Admit ‘Leakage’ In Web Tax

The Canada Revenue Agency yesterday said it expects “some” tax-dodging under a proposal to charge the GST on e-commerce. “We always have some compliance challenges,” Revenue Commissioner Bob Hamilton told the Commons public accounts committee: "There is always some leakage in the tax system."

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Air Sector Buried In Debts

Canadian airports will take on $2.8 billion in debt with a disastrous decline in passenger revenues, the Commons transport committee was told yesterday. Cabinet has extended airport rent relief, though the industry said it was in no position to pay rents in the first place: "The outlook is bleak."

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Kenya Investment Lost $51M

A Kenyan door-to-door sales company that received federal subsidies lost more than $50 million on business operations, records show. The Canadian agency that approved the funding yesterday defended it as a good investment: "It has high potential."

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CBC A “Make-Work Project”

CBC-TV has become a $1.3 billion-a year “make-work project,” a Senator yesterday told the Chamber. The network in a Second Quarter Financial Report said it was facing program cuts after TV ad revenues fell nineteen percent in six months: "The CBC is producing programming Canadian taxpayers are not watching and don’t want."

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Spent $2M On Sneeze Guards

Federal agencies spent millions on sneeze guards and plexiglass shields amid conflicting advice from the Public Health Agency on whether to wear masks. Dr. Theresa Tam, chief medical officer, has now recommended Canadians open windows as a pandemic precaution: "You have to be careful."

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Challenge “Toxic” Plastic Ban

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson yesterday vowed “aggressive action” in blacklisting plastics as toxic. MPs on the Commons environment committee questioned the impact on everyday products from baby bottles to intravenous tubes: "This is going to be extremely complicated."

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Suspended For Pot At Work

A Saskatchewan labour panel has upheld a ten-day suspension for a grocery store clerk suspected of smoking marijuana at work. Labour boards nationwide have issued mixed rulings on cannabis use since Parliament legalized it in 2018: "This is serious indeed."

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11,000 Passenger Complaints

Airline passengers owed billions for pre-paid tickets on cancelled flights have the choice of accepting vouchers or “nothing at all,” says a federal regulator. Members of the Commons transport committee yesterday accused the Canadian Transportation Agency of bending rules to save airlines from refunding cash payments to customers: "I wonder how you can possibly construe this as a fair situation."

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Covid Furloughs Now $1.1B

Paid pandemic furloughs for federal employees who were neither sick nor working from home have now cost $1.1 billion, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. Analysts estimated 113,362 staffers took time off at full pay and benefits averaging $481 a day: "We’ve made sure to take care of our employees."

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CBC-TV Ad Crash Continues

CBC-TV ad revenues continue a historic collapse, falling nineteen percent in six months. CEO Catherine Tait said programming cuts are contemplated despite record subsidies: "We need the public to feel safe and to know that we are a beacon for truth."

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Uneasy With Loan Blacklists

MPs yesterday expressed unease with an auditors’ proposal to report all delinquent Canada Student Loan borrowers to credit bureaus. Write-offs have cost taxpayers $2.7 billion: "We don’t want to penalize youth right off the bat coming out of university or college."

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Hiring Takes Up To 324 Days

The military can take months to fill internal vacancies for civilian employees, says an audit. The Department of National Defence blamed “systemic bottlenecks” involving the shuffling of files between managers: "Delays were noted."

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Raised Roof On Debt Ceiling

Cabinet is raising its federal debt ceiling an unprecedented fifty-six percent to near $2 trillion. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland yesterday put the current deficit at $381.6 billion with more borrowing scheduled for the next five years: "Taxpayers are on the hook for every single dollar."

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We Charity Passed Treasury

Funding for We Charity was so hurriedly approved it was never reviewed by the one federal agency mandated to oversee federal spending, the Treasury Board. MPs last night were told Youth Minister Bardish Chagger was given authority to approve a $43.5 million grant for the group: "We Charity money didn’t go through Treasury Board at all?"

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Offer 100% Loan Guarantees

Cabinet proposes 100 percent loan guarantees for hotelkeepers and others in the tourism sector hammered by the pandemic and recession. The Hotel Association of Canada said occupancy rates plummeted so far members could not get bank loans: "We were hit first, hit hardest, and will be the last to recover."

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