Prairie Post

5 things you absolutely must know today

1. Sun Media closes 11 newspapers across Canada, terminates 360 positions

Sun Media Corp. has closed 11 publications across the country and will terminate 360 positions in a move they say will save $55 million annually. The closures include three Quebec newspapers, the Lindsay Daily Post and the Midland Free Press in Ontario, the Meadow Lake Progress in Saskatchewan and the Lac du Bonnet Leader and the Beausejour Review in Manitoba. Also closing is the 24 Hours free daily newspapers in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa. [Calgary Herald]

2. Alberta Health Services announces nearly 200 layoffs for nurses

Layoffs will affect close to 200 nurses throughout Alberta including positions at the University of Alberta and the Rockyview General Hospital in Calgary. The United Nurses of Alberta has filed a grievance with Alberta Health Services and although the AHS justifies the layoffs as financially necessary, the nurses union cites a $106 million budget surplus for the AHS. [CBC]

3. Details of Second World War-era experiments with nutritional restriction on Aboriginal children and adults revealed

Ian Mosby of the University of Guelph has uncovered long-running, government-funded experiments involving at least 1,300 aboriginals, most of them children, involving nutritional and dietary restrictions over periods of time. Beginning in 1942 with government researchers in northern Manitoba, including places such as The Pas and Norway House, problems “regarded as inherent or hereditary traits in the Indian race” were found to be results of malnutrition. The researchers decided that isolated, dependent and hungry people would be well suited as test subjects for the effects of different diets. [Winnipeg Free Press]

4. Loblaw buys Shoppers Drug Mart in effort to stay on top of the grocery game

On Monday, Loblaw announced their acquisition of the 1,200-store Shoppers Drug Mart chain for $12.4 billion in an effort to resist the advancement of U.S. retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, which now offer significant food services. Analysts say a secondary plan of Loblaw’s acquisition is to gain a foothold in the emerging downtown markets in Canada’s biggest cities. In addition to Loblaw’s stores, the chain includes No Frills, Great Canadian Superstore and Zehr’s in addition to the Joe Fresh clothing line.  [CBC]

5. Police lift veil on Lac-Megantic explosion 

The security perimeter surrounding the Lac-Megantic train explosion has been lifted for the media for the first time since the July 6 explosion caused by a derailed train carrying oil caused a large explosion that has killed a confirmed 37 people, though 50 people are believed to have died. Police set strict limitations about what images could be shown by media out of respect for the families of victims, or fear of compromising the investigation. [Huffington Post]