SARS causing huge stress for nurses

“The toll that SARS is taking on nurses is truly phenomenal,” said Adeline Falk-Rafael, nursing professor at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, in a Globe and Mail story April 28. “The public really doesn’t understand how stressful the work conditions have become,” she said. Hundreds of nurses have been quarantined because of their potential exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome, many are putting in massive amounts of overtime, and they toil in extreme conditions. “I worked in the AIDS field at a time when that was new, and it was a scary time. But it doesn’t compare to what’s going on now. The conditions today are far, far more difficult,” Falk-Rafael said.

British grads begin paying back loans at $35,000

An April 26 London Free Press article on underfunding and upheaval in Ontario post-secondary education cited York University social science Professor Richard Wellen, Faculty of Arts, who has done research on the political economy of university funding. Wellen likes a model used for student loans in England in which students don’t begin paying back until their annual income reaches the equivalent of $35,000. But he endorses it only if it is used to increase access, not to raise tuition, said the Free Press. Part of the funding problem relates to competing with the health sector for dollars, the story noted. “Borrowing money for health care from universities is not sustainable,” says York’s Wellen. “We need a debate on the value of universities.” He said the British national government’s influence in universities is more direct. In Canada, government levels work with little co-ordination.

Government ‘trying to discredit’ its marijuana program

The company hired to grow marijuana for medical use is threatening legal action against Ottawa, as the process to supply the drug to sick Canadians bogs down. In a confidential letter to Health Minister Anne McLellan, Prairie Plant Systems Inc. president Brent Zettl says the government has negatively affected the company’s ability to raise capital and to develop other enterprises, reported The Globe and Mail April 26. The story quoted Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Alan Young as saying Ottawa has consistently made efforts to discredit the project since McLellan took the job. “I think it’s clear that the government is trying to discredit its own program,” said Young, who is involved in court efforts to loosen restrictions on the drug.

Barely legal

When buyers first viewed property they eventually bought on Lake Okanagan in Kelowna last November, they were told that the vacant lot next door was a park used by families, and it was scheduled for improvements and upgrading. What they learned from the neighbours after handing over the $100,000 deposit was that the land was in fact a nude beach. Could they withdraw their deposit? The Toronto Star April 26 cited a Law Society lecture by York Osgoode Hall Law School Professor John D. McCamus, in which he said the law of defects has gained wide acceptance in Ontario. In other words, the buyer must accept the defects – unless a vendor has unreasonably or recklessly failed to accurately describe or represent the property or his or her actions are deceitful or fraudulent.