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Albertans urged to get flu shots 3:00
Alberta Health Services (AHS) says there are more than 965 confirmed flu cases in the province and there have been five deaths.
“Those are only people who have gone to seek medical attention and physicians have done specimens that have been sent to the lab and those have been confirmed positive,” said Dr. Judy McDonald. “We expect that there is much more influenza circulating in our communities that has not been lab confirmed.”
Officials say 920 of those cases are of the H1N1 strain, which is covered by this year’s flu vaccine. The overall number of flu cases has jumped by 50 per cent in one week.
Dr. Glen Armstrong, an infectious disease expert, says the numbers aren’t a record but more than the province has seen in recent years.
“It may be that because we’ve had a bit of a holiday over the last couple of years. People have become complacent and are thinking, ‘OK, it’s no big deal, you know I don’t need to get vaccinated,'” he said.
Armstrong says even if you got the H1N1 vaccine during the 2009 pandemic, you should get immunized again.
“Because you don’t get lifelong immunity,… you get sort of a spike of immunity that will protect you for maybe a year or so. But after that immunity starts to wane and so this is a good opportunity to get revaccinated and to boost your immunity back up again to give you maximum protection,” he said.
Mass immunization clinics reopen
Health officials are urging people to get the vaccination, particularly before children head back to school.
Albertans who have not yet received a flu shot can still visit AHS mass immunization clinics, local pharmacies and family physician offices.
The vaccine is still available, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age and older. But officials are reminding Albertans that children under the age of nine are not able to receive the vaccine at pharmacies.
Alberta Health Services clinics at Brentwood Mall in Calgary’s northwest and at the South Calgary Health Centre are both open today.
Mass immunization clinics in Edmonton will reopen Friday at the Bonnie Doon Health Centre and Northgate Health Centre from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MT.
For complete details on clinic locations and hours, call Health Link Alberta toll free at 1-866-408-5465 or visitalbertahealthservices.ca/influenza.
Canadian natural gas giant Encana says it will cut its workforce by 20 per cent and close its office in Plano, Texas.
The Calgary-based company also plans to narrow its production focus to five oil-related projects in North America from as many as 30.
“In order to align our organization with our strategy, we have had to make a number of exceptionally difficult decisions,” chief executive Doug Suttles said in a statement.
“The restructuring that is underway reflects our shift from funding about 30 different plays to focusing our resources on five key areas.
Encana said it plans to sell assets and improve its cash flow. It will also create a separate company to own its mineral rights and royalty interests across southern Alberta, the statement said.
An initial public offering will be done by mid-2014.
“Encana intends to retain a significant stake in the new company, which will manage leasing activities in the area currently known as Encana’s Clearwater play,” the statement said.
Suttles was upbeat about the company’s future after the restructuring and layoffs
“I’m excited about Encana’s future and encouraged by how our people have rallied as one team to get Encana back to winning,” he said in the statement.
“While we have a lot of challenging work ahead of us, I am more confident than ever that we will be successful.”
Encana shares closed Monday at $18.59 on the Toronto Stock Exchange. They have fallen 16.2 per cent in the past 12 months.
Jessica Ernst launched a $33-million lawsuit in 2011 against the Alberta government, the province’s energy regulator and energy company Encana.
She claims gas wells fracked around her property in Rosebud, Alta., unleashed hazardous amounts of methane and ethane gas and other chemicals into her water well.
Jessica Ernst, who worked as an oil patch consultant for more than five decades, alleges that Encana broke multiple provincial laws and regulations and contaminated a shallow aquifer with natural gas and toxic industry-related chemicals. (Jeff McIntosh/Canadian Press)
An Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench justice has ruled Ernst can’t sue the regulator because under provincial law it is immune from private legal claims.
Ernst says she plans to appeal the ruling, and says the lawsuit against Encana and the provincial government will proceed.
In its statement of defence, Encana denies all of Ernst’s allegations.
“It is worrying that citizens are unable to hold the energy regulator accountable for failing to protect citizens from the harmful impacts of fracking,” Cory Wanless, a lawyer for Ersnt said in a release Wednesday.
Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, nitrogen, sand and chemicals at high pressure to fracture rock and allow natural gas or oil to flow through wells to the surface…
- Alberta Energy Regulator Given Immunity in Landmark Fracking Suit (in News) (thetyee.ca)
- Alberta woman loses round in anti-fracking lawsuit (calgaryherald.com)
- Encana Files Defence in Lawsuit with Fracking Folk Hero (in News) (thetyee.ca)
- Alberta pensioner fights to reclaim home declared an embassy by ‘sovereign’ citizen (ctvnews.ca)
- Alberta woman’s house taken over by ‘Freemen’ renter who declared it an embassy (o.canada.com)
- Freemen growth in Canada concerns legal communities (talesfromthelou.wordpress.com)
- ‘Sovereign citizen’ movement worrying officials as 30,000 claim they ‘freed’ themselves from Canada’s laws (news.nationalpost.com)
- Tax-dodging ‘Freeman’ movement growing in B.C., officials warn (with video) (vancouversun.com)
- Toronto, Hamilton lead real estate recovery (thestar.com)
- Calgary prices for repeat home sales continue to climb (calgaryherald.com)
- Home prices suffer smallest annual increase since 2009: Teranet (business.financialpost.com)
- Canadian home prices rose 1.0 percent in June from May – Teranet (xe.com)
- UK House-Price Index Rises to Highest Since 2006, RICS Says – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Canadian home prices hit all-time high in July (business.financialpost.com)
- US house prices continue to rise (emigrate2news.wordpress.com)
- Climate report warns extreme weather events are now the normal (endtimeheadlines.wordpress.com)
- Our region’s extreme weather is the new normal, for a while. (courant.com)
- 20 Gripping Photos of Extreme Weather (mashable.com)
- Extreme weather on the rise, says report (theage.com.au)
- Extremes in British weather are ‘biggest threat to farming’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Extreme Weather – State of Colorado, [Northeast Colorado] (familysurvivalprotocol.com)
- Stampede parade washes away Calgary’s flood blues (cbc.ca)
- Calgary heat could break records (cbc.ca)
- ‘Huge concerns’ as residents stranded on First Nations near Calgary (metronews.ca)
- In the wake of Alberta’s natural disaster, shockwaves on the Canadian economy (macleans.ca)
- Pt 1: Floods in Southern Alberta Caused by NEXRAD Stations and Chemtrails (chemtrailsplanet.net)
- Some Alberta First Nation communities in ‘total state of destruction’ (sunnewsnetwork.ca)
- Background Info on Calgary Floods (recoverydiva.com)
- Flooding timeline: A devastating, drenching June for Alberta (globalnews.ca)
- Alberta Flooding – Siksika Nation (gogreygirl.wordpress.com)
- Water, water, everywhere… (snowhydro1.wordpress.com)
- Alberta Flooding: You Can Help (talktomyshoes.wordpress.com)
- Alberta floods force thousands from homes (globalnews.ca)
- 3 die in Canadian floods (toledoblade.com)
- Floodwaters recede at Calgary, but threat moves on (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
- Rivers receding in Calgary, 3 dead in floods (timesleader.com)
- Calgary flood: Half a year’s rainfall in one day – at least 75,000 people evacuated – highways and whole neighbourhoods washed away (fromthetrenchesworldreport.com)
- Flooding cleanup begins; Hardest-hit areas of city still in ‘red zone’ (calgaryherald.com)