Says Oath’s Not Mere Words

Changes to the Oath Of Citizenship are not mere words, Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino yesterday told the Senate. A cabinet bill “makes a crucial addition,” he said: “It is a public declaration of joining our country and everyone who calls it home.”

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Bankruptcy Act Benefits 1.2M

A bill granting preference to pensioners in bankruptcy court settlements would benefit more than a million private sector workers, the Commons industry committee was told yesterday. The private bill follows protests over insolvencies like the 2018 collapse of Sears Canada that left pensioners with under-funded plans: “Pensioners should be fully paid.”

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Not Hiding, Says Fed Cabinet

Cabinet yesterday declined comment on internal emails from a federal lab indicating executives were wary over ties to China prior to an RCMP raid on the facility. “The government is not hiding documents,” said Senator Marc Gold (Que.), Government Representative in the Senate, who complained MPs were making “excessive demands” for records in the case.

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Get It Done Or Quit: Senators

Senators yesterday challenged Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson to resign from his $274,500-a year post if he fails to meet his own climate change targets. Wilkinson declined. “I actually don’t accept the premise,” he told the Senate energy committee: “That, in my mind, is not correct.”

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MPs Like Offshore Cash Curb

The Commons yesterday by a 180-147 vote endorsed a temporary ban on residential real estate purchases by offshore foreigners. The Opposition motion asked that cabinet “examine a temporary freeze” for an indeterminate period: “Housing shouldn’t be taken over by speculators.”

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Senate Panel Passes Porn Bill

The Senate legal affairs committee last night passed a private bill restricting children’s access to online pornography. Penalties for website operators range from $500,000 fines to six months’ jail with personal liability for corporate directors: “You have to block it.”

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Teen Vote Bill Survives 55-19

A Senate bill to give 16-year olds the vote yesterday survived a floor challenge. Senators by a 55-19 margin rejected a proposal to kill the bill: “Young people very much want to speak to senators in their own voices for a deeper examination of this pressing issue.”

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Exec Wary Of China Contacts

Internal emails disclose the scientific director of a federal lab was uneasy over close ties with researchers in China. Two employees were fired January 20 at the National Microbiology Laboratory in circumstances unexplained to date: “We still don’t know why these two scientists were terminated.”

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CMHC Targets The Suburbs

Homeowners nationwide must embrace high density housing for the sake of climate change, CMHC said yesterday. The federal mortgage insurer said it would help in “unblocking those barriers” that favour construction of single family homes: ‘We feel NIMBYism and zoning issues are very significant barriers.’

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Would Freeze Offshore Buys

The Commons yesterday considered a temporary freeze on foreign offshore purchases of residential real estate in Canada. Opposition parties blamed non-resident speculators for rising costs: “Actions of foreign speculators and investors are increasing home prices for regular Canadians.”

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$3M Jobs Program Mediocre

A federal Job Match service for the unemployed “did not work very well” and few employers use it, says an internal report. The Department of Employment has operated the program since 2015 at a cost of $3.3 million a year: “Officials recognized the Job Match service did not work.”

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Red Memorial Over Budget

A federal monument to Cold War victims is now 284 percent over budget and incomplete. The Department of Canadian Heritage blamed the pandemic, though the project has been on the drawing board since 2009: “The design team experienced delays related to ensuring the Memorial is buildable.”

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Claims Support For Web Regs

Only a minority of Canadians oppose federal regulation of legal internet content, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault said yesterday. Guilbeault said a bill mandating “content moderation” will be introduced shortly, though the Minister has made similar statements since March 31: “It’s going to be about an entire new ecosystem.”

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Cabinet Defies House Order

Cabinet yesterday defied a House order in refusing to release uncensored accounts of an RCMP raid at a federal lab. Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said cabinet had a “responsibility as a government” not to discuss the police raid or subsequent January 20 firing of two Chinese scientists granted secret security clearance by the Public Health Agency: ‘Certain information touches on possible security implications.’

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MPs Pass C-10 Gag, 181-147

The Commons yesterday voted 181-147 to gag committee deliberation of Bill C-10 on regulation of legal internet content. One MP called it a far-reaching precedent that will see committees muzzled in future years: “This kind of motion on time allocation will do real damage to this place, not just today, not just tomorrow, but in the coming years.”

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