B.C. government launches lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to recoup overdose crisis costs

The British Columbia government announced Wednesday it is suing 40 companies in connection with manufacturing opioids.

The province is looking to recoup healthcare costs associated with the province’s ongoing opioid epidemic that has killed thousands.

“Opioid misuse and addiction has taken a terrible toll on thousands of families and individuals in British Columbia. These British Columbians deserve our determination and support to end this epidemic,” said Attorney General David Eby.


This is the first lawsuit of its kind in Canada, with a government taking direct legal action against drug companies in connection with opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

A majority of overdose deaths have included people who become addicted to prescription opioids and then either continue to use the drugs or search alternatives that have frequently been laced with fentanyl.

There were 1,422 overdose deaths in 2017, a 43 per cent increase compared to 2016, which saw 914 deaths. So far, 2017 was the deadliest year in B.C.’s history for overdose deaths.

READ MORE: B.C. marks 2017 as deadliest O.D. death year in provincial history

At the heart of the lawsuit is Purdue Pharma. Victims have attempted to seek damages by filing a class action lawsuit against Purdue Canada. It led to a proposed $20-million settlement, with $2-million going to the provinces and territories and no admission of guilt. The settlement has stalled.

Purdue Pharma has lost a number of court cases in the United States. The company promoted the pain killer OxyContin as safer and less addictive than other opioids. The company has acknowledged in the United States that its marketing of OxyContin was misleading and paid US$634.5-million in 2007 to settle criminal and civil charges.

“I think what is very clear is that there have been few options that have been tried to date in Canada despite the ongoing crisis and I think trying this legal avenue is long overdue,” said Matthew Herder, the director of the Health Law Institute at Dalhousie University. “But whether it is successful, that is hard to say. There will be important factual questions about how much these different companies knew or ought to have known.”

Because there are so many companies involved, Herder expects the lawsuits to be dragged out and it could be years until there are any court resolutions. But Herder says one of the strong cases the B.C. government has is that drug users often are prescribed opioids that lead to their addiction.

“Many folks who become unfortunately addicted to opioid medication or stronger things that are available on the streets started on a pathway to that outcome from prescription drugs that will be the subject of this litigation,” said Herder.


B.C. government launches lawsuit against opioid manufacturers to recoup overdose crisis costs

Rapid-onset gender dysphoria in adolescents and young adults: A study of parental reports



Social and peer contagion. The description of cluster outbreaks of gender dysphoria
occurring in pre-existing groups of friends and increased exposure to social media/internet
preceding a child’s announcement of a transgender identity raises the possibility of social and
peer contagion. Social contagion [20] is the spread of affect or behaviors through a population.
Peer contagion, in particular, is the process where an individual and peer mutually influence
each other in a way that promotes emotions and behaviors that can potentially undermine
their own development or harm others [21]. Peer contagion has been associated with depressive
symptoms, disordered eating, aggression, bullying, and drug use [21, 22]. Internalizing
symptoms such as depression can be spread via the mechanisms of co-rumination, which
entails the repetitive discussion of problems, excessive reassurance seeking (ERS), and negative
feedback [21, 23–25]. Deviancy training, which was first described for rule breaking, delinquency,
and aggression, is the process whereby attitudes and behaviors associated with problem
behaviors are promoted with positive reinforcement by peers [26, 27].
Peer contagion has been shown to be a factor in several aspects of eating disorders. There are
examples in the eating disorder and anorexia nervosa literature of how both internalizing symptoms
and behaviors have been shared and spread via peer influences [28–32] which may have relevance
to considerations of rapid-onset gender dysphoria. Friendship cliques can set the norms
for preoccupation with one’s body, one’s body image, and techniques for weight loss, and can
predict an individual’s body image concerns and eating behaviors [28–30]. Peer influence is


intensified in inpatient and outpatient treatment settings for patients with anorexia and countertherapeutic
subcultures that actively promote the beliefs and behaviors of anorexia nervosa have
been observed [30–32]. In these settings, there is a group dynamic where the “best” anorexics
(those who are thinnest, most resistant to gaining weight, and who have experienced the most
medical complications from their disease) are admired, validated, and seen as authentic while the
patients who want to recover from anorexia and cooperate with medical treatment are maligned,
ridiculed, and marginalized [30–32]. Additionally, behaviors associated with deceiving parents
and doctors about eating and weight loss, referred to as the “anorexic tricks,” are shared by patients
in a manner akin to deviancy training [30–32]. Online environments provide ample opportunity
for excessive reassurance seeking, co-rumination, positive and negative feedback, and
deviancy training from peers who subscribe to unhealthy, self-harming behaviors. The pro-eating
disorder sites provide motivation for extreme weight loss (sometimes calling the motivational
content “thinspiration”). Such sites promote validation of eating disorder as an identity, and
offer “tips and tricks” for weight loss and for deceiving parents and doctors so that individuals
may continue their weight-loss activities [33–35]. If similar mechanisms are at work in the context
of gender dysphoria, this greatly complicates the evaluation and treatment of impacted
In the past decade, there has been an increase in visibility, social media, and user-generated
online content about transgender issues and transition [36], which may act as a double-edged
sword. On the one hand, an increase in visibility has given a voice to individuals who would
have been under-diagnosed and undertreated in the past [36]. On the other hand, it is plausible
that online content may encourage vulnerable individuals to believe that nonspecific symptoms
and vague feelings should be interpreted as gender dysphoria stemming from a transgender
condition. Recently, leading international academic and clinical commentators have raised
the question about the role of social media and online content in the development of gender
dysphoria [37]. Concern has been raised that adolescents may come to believe that transition
is the only solution to their individual situations, that exposure to internet content that is uncritically
positive about transition may intensify these beliefs, and that those teens may pressure
doctors for immediate medical treatment [18]. There are many examples on popular sites
such as Reddit (www.reddit.com with subreddit ask/r/transgender) and Tumblr (www.tumblr.
com) where online advice promotes the idea that nonspecific symptoms should be considered
to be gender dysphoria, conveys an urgency to transition, and instructs individuals how to
deceive parents, doctors, and therapists to obtain hormones quickly [38]. Fig 1 includes examples
of online advice from reddit and tumblr.



Flight chaos as drunk tourist is TIED to his plane seat after huge bust-up

A FLIGHT from Bali was forced to divert after a drunk French tourist had to be tied to his chair following a huge row with his girlfriend.

The flight from Bali to Perth had to divert after an argument between two French passengers escalated so greatly that the man had to be strapped to his chair and tied down.

Police have said the French couple – a 32-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman – were drunk when they began arguing on the flight on Monday night.

Shocking footage captured the moment seven passengers had to restrain the man after the dispute grew heated.

The tourist’s wrists, feet and legs were tied and he was strapped to a chair in a bid to prevent him from causing any harm.


The argument between the couple had started out “jovially” but soon escalated, eyewitnesses said.

“They were completely sloshed. They were quite jovial, but he got out of control,” fellow passenger John Caputo told Australian TV news service Seven News.

“They were having to settle him down, constantly telling him to calm down, having to use force to keep him to his chair because he obviously wanted to get out,” Caputo added to Australian TV network Nine News.

As a result of the drunken dispute – and the ensuing diversion to Port Headland, Western Australia – the flight was delayed by two and a half hours.

“It was quick, quicker than usual, we all had to get ready for a quick landing,” Caputo said.

The two French tourists were arrested at South Hedland, a suburb of Port Hedland. Footage shows the man smiling as he was lead off the plane with his wrists tied together.


The flight continued to Perth where police spoke to eyewitnesses. “I’ve been on a plane a lot in my time and I’ve never seen anything like this happen. But you just take it as it comes,” Caputo said.

The rowing pair have been charged with interference with crew or aircraft and offensive and disorderly behaviour.

They are due to appear in the Perth Magistrates Court in Australia on September 14.

Yesterday, it emerged that a pilot on a Ryanair flight from London to Italy had fainted after bad weather resulted in a diversion.

The FR3918 flight was moments away from landing when the co-pilot passed out, forcing the captain to land the plane on his own.




Chad: Muslims intimidating Christians and driving them from public life under new rules prioritizing Islam

“Source: Catholics face fear as Chad prioritizes Islam,” by Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic News Service, August 27, 2018

OXFORD, England (CNS) — Christians in Chad are being intimidated and forced from public life, under new rules prioritizing Islam in violation of the North African country’s secular foundations, according to the Catholic Church.

A senior church source, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, called the situation “critical, as the great powers show complicity by turning a blind eye to violations of basic human rights under cover of resisting radical Islam.”

The source also said Catholic leaders fear for their lives after criticizing constitutional changes.

The comments were sent Aug. 27 to Catholic News Service, as the government of President Idriss Deby enforced a revised constitution, extending presidential powers in the predominantly Muslim state and requiring office-holders to take a religious oath.

“The new religious oath is exclusive and reductive in its vision of the state and appears to be another way of excluding Christians from public responsibilities,” the church source said. “What will now become of the many Chadians who are neither Muslims nor Christians, and what will be the purpose of our institutions of justice and regulation?”

The revised constitution, in force since May 4, abolishes the office of prime minister and extends the powers of Deby, in office since 1990, allowing him to seek a sixth and seventh term, running till 2033.

In April, the Catholic bishops’ conference criticized the religious oath and use of Diya — blood money or ransom. The bishops urged a referendum on the revised constitution and warned its adoption otherwise risked igniting “inter-communal bitterness” and “gravely perverting democratic rules.”

“Our country is traversing a social crisis — in this difficult context, a project for reforming the institutions has been set in motion which does not have the support of the body of citizens,” said the bishops. “As a church, we have reflected on our engagement in the service of charity and development … but we must stress that poverty is now growing as grave violations of fundamental human rights become the norm.”

Radio France International reported Aug. 13 priority had since been given to officials taking the religious oath “in the name of Allah the all-powerful,” adding that several top Christian officials had been dismissed for refusing it.

The church source told CNS Catholic leaders believed the religious oath would “do nothing to solve the real problems of Chad,” while the practice of Diya was “very specific to Muslim communities” and would “sow hatred” if imposed on Christians.

However, the source added that the government had “reacted violently against the Catholic Church” after it listed its objections and said bishops had been threatened and intimidated….


B.C.’s new rules for provincial infrastructure projects challenged in court

VANCOUVER -The Independent Contractors and Business Association is asking the B.C. Supreme Court to strike down the provincial government’s new hiring model for taxpayer-funded construction projects.

The association filed a petition today with the court alongside several other building and trade organizations, as well as the B.C. Chamber of Commerce and two unions it says are not affiliated with the building trades: the Christian Labour Association of Canada and Canada West Construction Union.

In a statement, association president Chris Gardner says the policy means only members of building trade unions will be hired for public construction jobs and that’s not fair to the 85 per cent of construction workers who don’t belong to the unions.

When the new framework was announced last month, Premier John Horgan said it would allow everyone to bid on the projects, but it would make hiring local workers a priority and provide good wages for people building roads, bridges, transit and hospitals.

The B.C. government said projects worth billions of dollars will now be built under a so-called community benefits agreement that sets out job training, who can work on the projects and the wages to be paid.

It said the agreement is aimed at boosting apprenticeship opportunities and hiring more women, Indigenous people and other under-represented workers who will be organized under a new Crown corporation called BC Infrastructure Benefits Inc.

The provincial government couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.