This week Michael Ignatieff's Hiding in Plain Sight Summer Tourpaolloza 2009 takes him to the Maritimes.
Today he's in Cape Breton, where events are scheduled to include a visit to the wharf at Port Morien with MPs Roger Cuzner and Mark Eyking to talk with local fisherman, a bbq at noon at the Big Fiddle in Sydney and then a meeting with local officials and tour of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital’s cancer centre.
He’s expected to speak to reporters there on the need to produce more medical isotopes for early cancer diagnoses.
Medical isotopes are used to diagnose heart disease and some cancers, but earlier this year the world’s supply began to decline. So far, Nova Scotians haven’t been denied tests because of the growing shortage, according to a Canadian Press report.
Its a timely visit, given the continued incompetence Lisa Raitt and the Harper Conservatives have demonstrated on the isotope crisis as more and more Canadians have their medical testing delayed or postponed and costs for hospitals increase.
And we saw yesterday that one of the sources Raitt has continually been holding up as a Chalk River alternative, Australia, is falling apart. As the Liberals have been saying all along, Australia was never a viable alternative given their own internal issues. And now that has been sadly confirmed:
Recommend this Post on Progressive Bloggers
A fledgling Australian nuclear reactor isn't yet making enough isotopes to cover for a downed Canadian reactor that used to produce a third of the world's supply.
Doctors say Australia's OPAL reactor could still be a few months away from running at full speed.
"I've been told unofficially about two months, two-to-three months," said Dr. Christopher O'Brien, head of the Ontario Association of Nuclear Medicine.
"So, some time mid-fall."