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Defence Watch / Milnes: Sir John Thompson's Hollywood moment
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on December 10, 2017, 08:01:27 PM »
Milnes: Sir John Thompson's Hollywood moment

One of Canada’s past Prime Ministers – though dead – played a starring role in story now captured by Hollywood.


On Dec. 12, 1894, our fourth prime minister, Sir John Thompson, died.


Though few others seem to care, I’ve long called Dec. 12 “Sir John Thompson Day” and saluted the great man – and more particularly, his amazing style of death.


Other Canadian prime ministers can only look on with jealousy at the circumstances – and historical setting – in which he chose to draw his last breath: Windsor Castle itself.


But I digress.


A Nova Scotian, famously called “The Man from Halifax” by his only modern biographer, Sir John Thompson is the great “what-if” of Canadian politics and history.


A brilliant lawyer and jurist, Thompson, only 49 when he departed politics for the great House of Commons in the sky, was one of the four largely unknown prime ministers who served between the death of Sir John A. Macdonald in June 1891 and the advent of Sir Wilfrid Laurier in 1896.


Yet, whatever the success or lack-thereof of post-Macdonald Tories in Canada, Thompson simply had the greatest death in Canadian political history. A new Hollywood hit movie is reminding Canadians just how special that death was.


So how did he die, you are asking.


A new prime minister in an age when Canada was part of the mightiest empire the world had seen since Rome, Thompson died of a heart attack at – forgive the pun – the heart of the British Empire. He collapsed at lunch at Windsor Castle after Queen Victoria herself had sworn him in to the British Imperial Privy Council.


Shocked that a Canadian prime minister had succumbed at her lunch table, Her Majesty kicked into high gear to send her Canadian first minister back here in style.


First, she ordered up the first Catholic mass at Windsor since the Reformation. Thompson, after all, was Canada’s first Catholic prime minister and a convert – called a “prervert” by Orange types back then – to his religion.


After that, the Queen sent Thompson’s body to Portsmouth on the Royal Train.


Then she had a British warship painted black, and said ship carried Thompson’s body home to Halifax and Canada.


And if that wasn’t enough, Queen Victoria had HMS Victory herself fire a salute to Canada and Thompson as the warship and Thompson began the sad journey across the Atlantic.


So, what’s this got to do with today and Hollywood, you ask?


The movie Victoria and Abdul – the story of Queen Victoria’s unlikely friendship with an Indian man-servant in England – has generated lots of talk. Canadians have known about Abdul for generations.


After Sir John Thompson died, famed Canadian painter Frederic Bell-Smith was commissioned to create majestic paintings surrounding the Canadian prime minister’s death. So moved by the events was Queen Victoria that she broke protocol and personally sat for a painting by Bell-Smith.


He painted three regarding Thompson’s death.


One, sadly, was lost in the great fire on Parliament Hill during the First World War.


The other two? They were lost to history until re-discovered, rotting, in the late 20th century. Eventually they made it to what is now Library and Archives Canada. Demonstrating skill and commitment for which all Canadians should be thankful, the remaining two Thompson death series paintings were restored by LAC’s quiet heroes.


And the one showing Queen Victoria placing a wreath at Windsor on a past prime minister’s coffin was one of them.


Of course, standing right behind Her Majesty is – you guessed it – Abdul.


So on Sir John Thompson Day, I will salute our long-passed prime minister. Yet I will also pause to honour Abdul.


He, too, is a part of Canadian history as we mark our 150th anniversary of Confederation year.


The painting remains secure and safe but not viewed by Canadians. But it is protected, still majestic, and Abdul and the Queen still shine.


Only in Canada, it seems, would such a painting remain hidden from the view of the citizens Thompson once led. But since Tuesday is Sir John Thompson Day, so we’ll worry about that another time.


Arthur Milnes is a nationally recognized public historian who studies the lives and legacies of Canada’s 23 prime ministers.


 


 


 


Source: Milnes: Sir John Thompson's Hollywood moment
2
Defence Watch / One DUI out of 1,290 ride road check stops, police say
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on December 08, 2017, 06:01:16 PM »
One DUI out of 1,290 ride road check stops, police say

Police are hopeful the city’s drivers are getting the anti-drunk driving message after Thursday night’s ‘Mega-Ride’ road check operation turned up only one arrest for impaired driving out of 1,290 stops. There were a total of 16 field tests for alcohol, and another driver was administered a field sobriety test for drugs and passed. The check […]

Police are hopeful the city’s drivers are getting the anti-drunk driving message after Thursday night’s ‘Mega-Ride’ road check operation turned up only one arrest for impaired driving out of 1,290 stops.


There were a total of 16 field tests for alcohol, and another driver was administered a field sobriety test for drugs and passed.


The check did result in 11 provincial notices for various offences, as well as six suspended drivers and three uninsured drivers.


Police cautioned that the positive results must be maintained.


“We know that even one drink can reduce your reaction to something that happens suddenly in front of you when you’re driving,” said Sgt. Julie Mann in a release. “We have been to fatal collisions that could have been easily avoided if the driver had just gotten a ride home with a sober driver.”


Police also reminded drivers that, while a .08 reading is a criminal offence, drivers can still lose their license for three days if they register in the “warn range” of between .04 and .08.


 


Source: One DUI out of 1,290 ride road check stops, police say
3
Ottawa neurologist files malpractice suit alleging doctor, hospital negligence over devastating injuries

A former Ottawa neurologist says a botched procedure at The Ottawa Hospital led to a life-threatening case of septic shock, a seven-month hospital stay — and lasting injuries that have robbed her of a once-promising medical career. Dr. Inge Loy-English, the former director of the memory program at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, is now disabled and […]

A former Ottawa neurologist says a botched procedure at The Ottawa Hospital led to a life-threatening case of septic shock, a seven-month hospital stay — and lasting injuries that have robbed her of a once-promising medical career.


Dr. Inge Loy-English, the former director of the memory program at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital, is now disabled and can no longer work as a neurologist.


She’s suing The Ottawa Hospital, along with a handful of doctors and nurses, alleging negligence and malpractice.


Loy-English, an expert in the treatment of dementia, is seeking more than $2.6 million in damages.


The case is highly unusual in that it pits one doctor against another in a malpractice suit. 


In her statement of claim, Loy-English alleges that Dr. Harinder Dhaliwal, a gastroenterologist — or another doctor acting under his supervision — performed an endoscopic procedure on Jan. 8, 2013.


Loy-English had suffered abdominal pain for several years when she went to day surgery for the procedure known as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). It allows doctors to examine the ducts that drain the liver and pancreas. 


During the procedure, doctors also planned to cut into the muscle that surrounds the area where the ducts open to enlarge it and, hopefully, relieve some of Loy-English’s pain.


The treatment is called a sphincterotomy. It is performed using a long, thin, flexible and lighted instrument known as a duodenoscope, which is threaded down the back of the throat, through the stomach and into the top of the small intestine.


The procedure is less invasive than traditional, open surgery.


During the procedure, Loy-English suffered a rare but serious complication when her small intestine was perforated. Material from her bowel leaked into her abdominal cavity. (A 2007 Mayo Clinic study that examined the records of more than 12,000 ERCP patients found that fewer than one per cent suffered perforations.)


According to her statement of claim, Loy-English awoke from the anesthetic and complained of severe abdominal pain. She had trouble walking.


As a result, she was sent for an abdominal X-ray, which revealed the presence of “free gas” in the lining of her abdomen.


The claim contends that the finding was consistent with a perforated bowel and should have triggered more investigation. Instead, it alleges, Loy-English was discharged from hospital and told she could go home.


But Loy-English was in so much pain that she immediately went to the emergency department, where she waited several hours to see another doctor. An emergency physician ordered a second X-ray, then a CT scan, which revealed a bowel perforation.


Loy-English began a course of antibiotics and was admitted to hospital. In the ensuing days, however, her condition deteriorated. She slipped into a coma and suffered an episode of “cerebral hypoxia” during which her brain was starved of oxygen. 


Loy-English developed a widespread infection that threatened her life, the statement of claim says, and on the afternoon of Jan. 12, she went into septic shock. The condition, marked by a dangerous drop in blood pressure, can quickly lead to organ failure.


During emergency surgery, doctors confirmed that Loy-English had a perforated bowel. Surgeons cleaned her abdominal cavity then tried to close the wound in a second operation three days later.


“The surgical team was unable to repair the perforated bowel because the infection was extensive and severe, and the bowel was severely compromised,” the statement reads.


Loy-English was moved to the intensive care unit but her bowel continued to leak, so in April surgeons removed a large section of her colon. She remained in hospital until late August, then spent more than a month in rehabilitation.


Loy-English has not been able to return to work. According to the statement of claim, “(She) suffers from nausea, diarrhea, malnutrition, muscle weakness, depression, fatigue and various cognitive deficits as a result of the infection, hypoxia and ileostomy (a procedure that redirects the small intestine outside the body).”


Loy-English had been unable to practise neurology since 2010 because of what doctors believed was recurrent pancreatitis. She was hoping the procedure in January 2013 would allow her to resume her medical career.


The lawsuit contends that the doctor who performed the initial procedure failed to exercise reasonable care and did not adequately investigate the cause of her post-surgical pain. What’s more, Loy-English says, she should have received antibiotics as a prophylactic measure and medical staff should have been quicker to identify her diminished state of consciousness in the emergency department.


The allegations made in the statement of claim have not been proven in court.


Lawyers for Dhaliwal and The Ottawa Hospital have indicated they intend to defend themselves against the lawsuit.


The hospital denies there was any negligence on its part, or on the part of anyone working for it. What’s more, the hospital argues that it’s not liable for the actions of Dhaliwal, an independent medical practitioner who holds privileges at the hospital.


Dhaliwal and his lawyers did not respond to a request for comment. 


aduffy@postmedia.com


Source: Ottawa neurologist files malpractice suit alleging doctor, hospital negligence over devastating injuries
4
Don't panic over strep A, but take precautions: public health

Wash your hands, get a flu shot and don’t panic. That is the advice from Ottawa Public Health on invasive group A streptococcal infections, which are on the rise in Ottawa and across the country. The infections, which can cause severe and sometimes deadly illnesses, remain extremely rare, said Dr. Robin Taylor, associate medical officer […]

Wash your hands, get a flu shot and don’t panic.


That is the advice from Ottawa Public Health on invasive group A streptococcal infections, which are on the rise in Ottawa and across the country.


The infections, which can cause severe and sometimes deadly illnesses, remain extremely rare, said Dr. Robin Taylor, associate medical officer of health with Ottawa Public Health.


The rates have slowly been increasing across the country over the past decade, said Taylor. In Ontario, there are 7.3 cases per 100,000 people each year, compared to 3.1 in 2005. Ottawa’s case rate is lower than the provincial average — six per 100,000 people so far this year, compared with 2.9 in 2005.


In Ottawa, there have been 60 cases, resulting in seven deaths, so far in 2017. That is a record number in the city and the year isn’t over. Thirty eight per cent of cases have been clinically severe.


The invasive infections can cause flesh eating disease and other serious illnesses. They can occur when strep A, which can live benignly in nasal cavities and on skin, aggressively infects normally sterile parts of the body, including blood, muscle and tissue.


“These are really serious diseases,” said Taylor.


Necrotizing faciitis, or flesh eating disease, has a fatality rate of 20 per cent. For toxic shock syndrome, the fatality rate is as high as 80 per cent.


The gradual increase in numbers across the country and an outbreak in London, Ont. have raised alarm bells. In Ottawa, public health officials have asked physicians to be vigilant for signs of the disease and asked homeless shelters, where people are at higher risk, to be on alert.


Taylor said because marginal housing is considered a risk factor for invasive strep A and because they were seeing more cases than they expected, public health is asking health care providers who work with the marginally housed to keep an eye on skin infections and sore throats.


“We are asking for a heightened level of awareness.”


Strep A bacteria are common and can sometimes lead to mild illnesses, including strep throat.


Although the risk of developing the invasive form of the infection is extremely low, Taylor said people should take the same precautions they do to protect themselves from flu — including hand washing and getting the flu shot.


epayne@postmedia.com


Source: Don't panic over strep A, but take precautions: public health
5
Focus Afghanistan / 25,550
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on December 02, 2017, 09:05:28 AM »
25,550

The Aga Khan Education Services' primary schools have an enrolment of 25,550 students.



Source: 25,550
6
Focus Afghanistan / 5,000+
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on December 01, 2017, 09:00:15 PM »
5,000+

Aga Khan Education Services' total number of staff.



Source: 5,000+
7
Focus Afghanistan / 3,000+
« Last post by One Veteran One Standard on December 01, 2017, 09:01:13 AM »
3,000+

The Aga Khan Education Services employ 3,000+ teachers across 10 countries



Source: 3,000+
8
Canada 150 Rink loosens up, now to allow cellphones, selfies

Selfies will now be allowed on the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill.

No to hockey, but yes to selfies — and they say we don’t know how to have fun in Ottawa!


The rules have been loosened a little on the Canada 150 Rink on Parliament Hill, the $5.6-million ice surface that has been mocked for its high cost and restrictive set of rules, such as a ban on hockey sticks and pucks during public skating periods.


Among the original set of rules was a prohibition on the use of cellphones, a restriction that has now been dropped, according the group’s website.


The rink is to be open from Dec. 7 until the end of February. Public skating is free but spots must be booked in advance. The rink will also be the site of a peewee hockey tournament after Christmas.


Source: Canada 150 Rink loosens up, now to allow cellphones, selfies
9
Man told: 'I have had enough of you asking for help' during emergency room wait

The man who was told to lie on the floor of the Civic hospital’s emergency room after pleading for help says that was just the beginning of an excruciating night in which he was spoken to harshly and threatened for repeatedly asking for assistance while delirious from pain. The 19-year-old Ottawa man, who asked that […]

The man who was told to lie on the floor of the Civic hospital’s emergency room after pleading for help says that was just the beginning of an excruciating night in which he was spoken to harshly and threatened for repeatedly asking for assistance while delirious from pain.


The 19-year-old Ottawa man, who asked that he remain anonymous, was finally given a stretcher while he waited to be treated in the Civic campus’s crowded emergency room last Monday, but only after Martina Campbell, a retired nurse sitting nearby, intervened on his behalf after an orderly pointed to the floor when he asked for a place to lay down because he was going to pass out. 


“The guy said, ‘If you want to lay down, you can lay down on the floor right there.’ ”


Campbell said people sitting nearby gasped when they heard that.


But the young man, who had re-injured his back, said that wasn’t the end of his ER ordeal.


At one point, the friend who drove him to the hospital was harshly rebuffed when she told the triage nurse he was in excruciating pain and needed help.


“The (nurse) said, ‘If you come back one more time, I am not helping either of you. I have had enough of you asking for help.’ ”


He had been there for more than four hours at that point and had not yet been seen by anyone.


His experience — something he said he wouldn’t “wish on my worst enemy” — comes at a time when hospitals across the province are overcapacity and resources are frequently stretched thin. Emergency departments are ground zero for the overcrowding crisis in the province’s hospitals.


The Ottawa Hospital has apologized for what was an hours-long ordeal for the pain-wracked man. 


When his name was eventually called to go from the waiting room into an emergency department cubicle, he was told to get off the stretcher and walk in. When his friend pointed out that he couldn’t walk and said she wasn’t big enough to support him, the nurse became exasperated, the man said.


“She said ‘Are you kidding me?’ and, ‘You are going to have to get him off the stretcher and in here because I don’t have time for this’.”


The man said it took another hour before someone helped him into a room where his vital signs were taken and he was given some anti-nausea and pain medication. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine intravenously once he saw a doctor, more than six hours after arriving at the hospital. 


While waiting for an X-ray, he was again told to get off the stretcher and sit down. When his friend explained he couldn’t sit because it caused him so much pain, a male staff member became aggressive, according to the young man.


“He said: ‘You are going to be quiet. You are going to go in there. You are going to sit down, and you are going to wait.’ I was stunned.”


The man said he was treated with compassion by some health workers, although others showed little compassion. The hospital later apologized to him in person.


“It has been rough. I wouldn’t wish what happened to me on my worst enemy. When you are in that much pain, you really feel helpless and it gives you an appreciation for people who can’t help themselves.”


The man’s case got attention after the nurse contacted this newspaper about what she had seen. She said she believes the lack of compassion and overcrowding are symptoms of a bigger problem in health care and said she understands how tough it is for staff to deal with overcrowding as well as staff and bed cuts.


“I have been on the other side and I understand the frustrations of the staff attempting to give quality care with limited resources after staff and bed cuts. I know how deflated they feel when they’re unable to do so,” she said.


A spokesperson said the hospital regrets “the moment in which this incident took place. Our staff, including the staff member in question, take great care to manage the impacts of high occupancy and other pressures on patients. This moment is an opportunity to learn and improve for all.”


 


Source: Man told: 'I have had enough of you asking for help' during emergency room wait
10
A journey of recovery: Contractor who built TD Place veil rebounding from bankruptcy

When the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders clash at TD Place in Sunday’s Grey Cup, Eric Sommer intends to give the spectacle a pass. It was his company that built the distinctive wooden veil that adorns the stadium entrance. Seeing that backdrop, even on television, would simply conjure up too many painful memories. Spring Valley […]

When the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders clash at TD Place in Sunday’s Grey Cup, Eric Sommer intends to give the spectacle a pass.


It was his company that built the distinctive wooden veil that adorns the stadium entrance. Seeing that backdrop, even on television, would simply conjure up too many painful memories.


Spring Valley Classic Custom — the firm Sommer founded in the 1980s — declared bankruptcy during the final stages of the stadium’s construction two years ago.


Costs for the $4.6-million sub-contract to build the veil had ballooned to $7.1 million after a wind-and-snow study commissioned by the owner, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, unexpectedly concluded the veil required a significant re-design.


Such were the cost constraints on the overall Lansdowne project that Sommer could not pass along his extra expenses.


And so his world changed.


“I’m not fully recovered,” Sommer, 54, says today from his home in Ancaster, Ont., “but I have a plan for recovery.”


That he has survived, let alone put himself in position to rebuild a thriving business, is testament to talent, determination, hard work — and the support of family and friends.


During the peak construction phase of the Lansdowne project, Spring Valley Classic Custom employed more than 70. Nearly all had left for other jobs by the time the firm filed for bankruptcy on Oct 28, 2015.


The first step toward recovery was to establish Spring Valley Corp., a new company 100 per cent owned by his common-law wife, Patti Overgaard. Sommer serves as CEO.


The couple discovered this wasn’t the same thing as a clean slate. Sommer’s reputation as a former bankrupt meant workers and suppliers all wanted to be paid upfront before proceeding. Spring Valley didn’t have the wherewithal to bid on significant projects, not at first.


Sommer raised about $200,000 from family and friends to provide initial capital. Then he and his wife did something rather unusual. “We bought an old house and renovated it,” Sommer says, “I worked like a dog.”


When the renovation was complete, Sommer took out a generous line of credit against the increased value of the house, and invested it in the business.


“Now the business must succeed,” Sommer says.


Spring Valley Corp.’s six employees operate out of the same office as before. And here, Sommer got a generous assist from his landlord, who forgave six months of rent and waited another year after that to get paid for ongoing rent.


This left the question of what sort of business Sommer wanted to pursue. He was expert in the art of using wood to transform ordinary buildings into works of art. But this was capital-intensive stuff. The veil on TD Place incorporates 12 kilometres of Alaskan yellow cedar and 5,000 customized steel connectors — representing millions of dollars in material.


Sommer did a “pivot.” He’s still in the business of using basic material to lend shape to buildings — indeed some of his recent, smaller projects involve the use of wood. But now his raw material of choice is concrete. Over the past year Sommer developed a special brand of “high-performance” concrete.


“It lasts forever and doesn’t burn or absorb water,” he says. “You can also pour it into any form to create shapes.”


For instance, Spring Valley is supplying intricate, light concrete panels in the shape of lotus leaves for a private home in Hawaii under a $1-million contract. This piece of business came to Sommer by way of a Toronto architect. Sommer also has contracts on the go in Manhattan and Toronto.


The inspiration for the pivot into concrete came from a cousin who had been working independently on a project involving cement panels. Sommer calculated these panels cost just $7 per square foot to make and shape compared to the final price being charged of $20 to $32 per square foot. In that price difference, he saw an opportunity to make some money.


Sommer invested significant sums to develop a unique formula for his brand of cement, then tapped a small network of sales agents to push the product.


During the past two years, Spring Valley has generated about $3 million in total revenues — still 80 per cent to 90 per cent below the sales he enjoyed during his peak years. Against this, expenses totalled some $3.7 million, reflecting in part the costs of developing his product.


But here’s the good bit: Spring Valley has a sufficient number of contracts in the pipeline that it can expect positive cash flows next year, starting with the completion of that project in Hawaii. There are others, too, in Toronto.


“Next year is going to be something to celebrate,” Sommer says.


When the Citizen interviewed Sommer in 2015 he vowed he would never bring his family to TD Place to see what he had built, such was his pain in the aftermath of his bankruptcy.


On the eve of this weekend’s Grey Cup festivities, the feeling is less visceral. All the civil suits related to the stadium’s construction have been terminated or settled, according to Carolyne Van Der Meer, communications director for Pomerleau, the prime contractor for the project. Spring Valley’s suit had been in the hands of its receiver, BDO. Terms of the deals were not disclosed. A page is being turned.


Earlier this year, Sommer visited a friend who happens to live in one of the apartments adjacent to TD Place. Naturally, he examined the veil.


“It’s very beautiful,” he says, “I’m very proud of that work.”


If Sommer continues re-establishing the credibility of his business and replenishing his savings, he may one day bring his entire family to have a look as well.


jbagnall@postmedia.com


Source: A journey of recovery: Contractor who built TD Place veil rebounding from bankruptcy
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