C.R.A. Forgot To Pay Its Bills

Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier in a report to Parliament said her own agency defaulted on more than $200,000 in credit charges. The costs were run up on government-issue credit cards used by employees: "We note the increased pressure to spend budgets at fiscal year-end." READ MORE

MPs Proclaim ‘French Nation’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday joined a Commons majority in passing a Bloc motion declaring Québec a French nation, 281-2. Trudeau did not speak on the motion. Thirty-four MPs abstained: "There will be consequences." READ MORE

MPs Would Ban Wage Fixing

Parliament should amend the Competition Act to criminally prosecute wage fixing by grocers, the Commons industry committee said yesterday. The report followed suspicions of collusion between supermarket chains in rolling back a $2 an hour employees' pandemic bonus: "I took care to ask our lawyers before making that call." READ MORE

House Kills Dental Program

The Commons yesterday by a 285-36 vote rejected a national dental care program. Free dentistry for low income households would cost about $1.6 billion a year, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office: "This is a problem we can fix and we must fix." READ MORE

Had $18,902 Exec Washroom

The Public Health Agency faulted for failing to prepare for the pandemic spent almost $19,000 on an executive washroom for exclusive use by its president, records show. Kristina Namiesniowski abruptly resigned last September 18 only days ahead of an internal audit of Agency mismanagement: "The Agency lacked everything." READ MORE

MPs Reject Lib Judges’ Probe

The Commons justice committee yesterday dismissed an investigation of Liberal Party vetting of federal judicial appointments. Opposition MPs had asked that Attorney General David Lametti appear for questioning on the use of Party lists in hiring judges: "It undermines the credibility of those people who have been appointed to the bench." READ MORE

Guest Commentary

Peter C. Newman

The Ham Sandwich

Whenever I got together with friends, as soon as we’d sit down to a meal with other boys or somebody else’s parents, I immediately ordered a ham sandwich. That meant I wasn’t Jewish. That was my disguise. “Oh, he’s eating a ham sandwich; he can’t be Jewish.” That’s how bad it was. The only thing most Canadians knew about Jews is they don’t eat ham. So if you ate a ham sandwich – well, okay, come on in. It was that kind of society. Everything had rules and you couldn’t break them. I went to Upper Canada College. To be accepted in Canadian society in those years, you really had to be Scottish.