The Word: On in vitro fertilization, sriracha beer, and the death of television

IVF may no longer be covered under Quebec's public health plan, this week's new (and terrifying) food trend, and R.I.P. cable TV.




On the front page:

Fertility funding. Legislation introduced by Quebec’s Health Minister Gaétan Barrette will de-fund provincial coverage of in vitro fertilization—if it passes. Bill 20 was tabled on Friday in Quebec’s National Assembly. Its main tenets include the removal of IVF from RAMQ’s list of covered health procedures, an outright ban on IVF procedures for women under 18 and over 42, and a fine for doctors who recommend patients leave the province to seek in vitro treatments. At a press conference held Friday afternoon, the Quebec Federation of Physician Specialists called the bill “nonsense.”

Boosting shots. While in Senegal for the annual Francophonie Summit, PM Stephen Harper announced a whopping $500-million contribution to vaccinating children in developing nations. The recipient of the funds is the GAVI Alliance, an organization that expedites the delivery of basic vaccines to poorer nations. Harper’s significant financial pledge is part of Canada’s commitment to donating $3.5 billion to maternal and child health by 2020. According to data from the Prime Minister’s office, the global child mortality rate dropped by almost half between 1990 and 2012 thanks to increased provision of vaccinations alone.

On health:

Recipe for disaster. Health Canada recently came out against homemade formula, citing concerns that the concoction doesn’t contain the amount of nutrients required by growing babies.

On business:

But I am le tired. France, a noted champion of leisure and rich foodstuffs, might scrap its nationwide 35-hour work week policy.

#SlackFriday. Walmart employees across the U.S. went on strike Friday to protest their unsatisfactory wages and benefits.

Feeding frenzy. Babies ‘R’ Us was forced to apologized after one of its employees chastised a Quebec woman for breastfeeding her 10-month-old son outside of the store’s designated changing and nursing area.

On food trends:

Sriracha beer. Stop the madness.

On culture:

The rise of streaming services will render broadcast television obsolete by 2030. Or, in the words of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, “The horse was good until we had the car.”

There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” iTunes released a 90-second trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Friday.

On French fry theft:

McDonald’s Canada just released the Fry Defender—a motion-sensing smartphone app designed to alert customers when a peckish bystander attempts to steal their side order.

The final word…

“Looking for a size large on #BlackFriday? Here’s a supermassive black hole. #BlackHoleFriday” @NASA hopped on the Black Friday bandwagon by inundating Twitter with puns and pictures related to the menacing deep-space phenomenon.