Vets’ Class Action OK: Judge

A federal judge has ruled a $100 million class action lawsuit over delayed payment of veterans’ pensions may proceed to trial. Government lawyers had tried to block the litigation: "I am satisfied there exists a reasonable cause of action."

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Drug Tests Too Intrusive

A British Columbia labour arbitrator has suspended drug testing of a commuter rail employee who lied about marijuana use. “This case raises sensitive and complex issues related to the tension between employee privacy and public safety,” the arbitrator wrote.

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Audit Finds One Mail Sorter

The Competition Bureau assigned a single employee to sorting through thousands of consumer complaints received every year, auditors found. The federal anti-trust agency has 360 staff and a $50 million annual budget: "There are no defined criteria for prioritizing complaints."

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Eleven Senators Bolt, Warn They Oppose ‘Group Think’

Eleven Conservative and Liberal Senate appointees yesterday formed a new independent, bipartisan caucus on a pledge to counter “sales pitch” legislation, said interim leader Senator Scott Tannas (Alta.). “They will know where we stand,” Tannas said in an interview.

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Don’t See Cash-Less Society

The Bank of Canada in a research paper concludes futuristic forecasts of a cashless society are overblown even if banks phase out human tellers. Data show most Canadians still use bills and coins for transactions under $25: "Will teller-less bank branches encourage a cashless society in Canada?"

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May Resigns, Blames Media

MP Elizabeth May yesterday resigned as national Green leader with criticism of media over the Party’s failure to win more than three seats in the Commons. “The media of this country have failed abysmally in understanding climate science well enough to talk about it,” May told reporters. “Sorry.”

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“Racist” No Insult: Judge

Drivers pulled over by police don’t lose their Charter right to free expression, a Québec judge has ruled. The decision came in the case of a Black motorist cited for calling police racist when he was questioned without cause: "Is the use of the word ‘racist’ an insult? That’s the question."

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Polar Bears Fat And Plentiful

Inuit groups in Federal Court affidavits say numbers of polar bears are growing despite climate change claims. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and the World Wildlife Fund have pointed to polar bear health as proof of catastrophic change in the Arctic: "It is rare to see a skinny bear."

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Want To Hike Carbon Tax

Parliament must raise the carbon tax to address climate change, says a coalition of labour and environmental groups. The tax is currently capped under legislation at the equivalent of 12¢ a litre for gasoline: "We need leadership to show where we’re going with these taxes."

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Lose Party Status In 80 Days

Senate Liberals will lose party status in eighty days with the mandatory retirement of their eldest member. A string of retirements next year will see the dwindling caucus stripped of official status in the Senate for the first time since 1867: "It’s very painful."

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Feds Target Little Telecom

Federal regulators are threatening $15,000 fines against directors of six small telecom companies for alleged technical breaches of the Telecommunications Act. The six were cited for failing to pay a $600 registration fee with a little-known ombudsman mandated to take customer complaints: "That's a lot of money."

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“Art Of The Impossible –“

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: ” Alberta gives a cold shoulder to Justin Trudeau. Not a single seat in 2019 federal elections…”

Book Review: Fit, Young & Fascist

Everything was political in the 1930s. It was a haunted decade that “almost made me a Communist,” as one Alberta premier put it.

Strong, Beautiful and Modern captures the oddest political expression of all, the campaign for physical culture. Archival images of mass synchronized exercises of the Pro-Rec league in the parks of Vancouver bear an unnerving resemblance to parades of bronzed youth so popular in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia.

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Grumble Over Labour Board

The Department of Employment in Access To Information memos complains a federal labour board is too liberal in upholding grievances by problem employees. Managers were told to protect themselves when disciplining staff for misconduct from absenteeism to surfing inappropriate internet sites: "Cases we deem as solid can still fail."

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Airbnb Ban Is OK: Tribunal

Condo boards may outlaw Airbnb rentals, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled. Airbnb accounts for ten percent of hotel room sales in Vancouver and Toronto, according to the Department of Finance: "There is a strong incentive for property owners."

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