Bill Honours Pandemic Dead

The Senate yesterday took up a bill to honour essential workers killed by Covid, from doctors to truckers. The total number is not known, though victims among health care workers are estimated at 55: "With the current numbers of Covid in Canada, everyone will have known someone who died of this coronavirus."

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Put Pay Equity At $620M/yr

Pay equity regulations to take effect in 2024 will cost about $620 million a year, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. Companies will have up to eight years to adjust wages for underpaid women: "I would love to have seen this corrected overnight."

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Tourism Agency Laid Off 9%

The Canadian Tourism Commission laid off nine percent of its employees due to Covid. Recovery from the pandemic will take at least four years, the agency said: "We are facing the spectre of an industry in deep crisis with many parts of it on the brink of collapse."

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CBC Corrects “Hate” Article

The CBC has rewritten an online article by an Elections Canada information officer who called the Conservative vote "jarring" and questioned whether elderly white people all hated Muslims. The website story was posted nearly a month before it was corrected by management: "It was jarring to realize that many of the people who had seemingly been nice to me throughout the day had chosen to vote for the Conservative Party."

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Fired Over Church Vax Claim

Canadian Blood Services, a non-profit agency regulated by the Department of Health, has fired an employee after he claimed religious exemption from vaccination. The health department had called mandatory immunization unconstitutional: "I was shocked. I was just devastated."

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‘No Doubt Of CERB Abuses’

There is no doubt some Canadians abused one of the best-known pandemic relief programs, a senior Liberal MP said yesterday. Claims for $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit cheques were six times the number of Covid jobless: "That is an incredible percentage of the population."

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Singaporeans To Control Port

The Republic of Singapore stands to gain a virtual monopoly over container handling at Canada’s fourth largest port. The buyout at the Port of Halifax is detailed in Federal Court records: "The proposed transaction is likely to result in the removal of a significant competitor."

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Worries Over Mortgage Debt

A federal bank regulator warns of far-reaching consequences of any significant decline in housing prices. Mortgage debts are equivalent to 85 percent of Canada’s entire economy, said the Superintendent of Financial Institutions: "This means any significant fall in housing prices could have let to material credit losses for lenders."

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Warnings On Cost of Living

The rising cost of living will be more persistent and long-lasting than officialdom admits, says a former chief economic analyst with Statistics Canada. “Containing inflation may not be a simple or short process,” wrote Philip Cross, senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, an Ottawa think tank: "Economists did not foresee the surge in prices."

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Vax Protesters Face 10 Years

Hospital protesters face a maximum ten years in prison under Criminal Code amendments proposed by cabinet. It is the first of two election campaign bills targeting Canadians opposed to vaccine mandates: "Why would that legislation be necessary?"

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Calls Sick Leave Bill ‘A Start’

A federal bill mandating paid sick leave benefits only a few thousand Canadians but sends a signal to provinces on workplace standards, says Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan. “I don’t think the impact will be minimal,” said O’Regan.

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Museums Against The Wall

Pandemic lockdowns may spell ruin for many Canadian museums, says a Department of Canadian Heritage report. Cabinet on Friday proposed millions in bailouts for federal exhibitions while warning local operators will take years to recover: "The sector was fragile before the pandemic."

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A Poem: “Jack Of All Trades”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday: “A man is stopped by the police for speeding and watching a movie. He is charged with distracted driving, licence and vehicle seized…”

Review: The WWI Camps

Otto Boyko of Edmonton recalls the day he enlisted in the army during the Korean War, and went home to tell Mother he’d take basic training at Camp Petawawa, Ont. “Oh, that’s where your dad was held in the internment camp,” she said.

Another oldtimer, Andrew Antoniuk, remembered when his father bought his first car in 1937, he insisted on taking the family to see a clearing in the bush near Jasper, Alta. “He showed us the area where his eldest brother said he had worked clearing the forest in an internment camp,” said Antoniuk: “It didn’t mean that much, but now as I am reviewing the history, I see the place again and I think about it. Oh, my God.”

Billed Thousands Before Oath

A new Liberal senator billed thousands for flights, meals and other costs charged as Senate business while Parliament was in recess, records show. Authorities yesterday defended expenses billed by David Arnot of Saskatoon when the Senate was adjourned and he had not yet taken the oath of office: "He was eligible."

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