Book Review: That Other Expedition

A news flash from University of British Columbia Press: there were two Franklin Expeditions. One is acclaimed by Parks Canada, which strangely misspent millions from its dwindling budget scanning the floor of the Arctic Ocean in search of 19th century English shipwrecks that even the English don’t care about. The other is documented through the passion and extraordinary research of a lone anthropologist, Alison Brown of the University of Aberdeen. The resulting First Nations, Museums, Narrations is intriguing and profound. READ MORE

Feds Intro Mining Ethics Bill

Cabinet is introducing a long-promised anti-corruption bill for Canadian energy companies amid suspicion the legislation was crafted by lobbyists. The measure waters down earlier opposition proposals to scrutinize the conduct of firms operating abroad: "You could drive a truck through those exemptions". READ MORE

Paper Invoice Fees Outlawed

A federal ban to end paper billing fees has been introduced in the Commons. Legislation would outlaw service charges for customers’ paper invoices under threat of $500,000 fines. MPs had been proposing the measure for six years: "It shouldn't have taken this long". READ MORE

Air Canada Suit Is Grounded

The Supreme Court has sidestepped a case of alleged unfair tax collections by Air Canada. A group of passengers had sought unsuccessfully to press class action claims the airline levied taxes that travellers did not have to pay: 'The issue can be visited later'. READ MORE

Says Aid Favours Big Farmers

The Department of Agriculture is accused of skewing a multi-million dollar subsidy program to benefit large corporate farms over family-run operations. One Liberal Senator proposed that legislators investigate terms of grant programs under the Farm Income Protection Act: "Something is totally out of whack". READ MORE

Feds Probe Subsidized Media: ‘Can The Print Mag Survive?’

The Department of Canadian Heritage is studying the viability of magazine publishers that received more than $55 million in federal grants last year. “Can the print magazine survive the digital age?” authorities asked in a federal notice. One periodical, Maclean's, received $1.5 million in grants: "This is egregious". READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Arch MacKenzie, In Memorium

The Good & The Bad

Editor’s note: Arch MacKenzie, a longtime Parliament Hill reporter and Canadian Press bureau chief, died of pneumonia last June 23 at age 88. In his last interview MacKenzie recalled parliamentary personalities – good and bad – in the 1950s. Following is an transcribed excerpt of his conversation with Blacklock’s publisher Holly Doan on October 14, 2009: "The worst MP I ever saw?..."

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