News Stories of Interest, Thursday, July 10, 2014

Good morning. It’s Independence Day in the Bahamas (from Britain in 1973). It’s also Armed Forces Day in Mauritania and the National Day of Commemoration in Ireland (of all Irish people who have died in war and other military actions). And, hey, it’s Beatles Day in Liverpool, and should be here in Alberta too. There was surprisingly little media follow-up on the tentative deal between UNA and the Provincial Agreement employers, other than an odd story by the Medicine Hat News, listed below with other news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:

[ ]Job Action no longer an option

Terms and conditions for a new nurses contract have been recommended by a mediator but, if nurses are not in agreement, job action is no longer allowed under Alberta’s new Public Sector Services Continuation Act, the Medicine Hat News reports. “Job Action is no longer an option. The government introduced Bill 45, which would levy fines of $2.5 million a day for just talking about/considering this,” UNA President Heather Smith said in response to a question by a reporter. “We are taking this to the courts.”

[ ]Woman in critical condition after being struck by car near UNA Provincial Office

A woman in her early 20s is in critical condition after she was struck by a vehicle in a downtown crosswalk yesterday night. Police said at about 8:45 p.m. the victim was about three-quarters of the way across Jasper Avenue at 119th Street when she was hit by an eastbound car. The crosswalk is poorly marked and without warning lights.

[ ]Anti-smoking advocates question Alberta law delay

Anti-tobacco activists are accusing the province of “dragging its heels” and delaying the implementation of tobacco reduction laws almost eight months after the bill was first passed. Les Hagen, executive director of Action on Smoking & Health, said the group is concerned the bill banning flavoured tobacco and smoking in cars with kids won’t be proclaimed before the next election, which could result in it being sent to the legislative graveyard.

[ ]Rabies scare in Lethbridge

An eight-year-old golden retriever is in quarantine after coming in contact with a rabies-infected bat. The dog was brought into a Lethbridge pet hospital Tuesday, after having found a live bat lying on the sidewalk in a west side neighbourhood. As a result, Alberta Health Services and area vets are encouraging locals to take precautions to prevent the spread of rabies. The bat was euthanized and sent away for testing, the dog was examined and given the rabies vaccine, and no one can say we’re not trying to cover ALL Alberta’s health stories in this summary.

[ ]Ontario privacy watchdog probes release of private information

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario is investigating after a Sarnia woman was contacted by a private cosmetic surgery clinic that offered to perform a procedure she had already booked at a public hospital. Patricia Pede said she and her husband were stunned when someone from the Centric Health plastic surgery clinic called in March to try to convince her to move her procedure — elective surgery covered by OHIP — to the private facility. She said the clinic, which she had never contacted before, even offered a discount on a follow-up surgery.

[ ]Don’t forget, it’s not too late to speak out for your retirement security

You have until Friday, Aug. 15, to write in to the all-party Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future to tell them you oppose the government’s proposals to weaken pensions in Alberta. Join the thousands of Albertans who spoke up at meetings all over the province and opposed Bills 9 and 10.

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

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