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  • Make Your Vote

    October 9th, 2015


    by Janet Madsen  |  @janet_madsen

    The Federal Election on October 19 has people talking about who to support and which way the country’s leadership is headed. Women, and in particular Aboriginal women, haven’t always had the right to make these decisions.

    Canada was officially launched with Confederation on July 1, 1867 (hence Canada Day), although becoming a country coast-to-coast took until 1905. From Confederation until 1960, voting was a right that was only given to select people, and there were always some that were denied. White women got the vote in 1920; Aboriginal people didn’t for many years more. Finally, in 1960, Aboriginal people got the right to vote without giving up treaty rights or Indian status. Nevertheless, there can be conflict when First Nations people vote, as this Mohawk man explains. He’s made his peace with voting; others will decide for themselves.

    For any PWN member planning to vote, you can check if you are registered on the Elections Canada website. (If you have you received your Voter Information Card, you are registered.) The deadline to register with Elections Canada is Tuesday October 13 at 6 PM local time. To register online, you need a driver’s license (from any province or territory except Quebec), or your provincial or territorial ID card (from Alberta, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan or Yukon). You can also register in person at your local Elections Canada office.  There is all kinds of information about voting on the Elections Canada website.

    For our members who live in the Lower Mainland, we will be hosting our second information session to help women who want to know more about how and when to vote. This will be on Tuesday October 13 from 12-1. Volunteer Shayna can help members one on one by

    • Seeing if you are a registered voters
    • Seeing where you can vote
    • Getting a list of candidates in your riding and answering general questions

    If you don’t have ID with an address on it, we can give you an official letter approved by Elections Canada to use for your Confirmation of Residence. Then you will need one more piece of ID to vote. The letters will be available to pick up Tuesday October 13.

    We encourage all members to vote as they see fit. Please give us a call if you have further questions!


    Most famous celebrity living with hepatitis C expects to be cured soon

    October 2nd, 2015

    by Erin Seatter | @erinlynds

    Canadian actress Pamela Anderson has lived with hepatitis C for 16 years. She went public with her condition in 2002.

    pamelaSpread through blood-to-blood contact, hepatitis C is a virus that over time can damage the liver, leading to cancer, cirrhosis, or liver failure.

    The diagnosis was presented “as a death sentence,” says Anderson. “I think it really worked on my self-esteem.”

    “I’ve always been an advocate of trying to remove stigma from hepatitis C,” she says. “I think subconsciously [the disease] just works on you.”

    Anderson is taking one of the new treatments for hepatitis C that have emerged in the past few years.

    The older drugs used to treat hepatitis C are notoriously difficult for patients. Their treatment periods are long, their side effects vicious, and their chance of success unpredictable.

    The new drugs—Sovaldi, Harvoni, and Holkira Pak—are an improvement in almost all areas. The treatment regimen is simpler, shorter, gentler, and more effective. This has the added benefit of helping people adhere better.

    But with a price tag of tens of thousands of dollars for a 12-week course, reaching over $100,000 if the treatment period must be extended, the medications are tremendously expensive. And not all jurisdictions in Canada have agreed to cover them.

    Provinces and territories decide which drugs to include in their formularies, and they individually deal with pharmaceutical companies rather than acting as a negotiating bloc to lower the cost of medication. Most have added at least one of the newer hepatitis C medications, and some have opted to cover all of them. In Nunavut and Northwest Territories, none of the new drugs are covered.

    In the long term, successful treatment can prove cost-effective, as many people—including Pamela Anderson—can resolve their hepatitis C without sustaining serious liver damage.