No Delay For Climate ‘Crisis’

Cabinet will press ahead with new green fuel regulations, Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson said yesterday. The oil and gas industry had petitioned for a delay in the so-called Clean Fuel Standard due to recession job losses: "Canadians want their government to think about the future."

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No Ancestry Test Here: Judge

First Nations people have no right to insist Indigenous judges hear their legal claims, says an Alberta court. The legal system would collapse if all judges were suspected of bias based on their ancestry, said a Provincial Court judge in Red Deer: "What would the result be?"

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Seven Cities On Quake List

The Department of Natural Resources yesterday said it will permanently install seismographs within a 200-kilometre radius of seven cities considered hot zones for a major earthquake. Hundreds of sensors will be deployed as part of an early warning system: "There could be up to several hundred extended network stations."

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Vow Dollar For Dollar Tariffs

Cabinet will impose dollar for dollar retaliatory tariffs against American duties on aluminum, Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne said yesterday. U.S. President Donald Trump on August 6 served notice of ten percent charges on Canadian aluminum deemed to “impair the security of the United States”.

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New Internet Regs Are Secret

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault has drafted legislation to regulate legal internet content but will not release it to the public. Guilbeault’s department said anyone wanting to read a confidential discussion paper detailing the regulations should file a $5 Access To Information request: "It has not been shared publicly."

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Court To Decide Carbon Tax

The Supreme Court on September 22 and 23 will hear final arguments in a last legal stand for the federal carbon tax. Lower courts in three provinces issued contradictory rulings on whether the fuel charge is constitutional: "What is your Plan B if the Supreme Court rules against the government?"

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Bank Transfers Led To Probe

A police investigation of an ex-MP charged with fraud was triggered by suspicious bank transactions, say RCMP. Former Liberal MP Raj Grewal (Brampton East, Ont.) had publicly complained of banking regulations as a member of the Commons finance committee: "There is a privacy concern."

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“Age Is But A Number…”

Young Canadians worry more about aging than oldtimers, says Department of Health research. A federal study said people who aren’t old seemed most preoccupied with it: "I'm sad about wrinkles."

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“Real Evidence” On Seatbelts

The Department of Transport says it seeks “real world evidence” on the effectiveness of school bus seatbelts after rejecting a mandatory measure as too costly. A pilot project will be carried out in two British Columbia school districts: "It’s mandatory for new coach buses to have seatbelts; why have school buses been left out?"

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A Poem: “Monty Python”

Poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday: “Pedestrian crossing downtown Ottawa marked by silhouette: John Cleese performing Silly Walk…”

Review: The Days Of Ho Chi Minh

Michael Maclear was the only Western TV correspondent in North Vietnam the day Ho Chi Minh died in 1969. Half a million mourners clad in white queued for hours to see Ho laying in state, his head resting on a soft pillow. It was “a great river of people,” Maclear recalls. The temperature hit 107° and kept climbing: “Every few seconds in the intense heat, even among the ranks of soldiers, someone would faint.”

Reading Guerrilla Nation is like opening a drawer to find a lapsed passport or faded yearbook. In an instant you are in a time and place once very important and now utterly forgotten – “the strangest of journeys in the most divisive of times, when ‘Nam confounded us all,” writes Maclear.

Seeks Web Speech ‘Remedies’

Attorney General David Lametti says his department seeks "legal remedies" for unregulated content on the internet. Lametti's department in a private discussion paper sent to advocacy groups complained of the “double-edged nature of the internet”.

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Election Probe Took A Year

Commissioner of Elections Yves Côté yesterday would not explain why he took more than a year to complete a Canada Elections Act investigation implicating two cabinet ministers. The breach of law was documented in Twitter and Facebook posts: "You have to wonder what is going on in that office."

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Mortgage Deferrals $1B/mo.

Mortgage deferrals since March have grown at more than a billion per month and now pose a risk on defaults, CMHC said yesterday. The federal insurer estimated 760,000 homeowners have skipped or deferred payments: "Big banks are charging interest on interest."

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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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