Tuesday, May 20 Commentary
If you live in Toronto in a home that was built before the mid-1950's and the water service has not been changed, there may be lead in your tap water. To find out if there is lead go to your nearest Toronto Public Health office and ask for the testing kit. It's free.
If you live in an apartment or condo building with more than 3 floors, you do not have lead pipes, no matter how old the building.
I'm telling you this because the Star is out with a story this morning showing that in the testing done in Toronto over the last 6 years, 13 percent of the homes exceeded the lead limit in drinking water of 10 parts-per-billion.
In some instances the levels are 2,000 times that amount.
If your water tests at anything above 10-parts-per-billion, those at greatest risk of pregnant women and children younger than 6. The recommendation is that you immediately install a water filter. Go to the website of the National Sanitation Foundation to find the right filter. Their website is nsf-dot-org. We have a link to the site on our website story at NewsTalk1010-dot-com.
You should also run your taps until the water is very cold...and at that point, keep the tap going for another minute. Lead gets into hot water easier than cold water.
Toronto has a plan to add phosphate to water treatment plants starting in a few weeks in the west-end...rolling out through mid-summer to the rest of them. Phosphate is found naturally in milk, nuts and beef. It also will coat the pipes, putting up a protective barrier against the pipes but that would take a couple of years before there is enough buildup.
There is an accumulating body of evidence suggesting that a very common sexually transmitted disease could be contributing to the spread of prostate cancer in men.
The STD is trichomoniasis, also called trichomonas, a parasite. What is troublesome is that half the people infected don't have any symptoms so they could be passing it on for years if they aren't using condoms.
Trichomonas is the number one STD in women. Women run a greater risk of complications during pregnance and HIV because of the parasite.
There's a new study of the University of California which supports previous research that this STD activates several proteins including the protein PIM-1, which promotes the growth of cancer cells, particularly cancer cells in the prostate.
These researchers acknowledge that more study is needed to confirm the link. Other studies have indicated this parasite may be responsible for 25 to 40 percent of all prostate cancer, especially the rapidly advancing type.
The long weekend gave me the opportunity to look a little deeper into Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak’s Million Jobs plan. The plan that would first eliminate 100,000 jobs in the public sector? What I found was disturbing. In these days of trillions and billions, a hundred-thousand public sector jobs being eliminated doesn’t sound like many but when you stack that up against what Hudak’s mentor Mike Harris did and even what Stephen Harper is doing in Ottawa, Harris and Harper are damn near socialists in the Hudak world.
The Parliamentary budget officer has calculated the Harper team has eliminated 20,000 jobs with nearly 9,000 more being cut over the next 3 years.
When Mike Harris was Premier he eliminated roughly 7,000 public sector jobs from 1995 to $2,000. Do you remember the tumult that caused?
Tim Hudak is vowing 14 times that number. To put this into perspective, the number of public servants working in the Ontario Government bureaucracy totals 60,000. So it won’t be all those jobs, plus another 40,000. Some, we don’t know how many, would be at LCBO, OLG, provincial parks….you know the places where the province actually makes money.
So where does he have to go? According to research by economists Kaylie Thiessen and Kayle Hatt at the Centre for Policy Alternatives that leaves schools, universities, colleges, hospitals and muncipalities. Tim Hudak was clear on Friday when he was asked if teachers jobs would be eliminated. He bluntly said yes.
Perhaps the most important question in all of this is what impact will this have on the private sector. If you have a hundred-thousand fewer jobs that’s a hundred-thousand fewer people spending at the grocery store, at Canadian Tire, Home Depot, at your favourite restaurant or bar, movie theatre. Thiessen and Hatt estimate 50,000 private sector jobs would vanish if Hudak makes these cuts in the public sector. Maybe your job. And what do you think will happen in a city like Toronto where there are so many public sector workers? What would we get out of this? Hudak says more investment, more private sector jobs. Where’s that guarantee? The only thing that seems certain is the province’s books would be balanced one year earlier than the Wynne Government plan. It’s for you to decide if the price of those lost jobs is a price we’re prepared to pay.