Newer, faster STARS Air Ambulance moves from Calgary to Edmonton

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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STARS Air Ambulance has moved its fastest helicopter from Calgary to Edmonton, partly in an effort to save money in challenging economic times.

WATCH: STARS Air Ambulance plays a vital role in Alberta’s emergency services

All flights out of the Calgary base now use one of two older helicopters.

STARS says the decision to stop flying one of each out of Calgary was mostly made to reduce risk.

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    They said it’s challenging for pilots to switch back and forth between two aircraft with different technology, plus it saves about $500,000 on training and maintenance costs.

    STARS officials said the decision to base both newer helicopters in Edmonton was also because of geography and reach, as there are more remote missions in northern Alberta than in the southern part of the province.

    In addition, STARS training captains–who have the most experience flying the newer helicopters operationally–are based in Alberta’s capital.

    READ MORE: Newly named helipad pays tribute to STARS Air Ambulance founder

    The new helicopter was purchased with money raised in a capital campaign, not through the STARS lottery.

    Officials acknowledge that moving the newer aircraft to Edmonton could raise questions for its donors.

    STARS says while the older helicopters are slightly slower, the difference in flying times is almost negligible and offset by less logistical decision-making required at deployment.

    The medical care provided on board both types of helicopters is identical, STARS said.

    Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to say the changes save about $500,000 on training and maintenance costs. The article originally said it saved $500 million. We regret the error.

Jane Philpott: health care funding for provinces has strings attached

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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OTTAWA – Health Minister Jane Philpott is hinting that provinces won’t get a promised $3-billion infusion of health care funding in the coming federal budget unless they commit to spend it on home care.

The federal minister said Tuesday she wants that money to be in the Trudeau government’s second budget early next year.

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    But she tied the budget to her upcoming negotiations with her provincial counterparts on a new health accord.

    “I’m saying I’ve got money on the table and there has been no firm decision in terms of how that’s going to be divided up, how it’s going to be spent, what Canadians are going to get for that money,” Philpott said.

    “So those are things that it would be really good to talk about, because I want that $3 billion for home care to be in the 2017 budget, but I have a responsibility to Canadians to hear what we’re going to get for those further investments.”

    Asked if the money will be left out of the budget if the provinces don’t commit to spend it on the priorities identified by the federal government, Philpott did not answer directly.

    WATCH: Saskatchewan uses cutting edge robotics to improve health care in remote regions 

    “I am pretty determined to make sure that’s in the budget, but again … $3 billion is not an insignificant amount of money. What’s the most fair way to divide that money? What can Canadians expect for that money?”

    Philpott’s veiled warning comes on the heels of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s newfound willingness to play hardball with the premiers on climate change.

    Trudeau announced Monday that the federal government will unilaterally impose a floor price on carbon pollution – $10 a tonne starting in 2018 and rising to $50 a tonne by 2022 – in any province or territory that doesn’t impose its own carbon price or set up a cap-and-trade system. The revenue would be returned to the province in which it was generated.

    READ MORE: Canada’s health care system needs money, and fast: Quebec minister

    The announcement was blasted by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and prompted environment ministers from three provinces to walk away from meetings with federal counterpart Catherine McKenna, where they were supposed to be negotiating a pan-Canadian climate deal.

    Trudeau appears poised to rile even more provinces over health-care funding.

    Premiers are seeking a first ministers meeting with Trudeau to push their demand that federal health transfers to the provinces continue to rise by an automatic six per cent each year, as has been the case since Ottawa agreed to a 10-year health accord in 2004.

    Trudeau has so far not said yes to a meeting and has indicated that his government intends to stick with the unilateral decision of the previous Harper government to limit annual increases in health transfers to a maximum of three per cent, starting next year.

    READ MORE: Federal Budget 2016: what about health care?

    Philpott, who is scheduled to meet her provincial counterparts on Oct. 18, said transfer payments are a matter for finance ministers. As far as she’s concerned, negotiations on a new health accord will focus on the separate $3 billion over four years that Trudeau promised “as an immediate commitment” during last fall’s election to bolster home care, including palliative care – money that did not materialize in the Liberal government’s inaugural budget.

    She added mental-health services, affordable prescription drugs, innovation and indigenous health to the list of federal priorities. A Health Department official was unable to clarify later whether the federal government is willing to come up with more money for those priorities or if they are to be funded out of the $3 billion.

    Some provinces, particularly Quebec, strenuously object to the notion of federal conditions on how they spend health-care funds. And none are likely to enthusiastically embrace Philpott’s priorities as long as the federal government refuses to reconsider scrapping the six-per-cent annual increase in transfer payments.

    Asked Tuesday if there’s any wiggle room for increasing health transfers by more than three per cent, Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the Liberals promised “very clearly” that three per cent “is the place where we should be at.”

    “We also gave some specific initiatives that we know are important – home care, we talked about the issue around how we buy pharmaceuticals, mental health, palliative care,” he added.

    “So we’ll be working together with the provinces to get to an answer that will make a real difference for Canadians over the long term.”

Study suggests Fitbits don’t help to drop pounds or improve health

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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LONDON – Wearing a fitness tracker may help you keep tabs on how many steps you take, but the devices themselves — even with the lure of a cash reward — probably won’t improve your health, according to the biggest study yet done on the trendy technology.

Scientists say that although the activity trackers may boost the number of steps people take, it probably isn’t enough to help them drop pounds or improve overall health.

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    “These are basically measuring devices,” said Eric Finkelstein, a professor at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, who led the research. “Knowing how active you are doesn’t translate into getting people to do more and the novelty of having that information wears off pretty quickly.”

    READ MORE: How inaccurate is your fitness tracker in counting calories?

    Finkelstein and colleagues tested the Fitbit Zip tracker in a group of 800 adults in Singapore, by dividing them into four groups. Of those people, more than half were overweight and obese and about one third were active.

    A control group got information about exercise but no tracker and a second group got the Fitbit Zip; everyone in those groups also got about $2.92 a week. Participants in the last two groups got the tracker and about $11 for every week they logged between 50,000 and 70,000 steps. One of the groups had the money donated to charity while the other kept the cash.

    After six months, people with the Fitbit and who got the cash payment showed the biggest boost in physical activity. But after a year, 90 per cent of participants had abandoned the device. The physical activity of the Fitbit wearers did not decline over the year as much as it did for those who were not given a tracker, but the higher activity level wasn’t enough to produce any improvements in weight or blood pressure.

    “These trackers can encourage people to take more steps, but it still seems like these random extra steps aren’t enough to really improve your health,” Finkelstein said. He said what’s needed is more “active steps,” or what would amount to brisk walking or more rigorous exercise.

    READ MORE: Why fitness trackers don’t actually help you lose weight

    The study was paid for by Singapore’s ministry of health and published online Tuesday in the journal Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

    The results seem to reinforce those of another recent study, published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In that study, conducted over two years, researchers found that adding wearable activity tracking devices to a diet and fitness program didn’t result in more weight loss. Those who didn’t wear devices lost about five pounds more than those who wore them, but both groups slimmed down and improved their eating habits, fitness and activity levels.

    Fitbit, in a statement responding to the study published Tuesday, said: “We are confident in the positive results our millions of users have seen from using Fitbit products.” The statement went on to say that it was in the process of improving its trackers.

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    Finkelstein said that some of the newer fitness trackers have more advanced features, like prompts to exercise and ways to link to social media, but he still thinks it is unlikely people will radically change their exercise regimes without a more comprehensive approach.

    Some experts said the results were disappointing, if not unsurprising.

    “We should not be so naive to believe that simply by giving a sleek-looking gadget to someone, they will change deeply-rooted lifestyle habits,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, a physical activ

    ity expert the University of Sydney who was not part of the research.

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    Others said the trackers might be more useful if they were aimed specifically at unhealthy people.

    “People who are active are already motivated so they don’t need these devices,” said Lars Bo Andersen, of Sogn and Fjordane University College in Norway.

    Fitbit shares have fallen by half since the beginning of the year, to just under $15 a share.

    ___

    Medical Writer Lindsey Tanner contributed to this story from Chicago.

Chilliwack Cattle Sales to plead guilty in high-profile animal cruelty case

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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It’s been more than two years since a high-profile case of farm-animal cruelty came to light but on Tuesday in provincial court, Chilliwack Cattle Sales (CCS) and one of its directors issued an intention to plead guilty.

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Twenty counts of animal cruelty were laid against CCS and seven of its employees in connection to a 2014 undercover video that showed cows being beaten.

The B.C. SPCA recommended the charges after receiving graphic video of cows being kicked, punched and beaten with rods. In one instance, a cow is hoisted up by a forklift from a chain wrapped around its neck and dragged out of its pen as a worker shouts, “Leave her like that.”

READ MORE: No charges 1.5 years after B.C. animal-cruelty case

The footage was collected using secret cameras as part of an undercover operation conducted by the animal-rights activist group Mercy For Animals.

According to the B.C. SPCA, 16 of the 20 counts fall under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and involve alleged acts of cruelty against dairy cows. Four of the counts are under the Wildlife Act and concern the treatment of a pigeon.

WATCH: 20 animal cruelty charges laid against Chilliwack Cattle Sales, Ltd.

The cattle company’s lawyer, Len Doust told the court on Oct. 4 that CCS and one of the Kooyman brothers would plead guilty at their next court appearance on Dec. 15.

Doust couldn’t say which charge they intend to plead.

The B.C. SPCA said the case marks the first time a B.C. company has been held accountable for acts of animal cruelty on a farm.

WATCH: BC SPCA reacts regarding cow abuse video

The case was called one of the worst cases of farm-animal cruelty in Canada by a B.C. animal rights group.

Days after the video went public, the B.C. Milk Marketing Board said it would not accept milk from Chilliwack Cattle Sales until its operations had been independently audited, and that any of the company’s milk currently in its possession would be destroyed.

The farm’s owner, Jeff Kooyman, said at the time that the video was “horrifying to watch” and pledged to work with the SPCA on better training for staff.

The trial date is set for Dec. 15.

Don Atchison pledges expansion of Saskatoon’s attainable housing program

Posted September 24th, 2019 by admin and filed in 长沙夜网
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Saskatoon mayoral candidate Don Atchison wants to expand the city’s current attainable housing program if re-elected.

On Tuesday, Atchison stated his intention to grow the program to include a wider variety of housing options in areas throughout the city.

“We need to look forward to the year 2023, where in fact we should have 8000 attainable, affordable housing units in the city,” Atchison said.

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    The city’s housing program should support singles, couples and families with children, Atchison said.

    He said the city should consider ‘tiny homes,’ but stressed that he wasn’t referring to the trailer-style tiny houses that have grown in worldwide popularity in recent years.

    “What I see happening instead is being able to build a structure that would have 330 square-foot tiny homes in it, maybe all the way up to 880 square-foot homes in it,” Atchison said.

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    Properties wouldn’t be owned by the city, Atchison said, but city officials can offer tax abatements and cash incentives to developers.

    Election day is Oct. 26.