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M&M'S That's Friendship In A Nutshell Music Box by The Bradford Exchange
Sometimes an unlikely pair makes the very best companions! That's the truth with this charming turtle and nutty friend. Now, you can celebrate how opposites attract with this darling M&M'S® music box, exclusively from The Bradford Exchange. Exquisitely handcrafted in fine porcelain and hand-glazed in vivid candy-shell colors, this friendship music box showcases the beloved M&M'S Peanut Character sitting atop his turtle friend's shell decorated with a colorful array of M&M'S candies. This Limoges-style hinged music box features double golden bands that open with a golden M&M'S clasp to store petite treasures inside. Plus, this charming keepsake plays, "Don't Worry. Be Happy." High demand is expected. Order now!
Hand-numbered with matching Certificate of Authenticity
Measures 4" L; 10.2 cm L
Needle exchange programs exist to provide clean needles and syringes for injection drug users. Health experts say hypodermic needles can harbour more than 20 blood-borne diseases, including HIV, and hepatitis B and C. Almost half of the country's new HIV infections were among injection drug users. It's estimated an injection drug user will inject about 1,000 times a year.
The first official needle exchange program in Canada began in 1989 in Vancouver. Within a few months, similar programs sprouted up in Montreal and Toronto. Over the years, community health groups, helped by provincial and federal funding, have created more than 100 exchange programs in the country. Ontario has the most comprehensive network of programs with 16.
Critics of such programs say they encourage people to use illegal drugs and result in more needles being dumped in public places
According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), which looked at several surveys, needle exchange programs (NEPs):
* Reduce the transmission of disease in drug users.
* Do not increase injection drug use.
* Do not increase the number of needles discarded (NEPs collect more needles than they give out).
A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in August 1997 concluded that providing sterile needles is an inexpensive means of preventing greater health-care costs. Researchers at McMaster University examined the needle exchange program in Hamilton, which provided more than 14,200 clean syringes to 275 drug users in 1995. The authors of the study estimated the program prevented 24 new HIV infections over five years. The study said the cost of treating HIV and AIDS over a person's lifetime could total $1.3 million in direct costs to the health system.
"What this shows is that [NEPs] are really positive because they are reducing HIV and, secondly, saving money," said Michelle Gold, one of the study's authors.
Sometimes, HIV rates remain the same. Marliss Taylor, executive director of Edmonton's Streetworks needle program, says programs can't control what drug users do.
"While someone might be diligent in exchanging needles and having clean ones when they shoot up, they might not use a condom when they have sex," Taylor told CBC News Online. Streetworks hands out about 835,000 needles a year to about 5,000 addicts.
Taylor says Alberta's HIV rate dropped in 2003, with only 31 new cases. That compares to 70 new cases back in 1998 and 80 new cases in 2000. Taylor says she's not sure what caused the drop but notes that her staff doubled from 2002 to 2003 and they were able to get more needles out in that period.
International studies have supported the creation of syringe exchanges. In Southern Australia, 55 NEPs serving about 1.2 million drug users resulted in no new HIV infections for three consecutive years. In the U.S., a 1997 National Institutes of Health survey demonstrated such programs resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in HIV transmission.
Needle exchange programs also distribute bleach kits for sterilizing needles, and provide testing and referrals for HIV, hepatitis and other sexually transmitted diseases, as well as counselling for other needs such as nutrition or housing.
Some NEPs are located in a fixed site while others have a van to bring fresh needles to drug users who aren't able to make it to a location.
"It's the other things that they need," says Taylor. "Sometimes, the drug use isn't the problem. Do they have food? A place to stay? Warm clothes?"
Despite the NEPs, HIV rates have been soaring in Vancouver and Toronto. A report prepared by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network discovered 8.6 per cent of injection drug users in Toronto had HIV in 1997/98, up from 4.8 per cent in 1992/93. In Vancouver, the HIV rate rose from four per cent in 1992/93 to an astonishing 23 per cent by 1997/98. The problem lies with the popularity of crack cocaine. Cocaine users tend to shoot up 20 to 30 times a day, frequently with groups of other users.
In September 2003, Vancouver opened North America's only legal shooting gallery. It's a three-year pilot project funded by Health Canada and the government of British Columbia. After one year, a report assessing the facility said it dealt with 107 overdoses and no one died. The clinic, open 18 hours a day, is located in the heart of the city's drug corridor, the Downtown Eastside. It provides a safe place and clean "tools" for addicts to shoot up. The clinic gets an average of 600 visits a day.
Don McPherson, co-ordinator of Vancouver's drug policy, says the numbers are a good sign.
"The more we can get inside, the better. Better in [the clinic] than in the back alleys," said McPherson in the Globe and Mail (Sept. 24, 2004).
As for needle exchange programs, the Canadian AIDS Task Force says they work best for heroin addicts, whose behaviour is predictable. The challenge comes now in dealing with i
African guests urge Canadians to support mining regulations
Learning exchange participants visit The Mennonite Story, a museum in St. Jacob’s, Ontario. Front row from left: Godfrey Walalaze (Tanzania), Hubert Mukalasi Lubyama (Tanzania), Dumisani Nkomo (Zimbabwe) and Rose Lala Biasima (Congo); back row from left: Ray Motsi (Zimbabwe) and Jean-Calvin Kitata (MCC Quebec).
MCC photo/Gladys Terichow
WINNIPEG, Man. — Although Canada is a world leader in mining, its laws don’t ensure that Canadian mining companies operating in developing countries conform to human rights and environmental standards, says a Tanzanian Lutheran minister with an interest in mining issues.
“A voluntary code of conduct is not enough,” said Godfrey Walalaze who was visiting Canada and the U.S. in November, 2010 as part of the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)-Africa Peacebuilding Learning Exchange.
This visit was the second part of a learning exchange. African participants included five African leaders working for churches and Christian organizations in Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Congo. North American participants included five MCC staff working for peace and justice programs in Canada and the U.S.
Although mining was not the only focus of this learning exchange, participants visited mining-affected communities in Tanzania and Canada to gain a better understanding of the ethical, social and environmental consequences of mining.
According to a 2008 Canadian government report, 75 per cent of the world’s mining companies are headquartered in Canada. Over 1,000 Canadian companies operate in over 100 countries. In Africa, 100 Canadian-owned companies operate mines in 37 countries.
“It is important for people to be informed on how Canadian mining companies are conducting their business in our countries,” said Walalaze. “We are not saying that Canadian mining companies should leave our countries. Minerals are there to be mined but we want them to be mined responsibly. It should be a win-win situation for everyone.”
One of the more serious incidents in Tanzania, he said, dates back to August 1996 when families involved in small-scale gold mining at the Bulyanhulu mining site in central-western Tanzania lost their homes and livelihoods to make way for commercial mining.
He said religious leaders in Tanzania are calling for an independent and comprehensive investigation into the allegations that more than 50 small-scale miners were still in the mineshafts and buried alive when the mineshafts were filled in.
“I know a woman personally who continues to express sorrow and grief because two of her sons were down there,” he said.
Families evicted from the area, he said, have not received compensation and continue to claim that the evictions were swift and brutal, causing enormous economic and social hardships.
The reputation of all Canadians, he said, is being tarnished by these allegations because these accusations are against Canadian-based mining companies.
Walalaze said he and many others who have access to international news through the Internet were watching closely the debate in Canada on Bill C-300. A private member’s, bill C-300 was drafted to develop corporate responsibility standards for Canada’s gold, gas and oil companies working overseas and to give the Canadian government the power to investigate allegations of human rights and environmental abuses.
“This bill was not the solution to everything but it would have been a very good way to solve two-thirds of our problems,” he said.
The bill was defeated in late October in a vote of 140-134. Walalaze encourages Canadians to continue advocating for new legislation that addresses mining injustices.
“Just because this bill was defeated doesn’t mean that the issues can’t be debated again,” he said. “Justice is not an event—it is a process.”
During their visit in Ontario, the African church leaders travelled to Timmins where they met with representatives of several First Nations communities.
Walalaze said he found many similarities in the lives of people in Aboriginal communities and in Tanzania. “The similarities are how people value the land and talk about the land,” he said.
“The land is the centre of our relationship to God, to each other and to our existence. That is how we relate to the land—it is the source of our life. I was surprised to see a group of people here in Canada who had values very similar to ours.”
Walalaze said “the mission of the church is to identify with the poor” and he is hopeful congregations in Canada and the U.S. will explore ways to advocate for mining justice.
Gladys Terichow is a writer for MCC Canada
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