1 Hour Hearing On $12B Deal

The Commons natural resources committee yesterday scheduled a single hour of hearings on the $12 billion Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Conservatives sought the hearing – the only one to date – after cabinet repeatedly rejected public scrutiny of costs: "Taxpayers have a right to know." READ MORE

Promised Ad Ban In Peril

Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor yesterday said she’s disappointed cabinet will not fulfill a 2015 promise to ban junk food advertising to children. Access To Information memos indicate Petitpas Taylor’s department privately feared lawsuits if it enforced the ban that would cost advertisers nearly a billion a year: "I really thought it was going to be okay." READ MORE

Housing Act Doesn’t Add Up

Cabinet’s National Housing Strategy is less than promised, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. Analysts said the self-described “ambitious $40 billion plan” includes billions in old funding, and billions more that are unlikely to be spent: 'It's not clear it will reduce housing need.' READ MORE

Dep’t Fails Veterans, Say MPs

The Commons government operations committee yesterday urged federal employers to set quotas to promote hiring of veterans. MPs faulted Veterans Affairs Canada for failing to honour an employment bill passed by Parliament four years ago: "There is a disconnect." READ MORE

See $26B/yr In Unpaid Tax

The Canada Revenue Agency yesterday estimated $26 billion a year in federal tax is never collected, a figure dubbed suspiciously low by critics. The Parliamentary Budget Office tomorrow will release its first independent analysis of unpaid taxes: "Why would we believe their low-ball numbers?" READ MORE

Ethics Officer Stalked Emails

The Senate last night fell in stunned silence after a Conservative senator disclosed administrators tried to access her personal email account in a covert operation. Senate Ethics Office Pierre Legault, a lawyer bound by a professional integrity code, was involved in the operation, the Senate was told: "We have a Senate Ethics Officer acting unethically." READ MORE

Chauffeured To Climate Talks

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna used a car and chauffeur to attend a meeting to promote public transit, records show. McKenna sponsored a Commons motion to declare a national emergency on climate change that is “killing people”, she said: "It's not the flavour of the month." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

John Weston

The Diary

My father Stanley’s diary is among my most precious keepsakes. He wrote it secretly as a slave labourer in a Japanese POW camp near Kanchanaburi in Thailand, home of the actual bridge over the River Kwai. Dad never spoke of his experience, but kept surreptitious notes. It was only after his passing in 1981 that I got to know my father.