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Newsletter. Issue 2004-25. Dec. 11, 2004
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Health & Wellness

 

'Oz' Kills Malaria Parasite
Here's good news in the fight against malaria, a disease that puts 40 percent of the world's population at risk and kills up to 3000 children each day. Australian scientists have developed a drug which can kill the malaria parasite.
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/innovations/stories/s1258926.htm

Malaria Hope
Another approach to the scourge that is Malaria comes from Australian and Indonesian researchers who are conducting trials of a "natural" medicine that could help malaria victims recover faster from the deadly disease.
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/innovations/stories/s1258932.htm

Drinking and driving a priority social issue but millions still do it, poll finds Impaired driving by teens a serious problem but relatively few do it
OTTAWA, Dec. 8 /CNW/ - The majority of Canadian drivers believe that drinking and driving is a priority social issue and the most serious road safety issue they face, yet nearly one in five (18%) admit to driving after drinking in the previous month, according to the findings of the Road Safety Monitor (RSM) released today by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF).
In a national survey of more than 1,200 drivers, TIRF found that drinking and driving is perceived as a leading social issue by the vast majority (81%) of Canadians, who expressed greater concern over this problem than issues such as the state of the health care system, airline safety or the threat of terrorism. Nonetheless, the survey estimates that 3.9 million Canadians
continue to drive after drinking.
The survey also found that the public is deeply concerned about teenagers drinking and driving, even though young drivers are less likely than older drivers to engage in this behaviour. The survey showed that while fewer than 12 per cent of teenage drivers report having driven within two hours of consuming alcohol in the previous month, more than twice as many (27.8 per cent) drivers in the 25-34 age category report having done so.
"Statistics show that alcohol is involved in crashes involving teens much less often than in collisions involving older drivers," says Dr. Doug Beirness, Vice President of Research, TIRF. "Consistent with this, teenage drivers account for only five per cent of all impaired driving trips, less than any age group."
Dr. Beirness says that, although alcohol remains a leading contributor to road crashes involving young drivers, progress is being made through programs and policies aimed at reducing impaired driving.
"This survey makes an important contribution to meaningful public policy," says Stephen Beatty, Managing Director of Toyota Canada Inc.
"Toyota is strongly committed to driver and road safety, and is proud to partner with TIRF to increase public understanding on these important social issues and to contribute to greater safety on our roads." Toyota is a platinum supporter of TIRF and one of the primary sponsors
of this research. Other primary sponsors of the RSM include Transport Canada, the Brewers of Canada and The Railway Association of Canada. Additional support comes from the Canada Safety Council.
Other findings
Only one-third of respondents were aware that most provinces and territories enforce a lower BAC limit than the 80mg/dl limit in the Criminal Code. "Clearly, if these types of laws are to have an impact on drinking and driving, more drivers need to be aware of them," notes Beirness.
When asked about countermeasures to reduce impaired driving, the vast majority (84%) support restricting convicted offenders to a zero blood alcohol concentration (BAC), followed closely by physical coordination tests for drivers suspected of being impaired (83%). Alcohol ignition interlocks for convicted drivers, mandatory blood or breath tests for drivers involved in
collisions, and immediate impoundment of drinking drivers' vehicles were supported by more than 75% of respondents.
Police spot checks, a familiar sight on the roads during the holiday season, received the lowest level of support at 66%. This suggests that Canadian drivers express greater support for countermeasures targeted towards those who are suspected of, arrested for, or convicted of an impaired driving offence, than for those that could affect all drivers.

685,000 Seniors To Get $85 Million In Tax Credits
From Weekly Voice
Ontario government is taking steps to increase tax credits for seniors with low and moderate incomes for the first time in more than 10 years, John Gerretsen, Minister Responsible for Seniors, said.
"The action we are proposing would put more money into the hands of seniors," said Gerretsen. "It is yet another important piece of our plan to help seniors live safely, with dignity, and as independently as possible, with the supports they need."
Under the proposed legislation introduced by the government last week, the basic property tax credit for seniors would increase by $125 to $625, effective for the 2004 and subsequent taxation years. In addition, to ensure that all seniors currently receiving the maximum property and sales tax credits benefit from this proposed enrichment, the maximum amount for the credits would be increased from $1,000 to $1,125.
"This proposed enrichment would deliver an estimated $85 million in benefits to about 685,000 senior families, including approximately 33,000 senior families who do not currently benefit from the credit," added Gerretsen.
If the proposed changes are passed, seniors would be eligible for additional assistance through the Property and Sales Tax Credits program. For example:
- A single senior with income of $22,700, paying $780 per month in rent, would receive Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits of $884.20, representing a $125 increase.
- A senior couple with income of $44,300, paying $2,500 per year in property taxes, would receive $125 more in Ontario Property and Sales Tax Credits, bringing the total benefit to $183.
Established in 1992, the credit provides assistance to seniors with modest incomes who own or rent their homes.

 

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