4,700,000 Votes Already Cast

Elections Canada last night said nearly five million ballots were cast in advanced polls Thanksgiving weekend, the highest number in Canadian history. Turnout increased but was below percentage gains seen in 2011 and 2015: "This is the way of the future."

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Pedometers For All Staffers

The Privy Council Office considered asking half-a-million federal employees to wear pedometers at work to stay fit, according to an Access To Information memo. The scheme was abandoned following in-house research: 'It could offer an exciting opportunity.'

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Cost Billions In New Taxes

The Parliamentary Budget Office yesterday completed its costing of major election platforms. Only one of six parties in the Commons did not propose a penny in new taxes: "It is a reasonable and committed plan."

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Gov’t Shipper Wins Appeal

Canada’s last federally-owned marine service has survived another Court challenge. The Federal Court of Appeal dismissed petitions by a private sector competitor that complained of unfairly low freight rates charged at taxpayers’ expense: "There was no legal requirement."

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Libs Find Cash In New York

The Liberal Party will not disclose details of a private mid-campaign fundraiser attended by unnamed donors in New York City. The Canadian Consul General in New York, a former Liberal contributor, did not take Blacklock's questions: 'It was at a Canadian citizen's home.'  

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CBC Feared Claims Of Bias

The CBC in a legal first sued the Conservative Party over use of bootlegged news video because it feared viewers would have "the impression that CBC is biased", lawyers wrote the Federal Court. Copyrighted video was used without payment or permission in "sensational and one-sided" attack ads, said the Crown corporation: 'This is particularly damaging to CBC’s reputation as a trusted source.'

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Survey Says Ad’s Confusing

Environment Canada spent nearly $80,000 testing public reaction to an ad campaign promoting biodiversity targets. Messages were “meaningless and confusing”, according to in-house research: "Are you putting in more laws?"

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NDP Tax Increases At $29B

The New Democratic Party proposes more than $29 billion in tax increases by 2021, according to the Parliamentary Budget Office. Measures range from a new levy on multinational digital service providers to a twelve percent surcharge on yachts: "I'm not working for the wealthiest."

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Eight Years Of Thanksgiving

We're grateful this holiday to friends and subscribers for your support as Blacklock's embarks on an eighth great year of independent, all-original Canadian journalism. On behalf of reporters and contributors, please accept our thanks.

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Sunday Poem: “Wait Staff”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “My friend who works as a server at a banquet hall tells me about their training…”

Review: Eat Like Our Ancestors

What did the 19th century smell like? What was it like to stroll ankle-deep in horse effluent and live by the 25-watt glow of an oily lamp on winter evenings? Many Canadian historians and documentary filmmakers recall the facts and figures of the past without ever providing a true tactile sense of how our ancestors got by – with one brilliant exception: we can still gain a taste of what they ate. Collecting Culinaria is a tribute to an extraordinary trove of historic cookbooks collected by Linda Distad, a University of Alberta librarian who died in 2012. Distad had a mania for heritage recipes; her collection ran to more than 3,000 titles, including the first English-language cookbook published in Canada, The Cook Not Mad, circa 1830.

Plan Went 65% Over Budget

A Department of Public Works venture intended to save taxpayers’ money on federal office space has not measured any savings, says a consultants’ report. Analysts concluded the project went 65 percent over budget: "Cost savings have not been measured or reported."

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Want TV Climate Advocates

TV weather forecasters should become announcers for climate change, says the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. The scientific group acknowledged obvious shortcomings in the plan: "The reason people watch the weather is for weather."

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Amazon Clobbered Retailers

The Bank of Canada in a research paper says Amazon.com has clobbered Canadian online retailers. Three parties campaigning in the October 21 election have proposed to tax e-commerce sales by foreign vendors: "We want it to be fair."

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Civil Service Exam Unfair

A labour board has confirmed bias in a federal public service appointment. The ruling follows a 2018 survey that found most federal employees think their workforce is rife with cronyism: "What do you do?"

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