Drivers To Pay Billions More

Canadian drivers will pay billions more for gas and diesel under new climate change regulations to be detailed Saturday. “The regulations may increase fuel prices” in addition to the current 12¢ a litre carbon tax on gasoline, said the Department of Environment: “Certainly there are additional costs.”

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Food Labels Delayed Again

The Department of Health is granting the food industry another four years to comply with new warning labels intended to cut Canadians’ consumption of sugar, salt and fat. Regulations to be finalized tomorrow and originally scheduled to take effect in 2022 will cost industry a half billion, by official estimate: “Costs to industry are anticipated to be significant.”

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MPs Propose Fertilizer Aid

Cabinet should subsidize Canadian fertilizer producers to counter the impact of collapsing farm exports from Ukraine, the Commons agriculture committee said yesterday. Extraordinary measures are needed “given the urgency and severity of what we are collectively facing,” wrote MPs.

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Will Disclose Convoy Papers

Secret papers detailing cabinet’s use of emergency powers against the Freedom Convoy will be publicly disclosed, a judicial inquiry said yesterday. The Rouleau Commission called it an “exceptional step” in unraveling why cabinet invoked the Emergencies Act against truckers protesting vaccine mandates: “I am committed to ensuring the inquiry will be fair and open.”

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Pay Hikes worth $6,000 Each

CMHC employees received the equivalent of more than $6,000 in pay raises through the pandemic, according to Access To Information records obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. The pay hikes were in addition to performance bonuses that averaged $11,000 a year: “We share in the tragedy and the fact the pandemic has made things worse for homeless people.”

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Gov’t Warns On Equity Loans

Uninsured homeowners with mortgages and lines of credit must have a minimum 35 percent paid-up equity in their property, Canada’s chief bank inspector said yesterday. Rules targeting more than $200 billion in outstanding loans will take effect next year: “A portion of principal payments will go towards reducing their overall mortgage amount until it is below 65 percent.”

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Find Tax Dodge Much Worse

Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier yesterday acknowledged the value of taxes owed but never collected is billions more than originally claimed. Legislators have spent six years prodding the Canada Revenue Agency to calculate the so-called “tax gap.”

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Couldn’t Run With Vax Rules

The Canadian Pacific Railway could not fully comply with a federal vaccinate mandate and keep the trains running safely, according to labour board records. The CPR said full compliance would “place the critical operations of the railroad at risk.”

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Suburban Values Worry Bank

The Bank of Canada warns of “downward pressure” on suburban homes following above-normal price gains in the past three years. “A shift in relative prices could be especially problematic,” wrote researchers: “Prices in the suburbs could face downward pressure.”

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“Privacy Risks” In Gov’t App

The Canada Border Services Agency identified “privacy risks” in a biometric scheme to track air travelers, according to records. It involved a little-known pilot project run through a single airport last year: “Privacy risks and their proposed mitigating measures were identified.”

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Poker King Wins In Tax Court

A champion poker player beat the Canada Revenue Agency in Tax Court. A judge has ruled Jonathan Duhamel, first Canadian to win the World Series of Poker, did not have to declare winnings as taxable business income: “The ability to produce a gain in the game of poker is unpredictable.”

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Threatened Bird Is Unloved

“Negative perceptions” threaten a drab seabird that remains unloved compared to Newfoundland and Labrador’s famed puffin, says a federal study. The Department of Environment paid researchers $39,105 to survey Newfoundlanders’ emotional reaction to the “dirty,” “stinky” Leach’s Storm-Petrel compared to the popular puffin: “Seeing puffins made them feel happy, compassionate, excited.”

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PM Gets Mail By The Millions

Canadians writing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have a five percent chance of getting a reply, records show. The Privy Council Office explained the Prime Minister gets a lot of junk mail: “Almost every day as Prime Minister I learn new things.”

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Vax Mandate Was OK: Ruling

School trustees were entitled to suspend or fire teachers even if vaccine mandates were not medically justified, a labour arbitrator has ruled. The decision came in the case of an Ontario school board that disciplined 52 elementary teachers who declined to show proof of vaccination: “There is no dispute that none of the provincial or public health authorities required or specifically recommended the board make vaccination mandatory.”

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