Armed Forces 26% Off Target

The Canadian Armed Forces are more than a quarter below “target strength” with resignations and poor enlistment rates, says a Department of National Defence briefing note. New recruits average just 7,600 a year: "We’ve actually seen greater attrition."

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Black Market Anyone’s Guess

The Canada Border Services Agency says it has no idea how many stolen vehicles have been shipped through the Port of Montréal by black marketeers. The Agency in a report acknowledged it intercepted few over a five-year period: "The Agency cannot provide an estimate."

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Scrap Ventilators Brand New

Costly new Covid ventilators sold for scrap by the Department of Public Works were still in their original factory wrapping, says a paramedic who bought 51 units at bargain prices. Dissembled units that sold for $6 apiece cost taxpayers more than $22,000 each, according to figures earlier submitted to the Commons ethics committee: "They are still sitting in my driveway."

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Knew Of Dirty Election Cash

Large cash contributions by Chinese agents to friendly public office holders breached the Elections Act, says an internal 2022 federal memo. Repeated warnings of at least $250,000 in illegal political donations were known to cabinet-appointed election monitors but never made public, the China inquiry learned yesterday: "We were not a court."

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Subterfuge Aided Libs: Memo

Federal 2021 election monitors knew Chinese agents sought to re-elect the Liberal Party, document show. Witnesses at the China inquiry have questioned why monitors failed to issue any public warnings of foreign interference: "A Liberal minority was the preferred election outcome of the People’s Republic of China as the Liberal Party was perceived to be ‘friendlier.'"

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‘Grave’ Canada Post Finances

Canada Post yesterday warned “the gravity of our financial situation” will be spelled out in its next Annual Report in May. One Liberal MP questioned whether the post office is now “almost unsustainable.”

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C-58 Delay Worries Labour

Cabinet should amend its own Bill C-58 An Act To Amend The Canada Labour Code to speed a ban on replacement workers, Canadian Labour Congress President Bea Bruske yesterday told MPs. The current bill delays enforcement until after the next federal election: "There is no excuse for delaying."

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Cost Millions & Sold As Scrap

Pandemic ventilators bought from a Toronto company by the Public Health Agency under a $169.5 million sole-sourced contract were sold as scrap, records show. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had praised the manufacturer by name as a Canadian success story: "This is exactly the kind of innovative and collaborative thinking we need."

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Vax Wastage Runs To Billions

The Department of Health continues to take delivery of millions of new Covid-19 vaccines even as it throws away nearly $2 billion worth of expired shots, records show. “Overall wastage increased,” said a department briefing note.

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It Was All Chinese To Experts

Federal election monitors attached little significance to suspected Communist Party meddling via Chinese language media posts because they were “written in Mandarin,” a cabinet aide told the China inquiry. None of five cabinet appointees assigned to keep a lookout for foreign agents spoke Chinese: "The fact it is written in Mandarin meant the content would likely only reach Chinese diaspora readers."

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Election Irregularities ‘Fuzzy’

Cabinet-appointed election monitors found it “really difficult” to track Chinese interference in the 2021 campaign, says one director. Spotting the difference between misconduct and ordinary election activities was “a very fuzzy area,” the China inquiry was told: "Had we been more certain we could have maybe applied more certainty to it."

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Discovered Piles Of Furniture

Auditors hunting waste at Canadian missions abroad found “piles of furniture” discarded at taxpayers’ expense in Sao Paulo, Brazil, says a Department of Foreign Affairs report. Round-the-world audits followed the discovery of a fraud ring at the Canadian Embassy in Haiti: 'Stronger practices are needed.'

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Book Review: A Journey To Utopia

Parliamentary democracies have an extraordinary capacity to produce third parties: NDP, CCF, WCC, Greens, Progressives, Reformers, Libertarians, Social Creditors, Confederation of Regions, the Reconstruction Party and others. If their historical impact is uneven, each protest movement bettered the nation by rattling the establishment and giving voice to grievance.

Canadians take for granted they may choose from four or five parties on a ballot. Pity the American who has the pick of two – red team or blue team – knowing neither has to be very good to maintain a 50 percent chance of winning.

Historian Ian Bullock examines such a protest movement forgotten years after its collapse, the U.K. Independent Labour Party. Bullock’s affectionate account Under Siege explains why so many protest movements flame and then fade. Years after the ILP disbanded, its members became Liberals or Conservatives “or simply became alienated from politics altogether,” writes Bullock.

China Picks Favourites: CSIS

Communist Party agents worked to elect “pro-China” candidates to the current Parliament, CSIS director David Vigneault yesterday testified at the Commission on Foreign Interference. “I support those conclusions,” said Vigneault as documents pointed to large cash payments for unnamed public office holders: "As you can imagine, we are not at liberty to discuss the specifics."

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