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Newsstand: December 6, 2013

It always seems impossible until it's done. In the news: Toronto remembers Nelson Mandela; Trillium Health finds 11 patients were diagnosed and treated late due to errors by a radiologist, including a Toronto woman who recently died; Mount Sinai Hospital can thank some super-duper rich people for a brand new emergency centre; GO Transit fares will go up in February; and a dancing crossing guard shall dance no more.

matt newsstand bikelane

Tributes continue to pour in throughout the city for anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who died yesterday at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa at age 95. Both of Toronto’s mayors offered statements of condolence, commending Mandela’s fight for social justice and his exemplary life, while a large group of staff and former students from Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Regent Park expressed deep sadness over his passing while they attended a special screening of the upcoming biopic of Mandela’s life, Long Walk to Freedom last night. The school will also hold a ceremony for Mandela this morning to pay respects to the former president of South Africa who visited in 2001.

Yesterday, Jaime Bradburn posted a beautifully written account of Mandela’s 1990 trip to Toronto, which took place just four months after he was released from over 27 years of imprisonment. It’s not-to-be-missed reading.

An external review of Mississauga radiologist Dr. Ivo “Ivan” Slezic’s work at Trillium Health Centre reveals he made errors in interpreting mammograms and CT scans, contributing to delays in diagnosis and treatment for 11 people. Two of these delayed patients have now died, including a 28-year-old Toronto woman. Houda Rafle died last week of cancer after a tumour in her heart was missed on a CT scan examined by Dr. Slezic in the spring. Rafle’s family have launched a negligence suit against both Slezic and Trillium. For its part, Trillium has said it will now implement a peer-review program to ensure better safety within its radiology department.

Thanks to a Toronto power couple, another hospital in the GTA has some much happier news. Mount Sinai Hospital set to receive a hearty $15-million donation from business magnates Heather Reisman and Gerry Schwartz to transform its aging emergency room into a futuristic, cutting edge facility. No, we’re not talking Blade Runner, but the revamped emergency department—which will be called the Schwartz-Reisman Emergency Centre—will double in size and include design principles to allow for more efficient patient turnover. The new facility does not have a scheduled opening date yet, but the donation from Reisman, CEO of Indigo Books and Music, and Schwartz, CEO of Onex Corporation, will also finance new emergency medicine research, which is being touted as a breakthrough move in North America.

Before we all start feeling too warm and fuzzy, let’s not forget that GO Transit fare hikes will kick in starting February 1, 2014 after being unanimously approved by the Metrolinx board yesterday. The cost of an adult fare will increase between 35 and 55 cents, depending on the length of the ride.

Dance like no one is watching. Unless you work at a cross walk. That’s the take away as a west-end crossing guard who likes to liven up the dreary walk to school at the corner of Gordon Street and Dufferin Street by busting a move has been asked to tone her sweet moves down. Kathleen Byers was asked to stop bringing music to her crosswalk and dancing as she ushered school-aged children across the intersection for safety reasons. Now we know why it’s taking so long for any charges to be laid against Mayor Ford, the city is busy turning itself into Footloose. Where’s Kevin Bacon when you need him?


  • Jim_Clarke

    Writing “passed away” when you mean “died” softens the truth. It’s a kind euphemism when you’re talking to relatives*, but doesn’t seem quite right in a report on the possible consequences of medical erorrs.

    * However, I still can’t get used to the current usage, “passed” by itself. The supply of euphemisms is unending, it seems.