Vaughn Palmer: Odd timing as B.C. endorses oil tanker ban

VICTORIA — After waiting for months, the B.C. New Democrats this week finally got around to endorsing federal legislation that would enshrine a moratorium on oil tankers on the northern coast.

“Our government has been very clear we are committed to protecting our environment, the economy and our coast from the devastating impact a heavy oil spill would have,” said the statement Tuesday from Environment Minister George Heyman.

“We oppose the expansion of the movement of heavy oil through our coastal waters and we have been consistent in this position.”

Consistent, but not in any rush to formally declare that position on Bill C-48.

Short title: The Oil Tanker Moratorium Act. Long title (which pretty much says it all): “An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast.”

A de facto moratorium was proclaimed by parliament almost 50 years ago after initial controversy over the shipment of oil out of Alaska.

Legislation “formalizing” the ban was introduced two years ago by the federal Liberals, following up their opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The bill has passed the House of Commons and is before the Senate, where the committee on transport and communications has been holding hearings on possible changes.

Those hearings, which were in Terrace on Wednesday, provided the pretext for the statement from Heyman.

But there was no overlooking the juxtaposition with political events on the other side of the Rockies.

For Bill C-48 is the same piece of federal legislation that was denounced earlier this month by Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley.

“There is a glaring double standard when it comes to this law,” she told the Senate committee. “This is not a tanker ban, it is an Alberta ban.”

She grounded her concern in the way the bill was deliberately …read more

Source:: Vancouver Sun

Mueller report release spirals into political gamesmanship

Attorney General William Barr leaves his home in McLean, Va., on Wednesday morning, April 17, 2019. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on Russian interference in the 2016 election is expected to be released publicly on Thursday and has said he is redacting four types of information from the report. Congressional Democrats are demanding to see the whole document and its evidence. (AP Photo/Sait Serkan Gurbuz)
Sait Serkan Gurbuz
Special counsel Robert Mueller drives away from his Washington home on Wednesday, April 17, 2019. Outstanding questions about the special counsel’s Russia investigation have not stopped President Donald Trump and his allies from declaring victory. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)
Kevin Wolf
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Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

Motherisk Shuts Down Helpline For Pregnant, Breastfeeding Moms

If you’ve ever wondered if you can take allergy medication while breastfeeding or when you should indulge your pregnancy craving for brie cheese, you might have called Motherisk.

Since 1985, the privately funded Motherisk program at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) has provided up-to-date scientific information for one of the most pressing questions faced by nursing and pregnant moms: What is safe for me and my baby? The program offers up evidence-based research on the risk and safety of medications and other exposures, and has counselled nearly a million women and health professionals over the past 34 years.

But the national helpline that fielded about 200 calls a day has hung up its phones. On Tuesday, SickKids announced it has closed its Motherisk helpline due to lack of funding.

“Without sustainable, secure funding and absent an alternative, reputable organization to host and fund the Helplines, SickKids has made the difficult decision to close the program,” Dr. David Naylor, SickKids Interim President and CEO, said in a statement on the Motherisk website.

Today, unfortunately the Motherisk Helplines have closed. The decision follows years of declining donor funding, as well as unsuccessful efforts to secure an alternative host for the program. Read full statement here: https://t.co/T4mGZXW4E7

— SickKids_TheHospital (@SickKidsNews) April 16, 2019

The decision has nothing to do with provincial or federal government funding, as the helpline was funded through external grants and donations, the statement noted. But, over the last three years, “those grants and donations have been reduced to zero.”

Naylor claimed there was a specific reason Motherisk’s funding dried up in recent years: “The difficulty in seeking private support for the program reflected adverse publicity arising from concerns about the quality of work carried out by a hair …read more

Source:: The Huffington Post – Canada

60 people charged in illegal prescription opioid crackdown

DEA Assistant Administration John Martin speaks beside members of Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, during a news conference, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Cincinnati. Federal authorities have charged 60 people, including 31 doctors, for their roles in illegal prescribing and distributing millions of pills with opioids and other dangerous drugs. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo
Joanne Chiedi, center, Principal Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, answers reporter’s questions with US Attorney Benjamin Glassman, left, of the Southern District of Ohio, and Brian Benczkowski, right, Assistant Attorney General of the Criminal Division, during a news conference alongside members of Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
John Minchillo
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Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News