MP Sorry For Ethics Breach

The Liberal chair of the Commons natural resources committee yesterday was ordered to apologize for breach of the Conflict Of Interest Code. MP James Maloney (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Ont.) was cited for failing to promptly disclose all personal assets that include shares in SNC Lavalin Group Inc. and various oil companies: "I have always taken my ethical and disclosure obligations seriously."

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Green Targets Omit Fed Fleet

The Department of Environment yesterday introduced a bill mandating targets leading to net zero emissions within a generation. The department did not explain how it would eliminate tailpipe emissions from government-owned trucks, locomotives and ferries, the largest transport fleet in the country: "Why did you not include more accountability?"

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Covid Furniture Cost $36M

Federal agencies spent more than $36 million on new desks, chairs and other equipment to have employees work from home, according to records. The Department of Public Works said it was not a waste of money: "Employees will continue to leverage flexible work arrangements."

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Targets Capitalist ‘Predators’

Parliament must regulate “predatory capitalism” and tax “the richest of the rich”, a Liberal-appointed Senator yesterday told the Chamber. Senator Rosa Galvez (Que.) proposed raising the corporate tax rate from fifteen to twenty-one percent and taxing “passive investments” in private companies: 'Rich people have fled big cities and located themselves in the suburbs.'

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Court Rejects Climate Claims

A federal judge has dismissed a climate change lawsuit that claimed rising greenhouse gas emissions breach Charter rights. “The courts must leave these decisions in the hands of others,” wrote Justice Glennys McVeigh of the Federal Court: "It is hard to imagine a more political issue than climate change."

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‘No End’ To Fed Dysfunction

The Royal Canadian Legion yesterday told MPs there appears no end in sight to years-long waits facing veterans filing legitimate claims for disability benefits. Tens of thousands of claims are backlogged: "We do not see any end in sight."

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Pandemic Hits Stats Canada

Statistics Canada yesterday blamed the pandemic for an unprecedented drop in response in its monthly Labour Force Surveys. The agency said benchmark figures on jobless rates remain reliable, but cautioned fewer Canadians were answering questionnaires: "I don’t know that we have ever faced a large scale public health event like this."

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Calls Pharmacare ‘Inevitable’

The Commons yesterday opened debate on a New Democrat pharmacare bill with a prediction universal, taxpayer-funded drug coverage is inevitable. Data show seniors will outnumber children in Canada by 2023: "It’s been a generation since we’ve had promises around pharmacare."

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Can’t Explain Ineligible CERB Claims By More Than 800,000

Canada Revenue Agency records suggest billions in pandemic relief was paid to ineligible claimants. The Agency yesterday did not comment on its own records indicating $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit cheques for hard-pressed tax filers went to nearly 824,000 people who had not filed a return: "We need an audit, 100 percent."

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Foreign Sellers Dodge $247M

Cross-border vendors in 2019 avoided a quarter-billion in GST payments, Auditor General Karen Hogan said yesterday. The Commons trade committee two years ago recommended Parliament enact a so-called eBay tax: "This is astounding."

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Save Laurier, Pleads Senator

Canadians must rally to save Wilfrid Laurier from being erased from the five-dollar bill, a Québec senator last night told the Chamber. The Bank of Canada is to remove Laurier’s portrait in 2023: "It’s as if the government is shunting aside francophones."

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Lost Seat At U.N. Cost $2.4M

Cabinet spent $2,446,026 in its four-year campaign for a seat on the United Nations Security Council, records show. It was the equivalent of nearly $23,000 for every vote Canada received in its failed bid: "There can be an unhealthy quest to get a Security Council seat at any expense."

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Exempt Themselves From Act

Cabinet yesterday introduced a bill banning third-party use of personal information without consent under threat of steep fines. Federal agencies are exempt, though in-house research shows Canadians are wary of government data collection: "Most Canadians, 81%, are at least somewhat concerned about government."

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Baylis? Never Heard Of Him

Public Works Minister Anita Anand last night denied favouritism in awarding a $237,300,200 contract to buy ventilators from ex-Liberal MP Frank Baylis’ company, Baylis Medical. “I have no idea who Frank Baylis is,” the Minister told the Commons government operations committee: "I couldn’t pick him out of a crowd."

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MPs Demand Trudeaus’ Fees

The Commons ethics committee yesterday by a 6-5 vote ordered the Trudeau family's talent agent to surrender twelve years of records detailing corporate sponsorship fees paid to the Prime Minister and his wife. Liberal MPs had filibustered against disclosure since July 22, and hinted at a legal challenge: "It is unfortunate."

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