Remand Centre hopes technology cuts in-custody overdoses, boosts staff
Edmonton Remand Centre inmates will go through an electronic body
scanner to counter the smuggling of increasingly toxic drugs and other
contraband into the lockup.
The scanner, similar to those used by airport security, takes a full
body X-ray. The remand centre, which showed off the new equipment
Wednesday, is the first correctional facility in Alberta to test the
New inmates, transferred inmates and inmates suspected of having
contraband will be put through the scanner, said Ken Johnston,
security director of the remand centre, which houses about 1,500
people in custody awaiting trial.
[continues 314 words]
Health and legal experts are urging caution about the idea of charging
fentanyl dealers with manslaughter, saying such a move would do little
to deter sellers and could instead punish those who are already
struggling with substance-use disorders.
B.C. Solicitor-General Mike Farnworth mentioned the idea to reporters
at an unrelated event last week, saying it was raised at a recent
meeting of federal and provincial public safety ministers.
"We strongly believe that if you're dealing fentanyl, you're dealing
death, and you should be facing much more severe penalties such as
manslaughter charges," Mr. Farnworth said.
[continues 727 words]
With just enough methadone to last the trip home to Montreal, Melodie
was in a panic that she'd missed her flight. She was in Paris, and her
supply of prescription methadone, a medicine that helps lower cravings
and withdrawal symptoms caused by opiate use, was about to run out.
Without it, she worried about a relapse, going into the street in
desperation, and doing something dangerous for a fix.
But an online search brought her to a Parisian mobile health clinic.
And they welcomed her. They gave her the methadone that she needed to
stay sober. There was no bureaucracy, no delay, and no prescription
signed by someone in authority - just instant help.
[continues 538 words]
After admitting the medicinal pot in his possession had been illegally
supplemented by some non-medicinal pot, a Sarnia man again pleaded
guilty Wednesday to drug possession - but to a different judge.
These "additional facts" temporarily put to rest a legal conundrum and
likely a Canadian first - whether a lawful prescription becomes
unlawful due to use - that delayed a decision on the drug possession
charge originally expected in August.
Anthony Francis Barr, 27, of St. Clair Township near Sarnia, had
previously pleaded guilty to both driving while impaired and to
possessing marijuana. While convicted and fined $1,000 for the
impaired driving charge by Justice Mark Hornblower, Barr's
prescription for marijuana to deal with an anxiety condition made the
possession charge hazier.
[continues 409 words]
Criminal charges have been laid against Silver International
Investment, a money-transfer business that RCMP allege was involved in
money laundering, had ties to underground banking and used suspected
drug cash to fund Chinese VIP gamblers in B.C. casinos.
During the RCMP's so-called E-Pirate probe, Mounties allege they
uncovered $500 million-plus from a Richmond money-laundering service
that they said handled up to $1.5 million a day.
"The Public Prosecution Service of Canada can confirm that charges
have been laid against Caixuan Qin, Jian Jun Zhu, and Silver
International Investments Ltd. in relation to Project E-Pirate,"
spokeswoman Nathalie Houle said Wednesday in an email. "We have no
other information to provide at this time."
[continues 685 words]
Supporters of Edmonton's Chinatown and urban community league members
say they 're disappointed with the Ottawa's approval of four
supervised drug consumption sites in the city's core.
"We feel that it's an extremely unfair decision, and not
well-informed," Michael Lee, chairman of the Chinese Benevolent
Association, said Wednesday.
"The basic rights of some communities (were) totally
Alberta Health announced Wednesday that its federal counterpart had
approved three supervised injection sites in Edmonton's downtown core
and supervised consumption services for inpatients at the Royal
[continues 276 words]
Alberta's first supervised drug injection sites will open within
months at four locations in Edmonton's inner city after receiving
approval from Health Canada, the provincial government announced Wednesday.
Proponents hailed the news as a "long overdue" step that will save
lives and direct more addicts into treatment.
The goal is to get three community sites open by late December or
early January, while a fourth facility at the Royal Alexandra Hospital
is anticipated to open sometime in the spring of 2018.
[continues 1235 words]
Thirteen Canadians a day were hospitalized for an opioid overdose in
2014-2015, according to the Canadian Institute of Health Information,
and the rate of opioid poisoning hospitalizations has been steadily
What began with the over-prescription of opioids such as OxyContin, a
painkiller once thought to have a low potential for addiction, led to
the diversion of legal drugs to the illegal market, and later to the
dramatic expansion of the illegal production of fentanyl.
As the horror stories of addiction and death multiply, it is clear
that what was once a medical issue is now a population-health crisis.
[continues 634 words]
When did Ottawa become such an unlawful city? I can't believe that
illegal pot shops and injection sites are allowed to operate. Why do
the police and the city not have the gumption to shut them down?
What about taxpaying residents who want safe access for their families
to this park? Their rights are being violated by the very people who
are supposed to protect them. This is not right.
Sue Warren, Ottawa
Last week, it was announced that opioid deaths have already exceeded
last year's numbers, and the trend continues to point to an increasing
Yet we open "incite" places to shoot up and open shelters where drug
use is rampant. As long as society tolerates and supports this
lifestyle, can there really be any other outcome?
Burnside Gorge Community Association has said enough, but Victoria
city council approved another shelter, ignoring the voters. Drugs will
destroy lives and communities unless there is concerted effort to
outlaw their use and stop enabling users.
An alliance of Canadian securities regulators said Monday that it
expects domestic companies with marijuana dealings in the United
States to give their investors a good idea of the potential risks of
doing drug business south of the border, which could now include the
possibility of being delisted from the Toronto Stock Exchange.
"We expect issuers with marijuana-related activities in the U.S. to
address the current legal and regulatory environment in their
disclosures, including any risks that result from changes in the
approach to enforcement of U.S. federal law," Louis Morisset, chair of
the Canadian Securities Administrators, said in a press release.
[continues 216 words]
Students to learn to detect overdoses and reverse them using naloxone
The University of B.C.'s Alma Mater Society is organizing mass
training events to teach students to recognize and reverse drug
overdoses amid a devastating provincial health emergency that shows no
sign of slowing down.
Organizers say 120 students are registered for a two-hour training
session Thursday in the student union building at UBC's Vancouver
campus, where they'll learn the signs of an overdose, how to use a
naloxone kit and the role stigma-free language plays in improving the
lives of people who use drugs.
[continues 547 words]
This is looking after our own people here as well as the public." Doug
Barfoot, fire chief
Owen Sound firefighters will soon have a new tool at their disposal
that could potentially save lives.
Fire Chief Doug Barfoot said within the next month or so, Owen Sound
Fire & Emergency Services will begin carrying naloxone - the highly
effective drug that can temporarily reverse an overdose by fentanyl or
other opioids - on their main truck.
"We're trying to be proactive here," he said in an
[continues 658 words]
For a government that promised to legislate using evidence-based
science, the rapid approach of legalized marijuana in Canada is
starting to look like a case study in blind faith.
Last week, federal justice officials issued the next round of details
in their impending pot law.
In addition to existing impaired-by-drug laws that police are already
using to prosecute drugged drivers, three new criminal offences are
destined to be born to deal with pot-impaired driving all based on the
quantity of THC found in a person's body.
[continues 388 words]
It must have been a busy meeting. A couple of weeks ago, Canada's
federal and provincial justice and public safety ministers met in
Vancouver for two days of meetings. They talked about delays in the
criminal system and reforms to the Criminal Code over mandatory
minimum sentencing provisions. About changes to the bail system and
simpler and faster court proceedings.
They talked about national security legislation and the safety of
Canadians, about the legalization of marijuana and the nuances of home
cultivation, and the health and safety effects of the drug, both on
adults and the particular risks for young people. There was discussion
about changing the rules on drunk driving to make it easier for police
officers to require drivers to submit to breath testing, and on and
[continues 361 words]
John De Villa and his wife, Maxine, are afraid he'll lose access to
the cannabis products that keep him seizure-free.
The otherwise healthy software technician wasn't born with epilepsy,
didn't drink or smoke, and hadn't taken as much as a Tylenol in decades.
During the course of the next eight months, he would suffer a total of
12 grand mal seizures. Doctors would later tell him the effects on his
brain were equivalent to what one would experience after a series of
[continues 1408 words]
Health Canada approved the first few supervised consumption facilities
in Alberta on Wednesday, including a site in downtown Lethbridge.
ARCHES and Edmonton-based coalition AMSISE received an exemption from
federal drug legislation, allowing them to operate supervised
Four sites are slated to open, three in Edmonton and one in
Lethbridge, which will operate out of the former night club Pulse.
The application process for Lethbridge moved quicker than most and
Jill Manning, the managing director of ARCHES, feels that may be a
result of the unique issues Lethbridge is facing around substance use.
[continues 571 words]
Re: Local safe injection sites urged for drug strategy (Oct. 11)
Medically supervised facilities for the administration and consumption
of illicit drugs are proposed as a means to save lives, protect the
community and help reduce illicit drug use itself. Of course,
opponents disagree, either questioning their effectiveness, or
objecting to the idea of enabling addiction and saving people from
themselves. But, whatever their differences, people seem to agree that
improved public health and social engineering are the primary
objectives. I submit this is fundamentally misguided.
[continues 175 words]
Nearly 50 First Nations communities - including at least two in the
Timmins area - are investing in medical marijuana.
Matachewan and Wahgoshig First Nations are among the shareholders in
DelShen Therapeutics, which is a licensed medical marijuana producer.
Jacob Taylor and Jonathan Araujo of the Pontiac Group have been
helping to connect Ontario First Nations groups with the medical
marijuana company for the past two years.
"This plant is a medicine, and our focus with DelShen Therapeutics has
always been a medical focus, where other companies have a recreational
focus," explained Araujo.
[continues 467 words]
Ottawa police have staged another raid on an illegal marijuana
dispensary, charging two people at the CannaGreen on Armstrong Street
across from the Parkdale Market with drug trafficking.
"We continue to stress that there is no 'grey area' when it comes to
storefront marijuana dispensaries," said a statement from Staff Sgt.
Rick Carey. "They are and will continue to be illegal
The raid conducted Friday appears to be part of a renewed effort by
police to close down the city's illegal pot shops. On Oct. 3 police
raided Cannabis Culture on Bank St., Dr. Greenthumb on Montreal Road
and several outdoor grow-ops, arresting eight people. Both shops re-opened.
[continues 115 words]