Canadians ‘Don’t Like Rich Asians’, Complains Senator

A British Columbia senator in an interview with a Hong Kong newspaper complained Canadians don’t like rich Asians. The remarks followed a cabinet proposal to impose a $217 million-a year equity tax on foreign real estate speculators: "For some weird reason we don’t like the rich ones."

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Grow Carrots In The Arctic

The Privy Council in Access To Information memos proposed to fund large-scale construction of subsidized greenhouses to grow carrots and tomatoes in the Arctic. Staff cited a “potential to launch” in 2020 or 2021: "A broad range of interventions and solutions are required."

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Feds Vow Speedy Gun Bill

Cabinet will act quickly to introduce another gun bill following today’s resumption of Parliament, said Public Safety Minister Bill Blair. “There is no greater urgency than making sure our community is safe,” he told reporters.

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Can’t Fire For Mailed Hashish

The Canada Border Services Agency has been ordered to rehire an officer dismissed for taking delivery of hashish by post. A federal labour board awarded the employee two years’ back pay with benefits: "Termination was too severe."

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Untimely Death, No Benefits

An Ontario court has denied workplace death benefits to a firefighter who dropped dead of a heart attack at 47. Heart attacks are the leading cause of death for fire crew: "Firefighters have a physically active job."

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Sunday Poem: “Alienation”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Albertans believe they are treated unfairly, citing job losses, taxation, environmental regulations and difficulty in getting resources to markets…”

Review – Nazis In Northern Ontario

Hitler’s publicist once spent the winter in Red Rock, Ont., humming the Horst Wessel Song and cursing his fate. In the carnival of Canadian oddities, none is more curious than The Little Third Reich On Lake Superior. Historian Ernest Zimmerman of Lakehead University chronicles the strange events that saw 1,150 men and boys – Jews and Nazis alike – herded into bunkhouses northeast of Thunder Bay in the winter of 1940.

It was a “third-rate jungle prison”, one inmate recalled; another complained it was like being kidnapped and dragged into the wilderness. “They deeply resented the treatment,” Zimmerman writes; “They resented being in foreign surroundings, away from home, and being treated as prisoners of war rather than refugees.”

Confirm Cronyism In Hiring

An internal report cites cronyism in the Department of Public Works. Unnamed employees privately complained to an ombudsman of preferential hiring by managers, including sweetheart appointments of family members: "Many employees are afraid to speak openly."

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Can’t Rush U.S. Trade Pact

Cabinet yesterday said it's resigned to parliamentary hearings on a continental free trade pact. Two opposition parties questioned the agreement, while the Senate trade committee has asked for greater scrutiny of claimed benefits of all trade deals: "This is way too important to stall."

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Repair After ‘Abysmal’ Audit

Parks Canada yesterday said it’s restoring a decrepit 18th century landmark after auditors faulted the agency for letting the property fall into disrepair. The Auditor General rated Old Montréal’s Joseph-Louis Papineau House in poor condition though Parks Canada has owned it since 1982: "I mean, the government doesn't look good."

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Fed Challenge On Herbicide

The Federal Court yesterday opened hearings on a challenge of Health Canada’s continued licensing of a bestselling weed killer. Lawyers for Safe Food Matters Inc. sued to halt the sale of glyphosate marketed under the Roundup brand developed by Monsanto Co.: "We know it’s in lentils, chickpeas and baby food."

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Court Ends Plastics Lawsuit

The Supreme Court yesterday without comment dismissed an appeal by the City of Victoria to ban single-use plastic bags. Plastics manufacturers accused the city of trying to demonize their business: "We are doing a job."

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Major Flood At Nt’l Archives

The national archives suffered a “major flood” in 2018 that damaged books and records but withheld information from the public. The agency yesterday denied any parts of its collection were ruined, though an auditors’ report cited “damage” and photos obtained through Access To Information showed an inch of water pooled on the floor: "Water is pouring in."

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Insurer Wins Marijuana Case

Insurers may reject claims by homeowners who fail to report marijuana on the property, the British Columbia Court of Appeal said yesterday. Judges upheld the refusal by Wawanesa Mutual Co. of Winnipeg to honour payouts under a $1.37 million policy to a cannabis grower: "Would it matter if I grew tomatoes or cucumbers?"

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Rate Cut Worth $25 A Month

A cabinet promise to cut cellphone bills by a quarter would save Canadians $11 to $25 a month, according to CRTC data. Legislators have grumbled over weak federal regulation of rates for mobile service plans: "It’s basically a cartel, let’s face it."

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