Feds Lose Alberta Coal Case

A federal judge has quashed a cabinet order blocking expansion of an Alberta coal mine in the name of climate change. Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson failed in his duty to consult a First Nation that supported the mine as a job creator, the Federal Court ruled: "There was no consultation at all."

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Censorship Bill Useful: RCMP

A federal censorship bill will be useful in prosecuting bloggers and Facebook subscribers, an RCMP specialist said last night. Bill C-36 will “see more things through to charges,” a webinar was told: "There is no such thing as free speech in Canada, only freedom of expression."

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Freeland Buckles On Tax Bill

A tax cut for hundreds of thousands of farmers, small businesses and fishing corporations is lawful, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said last evening. Freeland’s department had questioned the validity of the measure though it passed Parliament: "The law is the law."

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Need ‘Special’ Fix For French

Cabinet must take a “special approach” to save French in Canada, says a staff briefing note to Languages Minister Mélanie Joly. New initiatives were not detailed. Cabinet has budgeted $130 million a year to promote bilingualism: "French in the country has been declining."

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Border Rules Slowly Repealed

Cabinet yesterday detailed a partial rollback of restrictions on foreign travelers entering Canada. It follows a decision Saturday to waive a rule that non-essential travel bans remain in place until 75 percent of Canadians are fully vaccinated: "Relaxation of measures will be a gradual process."

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Not The First Without French

Official Languages Commissioner Raymond Théberge yesterday said he will “investigate” the appointment of Governor General Mary Simon over her inability to speak French. It is not a legal requirement under the 1969 Official Languages Act. Two previous appointees lacked fluency in French: "We have analyzed the complaints."

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Feds Admit C-10 Is In Trouble

The Department of Canadian Heritage in a briefing note acknowledged a bill mandating first-ever internet regulations “has caused adverse reactions” and expect it will be amended in the Senate. Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez had publicly called Bill C-10 “an absolute priority” for cabinet: "We have very little time."

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Quarantine Eased At Border

Cabinet on Saturday quietly rewrote quarantine rules affecting cross-border travelers, signaling the imminent easing of restrictions on non-essential trips after sixteen months. “We do recognize Canadians are anxious,” said Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc.

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Couldn’t Find French Speaker

Cabinet spent six months on a failed search for a new Commissioner of Indigenous Languages who spoke French, according to a briefing note. The requirement was dropped with the appointment of British Columbia anthropologist Ronald Ignace to the $216,000-a year post: "Our languages will no longer stand in the shadow of other languages here in our land."

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Vets’ Millions Are Unclaimed

Millions in bonuses for Métis veterans of the Second World War have gone unclaimed, says the Department of Veterans Affairs. Only 29 old soldiers or their widows successfully applied for grants: "Proportionately more Indigenous people enlisted voluntarily than other Canadians."

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Say Vote Threat’s Overblown

There is little chance of foreign interference in an expected 2021 general election after no evidence was found of electronic meddling in the 2019 campaign, says a federal agency. The Communications Security Establishment report contradicted cabinet claims of internet threats: "We assess it is unlikely."

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A Sunday Poem: “Airborne”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday: “From 30,000 feet Earth looks fragile…”

Review: Tubas & Ketchup Bottles

Popular culture is rich in metaphors for mothers as life-giving and delightful, with scant mention of the other biologically necessary parent. The few that exist are mean: Father Time (mortality), Fatherland (Nazi Germany), Old Man Winter, etcetera. Groucho Marx said for all the Tin Pan Alley sheet music written in tribute to moms a century ago, he could recall a single dedication to dads entitled Everybody Works But Father. The lyrics went like this:

Mother takes in washing;
So does sister Ann.
Everybody works in our house
But my old man.
Into the breach steps Montréal novelist Heather O’Neill with Wisdom In Nonsense: Invaluable Lessons From My Father, a warm and funny collection of memories of O’Neill’s dad, a single parent. O’Neill beautifully recounts the point in all our young lives when the centre of a child’s universe is the 6-sq. ft. space occupied by a dominant parent.

Tweets ‘Undermine’ Canada

Lawful but offensive Twitter posts are undermining Canada’s democracy, Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s department says in a briefing note. Regulation of hurtful comments is needed for “a truly democratic debate," it said.

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Recalls MPs To Save Tax Cut

Liberal MP Wayne Easter (Malpeque, P.E.I.), chair of the Commons finance committee, yesterday recalled the panel into rare emergency session to defend a small business tax cut. The Department of Finance questioned the validity of a tax bill already passed into law: "I have never seen this."

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