Feature News Stories

Supreme Court ruling on doctor-assisted death affects many

Some hopeful that more end-of-life options will become available, but others worry how government will interpret the ruling

THUMBJudy-mother-photoOn Feb. 6, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the country's Criminal Code is in conflict with the right of a competent, consenting adult facing terminal illness, to ask doctors to assist in their planned death.

Section 14 of the Criminal Code states that a person cannot consent to have death inflicted upon him or her. Section 241(b) states that everyone who aids or abets a person to commit suicide is guilty of an indictable offense.

In 1993, the Supreme Court ruled that section 241(b) of the criminal code was constitutional, and denied Sue Rodriguez, who suffered from ALS, access to doctor-assisted death.

Read more...

#DownturnDiaries: ‘Work is starting to dry up,’ says Calgary oil and gas account manager

Service company NOV Tuboscope may be running low on well work, but now overwhelmed with saving money for operators

downturnthumbStu Shultz, 49, is an account manager for NOV Tuboscope, a 75-year-old international service company for oil and gas. Tuboscope helps maximize the life cycle of wells through a variety of wellbore technologies and pipe retrieval processes. The Calgary Journal spoke to Schultz about how the downturn has affected this industry in a phone interview.

How hard has this downturn hit your company?

Well it's hit everybody hard. For us it's had significant impact but not to the point where we are in any trouble. Work is just starting to dry up. When you work for a service company like me, there is the drilling side of the business and then there is completion. We are on the completion side more, so we are not affected as immediately as those on the drilling side.

Read more...

#DownturnDiaries: Electronic engineering company weathers economic downturn

XACT Company Director holds positive outlook despite anticipated postponed oil and gas projects

downturnthumbAmos is part-owner and director of Calgary-based electronics engineering company, XACT Engineering Manufacturing Solutions. The privately owned company is tied to oil and gas markets, producing tools and equipment used for drilling and fracking. The Calgary Journal's Jordan Kroschinsky caught up with Amos via email. The Q and A has been edited for length and clarity.

How did you arrive in this field?

I was always taking electronics apart. I can probably tell you every component that goes into a Walkman and while that's not a life skill, I suppose that the manufacturing aspect of electronics has always interested me. 

Read more...

Pets fed raw protein no longer welcome in therapy programs

New policy hopes to protect pet therapy patients from potential bacterial infections

pets fed raw proteinA new policy implemented by Alberta Health Services (AHS) says pets that are fed a raw protein diet will no longer be able to participate in various therapy programs due to the risk of salmonella and listeria contamination.

The policy went into effect in December and impacts several local pet therapy programs. The raw diet remains somewhat controversial, but many feel the policy is too strict due to a lack of hard evidence connecting raw food with bacterial infection in human beings.

Turner, a 14-year member of the Pet Access League Society (PALS), received a letter in October informing her of the new AHS policy. Turner has fed her three dogs a raw protein diet for eight years, favouring it over processed dry kibble or recall-prone imported treats.

"I think it's ridiculous," says Tommy-Rae Turner. "I don't know what they're basing it off of. Plenty of people with auto-immune diseases are dog and cat owners, and cats – whether or not they are fed a raw diet – are carriers for numerous diseases."

Read more...