Ottawa Is Stay-Home Capital

Ottawa is the nation’s stay-home capital of the pandemic, Statistics Canada said yesterday. Nearly half the city’s workforce stayed home with pay after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau advised the public to “figure out how to stay home from work and work from home” as a Covid precaution: "This is what we all need to be doing."

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Don’t Trust China, Feds Told

Most Canadians don’t trust China says in-house research by the Privy Council Office. Data were released as the Chinese Embassy accused Canada of torturing Indigenous people: "The Canadian government must address by concrete actions, not just words, its historic and ongoing systemic racism."

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Over The Top Even In Québec

A national regulator yesterday cited a Montréal TV station for broadcasting pornography to 13-year olds. The National Broadcast Standards Council said while Québecers have different viewing habits than the rest of the country, depicting sex acts as suitable viewing for Grade Six students went too far: "A Francophone market might tolerate more explicit sexual content than would an Anglophone market."

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Won’t Testify On Tax Cut Act

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday ignored a committee summons to explain her opposition to a tax cut for farmers, small business and fishing corporations. The Commons finance committee two weeks ago summoned Freeland for questioning: "The Minister made her decision."

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‘Open Banking’ Needs Regs

A proposal for “open banking” to allow electronic shopping by consumers for the best rates on loans and deposits will require numerous rewrites to federal laws, a cabinet advisory panel said yesterday. Bankers and insurance lobbyists have opposed the measure: 'Consumers must have confidence they are protected if something goes wrong.'

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CBC Ad Sales Down Again

CBC advertising revenues fell again last year by 18 percent. The Crown broadcaster said it will require more federal grants to offset commercial losses, and acknowledged forecasts of a sales boon from the Tokyo Olympics was speculative: "We will be a beacon for truth."

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59% Fear Threat To Freedoms

Most Canadians rate the pandemic a threat to rights and freedoms with a large minority wary of the vaccine rollout, says in-house Privy Council Office research. Forty percent said they believed Covid “is part of a global effort to enforce mandatory vaccination.” The rate was highest, 45 percent, in Saskatchewan and Manitoba: "True or false: The world’s largest pharmaceutical companies have been deliberately delaying or hiding the development of a vaccine that could end the Covid-19 pandemic in order to drive up the price."

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Can’t Force Vaccines: Report

Mandating vaccination spells “a loss of fundamental rights,” says a federal agency. Health Minister Patricia Hajdu yesterday acknowledged millions of Canadians are “still questioning whether it’s right for them,” but stopped short of advocating coercion: "Government surveillance diminishes the level of freedom one expects in a democracy."

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Censure ‘Butt Cover’ Memo

The Royal Bank has been cited by a judge for refusing to pay a life insurance claim based on a “cover your butt memo.” Ontario Superior Court ordered bankers to pay the $250,000 death benefit and 100 percent of a widow’s legal costs: "RBC’s conduct has been heavy handed."

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Will Revive Indigenous Law

Attorney General David Lametti yesterday endorsed adoption of ancient legal practices on First Nations territory. “We are here to celebrate your efforts to revitalize your legal traditions,” said Lametti: "This brings me hope as a Minister and as a jurist."

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On Hook For $1.2B In Loans

Taxpayers have fully guaranteed more than a billion in Crown bank loans to unidentified companies that reported disastrous revenue losses due to the pandemic. Union executives have asked that borrowers be publicly named: "That’s information the public should know."

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Payroll Damages Near $438M

An estimated 175,000 federal employees have received compensation over payroll errors, says a Department of Public Works briefing note. The department did not disclose the cost but acknowledged maximum damages would total nearly half a billion: "We will always have respect for taxpayer dollars."

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Covid Outlook “Precarious”

Canada’s Covid outlook is “slightly precarious” with infection rates on the rise since July 18 and likely to continue upwards into September, says Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer. Even Canadians who are fully vaccinated must wear masks indoors this fall, said Tam: "Vaccinated people can carry the virus and then transmit to others."

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Widows Cannot Double Dip

Widows who outlive two husbands cannot double their survivors’ benefits under the Canada Pension Plan, says a federal judge. Parliament intended the Plan to operate as an insurance program not “a social welfare scheme,” said the Federal Court of Appeal: "Giving to some takes from others."

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Lost Claim To Mass Copying

Canada’s third largest university has lost a claim to photocopy millions of pages of copyright works for free. The Supreme Court in a 9-0 ruling dismissed the appeal by York University: "It has resulted in a 76 percent decrease in royalties to creators and publishers."

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