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• Chris Whelan did all he could within his financial means to take care of his dog, his lawyer told a provincial court judge Thursday.

And just because he couldn’t afford professional medical help for the animal doesn’t mean he’s guilty of criminal charges, she said.

“The Criminal Code (of Canada) did not intend such a high onus when it comes to animals,” said Candace Summers.

“Otherwise, half the people in Newfoundland would not be permitted to own a dog.”


• The generic form of the painkiller OxyContin can now be prescribed in this province.

However, the provincial drug plan, which is for qualifying low-income and senior patients, does not allow coverage of it for its beneficiaries, and special authorizations (which can be applied for in extreme cases such as cancer pain management) are regulated.

“Any medication that is approved for use by Health Canada is available in Newfoundland,” said  Margot Priddle, secretary-registrar of the Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board.


• The provincial government unveiled a massive new piece of offshore health and safety legislation Thursday, laying out in detail how oil and gas companies need to deal with health and safety issues in the offshore.

Service NL Minister Nick McGrath called it a “monumental” piece of work — it has been 14 years in the making, based on negotiations between Ottawa, Nova Scotia and this province.

The legislation basically spells out in writing what has been done in practice, but closes a gap in the law created by the 1992 amendments to the Atlantic Accord.


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Organizations: Health Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador Pharmacy Board., Breaking News

Geographic location: Newfoundland, Canada, Ottawa Nova Scotia

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