Gov’t Cannabis Hiring Blitz

The Department of Health has gone on a hiring blitz in anticipation of legal cannabis, according to Access To Information records. The department spent millions on new staff to license and monitor marijuana sales: "This is the tip of the iceberg." READ MORE

“I Wasn’t There”, 7 Times

MPs are expressing frustration after Deputy Public Works Minister Marie Lemay pled ignorance of key details in the Phoenix Pay System failure, expected to cost taxpayers $1 billion. Lemay in testimony at the Commons public accounts committee said “I wasn’t there” seven times: "I remain underwhelmed, Madam." READ MORE

An Amazon Shopping Spree

Government agencies went on an Amazon shopping spree in the dying hours of the last fiscal year, according to newly-disclosed accounts. So-called “March Madness” sees federal departments rush to spend unused funds before the expiry of the fiscal year at midnight each March 31: "Many expenses do occur at the end of the fiscal year." READ MORE

Feds Find Quiet Resentment

A majority of Canadians complain that “too many minority groups are seeking special treatment these days”, according to in-house research by the Privy Council Office. The findings followed earlier federal surveys that concluded nearly 6 in 10 would exempt citizenship to children born here based on the immigration status of their parents: "I feel like I no longer know what it means to be Canadian." READ MORE

Count 1,800 Bank Closures

Nearly 1,800 bank branches have closed nationwide since 1990, according to research by Canada Post unions advocating for a revival of postal banks. Closures have left hundreds of small towns without a storefront bank or credit union, officials said: "There is no reason why Canada Post cannot go ahead." READ MORE

A Poem: “Take Chances”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock's tradition each and every Sunday: "Detroit International Airport, flight delayed. Need something to do. Across the hallway, guards in tactical gear..." READ MORE

Book Review: Fit, Young And Fascist

Everything was political in the 1930s. It was a haunted decade that “almost made me a Communist,” as one Alberta premier put it. Strong, Beautiful and Modern captures the oddest political expression of all, the campaign for physical culture. Archival images of mass synchronized exercises of the Pro-Rec league in the parks of Vancouver bear an unnerving resemblance to parades of bronzed youth so popular in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia. READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Paul Dewar

Sandinista Days

I traveled to Nicaragua in 1986. It was live and hot, a focal point of the Cold War. Everybody who supported the Sandinista revolution was there, a virtual Who’s Who of the left: Latino friends of Cuba, church groups, the Soviets. Was I naïve? What was really achieved in Nicaragua? I lived amidst poverty and struggle, and learned how people survive when confronted with adversity. I learned politics is not theoretical; it is about real people and forgotten lives, and what occurs in conflict. My father Ken said I went to Nicaragua as a boy and came home a man.