(2) RESPONSE FROM SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, DELTA B.C.
(3) COPY OF THE EMAIL SENT TO THE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT, ABOUT CANCER AMONG THE KIDS IN FURDALE
(4) ALL OUR COWARDICE AND SERVILITY
The Delta B.C. School Superintendent dismisses the information I sent to him about the:
– childhood cancer rate in Furdale, adjacent to the high-voltage transmission lines.
– withdrawal of funding from Health Canada’s Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance and Control Programme.
The information can be ignored, why? … because I am not a professional.
The letter from the University Board of Governors (in yesterday’s email) tells me that most of the professionals do not want to deal with any issues, regardless of their impact on our lives. It is as though they believe they are not part of the community. I cannot make sense of their attitude.
When John Ralston Saul last visited Saskatoon I put the question to him, “We know that these issues have to be addressed. Why is it that the people who are the most qualified to speak up, to help inform, are the very people who won’t engage? … the doctors, the people at the universities, the Ph D’s”
(There are some exceptions such as the Canadian Assoc of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) and other individuals. But when we work to stop the unnecessary use of pesticides the local health districts are noticeably absent or, as expressed by one Regina City Councillor, “Doctor, I can’t tell which side of the fence you are sitting on.”)
WHY won’t the professionals speak up? John Ralston Saul’s answer was (not in his words), it’s because, “educated” or “moneyed” people become “respectable”. The only way I can understand that is: Respectable people have achieved what they want in life – respectability. They won’t do anything to put that at risk. … Is that how it works?
Well, if sufficient numbers of respectable and influential people in Germany had spoken out in the lead-up to World War 2, Hitler would have been stopped. Forms of betrayal. As I see from the work in this network over 8 years: common folk have misplaced trust in those who should provide the leadership in the society. Leadership does not come from the “influential” people.
In today’s world the agenda is being driven by corporate interests, de-regulation – – the drive to make profits, with no concern for social and environmental outcomes.
I told you that Dr. Ernst Iskenius, a pediatrician from Germany has been in Canada recently. I heard him. He presented the research that shows “a 60% increase in solid cancers and a 117% increase in leukemia among children up to five years of age living within 5 km of German nuclear reactors. It also found a 20-40% increase for all cancers in children living within a 50 km radius of the plants.”
But more importantly, Dr. Iskenius described how it came about that the research was done and the methodology. Prior to the study there was conflicting information, much of it coming through industry-funded initiatives.
TEN THOUSAND German people signed a petition to demand that the Government conduct scientifically-sound research to determine whether it was their imaginations or not, that too many children were getting cancer in the vicinity of the reactors. A twelve member panel was established to oversee the research. The study design is above challenge. They controlled for variables and so on. There is no disputing the 60% increase in solid cancers and the 117% increase in leukemia.
We can start by ensuring that ten thousand Canadians get information through email networks. Then maybe we can collect the ten thousand signatures that will force the Governments to conduct bona fide research.
Aaah! But then we will need another ten thousand signatures to force appropriate action in relation to the outcomes of the research. Think of what Canada has accomplished in greenhouse gas reductions. Hah!
When I read the reply from the University, when I read the reply from the School Superintendent (below), it’s very obvious what doesn’t work.
So, here’s to new tactics!
(2) RESPONSE FROM SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS, DELTA B.C.
Thu 02/10/2008 11:17 AM
Re: Fwd(3): High Transmission Power Lines, childhood cancer in Furdale,
In response to your email stating that you are “concerned about the imminent emission levels (EMF) from the newly erected power lines” and the effects of these levels on our children.
The Delta School District relies on professional advice from experts in the field. Advice on public health matters comes from the World Health Organization, Health Canada, the Fraser Health Authority, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
In a letter dated July 30, 2008, the Chief Medical Health Officer of the Fraser Health Authority stated that “. with respect to the issue of power lines and health, it is safe for students and staff to attend South Delta Secondary School.” A copy of the full text of the letter from the Chief Medical Health Officer and other information is available on the District’s web-site at www.deltasd.bc.ca.
Superintendent of Schools
(3) COPY OF THE EMAIL SENT TO THE SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT, ABOUT CANCER AMONG THE KIDS IN FURDALE
Mon 29/09/2008 2:16 PM
High Transmission Power Lines, childhood cancer in Furdale, SK
TO: Delta School District
CC: Donna Ell, Mother of Tanya; Anita Den Dicken and Linda Mills from MAPP
FROM: Sandra Finley
Dear Superintendent Cardwell,
I spoke by telephone this morning with your Executive Assistant.
I would appreciate if you would please see that your Board of Trustees receives a copy of this. Thank-you.
If the high-voltage transmission line goes near your school and community, there will be an increase in deaths caused by childhood cancer.
Furdale is a small hamlet near the River on the south side of Saskatoon.
The Queen Elizabeth Power Generating Station is across the River. High voltage transmission lines cross the River and run beside the road that forms the north-side boundary of the hamlet.
Donna Ell sent this email to me in 2006:
“Here is the picture I spoke about – Tanya with several of her friends at a school fun night. (INSERT: there are 8 children in the photograph.) Three out of these children were diagnosed with cancer. Two are now deceased. A 4th friend (not in the picture) was diagnosed this summer. I have concealed the faces of all the children with the exception of my daughter to protect their privacy & that of their families.”
In April 2008, on Tanya’s birth date a boy, also a friend and now a student living in Edmonton was diagnosed with cancer.
Five kids out of a small population that lives adjacent to the high voltage transmission lines.
A woman in her twenties walked into the river and drowned herself after she was diagnosed with cancer. I don’t know all the cancer cases in the community.
The Saskatchewan Government Cancer Agency says “This is another of those cancer clusters. We don’t know the cause of the cancer clusters.”.
I attended a presentation by a professor from Trent University, Dr. Magda Havas, at the Prevent Cancer NOW Conference in Ottawa. The presentation was about cancer caused by radiation, including from high-voltage transmission lines. After hearing the Professor’s information, there is little doubt in my mind but that the kids from the small community of Furdale are dead because of the bizarre brain cancer and other cancers caused by the high voltage transmission lines.
Identification of the cause of the cancers is somewhat muddied by proximity to 3 or 4 golf courses and farmers’ fields (heavy pesticide use).
It may be a synergistic effect that MAPP identifies: “We are afraid of the “corona ionization effect”, whereby carcinogenic particulates are attracted to the power lines like magnets, and people breathe in these carcinogens“.
Synergy: The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
Carcinogenic air-borne pesticides interacting with the radiation from the transmission lines.
For a number of years we have raised the Furdale example at every opportunity, provincially and nationally, with Government Health Departments and the University. It seems that decision-makers have to be hit-over-the-head a thousand times before they will take action.
The only people who will stop the obvious dangers to the health of the children in your community caused by the high-voltage transmission lines is you, yourselves. Others like myself can help by supplying information.
(INSERT: What I sent to the Superintendent ends at number (4). The material is familiar to long-timers in our network.)
CANADIAN CHILDHOOD CANCER SURVEILLANCE & CONTROL PROGRAMME: FUNDING CUT
There is another story to go with the Furdale children: the Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance & Control Programme, set up in the early 1990’s, in response to a study by the Canadian Institute of Child Health.
The CICH found a 25% increase in childhood cancers in 25 years. So the CCCSCP was set up to collect more data, find out where the cancers were happening, at what age, what kind of cancer, etc.
If you look on the Health Canada CCCSCP web-site, it looks as though Canadians have this wonderful programme that is going to lead to answers.
But we have a letter from the people at the CCCSCP: their budgets were slashed back around the year 2000. All they have is a skeleton staff. No money for more data collection and none for data analysis.
The Mother of one of the Furdale kids (Donna) has the letter (copied below).
While the programme was up and running she was asked to release the data for her daughter’s cancer to the CCCSCP. In the end she agreed, but on the condition that she receive a copy of the report. They told her the report would be out in about a year.
She heard nothing after a year and went back to them. The woman who was responsible for the study (Donna had her name and phone number) was gone.
No way to find her. No one had been assigned to the work the departed scientist had been doing. So, the Lead of the Group was moved; there was no way of tracking her whereabouts. Could not be found by an internet search. The Budgets for the Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance & Control Programme was slashed. No more data collection. And no analysis. Donna came up against a brick wall as far as getting any answers. . . . There’s more . . .
You cannot change something if you won’t acknowledge it. Rather than suspecting deliberate conspiracy I would attribute the lack of action to refusing to acknowledge a problem. Ignorance – plain and simple!
I will use the example of my own experience. My 15 year old daughter was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma in 1997. In Aug. of ’98, just after my daughter had completed an extremely gruelling one year treatment protocol for her ‘mystery’ cancer, I received a request asking for my permission to release her medical files for use in a study. I was reluctant to do so without more information. Eventually I received more information from Judy Kosloski (the Provincial Study Co-ordinator located at Epidemiology, Prevention & Screening at 4101 Dewdney Ave in Regina Ph 306-766-2170).
I was told the principle investigator of the study was Marie Desmeules (613-957-0577).
The Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance and Control Program (CCCSCP) was announced in July 1992 by the Minister of the Federal Health Dept. The program was part of the government’s Brighter Futures initiative aimed at reducing risks to the health and normal development of children. Its goal was to contribute towards reducing the suffering and burden caused by childhood cancer. To accomplish this a nationwide information system on childhood cancer was established. One of the main objectives was to collect information on stage at diagnosis by age of the patient, geographic region & cancer site. Another was to estimate the economic costs.
From time to time I would make general inquiries into how the study was coming and receive vague replies. I have a newsletter that I received from CCCSCP in July of 2000. At this time the newsletter said ‘the overall goal of the etiology component of the CCCSCP was to establish a national, population-based database of childhood cancer cases and matched controls with detailed information on major putative risk factors. This database would be used to identify individuals or groups at high risk for developing cancer.
In Aug of 2000 I made a call to inquire how the study was coming. I spoke to Catherine Makris, a research analyst. The notes I made during our conversation say I was told that the principle investigator of the study, Marie Desmeules, had moved re job instability and was put on assignment somewhere else in women’s health. I was told that there was now zero funding for childhood cancer investigations because of Allan Rock’s budget. Things were no longer up to date but hey, they were doing their best. (As a side note I made a note that a Howard Morrison was involved with a pesticide risk assessment study.)
My still unanswered questions & concerns are :
Did the collection of this data actually cease in the year 2000 despite cancer being the number one disease killer of children in North America?
Where is the raw data that has been collected?
Is this a case of information being collected and nothing being done with it?
(I have been told by someone who did a research thesis on the topic that Ag Medicine at the U of Saskatchewan has damning evidence. So why is nothing done with it?)
Was there a study completed that we are unaware of?
Has any further work been done to estimate economic costs?
(INSERT by Sandra: I have been told that the cost of treating one child for cancer is estimated at a million dollars.)
(Donna – cont.) (and lets not forget the psychological and emotional costs too – At Mcmaster in Hamilton I observed parents going from the pediatric department where their child was diagnosed, straight to the shrink department where parents were put on antidepressants and antianxiety drugs.) I myself spent a small fortune on ulcer medication and gavison.
LETTER FROM THE GOVERNMENT (THE RESPONSE FROM CCCSCP):
Most recently in writing to CCSCB this is the reply (Oct. 2004) I (Donna) received.
Thank you for your inquiry. The Program you refer to, the Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance and Control Program (CCCSCP), is still in operation.
However, due to decreased funding, the CCCSCP now functions at a level of intensity that is significantly lower than initially planned and implemented. Currently, the Program’s viability is directly at risk as only core salary costs have been secured. The newly formed Public Health Agency of Canada (formerly part of Health Canada) will continue efforts to work with provincial partners to secure long term viability for the Program.
Despite this, the Program has established a national network of experts which is responsive to fundamental surveillance needs within childhood cancer control. During this process, the Program has produced a number of information resources for a variety of consumers. I would be happy to send you some of these documents if you like.
So as one can see less and less money is going into determining why children in Canada get cancer. My observation is that we, as a society, really don’t want to know why because we will have to change our individual lifestyles.
And we don’t want to interfere with economic profits. So we myopically focus our efforts and our hope on cures that large pharmaceutical companies are happy to offer.
INTEGRATION, MAKING THE CONNECTIONS (Sandra speaking):
We compartmentalize and say “The !@$&# Federal Govt (Health Department) that cut the Childhood Cancer Surveillance Programme”.
BUT there would not have been a Childhood Cancer Programmme IF the Departments of Environment and Fisheries (DFO) had been doing their job of protecting the commons (land, air, water).
There would not have been a Childhood Cancer Programmme IF the Department of Agriculture was not in the BUSINESS of developing products that increase the chemical load.
There would not have been a Childhood Cancer Programmme IF we had effective REGULATION.
There might have been regulation IF there was adequate FUNDING of Environment and Fisheries.
None of this would have happened IF we citizens had not been content to sit on our back-sides, in dumb belief that “the Government is looking after us”.
The powers-that-be will look after themselves.
We hand off our responsibility for our own lives and the lives of our children to other people to look after, at our own peril. That’s the way it works and always has.
When you use an integrated approach to problem-solving (which this is) — aah! the light goes on: we are missing key players! – the Department of Finance and Treasury Board.
Shortly before being turfed out, the Liberals massacred DFO’s budget, stepping-up the transition to “stewardship” (i.e. get rid of the regulations. Documented in another email). Obviously we (citizens) along with the University and the Departments of Health, Agriculture, Environment and DFO are not going to solve the problem alone – Finance and Treasury Board have to be at the table, too.
Effective problem-solving will occur ONLY if the parties (citizens, Agriculture, Environment, Health, DFO, Universities, and Finance/Treasury Board) come together.
Citizens will work with you. No one Department or University or citizen group can do what needs to be done, alone.
OUTCOME: we sent the information, set up the opportunity for a collective problem-solving approach. Nothing came of it. No response. Tony Clement, Minister of Health.
Friday, April 21, 2006
(1) Federal Ministers
Health, Tony Clement
Agriculture, Chuck Strahl
Fisheries and Oceans, Loyola Hearn
Environment, Rona Ambrose
(2) University of Saskatchewan, Board of Governors; Deans Ernie Barber and Grant Isaac
This series of emails has talked about The Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance & Control Programme (CCCSCP). This is the promised documentation; the letter from the Government (2004) is part of it.
“In response to the 25% rise in childhood cancers reported by the Canadian Institute of Child Health (CICH) (the information was shown on the screen in Wendy Mesley’s CBC television documentary), the Federal Department of Health established the Canadian Childhood Cancer Surveillance & Control Programme in the early nineties to collect data:
– where are the cancers occurring?
– what age are the children?
– what kinds of cancer?
As inconceivable as it might be, funding for the programme was DISCONTINUED by the Liberal Govt. There is enough money to support CCCSCP in name only.”
“Health Research Foundations” were established with a stated priority for “funding research that has the potential for commercialization“. Biotech pharmacy is, through the Health Research Foundations, a recipient of public money but the trail is covered over because the public has no way of knowing, from the name, that “Health Research Foundations” are funded by Government. Here we have a clear example: public money is diverted away from the research that would help address the CAUSES of a 25% increase in childhood cancers; then public money is funneled to biotech pharmacy research with its “potential for commercialization”. There will be no progress on REMOVAL OF CAUSE (there’s no commercial interest in removal of cause, only a public interest). “Government fronts” are an obstacle that need to be removed / outlawed.”
Don’t be fooled by the web-site for the CCCSCP. The letter in 2004 from the CCCSCP, written in response to citizen efforts to track down the Report that was supposed to have been issued, to track down the researchers, to track down the data that HAD been collected, that WAS no longer being collected tells the lie of the spin-doctors.
Most ANYTHING that has to do with REMOVAL OF CAUSE does not have POTENTIAL FOR COMMERCIALIZATION. Meanwhile the rate of childhood cancer in Canada has escalated by 25% in 25 years; the trend will continue and escalate DUE TO A POLICY DECISION OF GOVERNMENT TO PURSUE “PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS” AND CONCOMMITANT HEALTH RESEARCH THAT HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR COMMERCIALIZATION.
Aaach! There is a stream of expletives I would like to use. This is criminal behaviour.
The research agenda for health is very much about funding bio-tech (pharmaceutical) – just like the changes that gutted the research at Ag Canada research stations was about handing the seed sector over to transgenic/chemical transnational corporations (P3’s (“Public-Private-Partnerships”: we can afford to hand over billions to these transnational corporations, but we cannot afford to fund the public research function). Have to have “matched funding” – so it’s taxpayers that foot a large part of the bill for the development; the regulatory function disappears. This is very serious stuff.
THE DIALOGUE — “ON ONE CONDITION”
(Names and phone numbers are in email #6.)
– The Government asks Donna (Mother) to sign forms to release the data on her daughter for inclusion in the Childhood Cancer Surveillance Program data-base.
Donna agrees to release the data for her daughter ON ONE CONDITION: that she receive a copy of the subsequent Research Report.
Health Canada agrees.
Donna asks “when can I expect the Report?”
Response: in about a year’s time.
A year comes and goes.
Donna phones the researcher.
She is told that the researcher is no longer there.
Donna asks: may I speak with the person who took over her work when she left?
Response: there is no one who took over her work.
Donna: there was a lot of data that has been collected. (The Surveillance and Control Programme was set up in the early 90’s). Where is the data? What is being done with it?
Donna hit a brick wall. Try as she might, there was no information to be had.
Aug of 2000, “I was told that there was now zero funding for childhood cancer investigations ….”
But she is persistent.
when the 4th child was diagnosed with cancer in 2004, Donna WROTE to the
CCCSCP: what is the status of the research?
the written reply she received appears in email #6: (Oct. 2004) “…Currently, the Program’s viability is directly at risk as only core salary costs have been secured.”
Hence my statement: “The CCCSCP is a kind of front, too. We have a web-site with names and fine statements. Without the letter from the CCCSCP and Donna’s background you don’t know that there is little substance behind the web-site. Only the wind shuffling papers on an empty Ottawa parking lot, small fragments of morality left in the dust and rubble.”
Donna released the data for her daughter ON ONE CONDITION, the Report. The condition was never met.
Cancer rates continue to rise, funding for the Surveillance and Control Programme is cut. Through the Health Research Foundations public money is funneled to biotech pharmacy to fund research “that has the potential for commercialization”.
(4) ALL OUR COWARDICE AND SERVILITY
I like to repeat the “theme songs” for our network every 6 months or so.
(Web-site www.sandrafinley.ca, click on the right-hand button “Empowerment”.
This is one of the “theme songs” posted there.)
“The red-painted tyranny was not
The worst about our tyrants
The worst thereby were we ourselves
All our cowardice and servility
And that we also were the evil ourselves Just that is the chance and our luck You see: It works! We also take back The everlasting human right ourselves
Now we breathe again, we cry and we laugh the stale sadness out of the breast man, we are stronger than rats and dragons
– and had forgotten it and always knew.”
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US