Canadian Patients Experience Increased Wait Times
for Treatments and Surgeries

By Bobby Kushner / April 1, 2024

KITCHENER, ONT. -- A 55-year-old Hanover, Ontario resident points his finger at the asphalt on highway 4 because he struggles to see the passing vehicles on the highway, though the dim sun hardly illuminates the road.

"Whenever any amount of light directly hits my eyes, I can't see anything, the 55-year-old says. "especially reflective light at night."

The cataracts of the 55-year-old John Gilroy have obfuscated his vision for a few years.

"I’ve been on the OHIP wait list for cataract surgery for over two-years now," Gilroy says. "If I don’t get the surgery soon, I’ll need to quit my job because I can’t continue to drive or work when my eyes are deteriorating like this."

John Gilroy’s wait-list crisis resembles 78% of Canadian patients, a 2022 Fraser Institute study finds.

"Excessively long wait times remain a characteristic of Canada’s health-care system," says Mackenzie Moir, a Fraser Institute policy analyst. "And yes, the long wait times decreased the quality of life and work productivity and increased unemployment, and in the worst cases, disability or death. For most Canadian patients wait for treatments and surgeries about two years and, sometimes, four years."

The provinces and territories together call the federal government to provide them a $28 billion annual increase, so they better contend with the staffing shortages. The federal government agrees to the funding increase if the provinces and territories compose a plan for expanding the health-care workforce and improving data sharing among the provinces and territories.

The director of the Manitoba Health Coalition, Thomas Linner says, "We need to staff up and share data in a more timely manner across all provinces and territories, so all Canadian health-care providers and facilities make more informed decisions more quickly, and so all patients benefit across Canada.   . . .   I think the federal government’s starting to realize this."

Hoping to receive a date for his cataract surgery, John Gilroy phoned the office of his ophthalmologist. However, the office provided him no upcoming date for his surgery, so Gilroy still remains on the wait list.

A Bus Driver Makes Efforts to Lift the Spirits of His Passengers

By Bobby Kushner / September 3, 2002

DETROIT, MICH. -- The rumble of Burton Cummings' baritone voice shakes the windows of the bus.

The bus driver dons a toque, from the Canadian band The Guess Who, and smiles.

David Murphy, a Wayne State University Law School bus driver and Canadian boxer, enjoys doing something extra to lift the spirits of his passengers

A passenger of Murphy's recalls Murphy handing out every Friday Canadian Eat-More candy bars to every passenger.

"A little effort to make others smile in this cruel world goes along ways," Murphy says.

Murphy also tries never to play the same CD twice in one day.

"I always take music requests from my passengers, but I'm always partial to anything Burton Cummings or The Guess Who," Murphy says as he tears open the wrapper for an Eat-More candy bar.

David Murphy began driving buses for Wayne State University Law School when he started in January 2002 his boxing training camp at the Kronk Gym and needed extra money.

He plans to keep driving buses for the law school until his training camp ends or until he jokingly finds a wife.

"Who knows!" Murphy chuckles. "Maybe oneday, my future bride will board my bus."

A Boy Holds Hostage a Detroit Police Officer with a Toy Gun

By Bobby Kushner / August 23, 2002

DETROIT, MICH. -- Detroit Police Officer Kevin Price felt the barrel of a gun pressed against the back of his head while he refueled his police vehicle at a gas station.

“Hands up before I shoot!” a voice said from behind Price.

“I never saw who it was or knew what was happening,” Price says. "but felt that I likely won't walk away from this."

Price then wrestled the suspect to the ground and handcuffed him. However, the suspect was a 10-year-old boy and the gun a replica toy gun.

“It looked like a Smith & Wesson pistol to me. But it was thankfully a metal-cap gun,” Price said.

The 10-year-old boy was charged with assaulting a police officer with a weapon and held with no bail.

High-risk Behaviors Linked to Attention Deficit Disorder

By Bobby Kushner / November 25, 2016

GUELPH, ONT. -- Feeling overwhelmed by ever-growing responsibilities at home, sudden changes at work and lack of sleep – Thomas Johnston destroyed everything in his Minto, Ontario home.

When police arrived at his residence, he looked at his wife.

“I want the police to kill me,” Johnston said before grabbing a replica gun, charging out the door and pointing it at police.

Thomas Johnston, 45, was arrested then taken to a psychiatric hospital in Guelph.

“When overwhelmed, I have sometimes reacted this way since a 12-year-old boy,” Johnston says.

A growing number of people, admitted to psychiatric hospitals for high-risk behaviors, are being diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) instead of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

“When someone’s not hearing voices, doesn’t have racing thoughts and isn’t awake for days – a more logical explanation for these behaviors is ADD,” Dr. Shuang Xu says, a psychiatrist at Homewood Health Centre. “especially if these individuals struggled with impulsive behaviors since childhood.”

According to information from the Canadian Mental Health Association, impulsive behaviours begin in childhood for ADD patients and adulthood for schizophrenic and bipolar disorder ones.

Dr. Xu explained, ADD is often difficult to diagnose in adults because most patients aren’t forthcoming about their struggle with impulsive behaviors during childhood.

“This is frequently why many adults with ADD are misdiagnosed as being bipolar or schizophrenic,” Dr. Xu says.

“Uncontrolled anger, mood shifts and other impulsive behaviors are also key traits in biopolar disorder and schizophrenia, not just ADD.”

Johnston currently copes with his disorder by attending dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) programs at Homewood Health Centre.

He also takes Concerta, a stimulant used for treating ADD.

“An uncle of mine told me. I’ll live a hard life,” Johnston says. “if I continue destroying the things I’ve worked very hard to get when overwhelmed.”

THERAPY OPTIONS Two therapy options for ADD individuals wanting to better manage stressful life events

MEDICATION OPTIONS Five medication options for ADD individuals lacking norepinephrine in the body

Nonstimulant Form
Stimulant Form

Affordable Shelter Units for the Homeless and Refugees

By Bobby Kushner / June 17, 2018

GUELPH, ONT. -- Two companies manufacture affordable shelter units for the homeless and refugees.

1. InterShelter Inc sells a basic-model Intershelter unit for $7,500

Don Kubley, the founder of InterShelter, began retailing the geodesic dome in efforts to provide housing for homeless-military veterans.

Kubley bought the rights to the dome’s design from Craig Chamberlain, an architect who recreated the shelter from an invention by Buckminister Fuller.

The basic-model InterShelter unit spans 154-square-feet and stands nine-feet.

The 21-piece unit takes two hours to assemble. Each piece weighs 53 pounds and fits into the back of most pickup trucks.

The pieces are made of aerospace plastic, which lasts 30 years, never discolors and withstands temperatures of -70 and +120.

The unit allows for the addition of extra living spaces when combined with other units.

> Click here to learn more about Don Kubley's InterShelter unit

2. Reaction Inc sells the basic-model Exo unit for $5,000

Michael McDaniel, the founder of Reaction Inc, designed the Exo unit after observing the government’s inadequate housing plans for the displaced people in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

The basic-model Exo unit spans 72-square-feet and stands nine-feet.

The two-piece unit takes five minutes to assemble. Each piece is made of fire-resistant plastic, which lasts 10 years.

All basic-model Exo units come with these features:
  • fold out beds, desks and shelves
  • electrical outlets
  • circuit breakers
  • interior lights
  • recessed fans for heating, cooling and ventilation
  • a digital door lock
  • and a smoke alarm

> Click here to learn more about Michael McDaniel's Exo unit

Chen Si Thwarts Over 300 Suicide Attempts

By Bobby Kushner / December 3, 2016

GUELPH, ONT. -- Chen Si has stopped more than 300 individuals from throwing themselves over the Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge, a widely known suicide site in China.

Since 2004, Si devotes his weekends to patrolling the bridge ready to help anyone in distress.

According to a story by Louisa Lim, Si offers those whom he saves a place to stay in his two bedroom apartment.

"When I save people, I don’t want to just cheat them into living another day,” Si told Lim.

Louisa Lim’s NPR feature story “Samaritan Patrols Bridge for China’s Lost Souls” tells more about Chen Si’s efforts in helping those in distress.

> Read Louisa Lim’s NPR feature story about Chen Si by clicking here