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Canadians find our nation a ‘nice, quiet place’

“Results provide new information on noise annoyance, sleep, attitudes and expectations which will inform future updates to Health Canada’s guidelines,” said the survey report.

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According to in-house research done by the Department of Health, most Canadians find the country a nice, quiet place.

Blacklock’s Reporter said staff spent $48,166 on a survey that found only 8% of Canadians have their nightly sleep disturbed, mainly by noisy neighbours or a snoring spouse.

“Results provide new information on noise annoyance, sleep, attitudes and expectations which will inform future updates to Health Canada’s guidelines,” said the survey report.

“Health Canada considers both annoyance and sleep disturbance to be potential risk factors for adverse health outcomes, and for this reason insights that can be gleaned through this survey will form the development of a knowledge base that can be relied upon to provide expert advice.”

The survey asked: “Do you live in an area where you have a high expectation for tranquillity, peace and quiet?”

Respondents who participated said “yes, definitely” at 36% while 49% said, “yes, somewhat.”

When asked: “How often is the area where you live very quiet, calm and relaxing?” 61% said “often” or “always,” while only 5% replied, “never.”

Most Canadians surveyed — 91% — said they couldn’t recall being irritated by traffic noise in their neighbourhood.

Few respondents, less than a tenth, said they were bothered from time to time by low-flying aircraft, wind turbines, construction noise, backup alarms on road vehicles, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers or chainsaws.

Most Canadians — 87% — said they were “not highly sensitive” at all to noise.

The Department of Health said it commissioned Advanis Inc. for the poll which questioned 6,647 people.

“The department has very little information on attitudes and expectations toward noise in rural or remote communities and no data that is specific to indigenous Canadians,” said the report.

“This has been identified as a knowledge gap for several years insofar as Health Canada’s current guideline includes a significant decibel adjustment based on an assumed greater expectation of peace in quit in so-called ‘quiet rural areas.’”

Environmental noise issues were last investigated by Parliamentary committees at a 2019 hearing of the Commons transport committee on airport noise complaints. MPs recommended in a report that cabinet appoint a federal noise ombudsman to “review and adjudicate noise complaints.”

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. francis witzel

    November 27, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    I am puzzled as to why the department of health would waste our money on such a poll. Is there not something that maybe they could be investigating like oh , why are we still so worried about the so called virus, may encourage the public to get outside , maybe take better care of ourselves, take some vitamins, get some fresh air . Then maybe sleep would work out just fine . Just another beauracratic time waster .

  2. Baron Not Baron

    November 26, 2021 at 1:11 pm

    “El sueño de la razón produce monstruos” is painting by Goya. The title translates to “The Sleep of Reason Creates Monsters” I find it so true for Canada. It seems that the whole population is in some kind of trance… wondering whether you guys have been chemically treated with something without your knowledge at some point in time. There is no revolt in you – when I ask people why are they going along with this or that, or how about a leader is wrong, or he should be voted out, all I get back is a “eh, what can we do?” Probably that’s why JT said Canada is the first post-nation country. You are unaware of the fact you have been annihilated a long time ago.

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Ottawa press gallery discusses letting Chinese propaganda agency in

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

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Officials with the Parliamentary Press Gallery held a behind closed doors meeting on Tuesday to talk about letting reporters from Xinhau, the Chinese Community Party’s propaganda agency, into the club, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“The gallery is not bound by any outside political considerations,” said gallery president Catherine Levesque of the National Post. 

“We are doing our due diligence to ensure Xinhua meets certain criteria and we will be making a decision shortly.”

Xinhua has been accused of misusing press privileges at the direction of Chinese diplomats.

“Membership in the Parliamentary Press Gallery allows access to the secure physical buildings of the parliamentary precinct and the opportunity to directly question individuals who drive and shape public policy,” gallery directors wrote in a 2020 code Journalistic Principles And Practices.

“As a result, accreditation is a privilege, not a right.”

Xinhua had been a member until 2020 when its press pass lapsed.

The Department of National Defence in 2012 blacklisted the agency from attending its press briefings, and a Xinhua correspondent in 2012 disclosed he was asked to maintain surveillance on Chinese dissidents in Canada.

The gallery would not discuss the Xinhua application but the gallery code states members must “respect the rights of people involved in the news.”

The Commons by a unanimous 266-0 vote last February 22 condemned China for human rights atrocities including the genocide of its Uyghur Muslim community. MPs also voted to petition the International Olympic Committee to relocate the 2022 Winter Games from Beijing.

“We need to move forward, not just as a country but as a world, on recognizing the human rights violations that are going on in China,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

“This is an issue that matters deeply to me, to all Canadians, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies on taking it seriously.”

Xinhua was originally granted Press Gallery membership in 1964 at the request of then-Foreign Minister Paul Martin Sr.

“It is a step in the direction of mutual understanding between Canada and mainland China,” Martin said at the time. Membership was approved in a press credentials swap that saw the Communist Party permit the Globe & Mail to open a Beijing bureau.

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PHA head says cellphone snooping fears unwarranted

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

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The president of the Public Health Agency (PHA) says Canadians need not fret over the fact his organization snooped on 33 million cellphone users, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar said managers at no time collected information that personally identified any of 33 million cellphone users.

“No personal information was asked or was received,” Kochhar told the Commons health committee.

“No individually identifiable data is contained in any part of the work.”

The Commons ethics committee last Friday voted 10-0 to examine the data collection program using cellphone tower tracking. The PHA said it sought the information to monitor compliance with lockdown orders.

“The actual reason why we collected this data is reliable, timely and relevant public health data comes out of it for other policy and decision making,” said Kochhar.

“This is population-level mobility data analysis. This is what we have collected.

“That would help us to understand the possible link between the movement of populations within Canada and the impact on COVID-19. We did that in terms of a very clear way of getting that open and transparent means of collection. We never, ever actually know when we use that information that it is individually identifiable. It is aggregated data.”

MPs on the ethics committee earlier noted cellphone users were never told the PHA was collecting the cellphone tracking data. Conservative MP John Brassard (Barrie-Innisfil, Ont.), noted the scope of the monitoring was only detailed when the Agency issued a December 17 notice to contractors to expand the program.

“It becomes increasingly concerning that government is seemingly using this pandemic as a means and a cause for massive overreach into the privacy rights of Canadians,” said Brassard.

“As parliamentarians, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we protect those rights, that there is proper scrutiny and oversight.”

“The Public Health Agency was collecting data without the knowledge of Canadians, effectively doing it in secret. We need to know what security measures were in place to protect the privacy rights of Canadians.

“It is vital we do not allow the COVID response to create a permanent backslide of the rights and freedoms of Canadians including their fundamental right to privacy.”

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Health Minister Duclos has no info on $150-million COVID contract to SNC-Lavalin

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

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SNC-Lavalin was given a $150-million sole-source contract to provide “urgently” needed field hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic — but Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos doesn’t seem to know much about it, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The field hospitals were never used.

“This is obviously in support of the needs at the request of provinces and territories,” said Duclos.

But testifying at the Commons health committee, Duclos had no answer when asked why the contract was issued.

“What is the status of the mobile field hospitals SNC-Lavalin was contracted to produce?” asked Conservative MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman (Hastings-Lennox, Ont.).

“It was an example of the significant level of preparation that we did throughout the crisis,” replied Duclos.

“Why have the field hospitals from SNC-Lavalin not been deployed?” asked Kramp-Neuman.

Duclos replied he had no information on “the exact nature of the state of that equipment.”

“Did the Prime Minister’s Office approve of this?” asked MP Kramp-Neuman.

“That’s a public works question,” replied Duclos.

“We’re not getting a lot of clarity here,” said MP Kramp-Neuman, adding: “The buck stops with you. Sadly, I recognize you don’t have all the answers to everything, but it doesn’t seem like we’re getting a lot of answers to anything.”

An unidentified Department of Public Works manager finalized the SNC-Lavalin contract on April 9, 2020 without notice to other bidders.

“A public call for tenders was not issued due to the urgency of the need as a result of the pandemic,” said an internal e-mail.

However, as late as Sep. 9, 2020, the Québec contractor had still not fixed a delivery date, according to staff emails.

Paul Thompson, deputy minister of public works, Tuesday said he knew little of the contract details.

“I personally don’t have all the details at my fingertips,” said Thompson.

SNC-Lavalin was paid to supply field hospitals equipped with 200 hospital beds, ventilators, masks, medical gowns and ten days’ worth of medication, back-up generators, water and oxygen tanks, X-ray machines, shower bays and latrines.

“The self-sufficiency of the unit makes it extremely flexible for deployment where the need is greatest in Canada,” said a memo.

Internal records dated Oct. 13, 2020 disclosed no one wanted the field hospitals.

The department said spending included $2 million for design work and millions more on warehousing medical supplies for presumed future use.

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