‘Is Timbits Hockey Not OK?’

MPs yesterday questioned the scope of a Senate bill to restrict junk food advertising to children, including sports sponsorship. The legislation inspired by a 1980 Québec law would be far-reaching, said its sponsor: “Nobody spends money advertising broccoli and carrots.”

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Doctors Protest Cannabis Bill

The Canadian Medical Association yesterday appealed to senators to raise the minimum age for legal marijuana use to 21. Parliament should also restrict cannabis advertising, physicians said: “What are you going to advertise? It’s not good for them.”

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Drop Dead, Publishers Told

Directing government ad spending from Facebook to independent Canadian newspapers would burden taxpayers, says Treasury Board President Scott Brison. Cabinet dismissed publishers’ warnings the federal policy has driven local media to ruin: “Either way, the one who is losing is Canada.”

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Gov’t To Rewrite Spam Law

Cabinet will rewrite anti-spam rules following business complaints that 2014 regulations are onerous, vague and ineffective in combating malicious emails. “The more explicit the legislation and its obligations are, the more effective the Act will be,” said Industry Minister Navdeep Bains.

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Privacy Loophole Okayed

Cabinet yesterday finalized regulations allowing companies to forego individual notices to customers whose personal information is hacked or stolen. The rules take effect November 1: “To protect consumers, we avoid notifying consumers. It’s bizarre.”

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Open-Minded On Post Banks

Canada Post is “very open-minded” on reviving retail banking services, the newly-appointed chair of the board yesterday told the Commons committee on government operations. Jessica McDonald said she will consider releasing a redacted 811-page analysis obtained by Blacklock’s in 2014 that rated postal banks a “win-win” for the corporation: “I have asked for that report to be looked at again.”

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Pot Bill To See Amendments

Amendments to a marijuana bill will be considered following a flawed process that saw cabinet present Canadians with a fait accompli, says the deputy chair of the Senate aboriginal peoples committee. “The cake is baked,” said Senator Scott Tannas (Conservative-Alta.).

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Basic Income To Cost $43B

A national guaranteed income program would cost about $43.1 billion a year and benefit 7.7 million Canadians, the Parliamentary Budget Office yesterday calculated. The report followed a 2017 Senate vote urging that cabinet investigate such a plan: “It doesn’t cut to the key question of behavioural impact.”

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MPs Question Free Copying

Universities yesterday appealed to the Commons industry committee to uphold a “fair dealing” provision of the Copyright Act that allows free copying for research purposes. Skeptical MPs questioned claims that schools spend millions on materials while revenues decline for small Canadian publishers: “Where is the money going?”

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Oil & Gas Rewrite “Vast”

A cabinet rewrite of oil and gas regulations is unprecedented in its scope, a Suncor Energy Inc. lobbyist yesterday told the Commons energy committee. The bill would mandate a federal assessment of cumulative environmental impacts of all new oil and gas projects: “Proceed with great care.”

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Expect Pot Delays At Border

Marijuana searches will lead to longer border lineups, trucking executives and a border city mayor yesterday told the Senate national security committee. Cannabis remains contraband at Canada-U.S. crossings even if Parliament passes a legalization bill: ‘We’ve heard through the grapevine there are concerns out there.’

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Will Not Define Harassment

Liberal MPs on the Commons human resources committee yesterday rejected union proposals to strictly define harassment in an anti-harassment bill. Labour Minister Patricia Hajdu in a letter to MPs said details should be left to regulators: “Do not say you’ll fix it in regulations.”

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Expectations Rise With Prices

The higher home prices go, the faster consumers expect them to rise, according to Bank of Canada research. The Bank based its findings on a survey of 1,000 households that asked, “What would you say is the percent chance that, over the next 12 months, the average home price nationwide will increase or decrease?”

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“Fact Is, Smoke Is Smoke”

Cabinet’s proposal to legalize marijuana will set back anti-smoking efforts, health advocates yesterday told the Senate social affairs committee. Health Canada has targeted a reduction of 3 million tobacco users nationwide even as it co-sponsored legislation to legalize cannabis: “We’re absolutely concerned about an increase in marijuana consumption.”

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