Average Staffer Costs $115K

Each federal employee costs $115,000 a year on average, the Parliamentary Budget Office said yesterday. The Office in a report estimated federal labour costs had grown at almost double the rate of inflation for the past twelve years: "In 2019 the average federal compensation per full-time equivalent (employee) was about $115,000."

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Trailer Ads Not Free Speech

Roadside trailer ads are not constitutionally-protected free speech, says a Calgary judge. The Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench upheld a county ban on the ads, calling them a type of “guerrilla advertising”.

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Millions More In Tidal Power

Cabinet yesterday approved millions in new subsidies for tidal power projects despite steep losses for taxpayers in past failures. The Department of Natural Resources called new funding a measure to fight climate change: "Investing in tidal energy helps get us to zero emissions."

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MPs Fear Second Shutdown

Cabinet must avert another general shutdown of the economy to combat any second wave of Covid-19 infections, MPs said yesterday. The Opposition caucus meeting in person for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic called for a Canada-wide recovery plan: "Canadians are very concerned about another lockdown."

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Pledge For Black-Owned Co’s

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday promised a first-ever federal loan guarantee program for Black-owned businesses. The Prime Minister’s Office did not define terms for borrowers: "We must address long-standing discrimination."

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Pay Kids To Talk Up Veggies

The Department of Health yesterday said it will pay schoolchildren as young as 12 to encourage classmates to eat their vegetables. The four-year campaign is to promote the Canada Food Guide that recommends Canadians drink tap water and eat more carrots, nuts and seeds: 'It will instill lifelong healthy eating habits.'

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Judge Defends VW Penalty

An Ontario judge is defending an out-of-court settlement over misconduct by Volkswagen AG at a fraction the cost of U.S. penalties. VW settled in Canada for less than a tenth what it paid in the U.S. for faking emissions data on so-called “green” diesel cars: 'It signals a new era.'

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‘Lives At Risk’ Gov’t Admits

The “lives of Canadians” were put at risk by lack of pandemic preparedness at the Public Health Agency, managers acknowledged in an internal memo. Executives privately issued the stark warning even as they reassured the public their work was in hand: "Time is of the essence."

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‘Not A Good Sign’ On Covid

Increasing coronavirus infection rates are “not a good sign”, the Public Health Agency yesterday told reporters. Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer, would not say whether a feared second wave of infection was underway: "We don't want that to happen."

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More Do Not Trust The Feds

Fewer than half of people surveyed in a federal poll, 49 percent, say they trust the Government of Canada to balance national security with civil liberties. The finding follows false alarms by cabinet over foreign interference in the 2019 election: "I am concerned about information that government intelligence agencies may be collecting about me."

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Can’t Fight The Tide: China

Canadians can no more reclaim factory jobs from Asia than they could turn the ocean tide, says China’s ambassador to Canada. Ambassador Cong Peiwu made the remarks in a webinar sponsored by Canada’s Building Trades Unions: 'It is the trend of the times, you know."

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Say Carbon Tax Didn’t Work

A British Columbia carbon tax hailed by cabinet as a model for the nation has not lowered greenhouse gas emissions, says the Department of Environment. Even rebates for electric car buyers failed to cut pollution in B.C.'s transport sector: "British Columbia shows it."

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Lametti Cited For Meddling: “Intolerable” Says Fed Judge

Attorney General David Lametti is being cited for “intolerable” and unlawful interference in court business. The Federal Court of Appeal struck down a cabinet bill to freeze civil proceedings: 'It is incorrect in law and should not be followed.'

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Tripled Spending On Polls

Federal spending on pollsters has tripled in five years, says the Department of Public Works. Figures show cabinet spent a total $54.8 million on public opinion surveys since 2015: "The Government of Canada works hard to ascertain which issues Canadians care about."

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Small Biz Pushback At C.R.A.

The Canada Revenue Agency is citing pushback by small businesses over an obscure part of the Income Tax Act. Owners must annually file a separate form for every single payment for service of $500 or more under threat of a $7,500 fine: "They should not have to do the Canada Revenue Agency’s job."

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