May 2014

Health & Safety

Canada orders Transport Operators to Ensure Safety of Clean Water Offered to Passengers

Transport operators of planes, trains and passenger ships in Canada have been ordered to guarantee the safety of the clean water they offer to their passengers by making sure they adhere to the latest industry or scientific standards.

A report by CTV News said operators are still given the option of to offer prepackaged water bottles and ice or tap water to passengers for their drinking, hand washing, oral hygiene and food preparation requirements, but must ensure that the latter had been first subjected to testing.

Mental Health Week: Taking Action in the Workplace

May 5 marks the start of Mental Health Week in Canada, which is designed to encourage people to learn, talk, reflect and engage with others on all issues relating to mental health. These discussions are increasingly taking place in the workplace, where the focus is on acknowledging, supporting and accommodating employees who experience mental health challenges.

Pregnant Drivers face Higher Risks for Serious Motor Vehicle Crash

Women in their second trimester of pregnancy are at much greater risk of a serious motor vehicle crash compared with the same women before pregnancy, say Canadian doctors who want obstetricians to remind their patients about road safety.

In Monday's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers crunched data on emergency department visits for more than 507,000 women who gave birth in Ontario over five years.

Library Changes seen as Risk to Health Canada’s Credibility

Managers at Health Canada admitted that changes to the department's library services would lead to risks to the department's credibility and its ability to produce evidence-based decisions, according to documents obtained by CBC News.

The managers' concerns have one observer saying that if the federal health minister doesn't reverse the changes, "she's putting Canadians at serious risk."

Emergency Room Doctors want Bikers to Wear Helmets

According to statistics from the Saskatoon Health Region, only 22 per cent of bikers in Saskatchewan wear helmets compared to 37 per cent in the rest of Canada.

Research has shown wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head and brain injury by 85 per cent.

It’s not unusual for us to have someone come in with some type of a head injury as a result of a bicycle mishap,” says Dr. Emily Sullivan.

Human Resources

Government of Canada Introduced Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL)

The new Anti-Spam legislation act will take effect on July 1, 2014. The purpose of this legislation is to further protect Canadians while still ensuring that businesses will be able to compete in a global marketplace.

This site, hosted by the Government of Canada goes through some of the most significant questions around the new legislation, what is spam and what are some of the things companies need to start monitoring to maintain compliance.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program faces Renewed call for Audit

The federal Liberals are proposing changes to Canada's troubled Temporary Foreign Worker Program, including regular probes by the auditor general.

Liberal immigration critic John McCallum says the program needs immediate reforms after Employment Minister Jason Kenney suspended its use by the fast-food industry amid allegations the program is being abused.

Best Jobs in Canada, 2014

Canadian Business magazine has come out with its rankings of Canada's best jobs. And unlike last year, when oil industry jobs ranked first and third, this time the legal profession emerged as the most lucrative.

Lawyers topped the magazine's list of 100 jobs, while government positions also figured prominently.

The health profession also proved a hot one on this year's list. Health care manager, head nurse, and psychologist positions all ranked well.

Economy Loses 28,900 jobs, Unemployment Rate stays at 6.9%

The latest labour-market data says the Canadian economy unexpectedly lost 28,900 net jobs in April, suffering its biggest employment drop since December 2013.

Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey found the unemployment rate remained at 6.9 per cent for the second straight month, suggesting that some Canadians had given up looking for work.

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association and BioTalent Canada joins forces to Fuel Canada’s Bio-Economy

The Canadian Renewable Fuels Association (CRFA) and BioTalent Canada today announced a new alliance connecting CRFA members to BioTalent Canada's suite of essential human resource tools and services.

"CRFA members are at the forefront of creating the green jobs of the future," said CRFA President W. Scott Thurlow. "This partnership with BioTalent Canada will help connect our members to the talent and human resources products and services needed to build Canada's emerging bio-economy."

French-Speaking Health Care Workers Urged to Register

A campaign is underway on P.E.I. to encourage health care workers who speak French to register their names in a directory.

The P.E.I. French Health Network is running the project. It's designed to increase access to French services across the Island.


Blame Pharma for Slow Drug Approvals

When it comes to approving new medicines, Canada is much slower than the US and the European Union. And some critics blame the government. But a study just published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal points a finger at a surprising culprit.

Researchers from the Department of Economics at the University of Calgary compared the approval process of two hundred and fifty-nine prescription drugs in Canada with the approval process in the US and the European Union or EU. On average, it took Health Canada around ninety days longer than it took the EU or the US to approve of new drugs. Ninety days is not insignificant, but compared to the real culprit, it's a trivial delay.  The researchers discovered that the biggest factor by far is how long it takes drug companies in Canada to apply to the government to have their drugs approved.

Atlantic Blood Collection Closure Leaves Patients in the Lurch

Patients in the Halifax area who relied on home visits to give blood samples say they're scrambling after the Capital District Health Authority abruptly ended its contract with Atlantic Blood Collection.

There are roughly 50 people who count on home visits including John Thompson, who was supposed to have blood taken on Monday.

The 80-year-old man said he finds it difficult to get to a clinic after a recent surgery and was prepared to pay for a home visit so a blood sample could be taken and tested.

Nurses across Canada taking part in Wear White Campaign

Registered Nurses (RNs) across the country are making a small change in their appearance at work, and it is having a huge impact on patients and patient safety. The RNs are opting to wear white, reflecting a return to the uniform of yesteryear that made them easily identifiable. It's part of the Wear White campaign, and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) is encouraging their members to take part.

"The Wear White campaign is about registered nurses standing out from other care providers so that patients know who their care provider is," said Tracy Zambory, SUN president. "All professions in the healthcare system are important, but we are not interchangeable."

No Talks between Gov’t, Health Care Workers following Strike Mandate

No bargaining sessions have been planned between government and health care workers despite a strong strike mandate reached last week.

About 47,000 workers from 11 unions represented by the Facilities Bargaining Association -- composed of emergency dispatchers, dietary staff, care aides and many more -- voted 96 per cent in favour of a strike.

Health Canada Suspends Ont. Facility that Produces Drug for Lung, Breast Cancer

Health Canada has ordered an Ontario pharmaceutical facility to stop selling an injectable drug used in the treatment of lung and breast cancers because of “significant concerns” with their manufacturing process.

The agency said Friday it had suspended the establishment licence of Biolyse Pharma Corporation facility in St. Catharines, Ont.

Product Recall’s and Advisories

Health Canada Confirms License Suspension of Biolyse Pharma for Serious Manufacturing Concerns - Supply of paclitaxel will not be disrupted for Canadian patients

Recall of Marijuana for Medical Purposes - Peace Naturals Project Inc.

Laparoscopic Electric Morcellators - Risk of Spread of Unsuspected Uterine Sarcoma - Notice to Hospitals

TEMODAL (temozolomide) - Risk of Liver Problems - For Health Professionals

Foreign Product Alerts: Blue Stinger

Percutaneous Sheath Introducer Kits with Silk Sutures (2014-05-01)

Ventralight ST Mesh with Echo - Ellipse and Echo (2014-04-29)

Taro-Docusate Capsules USP 100 mg (2014-04-25)

Bluephase Style Pin-Point Light Probe (2014-04-25)

Hudson RCI Humidifier Adaptor (2014-04-25)

Cold Assist Extra Strength (2014-04-24)

New lots recalled: Fresenius Medical Care continues recall of Sodium Bicarbonate Liquid Concentrate

Unicel DXC 600, 600I, and 800 Synchron Access Clinical Analyzers (2014-04-23)

CT Express Hand Switch (2014-04-23)

Apex Daily Wear Contact Lenses (2014-04-23)

BENLYSTA (belimumab) - Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy Reported in Patients - For Health Professionals

Axiom Luminos DRF System-Main Unit (2014-04-22)

Compact Airway Module (2014-04-21)

Xenosure Biological Vascular Patch (2014-04-18)