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

Need Way To Fire Managers

Cabinet must examine ways of making it easier to fire incompetent federal employees, a senior Treasury Board official yesterday told the Commons public accounts committee. MPs have questioned the government’s powers as an employer in the wake of the $1 billion Phoenix Pay System failure: "Are there enough consequences for poor performance in the public service?" READ MORE

Feds Face Carbon Tax Audit

Environment Commissioner Julie Gelfand yesterday said she will audit cabinet’s carbon tax as early as 2019. Environment Canada has acknowledged neither the $50 per tonne tax nor other regulations to date will meet 2030 emission targets: "What is the plan? Let's see some details." READ MORE

CRA Dead Wrong 319 Times

Hundreds of taxpayers a year are mistakenly declared dead by the Canada Revenue Agency, say newly-disclosed records. The data follow Department of Employment complaints that nearly $2 million a year is mistakenly paid to federal employees who really are dead: "I don’t know why it is so hugely difficult to efficiently manage a data system." READ MORE

Copyright Vital, Gov’t Told

Public institutions must lead in protecting copyright for Canadian creators, the Library of Parliament committee was told yesterday. “Traditional media are dying,” said Senator Michael Duffy (Independent-P.E.I.): "Be a leader." READ MORE

Tax Error Rate Now 22%

Taxpayers now have a 22 percent chance of being misinformed when calling Canada Revenue agents. Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier in a report to MPs claimed progress from an average 29 percent error rate last year: 'We will make call centres more agile.' 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.