Local News Briefs

Demand for pesticide ban growing

Environmental and health groups continue to push the province to ban the sale and use of cosmetic pesticides. Last week, more than 1,000 people had added their names to an online petition by Cosmetic Pesticide Ban Manitoba, according to CBC Manitoba. The group is expected to present the petition to the province Monday, Oct. 1, when public consultations on the issue will end. The province has confirmed a ban on the cosmetic use of lawn pesticides, but how it will be applied is still being determined, the CBC reports. Research shows human health, along with aquatic ecosystems, is endangered by pesticide use. Seven provinces have restrictions on lawn pesticides. The pesticide industry maintains pesticides are safe and federally regulated. To submit your thoughts, visit http://tinyurl.com/Uniter-Pesticide.

Suzuki brings ecology, economics talk to city

Ecology and the economy will be the focus of an upcoming talk by environmentalist David Suzuki and economist Jeff Rubin. At a press conference in Toronto, the two announced a cross-country speaking tour, calling for the environment to stop taking a back seat to economic concerns such as jobs and growth, the Canadian Press reported. Financial and political decisions must incorporate environmental sustainability, Suzuki argues. Rubin, former chief economist for CIBC, calls endless growth “short-sighted,” given the finite supply of the world’s resources and the environmental toll of consumption and industry. Suzuki and Rubin will be in Winnipeg Monday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m., at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. Tickets are $15 and available at McNally Robinson or by calling 204-475-0483.

Manitoba unions compete for healthcare worker bounty

Manitoba unions are vying for some 7,000 rural healthcare workers following the province’s decision to amalgamate regional health authorities, the Winnipeg Free Press reports. The workers are represented by three different unions, including the Manitoba Government and General Employees Union, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and the Manitoba Association of Health Care Professionals. A disagreement has erupted over whether each union should receive the addresses of members in rival unions so they can send them promotional literature. The Manitoba Labour Board rejected this, despite precedent, intending to proceed with balloting in each of the three newly merged health regions. The MGEU has filed an injunction to place a hold on the balloting. A hearing has been set for Oct. 10.

CTF questions spiritual health project

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is taking aim at Manitoba’s new spiritual healthcare project, the Winnipeg Sun reports. Colin Craig, director of the CTF prairie region, is questioning the province’s Health and the Human Spirit strategy, a four-year plan that includes seven coordinators to help Manitobans connect with spiritual supports. “I think the average Joe can find Buddha, Allah, Jesus or something else that interests them on their own,” Craig said. The province told the Sun there will be no cost to the program, saying the plan uses existing resources to allow the healthcare system respond to the spiritual needs of patients. Craig says the plan will cost money, even if it doesn’t involve new hirings of coordinators or other personnel, the Sun reported.

Published in Volume 67, Number 4 of The Uniter (September 26, 2012)

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