Ex-Chief Predicts Job Cuts

The ex-chief of the federal public service predicts job cuts in the aftermath of the pandemic. “The federal service will be smaller,” said Michael Wernick, former $326,000-a year clerk of the Privy Council: "We saw that before."

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Cop Unions “Huge Problem”

Police unions have “frequently been a huge problem” in protecting bad officers, says the Liberal chair of the Commons public safety committee. The RCMP Commissioner told a hearing on police abuses she “won’t appreciate getting thrown under the bus” by union members.

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Doctors Seek Death Benefits

The Canadian Medical Association is petitioning Parliament for $300,000 grants to families of front line health care workers who die of Covid-19. Dr. Sandy Buchman, association president, blamed the Public Health Agency for failing to stock up on masks, goggles, face shields and other pandemic supplies: "We would never permit a firefighter to go into a burning building without adequate protection."

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Senate Suspension Extended

Legislators will extend until September a suspension without pay for Senator Lynn Beyak (Ont.). The Senate deferred a vote on reinstating Beyak after she was compelled to attend hours of Indigenous sensitivity training: "She has learned."

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Ask If Shouts Are Off Limits

A federal judge is being asked to rule on whether shouting constitutes workplace harassment. A National Research Council investigation that dismissed a 'raised voice' complaint is being challenged in Federal Court: 'You are a lowly advisor, nothing else.'

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Public To Pay For Ex-Senator

Taxpayers are to compensate ex-staff of former senator Don Meredith following a sexual harassment investigation. The Senate committee on internal economy meets tomorrow to discuss claims: "What are you wearing? Can you send me a picture?"

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Home Values Get Hammered

The recession could knock an average $100,000 off home prices in the largest Western cities, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation warned yesterday. Average prices in Toronto, Ottawa and Montréal will rebound sooner, said analysts: "There is a lot of uncertainty out there."

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Air Passengers Owed Billions

Canadian airlines owe customers billions for prepaid travel cancelled due to the pandemic, says the Department of Transport. Airline executives told the Commons health committee the industry will take years to recover: "We are where we are."

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Minister Repays China Loans

Foreign Minister Françoise-Philippe Champagne yesterday said he refinanced $1.2 million in Bank of China mortgages with a Canadian bank. Champagne would not say if he previously received preferential terms from the People's Republic: "I feel very transparent."

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Claim Abuse of $1,500 Grants

Farmers have breached the Quarantine Act despite $1,500 grants to protect migrant workers, say labour advocates. The Department of Employment refused to inspect scofflaws, the Commons human resources committee was told: "Thirteen workers got one bag of potatoes to eat for a week."

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Audits To Take ‘Many Years’

Audits for waste in pandemic spending will take “many years” to complete, Auditor General Karen Hogan warned yesterday. Hogan said investigators are unable to audit all pandemic relief programs by 2021: "We will not be able to audit each and every federal program associated with Canada’s Covid-19 response."

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Even MPs Can’t Learn Bonus

The taxpayer-owned Canada Infrastructure Bank yesterday rejected demands from the Commons finance committee for details of bonuses paid to its former CEO. Pierre Lavallée abruptly resigned April 3 with three years remaining in his contract: "Well, that's unacceptable."

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Cabinet Admits CERB Snafu

Cabinet could have “picked better words" to discourage cheats under a $60 billion pandemic relief program, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough said yesterday. A draft bill to jail scofflaws would not be retroactive, she said: "I hear you."

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VIA Trains Later Than Ever

VIA Rail yesterday reported its steepest deficit in five years despite record revenues. The Crown railway also acknowledged trains are running later than ever: "The service is no longer a viable travel alternative in between and around Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper and Vancouver."

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N-Word Still On Fed Website

Parliament yesterday said it will not remove the n-word from its federal website. The slur is included in a poem republished by Parliament’s former poet laureate: "I’m not interested in censorship."

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