Canada’s A Top Drug Dealer

Canadian drug dealers have become a top source of global marijuana shipments since Parliament legalized cannabis in 2018, says Department of Public Safety research. Black market dealers now ship tons of marijuana annually: "Canadian vendors are willing to ship anywhere in the world."

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Tinnitus Claims Increase 50%

A dramatic increase in RCMP disability claims is due in part to tinnitus, says federal research. Mounties’ disability benefits will cost nearly a half-billion dollars a year by 2023: "Hearing loss is the most prominent medical condition among released members."

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Airlines Lose Fare Fight

Federal regulators yesterday rejected a request from airlines for a blanket exemption from a decades-old rule that they calculate basic fares on all routes. “The fare, in Canadian dollars, must be identified,” wrote the Canadian Transportation Agency.

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Senate Libs End After 152 Yrs

Liberals yesterday were stripped of party status in the Senate for the first time in 152 years. The loss of committee assignments and $410,000 in research funding came as another Liberal appointee crossed the floor: "We are embracing the future."

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Feds Audit Syrian Program

Federally-sponsored Syrian families had higher unemployment and were more likely to rely on welfare than refugees sponsored by private charities, churches and community groups, says a Department of Immigration report. Current funding of Parliament’s $859 million Syrian resettlement program expires next fiscal year: "Some challenges remain."

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“Natural Person” Claim Fails

A federal judge has dismissed the latest “natural persons” challenge of the Income Tax Act. Auditors estimate thousands of Canadians have filed false tax returns as “natural persons” and claimed more than a half-billion dollars in refunds: "It's in the dictionary."

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Monitor $4.5M Welcome Plan

Federal consultants are being hired to monitor a $4.5 million-a year program to invite French-speaking immigrants to settle in cities where only one percent of residents speak French. Researchers are to interview neighbours with questions like: “Do community members and newcomers trust and understand each other?”

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“It Just Didn’t Take Off”

The Bandy Federation of Canada has wound up as a federally-registered charity just two years after winning a world championship. “It just didn’t take off,” said the retired president of the sports group.

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Poem: “Perpetual Motion”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “First there was a railway connecting downtown Ottawa to surrounding communities…”

Review: The Finest Table In The World

Poverty makes people work hard just as being chased by a bear makes people run fast, but only a sadist would recommend either as a character-building exercise. A million Canadians work two jobs and sixty-hour weeks, by official estimate. Former senator Hugh Segal, 69, recounts this drudgery in his own childhood memories of Mother and Father pulling night shifts to pay the rent in a cramped world lit by 40-watt bulbs.

“Being on the cheery edge of poverty is not, as some bootstraps proponents assert, about building character and ambition,” writes Segal. “It is about understanding that the financial insecurity at the centre of your existence, once installed in your memory bank, never leaves.”

CRA Expands Secret Tip Line

The Canada Revenue Agency yesterday said it is expanding an employee informant program introduced under the previous Conservative cabinet. One union executive earlier described the tip line as Frankenstein-esque: "Does it protect the informants or does it protect the government?"

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Press Kept In Dark On Ban

A House of Commons staffer yesterday contradicted a Federal Court affidavit claiming the Parliamentary Press Gallery set criteria that banned two media outlets from attending national TV election debates. Records indicate Gallery directors were never consulted and had not even met for months before the ban was imposed by a handful of federal employees: "The wording of these decisions indicates they were made by the Press Gallery."

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Carbon Tax Rebate Fell Flat

A federal promotion of carbon tax rebates fell flat, according to in-house Canada Revenue Agency research. The Agency repeatedly cited the so-called Climate Action Incentive Payments in a pre-election ad blitz: "Heard anything lately?"

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Cops OK To Make Mistakes

A St. John’s judge has dismissed obstruction of justice charges against a patrolman for mistakenly ticketing a motorcyclist. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary called it the first case of its kind involving a routine traffic stop: "The mistake does not have to be proved. It only has to raise a reasonable defence."

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Labour Code Fines By April

The Department of Labour says it will introduce fines on employers in breach of the Canada Labour Code by March 31, 2020. Scofflaws will  be publicly named and shamed for the first time since the Code was introduced in 1958: "Current enforcement measures are not strong enough."

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