Feds Short Billions Of Masks

Canada needs about three billion pandemic masks as the economy opens up, says a federal contractor. The Public Health Agency had just 100,000 high-grade N95 masks in a national stockpile before the Covid-19 outbreak: "We're going to need a lot more." READ MORE

Don’t Answer The Phone

Federal 1-800 centres have improved their rate of dropped calls by not answering the phone. The president of Shared Services Canada, the federal IT service, said an undisclosed number of jobless callers seeking benefits received endless busy signals: "The call would never get dropped, it would just never get answered." READ MORE

Court Rejects Cash Refunds

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed a consumer group's demand for cash refunds on pre-paid flights. The Canadian Transportation Agency in 2019 said that “compensation must first be offered in cash or equivalent”, but waived the rule as a pandemic measure: 'The airline industry has been seriously affected by Covid-19.' READ MORE

Avoid ‘Aboriginal’, MPs Told

Canadians should avoid using the word “aboriginal”, says a federal language guide. The term may give offence and has no legal meaning, wrote researchers: "Using appropriate language is fundamental." READ MORE

Mull Paid Sick Leave For All

Cabinet yesterday said it will discuss with provinces a New Democrat proposal to mandate ten days’ paid sick leave for all workers nationwide. No cost or deadline was discussed: "It is just beyond imagination." READ MORE

“Wasn’t A Lot” In Stockpile

The Public Health Agency for the first time acknowledges it ignored its own advice and stockpiled only a “small amount” of pandemic supplies before the Covid-19 outbreak. Managers would not say if they ever warned cabinet: "If you could give a yes or no answer..." READ MORE

Dep’t Faked Historical “Fact”

The Department of Canadian Heritage admits it garbled a historical “fact” in a report to Parliament. Minister Steven Guilbeault tabled the claim Black people had a presence in Nunavut dating back 400 years. They didn’t: "You can't pick and choose facts." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

William Vander Zalm

It’s Later Than You Think

Debt is an addiction.  It works once, it feels good, you try it again. Debt is an addiction for government and individuals alike. When most every government in the country is running a deficit, Canadians ask: “What’s the use? Let’s spend now.” I think we probably need to be shook up a bit. It may happen sooner than people think.