Federal App Tracking 715,000

The Department of Environment is tracking the location of more than 715,000 Canadians who downloaded what ex-Minister Catherine McKenna once called a “super cool” weather app, records show. Staff said they also collected users’ email addresses but insisted the data scoop complied with privacy law: "Oh yes!!"

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Senators Want The Fine Print

Members of the Senate communications committee are demanding cabinet spell out regulations under a YouTube bill that passed the Commons Tuesday by a 208 to 117 vote. Senators balked at demands they first pass the bill and see details later: "It will affect potentially every single Canadian who uses the internet."

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Passed Crime Bill In A Week

Parliament yesterday gave speedy passage to a cabinet bill to close the “extreme intoxication” defence. The cabinet bill was prompted by a Supreme Court decision six weeks ago: "It is our duty as parliamentarians to move quickly to solve problems."

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Housing Plan Is Short: CMHC

Cabinet’s proposal to boost new housing construction by 20,000 homes a year is a fraction of the number needed, according to CMHC figures released yesterday. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said current building trends are short by 400,000 a year: "Housing is one of the most difficult issues."

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Dead Mouse Was A Warning

Former employees including a retired director general allege widespread sexual harassment in the federal prison service. One woman said coworkers left a dead mouse in her mailbox after she filed a complaint, according to Federal Court records: "She understood this to mean she was perceived as a ‘rat’ for reporting misconduct."

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Dr. Tam Wins 22% Pay Raise

Cabinet has awarded Dr. Theresa Tam a 22 percent pay raise. The increase to $324,000 a year was approved despite missteps including Tam’s 2020 announcement that Covid “is largely under control” and her recommendation that Canadians use Kleenex to ward off infection: "Public health officers across the whole country have become this generation’s rock stars."

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Feds On A “Search For Truth”

A cabinet bill on internet news will help Canadians “search for truth,” says Attorney General David Lametti. Bill C-18 the Online News Act would allow media conglomerates like the CBC to claim a slice of ad revenues from news content shared through Google and Facebook: "Freedom of expression protects speakers as well as listeners."

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Freeland Claim False: Report

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland’s claim taxpayers will "likely" recover billions spent on the Trans Mountain Pipeline is false, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. The only question is how much taxpayers stand to lose, wrote analysts: "Trans Mountain no longer continues to be a profitable undertaking."

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Car, Gas Prices Hike Inflation

A change in Statistics Canada’s calculation of its benchmark Consumer Price Index to fully account for rising costs of used cars yesterday helped push the national inflation rate to its highest level in 39 years. The new calculation tracked “steeper price increases for used vehicles.”

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MPs Like Pension Reform Bill

The Commons yesterday gave Second Reading to bankruptcy reforms sponsored by a Conservative MP and endorsed by the Canadian Labour Congress. The bill would shield private sector pensions in cases of corporate bankruptcy: "This has been a problem for a long time."

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MPs To Review GG Expenses

Governor General Mary Simon faces MPs’ scrutiny over the high cost of catering for an official visit she paid to Dubai in March. The Commons government operations committee yesterday voted unanimously to review expenses MPs called reckless: "We all find it excessive."

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Bill C-11 Challenged In Senate

The latest federal attempt to regulate the internet must be revised to protect free expression, a former CRTC chair yesterday told the Senate communications committee. Cabinet since 2019 has introduced bill after bill to regulate web content. None have passed to date: "It is Canadian consumers who choose what we want to watch."

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Spent $3.1M On Tree Concept

Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson’s department spent more than $3 million on a tree planting campaign without planting any trees, records show. Staff salaries were a leading expense: "The department did not spend any funding to plant trees directly."

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Wants Recognition Of Taiwan

Any future Conservative cabinet should formally recognize Taiwan, MP Scott Aitchison (Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont.) said yesterday. The proposal by the candidate for the Party’s September 10 leadership vote follows a Commons health committee proposal endorsing Taiwan’s bid for membership in the World Health Organization: "Taiwan is an independent and sovereign country."

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NATO Vow Worth $500 Each

Meeting cabinet’s target on military spending would cost every Canadian another $500 each this year, Parliamentary Budget Officer Yves Giroux said yesterday. Canada ranks 25th out of 30 NATO countries on defence budgeting: "We'll see."

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