Fear Of Crowds Will Linger

Canadians share a lingering fear of crowds even after Covid runs its course, says in-house research by the heritage department. Most say they are uncomfortable or unsure it would be safe to attend indoor concerts and events once pandemic restrictions are lifted: 'It would make me anxious.'

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Accept Apology, Not Censure

New Democrat leader Jagmeet Singh yesterday said a public apology, not censure, was sufficient for a Toronto candidate who posted anti-Israel tweets. Singh earlier pledged support for federal legislation to regulate hurtful comments on social media: "Why are you standing by this candidate?"

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No Right To Shop Maskless

Human rights codes do not protect maskless shoppers, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled. People who claim a right to forego Covid masks must have a valid medical reason, the Tribunal said: "I was told if I would not wear a mask I had to leave."

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No Mandatory Vax In Prison

Federal prisoners do not have to get vaccinated, the Correctional Service said yesterday. However prison guards as federal employees would be required to show proof of vaccination under a cabinet proposal: "The Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory for federal inmates."

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Feds Polled On Nt’l Rifle Ban

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s department commissioned pre-election polling on whether to ban hunting rifles and shotguns. More than a third of people favoured a ban, mainly those who were “not very or at all familiar” with firearms regulations: "The objective of this research was to set benchmarks."

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Poll Captains Will Call Police

Elections Canada yesterday said poll officers have been instructed to call police if necessary to enforce local pandemic rules. RCMP in one incident were summoned to an advance poll in West Kelowna, B.C. to question maskless voters: "You have to be careful here."

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Seeks Ban On Street Protests

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau yesterday said any re-elected Liberal cabinet will amend the Criminal Code to outlaw protests outside hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. The Code already prohibits unlawful assembly by as few as three people: "“Why would that legislation be necessary?"

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Studied 40,000 Trump Tweets

The Bank of Canada in a review of Donald Trump tweets concludes the former U.S. president’s messages had a “statistically significant” impact on exchange rates. Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account last January 8: "His tweets were informative and potentially consequential."

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Fed Insiders Got VIP Service

Cabinet aides were in personal contact with VIPs and Liberal Party insiders seeking federal Covid contracts from the outbreak of the pandemic, according to internal emails. Other suppliers were told to register with a federal website: "Could we reach out politically on this one as well?"

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No Proof Vax Passports Work

There are no data proving vaccine passports work, says Dr. Theresa Tam, chief public health officer. Tam told reporters the actual impact on vaccination rates has not been studied by the Public Health Agency of Canada: "That remains to be seen."

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Sought Replacement Workers

The Newfoundland and Labrador government quietly petitioned the post office to hire replacement workers to deliver the mail, according to internal records. Neither Canada Post nor the Premier’s Office would comment on emails dating from a Covid outbreak in St. John’s: "The Newfoundland and Labrador government has requested that Canada Post look at hiring temporary workers."

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Would Promote Arts Abroad

The Department of Canadian Heritage has spent three years devising a program to promote the arts at foreign embassies, according to a briefing note. Expenses to date were not detailed. It follows a fly-a-chef program by the Department of Foreign Affairs that cost $1.75 million a year: "People begin to gain a better appreciation of other perspectives."

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Home Pot Bans Legal: Court

Local bans on home cultivation of legalized marijuana are constitutional, the Québec Court of Appeal has ruled. A similar challenge of a Manitoba ban is pending: "Do I understand the Government of Canada would leave it totally to the courts?"

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Sunday Poem: “All Aboard”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, writes for Blacklock’s each and every Sunday: “Canadian politicians love the train. They either take Business Class for added room and comfort, or publicly denounce VIA executives…”

Review – Heroes And Anti-Heroes

Historian Jack Granatstein decades ago crisscrossed the country interviewing the last surviving senior Canadian officers to serve in the Second World War. Once newsreel heroes, they were now old men, in their 80s and 90s, forgotten by the public – bitterly so, in some cases. Luckily for readers, Granatstein saved his notes.

“Some of what I recorded was indiscreet, self-serving and gossipy, no doubt, but almost all of it seemed to me to be the truth,” writes Granatstein; “During the war, several of the officers whom I interviewed had refused to be disparaging about the abilities of their leaders, despite probing questioning. They had no such qualms in disparaging politicians, but the passage of decades and the gaining of perspective relaxed such instinctive attitudes in many interviewees’ remarks on their comrades.”