News briefs

Night shift might cause cancer: WHO; Recruitment ads: Coming to a theatre near you; Rising costs slow oil production; Minimum wage increases

Night shift might cause cancer: WHO

Geneva — Based on research that has found higher rates of breast and prostate cancer in night-shift workers, the World Health Organization is adding overnight shift work to its list of probable carcinogens. Scientists suspect this work is dangerous because it disrupts the production of the hormone melatonin, which can suppress tumour development and is usually produced at night. Light shuts down melatonin production, so people working in artificial light at night may have lower melatonin levels.

Recruitment ads: Coming to a theatre near you

Edmonton — The Capital Health Authority is running 15-second commercials in Cineplex Odeon theatres across the country in a $20,000 campaign to attract health-care workers. Capital Health is also recruiting in New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines and offering $1,000 bonuses to staff who convince other health-care professionals to move to Edmonton.

Rising costs slow oil production

Calgary — Rising costs and labour shortages will slow production growth in the oil sands, according to a study by the National Energy Board. The board predicts oil production will hit 2.8 million barrels a day by 2015, up from one million barrels a day last year, but down 200,000 barrels from last year’s forecast. The study said oil sands construction costs have risen 40 per cent to 50 per cent over the past two years due to higher steel and concrete costs, a shortage of engineers and skilled labour, and strained infrastructure.

Minimum wage increases

Winnipeg and Fredericton — Two provinces have announced increases to the minimum wage, effective in the new year. The minimum wage in Manitoba will increase from $8.00 an hour to $8.50 on April 1, 2008, making it the highest minimum wage in the country (along with Nunavut). The minimum wage in New Brunswick will increase from $7.25 an hour to $7.75 on March 31, 2008.

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