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Horses seized in Lakeview

THE provincial veterinarian's office seized 10 horses from a property in the RM of Lakeview after a complaint was made about their well-being.

The province said in a release Friday the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer seized the animals last Monday under the authority of the province's Animal Care Act. The RM of Lakeview is located on the west shore of Lake Manitoba.

The horses were seized because of concerns over their health and well-being and are now under the care of the chief veterinary officer.

Chief veterinary officer Wayne Lees was unavailable.

The province said the owners have until Monday to file a notice of objection to the seizure. This means the horses cannot be sold or given away until any appeal is decided. No charges have been laid.

Anyone who suspects an animal is lacking adequate food, water, shelter or medical attention should call the Animal Care Line at 1-204-945-8000. The province says all calls are kept confidential and will be investigated.

PCs want urgent huddle

MANITOBA Progressive Conservatives are demanding an emergency meeting of the legislature's public accounts committee to get to the bottom of the expense-account scandal in the Office of the Fire Commissioner.

PC caucus chairman Blaine Pedersen (Midland) said Friday the party is very concerned by a report this week from the province's auditor general that $300,000 was wrongly paid to former OFC employees.

He said the public accounts committee, which oversees government spending, has the ability to call witnesses and find out what happened.

The OFC is a special operating agency of government that reports to the Family Services and Labour Department.

"There has to be someone out there who can be accountable for this in government," Pedersen said Friday.

Former provincial fire commissioner Christopher Jones, his deputy Justin Panagapko and one other employee were fired in the summer of 2011 after the expense-account irregularities came to light. One other employee took early retirement. The auditor general said this week a total of five former employees are implicated.

NDP House Leader Jennifer Howard, who is also minister responsible for the OFC, was unavailable for comment Friday.

New drug coverage

THE province will cover 153 new drugs through Pharmacare, beginning on Monday.

They include many generic brands that are expected to save the Health Department an estimated $2.9 million per year.

The new drugs include treatments for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, colitis and Crohn's disease.

Specific drugs include Brilinta for reducing the risk of heart attack, Mezavant for treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, and Protopic for the treatment of moderate to severe eczema.

According to the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association, generic drugs accounted for 65.1 per cent of prescriptions in Manitoba in 2011 -- the highest use of generics in Canada.

Pharmacare is a universal, comprehensive prescription drug program. It covers 100 per cent of Manitobans' eligible drug costs once an income-based deductible is reached.

-- staff

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 19, 2013 0

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