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2 Tuesday May 12 2015 HEALTH WELLNESS DOCTORS NEWS BRIEFS New deputy minister appointed to NWT Human Resources NWTPremierBobMcLeodappointedBronwynWattersas new deputy minister of Human Resources last week. Wat- ters is a long-time Northerner with a 35-year career in the publicservice.SheistheformerdeputyministerofJustice and has held senior positions in Education Culture and Employment as well as Health and Social Services. Wat- ters replaces Shirley Desjardins who resigned earlier this month. Her predecessor Sheila Bassi-Kellett was ousted from the role last August. Suspicious vehicle offers candy to young boy in Yellowknife YellowknifeRCMPareonthelookoutforthedriverofasus- piciousvehiclewhoreportedlyofferedcandytoayoungboy at around 100 p.m. on May 8. The vehicle was reported as either a van or SUV possible Nissan and red in colour. The male driver reportedly offered a lollipop to the child near the intersection of Taylor Rd. and Phinney Ct. The child knew to run home and report the incident to his parents. RCMP are asking parents to remind their children not to talk to strangers. Six sent to hospital after rollover near Behchoko RCMP are looking for more information on a single motor vehicle collision that took place in the early morn- ing hours of May 10 near Behchoko. The vehicle rolled several times before coming to a stop in the ditch. All six adult occupants were transported to the Behchoko Health Centre. Two were discharged and four were sent on to Stanton Territorial Hospital for further assessment. Alcohol may have been a factor. Fort Smith Mission Historic Park Community Garden TIndustry ourism Investment Fort Smith Mission Historic ParkMission Historic Park Community Mission Historic Park or 867-872-6439 To reserve space please contact Presley Beamish at Doctor who raised alarm about rare cancers in Fort Chip red by board By DALI CARMICHAEL An internationally rec- ognized doctor known for known for raising the alarm about high rates of rare can- cers occurring downstream from the oilsands has been red from the communitys local healthcare facility. Dr. John OConnor has provided a host of medical services as an on-call phy- sician to the community of Fort Chipewyan for over a decade but on May 8 re- ceived notice from the local health authority terminating his services with the Nunee Health Board Society. I was just sent an email by the Nunee health direc- tor on this Friday afternoon past OConnor said noting that the email said his service wouldnolongerbeneededef- fective immediately. I wasnt given any reason and it was just like bam after 15 years of a very good relationship. Theletteralsoindicatesthat OConnor has no authority to speak to or represent the Nunee Health Board Society in any way or to any other individual party or entity. While Alberta Health Ser- vices also has a signatory on theletteraspokespersonsaid it was Nunees decision to re OConnor and the provincial health authority was simply backing up its division. I e-mailed back asking why and I got no response whatsoever.Itwasveryweird very abrupt - stunned would be an understatement as to how it felt OConnor said. Wed had absolutely no is- sues no anything. We had a dialogue going and Ive never had a complaint about me or whatIwasdoingnorIshould say did that staff. The cur- rent staff in place has been there probably about three years and Ive had a great relationship with them. Its never been any issues at all it just landed on my lap and I dont know why. OConnor is unhappy with the situation and said he isnt the only one. A lot of people in the com- munity have been in touch a lot of very angry people wanting to know what hap- pened including staff at the nursing station who are very angrybecausetheyhadnoin- dication he said. I was told by them that they were told a study for a year in Fort Chip andtheyconrmedthatthere was a 30 per cent higher rate of cancers among the rare cancers and suggested the health study be done. The study to OConnors knowledge has not been completed yet. Just because he isnt work- ing in Chip doesnt mean hes ready to stop advocating for the community he said trav- eling to gatherings across the PhotoJackDanylchuk Dr.JohnOConnorsayshewillcontinuetoghtforthecommunityofFortChipewyanevenifheisnotworkingasaphysicianthere. that its time for a change. If they didnt want my service or it was an issue or what- ever there are phone lines. Its just like being kicked in the face and then the kicker runs away. In 2007 Health Canada led four complaints of mis- conduct against OConnor claiming he was causing undue alarm with his claims that rare cancer rates were higherinthenorthernAlberta community than many other places in Canada. I spent some three years defending my licence to prac- tice medicine which I did successfully he said. That was just in Fort Chip trying to gure out why the cancer numbers were as they were back then theyve since es- calated. Health Canada com- plained that I was raising undue alarm in the commu- nity he said. The Alberta cancer board in 2008-09 did world to spread awareness about the little hamlets can- cer problem. Im usually invited to speak or if Im at a gathering itself I might be called up OConnor said. If Im called about Fort Chip I generally respond if I can because the community needs justice it needs advocacy. Despite the situation OConnor said he would re- turn to work in the commu- nity in a heart beat. Id love to know why he said. I told them easily that I would come back any time and be on call for free like Ive offered over the years because I love the commu- nity. After 15 years its not an onerous task at all. The Alberta Health Ser- vices reserved comment when contacted. The Nunee Health Board Society did not return calls from The Journal. I told them easily that I would come back any time and be on call for free like Ive offered over the years be- cause I love the community. After 15 years its not an onerous task at all. Dr. John OConnor