Web Critics Are ‘Tinfoil Hats’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday dismissed criticism of first-ever federal internet regulation as the work of conspiracy theorists. “Tinfoil hats,” he said.

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Unaware Of Ineligible Loans

Access To Information records show Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office was unaware of millions in pandemic loans paid to businesses that never qualified in the first place. Staff in internal emails expressed puzzlement over payment of interest-free loans in breach of the rules: "Can I get concrete examples?"

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Find 12-yr Olds Use Cannabis

Schoolchildren as young as 12 are using cannabis with frequent users of high school age now vaping daily, says Department of Health research. Data follow warnings that Parliament normalized cannabis use when it legalized it in 2018: "Many youth and young adults report they usually vape cannabis with friends or at parties."

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May Need Fed Straw Permits

The Department of Environment yesterday said it’s unsure if Canadians will require federal permits to import plastic straws under a proposed national ban. MPs on the Commons environment committee pressed for details of cabinet’s plan to restrict single use plastics: "I know there’s a bit of confusion about this."

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Nap Time Firing Overturned

A federal labour board has overturned the firing of a prison guard who fell asleep on the job. The Correctional Service of Canada called the guard’s conduct “abhorrent and ridiculous.”

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Homeowners Got Rich While Sleeping, Watching TV: Prof.

A federally-funded advocate of a home equity tax yesterday told the Commons finance committee homeowners got rich “while sleeping and watching TV.” Professor Paul Kershaw of the University of British Columbia proposed a yearly tax on property assessments for principal residences: "Think about how do you calculate the additional minor tax we’re asking people to contribute over the years that they’re living in their home."

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Electric Subsidy Worth $620/t

Electric car subsidies have cost taxpayers the equivalent of more than $600 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions saved, according to figures. The Department of Transport yesterday praised subsidies as successful: "I think it’s essential to ensure the well-being of Canadians."

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Senate Takes Up Bookie Bill

The Senate last night took up a private Conservative bill to legalize bookmaking. The Senate sponsor cited a lobbyist-commissioned report that tax revenues from single event sports betting could top a half-billion a year: "Imagine the impact of these revenues."

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MPs Like Climate Act 210-122

The Commons yesterday by a 210-122 vote gave Second Reading to a bill mandating climate change targets leading to net zero emissions within a generation. There are no penalties for non-compliance: "Fascinating."

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Predict Slow Recovery At VIA

VIA Rail faces a slow recovery from the pandemic, the Senate national finance committee was told yesterday. The Crown railway in 2020 received a $187.5 million bailout to offset declines in ticket sales: "They are at a very slow service level."

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NDP Wavers On Censor Bill

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault yesterday lost NDP support to speed a YouTube censorship bill through the minority Parliament. New Democrats on the Commons heritage committee said they must determine if the bill violates the Charter Of Rights And Freedoms: "It’s important for people to have dissent."

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Wary Of Driver Surveillance

Canadians are divided over federal plans for a mammoth data scoop on every citizen who crosses the border, according to in-house research. First-ever regulations to take effect in 2028 would allow the Canada Border Services Agency to keep records on everyone who leaves Canada for any reason: "Do they want to know how much money I make?"

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Wake Up On China: Advisor

MPs must be wide awake to subterfuge by agents of China in Canada, a former national security director last night told a parliamentary hearing. “They are very subtle, these activities,” said Richard Fadden. “There’s no smoking gun.”

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Blames Racist “Half-Truths”

Canadian reporters “who do not see themselves as racist” are responsible for “half-truths” that blame Asian investors for high urban house prices, says a Liberal Senate appointee. Senator Yuen Pau Woo (B.C.) did not comment on cabinet’s proposal for a $175 million-a year equity tax on offshore real estate speculators: "Anti-Asian racism (in) Vancouver is fueled by false narratives around ‘Chinese’ culpability for housing affordability."

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Climate Leader Emissions Up

The federal Department of Environment says greenhouse gas emissions are up again in British Columbia, hailed by cabinet as a model for the federal carbon tax. The province on April 1 raised its provincial tax to $45 per tonne: "That is exactly what we know will work right across the country."

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