Small Biz Confidence Crashes

Small business confidence is falling amid fears of a Christmas recession, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said yesterday. A members’ questionnaire found “the 12-month index is the lowest recorded since 2009 outside of recessions.”

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Seal Exports A Pittance: Feds

Exports of seal products have fallen to a pittance amid international protests, the Department of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The Atlantic seal industry once worth millions has seen exports of a few thousand dollars a year: "It’s not a lot."

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Mounties Censured, Again

The Commons ethics committee for the second time in seven weeks has censured the RCMP as evasive and uncooperative. The latest reprimand came over the Mounties’ undisclosed use of spyware: "The committee would like to note the lack of cooperation shown by the RCMP."

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Wouldn’t Turn Tanks On ‘Em

Defence Minister Anita Anand yesterday said she never considered deploying tanks against the Freedom Convoy. The remarks followed disclosure of a text exchange in which two cabinet ministers joked about “how many tanks” it would take to clear protesters off Parliament Hill: "We were not considering deploying tanks in any number."

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Senators Rewrite Internet Bill

A Senate committee last night began rewriting cabinet’s latest attempt at regulating legal internet content. Members of the Senate transport and communications committee proposed 100 separate amendments to Bill C-11: "There are numerous sources of uncertainty related to this bill."

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‘I Felt Threatened’ — Lametti

Attorney General David Lametti yesterday said he was so frightened by the Freedom Convoy he left his downtown Ottawa condo and thought it unsafe to walk the streets. “It only takes one person to recognize me,” he said: "I felt personally threatened."

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Allegations Came From Aides

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino relied on allegations from political aides in accusing the Freedom Convoy of hooliganism, records show. One claim by Mendicino that “families could not drop off their kids to daycare” reflected a personal complaint from his chief of staff: "I don’t even feel safe."

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Goodale Saw U.S. Neo-Nazis

Former public safety minister Ralph Goodale in an email to cabinet said he suspected the Freedom Convoy was a U.S. neo-Nazi movement. The finding contradicted police memos denying protesters were violent extremists: "It may even have U.S. roots."

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MPs Pass Bankruptcy Reform

The Commons yesterday passed a private Conservative bill to save employee pensions in cases of corporate bankruptcy. The bill passed by unanimous vote, 318 to 0: "This will force CEOs to invest enough money today to secure the future and the retirement of their workers."

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Blacklist Checked By Freeland

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s office secretly distributed a blacklist of 201 trucking companies that participated in the Freedom Convoy, records show. Staff included a blacklist of 45 firms that received the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy: "Please find attached an excel sheet detailing which companies whose trucks are participating in Ottawa convoy."

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Claim Nazi Was Liberal Trick

A Freedom Convoy lawyer yesterday alleged Liberal Party operatives paraded Nazi and Confederate flags at last winter’s protest to discredit demonstrators. Libel counsel for one man named as a provocateur said their client was neither a Liberal nor in Ottawa at the time: "It was all over the news."

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Plead For Internet Regulation

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez yesterday pleaded with senators to quickly pass Canada’s first bill to regulate legal internet content. Members of the Senate transport and communications committee warned of likely amendments to Bill C-11: "“I am asking you, please, Senators."

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Didn’t Spot China Meddling

Chief Electoral Officer Stéphane Perrault yesterday said he saw no evidence Chinese Communist agents interfered in the 2019 federal campaign. Perrault acknowledged he did not look for any: "There may be offences that are committed that we find out after the fact."

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Billions For Student Loan Aid

Federal repeal of interest on Canada Student Loans will cost more than $556 million a year in perpetuity, the Senate national finance committee was told yesterday. The measure takes effect next April 1: "The investment is $2.7 billion over five years but then there is an ongoing cost as well of $556.3 million per year."

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Claim Flag Man Was Publicist

A publicist and former Toronto Star manager yesterday was named as the masked provocateur seen hoisting a Nazi flag at the Freedom Convoy. The individual named denied it. The Prime Minister had pointed to the incident as proof protesters were violent extremists: "It was all over the news, the gentleman who was carrying the Nazi flag."

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