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Cocaine on the job
Today in the full edition of The Weekend Telegram:
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• An ashen-faced man lies loosely covered by a blanket on a gurney in the corridor of a hospital. His mouth hangs open slackly and his breathing is shallow. One arm is dangling down and has to be sidestepped by the medical personnel rushing by.
On a gurney behind him — there’s seven on this particular day, lined up on both sides of the hall like train cars — a jaundiced looking elderly woman is attended by two paramedics and a relative. There is barely room for them to stand next to her bed in this busy thoroughfare. — Columnist Pam Frampton examines the province’s emergency rooms, from the crowded conditions to the long, long waits.
• At 3 p.m. on a weekday, a bar on George Street is nearly empty.
A bartender idly wipes the counter while a patron leans against it, nursing a beer. … “Yeah, coke’s there,” he says. “I’ve seen it, or guys come in and they were doing it the night before.”
He’s not referring to cocaine at a house party or a club. He’s talking about cocaine at work.
With cocaine use on the rise in St. John’s, the issue of substance abuse in the workplace is a growing safety concern.
• A recent television ad by the Newfoundland Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) asks, “A have province should mean have people, shouldn’t it?”
Matthew Mendelsohn finds that sort of language a bit dismaying; as director of the Mowat Centre at the University of Toronto and a former Ontario deputy minister, Mendelsohn does a lot of writing about the Canada equalization formula.
“I think the language of ‘have’ and ‘have not’ is completely misleading,” Mendelsohn told The Telegram.
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