A Conservative MP yesterday protested quick passage of a cabinet bill waiving jail time for white-collar criminals. The provision inserted in a 560-page omnibus budget bill passed into law without debate or committee scrutiny: "How does that make Canadians safer?" READ MORE
Cabinet has quietly approved another carbon tax exemption, this one for commercial aviation in the Territories. A Conservative senator who won the concession predicted more appeals for tax waivers as the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act takes effect: 'The precedent has been set.' READ MORE
One in five Canadians do not trust federal departments with their personal information, says in-house research by the Treasury Board. The findings echoed a 2017 study that found a significant minority is wary of surrendering bank account numbers to the government for direct deposit of tax refunds and benefits: "Is it safe?" READ MORE
Senators yesterday expressed wariness over the appointment of a Canada Revenue Agency manager as the next Parliamentary Budget Officer. The Agency spent five years stonewalling requests for information from the last Officer, senators said: "That is a question I’ve asked myself a lot." READ MORE
An Asian ban on Canadian wheat exports should end by August, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency yesterday told the Commons agriculture committee. Japan and South Korea suspended shipments after an unlicensed strain of genetically-modified wheat was found in southern Alberta: "This is new for us." READ MORE
The Senate last night by a vote of 52 to 29 passed into law a bill to make Canada only the second country after Uruguay to legalize recreational marijuana. Opponents predicted quick court challenges: "We certainly don’t want to bring confusion to this at all." READ MORE
Auditor General Michael Ferguson yesterday described the $1 billion Phoenix Pay System failure as a stain on the federal government. The bungled program illustrates a mania for civil service box-checking instead of problem-solving, Ferguson told the Commons public accounts committee: "What were the root causes?" READ MORE
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.