Environment Canada will not detail the impact of its $50 per tonne national carbon tax on greenhouse gas emissions. “I don’t have that number offhand,” Deputy Minister Stephen Lucas yesterday told the Commons environment committee. MPs asked the question 16 times: "Give us the number. I’m looking for a number." READ MORE
Cannabis trafficking by federal mail is a worry under cabinet’s bill to legalize marijuana, RCMP yesterday told the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee. The Canada Post Corporation Act forbids police from intercepting mail in transit, and the Canada Border Services Agency cannot inspect mail under 30 grams: "It’s a very significant challenge, I admit. The volume is huge." READ MORE
Senators yesterday warned of international consequences if Parliament legalizes marijuana. The Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledges the bill breaches three United Nations conventions, but calls it a minor violation: "Whether it is in your opinion minor or major is not the issue." READ MORE
The Senate last evening gave Second Reading to a bill repealing a 95-year ban on recreational marijuana. The 44 to 29 vote sends the bill to ongoing hearings of five separate committees: "It's not over till it's over." READ MORE
The Canada Revenue Agency since 2011 has cut by 10 percent the number of staff assigned to tracking serious tax evasion, records show. The Agency says it now targets only the “most egregious” tax dodgers: "The cuts make no sense." READ MORE
A Commons motion asks that MPs strike a committee to revive postal banks disbanded in 1968. Cabinet has rejected the proposal to date, instead suggesting Canada Post consider cutting mail delivery to save costs: "Why on earth would we abandon something that’s very clearly needed?" READ MORE
Health Canada spent $60,000 on a marijuana warning label mandated for use on legal cannabis products. The symbol looks strikingly similar to the Team Canada hockey logos at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, one legislator yesterday told the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee: "The leaf looks like the maple leaf." READ MORE
The military opened its first operational stress clinic in 2002. This is how recent the response has been to mental health issues in the military. We still don’t talk about it as openly as we should. For many years mental illness was hidden, and sufferers were isolated. One Yukon MP, George Black, commanded a machine gun company in WWI that left him deeply scarred. As Speaker of the Commons, Black patrolled Parliament Hill with a .22 calibre pistol shooting rabbits. He was hospitalized with a nervous breakdown in 1935; the newspapers said only that Black “was not well”.