Interns Win An 8-Hour Day

Banks, radio stations and other federally-regulated employers cannot work unpaid student interns more than 40 hours a week under proposed Canada Labour Code regulations. The rules mirror a 2015 New Democrat bill prompted by student deaths: "It’s something they have been asking for, for a very long time."

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Claim Lobbyists Rewrote Bill

Senate amendments to an oil and gas bill appear ghostwritten by lobbyists, say Liberal MPs. The Commons will reject revisions that fail to restore “trust in the process”, officials said: "Some of those amendments in the package come directly from oil lobbyists."

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Tight Eco Regs On Shippers

Transport Canada proposes the strictest regulations yet on oceangoing vessels to curb the spread of invasive water species. Zebra mussels, sea lampreys and other pests have cost millions, said the department: "They were the ones who created the loopholes in the first place."

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A Poem: “The View Within”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Premier Ford may be immortalized with a monument built of flexible, six-feet long tube, bearing a tiny camera…”

Book Review: The Big Gov’t Eraser

Librarians, like hoarders, save everything because you never know what is needed in the future, and governments like to change the record as they go along. As Government Information In Canada puts it, “the goals and interests of future researchers can never be fully anticipated”. Though record-keeping has never been cheaper and easier, it has also never been more haphazard.

Government Information makes this point beautifully.

“Consider this: one has an easier time finding and reading a surveyor’s report of Aboriginal lands that was submitted to and published by the Government of Canada in 1897 than finding and reading an academic research paper submitted to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and published for the Government of Canada by a private company in 1997,” write librarians Amanda Wakaruk of the University of Alberta, and Steve Marks of the University of Toronto.

Fake News Manhunt Detailed

Elections Canada investigators have waged a four-month manhunt for sponsors of a fake news item targeting New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh. Access To Information records indicate the hoax was traced to a company registered in Israel: ‘The identity is unknown.’

Pay Equity Win Took 27 Yrs

The nation’s postmasters yesterday said they reached final settlement in a 27-year pay equity dispute with Canada Post. A federal judge in 2016 called the delay proof of a failed pay equity system: "It has been a struggle to have their rights recognized."

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Senate Passes Fisheries Act

The Senate by an 86 to 3 vote yesterday passed a bill to rewrite the Fisheries Act. Senators approved amendments sought by industry lobbyists to narrow the definition of protected habitat: "I know there continues to be some questions over the need for higher standards."

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Tweet Prompts Senate Pause

A tweet by a Manitoba senator yesterday prompted members of the Senate budget committee to propose a review of social media practices. All senators’ Twitter accounts should be examined, the committee was told: "Senators must be held to a higher standard."

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Slim Chance Of Audit Funds

MPs on the Commons public accounts committee yesterday said there is little chance cabinet will increase funding for the Auditor General’s office. Auditors will abandon audits of cybersecurity, employee travel and other issues after they were denied an extra $10.8 million: "We have money for everything, except this."

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‘Politics Is Rough’, Says MP

Former labour minister Kellie Leitch in a farewell speech to the Commons said “not all Canadians are tolerant”, and urged MPs to confront controversial issues. Leitch complained she was targeted with hurtful incidents dating from the 2015 general election: "I was subjected to the worst type of threats online."

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Press Bailout May Top $595M

A $595 million bailout for federally-approved news media may cost more than budgeted, the Department of Finance yesterday told the Senate national finance committee. Costs may “not be proved entirely accurate”, said Assistant Deputy Finance Minister Brian Ernewein.

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Lavalin Joined Ethics Review

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. was the only company invited to participate in a Department of Public Works review of its Government-Wide Integrity Regime, the Commons government operations committee was told yesterday. The invitation came as the company prepared for a pending trial on fraud and bribery charges: "Why was SNC-Lavalin brought in?"

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A Third Oppose Carbon Tax

A third or more of Canadians in four provinces oppose the carbon tax, according to in-house polling by the Privy Council Office. Pre-election research obtained through Access To Information shows opposition runs as high as 44 percent on the Prairies: 'Opponents felt it was a new form of taxation that mostly hurt the little guy."

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Vote Now, Details Later

Members of the Senate social affairs committee yesterday expressed frustration with vague terms of a $1.25 billion homebuyers program. Senators complained they are expected to pass the bill without knowing the true cost to taxpayers, or viability of the program: "We don’t have a lot of time to understand what is a major piece of legislation."

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