Death Of Seal Hunt Industry

The Department of Fisheries in Access To Information records documents the ongoing collapse of the Atlantic seal hunt. The harp seal harvest last year was halved from 2016 despite subsidies paid to processors to promote seal meat recipes: "We have an obligation to make things right."

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Realtors Must ID All Buyers

All realtors must verify the identities of homebuyers under new regulations proposed by the Department of Finance. The rules target offshore speculators and money launderers using fronts and shell companies to buy Canadian property: 'Who are the owners of all the real estate in Toronto and Vancouver?'

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School Bus Belts Too Costly

School bus seatbelts would protect children but cost school boards nationwide more than a quarter-billion dollars, says a national task force on safety. “It will be important to explore the impact of these additional costs,” said the highway ministers’ report: "Would the expense result in fewer school buses on the road?"

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‘God Save The Queen’ Is Safe

A human rights tribunal has dismissed a complaint that playing God Save The Queen and the national anthem in public schools theoretically breaches the Charter Of Rights. A math teacher at a Blind River, Ont. high school filed the complaint, claiming she was threatened with her job for expressing her "humanist" views: "That's news to me."

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Order Review Of Toxic Office

The Federal Court of Appeal has ordered a review of complaints a Department of Environment workplace was so dysfunctional a manager wore a bulletproof vest to work for fear she would be shot by an employee. Accounts of the Nanaimo, B.C. office detailed allegations of vulgar language and a search for hidden cameras: 'It was akin to a form of water torture.'

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A Poem: “Bread In A Vice”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “My childhood friend used to put bread in a vice, squeezing out the empty spaces, showing us the paper-thin slice that was left…”

Review: Canada’s Biggest Layoff

How do you destroy a centuries-old industry? We managed. Ottawa for decades tried and failed to save the Atlantic northern cod fishery from European poachers. There were fishing limits and quotas, scientific panels and studies, diplomatic protests and many, many transatlantic meetings. “There are no gunboat solutions,” Joe Clark once remarked. As an old German philosopher put it, pacifism is no virtue in the toothless. The results are still cursed in Newfoundland & Labrador as the biggest layoff in Canadian history.

The cod fishery was a heritage industry that thrived for 400 years and helped build the federation; as late as the 1980s the fishery accounted for one-tenth of Newfoundland’s economy.

50,000 Jobs Claim Now Zero

The Department of Industry yesterday could not account for its claim a billion-dollar subsidy program would create 50,000 jobs. Internal Access To Information records count zero jobs created in two years: "Zero may designate information that is not available."

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Amnesty Joins Climate Suit

Amnesty International has joined a lawsuit claiming Parliament’s failure to meet climate change targets violates Charter rights. The Québec Court of Appeal said it would permit the group to act as an intervenor in the case: "The litigation is in the public interest."

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Feds Stick With Bombardier

Cabinet yesterday said it will not pull $372.5 million in subsidies awarded to Bombardier Inc. to save aerospace jobs. The money-losing corporation said it's getting out of commercial aviation after thirty-four years: "Will taxpayers be left holding the bag?"

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Scofflaw Airlines Investigated

The Canadian Transportation Agency yesterday said it will open its first-ever inquiry into allegations airlines are skirting a passenger rights’ code. Parliament in 2018 passed a bill mandating compensation for travelers who suffer flight delays and cancellations: 'It must be offered in cash or equivalent.'

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Quiet On Homeowners’ Fines

The Canada Revenue Agency will not disclose how many taxpayers have been fined for failing to tell the government if they sold their home. The Agency in an obscure 2016 tax change ordered all homeowners to report sales of a primary residence though proceeds are not taxable: "They do not have data."

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Green Co. Broke Labour Regs

A green energy firm that received millions in taxpayers’ aid has been cited by the federal labour department for breach of regulations. Atlantec Bioenergy Corporation of Cornwall, PEI could not be reached for comment: 'Atlantec is an excellent example of how we drive innovation.'

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Feds Get Pesticide Probe Files

The Competition Bureau yesterday said it obtained Federal Court-ordered records from the nation’s largest chemical manufacturers in an anti-trust probe. Investigators accuse the companies of targeting a start-up discounter that promised farmers low-cost seed and pesticides: "There is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time."

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Dismiss Valentine Grievance

A Jehovah’s Witness reprimanded for leaving her desk at Statistics Canada to avoid a February workplace celebration has lost a federal labour board appeal. Witnesses do not observe Valentine’s Day: 'The situation did not meet the definition of harassment.'

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