Canadian Pulse

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WOMEN'S HEALTH and DIVERSITY A National Conference April 26-28, 2001

The National Network on Environments and Women's Health York University (NNEWH) Centre of Excellence for Women's Health - Université de Montréal Consortium (CESAF) Radisson Hotel Longueuil, Montréal, Québec Researchers, policy makers, educators, community activists, service providers and students are invited to this national Women's Health Conference. The Conference will focus on the diversity of women's health research and will explore various approaches and challenges of services delivery, research processes and action strategies.

For registration information, contact:
NNEWH E-mail:
CESAF E-mail:



A group of women's groups from across the country call on the Canadian government to honour its international obligations to women's equality. FAFIA, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, points out the $12 billion surplus, the upcoming election and the World March of Women as further reasons for immediate action from the Canadian Government, by making concrete measures in the priority areas of human rights, poverty eradication and ending violence against women.

FAFIA has recently released the report Toward Women's Equality: Canada's Failed Commitment. For more information contact:

Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) 151 Slater Street, Suite 408 Ottawa Ontario K1P 5H3

Tel: (613) 233-5500 Fax : (613) 563-0682 E-mail:

Pop Can Crack Bones

New research shows that drinking too many soft drinks during adolescence could interfere with crucial bone development, and lead to osteoporosis later in life. This is the first study to scientifically document the association between soda drinking and bone fractures, and to show an impact on bones even at a young age. The study's author, Grace Wyshak, PhD, says teenage girls who drink any kind of carbonated beverage are three times more likely to develop bone fractures, compared with girls who do not drink carbonated beverages.

HIV Tests for Immigrants

The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network is outraged that the Ministry of Citizenship is considering testing all potential immigrants to Canada for HIV, and excluding many of those who test positive. The group believes that Health Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada portray persons living with HIV/AIDS as carriers of disease and a danger to Canadians. "They have added to the climate of stigma and discrimination that persons living with HIV/AIDS already face in Canada," said the group in an October public statement. For more information, contact: The Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network


A new report on women and tobacco in Canada finds that a women-centered policy approach to tobacco control is necessary to reduce tobacco use by women and girls. The report finds that traditional tobacco control policy often ignores gender and class-based factors that help to perpetuate tobacco use among women.

To order a copy of the report, published by the BC Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, contact:

The Canadian Women's Health Network Suite 203, 419 Graham Avenue Winnipeg MB R3C 0M3

Tel: 1-888-818-9172 E-mail:

U.S. pollution taints Nunavut breast milk

An international environmental study has fingered trash-burning incinerators, iron and ore plants, copper smelters and kilns as the contributors of the airborne cancer-causing dioxin found in the breast milk of aboriginal women in Nunavut. The United States is the biggest contributor to the dioxin in the northern territory, determined the Commission for Environmental Co-operation report, which found the concentration of dioxin in Inuit mothers' milk to be twice those in southern Quebec. "This is not just about contaminants on our plate. This is a whole way of being, a whole cultural heritage that is at stake here for us,'' said Sheila Watt-Cloutier, president of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference.

Source: The Globe and Mail

RU-486 Approved in US

The so-called "abortion-pill" has been approved for use in the United States. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval comes after over a decade of tests, legal battles and heated debates between "pro-lifers" and those who support a woman's right to choose. Testing in Canada continues, and Health Canada will not comment on the status of RU-486's approval in Canada.

WAVE - Against Violence

Kicking off the Week Without Violence (October 15 to 21) in high gear is the Women's World Action and Velo Expedition (WAVE). The Wave is a team of four women who have cycled across Canada, creating awareness and support of the YWCA's anti-violence work and raising money for the group's 5th annual Week Without Violence. The group arrives in Ottawa on October 15th for the World March of Women. The week without violence is an international campaign organized by YWCAs in over 50 countries. For more information: Tel: (416) 962-8881 E-mail: