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Energy Solutions, Neo-Liberalism, and Social Diversity in Toronto, Canada  [PDF]
Cheryl Teelucksingh,Blake Poland
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , 2011, DOI: 10.3390/ijerph8010185
Abstract: In response to the dominance of green capitalist discourses in Canada’s environmental movement, in this paper, we argue that strategies to improve energy policy must also provide mechanisms to address social conflicts and social disparities. Environmental justice is proposed as an alternative to mainstream environmentalism, one that seeks to address systemic social and spatial exclusion encountered by many racialized immigrants in Toronto as a result of neo-liberal and green capitalist municipal policy and that seeks to position marginalized communities as valued contributors to energy solutions. We examine Toronto-based municipal state initiatives aimed at reducing energy use while concurrently stimulating growth (specifically, green economy/green jobs and ‘smart growth’). By treating these as instruments of green capitalism, we illustrate the utility of environmental justice applied to energy-related problems and as a means to analyze stakeholders’ positions in the context of neo-liberalism and green capitalism, and as opening possibilities for resistance.
Regionalization of Rainfall Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) Curves in Botswana  [PDF]
Berhanu F. Alemaw, Ron T. Chaoka
Journal of Water Resource and Protection (JWARP) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jwarp.2016.812088
Abstract: A regional analysis of design storms, defined as the expected rainfall intensity for given storm duration and return period, is conducted to determine storm Rainfall Intensity-Duration-Frequency (IDF) relationships. The ultimate purpose was to determine IDF curves for homogeneous regions identified in Botswana. Three homogeneous regions were identified based on topographic and rainfall characteristics which were constructed with the K-Means Clustering algorithm. Using the mean annual rainfall and the 24 hr annual maximum rainfall as an indicator of rainfall intensity for each homogeneous region, IDF curves and maps of rainfall intensities of 1 to 24 hr and above durations were produced. The Gamma and Lognormal probability distribution functions were able to provide estimates of rainfall depths for low and medium return periods (up to 100 years) in any location in each homogeneous region of Botswana.
Highlights from the Critical Care Canada Forum 2009 - 25 to 28 October 2009, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Iain J McCullagh, Damon C Scales
Critical Care , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/cc8221
Abstract: The Critical Care Canada Forum 2009 featured several presentations describing the outcomes of critically ill patients with H1N1 virus infection from Australia, Mexico, and Canada.Dr Jamie Cooper (Melbourne, Australia), speaking on behalf of the Australia-New Zealand Intensive Care Influenza Investigators [2], described outcomes of 722 patients with confirmed H1N1 virus infection that were admitted to 187 intensive care units. Of these patients, most (92%) were younger than age 65, and large proportions were pregnant (9.1%) or had a body mass index >35 (28.6%). The overall mortality rate (as of September 2009) was 14.3% (95% confidence interval = 11.7 to 16.9%). Nitric oxide, inhaled prostacyclin, and prone positioning were used frequently to treat refractory hypoxemia. Outcomes of 68 patients from 15 centres who were treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were also described [3]. Illness severity was predictably very high in this group, and the overall hospital mortality was 23% with most deaths due to haemorrhage.Dr Anand Kumar (Winnipeg, Canada) and Dr Rob Fowler (Toronto, Canada) presented data from the Canadian Experience [4]. Severe illness due to H1N1 infection (confirmed or probable) occurred in 168 patients during a 4-month period. Similar to the Australian-New Zealand experience, the cohort was young (mean age 32 years), and females, children, and the obese were disproportionally affected by severe illness requiring critical care. The overall mortality at 90 days was 17.3% (95% confidence interval = 12.0 to 24%). Notably, one-quarter of cases involved First Nations Canadians, Inuit, Métis, or aboriginals. Rescue therapies to treat refractory hypoxemia, including nitric oxide and high-frequency oscillation, were also commonly required in this group.Dr Guillermo Dominguez (Mexico City, Mexico) next presented outcomes of 58 critically ill patients with H1N1 infection in Mexico [5]. This cohort was one of the first to be affected by the pandemic, and
Generic Method for Merging Satellite and Historical Ground Station Data to Design Rainfall Intensity Duration Frequency (IDF) Curves in Recordless Sub-Saharian Countries  [PDF]
Jorge E. Matos
Open Journal of Modern Hydrology (OJMH) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/ojmh.2018.84008
Abstract: The availability of long-term rainfall records is essential to conduct a serious frequency analysis in order to estimate the effective precipitation depth. The development of the process of elaboration of IDF (Intensity-Duration-Frequency) curves for a given location requires very precise data, at least with daily frequency, obtained through the use of rainfall records. The present study presents a method used to merge historical precipitation data with the latest data collected by satellite in order to perform graphs with IDF curves in places where rainfall records are scarce. The homogeneity of the data used is analyzed in order to guarantee its statistical utility and the frequency analysis was performed with the statistical distributions of Extreme Values Type I (Gumbel), Gamma, Pearson Type III and finally with Log-Pearson Type III, in order to verify which one of them applies better to the sites chosen for this analysis: the cities of Benguela and Lobito in the south of Angola. Daily rainfall data from the TRMM mission and historical daily data were used to derive the relationships between the maximum daily precipitation and the sub-daily precipitation values. From the observed daily data, techniques of disaggregation of the collected data were used, in order to generate a synthetic precipitation sequence with the extreme values in periods of time inferior to the daily one, with statistical properties similar to the registered data. Then IDF equations are established, with which the occasional storm depth is calculated for various return periods and various durations and, after them, the IDF curves are drawn for these two geographic stations.
Habiller le vécu de mots et d’images: le projet de Kim Thúy. Entretien avec Kim Thúy, le 20 juillet 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  [cached]
Valérie Dusaillant-Fernandes
Voix Plurielles , 2012,
Abstract: Habiller le vécu de mots et d’images: le projet de Kim Thúy Entretien avec Kim Thúy, le 20 juillet 2012, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
8th Annual Toronto Critical Care Medicine Symposium, 30 October–1 November 2003, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Jeff Granton, John Granton
Critical Care , 2003, DOI: 10.1186/cc2429
Abstract: John Marshall (University of Toronto) kicked off the meeting with an informative review of the epidemiology of SARS: 'How it got from A to B'. The origin of the disease in humans may have developed through contact with animal reservoirs for the virus. Indeed, the first affected individuals were food handlers who routinely came into contact with animals such as the Civet Cat that are sold as a delicacy in Chinese markets.The Metropole Hotel in the Kowloon province of Hong Kong has become perhaps one of the most infamous hotels in the world as it is regarded as the source of the index cases for SARS in Toronto, Hong Kong, Singapore and Hanoi. Upon return to Toronto one of the exposed hotel guests became ill and was taken care of by her son at home. Although she never sought medical attention (she eventually died), her son became ill and sought medical attention at Scarborough Grace Hospital in Toronto. It was with this visit that the health care system in Toronto became involved in the spread of SARS, with devastating consequences. There were a total of 375 cases in Ontario and there are presently 43 deaths attributed to SARS.In Toronto the primary spread of the disease was within the hospitals of the Greater Toronto area, essentially making SARS a 'nosocomial' illness. Following the initial outbreak a second wave of infection occurred in Toronto following exposure of patients and hospital staff to an elderly male patient in a convalescent home recovering from a hip fracture. SARS II, therefore, was probably the result of premature relaxation of infection control measures and the late recognition of epidemiological linkages between cases.Why Toronto? This is a question that is somewhat difficult to answer. Marshall felt that several factors conspired to make Toronto a probable target. Ease of travel, being a large cosmopolitan city, inadequate facilities and lax infection control were all cited as contributing factors. However, just plan bad luck was probably the larg
Verification of the Combimatrix influenza detection assay for the detection of influenza A subtype during the 2007–2008 influenza season in Toronto, Canada
Shelly Bolotin, Ernesto Lombos, Rani Yeung, AliReza Eshaghi, Joanne Blair, Steven J Drews
Virology Journal , 2009, DOI: 10.1186/1743-422x-6-37
Abstract: Classification of seasonal influenza A into H3N2 or H1N1 subtypes is an important step in the characterization of circulating influenza A strains. The recent emergence of adamantine resistance in influenza A (H3N2) [1] and oseltamivir resistance in influenza A (H1N1) [2] has necessitated the use of methodologies that allow for rapid influenza sub-type analysis. A variety of both "home-brew" and commercial molecular assays that allow for sub-type analysis of influenza A subtypes are now available. Although many laboratories utilize "home-brew" subtyping methodologies [3,4], these are controversial due to multiple regulatory issues with the use of these assays leading to a growing movement for the use of commercial molecular diagnostics [5,6].The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of the CombiMatrix influenza A detection system for influenza A subtype analysis compared to the Luminex RVP assay, an FDA approved Respiratory Virus Panel (RVP) assay [7,8]. The CombiMatrix influenza A detection system is a commercial multiplex reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assay and microarray detection system that can be used to identify hemagglutinin (HA) subtypes 1–16 and neuraminidase (NA) subtypes 1–9 [9]. Unlike conventional fluorescence-based microarrays, the CombiMatrix is an electrochemical system that detects current generated from redox enzymatic reactions (biotin-streptavidin) when DNA-probe hybridization occurs [10]. Verification of this technology was performed using specimens from Toronto, Canada collected during the 2007–2008 influenza season.Nasopharyngeal specimens from patients from Toronto, Canada with influenza-like illness were sent to the Central Branch of the Ontario Public Health Laboratories (CPHL) during the 2007–2008 influenza season. Specimens were collected using the flocculated Starswab? Multitrans Collection and Transport system (Starplex, Bolton, Canada).Total nucleic acid was extracted from each specimen using the ea
Unravelling Barriers to Accessing HIV Prevention Services Experienced by African and Caribbean Communities in Canada: Lessons from Toronto
Paulson Amibor,Ayodeji Bayo Ogunrotifa
Global Journal of Health Science , 2012, DOI: 10.5539/gjhs.v4n3p1
Abstract: Barriers to accessing HIV-prevention services, experienced by African and Caribbean communities in Canada, is an issue warranting sustained research. This study seeks to achieve a better understanding of the nature of HIV-prevention services in Canada, and to explore the dynamics, which underpin barriers to accessing these services confronting African and Caribbean populations in Toronto (Canada). This study also endeavours to assess what is being done to reduce these barriers. Semi-structured qualitative interviews with 7 professionals and community workers who were involved in organizing, researching and delivering HIV-prevention services were conducted for this study. Four themes pertaining to barriers to accessing HIV-prevention services, including, levels of cultural competence and sensitivity among service providers; cultural and social stigma directed at persons living with HIV/AIDS; various social determinants of health, including gender, race and precarious immigration status’; as well as constrained funding resources that are available for service providers; were uncovered in the findings of the study. The paper concludes that several health promotion and health education initiatives exist, which can help reduce these barriers to HIV-prevention service access for these populations. However, in order to ensure their effectiveness there will be much needed involvement from community and other relevant government agencies, which will need to work separately and in conjunction with one another, in order to tackle some of the broader issues that affect these populations.
Density, Destinations or Both? A Comparison of Measures of Walkability in Relation to Transportation Behaviors, Obesity and Diabetes in Toronto, Canada  [PDF]
Richard H. Glazier, Maria I. Creatore, Jonathan T. Weyman, Ghazal Fazli, Flora I. Matheson, Peter Gozdyra, Rahim Moineddin, Vered Kaufman Shriqui, Gillian L. Booth
PLOS ONE , 2014, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085295
Abstract: The design of suburban communities encourages car dependency and discourages walking, characteristics that have been implicated in the rise of obesity. Walkability measures have been developed to capture these features of urban built environments. Our objective was to examine the individual and combined associations of residential density and the presence of walkable destinations, two of the most commonly used and potentially modifiable components of walkability measures, with transportation, overweight, obesity, and diabetes. We examined associations between a previously published walkability measure and transportation behaviors and health outcomes in Toronto, Canada, a city of 2.6 million people in 2011. Data sources included the Canada census, a transportation survey, a national health survey and a validated administrative diabetes database. We depicted interactions between residential density and the availability of walkable destinations graphically and examined them statistically using general linear modeling. Individuals living in more walkable areas were more than twice as likely to walk, bicycle or use public transit and were significantly less likely to drive or own a vehicle compared with those living in less walkable areas. Individuals in less walkable areas were up to one-third more likely to be obese or to have diabetes. Residential density and the availability of walkable destinations were each significantly associated with transportation and health outcomes. The combination of high levels of both measures was associated with the highest levels of walking or bicycling (p<0.0001) and public transit use (p<0.0026) and the lowest levels of automobile trips (p<0.0001), and diabetes prevalence (p<0.0001). We conclude that both residential density and the availability of walkable destinations are good measures of urban walkability and can be recommended for use by policy-makers, planners and public health officials. In our setting, the combination of both factors provided additional explanatory power.
Drug problems among homeless individuals in Toronto, Canada: prevalence, drugs of choice, and relation to health status
Michelle N Grinman, Shirley Chiu, Donald A Redelmeier, Wendy Levinson, Alex Kiss, George Tolomiczenko, Laura Cowan, Stephen W Hwang
BMC Public Health , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-94
Abstract: Recruitment of 603 single men, 304 single women, and 284 adults with dependent children occurred at homeless shelters and meal programs in Toronto, Canada. Information was collected on demographic characteristics and patterns of drug use. The Addiction Severity Index was used to assess whether participants suffered from drug problems. Associations of drug problems with physical and mental health status (measured by the SF-12 scale) were examined using regression analyses.Forty percent of the study sample had drug problems in the last 30 days. These individuals were more likely to be single men and less educated than those without drug problems. They were also more likely to have become homeless at a younger age (mean 24.8 vs. 30.9 years) and for a longer duration (mean 4.8 vs. 2.9 years). Marijuana and cocaine were the most frequently used drugs in the past two years (40% and 27%, respectively). Drug problems within the last 30 days were associated with significantly poorer mental health status (-4.9 points, 95% CI -6.5 to -3.2) but not with poorer physical health status (-0.03 points, 95% CI -1.3 to 1.3)).Drug use is common among homeless individuals in Toronto. Current drug problems are associated with poorer mental health status but not with poorer physical health status.Drug use is believed to be an important factor contributing to the poor health and increased mortality risk that has been widely observed among homeless individuals [1,2]. Substance use may increase the risk of homelessness by undermining their social ties and economic stability [3]. Drug users also suffer from numerous adverse health effects, including overdoses, psychiatric conditions, and infectious diseases [4,5].Drug use patterns vary regionally and often change over time [6]. However, few recent studies in the peer-reviewed literature have examined patterns of drug use among homeless individuals in a major Canadian city. This study's goal was to determine the prevalence and characteristics
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