Victoria woman gets second kidney
Bikers give back
The â€˜look bad, do goodâ€™ movement supports Bikers for Autism page 10
also available online at vancourier.com
photo Josh Neufeld
Independent Living and Care Centre 604.514.1210
Come Live and Learn! Retirement offers an opportunity to learn something new and increase quality of life. At BRIA COMMUNITIES we believe each day gives us new opportunities for growth. Our residents learn about wine tasting from professional sommeliers, master poker alongside other novices, and experiment with watercolour painting guided by local artists. Our recreation calendars are full of adventures in the community and activities in the residences that make life rich and invigorating! Some of the benefits include: IMPROVED HEALTH Residents use their brains and bodies in new ways that keep them strong and flexible.
EMOTIONAL BOOST When our residents learn a new skill they feel independent, confident, and proud—a boost to their self-esteem!
Independent Living 604.510.5091
SOCIAL CONNECTIONS Shared interests and experiences are an excellent backdrop to sustain relationships and form new ones. Your senior years offer the perfect opportunity to take a class, pick up a hobby, or learn a skill. The satisfaction you’ll get from taking a leap into something different will make the risk worthwhile! LEARN SOMETHING NEW Come live and learn with us. Visit any residence for a tour, and we’ll treat you to lunch. Book your tour online today at BriaCommunities.ca
Independent Living and Care Centre 604.943.5954
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contents on the cover
The annual Shuck it Forward fundraising event in support of Bikers for Autism, takes place May 26. Photo Josh Neufeld
Michelle Bhatti editor
Sandra Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org contributing writers
Desiree Garcia Jessica Kerr Lindsay Kines creative director
For advertising inquiries, contact Michelle Bhatti at email@example.com
6 8 10 13 14 16 17 18
Diabetic-friendly recipes Thereâ€™s no need to pass on summer barbecues with these healthy dishes sandra thomas
dementia village A new project from Providence Health Care allows residents with dementia the freedom to roam sandra thomas
bikers for autism Vancouver man brings together motorcycle enthusiasts to raise money for autism programs sandra thomas
fifth annual shuck it forward event Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar, May 26, 2019 Beating the odds Victoria mom receives second lifesaving kidney transplant sandra thomas
B.C. schools to provide free tampons, pads to students lindsay kines
translink has created a HandyDart advisory committee Deal doesn't end HandyDART 'crisis' desiree garcia
Measles: spotting the problem Almost 80 per cent of B.C. residents concerned about measles, says new poll jessica kerr
volume 5, number 2, spring 2019 Published by glacier media. Copyright ÂŠ2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction of articles permitted with credit. Advertisements in this magazine are coordinated by Glacier Media. Glacier Media does not endorse products or services. Any errors, omissions or opinions found in this magazine should not be attributed to the publisher. The authors, the publisher and the collaborating organizations will not assume any responsibility for commercial loss due to business decisions made based on the information contained in this magazine. Speak with your doctor before acting on any health information contained in this magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without crediting Glacier Media. Printed in Canada. Please recycle.
SANDRA THOMAS Editor, Healthier You photo Chung Chow
where can you find healthier you? It's in doctors' offices, walk-in clinics, pharmacies and other community settings — keeping you company by offering stories and insights into health-related issues that matter.
From diabetic-friendly recipes to ‘dementia villages,’ Healthier You has it all Our goal with Healthier You is always to provide reading material you’ll actually pick up while waiting for that doctor’s appointment, so we hope you enjoy this issue as much as we did putting it together. Last fall, I interviewed a young woman for Healthier You who had finally received a long-awaited kidney transplant — only for it to fail just hours later. Drielle Tousignant was devastated to wake up after surgery to be told it had all been for nothing. So she headed home to Victoria and started dialysis for the first time and then went back on the transplant list prepared to wait for years. But unexpectedly, Drielle received the call she’d been waiting for this past February, and she underwent a second lifesaving transplant the next day. You can read all about Drielle’s second attempt to get her life back in these pages of Healthier You. Now let’s talk measles. Don’t even get me started on the anti-vaccination movement, which is responsible for a
resurgence of the disease that can be potentially life threatening to babies and others who can’t be vaccinated for health reasons. A new study from Insights West breaks down how British Columbians feel about the measles vaccine. In this issue of Healthier You, I also spoke with Jo-Ann Tait, Providence corporate director, seniors care and palliative services, who explained to me just how “dementia villages” work — and the concept is terrific. Instead of locking a dementia patient into their room, in a dementia village a wing or the perimeter of a facility is fenced off, which means they’re free to walk freely, shop at grocery stores included within the enclosed property, hang clothes out on the line or drop into the pub for a pint. The model has been used successfully in Europe, and trials are taking place now in Vancouver and on the Island. Tait says a bonus to the setup is that the need for restraints, including the chemical version, is diminished greatly and the person with dementia is allowed their dignity. Sandra Thomas editor, healthier you
A Caring and Sharing Community for Our Residents “Our organized activities are a great opportunity for our residents to get to know one another,” Karen added, “everyone here, from the residents to the staff, get along so well that we really do think of ourselves as family.”
At Chelsea Park, everyone belongs. With a mandate as simple as that, it is no wonder the independent senior retirement residence is one of the most sought after in the city.
“We are a warm and welcoming community,” said Karen Dupont, the manager at Chelsea Park. “People who want to enjoy the total community will not find a better setting.” Nestled in a quaint residential neighbourhood, seniors of Chelsea Park are perfectly situated to stroll through John Hendry Park, walk around Trout Lake, or meander down the block to the retail shops lining Commercial Drive.
Though, with organized activities filling calendars, home cooked meals and “sit and fit” exercise classes, seniors might be hard pressed to leave the comforts of their home. Whether it is Monday afternoon tea with Dianne the resident hostess, live entertainment with dinner, or bingo night, Chelsea Park seniors have every chance to live their lives to the fullest. Residents also have the choice of Nintendo Wii bowling, playing tennis or golf indoors without leaving their home, or join in the exciting new Bocce games on the patio. Gardening and card clubs, the games room, and QiGong relaxation exercises and the knitting social also ensure residents do not have to give up their hobbies and cherished pastimes.
Chelsea Park proudly earned the BC Seniors Living Association Seal of Approval in 2011. “Standards matter to us and the seal of approval ensures that safety and comfort are always prioritized,” Karen explained. Offering comfort, security, and affordability without compromise, Chelsea Park can truly ensure seniors enjoy one of the best phases of life.
To learn more about Chelsea Park: www.chelseaparkbc.ca | call: 604-789-7132 | email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This delicious salmon recipe can be made in the oven or on the barbecue. Photo Diabetes Canada
Salmon with lemon ginger sauce Ingredients 4 salmon fillets, 5 oz (150 g) each 2 green onions 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) fresh ginger root, minced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tbsp (25 mL) low-sodium soya sauce 1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind 1 tsp (5 mL) granulated sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil Instructions Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) Chop green onions, set aside chopped green tops for garnish. In a bowl combine white part of onions, ginger root, garlic, soya sauce, lemon juice and rind, sugar and sesame oil to make the marinade.
There’s no need to pass on summer barbecues with these healthy dishes Sandra Thomas | editor
With summer just around the corner, there’s a good chance you might already be barbecuing, but too many beers and burgers can quickly pack on the pounds. And if you or a friend or family member are living with diabetes, there are even more pitfalls to be had with barbecue season. So it’s always best to be vigilant. But there’s also no need to miss out, especially with these tasty recipes courtesy of Diabetes Canada. 6
Place salmon fillets in a single layer in a shallow baking dish. Pour marinade over and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour. Bake uncovered in a preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until salmon turns opaque. Arrange on serving plates, spoon sauce over and sprinkle with green onion tops. notes: To barbecue salmon, place on an oiled grill preheated to medium heat. If you like crispy skin, place the fillets skin side down first. Flip the salmon over when it’s about 60 per cent done (about six minutes) and then grill for another four minutes. White spots on the salmon are a sign it’s done. Let rest before serving — the fish will continue cooking for a few minutes.
Crispy chickpeas and pumpkin seeds with lime Use these as the crunch factor in soups and salads or as a healthy snack Ingredients 2 cans (14 oz./398 mL) chickpeas, drained and rinsed 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil 2 tsp (10 mL) smoked paprika 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin 1 tsp (5 mL) garlic powder 1/2 cup (125 mL) hulled pumpkin seeds Grated zest from 1 medium lime
Flavoured water Fill a jug or glass with water, ice and one of these combinations: tomato-basil; pineapple, mint and ginger; strawberry-cucumber; raspberry-oranges; grapefruit or any of these ingredients alone. Even easier, simply buy some coconut water and pour over ice for a tropical taste or sparkling water to replace the bubbly.
Instructions Preheat oven to 425°F (220°0C). In a medium bowl, combine chickpeas, canola oil, paprika, cumin and garlic powder. Toss until well coated. Spread mixture on a large baking sheet in single layer. Bake for 30 minutes or until they begin to brown and stir every 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds, stir and bake for five minutes more or until the chickpeas are crispy. Be careful they don’t burn. Remove from the oven and toss with lime zest. Let stand on a baking sheet for 30 to 45 minutes for crisp texture and best flavours. When completely cooled, store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. notes: Replacing high glycemic index foods and snacks, such as rice cakes, with low GI foods, such as chickpeas, can help control blood sugars, cholesterol and appetite.
Crispy chickpeas and pumpkin seeds make a healthy snack. Photo Diabetes Canada
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Dementia village A new project from Providence Health Care allows residents with dementia the freedom to roam Sandra Thomas | editor
Imagine a loved one living with dementia, but who is still able to safely walk out their front door, shop at the grocery store and even drop into a pub for a drink without anyone to guide them. The craft room in what will eventually be a dementia village at Holy Family Residence.
That’s the model Providence Health Care is introducing by way of what’s known as a dementia village or “household innovation project,” which is surrounded by a secure perimeter
Photo Dan Toulgoet
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so residents to go about their daily lives with liberty and dignity, but also safely. Jo-Ann Tait, Providence corporate director, seniors care and palliative services, said to get the trial started as soon as possible the north wing of the Holy Family Residence care home was transformed into a type of dementia village. In January, Providence created two households of 12 residents each in its north wing to simulate dementia village households where residents share a common bond. The majority of residents now have private rooms allowing for more personal and individualized space. Providence also increased the number of resident care aid staff available in the evening. “In these households the residents can get up and leave out the front door because they’re confined by the outer extremities,” said Tait. “The household holds 12 people who share their own kitchen and social space and 12 private bedrooms.” Tait said the project was made possible by a $3.3-million donation to Holy Family Residence from Beatris and Peter Jurazs to adapt the existing care home to infrastructure and programs based on the principles of the De Hogeweyk dementia village model in the Netherlands. The goal is to eventually transfer the model to stand-alone dementia villages. As part of research for the project, Tait visited the Europe with a group of professionals to see De Hogeweyk dementia villages for themselves. Tait said the residents they met with were able to visit a café, go grocery shopping and enjoy the music room on their own.
“We went to 19 different places in five countries in two weeks,” said Tait. “In one place in the Netherlands it was 10 a.m. and a bunch of residents had congregated in a pub and were drinking beer and having a singalong. People were living with such vibrancy.” Tait said based on the research gathered, Providence decided not to wait until it could build a standalone dementia village, but instead began introducing elements of the project into existing residences, including the creation of smaller dining rooms in the households to encourage a more intimate and communal mealtime experience. As well, beds have been designed and prototyped with motion sensor lights under the bed, illuminating the way to the bathroom so that residents who get up in the middle of the night don’t have to search for a switch. The next step is building a secure perimeter around Holy Family Residence with creative fencing and landscaping, which will give residents access to the outdoors. Tait said with a secure perimeter,
Jo-Ann Tait Photo Dan Toulgoet
the need for chemical restraints is often diminished. The themes of the two households at Holy Family include “Gastown” and “Hollywood” with a goal to make the residences feel more like a home than a work space. To that end, offices have been moved out of sight and nursing stations removed from the north wing. As well, institutional-style signs are no longer in use. “The north wing of Holy Family Residence will no longer be a workplace where people live, but a home where people happen to work. People who currently live at Holy Family are excited about this as well as their family members,” added Tait. Tait noted the Jurazs’ were a husband and wife who lived within humble means in order to make this substantial gift and no one is exactly sure what their connection to Holy Family is. Tait added with future donations made to the St. Paul’s Foundation, dementia care services and dementia villages are also planned for St. Joseph’s in Comox and Heather Street in Vancouver. To help support this program, as well as all seniors care at Providence, visit helpstpauls.com. According to Alzheimer Society Canada, in 15 years, the number of Canadians living with dementia is expected to nearly double.
James Baker launched Bikers for Autism after a young family member was diagnosed with the disorder. photos Josh Neufeld
Bikers for Autism Vancouver man brings together motorcycle enthusiasts from all walks of life to raise money for autism programs Sandra Thomas | editor
Motorcycle enthusiast James Baker has made raising awareness about Autism Spectrum Disorder a mission.
Healthier You had some questions for Baker about the volunteer work he does.
And it’s not just awareness Vancouver-based Baker is focussing on, but also fundraising, which was the impetus for the creation of the Bikers for Autism Society (BFA). But Baker hasn’t stopped there. The young philanthropist is also co-chair of the Music Therapy Ride, an annual fundraiser that brings together members of Vancouver’s business community, music industry, music therapists, bikers and motorcycle riders for a one-day ride up the Sea to Sky Highway in August, which culminates in a music festival in Pemberton. Money raised from the ride, which launched in 2001, helps support the delivery of 24 music therapy programs and the production of 11 Bandwagons — innovative mobile recording studios used by therapists at care facilities including B.C. Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The music program has a special focus on programs for patients on the autism spectrum. BFA fundraising initiatives also help support the Surfs Up event sponsored by Ripcurl, Little Heroes Hockey Academy and Racing with Autism.
It was an opportunity to make the ride more than a ride. How were you inspired to start BFA? I was in the middle of planning a bucket list ride across Canada with my dad, he had just retired. Both my parents are Newfoundlanders so my East Coast roots run deep. In the process, I caught wind that my little cousin was diagnosed with a high functioning form of autism and it triggered something. It was an opportunity to make the ride more than a ride. So we started setting up meetand-greets, fundraisers and little
activations across the country. In that first year, we ended up raising $20,000 and that’s when it dawned on me that it was bigger than just an idea. There was a need for more awareness. How long have you been riding motorcycles? I grew up riding dirt bikes since I was 11 or 12 years old. I bought my first Harley at 30, so I guess that makes her my longest standing relationship. Besides BFA, do you have a day job? I have a night job, actually. I work at Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar. I’ve been cracking oysters for the last five years to keep the lights on. On top of that, I also wear a ton of hats — president of BFA board of directors and Shuck It event committee, cochair of Music Therapy Ride, content creator and photography, marketing and event host, and BFA clothing design. I like to keep adding pieces to the mix. Tell us about the “Look Bad, Do Good” movement, which has also inspired a clothing line. It was actually coined from a friend of mine, Tyler Hazelwood. There’s always been a stigma continued on page 12
The annual Shuck it Forward fundraising event in support of Bikers for Autism, takes place May 26. Photo Josh Neufeld
continued from page 11
attached to bikers and we want to be on the front end of shifting that perception. The idea that you can look badass but have a positive impact on the community is something that BFA embodies.
I really wanted to dig deeper on what it means to look bad and do good. What is the Halo Project? The Halo Project was the brainchild of mine and personal friend and talented photographer, Chris Woods, for World Autism
Awareness Month (April). I really wanted to dig deeper on what it means to look bad and do good. It gives people from all walks of life the opportunity to express themselves in what it means to them personally. It circles back to awareness, creating impactful conversations is a very positive message of support, compassion and self-expression.
BFA is working towards choosing a family each month, planning a day of fun, which is specifically tailored to the familyâ€™s needs, and providing the resources to make that day happen. A secondary program we offer is directed towards the parents. Parents get a night on the town compliments of BFA. We provide specialized in-home or overnight care, allowing the parents a 'moment to breathe' and reconnect.
Whatâ€™s next for BFA? We are applying for charitable status. Our Moment to Breathe Program, which we have been developing over the last year, is the basis for our application. The program is rooted in providing respite care for families living with autism.
The Shuck It Forward V event takes place May 26, the Born Free in California ride is June 22 and 23, and the Music Therapy Ride in partnership with Music Heals, Aug. 24. For more information about the society, its events and the Bikers for Autism clothing line, check out bikersforautism.com.
Shuck It Forward event
Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar | May 26, 2019 One of BFA’s largest fundraiser is the annual Shuck It Forward event at Chewies Steam & Oyster Bar, which this year takes place May 26. Highlights of this fifth annual event includes an oyster-shucking competition pitting 24 of North America’s best male and female shuckers against each other for $2,000 in cash prizes, bragging rights, the official ‘Shuck It’ trophy and entry and airfare to compete in
the Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking Championship in P.E.I. later in the year. Presented in conjunction with Fanny Bay Oysters and Trev Deeley Motorcycles — which will host a motorcycle showroom and sponsor a peoples’ choice Best Bike in Show award — Shuck It Forward V also features a popup Bootleg Barbers barbershop,
special guest speaker Austin Riley of Racing With Autism, a Botanist Islay Gin cocktail bar, tap takeovers courtesy of Strange Fellows Brewing, the Parkside Brewery, Red Truck Beer Company and Greenhill Cider, and a VIP area presented by Moto Concept Inc. and Nude Vodka Soda.
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Drielle Tousignant was on the cover of Healthier You last fall to share her story of a kidney transplant that failed. Photo Dan Toulgoet
Beating the odds Victoria mom receives second lifesaving kidney transplant Sandra Thomas | editor
When Victoria resident Drielle Tousignant’s phone began ringing just after 7 a.m. Feb. 1, it woke her from a sound asleep and, not recognizing the name or number, her first reaction was to ignore it. “Usually when I go to bed I shut the ringer off on my phone, but for some reason I left it on that night,” says Tousignant, who graced the cover of the fall edition of Healthier You after suffering a failed kidney transplant in May, 2018. 14
Tousignant called her voicemail and received a message from a Dr. John Gill who said it was urgent that she call him back as soon as possible. Tousignant immediately called the number back, but instead of reaching Gill, she reached his voicemail. Sensing the matter could be one of life or death, Tousignant then called St. Paul’s Hospital and had Gill paged. “He said, ‘I have a potential kidney for you and I need you to get
here as soon as possible,’” says Tousignant, who admits at that point she ran around her house gathering up her dogs’ gear to take to a sitter. Tousignant didn’t pack anything for herself because the chances of the kidney being a true match were extremely slim and she assumed she’d be home from Vancouver later that night. As it turns out, that was the last time Tousignant would spend the night in her apartment for almost two months.
The reason Tousignant was convinced the kidney wouldn’t be a match was because of the transplant she received May 14, 2018, which failed due to a blood clot just hours after the complicated surgery. Follow up tests proved the clot was just bad luck and not due to Tousignant’s body reaction to the transplant, nor was it the fault of her friend Brandi Chapman, who had donated a kidney to her, so she was put back on the transplant list, but this time was added to the cadaver list as well as the living donor version. But, because Tousignant’s first transplant had failed, her body began creating antibodies, which meant only one in three available kidneys would be suitable. “I thought I’d be waiting at least two years,” says Tousignant, who started dialysis for the first time last fall. But instead, Tousignant was put through a battery of tests at St. Paul’s Feb. 1, and then she waited, still convinced she’d be going home. “When a nurse said to me, ‘I hear it’s a go,’ I still didn’t believe it,” says Tousignant. At 1:30 p.m., Feb. 2, Tousignant underwent her second kidney transplant in less than a year at the Adult Kidney Transplant Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital, where about 200 of the surgeries are done each year. In an earlier
interview Dr. David Landsberg, medical director of kidney transplantation with B.C. Transplant and physician leader and division head of the Renal Program at St. Paul's Hospital, described a failure such as Tousignant’s as “very rare.” Landsberg is also head and clinical professor of the Division of Nephrology for the University of B.C. and Providence Health Care. “We do about 200 of these surgeries a year and there are some years this never happens,” Landsberg said at the time. “But on average it would be one or two failures a year so about two per cent.” fall 2018
How do you handle stress? page 10
When a kidney transplant goes wrong page 6
Can nature help addiCts? page 14
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photo fenner rumble
“I didn’t even pack a toothbrush,” says Tousignant, who made the 11 a.m. ferry to Vancouver that morning. “In my head, I was convinced I was coming home. I think I was protecting myself in case it didn’t work out.”
Landsberg noted that at that early stage of a transplant losing the kidney is not considered a rejection, but rather, a failure. Almost immediately after her second transplant, Tousignant was told her new kidney was functioning, but not long after she suffered a serious complication when she began to bleed internally and build up fluid. Tousignant says she became disoriented and combative, but Dr. Gill was there to calm her down. She then spent several days in intensive care.
“For some reason I thought I was living in a doll house,” says Tousignant, now able to laugh at the memory. “I gained 30 pounds in fluid and had these massive Hulk legs. But Dr. Gill saved my life that day.” From the start, Tousignant’s quest to have a kidney transplant was centred on regaining her health in order to not only keep up with her 11-year-old son Logan, whom she shares custody of, but to also guarantee she’d live long enough to raise him. Sitting at the small kitchen table in a “kidney suite” located in a low-income housing unit in the West End, Tousignant smiles as she talks about the recent visit she’d had with Logan and how much it meant to her. The Kidney Foundation of Canada, B.C. and Yukon Branch has seven kidney suites across Vancouver designated for post-kidney-transplant recipients who have come to Vancouver from outside the Lower Mainland and need to stay for up to two months following surgery. These suites are fully furnished, are all on major transit lines and are free for those who meet the financial criteria and $35 per night for those who do not. Tousignant has mixed feelings about receiving a kidney from someone who died and hopes one day the family members of the donor will request to meet her. At the very least, Tousignant would like to send them some photos of her and Logan to demonstrate just how much that donated kidney means to her. “I can’t even explain how I feel,” says Tousignant. “Someone lost their life and I got a second chance. I’m humbled, I’m happy, but someone else out there is sad.” spring 2019
B.C. schools to provide free tampons, pads to students
Education Minister Rob Fleming says a ministerial ordered requires all public schools to provide free menstrual products for students in washrooms by the end of the year. Photo iStock
Lindsay Kines | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Education Minister Rob Fleming has ordered B.C. public school districts to provide free menstrual products for students in school washrooms by the end of 2019.
can immediately provide the products in school washrooms.
Fleming said no student should have to miss school, sports or other activities because they are unable to afford menstrual products or lack ready access to them.
Dean said the issue poses a significant barrier for many young people across the country.
“Quite frankly, the provision of menstrual products in our school system is something that should have been just a basic that was covered and included a long time ago,” he said. “But, as of today, it is, and I’m very, very pleased to be able to say that.” Fleming’s ministerial order took effect April 5, but the province’s 60 public school districts will have until the end of 2019 to comply. Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Mitzi Dean, parliamentary secretary for gender equity, said the government will provide $300,000 in start-up money so that districts 16
“This sets B.C. as a leader in fighting period poverty,” she said.
“In Canada, one in seven students has missed school due to their periods because they can’t afford or don’t have easy access to menstrual products,” she said. “Now, even if they’re freely available in schools, it’s often in an administrative office and students feel uncomfortable asking for products in that way.”
We don’t want any young people having to go without Jordan Watters, who chairs the Greater Victoria school board, said the district has always provided free menstrual products through school administrative offices
or medical rooms. But she said the board recently asked its student leadership committee for suggestions on ways to improve access. “We were looking at how best to do that and this [order] might answer those questions for us,” she said. “There will be details to sort out in terms of how to manage that across a thousand washrooms. So that will present some challenges, but if it makes things easier and safer, and our schools more welcoming for our students, then that’s awesome. Obviously, we don’t want any young people having to go without in that way, so we’re really excited to see our government stepping up.” Andrea Sinclair, president of B.C. Association of Parent Advisory Councils, praised the B.C. government for taking action. “It’s just another step that the government’s taken to show that it actually does care about students,” she said. “From a different perspective, it’s a move that it is long overdue.”
Translink has created a HandyDart advisory committee Deal doesn't end HandyDART 'crisis,' says rider Desiree Garcia | contributing writer
The case, originally filed in 2017, said the TransLink services provided to HandyDART users were subordinate in comparison to the services provided to people who could use regular transit. As part of the settlement agreement, TransLink agreed to produce an annual public report on the service performance of HandyDART, provide funding to the social planning and research council to conduct research on
Photo Jennifer Gauthier
Almost two years after a Human Rights Tribunal case was filed, TransLink and the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance (HRA) have reached a joint settlement regarding HandyDART services.
the experience of HandyDART customers and seek board approval to create a HandyDART users group. On March 22, TransLink voted unanimously in favour of establishing a public HandyDART advisory committee. Beth McKellar, who lives in North Burnaby, is the co-chair and one of the founding members of the HRA. She said the group is
overjoyed about the new advisory committee and said the HRA is hoping for a more constructive working relationship with TransLink in the future. “By all means, this does not end the crisis for HandyDART riders,” said McKellar, who has been relying on HandyDART for more than 20 years. McKellar said the HRA is taking steps towards getting an audit on HandyDART and already has 4,726 signatures of support. TransLink is in the midst of a 15-per-cent increase in HandyDART service hours, the transit agency said in a news release.
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spotting the problem Almost 80 per cent of B.C. residents concerned about measles, says new poll. Insights West survey also found that more than 20 per cent of residents are doubtful about the effectiveness of vaccines Jessica Kerr | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
While a majority of British Columbians are concerned about a measles outbreak, a relatively large number are also casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing disease, according to the latest poll from Insights West.
A recent Insights West poll found that almost eight in 10 British Columbians are concerned about the recently reported cases of measles in the province. Photo iStock
“We’ve finally surveyed British Columbians and their views on vaccinations, and there’s a significant level of doubt and belief in conspiracy theories that fly in the face of scientific evidence about vaccinations,” Steve Mossop, president of Insights West, said in a press release. “The recent measles outbreak is evidence of this concerning societal trend, and the need for more education around this significant issue.”
There were 15 reported cases of the measles in Vancouver in February — 11 linked to an outbreak at three Francophone schools, three were individuals who picked up the virus while travelling overseas and in one case public health officials were not able to determine where the infection was picked up. The survey, conducted between March 8 and 11, found that almost 80 per cent of B.C. residents are concerned about the recent outbreak. Of the more than 800 respondents, 44 per cent said they are “very concerned” while 35 per cent are “somewhat concerned.” 18
A small percentage of respondents said they have been avoiding certain public locations in light of the recent cases of the measles in the region — seven per cent are avoiding pools, six per cent are staying away from the mall and another six per cent are avoiding family or friends who are not vaccinated. And while the majority of B.C. residents, 77 per cent, say they support vaccinations and have immunized themselves and their families, another 23 per cent expressed doubt about the effectiveness of vaccines. The survey found that a small portion of respondents, nine per cent, could be considered true “antivaxxers” — three per cent said they have significant doubts or issues with vaccines and choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children, and six per cent stated that they have doubts or issues and are selective about choosing to vaccinate or not. The survey found there are some significant doubts about how well vaccinations protect people from disease overall. Only 42 per cent of respondents said they are very confident about being protected and 43 per cent said they are somewhat confident, while six per cent are not very confident, one per cent is not at all confident and seven per cent are not sure. In February, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced the province will start requiring parents to provide proof of immunization when enrolling their children in school. That is expected to be in place for the start of the school year in September. And it appears the majority of B.C. residents agree. The survey found that 90 per cent of respondents believe that parents should have to show documented proof of their children’s vaccinations when enrolling them in public school.
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