History Kept In The Freezer

The national archives in an inspection report was found to store historic records in freezers, on loading docks and haphazardly stacked in boxes after it ran out of filing cabinets. Other pieces of Canadiana were damaged by water leaks. The agency has a $127.4 million annual budget: "This is inadequate."

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Scheer Averts Caucus Vote

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer last evening averted a secret leadership vote at a rare seven-hour caucus session on Parliament Hill. The Opposition Leader faces a wider leadership vote by Party members in five months: "We are not destroyed."

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Overdraft Fees Were Usury

Steep overdraft charges on chequing accounts are prohibited by federal law, the British Columbia Supreme Court has ruled. Ten B.C. credit unions argued the charges, up to $25, were mere service fees intended to recover costs: 'I would not characterize this as an innocent mistake.'

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30% Prison Pay Cut Upheld

The Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed a claim that cuts to prison pay breached the Charter Of Rights. The previous Conservative cabinet in 2013 cut prisoners’ wages thirty percent and imposed a 42¢ charge for telephone privileges: "Although not luxurious, the offenders’ needs are met adequately."

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Feared “Overthrow” Of PM

The Privy Council Office feared United We Roll protesters contemplated storming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office, according to internal emails. Access To Information records detail extraordinary security measures taken under the Emergency Management Act regarding the February 19 protest: "All rooftops, scaffolding, crane and above-ground access is NOT permitted."

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Vets’ Class Action OK: Judge

A federal judge has ruled a $100 million class action lawsuit over delayed payment of veterans’ pensions may proceed to trial. Government lawyers had tried to block the litigation: "I am satisfied there exists a reasonable cause of action."

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Drug Tests Too Intrusive

A British Columbia labour arbitrator has suspended drug testing of a commuter rail employee who lied about marijuana use. “This case raises sensitive and complex issues related to the tension between employee privacy and public safety,” the arbitrator wrote.

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Audit Finds One Mail Sorter

The Competition Bureau assigned a single employee to sorting through thousands of consumer complaints received every year, auditors found. The federal anti-trust agency has 360 staff and a $50 million annual budget: "There are no defined criteria for prioritizing complaints."

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Eleven Senators Bolt, Warn They Oppose ‘Group Think’

Eleven Conservative and Liberal Senate appointees yesterday formed a new independent, bipartisan caucus on a pledge to counter “sales pitch” legislation, said interim leader Senator Scott Tannas (Alta.). “They will know where we stand,” Tannas said in an interview.

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Don’t See Cash-Less Society

The Bank of Canada in a research paper concludes futuristic forecasts of a cashless society are overblown even if banks phase out human tellers. Data show most Canadians still use bills and coins for transactions under $25: "Will teller-less bank branches encourage a cashless society in Canada?"

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May Resigns, Blames Media

MP Elizabeth May yesterday resigned as national Green leader with criticism of media over the Party’s failure to win more than three seats in the Commons. “The media of this country have failed abysmally in understanding climate science well enough to talk about it,” May told reporters. “Sorry.”

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“Racist” No Insult: Judge

Drivers pulled over by police don’t lose their Charter right to free expression, a Québec judge has ruled. The decision came in the case of a Black motorist cited for calling police racist when he was questioned without cause: "Is the use of the word ‘racist’ an insult? That’s the question."

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Polar Bears Fat And Plentiful

Inuit groups in Federal Court affidavits say numbers of polar bears are growing despite climate change claims. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and the World Wildlife Fund have pointed to polar bear health as proof of catastrophic change in the Arctic: "It is rare to see a skinny bear."

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Want To Hike Carbon Tax

Parliament must raise the carbon tax to address climate change, says a coalition of labour and environmental groups. The tax is currently capped under legislation at the equivalent of 12¢ a litre for gasoline: "We need leadership to show where we’re going with these taxes."

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Lose Party Status In 80 Days

Senate Liberals will lose party status in eighty days with the mandatory retirement of their eldest member. A string of retirements next year will see the dwindling caucus stripped of official status in the Senate for the first time since 1867: "It’s very painful."

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