Complaint Hotline At Senate

The Senate budget committee yesterday agreed to open a confidential hotline for complaints of harassment or "mobbing" by senators and staff. The measure follows investigation of lewd misconduct by one former lawmaker: "Let's not forget."

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Appeal For Jurors’ Aid Bill

Former jurors including a senator who said she was traumatized by bloodcurdling autopsy photos yesterday appealed for speedy passage of a jurors’ aid bill. An identical bill passed the Commons by unanimous vote last April 12 but lapsed in the Senate: 'It was horrific.'

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Judge Upholds Résumé Fraud

A judge has upheld a finding of résumé fraud by a federal employee. The Public Service Commission yesterday said it received 78 fraud complaints last year. Seventeen were upheld: 'No alleged Charter rights were violated.'

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Compensation Not Automatic

Private landowners have no automatic right to compensation from federal orders protecting species at risk, says the Federal Court. The ruling came in the case of a rare frog that halted completion of a $22 million subdivision in Québec: "It is better to leave the Minister of the Environment all the latitude necessary."

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$1.73 Tax Cut Puzzles MPs

Members of the Commons finance committee last night questioned a federal tax cut worth $1.73 a week. “It is incumbent on us to be more familiar with Canadians’ needs,” said Prosperity Minister Mona Fortier.

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“My Integrity Matters A Lot”

MPs last night depicted Canada’s ambassador to Beijing as a China apologist who personally profited from dealings with the People’s Republic. “My integrity matters a lot to me,” said Ambassador Dominic Barton. “It matters a huge amount to me.”

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Bill Bans Sweatshop Imports

The Senate yesterday took up a private Liberal bill to ban all sweatshop imports produced by slave or child labour. Importers would be personally liable for damages: "This is a bill that has real teeth to it."

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‘I Am Not Métis, Never Was’

Senator Lynn Beyak yesterday said she has never claimed to be Métis. Beyak attributed the quote to a bad-tempered instructor in sensitivity training classes who lectured the Senator on white privilege: "We would have to agree to disagree."

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McD’s OK To Hire Migrants

McDonald’s restaurants may hire migrants if they can't find Canadians who'll work for $17 an hour, a federal judge has ruled. Complaints of McDonald’s hiring earlier prompted a federal moratorium on temporary foreign workers in the food trade: "Its advertising complied with the prevailing wage."

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Ex-MP Breached Ethics Code

Former two-term Liberal Joe Peschisolido yesterday was cited for multiple breaches of the Commons Conflict Of Interest Code while a British Columbia MP. Peschisolido only escaped sanctions by losing his seat in last October’s election, wrote Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion: "There is no doubt in my mind."

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CRA Wrong 13% Of The Time

The Canada Revenue Agency says taxpayers still have a thirteen percent chance of getting the wrong answer when they dial a call centre with tax questions. “The Agency has made substantial improvements,” said Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier.

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123 Citizens In Chinese Jails

The Department of Foreign Affairs yesterday said it knows of 123 Canadians detained in Chinese prisons including two on death row in the People’s Republic. MPs expressed frustration as staff invoked the Privacy Act in refusing to detail the cases: "It shouldn’t take a crisis for people to get basic information."

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Tax Airbnb $100M, MPs Told

Hoteliers yesterday petitioned the Commons finance committee to impose a $100 million tax on Airbnb. The industry complained website rentals pose unfair competition to hotels, motels and resorts that must pay federal tax: "The hosts are running a business."

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‘Roll Up Sleeves’ On Pipeline

Finance Minister Bill Morneau yesterday said cabinet is ready to ‘roll up its sleeves’ on the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. The Federal Court of Appeal yesterday rejected a challenge by six Indigenous groups of federal licensing for the oil pipeline: "Do you expect backlash?"

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Senate Suspension Is Certain

Senators yesterday expressed unanimous approval to again suspend Senator Lynn Beyak without her $153,900-a year salary for conduct unbecoming a legislator. A formal vote expected as early as this afternoon will make Beyak the first senator in Canadian history to be suspended twice: "Racism has no place within the institution of the Senate."

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