Review – One Day At The Rotary Club

Most everyone has a place that inspires reflection and contentment: a Paris café, a salmon run on the Miramichi River, your grandmother’s kitchen table. Roberta Laurie is an Alberta Rotarian who finds her place at a Malawian school for girls. The result is intriguing and joyful. Weaving A Malawi Sunrise never patronizes. Laurie is a delightful writer whose reportage is so skillful it draws readers who have no interest whatsoever in Malawi or the minutiae of public education. READ MORE

Covid Lobbying Kept Quiet

A Liberal lobbyist Elly Alboim who asked political aides to consider a federal contract for his son also lobbied the Prime Minister’s Office for a corporate client but never reported the fact. Lobbying for contracts must be disclosed under federal law: "I was not lobbying." READ MORE

“Zero Cannot Be More”: MP

Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna yesterday pledged a Crown-owned Infrastructure Bank will finance more and better projects, though nothing has been completed to date. Parliament launched the Bank in 2017 with $35 billion: "Zero cannot be more." READ MORE

AG Defends Ties To Lobbyist

Auditor General Karen Hogan yesterday defended her ties to a Liberal lobbyist. Hogan awarded sole-sourced contracts to a lobbying firm and fed them confidential copies of her audits months before they were available to MPs and senators: "We try to have varied points of view." READ MORE

Small Business Debts $135B

Small business owners who survived pandemic lockdowns borrowed an estimated $135 billion, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said yesterday. Covid debts for storekeepers, restaurateurs, contractors and others averaged $169,992: "Economic damage we’ve seen so far is a tiny, tiny portion of what we’ll be seeing in the days ahead." READ MORE

Bookie Law Called Job Maker

A bill to legalize bookmaking would create 2,000 jobs, Unifor yesterday told the Commons justice committee. Betting on single sporting events in Canada has been illegal since 1892: "If we’re not going to spend it in Canada, we are going to spend it abroad." READ MORE

MPs Seek Count On Fugitives

The Commons public accounts committee yesterday said the public is owed regular updates on the number of foreign fugitives in Canada. The recommendation followed evidence federal agents lost track of as many as 2,800 criminals due to be deported: "Criminal cases are very important." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Reg Alcock, In Memoriam

Controlling The Internet

The internet is a democratizing force. This is a power that actually increases the worth of individuals. I still think in the end it will produce a more democratic country. We’re not there yet. The reaction of government was slow, awkward. They have not moved anywhere near the degree they have to. Information technology changes the balance of power. It changed the balance of power in society, and it changed the power balance in Ottawa – and Ottawa is all about power. So, it’s very threatening. What you can’t change, you desperately try to control. Eventually of course it gets ripped out of your fingers. The technology is inevitable. But it’s the reaction of people who are comfortable with the way things are that disturbs it.