Finally, the Liberals are taking a step toward pharmacare | The Star

The Liberal government’s move to reset and lower drug prices is a welcome first step to ensure all Canadians have drug coverage.

The Trudeau government took an important step toward a national pharmacare program on Friday when it announced changes to how prices for drugs are set in Canada.

The adjustments are expected to produce $13 billion in savings over the next decade by giving new, more sensible guidelines to the review board that sets the maximum prices companies can charge for prescription drugs.

Lowering drug prices will make a national program a lot more affordable, which is why Health Minister Ginettte Petitpas Taylor positioned it as a necessary move toward that long-delayed goal.

That’s the glass-half-full way of looking at it. But it’s also true that the Liberal government has waited until very late in its mandate to take even this rather modest step.

The timing is clearly no accident. It sets up universal pharmacare to be one of the key issues in the upcoming federal election – as it should be.

After years of debate, and years of no action, it’s high time for Canadians to have a say on one of the most important questions affecting their overall health.

Fully 88 per cent of Canadians say they favour a universal pharmacare program. And, as it stand, the Liberals, NDP and Green Party all support such a program — in principle at least. Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, on the other hand, says it would be unaffordable and unworkable.

That position is increasingly hard to justify. Two Royal Commissions and a National Forum on Health going back to the 1960s all recommended that Canada adopt a national pharmacare program. An expert panel headed by former Ontario health minister Eric Hoskins came to the same conclusion as recently as June.

Indeed, Canada is the only country in the western world with a universal health care system that does not include drug coverage.

As a result, one in five Canadians who are not covered by government, private or employer drug plans struggle to pay for their prescription medicines.

Some resort to not buying food in order to pay for them. Others cut prescription dosages in half, reducing their efficacy. Still others simply go without, ending up in hospital with medical complications that could have been avoided.

In other words, to save on drugs this country spends a fortune on hospital care for people who could have avoided illnesses. That doesn’t include the social costs that arise when parents, for example, can’t work because they didn’t get the right drugs for their ailments.

The Liberals should have moved more aggressively on this front during their four-year mandate, but it’s not hard to understand why they took a cautious approach.

One reason is the cost of establishing the program in the first place, estimated at some $15 billion once it is fully implemented. Hence the drive to lower the price of prescription drugs.

Further, changes are also expected to cut drug company earnings by an estimated $9 billion over 10 years. And they have a formidable lobbying arm. Indeed, Big Pharma didn’t waste a moment getting their two cents in after Petitpas Taylor’s announcement.

Innovative Medicines Canada, the Canadian branch of Big Pharma’s global lobby, warned that the proposed measures could limit Canadians’ access to new medicines by delaying or discouraging the introduction of new drugs in this country and reducing incentives for investment in health research.

But the government is right to face Big Pharma down for the good of all Canadians.

The fact is, patients in countries with universal pharmacare have not seen a reduction in accessibility to new drugs.

And it beggars belief that pharmaceutical companies would not conduct research to create new drugs that could earn them billions just because wee Canada introduces a pharmacare program.

In the end, the bottom line should not be about drug company profits. It should be about saving money — and lives.

 

Source: Finally, the Liberals are taking a step toward pharmacare | The Star

19-year-old man charged with attempted murder in Church and Adelaide shooting

A 19-year-old Toronto man has been charged with attempted murder after a shooting in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood on Monday.

Bryann Aguilar, CP24.com
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 5:10PM EDT 

A  fourth man has been charged with attempted murder in connection to a shooting in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood on Monday.

Toronto police said they were called for a shooting in the Lombard and Church streets, north of Adelaide Street,  around 4:16 a.m. on Aug. 5.

Investigators said occupants of a vehicle allegedly shot at two men sitting inside a parked car.

Police alleged a man in the parked car returned fire at the vehicle.

Two men were seriously injured in the shooting.

On Friday, police said a firearm was seized after executing a search warrant in the area of Parliament and Gerrard streets.

Malieck Mohamed, 19, of Toronto has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, discharge with intent, unauthorized possession in a motor vehicle and unauthorized possession of a firearm.

He is also facing careless storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, and possessing weapon obtained by Commission of offence.

Mohamed is scheduled to appear on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Toronto police have arrested and charged two Toronto men, aged 27 and 40 and a 29-year-old Brampton man in connection to the shooting.

Investigators said a fourth suspect, a 27-year-old Toronto man, is wanted for the shooting is still outstanding.

Source: 19-year-old man charged with attempted murder in Church and Adelaide shooting

Pilot project launches free sunscreen dispensers in Kelowna | CBC News

Project founders say they want to spare others from experiencing skin cancer

Left to right: David Walker from the Kelowna Golf and Country Club, Coun. Maxine DeHart, Chris Lewis from Tourism Kelowna, Karen Wells and Kathy Barnard who were on hand at a launch for two new free sunscreen dispensers in Kelowna. (Submitted by Karen Wells)

In the same week temperatures soared above 35 C in Kelowna, two foundations joined forces to launch a new pilot project providing free sunscreen.

Two automatic touchless sunscreen dispensers have been set up, one beside the Kelowna Visitor Centre downtown and one at the Kelowna Golf and Country Club.

“It’s nice sunscreen too. It’s very white, and that’s the zinc oxide, which is a very important ingredient, a natural ingredient,” said Karin Wells, founder of Morgan’s Mole Patrol.

Wells, along with Kathy Barnard, founder of the Save Your Skin Foundation, partnered up on this project because of the impact skin cancer has had on both of their lives.

Each dispenser holds about 1,000 millilitres of sunscreen. (Laurence Watt/CBC)

Wells’ son Morgan died from melanoma in 2016 at the age of 33, and Barnard was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2003 and went into remission in 2007.

“What I’m trying to do now is raise awareness so that I can spare one family from going through what we’ve gone through,” Wells told Daybreak South’s Laurence Watt.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, in 2017, an estimated 7,200 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer and 1,250 died from it.

“I can’t say that I really would have done such a thing if I hadn’t been through this tragedy,” said Wells.

Pilot project

“Kelowna will be the first to put them up, I’m proud to say,” said Barnard. She and Wells hope to later expand the dispensers to other cities across the province.

The City of Kelowna in a statement emailed to CBC said it hopes the dispensers help raise awareness that the Canadian Dermatology Society has found more than 90 per cent of melanomas are cause by UV exposure and that only 10 per cent of 16- and 17-year-olds use sunscreen daily.

“Having it available to anyone who has not brought their own to our beaches and parks will help keep more residents and visitors to Kelowna safe from skin cancers.”

One of the sunscreen dispensers is set up outside of the downtown Kelowna Visitor Centre, close to a number of beaches where tourists and locals hang out. (Laurence Watt/CBC)

The dispensers in the central Okanagan use Health Canada approved Bright Guard Natural SPF 30 and can hold up to 1,000 millilitres inside of them. Each dispenses enough sunscreen for approximately one arm at a time and is expected to be able to serve 300 to 400 people, said Wells.

She hopes people will use it if they forget to put sunscreen on when they go outside or to help reapply every two hours.

‘Bittersweet’

Setting up the first dispensers in Kelowna was a “bittersweet” moment for Wells.

“I mean, my son made such a sacrifice. But, you know, in his honour, that’s why we’re doing this.”

Next year, Wells hopes to have more dispensers across the city.

Two foundations in Toronto started a similar project in 2017, setting up free sunscreen dispensers in parks and there are now more than 70 across the city.

“I’d like to see this in all the schools. I’d like to see it on all the soccer fields. I mean it’s endless. This winter, I’m going to be targeting the ski hills, because, they get more sun than we do in the winter,” she said

Source: Pilot project launches free sunscreen dispensers in Kelowna | CBC News

Canadian WWE star ‘Natalya’ Neidhart blazes new trails for women in wrestling

Canadian WWE wrestler ‘Natalya’ Neidhart discusses her family’s wrestling legacy and plans to defeat fellow superstar Becky Lynch at Sunday’s SummerSlam being held in Toronto.

Alexandra Mae Jones, CTVNews.ca with a report from CTV News’s Sandie Rinaldo
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 10:00PM EDT 
Last Updated Saturday, August 10, 2019 10:29PM EDT

Natalie Neidhart may be part of a wrestling dynasty, but as the powerhouse ‘Natalya,’ she is forging her own story in women’s wrestling.

Ahead of this year’s WWE SummerSlam wrestling extravaganza, being held Sunday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Neidhart sat down with CTV News’s Sandie Rinaldo to talk about her family’s wrestling legacy, women in wrestling and her plans to defeat fellow superstar Becky Lynch.

A winner of both WWE’s Divas Championship and WWE’s SmackDown Women’s, Neidhart comes from a long line of professional wrestlers.

The Calgary-born wrestler makes up the third generation of wrestlers from the “Hart” lineage. Her grandfather on her mother’s side, Stu Hart, trained well known wrestling stars, and his eight sons all went on to be wrestlers, two of them gaining significant fame in the pro-wrestling world.

“When your uncle is Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart, one of the greatest superstars in the history of WWE and a Canadian icon, it’s hard,” Neidhart told CTV News.

The pressure, she added, came not from her family members, but from her own desire to “be great.”

“Wrestling is in my blood,” she said. “Growing up, we didn’t have a sandbox in our backyard. We had a wrestling ring.”

But carrying on her family’s legacy in the ring was not a foregone conclusion.

Her father, Jim Neidhart, did not want her to get into the sport at first. As a former wrestler, he’d seen how tough the industry could be for women.

“I was his baby girl,” Neidhart said. “So he always tried to protect me … my Dad didn’t want me getting hurt because at that time it was more of a man’s world.”

But the face of professional wrestling is changing in favour of women.

At last year’s WrestleMania, women were the main event for the first time in 35 years, with Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair serving as the headliners.

“Right now, there’s a women’s evolution in WWE and the women are really at the forefront,” Neidhart said. “For the first time ever in the industry … the girls are front and center.”

Neidhart believes the draw of women in wrestling is that “women are more emotional,” — flipping a common insult used against women in sports on its head.

“I think the women are just so unique to watch because I feel like we’re more passionate than the men,” she explained. “I’m going to blaze my own trail, which has been remarkable and exciting.”

She said before her father passed away last summer, he had come around on her wrestling, and “ended up becoming my biggest fan.”

On Sunday, Neidhart will go head-to-head with current women’s champion Becky Lynch, the first woman to beat Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. Neidhart says she’s excited to wrestle her superstar opponent, known for her confidence in the ring.

“She believes so much in her heart that she is the best,” she said. “But I also believe that I’m the best.”

Neidhart trained in Calgary at a gym known as the “Hart Dungeon,” where countless professionals—predominantly men—have honed their body slams and submission holds. But she says the gender imbalance made her a more determined, resilient wrestler.

“There was one other girl and myself and then 20 guys, 30 guys,” she said. “So if she wasn’t at the practice I had to wrestle men.”

Sunday’s match will serve as a milestone moment for Neidhart, not only for the opportunity to steal the women’s championship title from Lynch, but to compete in the country she calls home.

“I’m at a point right now where I’ve never felt so inspired to compete and perform, especially in my home country of Canada,” she said.

She wants spectators to focus on her passion when she challenges Lynch.

“You will feel something, you’ll feel an emotional connection, but you also understand that I thought very, very hard to get here,” she said.

“And when I win the Raw Women’s championship, you’ll know why—because I have grit, determination and passion.”

Source: Canadian WWE star ‘Natalya’ Neidhart blazes new trails for women in wrestling

Chilliwack apartment complex blaze displaces residents

Fire officials say the cause of a blaze that displaced a number residents of a Chilliwack apartment complex early Saturday morning appears to have been accidental.

Fire officials say the cause of a blaze that displaced a number residents of a Chilliwack apartment complex early Saturday morning appears to have been accidental

Global News

Global News

The fire began in a fourth floor unit of the complex in the 45000 block of Stevenson Road near midnight, and spread into the structure’s attic space.

Global News

Global News

Crews brought the main fire under control fairly quickly, and worked through the night to put out any remaining hot spots, finishing up by 8 a.m.

Global News

Global News

The top floor and roof of the apartment complex suffered major fire and structural damage, while the lower floors suffered major water damage.

Global News

Global News

A number of displaced residents were bused to nearby Tyson Elementary School for temporary accommodation, and assisted by firefighters throughout the afternoon in retrieving essential items from their suites.

Global News

Global News

One firefighter received a minor injury fighting the fire, and was treated at the scene.

Global News

Global News

The Chilliwack Fire Department continues to investigate.

Source: Chilliwack apartment complex blaze displaces residents

Ont. man charged in connection with $20M investment fraud investigation

Police in Ontario have laid charges against a man who allegedly defrauded dozens of people of $20 million.

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 12:24PM EDT 

Police in Ontario have laid charges against a man who allegedly defrauded dozens of people of $20 million.

York Regional Police said 42-year-old Derek Scheinman ran a company called New Horizons Mortgage Investment Corporation.

In 2017, police launched an investigation after a woman came forward alleging she had fallen victim to a mortgage fraud investment scam.

Throughout the investigation, police said they found 33 victims, who Scheinman had allegedly defrauded of a total of $20 million.

Police arrested Scheinman in Barrie, Ont. on July 31. On Friday, investigators announced he had been charged with defrauding the public, fraud over $5,000, possession of the proceeds of crime, laundering the proceeds of crime, and falsification of documents.

His first court appearance was scheduled for Aug. 9.

Police say that the investigation is ongoing, and urge anyone else who may have been a victim to contact them.

Source: Ont. man charged in connection with $20M investment fraud investigation

Two men wanted for break and enter in downtown Toronto

Toronto police are asking the public’s help in identifying two men, who alleged to have stole items in two condo units in downtown Toronto last month.

Bryann Aguilar,, CTV News Toronto
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 5:03PM EDT 

Toronto police are asking the public’s help in identifying two men, who alleged to have stole items in two condo units in downtown Toronto last month.

Police said two unknown men gained access into two separate units within a condominium building during the daytime hours in the area of Harbour Street and Bay Street on July 26.

It is alleged that the suspects stole several items from the unit.

Downtown Toronto theft

Police have released images of the two men which were captured by security camera.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police or Crime Stoppers.

Source: Two men wanted for break and enter in downtown Toronto

RCMP find item that may be connected to McLeod and Schmegelsky investigation

RCMP say they’ve found an item that could be relevant to their investigation into two murder suspects whose bodies they believe they located earlier in the week.

The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, August 10, 2019 5:44PM EDT 

GILLAM, Man. – RCMP say they’ve found an item that could be relevant to their investigation into two murder suspects whose bodies they believe they located earlier in the week.

Sgt. Paul Manaigre says in an email that six officers completed a ground search on Friday around the area on the Nelson River near Gillam where Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, are believed to have been found dead on Wednesday.

Autopsies are still being conducted in Winnipeg to confirm the identities.

Manaigre says the area of the search extended to where a burned-out vehicle the pair travelled in was dumped, about eight kilometres from where the bodies were found.

He did not say what the item found Friday was, but says it “may be of interest to the investigation” and “will have to be examined to determine its relevance.”

McLeod and Schmegelsky were charged with second-degree murder in the death of a University of British Columbia botany lecturer and were also wanted in the murder of a young tourist couple in northern B.C.

The bodies of the three were found in mid-July near highways in northern B.C., and a manhunt lasting two weeks followed.

Source: RCMP find item that may be connected to McLeod and Schmegelsky investigation

Police to search rural properties in investigation into missing woman

Homicide detectives are now helping investigate the case of an Edmonton woman who has been missing for two months, scouring rural properties southeast of the city for new evidence and asking the public for help.

Homicide detectives are now helping investigate the case of an Edmonton woman who has been missing for two months, scouring rural properties southeast of the city for new evidence and asking the public for help.

Thirty-two-year-old Patricia Wendy Pangracs was last heard from on June 8 and was reported missing by a friend on July 8. The month-long investigation has led police to believe that there are additional, suspicious circumstances involved, but it has been slow to evolve, said Det. Jared Buhler at a press conference.

“I’m looking for Patricia, alive or dead. The honest answer is that I don’t know if Patricia is alive or dead,” said Buhler.

On Saturday, 24 civilians and five canine units began a co-ordinated search with police across four rural properties immediately surrounding the intersection of Township Road 514 and Range Road 233 in Strathcona County. The missing persons unit that has been investigating the case so far is now collaborating with the homicide department.

“We’ve come to believe that this is the place she was last seen, or heard from. It’s possible that she left personal belongings in this area, and we’re looking for that or any other evidence that might relate to this investigation. Patricia might have sought shelter on an acreage or farm around here,” said Buhler.

The Edmonton Police Service is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing 32-year-old woman.Patricia Wendy Pangracs was last heard from on Saturday, June 8, 2019, and was reported missing on Monday, July 8, 2019. Supplied by the Edmonton Police Service.

On June 7, Pangracs was spotted at a gas station in the town of Bruderheim, approximately 50 minutes northeast of Edmonton, in a 2011 white Cadillac CTS with damage to its front bumper. A photograph taken in that gas station is the latest image police were able to obtain of Pangracs, and police believe she was wearing the same clothing in the photograph that she was wearing when she went missing.

Police also released a map of a route in Beaumont that they believe Pangracs travelled on her way to the intersection in rural Strathcona. That route includes 60 Avenue to Rue Montalet, 50 Street, and Township Road 510 to the intersection of Township Road 514 and Range Road 233. They asked residents of Beaumont who may have exterior security cameras on that route to check footage from the night of June 8, between 3:30 a.m. to 6 a.m., for any vehicle or pedestrian activity and contact police.

“What happened between Beaumont and here is where we are focusing our efforts,” said Buhler.

Pangracs left the Cadillac at some point that morning and was on foot when she was last spotted, said Buhler.

A number of people Pangracs associated with were involved in series of conflicts known to police, some of which resulted in violence and criminal activity, both before and after her disappearance, Buhler said. While not releasing the details of the investigation, Buhler said that those circumstances – some of which involved Pangracs directly – have led  police to be concerned about Pangracs’ well-being.

“In the circles that she was travelling with, people might be reluctant to speak to the police – they may even have a little bit of jeopardy in some of these incidents, but can assure them that if they are talking to us that we want to know about Patricia, and that will be the focus of our discussion with them,” said Buhler.

Pangracs is described as five-foot-five and 130 lbs. with black hair and brown eyes.

“Due to the large area of land we are searching, we are also asking residents who live or have property in the area of Range Road 233 and Township Road 514 to check their properties, sheds and other outbuildings for anything unusual,” says Buhler.

The Edmonton Police Service released a map of Beaumont detailing a route believed to be taken by missing person Patricia Pangracs on June 8, and is asking for the public’s assistance in checking security footage for information on who might have travelled ths route. Supplied by Edmonton Police Service.

32-year-old Patricia Wendy Pangracs was last heard from on June 8 and reported missing on July 8. Edmonton police said her disappearance is “out of character.” Edmonton

-With files from Anna Junker

lijohnson@postmedia.com

twitter.com/reportrix

Source: Police to search rural properties in investigation into missing woman