Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

Health

Canada bracing for health, political fallout from North Korean nuke test: memos

If you like this, share it!

OTTAWA — Canadian officials have been quietly preparing for the fallout from an atmospheric nuclear-weapons test by North Korea, including the spread of radioactive debris across the ocean and the significant public concerns that would arise,…


If you like this, share it!
Avatar

Published

on

If you like this, share it!




  • OTTAWA — Canadian officials have been quietly preparing for the fallout from an atmospheric nuclear-weapons test by North Korea, including the spread of radioactive debris across the ocean and the significant public concerns that would arise, internal government memos show.

    In the event of a test, Health Canada’s radiation protection bureau would monitor contamination, while various federal agencies would manage any dangers to the public and ensure everyone is well-informed about developments.

    Radiation levels would depend on the size and height of a detonation and weather patterns over the Pacific Ocean, according to model scenarios mapped out by the bureau.

    “Historical experience in fallout monitoring indicates that contamination would be well below levels of public health concern,” says a presentation prepared for Health Canada’s deputy minister.

    “Nonetheless, significant public and political concern can be anticipated.”

    Officials expect to suddenly be juggling everything from testing the safety of the food supply to evaluating the hazards to travellers and Canadians living abroad.

    The Canadian Press used the Access to Information Act to obtain a copy of the briefing materials. A few passages in the notes, drafted last December, were considered too sensitive to release under provisions of the access law concerning international relations and security.

    Nuclear tests in North Korea have taken place underground, resulting in “extremely small” levels of radiation that pose no risk to Canadians, the presentation says. However, it adds the country’s threats last year to carry out an atmospheric test “highlights the need to be ready to respond” to consequences.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear ambitions touched off a stormy war of words with U.S. President Donald Trump and a high-profile summit meeting last June.

    Canada is a signatory to the global Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which prohibits nuclear explosions, and carries out various activities in support of the treaty including round-the-clock monitoring.

    The radiation protection bureau operates a network of over 100 monitoring stations across Canada as well as laboratories that allow for prompt assessment of fallout from a nuclear accident or weapon through collection and analysis of air, rain and milk samples.

    Information collected previously by Canada and other countries provided evidence of North Korea’s underground tests, leading to United Nations Security Council sanctions.

    In the case of a nuclear event, the Federal Nuclear Emergency Plan kicks in, setting in motion efforts by the protection bureau and 18 other federal agencies, the notes say.

    The bureau would provide “scenario analysis” on the spread of radioactivity to security and intelligence analysts in the Privy Council Office — the bureaucratic arm of Prime Minister’s Office. Teams at the PCO and Public Safety would manage the federal government’s overall communications response, with the chief public health officer serving as the lead spokesman on health issues.

    The Public Health Agency of Canada, meanwhile, could activate a special operations centre, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency would evaluate effects on food, feed and animals.

    The protection bureau would be on standby to answer questions from Global Affairs Canada about any needed steps to protect diplomatic staff.

    The various agencies worked together on a disaster in the not-so-distant past, forming Canada’s response to the 2011 Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear emergency following an earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    — Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

    Jim Bronskill, The Canadian Press



    If you like this, share it!
    Advertisement [bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]

    Health

    Focus on traumatized boys critical to gender equality, new research shows

    If you like this, share it!

    TORONTO — Boys in poor urban areas around the world are suffering even more than girls from violence, abuse and neglect, groundbreaking international research published on Monday suggests.
    The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, along with …


    If you like this, share it!
    Avatar

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • TORONTO — Boys in poor urban areas around the world are suffering even more than girls from violence, abuse and neglect, groundbreaking international research published on Monday suggests.

    The study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, along with similar new research, suggests an adequate focus on helping boys is critical to achieving gender equality in the longer term.

    “This is the first global study to investigate how a cluster of traumatic childhood experiences known as ACEs, or adverse childhood experiences, work together to cause specific health issues in early adolescence, with terrible life-long consequences,” Dr. Robert Blum, the lead researcher for the global early adolescent study, said in a statement. “While we found young girls often suffer significantly, contrary to common belief, boys reported even greater exposure to violence and neglect, which makes them more likely to be violent in return.”

    The study from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health looked at childhood traumas suffered by 1,284 adolescents aged 10 to 14 in more than a dozen low-income urban settings around the world such as the United States, China, the U.K., Egypt and Bolivia.

    Overall, 46 per cent of young adolescents reported experiencing violence, 38 per cent said they suffered emotional neglect and 29 per cent experienced physical neglect. Boys, however, were more likely to report being victims of physical neglect, sexual abuse and violence.

    While higher levels of trauma lead both boys and girls to engage in more violent behaviours, boys are more likely to become violent. Girls tend to show higher levels of depression.

    Separately, a new report to be released next month at an international conference in Vancouver concludes that focusing on boys is critical to achieving gender parity. The report from the Bellagio Working Group on Gender Equality — a global coalition of adolescent health experts — finds boys and men are frequently overlooked in the equality equation.

    “We cannot achieve a gender-equitable world by ignoring half of its occupants,” the report states. “It is crucial that boys and men be included in efforts to promote gender equality and empowerment.”

    For the past six years, a consortium of 15 countries led by the Bloomberg School of Public Health and World Health Organization has been working on the global early adolescent study. The aim is to understand how gender norms are formed in early adolescence and how they predispose young people to sexual and other health risks.

    Evidence gathered by the study indicates boys experience as much disadvantage as girls but are more likely to smoke, drink and suffer injury and death in the second decade of life than their female counterparts.

    The key to achieving gender equality over the next decade or so — as the United Nations aims to do — involves addressing conditions and stereotypes that are harmful to both girls and boys, the researchers say. They also say it’s crucial to intervene as early as age 10. The norm is now age 15.

    “Gender norms, attitudes and beliefs appear to solidify by age 15 or 16,” the working group says. “We must actively engage girls and boys at the onset of adolescence to increase total social inclusion and produce generational change.”

    Leena Augimeri, a child mental-health expert with the Child Development Institute in Toronto, agreed with the need to focus on boys as well as girls. At the same time, she said, the genders do require different approaches.

    “Boys are equally at risk,” said Augimeri, who was not involved in the studies. “When we look at the various issues that impact our children, we have to look at it from different perspectives and lenses and you can’t think there’s a one fit for all.”

     

    Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    Health

    ‘Dignity and wisdom’: Chief justice praises Gascon after final high-court case

    If you like this, share it!

    OTTAWA — Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon received a standing ovation Thursday after hearing his final case on the high court.
    Gascon graciously thanked his family and colleagues, saying it is an immense privilege to be a judge.
    Last month, Gascon,…


    If you like this, share it!
    Avatar

    Published

    on

    If you like this, share it!




  • OTTAWA — Supreme Court Justice Clement Gascon received a standing ovation Thursday after hearing his final case on the high court.

    Gascon graciously thanked his family and colleagues, saying it is an immense privilege to be a judge.

    Last month, Gascon, 58, announced plans to retire for unspecified personal and family reasons.

    He said this week he has long struggled with anxiety and depression, and while he has generally been able to manage the illness, it recently led to a difficult episode.

    Gascon said he suffered a panic attack before he briefly went missing May 8. He profusely apologized for the uncharacteristic absence, citing the effects of his difficult career decision and a change in medication.

    In the crowded courtroom Thursday, Chief Justice Richard Wagner praised Gascon as an exceptional person.

    “Our esteemed colleague has served Canadians with dignity and wisdom,” Wagner said. “His commitment and friendship will be missed.”

    Justice Sheilah Martin shed tears.

    Gascon officially steps down Sept. 15 but will continue to have input into judgments flowing from cases he has heard, as long as they are released within six months of his retirement date.

    Judgments released after mid-March will note that Gascon had no input into the decision.

    “My work as a judge is far from complete,” he said. “I can assure you that I will continue.”

    The Canadian Press


    If you like this, share it!
    Continue Reading

    may, 2019

    tue21may5:30 pm7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    sat25may2:00 pm4:00 pmThe Planet is Changing, Why Aren't We?STOP the Destruction of our Planet, GO for Climate Justice with a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Future2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    mon27may1:30 pm4:00 pmWellness Recovery Action PlanningCanadian Mental Health Association1:30 pm - 4:00 pm

    tue28may5:30 pm7:00 pmLiving Life to the FullCanadian Mental Health Association5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

    fri31may5:00 pm11:30 pmAB Sports Hall of Fame Induction BanquetInduction Banquet5:00 pm - 11:30 pm

    Trending

    X