Al­berta to bol­ster gas sta­tion safety

Ac­tion ex­pected this fall: labour min­is­ter

Lethbridge Herald - - FRONT PAGE - John Cot­ter THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — ED­MON­TON

Al­berta’s labour min­is­ter says the prov­ince will take ac­tion this fall to pro­tect ser­vice-sta­tion work­ers fol­low­ing the death of an em­ployee in an ap­par­ent gas and dash. The gov­ern­ment has not yet de­cided if it will in­tro­duce a law to re­quire mo­torists to pre-pay for gaso­line or bring in some other mea­sure, Labour Min­is­ter Christina Gray said Wednesday.

“It could be leg­is­la­tion; it could be reg­u­la­tion,” Gray said in an in­ter­view.

“There are a few dif­fer­ent things: manda­tory pre-pay ... ac­tual pay at the pump ... vi­o­lence preven­tion pro­grams. The de­ci­sion of ex­actly what will be in­tro­duced and in what form has not yet been made.”

Gray said the gov­ern­ment re­cently con­cluded a work­place safety re­view with gas sta­tions and con­ve­nience stores and is sift­ing through what it heard.

A de­ci­sion is ex­pected in the com­ing weeks, she said.

Ki Yun Jo, 54, was killed Fri­day at the Fas Gas in Thorsby, south­west of Ed­mon­ton.

After years of lob­by­ing by health groups Al­berta is fi­nally mov­ing to ban young peo­ple from us­ing in­door tan­ning beds over grow­ing fears about skin cancer.

The gov­ern­ment says youths un­der 18 will not be al­lowed to use ul­travi­o­let tan­ning ma­chines start­ing on Jan. 1.

Busi­nesses will also be pro­hib­ited from ad­ver­tis­ing such ma­chines to mi­nors and must post signs about the age re­stric­tions and the dan­gers of UV tan­ning.

“Re­search has shown that us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial tan­ning when you are un­der 35 dra­mat­i­cally in­creases your risk for melanoma,” Health Min­is­ter Sarah Hoffman said Wednesday.

“The changes we’re mak­ing will help pro­tect our youth from a dis­ease that af­fects hun­dreds of Al­ber­tans ev­ery year and gives Al­ber­tans bet­ter in­for­ma­tion about the risks of ar­ti­fi­cial tan­ning.”

Al­berta’s Skin Cancer Preven­tion (Ar­ti­fi­cial Tan­ning) Act was passed by the leg­is­la­ture in March 2015 but has just been pro­claimed.

The gov­ern­ment said it needed time to con­sult with busi­nesses and health groups be­fore set­ting a date for the ban.

Al­berta is the only prov­ince that still al­lows peo­ple un­der the age of 18 to use in­door tan­ning equip­ment.

The Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety had been urg­ing the NDP gov­ern­ment to take ac­tion, warn­ing the de­lay has been putting young peo­ple at risk of de­vel­op­ing skin cancer, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially deadly melanoma.

The so­ci­ety out­lined its con­cerns about the de­lay to Hoffman in a let­ter on March 6.

Dan Holinda, a Cana­dian Cancer So­ci­ety spokesman, praised the gov­ern­ment Wednesday for pro­claim­ing the leg­is­la­tion.

“Pre­vent­ing teen use of ar­ti­fi­cial tan­ning equip­ment will re­duce skin cancer, which, de­spite be­ing highly pre­ventable, is one of the fastest-ris­ing can­cers,” Holinda said in a re­lease.

“As a sur­vivor of this dis­ease my­self, I want to thank the gov­ern­ment for pro­claim­ing this act — it will save lives.”

Skin cancer is the most com­mon cancer in Al­berta and ac­counts for more than onethird of all new cancer cases.

Her­ald photo by Ti­jana Martin

Mem­bers of Kappa Sigma make their way into the pool of cool wa­ter dur­ing the an­nual Chillin’ 4 Char­ity fundrais­ing event at the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge on Wednesday. Money raised will be used to sup­port the United Way of Leth­bridge and South West­ern...

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