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Women Gets a Million Dollar Medical Bill Without Any Payment Options

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What would you do if you are billed $1 Million in medical expenses and your insurance company refuses to cover any of the medical expenses? This is precisely what happened to a Canadian couple vacationing in Hawaii. Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel was 6 month pregnant when she went on a vacation to Hawaii. However, pregnancy complications landed her in the US hospital only two days into her holiday. According to the hospital sources, six weeks stay and emergency care of the mother and her child cost exactly $950K in expenses.

On contacting her insurance company, Blue Cross Canada, Jennifer was shocked to hear that the insurance provider refused to cover her medical bills claiming that the patient had bladder infections at four months, which ultimately caused pregnancy complications during the birth. Interestingly, Jennifer says that she had consulted her doctor and the medical team before going to the vacation, and they had given her a clean sheet without raising any alarms.

Health policy analysts such as Steven Lewis in Saskatoon is also surprised at the lack of response from Blue Cross insisting that insurance should cover Jennifer bills if she is telling the truth. Yet, it seems that Jennifer will remain stuck in Hawaii for much longer than anticipated because her plea to provide her safe passage to Canada are going unnoticed. Recently, she was also denied air ambulance on medical grounds and business expenses by emergency response companies such as Medevac.

Big thanks to ‘friend of CHCanada’ Andrew Heiberger for alerting us of this story.

Million Dollar Baby

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When you have a health insurance policy, you expect that it would cover almost everything that involves being in a hospital or going to a doctor’s office. There might be a co-payment, but a couple from Canada received hospital bill that they weren’t expecting.

The couple went on a vacation to Hawaii before their baby was born. However, when they were in the land of paradise, the baby decided to come early. The little girl was born nine weeks early, and when the couple presented their insurance to the hospital, it was denied. When the couple received the bill for the delivery, they discovered that it was almost $1 million.

According to Christian Broda, this is an exorbitant amount for any delivery regardless of whether you have insurance or not. Travel insurance did help a little, but the couple now has tough financial decisions to make in order to pay the bill that is owed.

Obama Sees Only Canada Benefitting from the Keystone Pipeline XL Project

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The Keystone Pipeline, which brings carbon-heavy oil sands crude from Canada into the US, is largely built. The project plan for it calls for construction in four phases three of which have been funded and constructed. All that remains is the final section of the pipeline called the Keystone Pipeline XL. Against Friday’s passage of a bill authorizing the pipeline in the House, President Obama concluded that only Canada will benefit of the petroleum exports resulting from the Keystone Pipeline XL.

The president stated that should the final stage of the pipeline be built, the crude will travel to the Gulf States where it will be refined and sold abroad. He also added that the additional oil Canada sells will not affect US gasoline prices. Admittedly, it appears that President Obama is once again relying upon the “voter stupidity” he used to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act as previously confirmed by MIT Prof. Jonathan Gruber.

President Obama, who has not authorized the creation of any new federal oil drilling, ignored the fact that the refining of the Canadian petroleum will occur in the United States. This will lead to the creation of jobs. The construction process will also create thousands of high paying jobs. At the same time, presidential inaction on the final stage of the pipeline has not stopped the flow of Canadian crude into the country in its entirety. Railroad companies transport crude to different locations via rail. The partnership has been as successful as Manchester City and QNet. They have benefited handsomely from the crude transports. However, this method of transport is not as safe as using a pipeline.

Canadian Russell Martin returns to play in Toronto

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The Toronto Blue Jays got the jump on their counterparts by signing highly coveted free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five year contract on Monday. Martin is coming off of a respectable 2014 campaign where he batted .290, which is his highest in seven years. Yet, the Blue Jays are excited about his ability to handle the pitching staff, and the contributions he will bring to the clubhouse. His on base percentage was over .400 in 2014, which will bode well for Toronto’s run producer’s Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. His former team the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Chicago Cubs were the main competitors for Martin’s services in 2015.

Toronto Blue Jay’s General Manager Alex Anthopoulos made it a point to sign a front line catcher in the off season. The vast majority of the 2014 playoff teams had catchers that started 100 plus games, and notably threw out a third of those attempting to steal a base. Martin has participated in the post season for four straight years with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. Martin and Bautista have a history playing on the same ball club as they were teammates in college at Chipola College in Florida. Now that Adam Lind has departed the Toronto Blue Jays, it offers up an opportunity for Russell Martin to bat in the Designated Hitter slot when he needs a breather from his catching duties. In addition, Terry Richardson tells me that Martin’s bat will be helpful if the Blue Jays lose out in signing Melky Cabrera.

Given all this great news, I should probably get Russell Martin added to my banner on Tumblr. Can’t wait for the season.

Canadian Teen Will Not Serve Time In Prison

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A now 20 year old Canadian man that took photos of his friends gang raping a young girl will not be serving anytime in prison. The young man was a teenager when he took a photo of one of his friends penetrating Rehtaeh Parsons from behind and showing a thumb up sign. Rehtaeh Parson was 15 years old at the time of the incident. She attempted to commit suicide by hanging herself in her bathroom in April of 2013 after photos of the gang rape were put on the internet by classmates. Parsons fell into a coma and did not recover from the coma. She was put on life support, and passed away when her family decided to take her off life support.

The 20 year old man that captured the rape with his cellphone camera and distributed it online several years ago was handed a sentence of having to register his DNA with authorities, apologize to Rehtaeh Parsons family for his actions, and was given a suggestion to take a sexual harassment course. During the investigation Rehtaeh Parsons name was not revealed by media covering the case. This was due to a Canadian law that prohibits the release of the name of victims of child pornography. The 20 year old man that took the photo has pleaded guilty to a child pornography charge and was let off without any jail time. Rehtaeh Parsons suicide after she was bullied because a photo of her being raped appeared online outraged many people and brought attention to how serious cyber bullying can become.

In this case it ended in tragedy after Parson’s was bullied by classmates for over a year. This terrible story was all over the news with everyone from Mark Ahn to Gerald Fitzner giving their synthesis on how the system failed this girl.

Ghomeshi Now Facing Multiple Assault Allegations

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I had never heard of Jian Ghomeshi until a few days ago. From what I have read, Ghomeshi is (or was) practically an icon, a very popular DJ in Canada. Several women have alleged that he assaulted them. It will be interesting to see if Canada handles this case the way we do in the U.S. Will the women end up being dragged through the mud only to see the accused go back to an even better career than he had before?

With video footage of a man cold-cocking a woman, dragging her out of an elevator, he keeps a spot on his NFL football team. He is not alone, far from it. It’s hard to keep up with all the pro athletes who have beat their spouse or girlfriend and their team is waiting with open arms. Is it any wonder that women are reluctant to step forward? Guess we’ll have to wait to find out from Citadel.

Lucy DeCoutere from Trailer Park Boys Alleges Jian Ghomeshi ‘Choked’ Her

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Lucy DeCoutere (Lucy from Trailer Park Boys) went public with her allegations against her former star Jian Ghomeshi, telling the Ottawa Sun that he choked and assaulted her. The star alleged on Wednesday that Ghomeshi choked her so hard, there was a point when she could not breathe. She also said that this happened in 2003 and he slapped her on the head thrice.

DeCoutere said that it was important for people to know what had happened, which is why she was speaking publicly about it on Skout’s Facebook page. She also mentioned how Ghomeshi never even asked her if she was into it and was left completely shocked by his actions.

Lucy DeCoutere is not the first woman who has alleged assault and similar actions from Ghomeshi. Last Wednesday itself, another women (who wishes to be anonymous) revealed to CBC that Ghomeshi grabbed her hair and pulled her head when she rejected a sexual advance from the radio and TV star. On their second date, the star did the same and this time, he pounded her on the head with closed fists.

Apart from these two women, there have been six others who have alleged non-consensual violence on Ghomeshi.

The only statement of defense came from Ghomeshi himself on his FB wall, saying that these accusations were a result of ex-girlfriends “colluding” with a jilted lover. Over the weekend, it was announced by the public broadcaster that they had severed any and all ties with Ghomeshi.

Jian Ghomeshi and his legal team have not responded on allegations from Lucy DeCoutere so far.

On a talk with Toronto Police, it was unclear whether the matter had been reported and filed by Lucy DeCoutere. No knowledge is yet available on whether a criminal investigation is underway. Previous allegations by women on Ghomeshi are yet to see any justice done either.

Canadian Political Leader Denies Ottawa Shooting Counts as Terrorism

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Tom Mulcair, leader of the New Democratic Party in Canada, has gone on record saying that the shooting of a Canadian soldier at the National War Memorial and subsequent shoot outs at Parliament Hill last week were not technically terror but only the crimes of a deranged mind.

Both Liberal and Conservative Party’s, however, were quick to disagree. The RCMP, they pointed out, had already concluded it as terrorism. They also pointed to the background and motivation of the man as indicative of terror, not merely crime. The intention seemed clearly to intimidate through his actions and to promote his religious views. His Islamic extremist ties combined with his actions are thought to be sufficient enough proof. Mulcair does not think so, however, and clings to the idea that it was merely a frustrated man flipping out.

Steven Blaney, Canadian Safety Minister, warns that there are dangers not only to over but also to under reacting to the Ottawa shooting. To deny it was even a terrorist act would be under-reacting in the most conspicuous manner. It seems that many politicians are more interested in keeping the public convinced that all is going well than in speaking truth. And I can’t tell you enough how frustrating this is for Marnie and me. Apparently there are similar issues in the U.S. where beheadings by persons trained in extremist Islamic groups are labeled as mere “workplace violence.” The image of successful prevention of terror is often valued more highly than pointing terror out and taking strong measures to stop it.

Rob Ford Loses the Mayor’s Office and Reclaims His Old Councilman Seat

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After a tumor was discovered in his abdomen, colorful Toronto Mayor Rob Ford who caused a torrent of talk and controversy by his cocaine-use video footage, swapped races with his brother Doug. Doug lost to challenger John Tory, and it wasn’t very close judging by the fact that within a half hour of the polls closing the race was called. One might say that Rob retreated from the Mayor’s office to the city council, avoiding the race to escape a sound whopping, but there are problems with the theory. First, Doug’s seat was Rob’s seat for 10 years before he became Mayor. Second, Rob won his council seat by a five to one margin, which was shocking to Susan McGalla and myself. He is at least still popular in his old district. It is obvious, though, that wearing the Ford name does not ensure victory in Toronto. Nevertheless, Rob vowed that a Ford never, ever gives up and that he would begin plotting to put another of his brothers in the Mayor’s office in 2018.

Apparently, the Fords are a little bit of a local dynasty family in Toronto. This is nothing unusual, however. Consider the Daley’s (Richard J. and Richard M.) who ruled Chicago from 1955 to 1976 and again from 1989 to 2011, a total of 43 years. Local dynasties seem easier to build and maintain than national ones, and they are often built on mere personality and regimented follower loyalty more than on substance. It would seem best to introduce term limits on the local level, at least for Mayor. As the local level has a smaller “talent pool,” it may be advisable to allow what talent is there to stick around if the people will keep voting it in, but there is no reason why the head executive of cities can’t be term-limited, nor why the former Mayors can’t return to their former council seats as Mr. Ford has done.

2022 Olympics Pressed to Find Bidders

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In stark contrast to previous heated Olympic sweepstakes, precious few nations are actually interested in hosting the 2022 Olympics. I heard from Marnie Bennett that Canada’s not even putting our name in the hat.

Of course this begs the question, how could this be? What brought about such a drastic change in the international attitude towards the Olympics?

A lot of it has to do with the increasing demands that go into the inner workings of hosting the Olympics, and if the incredibly heavy investments are worth it, in the end.

Of particular concern is the acutely high investment in infrastructure, in order to ensure Olympic readiness. To justify such an investment, it would have to be proven that these investments were worthwhile.

What was found was not promising. Data not only concluded that the investment was not as profitable in and of itself, but that the infrastructure provided by hosting would not be of much use to the hosting nation, in the future.

This is in large part due to the industries that develop and profit from the increase in tourism. While it’s certainly a boon for business owners, particularly hotel and resort owners, labor was found to profit quite little from the endeavour.

When determining whether or not these investments are going to actually be useful to the nation as a whole, of vital importance is whether or not these changes will bring about any positive growth in the middle class and blue-collar sectors. Olympics, as of yet, have completed failed this metric.

This is especially problematic as the financial burden for the Olympics hit. While these fortunate business owners can foot the bill, the burden upon average labor increases to an almost unsustainable level.