Senate Audit Not ‘Thorough’

A spot audit of the Senate, the first of its kind since 2012, will exclude “thorough assessment of the expenses”. Members of the Senate budget committee ordered the audit June 13 following disclosures staff breached contracting rules: "It's long overdue."

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Falsified Best-Before Labels

A labour arbitrator has ordered a one-year suspension without pay for a supermarket clerk caught falsifying best-before labels. Managers disclosed they'd fired three employees for similar offences under the Food & Drugs Act that prohibits "misleading or deceptive” labeling: "These sorts of things get published in the media."

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43% Have Bank Troubles

Nearly half of consumers in a federal survey report problems with their bank. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada that commissioned the poll earlier hired 200 “mystery shoppers” to pose as customers in scrutinizing bank practices: "They feel they can do whatever they want."

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Won’t Release Trudeau Files

The Privy Council Office will not release cabinet minutes from Pierre Trudeau’s last tumultuous term as prime minister though records were to be unsealed this year. Files won't be disclosed until after the October 21 election campaign: "We certainly have nothing to hide."

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Fake Work Claim Dismissed

A federal labour board has upheld the suspension of a Canada Revenue Agency clerk who claimed a conspiracy to pay staff for “fake work”. There was no evidence employees pointlessly shuffle paper, an adjudicator said: "It was very boring."

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“Icky” Biden Jibe OK: Panel

A radio commentary depicting U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden as “icky” with small children does not breach Canadian broadcast standards, says a national panel. However regulators faulted the same program for portraying Muslims as inherently intolerant: "It's very disturbing."

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Feds Investigate 2017 Suicide

The Department of National Defence is investigating the suicide of a long-time employee described as an alleged victim of gross mismanagement. The staffer ended his life only hours before a disciplinary hearing, and left a lengthy suicide note concealed by police: 'It poses a serious threat to public confidence in the integrity of the public service.'

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Poem: “Tightrope Walker”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Ottawa’s mayor shows courage. He stands up to the powerful, deep-pocket owners of the Chateau Laurier,..”

Book Review: The Nazis & Tin Foil

Read this book and you’ll never think the same way again in reaching for a roll of kitchen foil to cover your Thanksgiving turkey. Authors in searing detail document aluminum production from open-pit Third World bauxite mines to toxic refineries to the $2.90 kitchen convenience. The supply chain is coldly efficient.
Aluminum Ore is stark and meticulously researched. Authors Robin Gendron of Nipissing University and two faculty members at Norway’s University of Science & Technology tell the very human story of an everyday commodity we only think we know.

For A Safe & Happy Holiday

Blacklock's pauses for the August bank holiday with warmest regards to friends and subscribers. We wish you a safe, happy holiday wherever your travels take you. We'll be back August 10 -- The Editor.

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Bailout Worth $115K A Week

The largest daily newspaper in Canada, the Toronto Star, yesterday estimated its take of federal media bailout money is worth the equivalent of $115,385 a week. Payroll rebates will see publishers awarded up to $13,750 per newsroom employee: 'They got what they wanted.'

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Never Heard About Rebates

Most Canadians have never heard of cabinet’s carbon tax rebates and find the concept difficult to understand, says in-house research by the Canada Revenue Agency. Rebates were to offset consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses for the tax, scheduled to rise to 12¢ a litre for gasoline by 2022: 'It is not easy.'

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‘God Save Queen’ Complaint

A rights tribunal is scheduling hearings on whether recital of God Save The Queen in public schools breaches Charter rights. It follows a complaint from an Iron Bridge, Ont. math teacher who identified herself as a secular humanist: "I am surprised any school is still playing God Save The Queen."

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CMHC Loan Is Scrutinized

CMHC insured a mortgage worth twice the value of a home, according to Court records. Agency practices were detailed in a New Brunswick foreclosure as CMHC prepares to launch a billion-dollar equity loan program nationwide: "Who will be responsible if the homeowner defaults?"

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Gov’t Finds Apology Fatigue

Canadians in federal focus group research complain the “government made lots of apologies” this term without solving problems. The Department of Finance commissioned the questionnaire entitled What The Government Has Handled Poorly: "All talk and no do."

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