Crown Bankers In The Money

A federal bank awarded senior staff $104 million in pandemic bonuses and pay raises even as it reported a net loss and customers struggled with “extreme hardship,” records show. Access To Information figures obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation tracked Covid perks paid by the Business Development Bank: 'They should not have doled out big bonuses.'

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Said Harper Worse Than 9/11

A decade of Stephen Harper as Prime Minister was more hurtful than 9/11, a federal “inclusion” advisor wrote in a 2015 newspaper column. Amira Elghawaby in other commentaries complained middle-class Canadians never experienced inequity and advocated for Muslim prayer in public schools since “parents of these children pay taxes.”

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Gun Bill In “Delicate” Straits

Cabinet attempts to save its latest gun bill is a “delicate conversation,” says Government House Leader Mark Holland. The bill introduced eight months ago faces stiff opposition in the Commons public safety committee: "This is a very difficult, emotional, difficult issue."

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Words Hurt, Says Fed Agency

Arguing, gossiping and cussing are forms of workplace violence along with assault, murder and arson, says a Parks Canada report. The internal audit on workplace health counted 20 “violent incidents” over a two-year period but did not elaborate: "Most people think of violence as a physical assault. However workplace violence is a much broader problem."

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Vote Map Review Underway

The House affairs committee tomorrow begins its review of electoral redistricting for the first time in a decade. Proposed changes would see the City of Toronto lose one federal seat while Calgary and suburbs gain two: "Groups have argued the electoral system should be redesigned to represent their own interests."

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Sunday Poem: “The Storm”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom writes: “Winds of 100 km/h batter Quebec. Nearly a million customers without power. Hydro crews wear orange protective gear, gloves, and hard hats…”

Book Review: The Shipboard Debate

In 1874 a Scottish immigrant ship the Moravian glided past the pretty farms and hamlets of the St. Lawrence River valley. Passengers gathered on deck after a long transatlantic journey.

“A discussion broke out among a number of the ship’s passengers,” writes author Peter Price. “‘Who are Canadians?’ asked one person. For the gathered passengers, most of whom were laying eyes on the shores of Canada for the first time, it was a question with no obvious answer. A ‘person born in Canada is always considered a Canadian,’ one person insisted. This answer made little sense to another, who retorted that ‘a fellow can’t be a horse because he was born in a stable.’”

Yet Canada survived. Most nations indexed in the 19th century atlas did not. The Austro-Hungarian Empire, Czarist Russia, Kingdoms of Bavaria, Serbia and Hawaii, Republic of Cuba, Qing Empire, Orange Free State, all gone. The list of industrialized nations to survive intact for 156 years without civil war is a short list, yet Canada did it.

Queen Was Racist: Appointee

A Toronto Star writer who advocated deposing the Queen as racist and opposed Canada Day as a celebration of “European, Judeo-Christian storytelling” yesterday was named Special Representative on Combating Islamophobia. Cabinet aides would not comment on the writings of activist Amira Elghawaby: "Time to wake up."

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Cannot Count Wasted Billions

There is no current estimate of how many billions were wasted on the costliest pandemic subsidy program, the Canada Revenue Agency yesterday told the Commons public accounts committee. “It really was a first-time thing for everybody so there’s lots of lessons to be learned,” testified Revenue Commissioner Bob Hamilton: "It’s hard to say."

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Says Green Plan’s Inflationary

Federal climate change programs fuel inflation, the Bank of Canada said yesterday. Researchers said green energy “raises costs.”

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Pay $310,000 For Lies, Gossip

The federal prison system has been ordered to pay an employee $310,000 in damages for malicious mistreatment. Management peddled gossip and slander in falsely accusing a British Columbia guard of smuggling drugs, wrote a labour board arbitrator: "The employer’s conduct through the unfortunately lengthy saga from 2016 to 2020 was malicious, reprehensible, deliberate and shameful."

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VIA Rail Versus Freight Cars

Better passenger service would require VIA Rail to gain priority over freight traffic on main lines, the CEO of the Crown agency yesterday told the Commons transport committee. “Railways dictate the priority,” testified Martin Landry: "Give, for example, greater priority for passenger train services."

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Warns 2023 Won’t Feel Good

The new year is “not going to feel good," Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said yesterday. A long-forecast recession follows another increase in the bank’s prime rate: "I don’t want to minimize the risks."

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Hear Rogers To Cut 4,000 Jobs

Rogers Communications will cut 4,000 to 5,000 jobs if cabinet approves its buyout of rival Shaw Communications, a Conservative MP yesterday told the Commons industry committee. MP Rick Perkins (South Shore-St. Margarets, N.S.) said he was told of massive layoffs by company insiders: "I’m told Rogers will actually cut 4,000 to 5,000 jobs."

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Anti-Trust Fears Over Merger

The $26 billion buyout of two of Canada’s four largest telecom companies will impact consumers, federal anti-trust lawyers yesterday told the Commons industry committee. Rogers Communications’  proposed purchase of Shaw Communications of Calgary has passed all regulatory hurdles to date: "Just say no."

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