A Poem: “Tourist Attraction”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom writes: “Fairmont Hotels offer authentic, non-westernised Chinese cuisines to attract tourists from Asia. They may have figured it out…”

Book Review — Sports & Suckers

How do you create a profitable, secure and much-loved professional sports franchise in a city of fewer than 300,000 people? Community ownership. This is no Rubik’s Cube. Hometown economics are the only reason they play football in Regina or Green Bay, Wisconsin. The mystery is not that Roughriders and Packers thrive but that other cities have not figured this out.

Power Play delves into the dark world of billionaire club owners, weak mayors and unconscionable subsidies that litter the world of professional sports. The names and dollar values change but these grinding sagas are all the same: One false move and the dummy gets it. Pay up or you lose the team. So, taxpayers pay and pay.

Fear Anti-Government Views

Expression of anti-government views on the internet may pose a terrorist threat, the director of a federal security agency said last night. “We are seeing that kind of narrative, very like anti-authority, anti-government," said Marie-Helen Chayer, executive director of the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre.

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Recession “Is Going To Hurt”

An expected winter recession will “hurt small businesses significantly,” a former federal Budget Officer yesterday told the Senate banking committee. Both the Bank of Canada and Department of Finance forecast a recession is likely: "We have to be careful."

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Citizens Trapped For Months

More than a thousand Canadians remained in Afghanistan months after diplomats fled Kabul, say Department of Foreign Affairs briefing documents. Records did not indicate if Canadians are still trapped under Taliban rule: 'There has been an alarming rise in forced disappearances and arrests.'

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Gov’t Hiring Is “Widespread”

Increased federal hiring surpasses rates in the private sector, Budget Officer Yves Giroux yesterday told the Commons government operations committee. “It’s mostly recent and ongoing,” said Giroux, who earlier estimated payroll costs will top $50 billion this year: "Growth has been faster in the public sector."

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No Checks On Anti-Semites

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra yesterday said he could not explain how a reputed anti-Semite was invited to a Parliament Hill reception he attended with more than 100 others. Alghabra and the Liberal MP who hosted the event said no background checks were conducted: "There is always a risk of us meeting unsavoury individuals."

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Submit Questions In Advance

Thirty-five publishers attended a confidential 2020 teleconference with the Canada Revenue Agency and Department of Finance to discuss terms of a $595 million media bailout, Access To Information records show. Publishers submitted questions in advance. None reported it: "What is the expected wait time to receive payment?"

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Predicts Future ‘Disruptions’

Cabinet’s use of the Emergencies Act “is not likely to be unique” in years ahead, a former director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said yesterday. Richard Fadden told a policy hearing of the Freedom Convoy inquiry he expected more “disruptive events” in the future: "What happened with the invocation of the Emergencies Act is not likely to be unique."

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Bill Lets Police Intercept Mail

Canada Post has only 25 inspectors nationwide to spot contraband by mail, says the Senate sponsor of a bill to expand police powers. Federal law currently prohibits police from intercepting mail in transit even if it is suspected to contain guns or drugs: "My bill is an attempt to put an end to the perception our postal service is the best way to ship illegal drugs."

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Union Challenges $20K Limit

The largest federal public sector union is challenging a $20,000 cap on damages for breach of human rights law. The Public Service Alliance of Canada in a Federal Court claim said the maximum payout set decades ago was unconstitutional: "This legislation has prevented federally regulated employees and their human rights claimants from obtaining full compensation."

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He Is “Honourable” No More

The Senate in a symbolic shaming has voted to strip former member Don Meredith of his “honourable” title, a Canadian first. No senator spoke in Meredith’s defence: "Do we really want to run into him at state functions or see him still using his title in the public domain?"

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Internet Bill Survives By 10-4

Liberal appointees to the Senate transport and communications committee yesterday by a 10 to 4 vote rejected a proposal to narrow regulation of legal internet video content. “It’s time we pass that bill,” said Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez: "The Senate had it for over six months."

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Softer Drug Law Planned: MP

Federal drug policy is headed to “ultimately decriminalization” of illegal narcotics, a Liberal MP yesterday told the Commons health committee. Two cabinet ministers attending the committee did not contradict remarks by MP Dr. Brendan Hanley (Yukon): "How much should we rely on values alone versus evidence in determining drug policy?"

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Warn 1 In 5 May Walk Away

Almost one in five small businesses face permanent closure in Canada, the Senate national finance committee was told yesterday. The figure represents the equivalent of more than 200,000 operators: "The economy has not moved on. We are still way behind."

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