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October 22nd, 2009:

Dr. Stevo comes to the rescue!

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Harperites do try to take cedit for saving the lives of Canadians.

(Thanks to Warren Kinsella for this).

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H1N1 clinics in Ottawa and environs

A public service announcement.

Though I wish folks would stop getting their knickers in twists about H1N1, I do plan on getting shots for myself and my kids… and you should too.

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) will begin providing free H1N1 flu vaccinations to Ottawa residents who need it most at its citywide clinics on October 26.

As the initial supply will be limited, OPH will focus on providing the vaccine to the following groups of residents in the first seven to 14 days of operation:

People 6 months old to 65-years-old with chronic medical conditions

Pregnant women

Healthy children between 6 months and five years of age

Health care workers

Household contacts and care providers of infants younger than six months and people with compromised immune systems

women will also have the option to receive the non-adjuvanted H1N1 vaccine, which is expected to be delivered in mid-November.

For more information on the H1N1 virus and vaccine and updates on the vaccine clinics, visit ottawa.ca/health or contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.

H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics – Fixed Sites, Oct. 26 to Nov. 27

Kanata Recreation Complex

100 Walter Baker, Kanata

Monday to Friday: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Vanier Richelieu Community Centre

300 Des Pères Blancs, Vanier

Monday to Friday: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Orléans Client Service Centre

255 Centrum, Orléans

Monday to Friday: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Tom Brown Arena

141 Bayview, Ottawa

Monday to Friday: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

City of Ottawa —Administrative Building

100 Constellation, Nepean

Monday to Friday: 5 – 9 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

H1N1 Flu Vaccination Clinics – Roving Clinic Sites

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Ottawa City Hall

110 Laurier West, Ottawa

November 16, 23: 4 – 9 p.m.

November 18, 25: 9 am – 3 p.m.

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West Carleton Community Complex

5670 Carp Road, Kinburn

November 3, 25

2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Jim Durrell Arena

1265 Walkley Road, Ottawa

November 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 19, 23

2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Fred G. Barrett Arena

3280 Leitrim Road, Ottawa

October 26-30, November 1, 7, 8, 14,15, 21, 22

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

November 2, 3, 6, 10, 13, 16-18, 20, 24-27

2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Walter Baker Sport Centre

100 Malvern, Barrhaven

October 28, 29, November 23, 24

2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Stittsville and District Community Centre

10 Warner Colpitts Lane, Stittsville

November 4, 27

2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Alfred Taylor Community Centre

2300 Community Way, North Gower

November 1: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

November 26: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Osgoode Community Centre

56 Main Street, Osgoode

October 30: 2:30 – 9:30 p.m.

November 23: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Place Sarsfield

2835 Colonial Road, Sarsfield

November 2: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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Ron Kolbus Centre (Britianna Park)

102 Greenview Avenue, Ottawa

November 5: 2:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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R.J. Kennedy Community Centre

1115 Dunning Road, Cumberland

November 14

9 – 3 p.m.

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Who’s looking after the kids? Child care policy in Canada

Last night, I attended my first meeting as a Board member of the child care facility that my son attends. I have always been impressed by the level of commitment displayed by those involved in this field – either as professionals or as volunteers. It has been a long time since I sat around a table with like-minded persons to discuss specific child care related issues. When my teen was a pre-schooler, I sat on the Board of her child care Co-op in Guelph, Ontario. It was a learning experience to be sure. Difficult to access funding programs, uncertainties about the funding and always discussions about subsidized spaces were the common topics of each Board meeting.

In the intervening 13 years or so, it might be expected that the issues had changed. After all, we are purported to be a caring society. One that veers a little to the left in the sense that, in general, we believe the state has a role to play in the care of our kids.

Imagine my surprise when 75% of the conversation around the table last night was geared to accessing funding programs, uncertainties about the funding and discussions about subsidized spaces.

OK. I wasn’t really that surprised that nothing has changed – at least not for the better.

Canada’s child care system was and continues to be a patch work quilt of jurisdictions and agencies. Cities and town, provinces and territories. Not-for-profits, for-profits and Co-ops. Public agencies and private. It’s all over the map. As much as we like to brag about our system of health care, we should be equally ashamed of how we have allowed government after government to trivialize or downright ignore the need for a consistent and well-considered national child care policy and the programs to implement such a policy.

The Conservatives have seen it fit to bail out automakers but scoff at the idea of a national system.  Here’s your C-note a month, parents. Now shut up. GM? You need cash? Well c’mon into my office. Minister Flaherty will fix ya up!

The Grits and Dippers have acknowledged the need for a consistent policy in the past. They recognize the basic fact that a child care system that is comprehensive and professional benefits all. It is not only the parents who benefit – especially lower income folks who, in the absence of subsidies, would be forced to stay at home with their kids instead of working to supplement already meager incomes – but all of society does so. Whether you are a parent or not, giving kids a head start will help them become intelligent and productive contributors to society. The kids of today will be our doctors, engineers, and teachers of tomorrow. They will also be paying taxes to support the social systems (e.g., health care) THAT WE WILL ALL DRAW UPON AS WE GET OLDER.

So I don’t want to hear any crap from those who have chosen NOT to have kids about the whole inequity of it all.

Ergo, I am pleased to see that Iggy is reiterating the pledge to work toward a new way of doing things.

The Liberals were in the midst of delivering on a $5-billion national child-care program before they were thrown out of power in the 2006 election. When Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservatives came to office, that program was abandoned, in favour of the $100-a-month cheques to Canadian parents known as the Universal Child Care Benefit.

Ignatieff said that if the Liberals are returned to government, that money will keep flowing to parents, but a national child-care program will also be phased in, as soon as the budget can handle it.

“They give the money to families, fine. Anything that helps families is a good idea. But there aren’t the spaces. If you don’t create the spaces, families don’t have a choice. That’s what we’re saying.”

While I realise that the economic shitstorm and the CPC’s fiscal ineptitude has created a scenario where it will be difficult for the Grits to deliver immediately on this pledge, I do hope that they have in place a detailed plan to implement as soon as budgetary conditions permit.

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