News Stories of Interest, Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good morning. Today is celebrated as Emancipation Day in Washington, D.C., marking the day in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation emancipating slaves within the District of Colombia. It’s the Queen’s Birthday (Dronningens fødselsdag) in Denmark. Here in Alberta, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff.

[ ]Alberta Health Services spent nearly $1 billion on sole source contracts

Alberta Health Services spent nearly $1 billion on government contracts without shopping around for the best price, and repeatedly circumvented the organization’s own internal spending rules, the Wildrose Party said yesterday. Documents obtained using Alberta’s freedom of information laws show that between January 2011 and January 2013, AHS sole-sourced 1,275 contracts totalling $990 million.

[ ]Pensions ‘defining issue’ of legislative session: Mason

Alberta’s New Democrats say they will focus the remainder of the spring session on the government’s plan to attack retirement security for public-sector employees. “The changes this PC government is expected to make to pensions will affect hundreds of thousands of Albertans every day,” NDP Leader Brian Mason said. “Endangering the retirement security of this many families is something that this government needs to be accountable for – and so the New Democrats will make this the fight of the session.”

[ ]Why hasn’t nursing crisis improved since 2008?

The Toronto Star asks why there’s been no improvement to Canada’s shortage of nurses since 2008, when it wrote a feature on the problem, when the solutions are all well known and understood.

[ ]Malaysian man first Asian victim of deadly MERS virus

A Malaysian man who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has become the first death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome, while the Philippines has isolated a health worker who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.

[ ]Stephen Mandel opts out of Tory leadership race

Former Edmonton mayor Stephen Mandel Tweeted this morning he won’t be seeking the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party.

Unifor endorses Hassann Yussuf for CLC president, Tweet says

A Tweet this morning says the national executive board of Unifor (the former CAW and CEP national unions) has endorsed Hassann Yussuf as president of the CLC. Yussuf is challenging CLC President Ken Georgetti. No link yet.

[ ]Water well contamination still a concern in Edson

A mother who lives in near a gas plant in the Edson area is worried about her family’s health, after learning that they have been drinking contaminated well water.

[ ]U of A Hospital nurse enters pageant

Kiki Chen, a Registered Nurse at the University of Alberta Hospital, is a contestant in the 2014 Miss World Canada competition – a controversial activity by the sound of CBC Radio 2’s fairly confrontational interview this morning. The link is to Ms. Chen’s contestant’s page.

This will be my last news summary for a couple of weeks, as UNA work and some family business will require me to be out of town. I look forward t resuming these summaries as soon as possible. DJC

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

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