CANADA

Canada Notes

August 16 1993
CANADA

Canada Notes

August 16 1993

Canada Notes

BLOCKADE AFTERMATH

The owners of a Russian trawler are seeking more than $300,000 in compensation for losses suffered when their ship was blockaded by fishermen in Shelburne, N.S., protesting against foreigners fishing in Canadian waters. The owners of the 400-foot Pioneer Murmana—which found itself under siege from July 25 to July 30 as it attempted to unload 12,000 tons of cod—want to be compensated for expensive delays in the delivery of their fish.

DALKON SHIELD SETTLEMENT

After a seven-year legal battle, 300 Quebec women have reached an agreement on a class-action suit against A.H. Robins Inc. of Richmond, Va., manufacturer of the Daikon Shield birth control device. Under the deal, the women will each be able to claim up to $100,000 in compensation. The intrauterine device, used by nearly four million women around the world in the 1970s and 1980s, was taken off the market in the 1980s after reports of several deaths and thousands of cases of hysterectomies, infections and spontaneous abortions.

RECORD HEROIN BUST

Revenue Minister Garth Turner personally congratulated local Canada Customs officers for the July 19 seizure of almost 40 kg of high-grade heroin with a street value of $200 million that was found in a furniture shipment originating in southern China. Turner said the seizure was the largest in Revenue Canada’s history and one of Canada’s largest-ever heroin busts.

TRIMMING THE PUBLIC SERVICE

The Public Service Commission in Ottawa forced out or demoted 53 assistant deputy ministers, each of whom earned about $130,000 a year. The move, the result of Prime Minister Kim Campbell’s decision to reduce the number of government departments from 32 to 23, represents a 17-per-cent reduction in the assistant deputy minister category.

THE HIGH COST OF FRAUD

Fraud and theft are costing the Workers’ Compensation Board of Ontario more than $150 million annually—or about five per cent of its total payouts. Brian King, the board’s vice-chairman of administration, said more than 350 investigations are under way involving suspected crimes, including many cases of bribery of board employees, five of whom have so far been fired as a result.