Army To Install Wind Farms

The military proposes to install wind farms on army bases and encourage staff to bicycle to work under a climate change program. The Department of National Defence noted it is the biggest energy user in the federal government, and the largest emitter of greenhouse gases: "We have a responsibility to show leadership."

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U.S. Fakes Not Our Business

The Border Services Agency has no data on the amount of counterfeit goods transshipped through Canada to the U.S., according to Access To Information records. The disclosure follows confirmation that federal prosecutors went a full year without opening a single new piracy case: "Counterfeiters are not stupid; they know Canada doesn’t deal with these goods."

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Feds To Explain Home Refits

The Department of Natural Resources says it will detail a first-ever energy retrofit code for millions of existing homes and commercial buildings this year. The little-known initiative would compel property owners to pay thousands for renovations: "Right now, there is no national model energy code that applies to existing buildings."

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Doesn’t Like Enviro ‘Elites’

Elite environmentalists have hurt Canadian workers, says a Liberal-appointed senator. The Senate energy committee was told “religious self-righteousness” of activists is off-putting: "You have these multimillionaires with their private jets telling us we shouldn’t use oil."

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Calls Drug Limit Guesswork

A former Health Canada consultant says drug impairment limits set by cabinet in its legal cannabis program are completely random. The remarks follow RCMP testimony at the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee that there is no scientific rationale for regulations that would see marijuana users charged with impaired driving: "It was plucked from thin air by a single activist."

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Cadets, Not Child Soldiers

Canada’s longest-running federal youth program must fight misperceptions to stem a membership decline, says in-house research at the Department of National Defence. Army, sea and air cadet programs now have lower enrollment than Girl Guides: 'There are negative views of militaristic aspects like the uniform, being seen as child soldiers, etcetera.'

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Rates Up 12% With Coal Plan

Cabinet’s climate plan will see electricity rates in coal-burning provinces rise by up to 12 percent. The Department of Environment warned of large upfront capital costs to meet emission targets: "Phasing out coal is good news for our climate."

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Poem: “The Kindergarten”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “B.C. worries about the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. New regulations are in the works…”

Review: One Cold Morning In Kosovo

In spring 1999 a paramilitary group called the Scorpions descended on Podujevo, Kosovo, a mid-sized city the size of Medicine Hat. Albanians were rounded up. It was a cold morning, and one small boy named Shpetim, age 9, jammed his hands in his pockets to keep warm. The gesture seemed to irritate the gunmen.

They ordered Shpetim to empty his pockets, and out tumbled the boy’s collection of marbles – plunk, plunk, plunk. The boy’s mother, unsure of what to do, bent down and tried to gather them up as they scattered, writes Eliott Behar. Later they shot Shpetim in the head.

Cops Unready For Legal Pot

The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police warns officers are unprepared for legal cannabis. Cabinet has told legislators to repeal a 1923 ban on recreational cannabis by July 1: 'We are five months away and have 65,000 police officers who require training.'

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Drug Figures Unexplained

The Department of Justice cannot explain marijuana statistics it’s cited in support of a legalization bill. Senators yesterday questioned figures claiming Canadian youth are the heaviest cannabis users in the world: 'The figure is highly exaggerated.'

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FINTRAC Silent On Costs

A federal agency mandated to track money laundering says it does not know the extent of illegal cash transfers. The Financial Transactions & Reports Analysis Centre also told the Commons finance committee it has no idea of the cost to legitimate business of reporting millions of legal cash transactions every year: "That kind of attitude doesn’t really promote confidence."

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Whisteblower Reform Sought

MPs yesterday set a June 15 deadline for cabinet reforms to whistleblower protection for federal employees and contractors. Cabinet has yet to respond to a critical committee report that concluded the current law fails to shield whistleblowers from workplace reprisal: "People's lives are still being destroyed."

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$8M Hill Rink A Rare Treat

Cabinet yesterday defended spending $8.2 million on a temporary Parliament Hill skating rink as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” for tourists. The remarks by Treasury Board President Scott Brison came a day after the rink was cited as the worst example of reckless federal spending in 2017: "You are not allowed to bring food or drink, or babies."

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A 50-50 Chance To Call CRA

The Canada Revenue Agency says taxpayers now have about a 50-50 chance of speaking to a live agent on their second or third attempt when contacting its toll-free call centres. “We’re getting to a point where about half the calls are getting through,” Revenue Commissioner Bob Hamilton told the Senate national finance committee. “I’m not trying to say it’s perfect.”

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