13% Sorry For App Download

More than a tenth of Canadians who downloaded a federal Covid Alert app regretted it, says in-house research by the Department of Health. The vast majority of 33 million smartphone users in Canada refused to download the app in the first place, citing privacy concerns: "I don’t trust the government to handle my data."

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Censured MP Faces Hearing

Liberal MP Will Amos (Pontiac, Que.) yesterday was censured by the Commons for misconduct. MPs referred Amos to questioning by the House affairs committee after he first appeared naked, then urinated during videoconferences: "That stems from a lot of people being more relaxed and comfortable because they are at home or in their own office."

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Deny Fixing Best-Before Date

The Department of Health yesterday denied breaching WHO guidelines by giving Canadians date-expired vaccines. The World Health Organization in a May 17 notice said expired vaccines should not be used no matter how “deeply regrettable” it was to discard them: "You guys just changed the expiry date."

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Paid Fundraiser For Research

The federal Leaders’ Debates Commission awarded a research contract to a group that fundraised for four cabinet ministers and praised China for its “environmental leadership,” records show. The Commission was to be impartial when created by cabinet three years ago: "We ensured the Commission would have the independence required to make its own decisions."

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House In Uproar On Bill C-10

Government business has ground to a halt in the Commons as MPs protest Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault’s attempt to gag debate on first-ever regulation of legal internet content. Cabinet said it is now “virtually impossible” to pass Bill C-10 without forcing a vote: "At this rate it would likely take more than six months."

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Silent On ‘”Push Back” Memo

Executives at a federal agency declined to testify at the Commons health committee after threatening to “push back” against patient groups like Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Threats by the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board were detailed in Access To Information records: "We can all make assumptions on why they refused to show up."

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Predict Risk Of Match Fixing

A bill to legalize bookmaking will raise the risk of match fixing in football, tennis and other sports, says the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. Corrupt practices may spread to “university sport, college sport or the Canada Games,” the Senate banking committee was told: "It's already occurring in Canada."

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Farmers ‘Afraid’ Of Activists

Poultry producers say they fear farm raids by animal rights activists. The Chicken Farmers of Canada endorsed a bill threatening jail and hefty fines for trespassers on private property: "They’re here, they’re loud. They’re right in front of you at the driveway."

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Sunday Poem: “Opinionated”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday: “My cat moves across the kitchen table to set my priorities. She positions herself on today’s newspaper. Her eyes in my cereal bowl…”

Review: Memoir Of A Teen Runaway

Police were not infrequent visitors to author Cheri DiNovo’s childhood home. All families have troubles but DiNovo’s make Angela’s Ashes look like a holiday camp. “I grew up in a violent, neurotic, narcissistic household where victims of their own personal traumas acted out in nasty, aggressive ways,” she writes. “This is not to blame any of them.”

Take Uncle Ken, one of the more responsible adults in the home. “It was Ken who took me to dance classes, Ken who took us shopping, Ken who drove us up to the family cottage and stayed with us there, Ken who financially supported us, Ken who always arrived at breakfast at the same time,” writes DiNovo.

“My breakfast was Sugar Crisp, white toast and milk. His, brown toast and coffee. It was also Ken who, one day as I was slurping down my second bowl of cereal, picked up a knife and slashed my Aunt Lorna across the neck.”

Guilbeault Gags C-10 Debate

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault yesterday served notice he will gag a filibuster of Bill C-10, the first legislation in Canada to regulate legal internet content. Guilbeault complained the bill has “been stuck in committee for weeks” and must pass before Parliament takes summer adjournment for Québec’s Saint Jean Baptiste Day, June 24: "“I will confess to you it has been challenging."

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Feds Polled On Narcotics Law

Cabinet commissioned confidential polling on decriminalizing hard drugs as part of an “activist government” agenda, records show. Canadians are sharply divided on the issue, said a Privy Council Office report: "Some favoured this approach while others opposed it."

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New Holiday For Fed Staffers

Federal employees yesterday won a new day off with pay in the name of Indigenous reconciliation. The Senate unanimously passed cabinet's holiday bill into law amid complaints over the $388.9 million cost: "It’s easier to give bureaucrats the day off here than it is to work on the more pressing but difficult issues that are facing Indigenous communities every day of the week."

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Senators Like Farm Tax Bill

Members of the Senate agriculture committee yesterday expressed unanimous support for a bill to cut millions in taxes due on family sales of legacy farms and other small businesses. “We have been waiting thirty-some years for this fix,” testified one tax manager: "Who could possibly be against this?"

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Banks Oppose Insolvency Bill

A proposed rewrite of federal bankruptcy law will send “ripple effects across the economy,” the Canadian Bankers Association said yesterday. A private bill would give creditors’ preference to pensioners of insolvent companies: "It is very difficult."

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