MPs To Tax Medical Pot

The Commons finance committee by a 5-4 vote yesterday rejected a proposal to maintain tax-free medical marijuana for 270,000 registered users nationwide. A cabinet bill to legalize cannabis would tax medical marijuana at the same rate as recreational drugs: "It will have a very negative effect." READ MORE

Senate OKs Transport Bill

The Senate in a 41 to 31 vote yesterday accepted a final Commons rewrite of a transport bill. Senators had attempted to expand rail shippers’ rights and faced “near instant rejection” by the Commons, said the chair of the Senate transport committee: "Take heart." READ MORE

MPs To Rewrite Fish Act

The Commons fisheries committee tomorrow is expected to pass a cabinet bill restoring environmental protections under the Fisheries Act. MPs yesterday approved technical changes to the bill, but rejected a New Democrat amendment mandating regular reporting of damage to habitat: "It takes a lot of work to improve legislation." READ MORE

1958 Country Song Banned

A national broadcasting regulator has suspended airplay of a country and western hit 60 years after its release. One adjudicator in a rare dissenting opinion said the ruling on a Hank Thompson song set a dangerous precedent: "This decision could chill future broadcast of older songs." READ MORE

Auditor Claims Retaliation

A former CMHC auditor in a Federal Court claim alleges he was fired after embarrassing managers with disclosures of misuse of funds by Québec’s provincial housing corporation. The allegations predate a February 20 review that faulted the Société Habitation du Québec for breaching provincial law: "The audit was an extreme success." READ MORE

Oppose Minimum Jail Terms

Most Canadians consider mandatory minimum sentences unfair and unnecessary, according to polling commissioned by the Department of Justice. “We put our trust in judges,” one respondent told researchers. READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Jim Hillyer, In Memoriam

Imagine It Happened In Your Town

I have adopted siblings from the Blood Tribe, twin brothers and a little sister. Their mother, Lorna, died of a Listerine overdose. She is buried in a mound grave in a Catholic cemetery. As the priest was dedicating her grave, an old man dashed up and cried, “I’ve got the bags!” It is the Blackfoot tradition to go into the afterlife with all your earthly belongings. Lorna was buried with four garbage bags of old clothes.