Sunday Poem: “The Storm”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom writes: “Winds of 100 km/h batter Quebec. Nearly a million customers without power. Hydro crews wear orange protective gear, gloves, and hard hats…”

Book Review: The Shipboard Debate

In 1874 a Scottish immigrant ship the Moravian glided past the pretty farms and hamlets of the St. Lawrence River valley. Passengers gathered on deck after a long transatlantic journey.

“A discussion broke out among a number of the ship’s passengers,” writes author Peter Price. “‘Who are Canadians?’ asked one person. For the gathered passengers, most of whom were laying eyes on the shores of Canada for the first time, it was a question with no obvious answer. A ‘person born in Canada is always considered a Canadian,’ one person insisted. This answer made little sense to another, who retorted that ‘a fellow can’t be a horse because he was born in a stable.’”

Yet Canada survived. Most nations indexed in the 19th century atlas did not. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czarist Russia, Kingdoms of Bavaria, Serbia and Hawaii, Republic of Cuba, Qing Empire, Orange Free State, all gone. The list of industrialized nations to survive intact for 156 years without civil war is a short list, yet Canada did it.

Queen Was Racist: Appointee

A Toronto Star writer who advocated deposing the Queen as racist and opposed Canada Day as a celebration of “European, Judeo-Christian storytelling” yesterday was named Special Representative on Combating Islamophobia. Cabinet aides would not comment on the writings of activist Amira Elghawaby: "Time to wake up."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Cannot Count Wasted Billions

There is no current estimate of how many billions were wasted on the costliest pandemic subsidy program, the Canada Revenue Agency yesterday told the Commons public accounts committee. “It really was a first-time thing for everybody so there’s lots of lessons to be learned,” testified Revenue Commissioner Bob Hamilton: "It’s hard to say."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Says Green Plan’s Inflationary

Federal climate change programs fuel inflation, the Bank of Canada said yesterday. Researchers said green energy “raises costs.”

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Pay $310,000 For Lies, Gossip

The federal prison system has been ordered to pay an employee $310,000 in damages for malicious mistreatment. Management peddled gossip and slander in falsely accusing a British Columbia guard of smuggling drugs, wrote a labour board arbitrator: "The employer’s conduct through the unfortunately lengthy saga from 2016 to 2020 was malicious, reprehensible, deliberate and shameful."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

VIA Rail Versus Freight Cars

Better passenger service would require VIA Rail to gain priority over freight traffic on main lines, the CEO of the Crown agency yesterday told the Commons transport committee. “Railways dictate the priority,” testified Martin Landry: "Give, for example, greater priority for passenger train services."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Warns 2023 Won’t Feel Good

The new year is “not going to feel good," Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said yesterday. A long-forecast recession follows another increase in the bank’s prime rate: "I don’t want to minimize the risks."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Hear Rogers To Cut 4,000 Jobs

Rogers Communications will cut 4,000 to 5,000 jobs if cabinet approves its buyout of rival Shaw Communications, a Conservative MP yesterday told the Commons industry committee. MP Rick Perkins (South Shore-St. Margarets, N.S.) said he was told of massive layoffs by company insiders: "I’m told Rogers will actually cut 4,000 to 5,000 jobs."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Anti-Trust Fears Over Merger

The $26 billion buyout of two of Canada’s four largest telecom companies will impact consumers, federal anti-trust lawyers yesterday told the Commons industry committee. Rogers Communications’  proposed purchase of Shaw Communications of Calgary has passed all regulatory hurdles to date: "Just say no."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Not Two Sides To Every Story

A national scientific panel yesterday blamed media misinformation in part on the “journalistic norm” of presenting two sides to every story. Publicizing alternative viewpoints on issues like carbon taxes creates a “false balance of perspectives,” said the Council of Canadian Academies: "People perceive lower levels of consensus."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Vax Policy Was ‘Devastating’

Workplace vaccine mandates may have been “personally devastating” for some employees but remained lawful, a New Brunswick labour arbitrator has ruled. The decision came in the case of six utility workers suspended five months without pay after declining to show proof they were immunized: "They were faced with a difficult choice."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Dep’t Admits Misinformation

The Department of Infrastructure admits it misinformed Parliament and taxpayers under then-Minister Catherine McKenna. Budget reports tabled in the Commons and published online misrepresented hundreds of millions in spending: "How many times did the government put out misinformation?"

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

Layoffs Overwhelm Subsidies

Newspapers have cut so many jobs that subsidies contingent on numbers of newsroom employees are 43 percent under budget. Taxpayers’ payroll rebates of $13,750 per staffer could not avert layoffs, data show: "The loss of even just one job is a tragedy."

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)

$24,000 For Carney’s Group

Federal departments and agencies paid thousands to a Liberal-affiliated think tank chaired by Mark Carney, records show. The former central bank governor last May 26 was appointed chair of Canada 2020 to promote “ambitious progressive public policy solutions.”

This content is for Blacklock’s Reporter members only. Please login to view this content. (Register here.)