Landmarks Ottawa Destroyed: Bennett’s Club

In 1911, when Prime Minister Richard Bennett first arrived in Ottawa as a bachelor MP, his choice of accommodation was the Rideau Club. The restaurant was good, and Bennett liked food. "He believed if he put on weight he would present a more impressive appearance," a friend recalled. In time Bennett ate his way to diabetes, and the Rideau Club burned to the ground. But once, both were in their glory.

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Book Review — One Evening In Québec

In 1997, returning home one evening from a cruise on the St. Lawrence River, University of Ottawa criminologist Patrice Corriveau witnessed an assault. Five men were tormenting a sixth. It was "unbelievable," he wrote, then devoted his doctoral studies to the persecution of gays in French culture.

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We Fight Ottawa Press Gag

Blacklock’s Reporter today served legal notice it will challenge a gag ruling that disqualifies the online publisher from the Ottawa Press Gallery unless management divulges proprietary information. “If this precedent stands independent journalism is dead on Parliament Hill,” said Blacklock’s board. The gallery rejected a routine application for press credentials unless Blacklock’s discloses details of its payroll and corporate structure. “In the event the Gallery or its president insist on probing the confidential information of Blacklock’s, my client will be obliged to take legal steps,” wrote Yavar Hameed, counsel for the company.

Labour Referee Gains New Powers

A federal labour relations referee is gaining greater powers to expedite settlements in the first major revision to regulations since 2001. "This looks like a good-faith effort to modernize the rules," said one labour lawyer; "I don't see monkey business."

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Add Water And Grow

More than a quarter-million jobs grew from canola last year, the nation's most valuable crop. New federal data show nationwide, food processing is now the country's biggest manufacturing sector.

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Review: A Victorian Tragedy

Dr. Peter Edmund Jones is the most interesting Canadian you never heard of. His accomplishments were many, yet he died in poverty. He left a mark in science and public affairs, yet stumbled in drunkenness and despair.

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‘No One Could Afford To Live Here’

Necessary repairs to urban roads and utilities are so costly the unfunded expense would break Canadian cities without federal aid, mayors say. “If we tried to finance it all with property taxes no one could afford to live in their homes,” said Hazel McCallion, twelve-term mayor of Mississauga.

We Are Number 17

Cuts to tax credits for scientific investment have dropped Canada to 17th in a global ranking of research and development incentives among industrialized countries, says an industry group: "If you're an R&D company -- hopefully the kind of company we want to attract -- you are not coming to Canada."

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Fraction Of An Inch Sparks Trade Inquiry

The public works department faces a trade inquiry over claims an agent "overstepped his technical capabilities" in demanding goods be held to a tolerance specification of a thousandth of an inch. "I've never heard of something so stupid," a defence contractor told Blacklock's.

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China “News Agency” Blacklisted By Military

The Department of National Defence is restricting a Chinese "news agency" from its briefings pending a review of the organization's Ottawa press credentials. Xinhua confirmed to Blacklock's it was barred from attending a briefing where Minister of Defence Peter MacKay unveiled Canada's first military satellite, Sapphire.

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“Just Hold On A Second”

The nation’s home builders warn forecasts on “affordability” are now so skewed “the impact is very serious over time,” said an executive. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association concludes housing affordability “is worse today than at any time since the early 1990s” despite misconceptions in Parliament and the public over low mortgage rates.

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Red Tape Ruled Inedible

Health Canada is changing the rules on food additives after lobbying by industry that complained of red tape. In one instance, an additive for infant formula to prevent clogging in feeding tubes took almost four years to be approved after federal scientists determined it was safe.

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Still Working On That Balanced Budget

Canada's long-promised balanced budget is now delayed another year. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty confirmed the budget shortfall will be some $5 billion worse than thought. And the government forecast continued sluggish growth in the economy through next year.

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Tycoon In Horse Play?

A little-known Florida company is applying to Industry Canada to trademark a proposed online brokerage to popularize the sale of racehorse shares. The application is backed by Frank Stronach, retired auto parts tycoon now campaigning to become chancellor of Austria, a source close to the project told Blacklock's. Stronach Group, led by daughter Belinda, a former two-term MP, would not take questions.

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