Monthly Archives: August 2019

Medical marijuana suppliers must report doc prescriptions, say feds – National

OTTAWA – The federal Health Department wants medical marijuana suppliers to provide provincial authorities with information on the doctors who prescribe the substance.

And they want them to issue semi-annual reports on the physicians who prescribe marijuana for their patients.

The reports would include the doctor’s name and address, how much of the substance was prescribed and for how long.

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  • Health Canada swamped with medical marijuana business applications

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READ MORE: Doctors uneasy being ‘gatekeepers’ under new medical pot rules

The proposed regulations were published Friday by the federal government.

The provinces and territories “have identified the need to provide better education and guidance for and monitoring of their members who provide medical documents to their patients to support their access to marijuana for medical purposes,” the notice states.

It says that better monitoring of health-care practitioners who provide their patients with the substance “would help support the integrity” of the new medical marijuana system.

“We have consulted with health care licensing bodies who expressed a need for the data on how doctors and nurses are authorizing marijuana to their patients and in which quantities,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement.

“The proposed regulatory amendments will further strengthen public health and safety by ensuring appropriate oversight and monitoring.”

On April 1, Health Canada radically altered the rules for medical marijuana, opening its production up to the commercial sector, expanding it from a cottage industry of thousands of loosely regulated growers.

READ MORE: Free pot for a year? There’s a contest for that (but it comes with some rules)

As of late last month, the department had received 858 applications from a variety of firms wanting to be medical marijuana suppliers.

On Friday, the department said in a statement that it does not endorse marijuana use, but the courts have required reasonable access to it for medical purposes.

“Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada and has not gone through the necessary rigorous scientific trials for efficacy or safety,” it said.

©2014The Canadian Press

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Flood stories: Calgary firefighters to the rescue

CALGARY- One of Captain Keal Prince’s vivid memories of the June flood is not from when it was at its worst, but from during the cleanup.

The training officer with the Calgary Fire Department’s aquatic rescue team recalls how firefighters were helping a woman haul debris out of her basement, when a young boy lost his finger.

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“And as his finger got cut off it went into a fully loaded dumpster,” says Prince. “People had worked hours to get the dumpster loaded and now they’re working tirelessly, quickly, to unload that dumpster, looking for that finger.”

“We had to remove a lot of debris to find that finger. The finger was found and it was reattached, so it was a happy ending both for the young boy and all the people that were there helping him.”

That happy ending was a huge boost to the spirits of Prince and other aquatic firefighters who had spent long hours coming to the rescue of people in flooded neighbourhoods. Many firefighters didn’t have the time to eat or drink and were hungry and dehydrated. And their skills were being put to the test and stretched to the limit.

“You’re not really trained to drive a boat up to the front door of a home to rescue people. You’re not trained to drive a boat down a busy street …  it was a little bit surreal.”

Flooding in the Roxboro community in Calgary, Alberta on June 21, 2013.

Global News/ Tom Reynolds

Prince says the darkest moments came when resources began to wear thin.

“Did we have some people that could have been helped? Absolutely. But sometimes with the magnitude of these events, it’s hard to get everyone collected.”

Captain Keal Prince of the Calgary Fire Department

Global News

Dozens of Calgarians were rescued from flooded communities   – stranded after they ignored evacuation orders.

We saw rescuers going above and beyond putting their lives in danger …  a little bit more because we were seeing that some people did not heed the warning messages. The teams rose above and beyond to make sure people were safe and the rescuers were safe.

If a flood strikes again, Prince is confident the fire department and the city, will be prepared.

“Calgary is known as a white hat hospitality city. But with the urban growth we experienced, there were neighbours not knowing neighbours, and rescuers not knowing rescuers, but the event actually helped unify all of us. We are going to be prepared.”

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Doughty says Kings need more desperation, despite leading 3-1 – National

LOS ANGELES – While they are the team in the driver’s seat, the Los Angeles Kings need to come out with more desperation for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, according to Drew Doughty.

The slick-skating defenceman remembers 2012 when the Kings raced into a 3-0 lead and then couldn’t put the New Jersey Devils away until Game 6. Los Angeles had a similar 3-0 lead over the New York Rangers this time out, only to let the Blueshirts off the hook in Game 4.

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“As a team I don’t think we talk about (2012) but at the same time we all know that we failed to close it off two times,” Doughty said after the Kings’ morning skate ahead of Game 5 Friday. “That’s always going to be in the back of our minds but what we can do is we can learn from that experience.

“We know what we did wrong and we know why we let them back into the series. That’s why tonight, we figure we have to close it out because the more games we give them, the more life they get. Especially here at Staples (Center), our home arena, it’s a very important game for us tonight.”

So how do you play with more desperation?

“It should just come from within,” said Doughty. “We’ve played these guys for four games now. If you’re not wanting to beat that team so bad by this point, something’s wrong with you. We’ve developed a battle, a war with these guys. They’re working their butts off and we just need to outwork them. We need to want that more. We need to play as if it is a Game 7 because we know how well this team can play in Game 7s. So why not just treat it as one tonight.”

Going into Friday, the Rangers were 5-0 when facing elimination in the 2014 playoffs. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist led the way in such games with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage.

The Rangers’ record in elimination games was 11-2 dating back to 2012. And New York was 8-0 at home with its back against the wall dating back to 2008.

While Kings coach Darryl Sutter downplayed the importance of the start – his answer at a pre-game media availability was a short and somewhat confusing stream of consciousness – the Rangers have held a first-period edge throughout the playoffs.

New York has outscored its opponents 26-12 in the first period this post-season, including 5-2 in the final.

“Probably our worst period,” said Doughty.

Asked what’s been the issue in the first 20 minutes, veteran Willie Mitchell offered up “Not scoring” and then laughed.

On a more serious vein, he said it was just part of the ebb and flow of the playoffs.

Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, perhaps trying to send a message, had said the Kings played their best game in the 2-1 loss Wednesday.

Kings forward Anze Kopitar said Los Angeles can play better.

“And we’ll have to play better tonight to close it off,” he said. “I think there were some positives, yes, but there’s also some stuff we can improve on and we look to do that tonight.”

Top of the list is making life more difficult for Lundqvist, who was immense in a 40-save performance in Game 4.

“Obviously he’s a good goalie and the shots he’s going to see he’s going to stop more often than not,” said Kopitar. “Just get in front of him, make it tough for him and try to get a couple of ugly ones.”

Said Doughty: “He played well last game but at the same time we didn’t do enough to get to him. We didn’t have bodies in front. He let out quite a few rebounds that we didn’t jump on last game as well.”

Friday’s game is the 26th of the playoffs for the Kings, matching a single-year NHL record set by the 1987 Flyers and 2004 Flames (who both lost seven-game series in the Cup final).

Doughty declined to guarantee a win on the night but did say: “There’s no way that we’re going to play a bad game tonight, that’s for sure.

“We are fully prepared for this game. We want this so bad. We want to win this more than them, there’s no doubt about that.”

©2014The Canadian Press

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A Great Big World’s Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino say something about success

TORONTO — A Great Big World made its mark on the music scene last year with the anthemic “This Is the New Year” — covered by the cast of Glee — and the heartbreaking ballad “Say Something.”

The latter got a boost when Christina Aguilera added her vocals to it, propelling A Great Big World’s Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino to stardom.

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The duo’s unabashedly fun “Everybody is Gay” is on every Pride playlist this summer and the new single “Already Home” is giving hope to folks in long distance relationships.

A Great Big World is touring in support of the album Is There Anybody Out There? and will perform June 17 at Montreal’s Corona Theatre, June 24 at the Danforth Music Hall and on the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede on July 10.

A day after playing at the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York City, Axel and Vaccarino spoke to Global News about their music, their success — and their living arrangements.

At what point did you realize that you made it?

Ian: Oh man, I would say when we performed at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party and we were with all the biggest stars in the world in this one room and we were performing alongside legends. When I was on stage and looking out to see who was in the room — that was a moment for me.

Chad: I feel like Christina entering into the picture was, for me, the life-changing moment. When does that happen and how does that happen to two artists that people don’t really know of? All of sudden it felt like our lives were being changed forever.

What has surprised you most about success?

Ian: How much harder you have to work. We both always thought there’d be a moment where we made it and then everything would just be easy. But it feels like we’re working the hardest we’ve ever worked, every single day. We’ve just been working harder and harder.

Chad: Also, I feel like this has been the best learning experience for us. Both Ian and I are the most confident we’ve ever been on stage and performing. With the hard work, the success is bringing a lot of firsts for us.

Why do you think “Say Something” has resonated with so many people?

Ian: It’s probably the most honest and vulnerable we’ve ever been writing a song. And that song was our therapy. It was a healing song for us. Every song that we write is pretty much a chapter in our lives and that was a huge, really important chapter for us. I think it’s raw, it’s quiet. And maybe there’s a lot of noise out there, especially on the radio, and that song is super quiet and forces you to listen to it when it comes on. We weren’t expecting the song to do as well as it’s doing. When our label wanted to push it to radio we were actually fighting it at first because we never thought a song like that can work.

Do you write songs for yourselves and hope they connect with people or do you set out to write songs that you know people will relate to?

Chad: We usually first dive into our own psyches. Trying to be as deep as we can within ourselves to uncover some truths that we didn’t know existed. And then it comes out as trying to connect with others, trying to relate to others. For the most part it’s mainly us finding something within.

Ian: At the same time we’re not alone. It’s easy to forget that everyone experiences the same things. To know that other people are out there connecting and listening — it takes the burden off and it kind of reminds us that we’re all in this thing together.

Talk about “Everyone Is Gay” and the importance of its message.

Chad: I am most proud performing that song and even writing that song was an awesome experience for me. I was bullied as a kid for my sexuality and feeling like I didn’t identify as gay but kids would tease me for being gay. I didn’t understand it. I don’t know, it kind of haunted me up until college. It wasn’t until I met Ian and figured out a lot of things in college that I realized there’s a spectrum of sexuality and we’re all part of it and you can be gay, you can be straight, you can be somewhere in the middle. And it’s a celebration and it’s speaking to the kids who are bullied or confused — or anyone who’s confused or feeling uneasy about their sexuality. You should be who you are and you should love who you love and this is life. Your feelings are not meant to be suppressed.

How important is social media to you?

Chad: I feel like social media for us goes in spurts. There are some months where we can’t stop tweeting and some months where we need a break so we can decompress. It’s amazing to connect with your fans and to engage with your fans and again, feel like you’re not alone in this and hopefully make them feel like they’re not alone.

You guys are coming to do shows in Canada. What can fans expect?

Ian: We’re playing the album. It’s probably a little more rockier than the album, and we have a cover or two. We’re just a bunch of guys having fun on stage. It’s a little bit more of a theatrical performance than what people would expect.

Chad: People can expect to dance a lot more than cry.

They say friends don’t always make great roommates or travel companions. Are you ready to spend a lot of time together on the road?

Ian: We’ve been living together for seven years and we’ve just both signed leases for independent apartments. For the first time!

Chad: Yeah, we’re separating for the first time.

Ian: So when we are home in New York we’re not killing each other, because we’re always together.

Follow @GlobalJRK

BELOW: Watch videos by A Great Big World.

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UPDATE: Alberta provincial court judge pleads guilty to impaired driving

Watch above: An Alberta provincial court judge has been charged with impaired driving. Paul Sully, 75, retired in April but was appointed as a part-time judge to a term that expires in 2016. Nancy Carlson has more.

EDMONTON – Judge Paul Gordon Sully of the Alberta provincial court entered a guilty plea to driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 Monday morning.

Sully, 75, received a $1,500 fine, a $450 Victims Fine Surcharge and a 1-year driving prohibition.

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Alberta Justice confirms he tendered his resignation effective June 17.

Sully was arrested and charged with an impaired driving offence June 12.

Edmonton police say they pulled a driver over that Thursday night during a routine checkstop.

Sully was charged of impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.

“Judge Sully will not be presiding as a judge of the provincial court pending the outcome of these outstanding charges,” Terrence Matchett, chief judge of the provincial court said June 13 in an email.

Greg Lepp, head of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service spoke briefly about the incident at that time, but would not address the specific charges laid.

“Judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, they’re all human,” he said.

“They all do things that other people do, but it is a matter of concern when a judge is charged with an offence.

“It’s very important for the public to keep in mind that he’s innocent until proven guilty. That’s part of our system.”

Sully is a long-time judge who has presided over several high-profile cases, including last year’s fatality inquiry into the 2005 death of Jean Warden at the Devonshire Care Centre.

READ MORE: Inquiry begins for senior who died from malnutrition 

Sully completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba, where he also received his law degree.

He was a lawyer at the Edmonton law firm Brownlee LLP until his appointment in 1998.

He was appointed a supernumerary, or part-time, judge in April 2014. That term was set to expire on April 25, 2016.

Lepp explained that a judge being prosecuted is not unprecedented, and that there is a procedure to make sure the prosecution is impartial.

“We have had experience, both in Alberta and elsewhere, of judges either being under investigation or charged with criminal offences,” he said.

“Ordinarily it’s handled in the fashion that we’re handling it now. We arrange for, on the prosecution side, a prosecutor who is not connected with that particular judge or that particular court.”

In this instance, a prosecutor from the Saskatchewan Crown will handle the case.

With files from The Canadian Press

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