Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Health & Wealth: Prescribing money to treat low-income patients @TheCurrentCBC #poverty

Health & Wealth: Prescribing money to treat low-income patients
If you weren't able to listen to the whole conversation today on CBC's The Current with our Dr's Gary Bloch and Julia Morinis on treating poverty as an illness and prescribing income - here is the link:
Or download the podcast for your commute home:
"...Research shows actual medical care accounts for only about a quarter of health outcomes, while fully one-half of a person's ability to heal and recover is determined by socio-economics - income, education and living conditions. Today, our Project Money looks at the contagion called Poverty through the prism of doctors who have learned Incomes affect Outcomes...."
"...What do you think of these doctors and their unorthodox treatments? And, if there's been a time in your life when a lack of cash also played havoc with your health, please let us know. Tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Follow us on Facebook. Or e-mail us through our website. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366...."

Saturday, 23 November 2013


A Message from Dennis Bevington, MP Western Arctic
The more equal everyone is the better off we all are. The evidence of this is well documented in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.1 With our history of sharing and working cooperatively in the NWT, we know that this is true. We know that equality helps us all to be more secure, safer, healthier, and able to fully participate in our families and communities. We also know that equality builds resilience so we can cope with, and manage change - changes in our climate, our environment, and our social and economic circumstances.
Throughout Canada including the NWT, our communities are becoming less equal. The gap between 'haves' and 'have nots' is growing. Inequalities put us all at risk.
A main factor contributing to inequalities in the NWT is living costs. As Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic, I am committed to addressing inequalities and improving quality of life in ways that are sustainable and make sense for everyone. With this report, I want to stimulate changes that will eliminate inequalities in our communities, throughout the north, and between northern and southern Canada.
I have prepared this report to highlight cost of living issues in the Western Arctic but these circumstances are generally mirrored throughout remote regions in Canada. As such, I trust that both residents of the NWT and my colleagues in the House of Commons will find this report both informative and useful.
This report is organized to:
- Identify the inequalities created by income and cost of living,
- Examine current responses to cost of living issues in the NWT, and
- Propose actions to deal with cost of living issues.
The GNWT Bureau of Statistics was a main data source. Information produced by the NWT No Place for Poverty Coalition2 was also referenced. This report also draws on information from northerners who made time to voice their concerns and share their research.
1    Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published in 2009 by Allen
2    About 30 social justice, municipal, women's, church, union, environmental, and indigenous
organizations are part of the Coalition.

Yellowknife, NWT
November 23, 2 013
Despite having one of the highest rates of GDP growth of any-Canadian jurisdiction, Northern communities are experiencing an increase in inequality and in the number of people living in poverty.
NDP MP Dennis Bevington's (Western Arctic) report, Tackling the Cost of Living in the NWT examined socioeconomic patterns in the region over the last 10 years and found a growing gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots."
"As MP for this region, I am committed to addressing inequalities and improving quality of life in practical and sustainable ways," said Bevington. "The proposals in this report will help stimulate change and eliminate disparities in communities throughout the north; as well as between northern and southern Canada."
The report was produced with the assistance of Lutra Associates of Yellowknife, the NWT Bureau of Statistics, House of Commons Library and people across the north.
"I am pleased that Dennis Bevington has taken steps to address this important issue. The results for the NWT are indicative of a situation that affects communities across the country," said the leader of the Official Opposition Tom Mulcair.
- 30 -
For more information, please contact:
Ben Nind, Constituency Assistant
Office of Dennis Bevington MP (Western Arctic)
(867) 669-8817

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Northwest Territories #Mineral #Development #Strategy #PDF via @ChamberNWT #NWT #mineralstartegy #nwtpoli #CDNpoli

Northwest Territories #Mineral #Development #Strategy #PDF via @ChamberNWT #NWT #mineralstartegy #nwtpoli #CDNpoli

"... The purpose of the NWT Mineral Development Strategy is to realize, responsibly and sustainably, the full potential of the NWT's rich mineral resources and use it to ensure lasting prosperity for NWT residents and communities. A partnership between the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the Mineral Development Strategy (the Strategy) is a plan of action that will help to unlock the mineral potential in the territory and promote the NWT as an attractive investment opportunity.
Mineral exploration and mining activities form an important sector of the NWT economy. In addition to direct and indirect employment opportunities, mineral development provides important revenues for public governments — money that
assists in supporting programs and services that are important to all NWT residents. In addition, Aboriginal governments, in settled claim regions, receive significant shares of mining royalties. To ensure that these benefits continue well into the future, it is important that a clear plan be established that will guide decision-making related to the minerals industry.
The NWT Mineral Development Strategy has been developed by the GNWT in partnership with the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines using a consultative approach. In January 2013, the GNWT released a Discussion Paper that outlined the main issues that the Strategy must address. Following this, a Stakeholder Engagement Panel was appointed whose task was to collect the views of a broad range of stakeholders and Aboriginal groups and to make recommendations based on this information. The Panel released its report in June 2013 which laid the foundation for this Strategy. The recommendations outlined in the Panel's Report guide both the Strategy and annual Implementation Plans that will follow...."

Drastic cuts to the Canadian #Circumpolar Institute #Research #Arctic #CDNpoli

Drastic cuts to the Canadian #Circumpolar Institute #Research #Arctic #CDNpoli
The University of Alberta has made drastic cuts to the Canadian Circumpolar Institute.
CCI is one of the flagship northern research institutes in the world. It provides funding to graduate students and support to many researchers. It has a long and proud tradition of producing and supporting graduate students and researchers.  The Circumpolar/Boreal Alberta Research awards (which supported grad student research) have now been cut.

Northerners and all Canadians have benefited from CCI, its advocacy, and its research for many decades. This cut is the latest erosion of university-based knowledge production, particularly that which challenges the status quo such as climate science.

These cuts must not go unnoticed.

Please share your objections with the powers that be.
Here's the contact info for:
University of Alberta President
University of Alberta's Vice President of Research
Associate Vice President
and the only remaining CCI staff member
Acting Director:  Dr. Anita Dey Nuttall

Monday, 18 November 2013

Keepers of the #Athabasca on #Sherritt International #Obed Mountain #Coal #Mine site waste water spill

Keepers of the Athabasca is concerned about the potential environmental effects of a massive release of coal #mine #wastewater into two creeks that flow into the #Athabasca River, and calls on the Alberta government to immediately release the results of the water tests it has conducted. It further calls on the government to indicate publicly how it is going to mitigate this #spill, especially given that freeze-up of the creeks and river has already begun. We also call on the company involved, #Sherritt International, to inform the public of the chemicals it uses in its mining process and the contaminants contained in its coal mine wastewater ponds.

On November 1, 2013 the Government of #Alberta announced what is likely the largest spill in Canadian history of wastewater from a #coal mine containment pond, located on the #Obed Mountain Coal Mine site, near Hinton, Alberta. The announcement and its two updates (November 2 and 4) contain almost no information about the amount of #wastewater spilled, its contents, or their likely effects on the #environment and human health.

Following a pattern of downplaying the potential damage from spills and blowouts associated with the energy industry and providing the least amount of information possible to Albertans, these announcements stress that the spill contained sediments such as "clay, mud, shale and coal particles," and that "water sample tests do not indicate any health risks." They do not alert the public to potential damage to sediments, invertebrates and fish from wastewater contaminants such as flocculants, selenium, heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, some of which are cancer-causing. Furthermore, results of the water sample tests have not been released to the public, despite promises to do so. "With so little information to go on," said Harvey Scott, Keepers of the Athabasca Director, "it is hard to know what the effects of the spill will be on such things as winter dissolved oxygen levels , the spring spawn or the long term aquatic health of the riverine ecosystem."

Information is coming out slowly in media reports, thanks to the efforts of investigative reporters and others. Media reports of interviews with ministry officials indicate that Fisheries and Oceans Canada is investigating to determine whether there are any violations of federal fisheries laws; Alberta Environment now acknowledges that damage has been done to fisheries habitat; the company involved, Sherritt International, declines to list publicly the chemicals it uses in its mining process; an official with the company does report that it uses flocculants, thickening agents that can cause harm to fish if released to waterways.
Keepers of the Athabasca is concerned about the lack of transparency and accountability on the part of the Alberta Government and the company, and is pursuing the release of crucial information about the spill not only because of the failure of one containment pond, but also because there are two similar ponds on the Obed Mountain site and many more on the sites of current and proposed coal mines in the area. This raises broader questions about containment pond design and inspection schedules that also need to be answered. The Alberta public deserves no less.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 12, 2013
Fort Providence NWT More Information Contact:
Jesse Cardinal, Coordinator, Keepers of the Athabasca

Harvey Scott, Director, Keepers of the Athabasca

Jule Asterisk, Director, Keepers of the Athabasca

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

#NWT #Job postings in Fort Liard & Gameti via CivicJobs

Northwest Territories JOB POSTINGS

  New This Week:
  1. Coordinator, Community Wellness - Acho Dene Koe Corporate Group
Fort Liard ( Date posted: Friday, November 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Monday, November 18, 2013.
  2. Coordinator, Lands and Resources - Acho Dene Koe Corporate Group
Fort Liard ( Date posted: Friday, November 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, November 22, 2013.
  3. Coordinator, Communications and Development - Acho Dene Koe Corporate Group
Fort Liard ( Date posted: Friday, November 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Wednesday, November 27, 2013.
  4. Coordinator, Community Justice, Membership, and Social Services - Acho Dene Koe Corporate Group
Fort Liard ( Date posted: Friday, November 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Wednesday, November 27, 2013.
  5. Manager, Occupational Health and Safety - Acho Dene Koe Corporate Group
Fort Liard ( Date posted: Friday, November 08, 2013 )
Posting expires: Friday, November 29, 2013.

  Current Listings:
  6. Senior Administrative Officer - Community Government of Gameti
Gameti ( Date posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 )
Posting expires: Thursday, November 28, 2013.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

#NWT #NDP #MP Dennis Bevington appointed Official #Opposition #Critic for the #ArcticCouncil #CDNpoli #NWTpoli

Bevington appointed Official #Opposition #Critic for the #Arctic Council.
OTTAWA -  New Democratic MP Dennis Bevington (Western Arctic) is proud to have been appointed Official Opposition Critic for the Arctic Council.
"With the Harper Government's short sighted plan for unsustainable resource development for the Arctic it is vital to have an alternative voice," said Bevington.
"New Democrats understand that the Arctic will play a major role in the future of Canada," said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. "The Official Opposition will stand up to Stephen Harper's plans for the Arctic and I can think of no better person to do that than Dennis."
Bevington's appointment is in addition to his duties as Official Opposition Critic for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
NOVEMBER 12, 2013
For More Information, Contact:
Doug Johnson, Office of Dennis Bevington MP, 613-992-2131

Monday, 11 November 2013

Longest Day of the Year

"Uploaded on Jun 24, 2007
The longest day of the year timelapse taken from the roof of a house in Tuktoyaktuk. The clouds rolling in make it look darker than it actually is. Music by Frank Cockney."

Ars Bioarctica Residency in the sub-Arctic Lapland.

Ars Bioarctica residency 2014

Since 2010 the Finnish Society of Bioart is organizing the ARS BIOARCTICA RESIDENCY PROGRAM together with the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of the University of Helsinki in the sub-Arctic Lapland. The residency has an emphasis on the Arctic environment and art and science collaboration. It is is open for artists, scientists and art&science research teams.

The residency takes place in the facilities of the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station. It provides the residents with a combined living and working environment, kitchen, bathroom, sauna and internet connection.

Finnish Bioart Society

The Finnish Bioart Society, established May 2008 in Kilpisjärvi, is an organisation supporting, producing and creating activities around art and natural sciences, especially biology. The Finnish Bioart Society is creating public discussions about biosciences, biotechnologies and bioethics. Additionally it is the Finnish contact node in international networks of bioart and art&science. The Finnish Bioart Society respects and protects life, values sustainable development, transparency in its actions, legality, critical thinking, expertise and artistic and scientific integrity.

The Finnish Bioart Society has currently 60 members, representing different art and research fields and other expertise – bioart, theatre, film, music, video, performance art, art&science, fine arts, media art, sculpture, environmental art, design, zoology, botany, ecology, environmental sciences, animal physiology, genetics, philosophy, cultural production, art history, engineering, etc.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

This Doctor That Treats Poverty Like a Disease practices family medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto

Exemplary mental shift that is needed in our approach to health care provision – seeing patients as a whole person, not just treating the disease

This Doctor Treats Poverty Like a Disease

Trudy Lieberman | November 6, 2013
Dr. Gary Bloch, practices family medicine at Toronto St. Michael's Hospital & Treats #Poverty Like a #Disease
'... What would you think if your doctor handed you a prescription that recommended filing your tax returns or applying for food stamps instead of the usual medicines for high blood pressure or diabetes? You'd probably say the physician was nuts. Tax refunds? Food? What do they have to do with making you healthier?

I just returned from a month long Fulbright fellowship in Canada and met such a physician, Dr. Gary Bloch, who practices family medicine at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. We had a long conversation about what makes people healthy. He wasn't interested in talking about new drugs to lower cholesterol hyped by the latest drug salesperson to walk through his door.

"We've created an advocacy or interventional initiative aimed at changing the conversation about poverty and how doctors think about poverty as a health issue," Bloch told me. "It's one of those cultural shift things. My job is to push ideas for physician interventions around poverty." Bloch showed me a clinical tool used by primary care practices in Ontario that is based on strong evidence linking poverty to bad health outcomes.

The tool, a four-page brochure, is simple in design but powerful in concept. "You come at poverty from every possible angle," Bloch said. "You start from the evidence and frame the issue in language doctors can understand."

The evidence: Page one of the tool points out that "poverty accounts for 24percent of person years of life lost in Canada (second only to 30 percent for neoplasms)," and notes that "higher social and economic status seem to be the most important determinants of health."..."

See also

Primary Care Interventions into Poverty


For questions, please contact Dr. Gary Bloch.