Fake News Trail Runs Cold

A first-ever federal investigation of fake election news has come up empty. A byelection hoax traced by the Commissioner of Elections to a Tel Aviv software company saw Canadian investigators question the broker, an Israeli daily today reported: "The item was published in good faith and without malice."

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Fear CRA Will Block Appeals

The Canada Revenue Agency has gone to extraordinary lengths to deny legitimate claims for credits, say tax consultants. The Agency proposes to cap consultants’ fees in a move that would curb Tax Court challenges of its rulings, said advocates: “People had nothing, they will get nothing.”

Stamp Prices Go Up Again

Canada Post is again raising stamp rates by $8.8 million after winning cabinet approval for a $26 million increase last January 14. Management cited “challenging weather” in justifying its rates.

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Edible Pot For Sale Dec. 17

Health Canada will license the retail sale of cannabis edibles as early as December 17. The trade raises “fundamental concerns” about drug consumption in the workplace, employers earlier warned: "There are no obvious smells."

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Senate OKs Lost Dialects Bill

The Senate has passed a cabinet bill to appoint a Commissioner of Indigenous Languages. More than 60 Indigenous dialects are spoken nationwide, by official estimate: 'Five generations have brought us to where we are today.'

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Sunday Poem: “Elections”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Andrew Scheer faces a delicate task…”

Book Review — “Back At 11 am”

In the days before Facebook, police reporters visited families that suffered sudden, tragic loss to request a photo of their loved one to print in the local newspaper. You’d think families resented the intrusion, but the opposite was more often the case. Grieving parents typically invited the reporter into their home, as if press interest validated the fact their child’s death mattered, that even strangers cared.

This same sentiment must have prompted Mr. and Mrs. Smith of 16 Geneva Avenue to deposit their lost son Charlie’s diary with the Baldwin Collection of Canadiana at the Toronto Reference Library. He was a good boy who died tragically. He mattered. And there his diary sat in a box, year after year, until it was discovered by poet Jonathan Locke Hart and transformed into this beautiful book, Unforgetting Private Charles Smith.

23¢ Carbon Tax More Like It

Cabinet yesterday said it will never raise the 12¢-a litre carbon tax on gasoline though the Parliamentary Budget Office warned at least 23¢ is needed to meet emission targets. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna did not explain how targets will be met: "The price will not go up."

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First Senate Audit In Years

The Senate budget committee yesterday endorsed an independent audit of its $114 million administration for the first time since 2012. It follows disclosures Senate managers broke contracting rules in spending $95,000 for doormen and ushers: "Troubles begin."

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Feds Shrug Off Audit Cuts

The Department of Finance yesterday rejected additional funding for the Office of the Auditor General despite a cut of nearly fifty percent in the number of yearly audits. “They weren’t stonewalled,” said Assistant Deputy Finance Minister Nicholas Leswick: "They didn't receive nothing."

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Farm Lobby Loses Fish Act

Cabinet yesterday rejected a key Senate amendment to the Fisheries Act sought by farm lobbyists, and cut short debate to speed the bill into law. “We are planning to get things done,” said Fisheries Minister Jonathan Wilkinson.

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Need More Animal Bills: AG

A bill to curb dogfighting for sport yesterday was endorsed by the Senate social affairs committee. Attorney General David Lametti said the bill “does not go far enough” and should prompt other animal protections: "There is much more work to be done."

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Challenge CRTC At Cabinet

Cabinet faces a rare petition to overturn a CRTC decision dubbed a $20 million subsidy for Rogers Media Inc. “The Commission caved,” said a rival applicant for a lucrative license to broadcast multilingual news programming nationwide: "Any other decision would have been better."

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Pharmacare ‘On The Ballot’

Pharmacare should be a ballot box question this election, the Canadian Labour Congress said yesterday. A cabinet-appointed panel recommended Parliament enact a $15.3 billion-a year universal drug program by 2027: "It cannot be avoided anymore."

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Disclose Data On Bad Airlines

Transport Canada yesterday said it will begin monthly monitoring of major airlines for poor service including late flights and lost luggage. Data will be published online for consumers’ benefit, officials said: "Weak results would almost certainly spur efforts to improve."

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