News Stories of Interest, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013

It’s Miner’s Day in Ukraine, Slovak National Uprising Anniversary in Slovakia, and Telugo Language Day in India. It looks like it’s Secrets Day here in Canada. Leastways, there were more than the usual number of stories involving secrets that may be of interest to UNA members and staff.

Finance minister says Alberta finances now in ‘good shape’

Finance Minister Doug Horner is promising “good news” in today’s first-quarter fiscal update, but said he’s not banking on the surge in energy prices now being spurred by the international crisis involving Syria. In an interview, Horner said Wednesday that setting aside the flood, the province remains in good shape. Revenues will be higher than projected in the spring budget and a deficit pegged at nearly $2 billion will be smaller, he said.

Non-union fast food workers strike throughout U.S.

Fast-food protests are under way in cities including New York, Chicago and Detroit, with organizers expecting the biggest national walkouts yet in a demand for higher wages. Similar protests organized by unions and community groups in cities over the past several months have brought considerable media attention to a staple of the fast-food industry – the so-called “McJobs” that are known for their low pay and limited prospects. But it’s not clear what impact, if any, they will have on business.

Labour relations: beware confidentiality breaches

It was really a secret! A veteran Barrie police officer has been ordered to refund of 28 months of back pay, about $15,000, that he won in a grievance settlement because he told fellow officers details of his award on an employee bulletin board. His revelation violated a confidentiality agreement.

AHS called callous for exiting Holy Cross’

Controversy over Alberta Health Services’ decision to scrub its leases with Holy Cross Centre escalated Wednesday as the owners of the former hospital called the provincial medical authority’s actions “callous” in the wake of flood devastation. As the leading Holy Cross Centre tenant, AHS’s decision to walk away before flood repairs are complete could have devastating consequences for the entire Mission facility, said Dale Couprie, senior manager with Enterprise Universal.

Hat detox location chosen … somewhere

A site has finally been selected for a residential detoxification centre in Medicine Hat, the Medicine Hat News reports. However, the location in question is still a secret. Construction of the $7.1-million facility is expected to start next year though.

Edmonton police seek suspect in attacks on women near U of A Hospital

Police are warning women to be careful walking in the University of Alberta area after dark after a woman was hit, choked and chased by a man in a ski mask. The 26-year-old woman was walking home from work around 3:30 a.m. Sunday when a man behind her suddenly struck her on the face, police said Wednesday.

Hantavirus reported in Alberta; ditto West Nile virus

Alberta Health Services says a resident of central Alberta has been sickened by hantavirus – but just where is a secret. AHS is urging Albertans to take precautions when cleaning up rodent droppings. Meanwhile, AHS also reports the presence of West Mile virus, which is spread by insects, in Alberta.

Birth control pill package containing placebo sparks warning

Women who have been taking an oral contraceptive that’s been recalled due to a packaging error could be at risk of an unwanted pregnancy if the entire batch was affected, says the head of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. Dr. Jennifer Blake said women who have been taking the birth-control pill Freya-28 in the last few months should speak to their doctors and temporarily use an additional method of contraception. On Tuesday, Health Canada issued a notice of recall for Freya-28 after a pharmacy reported that a package had been found that contained a placebo pill in place of an active one.

Uh… wait times are a problem: Globe columnist

In a not terribly insightful column on the Alberta queue-jumping inquiry, Globe and Mail political columnist Jeffrey Simpson concludes that “as long as wait times don’t improve, and the queues stay long and patient frustrations continue, at least some people will implore, hector, cajole, push and do whatever they can to get faster treatment.” Not his best effort.

David Climenhaga
Communications Advisor
United Nurses of Alberta
780-425-1025 (Office)
780-717-2943 (Cellular)

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