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The Gazette from Montreal, Quebec, Canada • 3

The Gazettei
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

THE GAZETTE, MONTREAL, WEDNESDAY, JULY 19, 1995 A 3 Dinasaiirium fallout: control of pr casino stsll i Montreal operfy next ii limbo GEOFF BAKER THE GAZETTE Belec said that as far as he knows, the move was made so the agency could collect $65,000 it claims Sendel owes for rent of the Canada pavilion at the Expo site, which had been used for Dinasaurium office space. But if Dinasaurium Productions goes bank- But one snag standing in the way of that venture is the fact that Sendel never took his Montreal company, Dinasaurium Productions, into bankruptcy before leaving town. In Mexico last week, Sendel told The Gazette he still considers valid a 20-year with questions lingering around it. Roy said yesterday that Loto-Quebec won't make any move to acquire the pavilion until the dispute between Sendel and the city is resolved. "To our knowledge, the city of Montreal lar aquarium project in Singapore and March said he is interested in pursuing a deal in Montreal with or ithout Sendel.

Last week, the Mexican government revoked concession rights Sendel had obtained to develop a dinosaur theme park at that country's historic Cacahuamilpa caverns. The move came alter an arrest warrant 1 for fraud was issued for Sendel and his lease for the Quebec pavilion, which he obtained from a Montreal para-municipal agency last year. "I have the lease for the Quebec pavilion, nobody else," Sendel said. Belec and other city officials insist Sendel lost the lease when he failed to secure needed financing for the Dinasaurium by a May 15,1 994 deadline. "For us, the Dinasaurium is dead," Belec said.

That might be true in a physical sense, but on paper the city's paramu- has started legal proceedings against Mr. 'i i Sendel," Roy said. "We think the leeal LOtO-JuebeC interested in proceedings have to have a result (first)." The confusion surrounding the pavil- acqUiring Quebec pavilion, ion appears to explain why 1 5 months after the Dinasaurium collapsed and DUt not at any price and long after the Loto-Quebec first began expressing interest in the site it re-llOt With questions mains unoccupied and boarded up. John March, president of Creative Pre-HnQerillP aWlind it. sentations, a California company thai 6 was to build robotic dinosaurs Sendel planned to use at the Dinasaurium.

said Montreal businessman Barry Sendel -might be a fugitive thousands of kilometres away, but exactly how much control he still has over the site of his defunct Dinasauri-um project remains uncertain. More than a year after Sendel left Montreal for Mexico where he is now being sought on fraud charges there is still some question about who controls the former Quebec pavilion at Expo 67, hich he was to use for the Dinasaurium. "There are a lot of things to resolve where the pavilion itself is concerned," Pierre Belec, a top city bureaucrat looking after the Dinasaurium case, said in an interview. One is the potential sale of the pavilion to the Quebec government as part of a pending $50-million deal that will see the city turn over much of its land and facilities to the province. Loto-Quebec has been interested in acquiring the pavilion, hich is next door to the Montreal Casino on prime real estate that would be key to any planned expansion of the gambling facility.

Sendel "I have the lease" wife. Denise Brown Brumby, who are accused of writing cheques totalling $25,000 U.S. on a closed bank account. Brumby was arrested last Wednesday in the town of Taxco. where she and Sendel live.

She was released after hail of 50.000 pesos, about 1 1 .000. was posted. While the bankruptcy of Dinasaurium Productions might help the city, it could ultimately hurt many of the Dinasaurium's contractors trying to recover SI. 8 million from Sendel for work carried out on the site. Rene Brabant, a lawyer representing one of three former contractors to the Dinasaurium who are suing the city and Sendel jointly for about S450.000.

said this week that his client might not see any money if the bankruptcy goes through. yesterday that he was under the impression Sendel still had the pavilion lease. "That's what he told me," March said. nicipal Societe de Gestion des Activ-ites Communautaires de rile Notre Dame is still fighting Sendel in an attempt to finish off what's left of his company. The agency filed a petition in Quebec Superior Court in May asking a judge to force Dinasaurium Productions into bankruptcy.

The case is to resume in the fall. nipt. Sendel would also lose any claim he might have to the Quebec pavilion because the lease was made out to the company. Loto-Quebec spokesman Jean-Pierre Roy said yesterday that his organization is interested in acquiring the Quebec pavilion, but not at any price and certainly not adding that he and Sendel recently discussed the possibility of resurrecting the Dinasaurium in Montreal along with an underwater aquarium. Creative Presentations has started a simi ii jj IpshP ii fij fl j(p I Fine 10 for baby-buying comments Diseased donor in Toronto prompts second withdrawal mm CAROLYN AD0LPH THE GAZETTE iiifitl will MIKE KING THE GAZETTE stock.

The supply of 25-per-cent albumin, used in treating burns and shock, should be replenished by the end of the week. "After several days of efforts on international markets, we now believe we have located sufficient products to be able to proceed with a full withdrawal of all affected products across the country," said Douglas Lindores, Red Cross secretary-general. The charity had held off its withdrawal of albumin until it could find an alternative source. However, the head of the Royal Victoria Hospital's transfusion scr- vice said the delay has 3T, The massive recall of blood components after a contamination scare will not slow the pace of surgeries and treatments in Montreal, area hospitals and the Red Cross say. Hospitals across Montreal yesterday reported no shortages despite the withdrawal of blood components after a fatal brain disease as diagnosed in a British Columbia blood donor.

Last night, the Red Cross reported that probable Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease had been diagnosed in a second donor, in Toronto, prompt A lawyer for the Quebec College of Physicians recommended yesterday that Dr. Horace Young be reprimanded and fined S1.S00 for joking about busing newborn babies from their parents. Lawyer Nathalie Lelievre suggested the West Island pediatrician, found guilty by the college's disciplinary committee in April of violating the college's code of ethics, be fined $600 for each of 1 fu erf 1 lit- 1 7 y--y ing a second recall. not endangered patients at her hospital. cary, medical director Ked LrOSS nf thp Rv1 fYncc in We're not using it Montreal, said last estimates the COSt it can be replaced by night that the second other products." Dr.

recall won't affect of the recalls ttlld Gwendoline Spurll i i 1' I 47 i said. "If any doctor Worldwide Search wants albumin he has to send me a letter with Montreal's supply much because measures already had been taken to deal ith the recall of blood products that might have been contaminated by the Vancouver donor. Decary said her office is checking hich Montreal hospitals had for replacement blood products at more than $1 million. an explanation. No albumin leaves here without my signature." M.T.

Aye. the Red Cross national director of blood services, said it is up to patients to decide whether thev r1 "The reprimand was finding him guilty." Young's lawyer, Paul Leblanc, argued before committee chairman Gu Laliance at yesterday's hearing. "A fine would be embarrassing for the college." Leblanc said if the matter were before a criminal court, he would seek a suspended sentence. He called six witnesses to testify, in defence of Young and presented Lafrance's three-member committee with 86 letters of support as well as a 149-name petition calling the doctor's character "upright, conscientious and "This is rare and mov ing testimony." Leblanc said. But Lelievre countered that the "carefree behavior on (Young's) part" led to the "accusations that hurt the whole profession." One of the character witnesses called by Leblanc seemed to provide fodder for Lelievre.

Barry Clarke, an Anglican priest who has known Young and his family for 1 1 years, testified the doctor has "a sense of humor that can sometimes be misunderstood." The college launched an investigation after three couples complained that Young offered them a good price for their newborns. "If those comments were made to me as a parent. I might feel somewhat concerned." Clarke told the committee. The five other witnesses, howev- I. 1 mam: uMmimimmmmm ha It 4 1 should delay elective surgery until there are fresh stocks of blood products.

However, the Red Cross is not recommending that surgery be delayed. Other recalled products were IVIG. used in transplants, and Factor 8. produced from Canadian plasma. There are alternatives or sufficient supplies available of those products.

The withdrawals of the blood components came after a woman called the Vancouver Red Cross to say her father, a regular donor, had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which is believed to be transmitted by a virus. There is no test for the virus and no reported proof it can be transmitted by blood. The Red Cross chose to recall potentially affected products manufactured from Canadian plasma by Bayer Inc. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain that causes dementia and is fatal. Hospitals started recalling the products on the weekend and in at least one Ontario hospital, elective surgery was delayed.

The country had only a three-day supply of albumin and possibly infected albumin would have to be used in emergencies. ADDITIONAL REPORTING: KAREN UNLAND OF THE GAZETTE, CANADIAN PRESS received blood prod- ucts from the Toronto donor and those hospitals will be told to set the products aside. Decary said the Red Cross's recommendation to patients is the same as it was after the first recall: "If you think you'll need albumin for any elective surgery, you might want to postpone your elective surgery." But it is up to the patient to decide. Blood products from around the world are being flown into Canada on an urgent basis to replace supplies that might have been contaminated. Dr.

Louis Cossette, assistant medical director for the Red Cross in Montreal, said yesterday the contamination scare wiped out one to three months of supplies of blood products, because the B.C. donor's blood was added to large batches of other people's blood during processing. Cossette estimated the cost of the recall and worldwide search for replacement blood products at more than $1 million. He said that cost probably would be shared by the Red Cross and the Canadian Blood Agency, which is funded by the provinces, but he was unsure of details. The Red Cross said it has tracked down sources for all the blood products needed to replace the withdrawn supplies, including one that had proven difficult to rc- llifflit 1 1H-J if MARIE-FRANCE C0ALLIER.

GAZETTE After recall of suspect blood products, nurse Lise Desaulniers helps donor BenoTt Lortie replenish local supply. Viysterious disease is extremely rare and incurable ei. uciipeu piuise on loung. Referring to his Pointe Claire clinic as the "little house on St. John's Tara Roy of St.

Lazare recalled how as a child "it was good to go to that house and. made to feel better." Roy. 19, and her three younger siblings continue to see Young. Roy's mother, Donna, testified that her 4-year-old son includes the pediatrician in his nightly prayers "God bless Dr. Yum, as he calls him." Lafrance said the committee's decision on what sanctions to impose should be known soon.

Facts about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the focus of Canada's latest blood scare: First diagnosed in the 1920s and extremely rare incidence is estimated at one case per one million population worldwide. Cause is unknown could be an infectious protein rather than a virus. There is no blood test to detect it, no treatment. There have been reports of transmission through corneal transplants, use of human-derived pituitary growth hormone and certain treatments for infertile women. There has not been a single report of its being transmitted to humans through blood or blood products.

It has been transmitted to animals by whole blood from human patients with the disease. CANADIAN PRESS iesearcbers test reafmeirt for flesh-eafing cffseai mmmmm 'A'-ir, GRAEME HAMILTON THE GAZETTE Peggy Curran's column returns Aug. 16 be denied a potentially beneficial therapy. Data presented by Low and Dennis Stevens of the United States show the disease remains rare, but there has been a significant increase in incidence in recent years. Low said the jump might be due to the introduction of new strains of streptococcus A bacteria to which people do not have immunity.

Exactly how the bacteria do their damage is not completely understood, but scientists now suspect they throws off the body's im-, munc system by releasing proteins that trick the immune system into" overresponding to infection. "The body starts not just to fight infection but to actually damage itself," said Rupert Kaul, one of Low's colleagues. IVIG is thought to regulate this response. 80 per cent among controls patients who did not receive IVIG. "This could be very significant," Low said of the study, final results of which are to be presented in September at an infectious-diseases meeting in San Francisco.

The encouraging results could lead other researchers to take a look at IVIG, he said. But he cautioned that the Canadian study has one serious flaw in that controls were taken from Ontario patients who had had the disease two years ago. That means they might have received different basic treatment than patients with the disease this year. Low said the next step would be a trial with proper controls, carried out in hospitals across Canada. That presents an ethical problem, however, since the controls would points to the immune system as being the culprit," Low told reporters after his presentation.

"That's where we have to focus attention in the next few years to reduce morbidity and mortality, because the disease doesn't seem to be going away." The study looked at 2 1 Canadian patients, including at least live from Quebec, who were administered intravenous immunoglobulin, or IVIG, immediately after the presence of the flesh-eating bacteria was diagnosed. Last winter, Low's teaiji encouraged infectious disease specialists across the country to try IVIG in treating severe streptococcal infections. Doctors subsequently reported back results of the therapy. In 1 5 cases analyzed so far, the mortality rate was 40 per cent, compared with almost Canadian researchers yesterday offered hope that flesh-eating disease could be rendered a lot less deadly through a new therapy aimed at countering the condition's suspected weakening of the immune system. A preliminary study of patients suffering from invasive streptococcus A infections -including necrotizing fasciitis, the often-fatal condition that cats away the patient's flesh shows that immunotherapy cut in half the mortality rate.

Dr. Donald Low of Toronto's Mount Sinai and Princess Margaret Hospitals told the International Congress of Chemotherapy in Montreal. "What we've learned about this disease Winning numbsrs Tuesday, 950718 La Quotldienne-3 Banco 7-1-1 (in order) 12-17-19-21-23-25-26 La Quotidienne-4 30-31-33-35-38-45 5-4-4-0 (in order) 50-53-54-60-65-69-70.

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