Category Archives: Government

New Brunswick’s 12 podiatrists seeking prescription rights in the province

Logo - cropped

NEWS RELEASE

March 12, 2015
For immediate release

New Brunswick’s 12 podiatrists seeking prescription rights in the province

FREDERICTON, N.B. – New Brunswick’s 12 practising podiatrists (‘foot doctors’) are seeking prescription rights in the province. The New Brunswick Podiatry Association recently issued a formal submission to government through the Strategic Program Review process based on cost savings to Medicare and improved patient care, which will also save the province money through increased prevention.

“Currently, patients are forced back into the Medicare system for relatively simple prescriptions,” said Dr. Sue Davidge of Fredericton, President of the New Brunswick Podiatry Association. “Patients either pay out of their own pockets or go through their private health-care insurance to see a podiatrist. We then force them back into the taxpayer-funded system for a prescription which can easily be written by the podiatrist. It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars and is redundant. As well, the unnecessary delay in getting the prescription may result in the patient’s medical problem getting worse.”

According to a business case included with the submission, the direct cost savings to the provincial government could be as much as $1.7 million over five years. The business case was prepared by David Campbell, who has since been appointed New Brunswick’s chief economist by Premier Brian Gallant. “On top of that, we must also factor in the costs of preventing what could be major complications from happening in the first place,” Dr. Davidge said. “By having prescription rights, we will greatly increase the probability of patients actually filling their prescriptions in a timely way instead of being sent back into the health-care system and being the victims of delays and long wait times, or worse still – not getting the prescription filled at all.”

“It’s a fact that some patients don’t get the prescriptions filled because it’s too inconvenient, meaning that their foot-care problems actually get worse,” she says. “Eventually, these problems often become acute and end up costing the provincial health-care system a lot more money – and it will only get worse with rising diabetes rates. It’s just so unnecessary.”

New Brunswick has Canada’s highest rate of diabetes which is linked to severe foot-care problems, especially among seniors. This means that proper and expanded foot care in the province will continue to get more important. Podiatrists currently play a major role in helping to solve the problem and want to strengthen that role by being provided prescription rights.

“Between 2013 and 2030, the number of persons aged 65 and over with diabetes in New Brunswick is expected to rise from nearly 26,000 to over 44,000, according to Statistics Canada,” Dr. Davidge says. “To put an extra burden on seniors and have them wait in hospital emergency rooms, travel to walk-in clinics or wait for appointments for their own family physician – if they even have one – can be alleviated by providing podiatrists with prescription rights.”

“Podiatrists are primary care practitioners,” Dr. Davidge said. “Currently, there are 50,000 New Brunswickers with no family physician. This could potentially delay onset of treatment. Since podiatrists require no referrals from a family physician, and since they are private practitioners, a patient can see a podiatrist in a timely manner with little or no wait time. This can reduce emergency room and after-hour clinic wait times and reliance on Medicare-only treatment.”

Through their education program, New Brunswick’s podiatrists have all received the proper training for prescribing medication. At their own cost, they would update this training and would each be mentored by a pharmacist for a set period of time. Podiatrist-specific pharmacology courses are available through the University of Toronto and the Michener Institute for Applied Health Sciences.

Currently, podiatrists in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec have prescription rights, while Saskatchewan is seriously considering providing rights. Most U.S. states grant prescription rights to podiatrists, as do the U.K. and Australia.

“Podiatrists want to be part of the solution to New Brunswick’s financial challenges, and provide the best possible care and service to patients,” Dr. Davidge said. “The provincial government has a unique opportunity to formally recognize podiatrists as being on the front line of patient care by providing them with prescription rights. This will lead to healthier New Brunswickers and less costs in the long term.”

New Brunswick is the only province in Atlantic Canada which regulates the podiatry profession.

-30-

Media contact:

Dr. Sue Davidge, Podiatrist
President
New Brunswick Podiatry Association
506-472-3668
nbpodiatry@gmail.com

TransAqua welcomes two Commissioners from the City of Moncton

Winston Pearce
Winston Pearce

At a recent Moncton city council meeting, Mayor George LeBlanc appointed Winston Pearce and George Somers to TransAqua – the Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission. The new appointees replace Moncton councillors Brian Hicks and Daniel Bourgeois, whose terms on the board have ended.

TransAqua’s Chair, Mr. Pearce has been the Town of Riverview’s appointee since 2012, however he recently moved to Moncton. “I’m very pleased to have been reappointed to TransAqua by Mayor LeBlanc,” he said. “This will provide some continuity on the board as we move forward with major upgrades to meet new federal regulations by 2020.”

Mr. Pearce holds a bachelor of applied science and engineering (civil) from the University of Toronto. He retired from CNR in 1991, having also worked for CN Marine and as a transportation consultant with Canac International. In addition to other volunteer work, he was Riverview’s representative on the Capitol Theatre’s board for 20 years. In 1993, he was awarded an honorary master of transportation engineering degree from the University of New Brunswick.

George Somers holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Mount Allison University and an accounting diploma from the New Brunswick Community College. He retired from a management position with Medavie Blue Cross in 2012 after nearly 28 years of service. At the time of his retirement, he was responsible for provider relations and contractual negotiations with health-care providers across Canada with primary focus on Atlantic Canada. He has also managed the administrative operating budget for several government-sponsored drug programs. After retiring, he subsequently worked as a consultant with the New Brunswick Department of Health.

“At this time, I’d like to sincerely thank Councillor Brian Hicks and Councillor Daniel Bourgeois for their outstanding contribution to TransAqua during their time as Commissioners,” Mr. Pearce said. “They provided very good guidance and counsel on a number of issues, including governance and finance. Their work with us will have a positive effect on TransAqua for years to come. We also look forward to working with Mr. Somers.”

Each municipality in Greater Moncton appoints two Commissioners to sit on TransAqua’s board. With these new appointments, TransAqua’s board now includes Winston Pearce (Chair, City of Moncton), George Somers (City of Moncton), Chanel Michaud (Treasurer, City of Dieppe), Julie Thériault (City of Dieppe), and Clarence Sweetland (Secretary, Town of Riverview.) There is one vacancy from the Town of Riverview. An appointment is expected soon.

TransAqua / Greater Moncton Wastewater Commission (www.transaqua.ca) was established in 1983 to support the wastewater collection and treatment needs of the Dieppe, Moncton and Riverview tri-community. Since then, it has developed a 35-kilometre collection network and a treatment facility to best deliver on this mandate. It has also become a leader in the reuse of biosolids through the generation of type ‘AA’ compost (the highest grade currently achieved in Canada) as opposed to disposal in a landfill site. The organization is now positioning itself to further upgrade its facilities to provide an enhanced secondary treatment approach that will allow it to meet recently introduced mandatory federal regulations prior to the 2020 deadline.

City of Dieppe launches ExpansionDieppe

ExpansionDieppeBAdge
The City of Dieppe announced today that the Economic Development Corporation of the City of Dieppe will now be known as ExpansionDieppe. The new name is effective today.

ExpansionDieppe is the City of Dieppe’s land development agency. Its goal is to ensure that land development in Dieppe occurs in a timely and efficient manner by providing vital information, seeking partnerships and acting as a facilitator for property development and investments through advice, expertise, support and strategic site data.

The name ExpansionDieppe – along with the new tagline Seize Our Momentum – capitalizes on Dieppe’s significant continued growth. The new name reflects one of Dieppe’s main goals: to expand in a sustainable and responsible manner. As well, the name is shorter, easier to remember and is the same in French and English. The new branding includes a logo, website, video and social media channels such as Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn.

“Dieppe is a young and dynamic city with the second-highest population growth in Atlantic Canada,” said Yvon Lapierre, Mayor of Dieppe. “In fact our population has increased by 50 per cent since 2001 and our tax base has tripled over the past 10 years. We are home to some of the most successful entrepreneurs and businesses not only in New Brunswick, but regionally and nationally. We have been demonstrating strong economic leadership in this community for many years, and this is the next step in continuing along that successful path.”

“This rebranding was undertaken to better reflect the agency’s mandate,” said Alain Parent, President of ExpansionDieppe’s board of directors. “In fact, despite its former name, ExpansionDieppe is not an economic development agency in the traditional sense; our focus is more on growing the City’s tax base through commercial and industrial land development initiatives. This led to some lack of clarity among Dieppe residents, investors and the area’s business community.”

“We add value to our client’s efforts as we work every day to continue the momentum in Dieppe’s successful business climate,” Mr. Parent said.

“The EDCCD’s staff and board of directors remain in place,” says Pierre Dupuis, General Manager of Expansion Dieppe, “however we fully anticipate that this new brand and updated communication tools will allow us to be more effective in the community as we seek to encourage and facilitate growth in Dieppe to the benefit of our residents and the overall economy of Southeastern New Brunswick.”

ExpansionDieppe maintains a strategic inventory of its own land available for development; maintains a database of available land and commercial space; provides current economic data to developers and others seeking to invest in Dieppe; and provides support and advice by helping to ensure that projects move ahead in a timely manner, among a number of other services. ExpansionDieppe also closely monitors and guides development in the Dieppe Industrial Park / Aviation Avenue, downtown Dieppe and Dieppe’s business and technology zone.

“We want to make it as easy and efficient as possible for investors to do business in Dieppe,” said Mr. Dupuis. “We are very excited to continue to have the opportunity of growing Dieppe’s economy through this fresh new look and name.”

Hump Day: Cell phone use while driving: a dangerous form of narcissism

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

If we’re going to have rules and regulations about certain things in society, then great! I’m all for them when they make sense. Unfortunately, there are some highly touted laws that are being made a public mockery by those who break them and by those who implement them but don’t provide the resources to enforce them.

Case in point: distracted driving laws. I don’t know about you, but this has got to be the most ignored law in the entire province. Every day, I see several drivers chatting away on their cellphones while negotiating through traffic, stopped at lights, etc. I’ve even called out a few by beeping my horn and pointing to my ear to let them know they’ve been caught talking on the telephone while driving.

The narcissists usually give me the middle-finger salute or just scream unheard obscenities from behind their closed vehicle windows. I haven’t done this very often, but it never went well when I did. Finally, I just gave up. Let them get into an accident and kill someone. What am I supposed to do about it? I can’t save the world.

Why the term “narcissists”? Because they somehow believe that their telephone conversation is so important that putting the lives of others at risk is worth it. I beg to differ. There are very affordable devices that use Bluetooth technology and that fit into your ear to allow you to answer a cellphone without having to be distracted. Often, it’s just the touch of a button in the earpiece and you’re connected. There are other hands-free devices available that attach to your visor. They work perfectly well.

Many new vehicles even have Bluetooth technology built in to their dashboards. I recently bought a new vehicle and it was the first thing I looked for! Now, whenever my cellphone rings while I’m in the car, I answer with the touch of a button on the steering wheel. No hassle and no more distracting than changing the station on your radio or talking to a passenger.

From my own unscientific research (translation: using my own eyes) I’ve come to the conclusion that the distracted driving law is being almost universally ignored to the extent where it might as well not even be on the books.

If enforcement resources aren’t available, I understand. We have budgets within which we must live. I get it. In that case, you have to make the fines dramatically larger in order to make it very scary if you’re caught. Currently in New Brunswick, the fine is $172.50 and you lose three points (out of 10) on your driver’s licence. In Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island, a first offence can cost you up to $400.

Here’s my idea. New Brunswick’s provincial budget is in the tank. We have a huge deficit. Budget cuts are the norm. And since very few (in my completely unscientific but I believe completely accurate survey) are following the distracted driving law, it’s time to put a dent in our deficit. It’s time to make people pay through the nose. We need to get tough on these fines.

If you’re caught talking on your hand-held cellphone while you’re driving in New Brunswick, the fine should be $1,000 and you lose half the points on your licence right then and there. Not only that, you must attend a mandatory day-long awareness session within 14 days of your fine or your licence is suspended. Going away on vacation or a business trip and can’t make it? Tough. Lose your licence. Awww heck — and why not publish the names of perpetrators in the newspaper at the same time?

Insurance companies should also take note of these offences and hike the insurance rates of offenders. You want more profits? This is a way to do it in a way that may even be quite popular with the public. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before Chatty Cheryl and Talking Tommy get into an accident that will cost you big bucks.

Drivers who deliberately and shamelessly talk on their handheld devices or text message while operating a vehicle aren’t much different than someone who’s had too many drinks. At least if you’re drunk, you’re probably watching the road. It’s impossible to text message someone or compose and send an email while you’re driving while keeping your eyes on the road. A convicted distracted driver should pay significantly higher insurance rates if their risk level increases because they can’t stop texting while driving or talking to their friend about the latest episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.

Not only would we raise more money as a province, but we’d also take care of that enforcement problem. The fact is, the pain isn’t big enough for people to stop. They’re willing to take the chance. The punishment isn’t harsh enough. You’ll take the risk for $172.50 and three points. But will you take the risk for $1,000 (minimum), five points off your licence and a day’s lost wages (sorry, no weekend sessions!) to attend an awareness session? (And yes, there’ll be a test. And yes, you need to pass.)

The current punishments aren’t working. They’re too low. We aren’t scaring enough people into putting down their hand-held cellphones in favour of much safer Bluetooth technology.

It’s time to get serious about this folks. Drivers are ignoring this law en masse. It’s ridiculous and it’s time to bring the hammer down by making offenders pay big time through huge fines, more points off their licence and a mandatory awareness session that will inconvenience them and annoy them – and hopefully teach them a lesson.

Jeffrey Simpson to speak in Moncton on New Brunswick’s health-care challenges

Jeffrey Simpson
Click photo for a larger image.

One of Canada’s most respected authors and political commentators is coming to Moncton to speak on the challenges facing health care in New Brunswick. Jeffrey Simpson, national affairs columnist for The Globe and Mail for nearly 30 years, will be the guest speaker at the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club’s upcoming Distinguished Speakers Breakfast Series on Tuesday, March 26.

Last fall, Mr. Simpson released his eighth book, Chronic Condition: Why Canada’s Health-Care System Needs to be Dragged into the 21st Century, where he meets health-care head on and explores the only four options he sees to end the growing crisis in the industry: cuts in spending, tax increases, privatization, and reaping savings through increased efficiency.

The event will be held in the main ballroom of the Delta Beauséjour, 750 Main Street, Moncton, with doors opening at 7 a.m. and breakfast starting at 7:30 a.m. The event will wrap up by 9 a.m. Mr. Simpson will also be signing books following the event. Tickets are $40 per person and are available by contacting a member of the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club, or by requesting a ticket purchase form by emailing info@monctonsunriserotary.ca. Tickets may also be purchased by calling Kim Eagles at 506-854-7600.

“The Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club is excited about the opportunity to present Jeffrey Simpson to Greater Moncton’s business community,” said Russ Mallard, president of the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club. “This is the second in our Distinguished Speakers Breakfast Series, building on the excitement of David Ganong’s presentation last year.”

Mr. Simpson has won all three of Canada’s leading literary prizes – the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction book writing, the National Magazine Award for political writing, and the National Newspaper Award for column writing. He has also won the Hyman Solomon Award for excellence in public policy journalism. In January 2000, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

In addition to his latest book on health care, he has written or co-written seven other books: Discipline of Power, winner of the 1980 Governor General’s Award for non-fiction (1980); Spoils of Power (1988); Faultlines, Struggling for a Canadian Vision (1993); The Anxious Years (1996); Star-Spangled Canadians (2000); The Friendly Dictatorship (2001); and Hot Air: Meeting Canada’s Climate Change Challenge (co-authored with Mark Jaccard and Nic Rivers) (2007).

Mr. Simpson has written numerous magazine articles for such publications as Saturday Night, The Report on Business Magazine, The Journal of Canadian Studies, The Queen’s Quarterly. He has spoken at dozens of major conferences here and abroad on a variety of domestic and international issues. He has also been a regular contributor to television programs in both English and French and completed a two-hour documentary for CBC to accompany his book, Star-Spangled Canadians.

He has been a guest lecturer at such universities as Oxford, Edinburgh, Harvard, Princeton, Brigham Young, Johns Hopkins, Maine, California plus more than a dozen universities in Canada. He was won the Arthur Kroeger Award for Public Discourse and the Charles Lynch Award for outstanding coverage of national affairs and the Pollution Probe award for contributions to environmental leadership.

About Rotary

Chartered in January 2012, the Greater Moncton Sunrise Rotary Club is the newest Rotary Club in District 7810 (New Brunswick and Eastern Maine). The club currently has approximately 30 members. Despite its young age, the club’s efforts have raised more than $17,500 for community and international causes, including Food Depot Alimentaire and the Boys and Girls Club of Moncton. The club may be found on Facebook or on Twitter. New members are always welcome. Email info@monctonsunriserotary.ca for more information.

Rotary International’s main objective is service – in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. The 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary clubs are open to people of all cultures and ethnicities and are not affiliated with any political or religious organizations. For more information about Rotary International, visit www.rotary.org.

-30-

Media contact:

Brian Cormier
(506) 388-5283
brian@briancormier.com