood waters reached 3 meters (9ft) in some places.
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SAIA demands that Carleton University immediately divest its stock in BAE Systems, L-3 Communications, Motorola, Northrop Grumman, and Tesco, and adopt a Socially Responsible Investment policy.

January 2010, Ottawa, Ontario

More information: http://carleton.saia.ca

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Study changes Canadian Province’s Flu Vaccine plan

Unpublished study influences Ont.’s vaccine plan

September 24 2009

Ontario says it is changing its approach to seasonal flu vaccine administration this year in part because of unpublished data that suggest the seasonal shot might raise the risk of catching swine flu.

Dr. Arlene King, the province’s chief medical officer of health, says people 65 and older, who aren’t at great risk of catching swine flu, will be offered seasonal flu vaccine in October.

But the seasonal flu won’t be offered to younger people in Canada’s most populous province until after they are first offered the vaccine for swine flu, which is likely to happen in November.

King says the unpublished study was clearly a factor in the decision to change the sequence of the vaccination program.

That study, based on research ongoing in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, suggests that people who have received seasonal flu shots last year may be at greater risk of catching H1N1 flu this year.

While the study is still being peer-reviewed in an unnamed journal, King said it had a direct influence on the policy for this year’s flu vaccination program in Ontario.

“There is emerging unpublished evidence that suggests an association between prior seasonal flu vaccination and getting the H1N1 flu. The nature of the association is unclear at this time, so we want people under 65 to wait to get the seasonal flu shot until after the H1N1 flu vaccine until we learn more about this,” she told reporters.

The other factors influencing the plan are evidence from the southern hemisphere that shows that H1N1 is dominating other seasonal flu strains.

The vaccines are also being phased in because of the difficulties of trying to provide both types of shots at the same time. That’s because the seasonal flu vaccine will be ready in October but swine flu vaccine won’t be ready until mid-November.

She added that there is still no scientific data that giving both swine flu and seasonal flu shots at the same time is either safe or effective. So Ontario will take a cautious approach and phase in both flu vaccine programs over three phases:

In October, the seasonal flu vaccine will be offered to Ontarians 65 years and over and residents of long-term care homes

H1N1 vaccine will be offered to the general population in November, following the vaccine sequencing guidelines issues by the Public Health Agency of Canada. That means high-priority groups first, and then the rest of the population

The seasonal flu vaccine will be then offered to all other residents six months of age and older who still want it.

“It’s a different flu season this year and rolling out two flu vaccine programs is a great example of how different it is,” Dr. King said.

Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization addressed the worries raised in the unpublished Canadian study in a telephone news briefing.

In a response to a question on the study from CTV’s Avis Favaro, Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO’s initiative for vaccine research, said researchers in no other countries have made similar findings.

“We are in contact with other countries and having them look at their own data to see if they could have similar observations and none have been able to find anything like that,” Kieny told the teleconference from WHO headquarters.

“So the reason why this may be different in Canada and in this particular study is not yet identified. It may be study bias; it may be that something is real.

“But the WHO is looking forward to be able to see the data and to study data and to come to a better understanding of whether this has any chance of indeed putting people are risk, the fact that they’ve received the seasonal vaccination,” Kieny said.

Other provinces mull vaccine plan changes

Meanwhile, a number of Canadian provinces are considering suspending their seasonal flu vaccination programs, in part because of the worries.

Saskatchewan Health Minister Don McMorris said Thursday seasonal flu shots will likely be suspended for everyone in his province except seniors and those in long-term care.

Seniors are more susceptible to the seasonal flu, but their age group seems to be mostly immune from swine flu because of presumed exposure to similar viruses in their lifetimes.

McMorris said he was also worried about the reports that seasonal flu vaccine might make people more susceptible to swine flu. He added that other factors influencing their decision were expectation from flu officials that H1N1 would dominate this winter and crowd out seasonal flu strains.

In Quebec, health officials said earlier this week they’re putting the seasonal flu shot program on standby. They too are considering either delaying seasonal flu vaccination until after swine flu vaccine programs are complete, or scrapping seasonal flu vaccination altogether.

“For the moment, it’s on hold,” Karine White, a media relations liaison with the Ministry of Health and Social Services in Quebec told The Canadian Press.

Swine flu vaccination programs likely wouldn’t begin until mid-November, the earliest that the vaccine manufacturer will have it ready, tested and approved

Source

What do we know about the vaccines’ safety? Not enough

Globe and Mail
August 06, 2009
Alan Cassels and Arthur Schafer

In the headlong rush to do good, we need to be sure we don’t end up doing harm. Who should be at the top of the list to receive the H1N1 vaccine or antiviral drugs if, as feared, they are in short supply? Bio-ethicists debate the niceties of how society should ration scarce medical resources, while public-health officials spend their days debating who should be first in line – pregnant women, health-care personnel or perhaps government leaders and corporate CEOs?

The majority of Canadians, listening to this rationing debate, would be forgiven for assuming that the H1N1 vaccine, when it becomes available in the autumn, will be a life saver. The unfortunate reality, however, is that we don’t know and, indeed, can’t know if that is the case.

Like most governments around the world, eager to appear to be “doing something,” the government of Canada has promised to stockpile enough of the vaccine so that most Canadians will be protected.

But, speaking of stockpiles, Canada already owns one of the world’s largest supplies of antiviral drugs, mostly Tamiflu and Relenza, two drugs designed to reduce the severity and length of the flu.

And yet the scientific evidence testing the preventive benefits of either Tamiflu or its near cousin, Relenza, shows that both are pathetically weak. People who take either of these “prophylactically,” i.e. before they become sick, hoping to prevent the flu, will get about as much effect as if they’d taken a placebo. That’s not a very impressive result.

Equally unimpressive: When the drugs are given within 48 hours
to someone who already has flu symptoms, with the goal of ameliorating the severity of the disease, it makes only a slight difference.

The “lucky ones” who take Tamiflu may reduce the average length of a five-day flu by about half a day. Not worth getting out of bed for, you might think. So perhaps it doesn’t matter all that much who is at the top of the list to receive the drugs and who is at the bottom.

Consider also that a recent international study reveals that about 50 per cent of children who have taken Tamiflu experienced side effects. Most have been minor (gut problems, diarrhea) but some have been more serious, including neuropsychiatric problems.

Why are public-health officials glossing over the fact there is a great deal of uncertainty and doubt surrounding the effectiveness, safety and side effects of flu drugs?

The same could be said for the H1N1 vaccine, currently in production and ramped up for Canada’s fall flu season. What do we know about its effectiveness or its safety?

The answer is, not enough. If one takes past flu campaigns as any indication, it is likely the effectiveness of the vaccine is going to be exaggerated, while the potential harms will either be ignored, understated or simply unknown. In that scenario, the rush to vaccinate yourself and your children might not turn out to be such a grand idea.

Public-health officials around the world seem to be suggesting there is a possibility this flu pandemic could get much worse, that is, become more lethal. If that were to happen, it seems “obvious” that wise people should seek to have a preventive flu shot or access to a pill. Many people will say to themselves:

Why not get the shot, just to be sure?

Part of the answer to that question is that until a million people
roll up their sleeves to get the vaccine, no one can be sure how safe it will be. This is also a decisive answer to those who favour making vaccination mandatory.
Some public-health officials have described flu vaccines as “highly effective,” but the internationally recognized Cochrane Collaboration (which accepts no money from the pharmaceutical industry) did a systematic review of all high-quality randomized trials (25 in all) studying influenza vaccination.

They concluded that “the evidence does
not support universal immunization of healthy adults.” Period.
So how does this information help us to think clearly about the current flu pandemic in which we’re mired?

Well, it seems that despite its spread, this flu virus is a bit of a
dud for the fear-mongers. If, as seems not unlikely, the H1N1 virus mutates, our government will have purchased enormous quantities of a flu vaccine around which we will have virtually no safety or effectiveness data, and an already existing and very costly stockpile of probably useless drugs.

In short, a big bust all around.

Governments and public-health officials are sensitive to the
exhortation: Don’t just stand there, do something. But it’s sometimes wise to reverse that dictum: Don’t just do something, stand there (and think a bit about what might actually produce more good than harm).

Alan Cassels is a drug policy researcher at the University of
Victoria. Arthur Schafer is director of the Centre for Professional and Applied Ethics at the University of Manitoba.

SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK:

1. Why did WHO raise the pandemic alert to highest level when less than one thousand people WORLDWIDE have died from causes “associated with h1n1″?
Pandemic alert level 6 allows martial law and mandatory vaccination. Many if not most of the people who have died had “underlying health problems.”

*Worldwide, the number of deaths attributed to the flu each year is between 250,000 and 500,000? (Thomas Walkom, The Toronto Star, May 1, 2009).”

*”…Only 700 people have died from the swine flu world wide in the last year. In the same period, half a million people died of the regular flu, but that isn’t called a pandemic. We are being lied to.” [other reports put the numbers at even less. and then there’s the epidemic of cancer, heart disease and diabetes…]

2. Poor quality testing to identify the specific flu strain. Some say it’s only accurate 1/2 the time, others say even less. How are tests made up? How quickly can you make up a test for something supposedly just discovered in May?

2a Where did this h1n1 come from. Some suggest it is made in a lab.
“This virus continues to be an enigma for virologists. In the April 30, 2009 issue of Nature, a virologist was quoted as saying,“Where the hell it got all these genes from we don’t know.” Extensive analysis of the virus found that it contained the original 1918 H1N1 flu virus, the avian flu virus (bird flu), and two new H3N2 virus genes from Eurasia. Debate continues over the possibility that swine flu is a genetically engineered virus. “

2b Hasty testing and preparation of the vaccine. Baxter Intl applied for the patent in 2008, long before the outbreak. How does that work?
“The Baxter vaccine, called Celvapan, has had fast track approval. It uses a new vero cell technology, which utilizes cultured cells from the African green monkey. This same animal tissue transmits a number of vaccine-contaminating
viruses, including the HIV virus.
“The Baxter company has been associated with two deadly scandals. The first event occurred in 2006 when hemophiliac components were contaminated with HIV
virus and injected in tens of thousands of people, including thousands of children. Baxter continued to release the HIV contaminated vaccine even after the contamination was known.

“The second event occurred recently when it was discovered that Baxter had released a seasonal flu vaccine containing the bird flu virus, which would have produced a real world pandemic, to 18 countries. Fortunately, astute lab workers in the Czech Republic discovered the deadly combination and blew the whistle before a worldwide disaster was unleashed.

*”GSK is one of several companies, including Novartis (NVS),
Sanofi-Aventis (SNY), and Baxter International (BAX), racing to
develop a swine flu vaccine. ” ie $$$$$$$$

3. Additives to vaccines are already a concern. Why the mercury, ie “thimerosal”? And now why this adjuvant called squalene which appears to mess with the immune system.

4. Historical precedent of the 1918 flu epidemic which killed about 40 million worldwide. There was a spring outbreak, then Rockefeller financed vaccination FOLLOWED by the major outbreak in the fall.

5. If you check the various provincial health web sites, they are no longer testing for the h1n1 and are lumping into their figures ALL cases of “influenza-like illness”. what kind of shoddy science is that??? why are they padding the numbers??

6. Pharma companies who are now making a killing already on sales of vaccines and antivirals like tamiflu, are NOT LIABLE for any damage caused by or as a result of these products.

7. Tamiflu has been considered useless by some doctors, in particular a Korean doctor. Others are playing down this information.

Government’s Tamiflu advice is wrong, says WHO

By Lewis Smith

August 22 2009

Only seriously ill and vulnerable patients should be prescribed antiviral drugs to help them to get over swine flu, the World Health Organisation said yesterday, in advice which conflicts with the decision taken by the British Government to prescribe Tamiflu to everyone with swine flu.

Most people will recover from swine flu within a week, just as they would from seasonal forms of influenza, the WHO said.
“Healthy patients with uncomplicated illness need not be treated with antivirals,” the WHO concluded in guidance issued on the internet. “Worldwide, most patients infected with the pandemic virus continue to experience typical influenza symptoms and fully recover within a week, even without any form of medical treatment.”

Swine flu, now present in 177 countries, has been blamed for 1,799 deaths, and it is feared that over-use of Tamiflu will lead to the virus becoming resistant to it. The WHO has been formally notified of 12 cases where the H1N1 virus has already been found to have developed resistance after mutating.

The WHO issued its advice after a panel of international experts reviewed the effectiveness and safety of antivirals in tackling the pandemic.

It agreed, however, that antivirals are appropriate in cases where patients suffer a severe bout of swine flu or have an underlying medical condition. In these cases the drugs have proved effective at reducing the risk of pneumonia setting in.

The Department of Health responded to the WHO guidance by saying that the decision to offer Tamiflu remained right and sensible.

“We believe a safety-first approach of offering antivirals, when required, to everyone remains a sensible and responsible way forward. However, we will keep this policy under review as we learn more about the virus and its effects,” a spokesman said.

Andrew Lansley, the shadow Health Secretary, has backed the Government’s approach, especially in the early stages of the outbreak when the severity of the disease was unclear.

He added: “In the light of this latest expert advice, it may be appropriate for GPs and the fluline to make clear to otherwise healthy patients that there may be little benefit in taking anti-virals. But I do not think it would be appropriate for us to not offer treatment to those who request it.”

The number of courses of antivirals issued in England by the National Pandemic Flu Service has almost halved since the beginning of the month. In the seven days up to 18 August there were 45,986 courses prescribed, compared to 90,363 the previous week. Last week there were 11,000 new cases of swine flu reported, down from 25,000 the week before.

In its advice the WHO included pregnant women as one of the at-risk groups that should continue to receive antivirals.

“As pregnant women are included among groups at increased risk, WHO recommends that pregnant women receive antiviral treatment as soon as possible after symptom onset,” it said.

The WHO recommended that children under five be regarded as being a high-risk group and should therefore be treated with antivirals as soon as possible once symptoms began.

Children over five years, however, should only be given the drugs if their condition becomes serious or if they have an underlying health problem.

Earlier this month a team of researchers from Oxford University said children with mild symptoms should not be given the antiviral to combat swine flu and urged the Department of Health to urgently rethink its [url]policy.
Source

What’s the Danger of Swine Flu Vaccinations?

By Dr. Anders Bruun Laursen

August 20, 2009

There seems to be quite a lot of uncertainty about the technical nature of Swine Flu (H1N1) vaccines.

As a medical doctor, I wish to clarify a number of important issues: First, we should talk about vaccines instead of vaccine, since the vaccines vary as for their compositions and even their ways of being dispensed: some by injection, another by the nose.

I think the fears as for the vaccines can be referred to:

1. The adjuvants – in particular squalene which was in all probability responsible for the Gulf War syndrome,

2. The virus antigen´s condition (dead, attenuated, live)

3. A deeply rooted mistrust in our politicians and the vaccine producers´ motives and morals: e.g. Baxter´s live bird flu virus last Winter (12), the Bayer AIDS haemophiliac product scandal.

First it is necessary to understand, that pandemic vaccines are made according to two procedures:

1. The Developement of a totally new vaccine from scratch. This takes more time, administration and testing than mock up vaccines (see below).

2. A Mock-up vaccine is a vaccine with all the adjuvants of the pandemic vaccine – but without the killed or attenuated pandemic virus. This virus is – until the pandemic virus is known – a different, attenuated known potentially pandemic virus, in the case of the Pandemrix vaccine for the EU it is an attenuated H5N1 bird flu virus. This is the mock-up vaccine. When the nature of the pandemic swine flu virus (H1N1) is known, it replaces the H5N1 virus in an attenuated form, the adjuvants being left unchanged.

Until now mock-up vaccine test-vaccinations have been going on on voluntary ”human guinea pigs.” Since most of the contents of the vaccine has already been approved, the approval of the pandemic vaccine is easier to implement.

After the exchange of virus in the vaccine, the company will have to apply for a ”variation”. However, this is just a matter of form, since such a variation approval is given by the EU within 5 days – which means that there is no objective testing of the vaccine requiring official approval. The safety is entirely left to the vaccine producer, who has been granted immunity to actions of damages due to expected side effects.

So, as you see, there is no confusion with regard to swine flu and bird flu viruses. But there is another important consideration: the role of squalene.

The average quantity of squalene injected into the US soldiers abroad and at home in the anthrax vaccine during and after the Gulf War was 34.2 micrograms per billion micrograms of water. According to one study, this was the other cause of Gulf War syndrom in 25% of 697.000 US personnel at home and abroad. You can find this table of FDA analyses from the Gulf War lots on The Military Vaccine Resource Directory website.

a.. AVA 020 – 11 ppb squalene (parts per billion)

> b.. AVA 030 – 10 ppb squalene

> c.. AVA 038 – 27 ppb squalene

> d.. AVA 043 – 40 ppb squalene

> e.. AVA 047 – 83 ppb squalene

These values were confirmed by Prof. R. F. Garry  before the House of Representatives. Prof Garry was the man to discover the connection between the Gulf War syndrome and squalene.

According to his findings, the Gulf War syndrome was caused by squalene, which was banned by a Federal Court Judge in 2004 from the Pentagon´s use.

As seen on p. 6 of this EMEA document , the Pandremix vaccine contains 10,68 mg of squalene per 0,5 ml. This corresponds to 2.136.0000 microgrammes pr. billion microgrammes of water, i.e. one million times more squalene per dose than in . There is any reason to believe that this will make people sick to a much higher extent than in 1990/91. This appears murderous to me.

I have contacted the Danish National Health Service: They are to decree mass vaccinations in Denmark – and yet they knew nothing about the composition of the Pandremix vaccine.

Then I addressed the Danish Medicinal Agency. They admitted that the Pandremix vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline does contain squalene and thimerosal. They have not rejected my remark that the squalene concentration is dangerous. In contrast, the AstraZeneca MedImmune nasal vaccination  avoids squalene side effects.

So far the use of squalene has been banned by the FDA in the US according to Der Spiegel . However, this may not last long .

“Clearly bypassing the FDA requirements for safety testing of these new adjuvants and the vaccines which contain them puts the entire population at risk for serious, possibly life threatening side effects, particularly any of the 12,000 paid trial participants (6,000 children) who are unfortunate enough to be randomized into the adjuvant containing groups.”

Still, on July 23, 2009, the FDA announced, “Currently, no U.S. licensed vaccine contains the adjuvants MF-59 or ASO3 (squalene). It is expected that a novel influenza A (H1N1) vaccine manufactured using the same process as U.S. licensed seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine but administered with MF-59 or ASO3 will be authorized for emergency use only.”

Furthermore, “Two of the manufacturers (Novartis and GSK) have proprietary oil-in-water adjuvants (MF-59 and ASO3, respectively) which have been evaluated in a number of clinical studies including studies with influenza vaccines. These manufacturers will include an evaluation of the utility of the adjuvant for dose sparing and higher effect in their clinical studies.“

“The same document indicates that vaccines containing the un-approved adjuvants will be given to 100 children 6 months to 3 years old, 100 children 3 years old to 8 years, 100 individuals 18 to 64 years old and 100 individuals 65 and older in each of the multiple clinical trials. In addition, 700 individuals in each trial will be given non-adjuvanted vaccine”.

Now for the immunological side effects of squalene to occur takes months to years – and cannot be evaluated after up to 6 weeks of observation. Der Spiegel calls the mass vaccinations on Europeans a gigantic cost free experiment to provide the FDA with mass vaccination experience to clear the track for sale in the US.

EMEA admits that side effects can only be found through extensive vaccination campaigns! .

Here is what EMEA  has to say about risks of GSK Pandemrix:

EMEAs Pandemrix is commonly or very commonly associated with a range of local and systemic adverse reactions but these are not often of severe intensity and the safety profile would not preclude the use of the vaccine in healthy adults aged 18-60 years or > 60 years.

However, there are some adverse reactions known to be very rarely associated with influenza vaccines and it is currently not possible to predict if higher rates might be observed with Pandemrix compared with, for example, seasonal influenza vaccines.

Dr Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s flu chief, today warned about the potential dangers of the untested vaccine : “There are certain areas where you simply do not try to make any economies. One of the things which cannot be compromised is the safety of vaccines.”

Which is exactly what is going on!

What I do not know is, if they are going to leave the attenuated (or live – Baxter  bird flu vaccine – or to totally replace it by the H1N1 virus.

Other severe, but rare side effects are autism in children due to thimerosal and the Guillan-Barré syndrome seen with 400-500 Americans after the 1976 unnecessary mass vaccinations against swine flu  – videos. As for additional severe side effects of squalene – see Stephen Lendman .

My advice: If you are forced to be vaccinated against the harmless swine flu (H1N1) – demand a vaccination with the AstraZeneca nasal vaccine MedImmune– thereby avoiding squalene side effects.
Source

Tamiflu: Swine flu drug increases stroke risk
While Tamiflu is one of the most effective drugs in treating swine flu infection, a new report warns that the drug may increase the risk of stroke.

Previously, researchers had urged parents to avoid using the drug in their offspring as its risks outweighed the benefits. Nausea and nightmares were among the most frequent side effects reported in children.

According to the report recently released by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Tamiflu may interact with the blood-thinning medication warfarin, placing the individual at an increased risk of uncontrolled bleeding (INR rate).

A significant increase in the INR rate could consequently lead to the development of a hemorrhagic stroke.

Despite the fact that such a complication was never reported in performed clinical testing, the MHRA has received 418 reports of suspected adverse reactions including two deaths because of Tamiflu.

Some 12 of these reactions were related to warfarin interactions.

Warfarin is known to interact with a wide range of drugs and even some foods and drinks. Many of the consumers, therefore, are hospitalized due to increased INR rates while many others die.

“We have seen indications that INR rates could possibly rise due to interactions between warfarin and Tamiflu. However, flu-like illnesses have also been known to cause this, so at this stage it is difficult to know whether it is the interaction with Tamiflu or the underlying flu,” said a MHRA spokesman.

The government watchdog therefore warned physicians of the high risk of stroke in Tamiflu users, adding that they should ask the patients regarding the use of the blood-thinning drug before prescribing the anti-swine flu medicine.
Source

Doctors told to watch for Guillain-Barre syndrome during Swine flu vaccination programme.
Doctors are being urged to watch for cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare nerve disorder, as the new swine flu vaccine is introduced in October.

Guillain-Barre syndrome which attacks the nervous system and can cause paralysis and death is linked to infections like flu but it has also been suggested a previous swine flu vaccine had caused cases of the disease in America in the 1970s.

American officials rushed out a vaccine in 1976 following an outbreak of swine flu in military barracks. Around 40million people received the vaccine but doctors reported an increase Guillain-Barre and 25 people had died before the immunisation programme was stopped.
It is not known for sure whether the vaccine or the flu was responsible and the current H1N1 swine flu jabs due to be introduced in Britain in October are very different to the version used thirty years ago, Government scientists have said.

However specialist doctors here are being urged to report every case of Guillain-Barre syndrome to the Health Protection Agency so the circumstances of each patient can be investigated.

Sources told the Daily Telegraph that experts are not expecting to spot any cases linked to the vaccinations.

They added that because Guillain-Barre can be caused by infections like flu, the new programme may in fact establish that vaccinations actually protect against the syndrome.

The syndrome affects around 1,500 people a year in the Britain.

A Health Protection Agency spokesman said enhanced surveillance was “routine” when introducing a new vaccine and all manner of potential side effects are monitored.

More than 13 million people in Britain, including people with severe asthma, diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease or with a compromised immune system will get the jab from October. Pregnant women and frontline health and social care workers will also be offered the jab.

The seasonal flu vaccination programme will continue as normal.

The spokesman said: “Guillain-Barre syndrome has long been identified as a potential adverse event that would require enhanced surveillance following the introduction of a pandemic vaccine but there is no evidence to suggest there is an increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome from this vaccine.”

He said there was also no increased risk of the syndrome associated with the seasonal flu vaccine.

“Establishing enhanced surveillance on Guillain-Barre syndrome has always been part of our pandemic plan because there is an increased risk of this disease after a flu-like illness.

“HPA is working in collaboration with the Association of British Neurologists Surveillance Unit (BNSU) and the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) who will ask clinicians to report each month whether they have seen any cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome.”

However critics have said the fact doctors are being told to report cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome is evidence that the authorities are concerned.

Jackie Fletcher of the campaign group, Jabs, added: “What we’ve got is a massive guinea-pig trial.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “The European Medicines Agency has strict processes in place for licensing pandemic vaccines.

“In preparing for a pandemic, appropriate trials to assess safety and the immune responses have been carried out on vaccines very similar to the swine flu vaccine. The vaccines have been shown to have a good safety profile.

“It is extremely irresponsible to suggest that the UK would use a vaccine without careful consideration of safety issues. The UK has one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world.”

Source

Swine flu jab link to killer nerve disease: Leaked letter reveals concern of neurologists over 25 deaths in America

By Jo Macfarlane
August 15 2009

Prevention: Is the swine flu jab safe?

A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breathe, and can be fatal.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976 when:

* More people died from the vaccination than from swine flu.
* 500 cases of GBS were detected.
* The vaccine may have increased the risk of contracting GBS by eight times.
* The vaccine was withdrawn after just ten weeks when the link with GBS became clear.
* The US Government was forced to pay out millions of dollars to those affected.

Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.

It is being developed by pharmaceutical companies and will be given to about 13million people during the first wave of immunisation, expected to start in October.

Top priority will be given to everyone aged six months to 65 with an underlying health problem, pregnant women and health professionals.

The British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BNSU), part of the British Association of Neurologists, has been asked to monitor closely any cases of GBS as the vaccine is rolled out.

One senior neurologist said last night: ‘I would not have the swine
flu jab because of the GBS risk.’

There are concerns that there could be a repeat of what became known as the ‘1976 debacle’ in the US, where a swine flu vaccine killed 25 people – more than the virus itself.

A mass vaccination was given the go-ahead by President Gerald Ford because scientists believed that the swine flu strain was similar to the one responsible for the 1918-19 pandemic, which killed half a million Americans and 20million people worldwide.

Swine flu vaccines being prepared

The swine flu vaccine being offered to children has not been tested on infants

Within days, symptoms of GBS were reported among those who had been immunised and 25 people died from respiratory failure after severe paralysis. One in 80,000 people came down with the condition. In contrast, just one person died of swine flu.

More than 40million Americans had received the vaccine by the time the programme was stopped after ten weeks. The US Government paid out millions of dollars in compensation to those affected.

The swine flu virus in the new vaccine is a slightly different strain from the 1976 virus, but the possibility of an increased incidence of GBS remains a concern.

Shadow health spokesman Mike Penning said last night: ‘The last thing we want is secret letters handed around experts within the NHS. We need a vaccine but we also need to know about potential risks.

‘Our job is to make sure that the public knows what’s going on. Why
is the Government not being open about this? It’s also very worrying if GPs, who will be administering the vaccine, aren’t being warned.’

Two letters were posted together to neurologists advising them of the concerns. The first, dated July 29, was written by Professor Elizabeth Miller, head of the HPA’s Immunisation Department.

It says: ‘The vaccines used to combat an expected swine influenza pandemic in 1976 were shown to be associated with GBS and were withdrawn from use.

‘GBS has been identified as a condition needing enhanced surveillance when the swine flu vaccines are rolled out.

‘Reporting every case of GBS irrespective of vaccination or disease history is essential for conducting robust epidemiological analyses capable of identifying whether there is an increased risk of GBS in defined time periods after vaccination, or after influenza itself, compared with the background risk.’

The second letter, dated July 27, is from the Association of British Neurologists and is written by Dr Rustam Al-Shahi Salman, chair of its surveillance unit, and Professor Patrick Chinnery, chair of its clinical research committee.
America swine flu 1976

Halted: The 1976 US swine flu campaign

It says: ‘Traditionally, the BNSU has monitored rare diseases for long periods of time. However, the swine influenza (H1N1) pandemic has overtaken us and we need every member’s involvement with a new BNSU survey of Guillain-Barre Syndrome that will start on August 1 and run for approximately nine months.

‘Following the 1976 programme of vaccination against swine influenza in the US, a retrospective study found a possible eight-fold increase in the incidence of GBS.

‘Active prospective ascertainment of every case of GBS in the UK is required. Please tell BNSU about every case.

‘You will have seen Press coverage describing the Government’s concern about releasing a vaccine of unknown safety.’

If there are signs of a rise in GBS after the vaccination programme begins, the Government could decide to halt it.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, leaving them unable to transmit signals to muscles effectively.

It can cause partial paralysis and mostly affects the hands and feet. In serious cases, patients need to be kept on a ventilator, but it can be fatal.

Death is caused by paralysis of the respiratory system, causing the victim to suffocate.
It is not known exactly what causes GBS and research on the subject has been inconclusive.

However, it is thought that one in a million people who have a seasonal flu vaccination could be at risk and it has also been linked to people recovering from a bout of flu of any sort.

The HPA said it was part of the Government’s pandemic plan to monitor GBS cases in the event of a mass vaccination campaign, regardless of the strain of flu involved.
But vaccine experts warned that the letters proved the programme was a ‘guinea-pig trial’.

Dr Tom Jefferson, co-ordinator of the vaccines section of the influential Cochrane Collaboration, an independent group that reviews research, said: ‘New vaccines never behave in the way you expect them to. It may be that there is a link to GBS, which is certainly not something I would wish on anybody.

‘But it could end up being anything because one of the additives in one of the vaccines is a substance called squalene, and none of the studies we’ve extracted have any research on it at all.’

He said squalene, a naturally occurring enzyme, could potentially cause so-far-undiscovered side effects.

Jackie Fletcher, founder of vaccine support group Jabs, said: ‘The Government would not be anticipating this if they didn’t think there was a connection. What we’ve got is a massive guinea-pig trial.’

Professor Chinnery said: ‘During the last swine flu pandemic, it was observed that there was an increased frequency of cases of GBS. No one knows whether it was the virus or the vaccine that caused this.

‘The purpose of the survey is for us to assess rapidly whether there is an increase in the frequency of GBS when the vaccine is released in the UK. It also increases consultants’ awareness of the condition.

Panic over? The number of swine flu cases has fallen sharply in the past few weeks.

‘This is a belt-and-braces approach to safety and is not something people should be substantially worried about as it’s a rare condition.’

If neurologists do identify a case of GBS, it will be logged on a central database.

Details about patients, including blood samples, will be collected and monitored by the HPA.

It is hoped this will help scientists establish why some people develop the condition and whether it is directly related to the vaccine.

But some question why there needs to be a vaccine, given the risks. Dr Richard Halvorsen, author of The Truth About Vaccines, said: ‘For people with serious underlying health problems, the risk of dying from swine flu is probably greater than the risk of side effects from the vaccine.

‘But it would be tragic if we repeated the US example and ended up with more casualties from the jabs.

‘I applaud the Government for recognising the risk but in most cases this is a mild virus which needs a few days in bed. I’d question why we need a vaccine at all.’

Professor Miller at the HPA said: ‘This monitoring system activates pandemic plans that have been in place for a number of years. We’ll be able to get information on whether a patient has had a prior influenza illness and will look at whether influenza itself is linked to GBS.

‘We are not expecting a link to the vaccine but a link to disease, which would make having the vaccine even more important.’

The UK’s medicines watchdog, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, is already monitoring reported side effects from Tamiflu and Relenza and it is set to extend that surveillance to the vaccine.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: ‘The European Medicines Agency has strict processes in place for licensing pandemic vaccines.

‘In preparing for a pandemic, appropriate trials to assess safety and the immune responses have been carried out on vaccines very similar to the swine flu vaccine. The vaccines have been shown to have a good safety profile.

‘It is extremely irresponsible to suggest that the UK would use a vaccine without careful consideration of safety issues. The UK has one of the most successful immunisation programmes in the world.’

I COULDN”T EAT OR SPEAK… IT WAS HORRENDOUS
Hilary Wilkinson

Victim: Hilary Wilkinson spent three months in hospital after she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome
When Hilary Wilkinson woke up with muscle weakness in her left arm and difficulty breathing, doctors initially put it down to a stroke.

But within hours, she was on a ventilator in intensive care after being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

She spent three months in hospital and had to learn how to talk and walk again. But at times, when she was being fed through a drip and needed a tracheotomy just to breathe, she doubted whether she would survive.

The mother of two, 57, from Maryport, Cumbria, had been in good health until she developed a chest infection in March 2006. She gradually became so weak she could not walk downstairs.

Doctors did not diagnose Guillain-Barre until her condition worsened in hospital and tests showed her reflexes slowing down. It is impossible for doctors to know how she contracted the disorder, although it is thought to be linked to some infections.

Mrs Wilkinson said: ‘It was very scary. I couldn’t eat and I couldn’t speak. My arms and feet had no strength and breathing was hard.

I was treated with immunoglobulin, which are proteins found in blood, to stop damage to my nerves. After ten days, I still couldn’t speak and had to mime to nurses or my family.

‘It was absolutely horrendous and I had no idea whether I would get through it. You reach very dark moments at such times and wonder how long it can last.

But I’m a very determined person and I had lots of support.’

After three weeks, she was transferred to a neurological ward, where she had an MRI scan and nerve tests to assess the extent of the damage.

Still unable to speak and in a wheelchair, Mrs Wilkinson eventually began gruelling physiotherapy to improve her muscle strength and movement but it was exhausting and painful.

Three years later, she is almost fully recovered. She can now walk for several miles at a time, has been abroad and carries out voluntary work for a GBS Support Group helpline.

She said: ‘It makes me feel wary that the Government is rolling out this vaccine without any clear idea of the GBS risk, if any. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone and it certainly changed my life.

‘I’m frightened to have the swine flu vaccine if this might happen again – it’s a frightening illness and I think more research needs to be done on the effect of the vaccine.’

Hotline staff given access to confidential records

Confidential NHS staff records and disciplinary complaints could be accessed by hundreds of workers manning the Government’s special swine flu hotline.

They were able to browse through a database of emails containing doctors’ and nurses’ National Insurance numbers, home addresses, dates of birth, mobile phone numbers and scanned passport pages – all details that could be used fraudulently.

And private and confidential complaints sent by hospitals about temporary medical staff – some of whom were named – were also made available to the call-centre workers, who were given a special password to log in to an internal NHS website.

It could be a breach of the Data Protection Act.

The hotline staff work for NHS Professionals, which was set up using taxpayers’ money to employ temporary medical and administrative staff for the health service.

The not-for-profit company runs two of the Government’s swine flu call centres – with 300 staff in Farnborough, Hampshire, and 900 in Watford, Hertfordshire.

Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley described the revelations as ‘disturbing’.

Anne Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Unison, said: ‘There’s no excuse for such a fundamental breach of personal security. Action needs to be taken as soon as possible to make sure this does not happen again.’

A spokeswoman for NHS Professionals would not confirm whether access to the confidential files had been granted.
Source

Swine Flu Vaccine Makers to Profit $50 Billion a Year!! Or more. Some drug companies to date have been selling it at 6 times what it costs to make. So if it cost $5 to make they sell it for $30.

Save Local TV Stations in Canada

I rather like them myself.

People in Europe watch them even. Seems many enjoy the A Channel and CTV. So I am thinking anyone who watches and enjoys these stations could sign the petition or send a message in their defense.

Both CTV and A Channel are valuable assets to all Canadians and others around the world. They both provide excellent news coverage as well. I have used both as a source of information many times. Their reporting is very well done and reliable.  They are both terrific stations.

Many people who cannot afford satellite or cable watch them as well as a few other stations that one can get with rabbit ears or antenna.

Those who cannot afford either cable or satellite need them to stay informed, otherwise would have nothing to watch at all.

So I think they need to be saved.

They have been part of the community for years and have served it well.

So please take the time to help them out. This could happen to many local stations not just ‘A’  Channel now owned by CTV. By saving one you may be saving many local stations and also saving jobs as well.

A Channel has helped out charities like food banks, walks and runs for Cancer, plus numerous other charities as well.  We owe them a few minutes of our time to help them after all they have done for the community.

Please take time to drop a line to the politicians or sign the petition or both.
They support a very large community in many endeavors, we need to support them.  They are always there  to lend a helping hand, now they need you to help them.
Be sure to share. Sharing is a good thing you know.  Remember if you save one,  you may save many local stations across Canada.

Save Canadian TV.

Canadians Send a Message
I Love Local TV

They need our help.

Local TV is in crisis due to an unfair broadcast policy.

Cable and satellite companies are charging you to view ‘A’ Ottawa and they receive nothing.

Without a fairer system, one that sees broadcasters reasonably compensated for their programming without consumers having to pay an additional price, local television will be lost forever.

If you love local, it’s time for your voice to be heard. Email our political leaders or sign the petition below.

SIGN THE PETITION at http://www.petitiononline.com/saveltv/petition.html

For more information go to: savelocal.ctv.ca

For more than 50 years, CTV and ‘A’ have been proud to serve your community. They are leaders not only in the quality of our local news and programming, but also in their commitment to the community.

Cliquez ici pour voir la version française

Prime Minister’s Office:

pm@pm.gc.ca
JAMES MOORE – HERITAGE MINISTER:
Parliamentary email

Moore.J@parl.gc.ca
Constituency email

moorej@parl.gc.ca
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ONTARIO IS THE CHILD POVERTY CENTRE OF CANADA

Poverty is corrosive

By MARYANNE FIRTH

November 27 2008

Niagara residents were taught that local communities are guardians of poverty reduction.

About 60 people visited regional council chambers yesterday to learn how to put a plan in motion to reduce poverty in Ontario by 25 per cent over the next five years.

Social Planning Network of Ontario community co-ordinator Peter Clutterbuck and consultant Marvyn Novick made their stop in Thorold yesterday to discuss a blueprint for change and the importance communities have in that process.

Based on statistics and scenarios discussed during the meeting, social justice activists and their supporters have their work cut out for them.

There are nearly 1.3 million people living in poverty in Ontario, said Novick.

“Chronic poverty is corrosive and eats away at a healthy and inclusive Ontario.”

Ontario is also the child poverty centre of Canada, he said.

When the blueprint was written only months ago, 41 per cent of Ontario children in poverty were living with one parent working fulltime, all year. But the number has since risen to an alarming 45 per cent, he said.

There “isn’t any reason to justify working fulltime, full year and living in poverty,” Novick said.

Clutterbuck said he and Novick are in the midst of a 25-city tour, presenting their plan and gaining feedback from community members to see where changes may need to be made.

He said they hope to provide a “consensus” or “community-tested” document to the provincial government for consideration when completed.

Novick said the main reason poverty reduction is on the government’s agenda is that communities across Ontario stepped forward and got involved.

Premier Dalton McGuinty made a commitment in his first term to develop a poverty reduction strategy by the end of 2008. The plan is expected to be released within the next few weeks, including targets and indicators to be met.

Novick believes this commitment was made because communities were voicing their concerns on the issue.

The premier’s plan will be a foundation of the 25 in 5 Network – a group of organizations and individuals across the province committed to eliminating poverty.

The 25 in 5 target is “not an end, but a beginning,” said Novick. The goal is to evolve to a 50 per cent reduction rate in 10 years.

The biggest issue is that “poverty reduction has never been considered imperative,” he said.

“Imperatives are not choices, but something urgent that requires action.”

He called poverty reduction “easy to talk about and easy to delude about.”

“People always express concern,” he said, but unfortunately, there’s never a right time for action.

“We’re told we can’t invest in poverty reduction with good times or bad.”

To start, communities must change the common view about those struggling with poverty.

Novick said poverty is viewed as a reflection of personal failure.

The misconception is that people made bad choices and are morally or intellectually deficient because of their situation.

There is a “cold language” involved when talking about poverty that appears reasonable, he said. People use personal failure language, which “says ugly things with beautiful words.”

Dependency, passive and cycle of poverty, are some of the terms unfairly used to describe those stuck in the process, said Novick.

It’s assumed that for some people, social assistance is considered “a joy, it’s a free ride, something to aspire to,” he said. These types of words and the assumptions that surround them are “begging for evidence which is never submitted.”

These assumptions are presumed common sense, he said, and are therefore seen as not requiring evidence.

He said it’s time to stop the moral defamation people on social assistance or disability go through.

Change also needs to come from the government, because only structural change in the system can improve the living conditions facing families across the province.

The government should be modelling economic strategies after countries including Denmark, Finland and Sweden, he said. These countries “have low levels of poverty, strong public programs and strong public revenue.”

“High taxes are not good or bad, it’s what you do with them.”

The best way to deal with hard times is to improve the income of vulnerable families and adults, he said.

“Poverty reduction is the key to economic success.”

When increasing income, the money will be spent immediately in the local economy because people are out buying the necessities they need.

Novick called this idea “smart economics.”

System restructuring also needs to be done in areas such as the labour market and social assistance, he said.

Novick said raising minimum wage doesn’t eliminate jobs, but rather “changes bad jobs into good jobs.”

The government also has to look at the gap between income and social assistance, he said.

Ontario has to commit itself to increasing the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,500 from $1,100 because social assistance “only pays for the living needs of adults,” said Novick, who would like to see the maximum federal child benefit payment raised to $5,200 from $3,300.

One of the two pennies cut from GST could easily have paid for the payment raise, with money left over to invest in child care, he said.

Employment insurance also needs restructuring, as only three of 10 workers are able to receive funds when going through the risk of unemployment, said Novick.

To make these changes, communities need to band together and request that action be taken, he said.

“Poverty reduction is our common responsibility, our collective responsibility.”

For more information on poverty reduction visit www.povertywatchontario.ca or www.25in5.ca.

Source

Too many B.C. children living below poverty

By Matt Pearce
November 25 2008

On Friday the statistics on child poverty in Canada came out and once again for the fifth year running, B.C. was the worst in Canada.

Twenty-two per cent of our non-reserve children live below the poverty line as compared with the Canadian average of 16 per cent. This year’s statistics reflect 2006 conditions when the economy was running hot, so we can expect similar if not worse numbers now.

Coincidentally, we dropped to last the year that our current provincial government took power and made sweeping cuts to all services to children, including child and family services and public education.
Why should we be concerned? Children living in poverty drop out of school much more often, get involved with the justice and correctional system earlier and have poorer health outcomes throughout their lives. In short, they cost our society many times more than reducing child poverty would cost us.

The current ideologically driven government policies such as keeping the minimum wage down and reducing social assistance is a bit like paying off the mortgage while letting the roof rot and the foundation fail. The nearly 200,000 children living in poverty now in B.C. could be part of our positive future if we chose elected officials who could see past the next financial report card.
— Matt Pearce
Prince George

Source

The connection between mental illness and homelessness

Poverty in Canada is Very Real and Rising

Canadians using food banks at record levels

Published in: on November 28, 2008 at 5:22 am  Comments Off on ONTARIO IS THE CHILD POVERTY CENTRE OF CANADA  
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Toronto working poor need pay hike: Study

November 18, 2008 

TORONTO – In Canada’s most expensive urban area, Ontario’s minimum wage falls far short of what families need for a decent standard of living, says the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

The study, A Living Wage for Toronto, estimates two working parents raising two young children would need to earn $16.60 an hour each, with both parents working full-time and year-round, to be able to live adequately within the Greater Toronto Area.

“There’s a big difference between having enough to survive – and Ontario’s minimum wage doesn’t even do that – and having enough to participate in the life of the community” says study co-author Hugh Mackenzie, CCPA research associate. “The living wage is the income threshold a family has to cross to avoid being marginalized.”

The study takes into account the major costs facing families raising children in the GTA, and estimates how high their wage should be in order to have a decent standard of life.

“We held focus groups with families in the GTA to confirm our estimates reflected the reality of everyday living,” says co-author Jim Stanford, CCPA research associate. “We discovered that while it covers the basics, our living wage number is still quite modest.

“So many GTA families struggle to pay the rent and put food on the table. They’re working hard, making a major contribution to our economy. It’s only fair that the work they do lifts them out of poverty, and allows them to lead a healthy, full life.”

The study is released in advance of this weekend’s Good Jobs Summit, being organized by the Toronto & York Region Labour Council to improve the quality of jobs in Toronto.

Download the Report/Study:

Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Source

Poverty in Canada is Very Real and Rising

Published in: on November 20, 2008 at 2:17 am  Comments Off on Toronto working poor need pay hike: Study  
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Poverty in Canada is Very Real and Rising

November 18 2008

Poverty in Canada

In 2006, the value of goods and services produced in Canada was over a trillion dollars – amounting to an estimated $35,600 in wealth generated for every man, woman and child in the country, or $142,400 for a family of four.  Despite this vast wealth, there is an ever-widening gap between high-income and low-income individuals and households in Canada. This “growing gap” is contributing to a widening social divide in Canada: a comparative few have unlimited opportunity to fulfill their dreams and potential; many more citizens strain to meet their basic needs. (For excellent detailed information on the growing gap, maintained by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, check here .)

At least 3.4 million people – or about one in ten Canadians – lived in poverty in Canada in 2006. They included an estimated 760,000 children and youth. Demographic groups most susceptible to poverty include Aboriginal people, people with disabilities, single parents (primarily women) and their children, recent immigrants to Canada, and those toiling in low-paying jobs.

To live in poverty in Canada is to live with insufficient and often poor quality food. It is to sleep in poor quality housing, in homeless shelters, or on city streets. It is to be at much greater risk of poor health. It is to be unable to participate fully in one’s community and greater society. And it is to suffer great depths of anxiety and emotional pain, borne by young and old alike.

The persistence of poverty and income inequality, and their negative impacts on health, social cohesion and economic prosperity calls out for vision, leadership and unwavering determination to tackle the root causes of these problems. The National Anti-Poverty Organization is dedicated to this agenda.

Did You Know?

There is no official definition of poverty in Canada and no official “poverty lines” for the nation. However, there are several measures of “low income” which are often used as proxies for poverty lines.  These measures include the Low Income Cut-off (LICO), the Low Income Measure (LIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). For a short review of these measures, check here (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).   NAPO

Since 2006 the poverty rates in Canada have increased a great deal.

One in five children live in poverty or more.  Canada does not keep very good statistics in this area.

I do believe the Government wants to hide the truth form it’s citizens.

There are more full time working homeless people then ever before.

There are more Homeless then before 1995.

Ontario for the first time in history has become a have not province.

Of course Mike Harris and de-regulation and numerous other policies had a profound affect on the necessities such as heat, hydro and housing.  All drastically increased.

His legacy lives on in Ontario. Seems his policies played a great role in the problems Ontario now faces today.

Affordable housing is a thing of the past.

Cutting welfare rates by 20% had a dramatic affect on people. It also took out money from the economy and job losses did occur because of the cuts. Less people spending money means job losses.

Implementing the Work For Welfare also played a great role in lowering wages and punishing the jobless. Working for six months and then one is moved on to the next employers. The employer gets free labour. So why would they hire a person when they can get a new free worker in six months?

Employers also abuse the work incentive programs. Hire an employee and you get a percentage of the wages for the employee from the Government. Many times the employee is fired after the six month period and the Employer hires another employee and gets well you said it a portion of their wages for yet another six month period and the cycle continues.

Abusive employers are common.

His policies on the working people, also decreased wages workers received, and their safety.

Less people spending money, causes job losses.

Many of the Harris policies have been implemented in other provinces as well.

Canadians are not the wealthy strong country it once was.

Many of the policies implemented were in the Free Trade agreement.

Cutting Social programs, destroying labour, lowering wages, reducing environmental protections, de-regulation, etc.

Homelessness and hunger in Ontario

By Lee Parsons

23 October 1998

Several reports over the past weeks have drawn attention to the growth of hunger and homelessness across Canada, and in Ontario in particular.

One such study conducted by the Canadian Association of Food Banks, called “Hunger Count 1998,” reveals that the number of people forced to use food banks has increased dramatically in the past several years. More than 700,000 people used one of 2,141 food banks last year in Canada, an increase of 5.4 percent over 1996. The sharpest rise was in Nova Scotia, which saw an increase of 40 percent. Food bank use in Ontario, while climbing only 2.1 percent, has recorded an increase of over 30 percent in the last three years.

The Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto is the largest of its kind in Ontario and has become a permanent necessity since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. While the food bank issues reports regularly, the approach of winter in Ontario has focused media attention on a number of its recent publications that look at the broader effects of poverty in one of the wealthiest cities in North America.

While a good deal of attention, legitimately enough, has been paid to the plight of poor children in Ontario, who account for 41.5 percent of food bank users, the poverty of their parents and other adults is often overlooked. Revealing statistics in one report from Daily Bread, “Who goes hungry?,” show that among adults polled who use food banks, the majority were childless and a disproportionate two-thirds were in their thirties or forties–prime earning years. With incomes of between 25 to 50 percent below the government low-income cutoff or poverty line, the percentage of those counted as the poorest of the poor is increasing.

Another study reveals the connection between poor health and hunger, as well as other important features of systemic poverty in Ontario and in its largest urban center in particular. Entitled “No Apples today … maybe tomorrow,” the report declares that with almost one-third of those who use food banks suffering poor health, hunger is a health issue. While it may come as no surprise that those who lack adequate nutrition are also more likely to have poor health, this report is valuable in elaborating concretely the impact of the decline in living standards in the province. However, as the study itself states: “Food banks are not a viable option for addressing the long term problem of poor health and hunger.”

On another front the Toronto disaster relief committee issued a report last week calling homelessness a national disaster that should be treated like last winter’s devastating ice storm. Ontario Premier Mike Harris responded by saying, “I don’t know whether it’s a national state of emergency at this point of time. I don’t know whether it’s any worse than last year.”

Advocacy groups have raised the issue of homelessness in anticipation of a large shortfall in available space. Current shelters are filled to capacity. Last year in Toronto 26,000 people used emergency shelters, and that number is expected to increase over the next 12 months. It is estimated that 700 new beds will have to be found to meet the demand even if it stays at last year’s level. Some 4,700 individuals are currently homeless in Toronto, with about 4,200 of them staying in emergency shelters and the rest sleeping outside. The city has set up a task force to find a long-term solution, but without adequate funding officials are pressed simply to meet immediate needs.

Responding to a task force report on homelessness commissioned by her office, Ontario Social Services Minister Janet Ecker stated that the cuts to welfare would help Ontario’s homeless people to build a life off the streets (What BS that was). According to Ecker, the government is out of the subsidized housing business, which she declares is not the only answer to the problem. The report, while outlining the extent of the crisis, offers no solutions and places the responsibility on municipalities.

Ecker applauded the report and went on to boast that there are 133,000 fewer children on welfare today than in 1995 (many ended up homeless). The reason for this change is not that poor families have fared any better over that period, but that changes to welfare eligibility and a 21.6 cut in benefits have removed welfare as a means of support for thousands of poor families. Ecker’s ministry is reportedly seeking to expand the “workfare” program which is currently in place only for public sector and nonprofit agencies.

Opposition critics called the 22-page study pitiful, pointing out that while it calls for cities to get people off the streets and into hostels, the hostels are already full. In Toronto an advisory committee on homelessness has suggested setting up tent cities and trailer parks to solve the growing crisis. The solutions offered resemble measures taken in 1946 when the city faced a housing crisis resulting from the return of soldiers from the Second World War.

Referring to the destruction of social programs by both provincial and federal governments, Councilor Jack Layton, who heads the committee, stated, “The hostels are full, affordable housing programs have been canceled, rents are being allowed to go up–we really are stuck here, and we’ve been abandoned totally by Ottawa and Queen’s Park.” Ann Golden, head of Toronto’s homelessness task force, said the report ignores issues of poverty and the housing market, and the shortage of supportive housing needed to keep the mentally ill off the streets.

NDP Member of the Provincial Parliament Rosario Marchese stated, “This is a man-made crisis that can only be corrected by the provincial government taking the lead–and that means housing.” When the NDP was in power it pioneered the workfare program and quashed plans to build 20,000 nonprofit housing units, measures that contributed to the current social crisis.

Actions taken by every level of government have helped swell the ranks of the poor. The federal Liberals have cut billions from transfer payments to the provinces that finance social programs, while posting a surplus of nearly $20 billion in employment insurance since restricting eligibility and reducing rates last year. Over the last 10 years the proportion of the unemployed who actually qualify for benefits has fallen from 83 to 42 percent.

In Ontario the provincial Conservative government has deepened its victimization of the poor since slashing welfare rates three years ago. Hospital closings and cuts to health care have thrown thousands of mentally ill people into the streets to fend for themselves. Waiting lists for subsidized housing now extend years into the future, with no new housing being built and existing shelter being privatized.

In Toronto tuition hikes and a shortage of decent paying jobs have worsened conditions for thousands of young people. In typical fashion bureaucrats at city hall last summer launched a campaign to criminalize the so-called “squeegee kids,” youth who make money by washing car windshields.

The harsh economic reality is about to get worse. While the full impact of government cuts to welfare, social programs and subsidized housing are now making themselves felt, it is clear that the anticipated economic downturn will place whole new sections of the population in jeopardy.

The expressions of concern from the various parliamentary parties are hypocritical. The Liberals, Tories and NDP have each, over the past period, contributed to the growth of poverty in response to the demands of big business to divest government of social responsibility and leave the poor at the mercy of the market.

Source

Jobs outsourced to other countries also played a role in job losses as well. Many were out souced after the Free Trade Agreement was signed.

Those on welfare are more prone to illness caused by malnutrition and poor living conditions.

Job losses, low wages and lack of safety for workers have a profound impact on all concerned.

The fewer jobs, the more people have to depend on welfare. It’s a vicious circle.

Canada needs a change for a better future.

Canada is not alone in this however there are other countries, who have had increased poverty.

All the talk of Free Trade helping people out of poverty is just fabricated propaganda.

Free Trade gave Corporations everything they wanted. Cheap slave labour, more profit and the ability to pollute.

What Free Trade is Really About

From the original Canada-US free trade agreement and NAFTA to the WTO agreements and the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas, these international treaties are about making it easier for the world’s largest corporations to lower their costs. It allows them to seek out the cheapest workers, the most lax environmental laws and to use the threat of relocation to get what they want. The notion that any country, its workers or consumers benefit from such agreements is a myth.

‘Millions’ of UK young in poverty

Nearly 30% of US Families Subsist on Poverty Wages

New USDA Statistics Highlight Growing Hunger Crisis in the U.S.

Links to Numerous Anti-Poverty Organizations around the world