Documents Cite Another Security Threat: Farmland

Warning of “food security” in a hungry world, the Department of Agriculture in confidential memos is urging first-ever federal scrutiny of farmland sales to foreigners. Authorities note Canada has no national ownership restrictions, registry or even statistics on buy-ups by Chinese and other offshore investors: "Where are things going?" READ MORE

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Feds Eye Bitcoin: ‘It Could Attract Terrorist Financiers’

Police have no evidence Canada’s bitcoin exchanges are being used by organized crime, according to confidential documents. However the Department of Finance says many exchanges “do not conduct customer due diligence”, and caution the business is beyond the scope of Canadian money-laundering monitors: "There are no rules". READ MORE

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Follow U.K. On Tax Fraud

Canada Revenue should follow a U.K. lead in imposing new fines and criminal penalties on taxpayers who hide income offshore, says a Senate critic. The U.K. has ordered all tax evaders to declare offshore income or face sanctions including jail and 200% fines: 'Canada goes for the low-hanging fruit'. READ MORE

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A New Trade Pact With Ten Provinces Proposed By Feds

The latest proposal to reform interprovincial trade is drawing a cautious response amid complaints the scheme sets out few details, and hinges on universal agreement from ten provincial cabinets: "They always have excuses". READ MORE

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Don’t Mention The V-Word

Cabinet is urged to avoid all mention of “values” in planning for Canada 150th anniversary in 2017, according to a confidential report. The research appeared to undermine a Heritage Canada proposal to stress military exploits in the sesquicentennial year: "Talking about shared values may do more harm than good". READ MORE

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No Tax Audit Blacklist: MPs

The Commons finance committee has vetoed a proposed review of Canada Revenue Agency audits of registered charities. New Democrat MPs accused the agency of targeting specific groups for aggressive audits: "It may be that they're taking political direction". READ MORE

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Big Oil Eco-Claims Disputed

A scientific panel is questioning industry claims of the environmental safety of chemicals used to treat oil spills. The finding follows federal warnings that agencies must improve planning in case of ecological disasters: 'Many assumptions have been challenged as invalid or untrue'. READ MORE

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Guest Commentary

Monique Oliver-Shaw

The Night Elvis Played Ottawa

Editor’s note: In 1957 Elvis played Ottawa’s Civic Auditorium on the only tour he ever performed outside the U.S. The Catholic church protested, requiring students pledge: “I promise I shall not take part in the reception accorded Elvis Presley.” The author was then a Catholic schoolgirl who shares her indelible memory of that night. READ MORE

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