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Full story: The Independent and Free Press

Attention area youths- the Town of Halton Hills wants to hear from you. July 14, 2011 Town contributes $100 to Slave Lake fund Halton Hills council will contribute $100 from their council contingency fund to the Town of Slave Lake, Alberta.
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1 - 5 of 5 Comments Last updated Aug 24, 2011
plan

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Jul 15, 2011
 

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The Progressive Economics Forum > New CAW Film About the Economics of CETA

The CAW has just released a 20-minute video giving a short lecture about the economics of the proposed Canada-EU free trade agreement (a.k.a. CETA).

http://www.canadians.org/campaignblog/...
paul SHYKORA alberta

Calgary, Canada

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Jul 15, 2011
 

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..WE NEED BOTH ...the ''new'' Consevatives and the NDP....It MAKEs' a ''GOOD'' Balance,here...yada u...eh..
ALLAN BENNER

Toronto, Canada

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Aug 24, 2011
 

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PORT COLBORNE — There is one positive change that has occurred since Niagara Health System began implementing its hospital improvement plan, said Port Colborne resident Moira Cairns.

She recalled waiting for "a very long time," during past visits to Port Colborne's emergency department. Although she wasn't happy to see the ER downgraded into an urgent care centre, she said wait times have been greatly reduced as a result.

But as a mother expecting her second child in November, Cairns is deeply concerned about plans for Welland hospital's obstetrics and pediatrics departments. Those services, and several others, are to be consolidated at the new St. Catharines hospital when it opens its doors in 2013.

Cairns was one of nearly 50 people who attended the second in series of meetings organized by the Ontario and Niagara health coalitions to discuss health care in Niagara.

"My main concern is one that I've been told it doesn't matter what I think because it's the way it's going to be, but I thought I'd say what I want to say anyway," Cairns said during the meeting held at the Port Colborne legion hall.

She recalled when her two-year-old son was severely ill, and was rushed to Welland hospital's pediatric ward with respiratory syncytial virus.

"The doctor said if he hadn't gotten in to the hospital that day, he probably wouldn't have made it," she said.
During her son's week-long stay in the hospital, she said, she had the support of friends and family, as well as her son's pediatrician and hospital staff.
"I can't imagine how different that would have been having to drive 50 minutes up to the north end of St. Catharines with the change that's coming in 2013," she said.

Cairns said she's also concerned about the loss of obstetrics. She had her first child at home with the help of a midwife, and plans to do the same thing when her second baby arrives.
But she has concerns about the potential consequences of having another child at home if the nearby obstetrics department is gone ...

www.ontariohealthcoalition.ca
Metroland has this info

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Aug 24, 2011
 

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"Instead of a 15-minute drive to the hospital, there'd be a 50-minute drive," she said. "If there was a problem, that would raise the danger for myself and my child."

Ashley Brockway shared Cairns concerns.

She was at the meeting with her two young children, William and Wesley, to discuss her fears about what it will mean to her family if those departments are closed in Welland.

"With no pediatrics department in Welland anymore, I'm concerned that maybe there won't be a pediatrician in Welland anymore," Brockway said.

The loss of the nearby obstetrics department was another concern. She said having a child is "a very scary process at times."

And having to travel the extra distance to St. Catharines "will add a lot of stress," she added.
She said Welland pediatricians have been fighting to keep those services in the city.

"If the doctors are telling us that these sites need to remain open, maybe we should take their word for it," she said.

Panelists during the meeting included Sue Hotte from the Niagara Health Coalition, Natalie Mehra from the Ontario Health Coalition, Port Colborne Mayor Vance Badawey, health-care advocate Pat Scholfield and Joy Russell from the Yellow Shirt Brigade.

Each of them urged the residents who attended the meeting to make their voices heard if they hope to preserve hospital services in their community.
Badawey said the provincial government "has been playing Russian roulette with health-care services and it's finally catching up with them."

He urged people to share their concerns with local provincial politicians, and ask them what they intend to do to fix the problems.

Several meeting participants shared the same message ...
why no news till election

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Aug 24, 2011
 

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Retired registered nurse Pat Johns said people need to demand accountability in health care.

"I've been in the health-care system for a long, long time. I worked at the Port Colborne hospital and seen it sadly just go down, down, down," she said.
"There is no accountability in the system. There is zero. There is no accountability for the minister of health."

She said the responsibility for health-care delivery ultimately lies with the Ministry of Health, but requests for improvements seem to fall on deaf ears.
"You're a voice in the wilderness," she said. "The citizens of Ontario have to hold the Ministry of Health accountable."

Port Colborne resident Brent LeClair, for instance, said people across Ontario should demand that the provincial government give the ombudsman's office jurisdiction over hospital care.

And the time to do that is when there's an election, he added.

Other speakers discussed issues ranging from home-care services offered by the Community Care Access Centre to declining standards of hospital cleaning, as well as recent hospital bed closures.

With 2.5 hospital beds per 1,000 residents, Mehra said Ontario has the lowest ratio of hospital beds in Canada. And citing information found of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development website, she said the number of hospital beds in the province also ranks among the lowest among industrialized countries all over the world.
"That's a considerable shortfall of hospital beds."
That shortfall, Hotte added, as well as the about 100% occupancy rate in the remaining hospital beds, may be contributing to the spread of infectious disease like C. difficile.

"It means we have no place to put people in isolation," Hotte explained.

In light of the C. difficile outbreak, Scholfield was concerned that the NHS has been transferring patients diagnosed with the infectious disease to the Port Colborne hospital, from St. Catharines and Welland.
She said the bulk of patients in Port Colborne are elderly, who are more susceptible to C. difficile, "and they're far more likely to contract these diseases and die."

Niagara Health Coalition volunteer Keith Bellamy, who helped organize the meetings, said he personally invited NHS representatives, but no one representing the hospital administration attended either meeting in Welland or in Port Colborne.

Additional public consultation meetings hosted by the coalitions are planned for Niagara Falls' legion hall, 3860 Legion St., Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; the Fort Erie legion hall, 130 Garrison Rd., at 1 p.m. Thursday; and at the St. Catharines legion hall at 111 Church St., at 6:30 p.m., Thursday.

The Ontario Health Coalition plans to compile information gathered at the meetings into a report to be released in mid-September, in the hope of ensuring the issue takes centre stage during the Oct. 6 election.
A rally at Queen's Park is also being scheduled for Sept. 13 at noon ...

abenner @ www.wellandtribune.ca

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