Toronto Star

Nurses punished but mom vows to fight on

Became lawyer after child died Describes inquiry as a ‘whitewash’


One battle is over for Sharon Shore, but others remain to be fought.

Shore, the mother of a 10year-old girl who was found dead in her bed at the Hospital for Sick Children in 1998, acknowledg­ed to reporters yesterday her legal battle to bring nurses Ruth Doerksen and Anagaile Soriano to account was over after the College of Nurses of Ontario imposed a one- month suspension for profession­al misconduct. But she said the experience so moved her that she applied to Osgoode Hall Law School at York University in 2001, graduated this year and now is articling for a Toronto law firm.

“ I decided I wanted to be an intimate part of ( the legal) system because that was the only way that I could do whatever I could for other people that are not able to deal with the combined resources of large institutio­ns,” she explained.

Shore had to fight for an inquest into her daughter Lisa’s death and pressed for criminal charges to be laid against Doerksen and Soriano after the coroner’s jury returned a homicide verdict. The verdict, in February 2000, indicated the jury believed Lisa’s death was a result of human error, and not an accident as the hospital had argued. The verdict prompted a criminal investigat­ion. Charges of criminal negligence causing death were laid against both nurses in October 2001 but withdrawn in May 2003 after prosecutor­s said there was no reasonable prospect of conviction.

Shore, a certified general accountant who was doing tax consulting work before Lisa died, filed a complaint against the nurses with the college, the nursing profession’s self-governing body, in March 2000.

In an agreed statement of facts, lawyers for the college and the two nurses said Doerksen and Soriano were not guilty of any

$ 4.39, or 7 per cent, to settle at $ 67.39 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Canadian dollar has become a foreign- exchange speculator’s currency of choice when oil prices surge. And the “ petro- loonie” could keep driving higher.

“ If energy prices continue to escalate and the Bank of Canada doesn’t sound any alarm bells, the Canadian dollar could go toward 90 cents,” said Steve Saldanha, chief foreign exchange strategist at TD Securities.

Big gains in real estate and stock markets are helping keep consumers spending by making them feel wealthier. And borrowing has never been easier, thanks to ultra-low interest rates and flexible loan schemes. But consumers will start feeling the pinch of skyrocketi­ng energy prices this winter when home heating bills start rolling in, warned Andrew Pyle, senior financial markets economist at the Bank of Nova Scotia. The high dollar and soaring energy costs will probably stop the Bank of Canada from raising its trend- setting interest rates much this year, perhaps only one more quarter-point increase, Pyle said. Added senior economist Benjamin Tal of CIBC World Markets: “ The economy will not be as strong as last year. Basically, there will be marginally higher interest rates, a strong dollar, high energy prices, and the housing market will level off.”

Tal also believes the labour market is softening.

“ At the beginning of the year, there were close to 20,000 to 25,000 new jobs being created ( per month), and now there’s about 15,000 new jobs,” he said. Canada is an exporting country, Tal added, so a strong dollar hurts the manufactur­ing sector.

Approximat­ely 85,000 manufactur­ing jobs have been lost since the beginning of the year because of the high dollar, as one of Canada’s competitiv­e advantages is its low dollar, he said. Higher energy prices also threaten both consumers and central Canada’s manufactur­ers. The strong currency, which tends to rise when interest rates increase, is also a big problem for exporters facing intense competitio­n from Asian rivals.

“ This is clearly, clearly a doublebarr­elled challenge for the Ontario economy to have the dollar at a 13- year high and oil prices taking off again,” said Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

National Bank Financial chief economist Clément Gignac pointed out Canada is alone as a net energy exporter among the Group of Seven nations, and the only one with a balanced budget. “ So suddenly the country looks like a safehaven.” He says lower demand for oil from Asia will bring the oil price down to $50 a barrel and the dollar to 83 cents next year, “ but in the short term, God knows.”

Underscori­ng the impact of energy prices on Canadian equity markets this year is the fact Calgary- based energy producer EnCana Corp. slipped past the Royal Bank of Canada to become the country’s largest company by stockmarke­t value.

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