What’s new in NB?

Epipen recall extended to canada

EpiPens, the emergency anti-allergy medicine, have been recalled in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia and South America because some of the devices may not work. On March 31, pharmaceutical company Pfizer released a Canada-wide statement saying it had decided to voluntarily recall two types of the epinephrine injector. Lot (5GU763) of the 0.3-mg strength EpiPen Auto-Injector expiring in May 2017 and (5GR765) of the 0.15-mg strength EpiPen Jr. Auto-Injector expiring in March 2017 are being recalled. Pfizer said it is committed to replacing the recalled devices at no cost and has advised consumers who have them to contact its information line at 1 800 463 6001.

New brunswick minimum wage increases to $11 an hour

New Brunswick’s minimum wage is going up to $11 per hour from $10.65 as of April 1. The 35-cent increase marks the third time the minimum wage has been raised in the province since December 2014. Minimum-wage employees will now gain $594 more per year after tax. However, as reported by CBC, businesses will pay $792 more per employee, which includes additional costs for benefits or employment insurance, according to Louis-Philippe Gauthier, director of provincial affairs for the Canadian Federation of Business. The Federation recommends the government reconsider policies to help low-wage and low-skilled workers instead of raising the minimum wage every year. According to Jean-Claude Basque, provincial coordinator for the Common Front for Social Justice, the wage increase is welcomed but is not enough to support many low-income workers or single-parent families. Basque said the minimum wage would have to be $15 to allow for workers to live without debt and above the poverty line.

Criteria for legal age for marijuana being considered

After recently announcing that marijuana will become legal on July 1, 2018, the federal government is recommending that the legal age for possession and use of marijuana be 18. The New Brunswick government has recently struck a working group to determine the legal age for the province. The group consists of the Departments of Justice, Public Safety, Health and Finance, as well as Opportunities New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Liquor Corporation. Dr. Jennifer Russell, acting chief medical officer of health for the province, said some of the factors that will determine the legal age of possession include enforcement, criminalization, pricing and source. The working group will be looking at studies done by the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Pediatric Society and various organizations across Canada. They are expected to present their findings to the government in September.

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