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California not only has needles, trash and feces across its cities; the same filth is now appearing across SoCal beaches – NaturalNews.com

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Parents still frustrated by PCs’ ‘disrespectful’ approach to autism

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After MPP Randy Hillier was temporarily suspended from the PC caucus, some parents are saying his words are proof of a wider atmosphere of disrespect in debate surrounding the province’s autism services.

Premier Doug Ford suspended the Lanark—Frontenac—Kingston representative from caucus yesterday after he reportedly replied  “yada yada yada” in response to remarks from NDP caucus members about the struggles of parents of children with autism.

Laura Kefalas, an Ottawa parent who has a 7-year-old son with autism, was at Queen’s Park at the invitation of Ottawa Centre NDP MPP Joel Harden.

She gave Harden permission to highlight her family’s case during the debate, but said she was disappointed with how Progressive Conservatives received it.

Minister for Children, Community and Social Services Lisa MacLeod responded to Harden — but not before making an attempt at what she called “levity,” quipping about a hockey game both she and Harden were scheduled to attend.

“She made some joke about missing a hockey game,” Kefalas said.

“It’s so disrespectful. She has no compassion for the damage that she’s leaving in her wake.”

The two Ottawa MPPs sparred over autism funding at Queen’s Park Wednesday. 1:45

Her son Noah was on the waitlist for autism services for years, and is finally getting the therapy he needs, she said — but under the province’s new funding structure, those services are set to end May 24.

Later in her response, MacLeod said, “I have an obligation as the minister responsible for this program, to ensure that we allow every child in Ontario the opportunity to get some level of support.”

MacLeod declined a request for an interview on CBC’s Ottawa Morning

‘A Band-Aid solution’

Though she’s glad Hillier is facing consequences for his words, Kefalas said the suspension rings a bit hollow.

“It’s kind of like another Band-Aid solution to a much larger problem,” she said, pointing out Ford’s own history of disparaging people with autism.

In 2014, while still serving as a Toronto city councillor, Ford faced fierce backlash due to comments he made about a mental health agency that aimed to help youth with autism.

Premier Doug Ford reportedly told people at a 2014 a public meeting a home for developmentally disabled youth had ruined a neighbourhood. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Hillier’s remark became a catalyst for parents who were at Queen’s Park yesterday, many of whom already feel that the province is not listening to their concerns about funding for autism services.

Throughout the debate, MacLeod has said the goal of the new funding structure is to clear the 23,000 children on the provincial waitlist for autism services, and more equally distribute the available money to a higher number of families.

But for Kefalas and many others, it’s just not working.

“Right now we’re being dropped into nothing … as of May 24, everything ceases to exist for my son,” she said.

“Now we’re all on a waitlist and Noah’s losing the progress we’ve made.”

MPP Randy Hillier was suspended from the PC caucus after the premier says he made ‘disrespectful comments’ to the families of children with autism. We hear from one of those mothers who was at Queen’s Park yesterday. 9:32



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Doctors report uptick in teens, young adults choosing to vaccinate against parents’ wishes

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Vancouver doctors are seeing an uptick in the number of unvaccinated teens and young adults seeking to be inoculated against measles in the wake of an outbreak of the disease at two schools in the city.

Dr. Eric Cadesky, a family physician and president of Doctors of B.C., said he’s seen a number of young patients recently who made appointments to get the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine over concerns about the outbreak.

“Some of them said their parents were against vaccination because of unreliable sources of information that they received,” Cadesky said. “Others had been hesitant [to be inoculated] because of pressure from peer groups.”

Cadesky said every physician in his practice has noticed a jump in young people asking to get immunized, and he’s heard similar stories from a number of other doctors elsewhere in the province and beyond.

“I’ve heard of people throughout Canada and even doctors around the world saying that millennials are using these outbreaks as an opportunity to revisit the decision that their parents had made for them,” he said.

“And many are making a different decision, which is to protect themselves and also, in many cases, that means protecting the people around them, because not everyone can receive the vaccine.”

Students at Surrey’s Senator Reid Elementary answer quiz questions on the Kids Boost Immunity website, a resource that educates children about the importance of immunization. (Lien Yeung/CBC)

‘Moral obligation’

Among the patients Cadesky inoculated is Maddi Bisset, who had no vaccinations as a child because her mother believed young children shouldn’t be “pumped full of chemicals.”

“She preferred more ‘natural’ alternatives, including homeopathy and essential oils,” the 23-year-old said in an email interview Wednesday.

“Everything my mother did was with our best interests in mind. I just believe she put too much faith into false articles she found online and did not consider what heavy repercussions not vaccinating your child has on both their health, the public’s health and the possible life-threatening situations it puts at-risk people in.

“With the frightening resurgence of measles in Vancouver, it wasn’t a choice anymore, it was a moral obligation to public safety,” Bisset said of her decision to get immunized.

Vancouver outbreak

So far, nine cases of measles have been confirmed at the two French-language schools in Vancouver, a cluster that began after an unvaccinated B.C. child contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam, where the highly contagious disease is endemic.

Infection with the measles virus begins with a high fever, coughing, runny nose and red eyes, followed by the development of a blotchy, painful rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. A person is contagious for about four days before the rash erupts and four days after its onset.

Complications include ear infections that can lead to deafness, blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain.

Measles, which is spread through airborne droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes, can also be a killer. The World Health Organization says there were 110,000 deaths from measles globally in 2017, most of them children under age five.

While measles was declared officially eliminated in Canada in 1998, cases imported by travellers can cause sporadic outbreaks like the one now occurring in Vancouver, seeding the disease within the community and putting those without immunity at risk.

A 1998 U.K. study that suggested the MMR vaccine was linked to autism in children has long been discredited, but still influences people in choosing not to vaccinate. (Lukas Schulze/dpa/Associated Press)

Some people — infants, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy — cannot be vaccinated and must rely on “herd” immunity to prevent infection. Others at risk are those who choose not to be immunized, often based on a long-discredited 1998 U.K. study that suggested the MMR vaccine was linked to autism in children.

‘Safe and effective’

Cadesky said young patients like Bisset are often exposed to ideas and beliefs among their peers that differ from those of their parents, causing them to look for validated information, “and they’re correctly concluding that vaccination is safe and effective.”

Bisset agreed, saying her friends are all vaccinated and are pro-immunization.

“I think youth have adapted along with the internet and have a better sense of which sources are reliable, and with so much information there now, can compare information easily,” she said.

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer, said the MMR shot is not only safe, but it’s one of the most effective vaccines doctors have for preventing disease.

“If someone is questioning whether to get vaccinated or not … it’s a really good idea now to go in and talk to your health provider if you have questions and get them answered and get yourself vaccinated,” Tam said. “I don’t think it’s too late ever to get your measles immunization up to date.”

That’s especially advisable for anyone planning to travel during the upcoming March break to countries where the disease is poorly controlled, she said. Measles remains a common affliction in many areas of the world, including in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

The U.S. is also experiencing travel-related outbreaks, with 127 cases of measles confirmed in 10 states between Jan. 1 and Feb. 14, with Washington and New York states particularly hard hit by the disease, says a report by the Centers for Disease Control.



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Federal government, Cat Lake First Nation, reach agreement to repair, replace substandard housing

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The federal government and northern Ontario First Nations leaders have signed what’s being called an interim framework agreement, to begin to repair and replace dozens of homes in a remote Indigenous community that declared a state of emergency over dangerously inadequate housing, which is infested with mould and plagued with other serious problems.

The meeting between Indigenous Services Minister Seamus O’Regan and Cat Lake Chief Matthew Keewaykapow that finalized the agreement was held in Thunder Bay on Thursday.  It promises to begin to alleviate the crisis by providing funding for repairs and renovations to 21 homes, as well as constructing new ones and delivering and installing portable houses.

The meeting came three days after a member of Cat Lake, 48-year-old Nashie Oombash, died in hospital in the northwestern Ontario city.

Oombash left the remote northern community three weeks prior to seek medical care. Her family believes exposure to mould contributed to her death.

Oombash’s cause of death is unknown pending an autopsy.

Nashie Oombash, 48, died on Monday in Thunder Bay. She suffered severe respiratory issues due to the mould in her home on the Cat Lake First Nation. (Family of Nashie Oombash)

Community leaders in Cat Lake, located about 600 kilometres north of Thunder Bay, sounded the alarm in January over what they called “profoundly poor” housing, in a statement declaring the state of emergency.  They pointed to an independent housing report that highlighted several serious issues with dozens of homes, including excessive mould, leaking roofs and other structures, and foundation issues.

The homes are being blamed for frequent and chronic medical issues in dozens of residents, many of whom need to be airlifted out of the First Nation to hospital.

Building assessments have called for 87 houses to be demolished.

The crisis has reached both Parliament Hill and Queen’s Park with opposition members repeatedly calling for action by the federal and provincial governments, respectively.

The interim agreement will see repairs and renovations begin to 21 of Cat Lake’s homes. Others will be demolished and replaced. (Heather Kitching / CBC)

Cat Lake’s leaders have also called for something to be done quickly, in part, due to the upcoming end of the winter road season — winter roads being the only method by which materials and portable houses could be transported by ground. The community is only accessible by air year-round or by Ontario’s ice road network in the winter months.

The signed agreement said that the community and Ottawa will monitor and maintain the winter road “to ensure access to Cat Lake First Nation for people and materials for as long as possible for the 2019 winter road season.”

Community leaders have said that Cat Lake may need to be evacuated due to the substandard housing; one official at Thursday’s signing said some people may still need to leave the community.

The interim agreement goes into effect today; a final agreement is scheduled to be signed within two weeks.



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