MPs Slow $7.4B Spending Bill

The Commons finance committee yesterday rejected a bid by cabinet to speed billions in new pandemic relief spending. Too much has already been spent too quickly without oversight or auditing, the committee was told: "We don’t want to waste another $100 million, $200 million, a billion dollars on mismanagement or fraud." READ MORE

Fed Bank Suspends Christian

The Bank of Canada has suspended without pay a Christian manager who pleaded for a work-at-home exemption from compulsory vaccination. The latest enforcement measure follows a landmark Supreme Court ruling that governments had no business validating religious convictions: "It hurt so badly. I just wanted to work." READ MORE

MPs Demand Kabul Hearings

Reid Sirrs, Canada’s last ambassador to Afghanistan, faces questioning at parliamentary hearings over his abrupt departure from Kabul. Ambassador Sirrs fled the country though an estimated 1,250 Canadians left behind were at risk of kidnapping and murder: "Get to the bottom of it." READ MORE

Fear Covid Loans Were Risky

Pandemic relief for business was so hurried and haphazard taxpayers may never see recovery of all loans, a federal agency said yesterday. Deficit spending from the outbreak of the pandemic has totaled $508.9 billion overall: 'Programs may not include controls to prevent major errors.' READ MORE

MPs Seek Labour Act Rewrite

A cabinet bill on workers’ paid sick leave should have more generous terms, New Democrats said yesterday. Amendments are “so important to protect the worker, the family and also to protect the public,” said MP Peter Julian (New Westminster-Burnaby, B.C.). READ MORE

This Will Go On For “Months, Possibly Even Years”: Cabinet

Pandemic health precautions may last “months, possibly even years,” warns Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. His remarks to reporters followed questions over whether Duclos’ department will now redefine full vaccination to include a third Covid shot for millions of people: "May Canadians be expected to get a shot every six months consistently going forward?" READ MORE

Fed Bank Warns On Groceries

A federal bank predicts food prices will keep rising into the foreseeable future. Net price increases by wholesalers average more than eight percent, it said: "We believe food inflation will remain elevated for the foreseeable future." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Robert-Falcon Ouellette

Justice

I was sworn to office as a Métis Member of Parliament 130 years to the day they hanged Louis Riel. He was elected three times as an MP but never permitted to take his seat. As a fugitive, he had to travel to Ottawa incognito to sign the Commons registry. My ancestors fought and died with Louis Riel. Ten warriors from our community were veterans of the 1885 Battle of Batoche. When I took my oath of office I asked House staff if they might retrieve the register with Riel’s signature for the ceremony, as a symbol of healing and progress. They refused. Rules, they said.