Book Review — It Was A Lovely War

It’s the fact that never fails to provoke nostalgia, anger or simple disbelief: for one magic generation from about 1952 to 1972, Canadians lived in a workers’ paradise. A single wage-earner made enough to support a whole family; most everyone could buy a home even if it was only 1100 square feet; and a typical Canadian had steady work with one, maybe two employers on the promise of a gold watch and pension. Historian Graham Broad of Western University argues we have this all wrong: the golden years actually started a decade earlier. If the 1940s are cast as a gaunt era of wartime sacrifice, Broad notes that for the 99 percent of Canadians who were not in combat those years were frankly wonderful. “It’s a terrible thing to say, but I hope the war goes on for a long time,” as one Depression survivor told a newspaperman. READ MORE

Feds Pay $1.25M For ‘News’ Handouts To Media Editors

Public Works Canada is awarding a $1.25 million contract to a publicist to distribute government-vetted “news” to publishers and radio and TV stations. The budget for handout “news” increased 25% from a previous contract. The department said it wanted to “inform and educate Canadians on public issues”. READ MORE

Says Air Passenger Rights Iffy

Air passenger rights are “uneven” due to a complaints-based system that fails to meet E.U. or American standards, Transport Canada admits in a departmental memo. The document cited public demands for “more prescriptive” regulations that would spell out airlines’ duties to their customers: 'Air Canada gets 20,000 complaints annually'. READ MORE

Another Lac-Mégantic Legacy

Transport Canada is ordering all major railways to automatically report on traffic, employee training and maintenance worries effective April 1, 2015. The mandate is the latest to follow the Lac-Mégantic wreck that killed 47 people: "Companies are expected to follow the rules". READ MORE

Feds Nix Odd Telecom Billing

Federal regulators are citing telecom companies for an odd billing practice – charging fees to lease service poles they don’t own. The ruling followed complaints from local British Columbia cable firms that Telus tried to collect leasing fees on thousands of poles that belonged to somebody else: "They have no cost to recover". READ MORE

Irving Ltd. Hunts Web Satirist

Atlantic Canada’s largest conglomerate is suing an elusive eco-satirist over a copycat website that ridiculed the company. J.D. Irving Ltd. filed a Federal Court claim against “John Doe”, an internet prankster who replicated a corporate publicity campaign with irreverent captions: "Better put out more bird feeders. When we're finished clear-cutting..." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Chrystia Freeland, MP

My Country & My People

I was last in Russia in June of 2013. Now I am banned. My legal name is Christina. Though I was born into a Ukrainian family, it was considered appropriate to have a more English-sounding name. I changed it back to Chrystia. I still feel that duty to Ukraine.

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