Court Details Bank Churning

Evidence in Federal Court details the practice of account churning at Canadian banks by employees paid on commission. Parliament outlawed the practice in 2018: "This was fundamentally dishonest."

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RCMP Never Made The Call

The RCMP yesterday acknowledged it never interviewed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or had access to secret cabinet records before dismissing obstruction charges in the SNC-Lavalin Group scandal. The admission came under questioning at the Commons ethics committee: "We still don’t know to this day all the information that is out there."

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Say Subsidies Pay For Failure

The ongoing federal bailout of money-losing news corporations perpetuates media failure, journalists yesterday told Commons heritage committee. Soliciting and pocketing subsidies has only damaged newsrooms’ credibility, witnesses said: "Lobbying for government money and accepting it does little to enhance confidence."

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Labour Bill Inching Forward

The Commons yesterday by a unanimous 318-0 vote gave Second Reading to a bill banning replacement workers in the federally regulated private sector. One MP noted the bill if passed has little chance of coming into force before the next election: "Tabling it and passing it are two different things."

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Small Place Not For Everyone

Cabinet does not want to subsidize “smaller apartments that are maybe not suitable for everybody,” a Department of Finance executive said yesterday. A GST break for builders subsidizes all new rental housing regardless of price: 'Any limit like $500,000 would favour smaller apartments that are maybe not suitable for everybody.'

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Two Colleges “Unacceptable”

Immigration Minister Marc Miller yesterday named two colleges he accused of “unacceptable” recruitment of foreign students. Miller complained of 982,880 foreigners granted federal study permits nationwide too many were jumping immigration queues by claiming asylum: "You have the Conestoga’s, the Seneca’s of the world."

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Testify Or Jail On ArriveCan

Conservative MP Kelly McCauley (Edmonton West) yesterday without fanfare obtained a rare House order compelling two reluctant ArriveCan witnesses to testify or be taken into custody. The two partners in GC Strategies Inc. have 21 days to surrender: "The Sergeant-at-Arms shall take Kristian Firth, Darren Anthony or both of them into his custody."

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More Scrutiny For App Firm

MPs yesterday ordered yet more records delving into business practices of an ArriveCan contractor involved in an earlier app, the failed Covid Alert program. GC Strategies Inc. of Woodlawn, Ont. was paid more than a million for “professional services” under a 2020 contract only recently disclosed: "How can people who are merely consultants get in on these contracts?"

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Try Again On Censorship Act

Attorney General Arif Virani yesterday reintroduced a cabinet bill to curb “harmful content” on social media. The bill stopped short of unprecedented censorship powers detailed in a failed 2021 bill that lapsed in the last Parliament: "I have listened."

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Catching Them Six At A Time

Customs officers may only seize six stolen cars at a time at the Port of Montréal due to lack of waterfront parking, the president of the Customs and Immigration Union yesterday told MPs. Mark Weber also testified the Port had to borrow a large X-ray scanner from Windsor, Ont. after its single machine went out of service: "Once we find six stolen vehicles we sometimes have to wait days for somebody to come and take the vehicles away before we can inspect anymore."

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Commission Named, Shamed

The Canadian Human Rights Commission faces international naming and shaming after mistreating Black employees. A coalition of unions and human rights groups yesterday petitioned a United Nations agency to investigate misconduct by managers: "It has to start at the top."

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Ask Public To Give Up Meat

Cabinet confidentially polled Canadians on whether they’d stop eating meat for the sake of climate change, Access To Information records show. The suggestion was unpopular: "How frequently or infrequently have you made efforts to eat a more plant-based diet?"

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MPs Open Auto Theft Probe

The Commons public safety committee today opens hearings on auto theft following complaints of poor policing at Canadian ports by the Border Services Agency. One MP counted only a handful of inspectors at the Port of Montréal: "The X-ray scanner used for the containers only works about half the time."

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Short 89,995 Doctors, Nurses

Canada is short about 90,000 doctors, nurses and other front line health care workers, says a Department of Health memo. The document for the Deputy Minister warned of a “health worker crisis.”

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Would End Diversity Funds

Parliament must end all subsidies earmarked for “diversity," says People’s Party leader Maxime Bernier. Campaigning in an Ontario byelection, Bernier said his Party would “abolish all federal diversity, equity and inclusion programs and policies in the public service and federal institutions such as the Armed Forces.”

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