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Woman's angry health-care plea to Nova Scotia premier goes viral

Woman's angry health-care plea to Nova Scotia premier goes viralHALIFAX — A Nova Scotia mother who says she waited two years for her cancer diagnosis has released a viral, highly emotional video calling out Premier Stephen McNeil for not declaring a health-care crisis in the province."To the premier of Nova Scotia, I dare you to take a meeting with me … and tell me there is no health-care crisis," Inez Rudderham, 33, said in a viral Facebook video that has been viewed over 1.5 million times.In the tearful, emotionally charged video, the mother of a four-year-old daughter said she went undiagnosed with Stage 3 anal cancer for two years due to her lack of access to a family doctor.Rudderham states she has received 30 rounds of radiation to her pelvis, which has left her "barren and infertile." When taking her health concerns to the emergency rooms, Rudderham says she was brushed off."It's OK though, right? Because they caught it. They caught it when it was Stage 3," says a teary Rudderham, her head swathed in a scarf."I fought. I fought for my life."Rudderham also says she has been waiting for mental health services since January, only to find out this month that she can only get an appointment in mid-July."You want to tell me that there's no health-care crisis in my province?"There were 55,801 people on a waiting list for a family physician in Nova Scotia, or about six per cent of the province's population, as of Dec. 1."There are not enough physicians to meet the health-care needs of Nova Scotians," a report released in January by Doctors Nova Scotia said. "We believe that every Nova Scotian deserves access to a family physician."McNeil said Thursday he's asked health officials to meet with Rudderham, and will wait for word from them."I obviously feel for this person, I did see part of the video. I've asked the department to reach out, to be in contact with her to find out the issues that she has and how we can best ensure that she gets the appropriate treatment but also the appropriate supports," he told reporters. The video posted on Tuesday has been shared more than 61,000 times. A crowdfunding campaign for Rudderham has raised over $11,000."This is the face of the health-care crisis in Nova Scotia, and I dare you to tell me otherwise," she says, pointing to her own face.McNeil said his government is trying to update an antiquated health system, and said other jurisdictions face similar issues."There are challenges in the health care system in ... access to primary care, we've always acknowledged that," McNeil said.(Global News, The Canadian Press)On the web: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.inez/videos/10156155486545812/The Canadian Press


Court dismisses latest Oberlander effort to fight stripping of citizenship

Court dismisses latest Oberlander effort to fight stripping of citizenshipTORONTO — A 95-year-old man who has had his citizenship revoked several times for lying about his membership in a Second World War Nazi death squad has lost yet another bid to have his case revisited.The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the latest legal action from Helmut Oberlander, whose case dates back to the 1990s.Courts have repeatedly ruled that Oberlander's Canadian citizenship should be revoked on the grounds that he lied about his participation in a Nazi squad responsible for the deaths of nearly 100,000 people, although there has never been any evidence that he took part in atrocities.The latest ruling had come from Federal Court Judge Michael Phelan last September, but Oberlander alleged the judge was biased because of previous involvement in the case and took the matter to the higher court.A three-judge panel with the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Oberlander's motion to have his case revisited in a written decision released Thursday."There is a strong presumption that judges will comply with their solemn judicial oath to administer justice impartially," the decision reads."This presumption is not easily rebutted, particularly where the previous decision in question which forms the foundation of the bias allegation took place a decade ago, under a different legal regime, and on a different record."In June 2017, the federal government revoked Oberlander's Canadian citizenship for the fourth time since the mid 1990s. In doing so, the government maintained he was complicit in war crimes by belonging to Einsatzkommando 10a, known as Ek-10a.The Ukraine-born Oberlander, who came to Canada in 1954 and became a citizen in 1960, has long argued he was conscripted into the unit as a 17-year-old and risked execution had he tried to leave. He has insisted he acted as an interpreter and took no part in its savagery.Phelan was asked to rule on the government's citizenship revocation decision in September 2018. He found it reasonable to strip Oberlander of his Canadian citizenship for misrepresenting his war-time activities when he immigrated.In reaching his conclusion, Phelan said a 2000 ruling from Federal Court Judge Andrew MacKay found Oberlander to have been aware of the unit's brutality and complicit in its war crimes by acting as an interpreter.However, Oberlander's lawyers Ronald Poulton and Barbara Jackman argued that Phelan misinterpreted MacKay's decision and was in fact leaning on his own previous ruling from 2008 — one that was upended on appeal."Justice Phelan sat in judgment on his own previous finding," the lawyers argued.The Federal Court of Appeal said judges frequently need to revisit their own work, adding that the lengthy amount of time that had elapsed between Phelan's two rulings was relevant.The judges also noted that Phelan had to rely on different legal procedures in his two rulings, since the Supreme Court had changed the test for war crimes complicity in 2013."The Supreme Court changed the test ... from participation or indirect complicity to complicity based on a knowing, significant, and voluntary contribution," the decision reads. "The judicial review before Phelan in 2018 involved a different legal test than that which governed in 2008."Michelle McQuigge, The Canadian Press


Disappearance of woman, child treated as potential homicides: Calgary police

Disappearance of woman, child treated as potential homicides: Calgary policeCALGARY — Police in Calgary say they're treating the disappearance last week of a woman and toddler as potential homicides.They say they have found no evidence that 25-year-old Jasmine Lovett or her 22-month-old daughter Aliyah Sanderson are alive.Police say the last time they were seen was in the suburban community of Cranston on the evening of April 16.The last activity on the mother's financial accounts was two days later.Police say they have a suspect in custody.They say they don't believe it's random because the suspect and the missing females knew each other.Investigators are searching Cranston and the area surrounding the hamlet of Bragg Creek west of Calgary for evidence. The Canadian Press


Ottawa opioid users find hope in program that promises safe drug supply

Ottawa opioid users find hope in program that promises safe drug supplyKatrina Adams has thought about getting a tattoo for all of her friends who have died in the past two years from opioid overdoses but she doesn't think she has enough room on her body for all the names. Instead, the 27-year-old has pictures of many of them in her Ottawa apartment, along with images of her two children. Opioid addiction leads to daily Russian roulette, she said. The supply of drugs on the street is unpredictable, a mix of different chemicals of different potencies.


How court battle over 'Grabher' licence plate mirrors wider societal debate

How court battle over 'Grabher' licence plate mirrors wider societal debateHALIFAX — When Lorne Grabher bought a personalized licence plate for his father 30 years ago, he thought it would make for a fine tribute to his family's Austrian-German heritage.But the Nova Scotia plate — "GRABHER" — has instead sparked a heated debate between prominent academics about freedom of expression and "rape culture."In 2016, the province's Registrar of Motor Vehicles revoked the plate after the agency received a complaint from a woman who said it promoted hatred toward women.Grabher has since filed a civil lawsuit to get the plate reinstated, arguing the province is squelching freedom of expression for all the wrong reasons.His court case, being heard this week in Halifax, has become a battleground in a debate ongoing in the wider society.A scholar who specializes in feminist media studies says the plate should be banned because it promotes "rape culture."Prof. Carrie Rentschler, a communications studies professor at McGill University in Montreal, testified in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Thursday. She was asked by the province to draft an expert report, which forms the backbone of the province's case."It is my opinion that the vanity plate in question can contribute to the social conditions in which gender violence is reproduced," Rentschler wrote in her report.She described the plate as a potentially harmful "speech act," which refers to the idea that words do more than name things — they can also do things and have effects."The speech act 'Grabher' can be located on the continuum of sexual violence, as a form of communication like catcalling, verbal harassment and verbal threats of gender violence," Rentschler wrote.She said the plate signifies support and encouragement of physical violence against girls and women because it can be interpreted as a command that targets a particular class of people.Women and girls could reasonably find the plate upsetting and potentially threatening, the report says."Someone may say, 'Grabher' is just my name,' but for others, it is a statement of support in favour of grabbing women that is a clear example of rape culture," Rentschler wrote.As well, Rentschler said words carry more weight when they are placed on government-sanctioned licence plates."The power of the potential offence in the statement 'Grabher' ... is conferred not only by the owner of the car but also by the authority of the province, which amplifies and legitimates the speech act and its misogynist and sexual-violence supportive meanings," she wrote.On Wednesday, former sex researcher Debra Soh told the court the plate does not promote sexual violence against women, because the phrase "Grabher" would have no impact on the average, socially adjusted person.Soh said she wouldn't expect anyone to act in a sexually violent way after seeing the plate unless they were anti-social and already predisposed to such behaviour."A licence plate on the road is not going to be a risk factor as to whether someone commits an offence," said Soh, a science journalist and commentator with 11 years of experience conducting academic research on male sexuality.In an expert report aimed at rebutting Rentschler's report, Soh says "there is no evidence that Canada is a 'rape culture' or a 'culture supportive of violence.'"To prove her point, she cited Statistics Canada figures showing the most severe forms of sexual offences in Nova Scotia had decreased between 2016 and 2017. "There is no evidence that "GRABHER" on a licence plate is causative of rape or promotes rape culture," Soh wrote. "It is a stretch to assume that the phrase encourages physical contact without a woman's consent ... One could imagine any number of circumstances in which grabbing an individual could be a positive experience; for example in an instance of playfulness."Rentschler noted that governments, particularly in the United States, routinely deny or revoke licence plates due to obscenity and vulgarity.However, Soh said the Quebec government approved two requests from a man in Baie-Comeau who in September received personalized plates reading: "PENIS" and "ANUS."The government agency that approved the plates said it routinely bans words that are considered obscene, scandalous or sexual in nature. But it concluded Sylvain Poirier's requests were just biological terms.Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press


Thursday 25th of April 2019 07:54:40

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