Misbehaving Candidates OK

The Liberal Party yesterday defended two British Columbia candidates cited for misconduct. One failed to pay GST and was suspended from practicing law, another lied on a CMHC loan application: "I ought to have known."

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Post Lawyer Is Equity Chief

A Canada Post lawyer who fought pay equity claims in court yesterday was named federal Pay Equity Commissioner. She is now to champion “gender equality”, said cabinet: "The system has failed."

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Judge Upholds Usury Law

A British Columbia judge has upheld a federal usury law on a pawnbroker found to charge “incredibly high” interest at five times the legal rate. Parliament in 1978 capped charges at sixty percent a year under the Criminal Code: "There's a lot more to be done."

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Deposits Were Mysterious

Tax Court has cited one of the nation’s top securities lawyers for a “careless approach to recordkeeping” that included mystery deposits in his personal bank account. The Court found no evidence of gross negligence, ruling auditors failed to make their case: "He has not explained what they are."

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Suspect Fraud In Gov’t Cards

One of the heaviest users of government-issue credit cards has introduced continuous audits after uncovering misuse, according to Access To Information records. More than 3,500 employees at the Department of Fisheries have been issued charge cards used for $140 million a year in transactions: 'What sort of internal audits or financial checks are in place?'

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70% Of Mills Are Polluters

Environment Canada says most pulp and paper mills nationwide are dumping harmful chemicals in waterways in breach of the Fisheries Act. The department ordered a review of costs and benefits of tougher regulations on mill operators: "It has to be clear."

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1% Tax Worth Billions: Study

The Parliamentary Budget Office yesterday estimated a New Democrat wealth tax on multi-millionaires would raise $5.6 billion a year beginning in 2020. The Party requested the costing of its campaign proposal: "Our plan is simple."

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Big IT System “Hit Or Miss”

The Canada Border Services Agency's mammoth internal IT system is so dysfunctional it should be replaced, says a report. No cost was detailed. The research follows a United Nations study that ranked Canada behind Estonia in promoting e-government: "They have given up."

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Millions In Professional Fees

The $92 million National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls paid millions in fees to lawyers and management consultants, according to Access To Information records. Data show advisers were hired at $300 an hour: "Can anything be done more efficiently?"

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Farmers Versus Burger Chain

Farmers blame media, animal rights groups and one burger chain for promoting “misinformation” about their industry, say in-house surveys by the Department of Agriculture. The research follows a Commons committee proposal that Parliament use hate crimes provisions of the Criminal Code against farm critics: "You’re being attacked."

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Pay $1B To Cut Emissons 1%

A billion-dollar federal climate change program cut greenhouse gas emissions less than one percent a year, says an Environment Canada report. Companies that received taxpayers’ subsidies have denied it was a failure: "There is no consensus."

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Few Survive To Claim Benefit

Cabinet today will detail cash payments to Métis survivors of WWII and the Korean War though few veterans are alive to collect. The Department of Veterans Affairs in an Access To Information memo said it found no evidence Métis were denied their fair share of billion-dollar benefits, but noted the historical record was “unclear”.

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Staff Aghast Over Media Fees

Federal staff in Access To Information emails expressed astonishment at exorbitant fees paid to government-approved media. Operators of two websites received “huge, crazy” contracts totaling nearly a million dollars. “Yowzers,” wrote one Department of Public Works manager. “Yikes,” replied another: "I’m not sure what you guys are willing to pay or what the source is worth."

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$18K A Day In Roaming Fees

Federal employees working overseas billed the equivalent of nearly $18,000 a day in mobile roaming fees, according to monthly accounts. Disclosure of billing records follows a federal IT survey that employees typically email each other up to a hundred times a day: "It is quite a hefty sum of money."

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Feds Lament Drone Scofflaws

Federal attempts to regulate the nation’s private drone fleet have fallen flat, says in-house research by Transport Canada. Only nine percent of flyers surveyed said they had a Drone Pilot Certificate as required under Canadian Aviation Regulations: 'It's a cash grab.'

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