Book Review: An Immigrant’s Tale

Canada is not the kind of country that wakes up in the morning to the sound of trumpets and drums. No MP ever gave a speech entitled “Canadian Exceptionalism”, and if somebody tried, a voice in the back of the room would say: “In fairness, Belgium makes pretty good chocolates.”

Yet we enjoy an extraordinariness most dramatically illustrated in the immigrant experience, and none more unusual than the story documented in Reflections On Malcolm Forsyth. The composer in his dying days devoted his last breaths to a national tribute.

Senator Boosts China Friends

The head of the largest legislative group in the Senate has accepted a January 30 invitation to speak at a China-endorsed club praised for promoting “friendship” with the People’s Republic. Liberal appointee Senator Yuen Pau Woo of Vancouver yesterday would not say if he was paid for his appearance: 'He is widely recognized as a leading thinker.'

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Weather Upgrades Too Slow

Environment Canada will take years, even decades to modernize obsolete weather stations nationwide though Parliament voted $384 million for the job, say auditors. Expenses include replacing all radar stations used as a main source of daily forecasts: "They are essential."

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Bank Grant An ‘Investment’

The finance department in Access To Information files obtained by an MP says it considers millions spent on a Chinese bank as an “investment” regardless of whether taxpayers see any profit. "These types of accounting maneuvers stink of financial cheating,” said Conservative MP Tom Kmiec (Calgary Shepard).

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Business Case For Moon Shot

The Canadian Space Agency yesterday said it will spend $300,000 on consultants to justify a “business case” to go to the moon. The spending comes a year after cabinet committed billions to joining a U.S. program to build a permanent platform in lunar orbit by 2026, the Lunar Gateway project: 'It's maximizing benefits for Canadians.'

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Lost $1.4M In Bank Transfers

The Receiver General last year lost more than $1.4 million by wiring tax refunds and benefit cheques to the wrong bank accounts. Losses followed a failed 2012 campaign by the Department of Public Works to require that all Canadians submit personal bank data to accept federal payments: "I don't trust it."

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Braced For Pipeline Protests

Cabinet was so fearful of public protest over to its 2018 purchase of an oil pipeline the Privy Council Office called police, say Access To Information records. Staff warned RCMP to brace for demonstrations “across the country” hours after the announcement: "Everyone practice vigilance".

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Canadian Tire Gets A Grant

Canadian Tire Corp. yesterday received a $2.7 million federal subsidy to install electric car charging stations at stores from British Columbia to Ontario. The Government of B.C. approved a separate $275,000 grant. Canadian Tire has $9 billion in annual revenues: "Canada's climate plan is working."

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RCMP Cleared In Shooting

Alberta investigators yesterday cleared RCMP of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a driver awakened from a nap in a parked vehicle. The Mounties had published misleading accounts of the 2017 shooting: "The scene was carefully scrutinized."

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Hockey Penalty Cost $702,551

A right-winger cited for injuring an opposing player in a no-contact beer league game has been ordered to pay $702,551 in damages. The Court judgment is the first since a Commons subcommittee convened 2018 hearings on hockey injuries: 'It was beyond the bounds of fair play.'

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Will Not Comment On Junket

Taxpayers’ Ombudsman Sherra Profit will not take questions on a Hawaiian junket to a conference that included a workshop with a yoga instructor. “The ombudsman is unavailable for interviews,” said Christianne Scholfield, a spokesperson for Ms. Profit.

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Feds Prepare For Bank Failure

A federal agency yesterday detailed a complete overhaul of systems to protect depositors against bank failures. Canada has not suffered a run on an uninsured bank since the 1923 collapse of the Home Bank: 'It will assess readiness in the event of a potential failure."

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Chat Room Libel Cost $485K

A judge has awarded $485,000 in damages and costs to a Toronto company and its management targeted by libelous remarks in an internet chat room. Ontario Superior Court acknowledged all the money may never be collected since writers used pseudonyms and untraceable email accounts: "Their cowardice is reprehensible."

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Sex Column Was OK: Council

A national press ombudsman has dismissed public protest over a column that joked about prostitution. The National News Media Council called it an “uncomfortable issue” but added: "There was no evidence the opinion writer had crossed the line in any way."

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CBC-TV Ad Dollars Fall 37%

The CBC confirms its English-language TV ad revenues fell by more than a third last year with fewer than one percent of Canadians watching its local suppertime newscasts. The Crown broadcaster in its latest Annual Report questioned whether it can remain sustainable without more subsidies: "Program spending in future years will have to be reduced."

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