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In this photo, small vials of fentanyl are shown. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

From, Ottawa heightens scrutiny on opioid manufacturers’ marketing, by Karen Howlett

What about Health Canada and the physicians and pharmacists - the professionals - we are supposed to trust to understand the safety, efficacy, prescribing, dispensing and appropriate surveillance of drugs? While the manufacturers are at the core...what on earth were all these other actors - the checks and balances in our system - doing for years and years? – CGBe

In response to CGBe’s comment came this reply:

In Ontario, at least, almost 80% of fentanyl deaths (which represent 68% of opioid related deaths in Ontario) are from non pharmaceutical fentanyl, ie, not produced in a medical facility. Doctors and pharmacists have no control over illegally made fentanyl. – Layla4

And finally, in response to Layla4:

True, but doctors and pharmacists have responsibility for all those who became/become hooked on opioids through prescriptions and later move to non-pharmaceutical fentanyl. A 2017 U.S. study reported that a person prescribed opioids for more than 3 months has a 15-fold greater chance of becoming addicted. – Kate2888

From, Bank of Canada hikes interest rates; says trade hit likely to be bigger than earlier forecast, by Barrie McKenna

The hike was broadly expected, but many people, including me, predicted Poloz would hold the rates steady. Our core inflation is not seeing the pressure that should be triggering a rate increase. We are not at capacity. I doubt we are near it. I must say that I an uncomfortable with this decision. Basing the changes in the overnight rate on factors other than the inflation rate is a policy change and a violation of the Bank’s mandate. – Black Swan

Growth forecasts unchanged with the potential fallout of a trade war? Curious. I think Trump is bluffing on automobiles but you never know, and investor and consumer confidence will be shaky for a while yet. Rates should have been hiked a while ago when we were still fairly bullish. That way Poloz would have had some wiggle room if Trump gets nasty. I’m pretty sure Carney would have handled things differently, but that’s probably why he was able to graduate to the big leagues. – WhistlingInTheDark

From, Migrants dying at sea used to spark outrage. So what’s changed? A column by Gary Mason

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A migrant child intercepted aboard a dinghy off the coast in the Strait of Gibraltar, is carried by a member of Spanish Red Cross after arriving on a rescue boat at the port of Tarifa, southern Spain, July 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jon NazcaJON NAZCA/Reuters

I am an immigrant and I think anyone arriving legally is welcome. However, fake refugees who put undue economic burden on our system is a different topic and the article does not differentiate clearly. I think diversity is good (I have learnt a lot from my diverse group of friends) and my only concern is the economic burden. My legal immigrant friends share the same economic concerns about fake refugees. The list of issues at home is long (just read the highlights from today’s paper re: competition with American businesses to keep jobs in Canada, re-training people for the changing economy, huge debt, subpar healthcare, in the GTA six million people fight North America’s worst gridlock every day to get to work, 18% child poverty in Canada etc.) Why isn’t more focus on resolving these issues? The GTA’s transit issues have been lingering for decades and Toronto is now the WORST city for commuting in North America (worse than L.A., Miami or London in the UK) and sixth worst globally. I would like to see more coverage on how these issues are progressing (or not progressing). – TheGreatOutdoors

In response to TheGreatOutdoors:

Well said, TGO. The onus is on the government to make a compelling economic case for current, high levels of immigration. We take in unprecedented numbers of newcomers each year (“skilled” and family-class immigration, as well as refugees and refugee claimants) in the blithe hope that, economically, everything will turn out peachy in the end. We hear vague arguments about “replacing/paying for our ageing population” and “job growth,” but where is the hard evidence? What if our current immigration/refugee intake, overall, is a long-term, net loss to the economy in terms of taxes paid vs. services provided, including infrastructure costs? What if job prospects and wages in the coming decades are stagnant? As you point out, there are many pressing demands on our governments’ present and future financial resources: costs that we are already responsible for in order to have a functioning society. We should be prudent to ensure that immigration and refugee policy does not add to the strain. – Kate2888

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