“Wasn’t A Lot” In Stockpile

The Public Health Agency for the first time acknowledges it ignored its own advice and stockpiled only a “small amount” of pandemic supplies before the Covid-19 outbreak. Managers would not say if they ever warned cabinet: "If you could give a yes or no answer..."

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Dep’t Faked Historical “Fact”

The Department of Canadian Heritage admits it garbled a historical “fact” in a report to Parliament. Minister Steven Guilbeault tabled the claim Black people had a presence in Nunavut dating back 400 years. They didn’t: "You can't pick and choose facts."

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Wants Crackdown On Claims

Parliament should pass a law denying $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit relief cheques to anyone who won’t take a job, the Commons human resources committee was told. The Department of Employment said it is curbing clear abuses of the program such as payments to dead people: "The priority was to provide the benefit."

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Feds Can Delay Tax Refunds

The Canada Revenue Agency may withhold tax refunds for a year or more, a federal judge has ruled. The decision came in the case of a business denied a GST refund after auditors decided to review the company’s books: "This is for the Minister to decide."

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Post Office Rated Covid-Free

Not a single postal worker has contracted Covid-19 on the job, says the Canadian Union of Postal Workers. Public health officers say there is no evidence the coronavirus is transmitted by mail: 'It’s remarkable; 60,000 employees and not a single Covid-19 case traced back to Canada Post."

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A Poem — “Eavesdropping”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “In Heaven, Moses chats with Christ, Muhammad, and the Buddha. I wonder if they figured out which of their followers got it right…”

Review: Neither Fatal Nor Final

Canadians have a complex relationship with success and failure. That’s strange in a capitalist society where city life is a weekly succession of petty contests. Success is caricatured as a triumph of positive thinking that culminates in a prize, like winning on Dragon’s Den. Failure is a vaguely shameful exhibition of personal weakness: “The Morgans lost their house!”

Neither is accurate. Winners and losers strive, and even successful people fail all the time. Billy Durant, the Michigan wagon maker who created General Motors, went bankrupt in 1936 and ended his career as manager of a bowling alley. It must have been a well-run bowling alley. Successful people like to run things.

Feds Promise No New Taxes

Finance Minister Bill Morneau yesterday vowed he will not increase taxes to pay for the largest deficit in Canadian history. Morneau set no new date for a financial report to Parliament after cancelling a planned March 30 budget due to the pandemic: "We have no plan to raise taxes."

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Globe Appeals For More Aid

The Globe & Mail yesterday appealed for more direct federal aid to compensate for sharp revenue losses. Publisher Phillip Crawley provided rare details of finances at the daily, a privately held company owned by the billionaire Thomson family of Toronto: "The long-term outlook for the Globe and many others has darkened because of the pandemic."

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Say It’s Hard To Pick Winners

The Department of Industry yesterday said “picking winners” through federal subsidies is difficult. An analysis of thousands of high growth Canadian companies found most were small and already profitable: "They are rare."

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Rely On Gov’t, Says Google

Google Canada yesterday advised users to rely on advice from the Public Health Agency despite contradictions. Disregarded recommendations from the Agency did not count as misinformation, a Google executive told the Commons industry committee: "What about in a situation where the ‘informed source’ is wrong?"

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Reject Race-Based Complaint

The Federal Court yesterday dismissed a complaint against a Thunder Bay, Ont. judge criticized for accepting a volunteer post at Lakehead University though he wasn’t Indigenous. A judicial investigation prompted by a single CBC News story was “unfair” and “an abuse of process”, wrote the Court.

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Cite Gov’t For Score-Settling

Members of the Commons health committee yesterday expressed outrage after a Canadian scientist claimed reprisal for publicly criticizing the Public Health Agency and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The expert witness said he was blacklisted from a grant application by the Agency: "We're talking about science."

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MPs Slam $2B Rent Program

Applications open May 25 for a $2 billion commercial tenants' relief package that MPs warn will not work. “We didn’t want to be bailing out failing businesses,” said the CEO of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation: "I don’t know if people think they can negotiate a program with us, but that’s not the way the world works."

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Covid Like A House On Fire

Persistent shortages of pandemic supplies for health care workers leave the country unprepared for an expected second wave of Covid-19 infections this summer, says the Canadian Medical Association. The group compared doctors’ dilemma to dispatching firefighters into a burning building without personal protection: "They are being told to ration."

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