Globe and mail horoscope january 7 2020

Online sales operate 24 hours per day. With two hubs of creativity and content creation, TO Live has a unique place and perspective in Toronto. Entertainment Inc. TO Live releases season programme to engage community and celebrate local and international creative talent. You may also like. More Stories. The fancy word for information, data, has been dragged through the mud a bit lately.


But government data are a different thing. At its best, this produces a charmed cycle: The government collects numbers, makes them anonymous and puts them on a website; a researcher, or even an ordinary citizen, notices something in the numbers a spike in deaths! This kind of cycle is never more valuable than when it involves health data. Sometimes it saves lives. In the early s, an arthritis drug called Vioxx was being hailed by North American doctors and patients for reducing inflammation and pain with fewer side effects than those caused by similar drugs.

But the Therapeutics Initiative, an independent group of researchers at the University of British Columbia, was among the first to raise a red flag: Vioxx users also seemed to have a higher risk of heart attack, among other health problems.

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A bottle of the arthritis drug Vioxx, shown in Clinical trial data spurred the decision to pull it from the market, potentially saving many lives. Using clinical-trial data collected by the U. Food and Drug Administration, the group wrote up its findings in a newsletter aimed at B.

It would later emerge that the drug may have been linked to more than 60, deaths in Canada and the United States before being pulled from the market in In Canada, though, this cycle too often breaks down. Important questions go unanswered. Toronto doctor Nav Persaud was denied access by Health Canada to the clinical trial data for a drug he once regularly prescribed to pregnant women. Nav Persaud is a Toronto family physician who sees lots of pregnant women struggling with morning sickness.

About a decade ago, he regularly prescribed the drug Diclectin for the nausea and vomiting that can come with the early weeks of pregnancy.

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So he asked Health Canada for the clinical-trial data it had about Diclectin — information the manufacturer submits to get approval for a new drug. Persaud says. In one key trial, he found that the drug had barely outperformed a placebo. He no longer prescribes it. Last spring, Health Canada finally committed to making clinical-trial data more publicly accessible; it plans to publish new regulations concerning that decision this spring. In , his year-old daughter, Vanessa, died of a heart attack after taking the digestion drug Prepulsid.

Only later did he learn that eight small children had also died during trials for the drug. Terence Young, shown in , lost his daughter Vanessa to a heart attack in after she took the drug Prepulsid. He says he wouldn't have let her take it had he known about clinical data showing other deaths during the trial phase. Provinces gather their own information, but each province tracks different things, and with different degrees of care. There is no regular, national comparison of what programs and funding are available for children with disabilities — or of their life outcomes, such as whether they finish school.

Crawford says. Rachel Martens has experienced the fallout. She lives in Calgary with her year-old son, Luke, who has a rare chromosome disorder as well as autism and cerebral palsy. But a lack of data hurts her efforts to seek out access to health care, to learn about supports available to families and to find recreational programs that children such as Luke can participate in.

Rachel Martens lives in Calgary with her son Luke, 12, who has a rare chromosome disorder.

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She says she has struggled to get him adequate health care and support due to a lack of data. Crawford has always found these gaps puzzling, especially because the United States has such rich data of this kind.

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He points, for example, to a voluntary collaboration between states called the National Core Indicators, which provides a fairly comprehensive comparison of the condition of people with developmental disabilities, far beyond anything Canada offers. Independent and not-for-profit, it collates and publishes health data from the provinces on everything from hospital wait times to alcohol abuse. It has done significant work in the past 25 years, especially in bringing together a national picture of the opioid-overdose crisis.

But the CIHI can only do so much. Disability, for example, falls outside its mandate. And the organization has no power to force provinces to provide data they would rather not share. Sometimes, of course, provinces have every incentive to keep data hidden, notes Katherine Fierlbeck, a professor of political science at Dalhousie University who studies Canadian health care.

For those at the bottom of the pack, data can be damning. Data locked in provincial silos hurts health-care businesses, too. Stuart Feldman heads the Canadian operations for PointClickCare, a Mississauga-based tech company that provides electronic health records for long-term care homes in Canada and the United States. It has seen explosive growth since launching in , and now handles more than 2.

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About a tenth of those are in Canada, but virtually none are in Quebec. Without a firmer handle on the market, Mr. As of , when Statistics Canada launched its most recent survey on the number of long-term care homes in Canada, Quebec did not participate. It still does not send the number to CIHI, citing provincial authority over health care. When asked by The Globe, the Quebec health ministry did, in fact, reveal that there were long-term care homes within its borders — but hastened to point out that its definition of such facilities may differ from that used by other provinces.

That lack of common definition means Mr. Stuart Feldman, head of Canadian operations for e-health company PointClickCare, says data shortages have stymied the company's chances of expanding into Quebec. No one asks themselves that question more often than academics. And the frustration they experience has implications for us all: When scholars work without access to proper data, they are unable to tell us stories about our world and ourselves that can only be unearthed when expert analysis is applied to a thorough rendering of the raw facts.

Lindsay Tedds, a professor of economic policy at the University of Calgary, has been struck recently by the difference, between the United States and Canada, regarding one of the most fundamental subsets of demographic data: birth records. To begin with, the standard U.

A nine-month-old baby is weighed at a Toronto hospital's pediatric clinic in Birth statistics are harder to obtain in Canada than in the United States. In Canada, by contrast, birth data are kept in a series of facilities called Research Data Centres — the bane of many researchers trying to unlock tricky problems in Canadian social science.

But while they contain a rich trove of data, the fact that it is embedded with potentially identifying details about individual Canadians — not names, which are scrubbed ahead of time, but occupation and gender, for example — means that researchers must jump through a series of bureaucratic hoops before they can get their hands on it.

Because researchers have to visit them in person, that often means travelling hundreds of kilometres. And that journey only gets them to the jailhouse gates. Then the real hurdles emerge. These can include providing a five-year address history, submitting a research proposal well ahead of time, and being formally sworn in as a government employee for the duration of your visit, complete with a legally binding oath of secrecy. What did they think, I was faking my passport? In other countries, the kind of data we keep cloistered in RDCs for privacy reasons is often simply scrubbed of identifying details and opened to the public.

Placing the burden of security onto individual researchers, in turn, means that reams of information, painstakingly gathered by our government and waiting to be sorted, distilled and interpreted — and, possibly, put to use improving Canadian lives — remain untapped. Researcher Arjumand Siddiqi says the complexity of obtaining data in Canada has deterred several of her colleagues from studying it. In fact, the episode was deeply out of character for the agency. In recent years, for instance, Ottawa and the provinces have rolled out a suite of environmental programs meant to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

Those include a federal carbon tax, electric-car incentives, higher fuel-efficiency standards and grants for renewable-energy firms. In each of these cases, though, we lack the public data to fully understand if the policies are working. The agency will not say why. Horoscope - Free Astrology Predictions! SunSigns Org. Press Creel and Gow. August 28th virgo horoscope. Your daily horoscope: August 7 - The Globe and Mail. Love, Marriage, and Compatibility for Taurus Metaphorical.

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