Gov’t Polls On Medicare Fees

The Department of Health polled Canadians on their willingness to pay more medicare user fees in exchange for prompt care. In-house research rated the idea “controversial” but favoured by patients fed up with rationing and wait lists: "Others were open to the idea."

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55% Are Hiking Wages: Data

Most business managers say they’re raising wages to keep and attract workers, according to the Bank of Canada. The central bank said it is closely monitoring wage trends to ensure settlements do not “become an independent source of inflation.”

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Auditors Target Hot Markets

The Canada Revenue Agency has opened tens of thousands of audits on property owners in Vancouver and Toronto, documents show. Auditors specifically targeted the two real estate markets in a hunt for tax evaders: "There has been a significant focus by the CRA on major centres where there are consistently high numbers of real estate transactions."

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Military Contracting ‘Tainted’

Military contracting is tainted by inside dealing and favouritism, says Procurement Ombudsman Alexander Jeglic. A routine audit of contracts for the army, navy and air force found an “uneven playing field” that rewarded friendly suppliers: "There were numerous issues."

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Spotted Big Typo In The Ad

Retail giant Best Buy Canada does not have to pay special damages after owning up to a typo in a sales promotion, the Nova Scotia Supreme Court has ruled. The company mistakenly advertised computer accessories so good they didn’t exist: "Best Buy did not knowingly intend to deceive customers."

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Flood Of Contraband By Mail

Mail bound for First Nations and northern hamlets now accounts for two thirds of contraband shipments of drugs and drink intercepted by postal inspectors, records show. Indigenous leaders had pleaded with Parliament to keep legalized marijuana out of dry reserves under the Indian Act: "Substances ranged from alcohol to illicit cannabis, opioids, ecstasy pills, methamphetamine and powder."

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‘We’ll Never Be Fully Vaxxed’

Canadians will be required to get a Covid shot every nine months for the foreseeable future, says Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. Previous definitions of “fully vaccinated” made no sense, he told reporters: "We will never be fully vaccinated against Covid-19."

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Post Office Lost Market Share

Canada Post discloses it is losing market share in its revenue generating parcel business. Parcels accounted for half of post office income last year amid overall losses of $490 million: "Our market share has decreased."

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A $41M Fix But No Seatbelts

School boards nationwide face a $41 million annual cost for new bus safety equipment under a Department of Transport proposal. Regulators stopped short of recommending the costliest safety measure, mandatory seat belts for every school bus in the country: "Why have school buses been left out?"

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Labour Rules On Kids’ Hiring

The labour department proposes to restrict hiring of children in the federally regulated private sector. Minors should not be assigned hazardous jobs or swing shifts, the department said: "Young workers need adequate labour protection because they may be more likely to undertake unsafe work."

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A Sunday Poem — “July 1st”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday: “Went downtown this Canada Day to join the celebration. A girl wrapped in red-and-white sold three flags for two dollars, five for three. She wanted my money…”

Review: And No One Went To Jail

Buried in a film vault at the federal archives is a Canadian Paramount newsreel circa 1952 shown in movie theatres nationwide. Cue marching music then title board: “World’s Largest Asbestos Mill!” The camera pans across an industrial complex six city blocks long as the announcer shouts, “The new plant will process more than a third of the free world’s supply of the magic mineral!”

It was a ribbon cutting at Johns Manville Co.’s Jeffery Mine in Asbestos, Que. The premier and archbishop showed up. Coroners had known since 1906 asbestos dust was fatal. The fact was not mentioned.

UBC Press has published the true story never shown in theatres. A Town Called Asbestos documents a lethal product produced and sold with the blessing of regulators and lawmakers alike. “The people of Asbestos should not have had to choose between their jobs and their health but that is just what many had to do,” writes author Jessica van Horssen.

Bid You Happy Canada Day

Blacklock's pauses for the Canada Day observance to wish all friends and subscribers a happy First of July.  We're back tomorrow  -- The Editor

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“Values” Kit Warns Children On Old Flag & Conservatives

Cabinet yesterday approved a taxpayer-funded booklet for schoolchildren that calls the Red Ensign flag a hate symbol and identifies the Conservative Party by name as a target of “infiltration” by racists. It also warns children to beware of classmates who speak in favour of Donald Trump: "It represents the next stage of our work to fight and win against hate."

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CBC Show ‘Clearly Offensive’

A CBC radio show was so offensive it breached the Broadcasting Act, federal regulators ruled yesterday. The decision came over a French-language program that repeatedly used the n-word: "The host and the commentator used the n-word four times, three times in French and one in English, in a segment of six minutes and 27 seconds."

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