Not Sure If $25 Cable Worked

Federal regulators say they have no data on the success or failure of a program to have cable providers offer $25-a month TV packages. One consumers’ group described the 2016 campaign for so-called “skinny basic” cable as a marketing ploy: 'We do not have statistics.' READ MORE

C.R.A. Fails Internal Audit

The Canada Revenue Agency in an internal audit admits it has no accurate reporting of how long taxpayers must wait in applying for relief from interest and penalties. The Agency receives more than 400,000 applications a year from taxpayers who seek help in hardship cases: "These recurrent problems create increased frustration for individual citizens." READ MORE

Stunt Pilot Loses Appeal

A stunt pilot has lost a long legal fight with Transport Canada over a fine for reckless flying. Regulators complained a YouTube video depicting a helicopter skidding past a pond hockey game breached Aviation Regulations: "Each of the players was an expert skater." READ MORE

Ombudsman Didn’t Report

A federal food safety ombudsman hasn’t filed an annual report in two years. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the office is still functioning, but simply stopped public reporting of its work: "It continues to provide administrative redress." READ MORE

A Sunday Poem: “Score”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock's tradition each and every Sunday: " Silver Dancers of San Antonio Spurs going home. Gone, minimally-dressed young women exciting crowds and NBA players..." READ MORE

Review: The River

Off the highway in Morrisburg, Ont. is a “historic site”, Upper Canada Village, notorious for two things. Admission is a scandal, $60 for a family of four. And the attraction is a fake. “What was it really like to live and work in the 19th century?” the pamphlets say; “Visit Upper Canada Village and travel back in time!” It is in fact a 1961 recreation of a genuine 1761 community destroyed to make way for the St. Lawrence Seaway. To actually travel back in time you must read Negotiating A River, the saga of a mega-project that created an engineering marvel and submerged a piece of the national fabric under 40 feet of water. In a celebration of “faith in progress and technology”, writes author Daniel Macfarlane, seaway builders decided “it was worth erasing key parts of Canadian history, literally flooding the site of Crysler’s Farm from the War of 1812. The memorial there was relocated to a hill on the new shore beside Upper Canada Village.” READ MORE

Court Criticizes Tax Dep’t

A judge has thrown out a bid by the Canada Revenue Agency to search hydro customers’ accounts for evidence of tax avoidance. The Federal Court called it an obvious fishing expedition that breached the “right of everyone to be left alone by the state”. READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Rick Norlock

A Unique Heritage

People of the Ottawa Valley have an attachment to the country. Just drive on the township roads and you will see the signs: “Government Keep Off Our Land”. These are families who have cut down their section of bush for generations. How many Canadians live on the same land, engaged in the same pastimes, as their grandparents did?