Preparing For Pandemic Vote

Elections Canada on Saturday named returning officers in all federal ridings nationwide. And cabinet in a Ministerial Mandate letter said it will speed a bill to enforce pandemic rules in a vote: "What happens when a province unfortunately goes through a very severe outbreak and has stay-in orders for its population?"

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Feds Offer Credit Protection

The Canada Revenue Agency says it will offer free credit protection to any 2021 tax filer who discovers they were victimized by identity thieves claiming $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit cheques. The Agency to date has not disclosed the scope of fraud under the program that went 240 percent over budget: "Many Canadians had their identities stolen."

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Gov’t Seeks More Restrictions

Canadians should expect more intensive pandemic controls, says the Public Health Agency. Measures to date including lockdowns and curfews are insufficient, it said: "Do I absolutely need to go out today?"

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Feds Mandate ‘Prairie Vision’

Cabinet in a Ministerial Mandate letter proposes to “foster a vision for the Prairies.” The Liberal Party did not elect any candidates west of Winnipeg to the Rocky Mountains in the 2019 campaign: 'It can get tough.'

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Promise Air Traveler Refunds

The Department of Transport says it will “ensure” airlines refund billions in cash to customers whose prepaid flights were cancelled due to the pandemic. Federal regulators say they have logged more than 11,000 complaints from passengers who received vouchers as compensation: "Is the Government of Canada willing to back those tickets?"

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“A Dollar For A Soft Cover”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Noam Chomsky must be popular. 100 books and counting…”

Review: The 74%

Twenty-six percent of all new federal prisoners have already served time, which begs the question: Whatever happened to the other 74 percent who served time and never returned? On The Outside looks for answers. The result is fresh and compelling research on life after prison.

The authors interview longtime inmates including those jailed for serious violent crimes that once earned the death penalty. One hides his past from his children and “aspires to a simple life filled with laughter.” Another complains he must learn how to buy groceries: “People have been cooking my meals for twenty-two years and all of a sudden I gotta cook my breakfast.” A third ex-convict is upset by the loss of civility in polite society: “Personal rudeness in the prison system is not tolerated under any circumstances, at least in the old days when I was there.”

On The Outside is no celebration of rehabilitation. Former inmates interviewed by the authors appear broken men, some guilt-ridden, some unapologetic.

Plead For Contractors’ Help

The $657 million-a year Public Health Agency is hiring private contractors by the hour to manage its pandemic response. The plea for outside help follows the Prime Minister’s boast that Canada was “among the best prepared countries in the world” when Covid struck.

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Oppose “Bias” In Food Guide

The Department of Health will spend more than $90,000 to encourage Canadians to eat more ‘culturally diverse’ foods. Staff awarded a contract to a Canada Food Guide consultant who complained too many white people run restaurants: "The wine industry is overwhelmingly white."

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Gov’t Denies Score-Settling

The Public Health Agency in a briefing note denies blacklisting a federal grant application by a scientist who criticized its work. Professor Amir Attaran of the University of Ottawa’s School of Epidemiology told MPs he was asked to remove his name from a funding request because “I was negative.”

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PM Rejects Covid “Passport”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday rejected any scheme to require that Canadians prove whether they’ve been vaccinated for Covid-19. The issue is too divisive, he said: "There are a broad range of reasons why someone might not get vaccinated."

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‘Extreme Wealth’ Tax Is $1M

A federal proposal to tax “extreme wealth” would raise one million dollars next year, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. It would take more than a decade to see more serious revenues, analysts said: "Revenues generated by this new measure will gradually increase over the next few years."

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Foreign Aid CEO Paid $398K

Jesse Moore, millionaire CEO of a company in Africa that received taxpayers’ funding in the name of Third World development, has a six-figure salary and $633,000 in stock options, according to accounts. The federal agency that bought shares in Moore’s company yesterday refused comment: "I could do whatever I wanted to do."

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“March Madness” Cost $28M

Not even a pandemic dimmed “March Madness” spending by federal agencies last year, records show. Managers approved millions in expenses marked “miscellaneous” in the dying hours of the fiscal year last March 31: "That's a problem."

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‘Protect’ Public From Twitter

Cabinet will introduce 2021 regulations to curb Twitter and Facebook posts deemed hurtful or offensive, says Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault's department. Hate speech is already forbidden under 1970 amendments to the Criminal Code: "We want to protect Canadians online."

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