Saturday, August 31, 2019


    Canada’s two biggest banks, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank, have agreed to pay almost $23 million in total to settle allegations that their traders used confidential customer information to gain a potential advantage in foreign exchange transactions that took place between 2011 and 2013.
   Staff of the Ontario Securities Commission had alleged the banks failed to have sufficient supervision and controls in their foreign exchange trading business, which allowed the inappropriate sharing of confidential customer information by foreign exchange traders with traders at competing firms in electronic “chat rooms.”
   As a result, for more than three years, “traders were free to engage in self-serving behaviour that put the banks’ economic interests ahead of their customers, other market participants and the integrity of the capital markets,” he said.


   Rex Murphy:  Speaking in British Columbia on the jumped-up controversy the Liberals have sprung on Andrew Scheer, on the frightfully current topics of abortion and same-sex marriage, the legal-ethicist PM had this to say: “It’s not enough to reluctantly support the law because it’s a law.” (The italicizing is mine; the stress on reluctantly was his.)
   Now there’s something Blackstone overlooked. None of the reporters present for this legalism-from-the-mount had the presence of mind to follow up with: “In the matter of obeying the law, what degree of zest and enthusiasm is sufficient? Is it enough to be … not exactly reluctant, but only OK with the law? Or, for example, should you throw a small party and maybe a little dance before you stick to the speed limit? Just to show you’re really on board with driving under 90K? Will there be a test for enthusiasm?”
    Were we to seriously adopt this innovative idea of abiding within the law, we could ask Mr. Trudeau himself: Are you only reluctantly not taking freebie trips to the Aga Khan’s private island? Are you now only reluctantly not attempting to interfere with the attorney general and the Public Prosecution Service? Did you stop doing those things because you were caught out, or because you had an enthusiastic awakening and are now nearly ecstatic leaving the attorney general to follow his conscience without outside pressure and interference?

Friday, August 30, 2019


  Freshman Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) on Thursday scurried away from a New York Post reporter asking about her alleged affair with Tim Mynett, a married political consultant to whom she’s paid tens of thousands of dollars.
   Federal campaign finance records show Omar’s campaign has paid nearly $230,000 to Mynett’s consulting firm since 2018.
   On Wednesday, Omar was hit with a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) that alleges the congresswoman used campaign funds to pursue her alleged affair with Mynett. According to FEC filings, the Minnesota Democrat’s campaign issued eight payments totaling $21,547 to E. Street Group for travel fees between April and June.

Dr. Beth Mynett says her cheating spouse, Tim Mynett, told her in April that he was having an affair with the Somali-born US representative — and that he even made a “shocking declaration of love” for the Minnesota congresswoman before he ditched his wife, alleges the filing, submitted in DC Superior Court on Tuesday.


    A shooting war between the U.S. and China seems far-fetched at the moment, but could be plausible once the Pentagon reduces its rare earth mineral exposure on the Asian country and sets up new processing facilities in Australia.
    China controls 80% of the global processing capacity of rare earth minerals.


   The DOJ set a very dangerous precedent with its decision not to prosecute fired FBI Director James Comey for violating department and FBI policies identified in the Inspector General Report.
   How can the IG Report say that Comey’s actions were a “dangerous example for over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees” and the DOJ determine that those actions are not prosecutable? Is this not a clear message from the DOJ to those 35,000+ FBI employees that there are no legal consequences if they ever decide to do what James Comey did?
   The DOJ has just let the world know that from this day forward the FBI is unable to dispatch its law enforcement duties properly. How safe do you feel now?

Thursday, August 29, 2019


   In Canada, pharmacists and other groups have warned Ottawa for months about the dangers of allowing the US to dip its hand into our drug supply. Diabetics in Canada have already had to deal with insulin shortages and right now three significant cancer drugs are in short supply.
    In the past week, patient advocacy groups, pharmacist associations, physicians (oncologists, in particular) and organizations representing the pharmaceutical industry have all called on the federal government to do what is necessary to protect our somewhat fragile drug supply.
   The US says that a pilot program could be underway soon and given its potential for disrupting Canadians’ access to their own drug supply, it seems that it would be prudent for the federal government to take proactive steps.
   Yet, Ottawa seems to be taking a very “laissez-faire” approach to these developments, considering only reactive measures. The Ministry of Health admits it was not consulted by the US prior to its announcement. Despite the warnings and calls for action, including a demand to Parliament to deal with this, our Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor says they will be working closely with experts to “ensure there are no adverse effects” on Canada.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


  The Ontario Liberal cabinet approved more than $450,000 in enhanced severance packages for two top staffers in the premier’s office days after the party lost the 2018 election.
But Ms. Wynne and Mr. Bevan say the packages are in line with what was previously offered to political staffers from all parties. They say the severance agreements were decided upon by the premier’s office and on the advice of the bureaucracy, and are consistent with other governments and jurisdictions. Both said the ultimate decision was made by the Liberal cabinet, which met for a final time after the election defeat.
In order to ensure fairness, there should be a formal process in place, said Aaron Wudrick, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
“If you leave it at the discretion of an outgoing government, they have zero incentive to keep the costs down,” Mr. Wudrick said.


First pictures from inside the HMS Terror, part of the doomed Franklin Expedition, show tidy rows of crockery, neatly stowed storage lockers — even a propeller sitting solidly in place as if ready for a head of steam.
“Overturned armchairs, thermometers on the wall, stacked plates, chamberpots, washbasins — often in their correct position,” said Ryan Harris, one of a team of Parks Canada underwater archaeologists probing the secrets of the British warship lost around 1848 while searching for the Northwest Passage.


The latest initiative of his Progressive Conservative government  in Ontario will require new (not existing) teachers to score 70% on a basic mathematics test (fractions, division, percentages, etc.) that will also assess teaching methods.

This is one of several initiatives the government is implementing — including a new math curriculum emphasizing the mastery of basic educational skills and memorization, as opposed to so-called “discovery math” — to address the alarming decline of student proficiency in math.

Why? Because only 49% of students in Grade 6 met the provincial standard in math (a mark of 70%) last year, compared to 61% in 2010.


Earlier this year, the New Brunswick education minister received a virtually unannounced visit from China’s top diplomat in eastern Canada, eager to lobby him on a controversial issue.

The Montreal-based consul general urged the province not to eject the Confucius Institute from its schools, warning that doing so could imperil New Brunswick’s growing trade with China.

“He told me about how the Confucius Institute had nothing at all to do with Chinese government, then very strongly expressed concerns this might adversely impact trade relationships with China and the Chinese government,” the minister recalled in an interview Tuesday. “It also turned out his translator was someone who was a teacher for the Confucius Institute.”

Despite the lobbying, and criticism from a former Canadian ambassador to Beijing and the province’s Liberal opposition, Cardy’s Progressive Conservative government announced Monday it will, in fact, end the school system’s contract with Confucius.


Two would-be jihadis found guilty in a plot that would have blown up a passenger train as it crossed the Niagara Gorge will get a new trial all based on what amounts to a technicality.

Raed Jaser and Chiheb Esseghaier were convicted in 2015 of plotting to use explosives to destroy the train bridge linking Ontario and New York State near the Niagara Whirpool. Their hope was to see the Maple Leaf, the daily service between Toronto and New York City, plunge off the bridge, taking passengers into the rapids below.

Now in a ruling from Ontario’s Court of Appeal, a new trial has been ordered citing problems with how the jury was selected.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019


An Oklahoma judge on Monday found Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiaries helped fuel the state’s opioid crisis and ordered the consumer products giant to pay $572 million, more than twice the amount another drug manufacturer agreed to pay in a settlement.

Cleveland County District Judge Thad Balkman’s ruling followed the first state opioid case to make it to trial and could help shape negotiations over roughly 1,500 similar lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments consolidated before a federal judge in Ohio.


According to a shocking new report, Christians are "by far the most widely persecuted" members of a religion in the world. The report also warns that this persecution is now nearing "genocide" levels.

The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) shared the report compiled by the Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen. It states that violence and oppression against Christians are worsening as time goes by.

"Evidence shows not only the geographic spread of anti-Christian persecution, but also its increasing severity," the report states. "In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN."


   Statistics revealed by authorities show that Sweden saw 120 explosive events, whereas that same number from 2018 was only 83. Different sources report different numbers for the entire length of 2018, however. According to paper Dagens Nyheter, 157 explosions took place across the country in 2018 while the Crime Prevention Council BRÅ reported 108 instances of destruction via explosion last year.
   The numbers differ but all of the organizations agree that 2019 has seen a rise in bombings.
   It seems that authorities willingly bury their head in the sand regarding the similar correlation of an increase in migrants and refugees as bombings and explosions also rise. Experts and officials can call it “organized crime” if it makes them feel better, but it is wholly ignoring the true problem at hand.

Monday, August 26, 2019


BIARRITZ, France (AP) – The first fissures emerged among G7 leaders on Sunday over how to deal with Iran, as U.S. President Donald Trump denied he had signed on to an agreement on giving France a leading role as a go-between with the world’s major democracies.

Trump had tried to play down tensions among Group of Seven (G7) leaders after an intimate dinner Saturday in the southwest French resort of Biarritz, but came out swiftly to dispute France’s claim that they had agreed to let President Emmanuel Macron deliver a message to Iran on their behalf.


Lhamo made headlines earlier this year when her election as student union president prompted a wave of abuse by Chinese trolls who mobilized online to threaten Lhamo’s position, her future — and even her life.

“Somehow the international Chinese community came to find out that I was running for the elections, but to be specific, it was more like a Tibetan running for the campaign. When they found out, they immediately released a petition online against me. In addition to that, they took it on social media and they started giving me comments in the thousands from rape threats to death threats — not only to me but my family members,” she said.

Lhamo cited the influence the Chinese government is able to extend through the Confucius Institute, a network of hundreds of centres around the world funded by the Chinese government and branded as educational programs that offer services like Mandarin lessons to students.


The report revealed the close relationship and frequent interaction between government officials and the company, including 23 reported communications with the Prime Minister’s Office. Even Ms. Wilson-Raybould (Vancouver Granville, B.C.) told CBC News’ Power & Politicson Aug. 15 it was a “surprise” to learn about “the extent of the relationship and engagement and the lobbying” of SNC-Lavalin.

At least two of the interactions Mr. Dion cited in a detailed timeline were said to be initiated by SNC, according to the report, but weren’t logged in the federal registry.

A further two interactions between the company and government officials in which the remediation agreement was discussed, according to the report, were also not publicly disclosed. However, the Dion report does not make clear who initiated those discussions. Only communications that are initiated by lobbyists—not by government officials—and fit criteria laid out under the Lobbying Act must be reported.

Sunday, August 25, 2019


   Back-to-back pipeline announcements from TC Energy Corp. are prompting celebrations from both oil and natural gas producers in Canada, who believe that a legal win for the Keystone XL pipeline and changes to the Nova natural gas pipelines will offer relief to the beleaguered industry.

In the same week that Ottawa announced construction would soon begin on the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project, TC Energy said Friday that the Nebraska Supreme Court upheld the Keystone XL pipeline’s route approval by the state’s public utilities commission. The Alberta-to-U.S. Gulf Coast conduit is expected to move 830,000 barrels of oil per day once completed.

Hours earlier on Thursday night, TC Energy, the company previously known as TransCanada, reached an agreement with the Alberta government and domestic natural gas producers to change the way it operates the Nova gas transmission system, the province’s largest gas pipeline network.


A Chicago judge on Friday announced the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate how local prosecutors handled the bogus hate crime allegations made by Jussie Smollett in January of this year, according to CNN. The move is expected to blow the case back open and again push it in into the national media spotlight.

Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin announced his choice of US Attorney Dan K. Webb, which gives an independent and experienced trail attorney the time and resources necessary to examine why Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx mysteriously dropped 16 disorderly conduct charges against Smollett after a lengthy Chicago police investigation that lasted several weeks and used significant amounts of resources.

Webb's resumé includes helping lead a massive investigation into corruption called Operation Greylord in the 1980s that resulted in more than 90 people, including lawyers, judges, police officers and court employees, facing corruption charges. Then, as a federal prosecutor, he successfully prosecuted retired Admiral John Poindexter for his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration.

Saturday, August 24, 2019


   In 1836, Warren’s great-great-great-grandfather, a white man named William Marsh, enlisted himself in a Tennessee militia to fight in the “Cherokee War,” an occupation of Cherokee land in the lead-up to the Trail of Tears. Decades later, his grandson John Houston Crawford moved his family onto Indian Territory and squatted on Cherokee land in a move that, with no record of a permit, was almost certainly illegal
   A Native American activist and citizen of Cherokee Nation slammed Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) in a Huffington Post op-ed Friday, calling on her to “tell the truth” about her ancestors’ interactions with indigenous tribes — alleging that her maiden family, the Crawfords, were “white squatters” on Cherokee land.


Once upon a time, the G-7 summits were showcases for boilerplate platitudes about international cooperation that garnered a baseline level of media cooperation.
That was before the Trump era.
Last year, President Trump sowed discord by feuding with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, before repeatedly refusing to sign off on the group's traditional communique. This year, as wildfires raging in the Amazon have inspired an international virtue signaling protest movement demanding that the leaders of some of the world's largest economies do something to contain fires that take place in the Amazon every year, and with the European economy teetering on the edge of recession - oh, and let's not forget Trump's escalating feud with President Xi - the annual summit once again promises to be a weekend-long drama.


As widely expected, and as he himself previewed earlier in the day, Trump was set to unveil a major development in the US-China trade war this afternoon. That happened moments ago, when the president, in a series of 4 tweets, confirmed that he indeed was hiking tariffs on both existing and future China tariffs.
Specifically, Trump announced that in response to the $75 billion in tariffs that China just imposed on the US this morning - which "should not have" been put on as they were "politically motivated" - starting October 1, the existing 25% tariffs on $250BN in Chinese goods would rise to 30%, and the 10% tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods set to begin on September 1 will be 15%.


   What a remarkable coincidence that the federal minister of agriculture announced a $1.75-billion payout to dairy producers just before a federal election in the province that has the most small-scale dairy farmers.
   It will help Liberal party fortunes not only in Quebec but in Ontario and the Maritimes. You can guarantee that those cheques will arrive promptly before the upcoming election day.
   If only canola, pork and beef producers could be so lucky to have the same caring government looking after their economic interests, but unfortunately most of them live in Western Canada and they have a habit of not voting Liberal. Not to worry, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has said that she will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with canola producers. One suspects that means a shoulder to cry on, not any real cash support. How comforting that is to growers as federal government ineptitude in the Huawei princess case destroys their $3-billion canola market. But then that’s politics and in Alberta we know all too well that we are not PM Trudeau’s favourite voters.


    Considering how often and vociferously the Liberals accuse Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer of intending to legislate on abortion, it always struck me as odd that they never accused him of wanting to roll back same-sex marriage rights. Justin Trudeau’s gang have never met a fear too remote to monger, and while Scheer vows inaction on both fronts, his record is probably more anti-same-sex-marriage than it is anti-abortion.
   The answer seems to be that the Liberals just hadn’t yet been desperate enough. On Thursday morning, with the SNC-Lavalin affair still dominating the headlines, Liberal MP Ralph Goodale tweeted out a 2005 speech in the House of Commons by Scheer and demanded to know “whether he would still deny same-sex couples the right to marry
   But at least we have Scheer's reasons on the record; at least we can understand where he was coming from. We cannot say the same for most Liberal MPs who opposed same-sex marriage in the past, some of whom are still around — MPs like Ralph Goodale, for example. In 1995, he voted against a motion from openly gay Bloc Québécois MP Réal Ménard that simply proposed “the legal recognition of same-sex spouses” — it didn’t even mention the M-word. Four years later, he voted in favour of a Reform MP’s motion stating that “marriage is and should remain the union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.”


     Interpol has taken the rare step of quashing its arrest warrant for a dissident Chinese judge living in Toronto, saying the “red notice” was likely issued for political reasons and could undercut the organization’s neutral stance.
   China had requested the notice in 2014 after charging Xie Weidong, 62, with accepting a bribe to favour one party in a civil dispute he adjudicated.
    But the “Commission for the control of Interpol files” ruled there is evidence to back up Xie’s contention that the whole prosecution was instituted for political reasons related to his outspoken criticism of the country’s legal system.
    Xie alleges Beijing has used various pressure tactics against him, including jailing his son and sister on trumped-up charges and torturing the chief witness in his prosecution into confessing.


    An Ontario shipyard is accusing the federal government of trying to unfairly award Quebec's Chantier Davie shipyard potentially billions of dollars in work without a competition.
    The allegation is contained in a complaint from Hamilton-based Heddle Marine to the Canadian International Trade Tribunal over the government's search for a third shipyard to add to its multibillion-dollar shipbuilding strategy.
   However, Heddle alleges in its complaint that many of the requirements the government says shipyards must meet to qualify for consideration are not legitimate or reasonable — and will disqualify virtually every yard but Davie.

Friday, August 23, 2019


  U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed any suggestion that two Canadians being detained in China are on par with the arrest here of a Chinese tech executive at the United States’ behest, firing a counter-punch Thursday in an escalating feud between Canada and China.
   During an official visit to Canada, Pompeo said the Canadian detentions and Meng’s arrest are not “morally similar,” suggesting instead that linking these two issues is “what China wants to talk 
   Pompeo stressed that Trump was “unambiguous” in making it known that America is concerned about China’s “inappropriate behaviour” during a recent meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. He added that American officials have engaged in “other diplomatic activity” to make the case for the release of Kovrig and Spavor.


   Questions are being raised about plans to build a $1-billion, 700-km highway from Yellowknife to a proposed port on Nunavut’s Arctic coast, paid for by Canadians but which critics say would largely serve Chinese government interests.
   Last week, Transport Minister Marc Garneau pledged more than $50 million to the Northwest Territories and Nunavut to study the feasibility of a highway to replace ice roads that are no longer reliable amid climate change.
  While local leaders applaud the funding, critics say the largest benefit would go to a mining company, MMG, which is controlled by the Chinese government and holds several mineral deposits in the region where the highway would be built.
  “It is worth flagging to people that the main beneficiary will be the Chinese government, more so than the government of Nunavut or the government of Canada,” says Michael Byers, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia who holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law. “This is for the mining projects and nothing else.”


Michael Mann’s case against me was dismissed this morning by the BC Supreme Court and they awarded me [court] costs.

Tim Ball

Thursday, August 22, 2019


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged up to $50 million for infrastructure work for Montreal’s future Grand Parc de l’Ouest on Wednesday, hailing the project as part of a strategy to help ”Canadians adapt to the effects of the climate crisis, while building stronger, more resilient communities.”

“This is an example of concrete leadership on climate change while protecting biodiversity and supporting communities that are facing more and more extreme weather events,” Trudeau said at a joint press conference at Montreal City Hall with Mayor Valérie Plante.

A beaming Plante thanked the prime minister for the commitment to the 3,000-hectare green space, which will be Canada’s largest urban park.


Mottron, for his part, says the research points to a rampant problem of over-diagnosis  of autism that he blames on schools, doctors and parents alike. He goes so far as to suggest that a diagnosis can work in a school or parent’s best interest by making them eligible for extra help and funding that they may otherwise not receive.
“Right now, a diagnosis of autism is what allows one to get services in schools,” he said. “When you have an autism diagnosis, you have much greater chances of getting all kinds of extra things compared to another condition, which is total nonsense, because the need for services is independent from a diagnosis.”
He said the criteria for a diagnosis have become “trivial,” including a child’s lack of friends or a dislike of haircuts or tags on clothing.


  Fatah:  On Friday, the Green Party fired their candidate in the Quebec riding of Lévis-Lotbinière after he was labelled an ‘Islamophobe’ because he dared to criticize a mosque leader.
    If there was any consolation, Saint-Hilaire is not the first and certainly not the last Canadian politician falling victim to lobbying that started with the infamous M-103 moved in 2018 by Liberal MP Iqra Khalid and one that I had predicted could lead to stifling any criticism of Islamist theocracy in Canada.
   Before Saint-Hilaire was punished by the Green Party for criticizing an Islamic cleric, Salim Mansur’s nomination as a candidate was disallowed because he too was judged too critical of Islamic issues, despite him being a Muslim.


   Furey:  On Wednesday, Liberal MPs used their majority on the ethics committee to vote down opposition attempts to have Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion testify.
    There’s also something troubling about shutting down the testimony of an independent non-partisan officer of Parliament after he’s tabled a major report. It could be argued, from the PMO’s perspective, that Wilson-Raybould, by the time of her testimony, was something of a political adversary looking to damage the PM.
   With Dion, this is just someone doing their job. To shut him down is to thumb your nose at the entire system.


The federal government has written off the balance of two multimillion-dollar loans given to Irving-owned Atlantic Wallboard in Saint John.
The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency closed the file on the two loans in March after deciding that the full amount "has not been and likely will never be repaid," according to a memorandum obtained by CBC News. 

The two loans, called "conditionally repayable contribution agreements," were worth a combined $7.4 million. They were made under ACOA's Saint John Shipyard Adjustment Initiative. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019


For Dawn Deguire, who took Edney’s call in 2012, it could not have been more timely. She had been asking the Creator for more yoga in her life, having earlier taken up the practice and gotten away from it, she said.

By the middle of August, Dawn Deguire expects to have a cadre of newly-trained Indigenous yoga instructors ready to fan out to their home communities across Saskatchewan. They will bring a new element of healing from generational trauma to their friends, relations and neighbours.

“Yoga has a way of just starting people on a journey that they don’t even know that they’re starting until they find themselves in it,” Deguire observed.


Outbreaks of a potentially life-threatening intestinal superbug dropped after the McGill University Health Centre opened its superhospital in 2015 — a dramatic shift attributed to the fact that the modern facilities have exclusively single-patient rooms, a new study has concluded.

Researchers found that rates plummeted for both gut colonization and blood infections caused by Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), a strain of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics. The study also observed a slightly lower decline in the number of hospital colonizations by another superbug: Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

“The single-patient room experience at the MUHC’s Glen site has many benefits — privacy, confidentiality, comfort, reduced noise, and improved quality of sleep,” Dr. Emily Gibson McDonald, the first author of the study, said in a statement. “Importantly, this study also found that private rooms might help reduce life-threatening infections.”


On Saturday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney restated his government’s intention to hold a referendum in October 2021 if it doesn't get changes to the equalization formula and permission to build more oil pipelines

The Alberta premier’s contention is that inasmuch as the taxes paid by Albertans contribute to the equalization payments Quebec receives from Ottawa, that province should facilitate the development of new pipelines through its territory.

From the convention of his party’s youth wing, Quebec Premier Francois Legault shot back that the principle that the federal government redistributes its revenues so as to level the offering of social programs between affluent and less affluent provinces was part of the original deal that led to the creation of the federation.

In his words, Quebec is “entitled” to equalization payments.


As protesters continued to surge through the streets of Hong Kong to press for greater freedoms, a former Canadian cabinet member offered a much different viewpoint — just outside Toronto.

Michael Chan, Ontario’s Liberal trade minister until last year, was a keynote speaker as scores of Chinese Canadians rallied in support of Beijing and the largely non-democratic Hong Kong administration.

“Unity is better than violence,” Chan proclaimed. “We support Hong Kong’s police strictly handling unrest, Hong Kong’s government carefully defending the rule of law, China’s government carefully observing Hong Kong,”

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


When we combined our estimates of taxes paid and benefits received we found that the average recent immigrant in Canada imposes a fiscal burden of $5,300 annually.

According to government statistics, in 2010 the number of recent immigrants (since 1985) was about 3.7 million. Multiplying this number by $5,300 brings the estimated fiscal burden that year to $20 billion. Since then the stock of immigrants has increased by 250,000 a year and raised the annual fiscal burden in 2018 to over $30 billion.

Canada needs a full discussion of its immigration policy that considers both its benefits, which are discussed by politicians and the media all the time, but also its very real costs, which involve not just the fiscal burden but also traffic congestion, overcrowding of hospitals, schools and recreational facilities, deteriorating environment and lack of affordable housing, which governments cannot address in part because of the fiscal burden. A lot of roads, affordable housing and cleaner environment could be purchased with that $30 billion.


  On Friday, Ontario's Environment Minister Jeff Yurek advised the province’s 36 conservation authorities to “wind down” all programs except for flood control, drinking water source protection and land management, defined as their core mandate.

Yurek said the changes are necessary to bring conservation authorities back to their “core mandate” and help manage the agencies’ budgets and programs.

“Bill 108 passed in spring, some of that was stating a core mandate that conservation authorities are to abide by such as dealing with natural hazards such as flooding, protecting conservation lands and managing it, our source water protection and continuing that Lake Simcoe’s rehabilitation,” Yurek, the MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, said Tuesday afternoon.


In a long speech to Unifor members preceding one delivered by Trudeau, union president Gerry Dias minimized the criticisms levelled at Trudeau over the SNC-Lavalin affair, words that must have come as some comfort to the prime minister, who last week was found to have violated conflict of interest rules by the federal ethics commissioner.


Based on what he has said in the past, including passing Bill C-6 which restored citizenship to convicted jihadists, you one might reasonably think Justin Trudeau would be fully behind this.

So it is a bit surprising to hear Trudeau now when he is questioned about Jihadi Jack.

“It is a crime to travel internationally with a goal of supporting terrorism or engaging in terrorism. And that is a crime that we will continue to make all attempts to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law,” Trudeau said Monday in Quebec City when answering questions from the reporters.


  Natasha Gauthier, a spokeswoman for Elections Canada, said the climate-change warning was just an example of an ad that could fall into the "election advertising" category, and that any decision about specific ads or activities would be decided on a case-by-case basis and only if there is a complaint. That decision also will be made by the commissioner of Canada elections.  
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he will look very closely at what Elections Canada has said, but added that he trusts them to make independent decisions about the Canada Elections Act.
"We will always respect Elections Canada's role and responsibility to independently apply electoral law," Trudeau said.
"But I think the whole question highlights the fact that it is so frustrating that there are still conservative politicians in this country who don't think climate change is real and certainly don't think we should be doing anything to fight it."

Monday, August 19, 2019


That the RCMP spoke with Jody Wilson-Raybould is not evidence of a crime — Wilson-Raybould herself has said that she does not believe a crime occurred during the SNC-Lavalin affair. It is not even necessarily evidence of an active or official investigation. In fact, there is reason to believe an investigation was not pursued.

But the news on Friday that the former minister of justice and attorney general spoke with someone from the national police force in the spring punctuates another difficult moment for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government.

And it stirs echoes of the events, nearly 14 years ago, that doomed the last Liberal government.


When ethics commissioner Mario Dion published a scathing report this week on Justin Trudeau’s conduct in the SNC-Lavalin affair, his exhaustive account of events offered an inside look at how a Canadian corporation, on the heels of a corruption scandal, helped convince the Prime Minister’s Office that the best way forward was a new law that would allow the company to escape any charges.

A made-in-Canada deferred prosecution agreement regime was SNC-Lavalin’s idea, and the company even pitched the finance minister’s office, early in 2018, on getting it done by slipping the proposal into a budget bill—a matter of days after the conclusion of a public consultation packed with DPA-friendly submissions.

Sunday, August 18, 2019


The Ford government’s significant changes are the result of the first-ever review of the decade-old Endangered Species Act that aimed to find "efficiencies for businesses” in January. The review received 15,000 comments and raised polarised concerns about strengthening protections for species at risk, as well as the “long, duplicative and unpredictable” approvals process the act mandated for developers, Phillips said.

In a joint statement, Environmental Defence, Ontario Nature and the David Suzuki Foundation called the proposed changes “regressive and dangerous.” They said the Ford government was “bending to pressure from industry and sprawl developers when they should be working to restore and protect vulnerable habitats.”


The ISIS fighter known as Jihadi Jack has been stripped of his British citizenship, it has tonight emerged.
The Muslim convert, named Jack Letts, declared himself an "enemy of Britain" after fleeing his home to fight in Syria.
The 24-year-old had held dual UK and Canadian citizenship but now the Home Office has reportedly torn up his UK passport.
As a result, Letts is now the responsibility of the Canadian government.
It is reported that the Canadian government are unhappy with the development.


Last week Denmark’s Jyske Bank started offering home buyers 10-year mortgages at an interest rate of -0.5 per cent. That means borrowers over a decade will pay back a little less than the amount borrowed, not including one-time fees.

This highly unusual condition may be good for Danish home buyers, but economists say it’s an alarming sign for the global economy. Several major governments and more than 1,000 big companies in Europe are now able to effectively borrow from global financial markets at a negative interest rate. For Jyske Bank, that means it can then turn around and lend money at a subzero interest rate, too.

The amount of this type of debt has doubled since December and now totals US$15 trillion, suggesting that a fast-rising share of investors are so nervous about the future they’re willing to actually lose a little money by lending it to a borrower that is almost certain to pay it back, rather than risk betting on something that could go bust. In a healthy economy, investors would put their money to work in profit-making ventures such as factories or office buildings.


More than two dozen people received medical attention after a freak lightening storm in Manitoba, during a pow wow.


The Kandahar Cenotaph, bearing photographs of Canada’s war dead in Afghanistan, was rededicated Saturday in its new home — and this time families of the fallen soldiers were invited.

Hundreds of family members, along with servicemen and women, took part in an emotional rededication ceremony at the Department of National Defence Carling campus.

Saturday, August 17, 2019


There is plenty of disquieting material in the report, but most striking is the light it shines on Trudeau, and the character that resides beneath the carefully-crafted public image he and his aides work so hard to present. There is evidently something in Justin Trudeau that compels him to place himself above ordinary people, above the accepted norms of government, above the rules that protect the sanctity of legal independence.

Confronted with the report, the prime minister professed to accept responsibility, while making clear he doesn’t really mean it.

“We recognize the way that this happened shouldn’t have happened. I take responsibility for the mistakes that I made,” Trudeau said. “Where I disagree with the commissioner is where he says that any contact with the attorney general on this issue was improper.”


Lilley:  Municipalities across Ontario are taking up the provincial government’s offer to help fund line-by-line audits to find savings — unfortunately, school boards don’t seem interested.

Back in May, Premier Doug Ford announced a $7.35 million Audit and Accountability Fund.

“Our government is ready and willing to roll up our sleeves and work with anyone who shares our priority of returning Ontario to fiscal health,” Ford said in a statement on May 21, 2019.

While 90% of eligible municipalities were willing to take part, only 2 school boards across the entire province opted to take the provincial government up on the offer — the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and Trillium Lakelands District School Board based in Lindsay.


Rex Murphy;  And here we come to the last variation of the Trudeau voice. This is not a matter of tempo, volume, or unction. It is his dip into his third language. We know of his fluency in English and French. But he has a grasp of another lingo, doublespeak, that reaches artistry. He accepts the commissioner’s (devastating) report, but he “disagrees” with some of its conclusions.

I accept and I disagree.

We run into an entire picnic of “having your cake and eating it too” here. Or else, on the famous steed of Stephen Leacock: “Lord Ronald said nothing; he flung himself from the room, flung himself upon his horse and rode madly off in all directions.”

Friday, August 16, 2019


   Justin Trudeau's title of being the first-ever leader to breach the conflict of interest laws is somewhat thin: Canada’s Conflict of Interest Act only came into effect in 2006, and so has only applied to two prime ministers.
  Here, the National Post provides a not-at-all comprehensive list of the Trudeau government’s run-ins with the ethics commissioner since taking power in 2015.


Downtown Toronto Liberal MP Adam Vaughan has finally deleted and apologized for misleading tweets he sent at the beginning of the week.

“The Conservatives tried to take away healthcare for the children of refugees. Now they are trying to blame school cuts on these children. All children need care and all should be in school. We all know where right-wing scapegoating leads us. Our Government won’t cage children,” Vaughan said in one tweet.


  Robyn Urback:  Call these lies-by-omission. Or maybe half-truths. Together, they're a chronicle of a PMO drunk on its own arrogance, so convinced of its own moral virtue that it can rationalize trading text messages with a criminally charged organization over a pressure campaign on the attorney general.
   This is a leadership, as we have since learned, that will kick members out of caucus for having the audacity to speak out against the prime minister, and will lie to Canadians about the veracity of a news report that has since proven true.
   And it's a prime minister who, when asked if he will apologize for it all, chooses to respond with an answer to a question no one asked: "I can't apologize for defending Canadian jobs." As if, six months later, anyone is buying those lines anymore.


A political bombshell was dropped Wednesday when the ethics commissioner found Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had contravened the Conflict of Interest Act for trying to influence then-justice minister Jody-Wilson-Raybould in "many ways" during the SNC-Lavalin scandal.
As the news broke many Canadians were surprised to learn that despite the contravention, there would be no punishment.
That’s because Canada's Conflict of Interest Act "does not provide for any sanctions for breaches found following an examination by the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner."


   Arguing that large scale protests have only led to injuries and escalating police brutality, Haotian believes another method could be used to severely undermine China’s influence – a good old fashioned run on the bank.
  He suggested that another method could be used, namely, impacting the financial system,” reports China Press.
   “He called on Friday (August 16) that Hong Kong citizens take out all bank deposits. The primary goal is Chinese banks, but he said other banks should also be targeted, otherwise Chinese banks can borrow money from other banks to solve problems.”

Thursday, August 15, 2019


   But it’s a hell of a report. And the Prime Minister’s first response extended the incoherence of everything he has said in public about the mess: how can he “accept” the report while “disagreeing” with it, claiming to acknowledge that he “didn’t do it the right way” while dismissing every specific criticism from Dion? Trudeau is left, once again, bragging about SNC as evidence that he takes seriously “my job as Prime Minister… to stand up for Canadians and defend their interests”—while blandly leaving any decision over a deferred prosecution agreement to the current attorney-general, David Lametti.
   For now, just a general impression. Again and again, Dion’s report describes close working collaboration between the most senior officials in the government of Canada and the most senior executives and hirelings of SNC-Lavalin as they all try to figure out, together, what to do about Jody Wilson-Raybould.


Philpott, who was removed from the Liberal caucus along with Wilson-Raybould, released a statement Thursday responding to the report from Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion, saying the document "speaks for itself" on the prime minister's actions.

"I note with regret that Commissioner Dion was not granted 'unfettered access to all information that could have been relevant to the exercise of his mandate.' This is essential to ensure that transparency and accountability for public holders to as it relates to conflict of interest," the Independent MP wrote.

Speaking to CBC's Information Morning in Halifax on Thursday, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said she supports Trudeau "unequivocally."

"He has my full confidence," said Freeland, noting she has not yet read the report because she has been on the road.


   Chinese billionaire Ren Zhengfei, founder of telecommunications titan Huawei, reportedly wrote an internal memo this week laying out plans to overhaul the company over the next three to five years and create an “invincible iron army” to fight against regulatory pressure and competition from the United States.
  Some of this will be music to the ears of Huawei critics, who worry about the company’s ties to the Communist Party and its willingness to be used as an instrument of Chinese military intelligence. Ren seemed confident that Huawei will maintain its 5G dominance against American industries that have been slow to join the race in earnest, with a commensurate advantage in next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. The fact that he wrote the memo at all, stressing the need for a “harsh and difficult” restructuring plan, suggests he is at least a little worried about the U.S. stepping up its 5G and AI games.


   The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) will take four South Australian wind farm operators to court accusing them of failing to perform properly during SA’s statewide blackout in 2016.
    In its action, the AER alleges each of the wind farm operators failed to ensure that their plant and associated facilities complied with their generator performance standard requirement to ride-through certain disturbances.
    It also alleges that the wind farm operators failed to provide automatic protection systems to enable them to ride-through voltage disturbances to ensure continuity of supply, in contravention of the National Electricity Rules.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


   "To avoid potential delays in future investigations and to carry out my investigative mandate, I must have access to all documents I consider necessary to execute my duties. I am subject to confidentiality obligations for all documents, including protecting confidentiality of Cabinet documents, under both section 51 of the Conflict of Interest Act and section 90 of the Parliament of Canada Act. The decision made by the Privy Council Office to deny our Office access to a full range of Cabinet confidences meant nine witnesses were constrained in providing our Office with the full body of evidence potentially relevant to the examination. I believe that decisions relating to my access to such information should be made transparently and democratically by Parliament, not by the very same public office holders who are subject to the regime I administer." – Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion
    "The Prime Minister, directly and through his senior officials, used various means to exert influence over Ms. Wilson‑Raybould. The authority of the Prime Minister and his office was used to circumvent, undermine and ultimately attempt to discredit the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions as well as the authority of Ms. Wilson‑Raybould as the Crown's chief law officer." – Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion

The PM took issue with a number of Mario Dion’s conclusions.


The city of Ottawa wouldn’t give College Councillor Rick Chiarelli details about the land purchases required for the $2.1-billion Confederation Line Light Rail Transit’s first phase, so in May 2018 he filed a municipal access to information request in an effort to get the details.

Chiarelli’s information fight is peculiar since council members are ultimately in charge of the city and are responsible for municipal decisions.

Chiarelli wants the details of the land purchase agreements. He’s less concerned about the parcels previously owned by the federal government. He wants to know about the deals, and “side deals,” made with private landowners. Chiarelli wants to know if all property owners were treated equally by the city.


Justin Trudeau says he's received what he calls a "great" report from former Liberal cabinet minister Anne McLellan on the SNC-Lavalin affair.
But the prime minister won't make it public until federal ethics commissioner Mario Dion releases his own report into the explosive affair that rocked the government last winter and sent Liberal popularity on a downward slide from which the party has not yet fully recovered.
   Deputy Conservative leader Lisa Raitt scoffed at the notion that McLellan was "independent," noting that she was scheduled to be a headliner at a Liberal party fundraiser at the time she was appointed to look into the SNC-Lavalin fiasco.  Raitt accused Trudeau of trying to distract Canadians from his government's political interference in the justice system by launching McLellan's study of the dual justice minister/attorney general role.


In his first public speech last December, before a crowd of business leaders, the chief of Canada’s spy agency identified foreign interference and state-sponsored espionage as being the “greatest threat to our prosperity and national interest” — but stopped short of pointing the finger at any one country.

Behind closed doors, however, David Vigneault, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, has not shied away from singling out China, according to copies of other speeches he has delivered that were obtained by the National Post.

In a presentation to Canada’s top university administrators in the spring of 2018, Vigneault said China represents “the most significant and clear” challenge when it comes to espionage targeting Canadian campuses.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019


    More than 12,000 police officers assembled in Shenzhen in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong on Tuesday for a drill that included anti-riot measures similar to those seen on the streets of Hong Kong.
   The drill was part of security preparations for the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, Shenzhen police said on the force’s Weibo newsfeed.
   “A drill will be held to increase troop morale, practise and prepare for the security of celebrations [and] maintain national political security and social stability,” police said.


   Border agents need more resources in order to keep track of people whose claims for asylum in Canada have been denied and who have been ordered to be deported, according to the president of the union representing front-line officials with the Canada Border Services Agency.
   A May report by Canada’s auditor-general found the number of claims had grown to 71,000 by the end of 2018 with a wait time of two years. The wait time in 2017 was 16 months. The report points to outdated and inefficient systems as some reasons for the backlog.
   The Canadian Press reported in June that CBSA has removed 866 people who crossed into Canada irregularly since 2017, and whose claims were denied. The immigration department attributed the low number to the fact that removals can only be enforced after an asylum seeker has gone through all the legal avenues possible to remain in Canada.


Ontario is continuing to call on the federal government to foot the bill for asylum seekers who are living in the province as their refugee claims make their way through a backlogged system.
“These people that are crossing the border, mostly in Ontario and Quebec, are federal responsibility, but they haven’t lived up to their end of the bargain,“ Todd Smith, the Minister of Children, Community and Social Services for Ontario, who is responsible for immigration issues in the province, told The West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson.

Monday, August 12, 2019


As a Mafia boss visiting Canada from Italy met with alleged mobsters here in April, he warned them to be careful what they said because Canadian police might be listening. He should have looked more inwardly.

What was really happening, National Post can reveal, was that the visitor’s smartphone was unwittingly and secretly transmitting his closed-doors conversations to authorities in Italy.

On Friday, Italy’s Polizia di Stato issued 16 fresh arrest warrants on top of 12 already stemming from the trip to the Toronto area — and half of those named currently live in Canada or were born here.


You would think this is the exact sort of situation that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland would be willing to stand up for loud and proud.

Trudeau came to office pledging “Canada’s back” and Freeland talks a good game about the rules-based international order.

Instead, their response to the situation in Hong Kong has been troublingly muted. Yes, they’ve offered a few basic statements. But why isn’t Trudeau standing up for these activists with the same gusto he does other causes? The PM knows how to make a splash with his statements and social media when he wants to, but has obviously chosen not to do it now.


  It’s been 247 days since China kidnapped two innocent Canadians to use as hostages in its escalating dispute with Canada. Since then, Beijing has also banned a growing number of Canadian agricultural imports, costing Canada’s producers millions of dollars.
   So far, Ottawa has done little to respond to these trade offences and seems uninterested in the plight of our hostages.
   At each Chinese offence, the Trudeau government has turned the other cheek. Dignified, perhaps, but we’re running out of cheeks. China sees our behaviour as subservient, not civilized. They don’t respect us. The Chinese prize honour — they are afraid to “lose face.” This may be Canada’s only real leverage.

Sunday, August 11, 2019


Thousands of armed riot police wearing Robocop-style armour and special forces troops yesterday failed to silence a 50,000-strong Russian crowd demanding an end to Vladimir Putin’s two decades of dictatorial rule.
More than 150 people were arrested in Moscow alone last night during a stand-off between protesters and security forces at the FSB secret service headquarters in the Lubyanka building.
In one of the most remarkable protests since the fall of the Soviet Union a generation ago, campaigners of all ages clutched umbrellas in the grey Moscow drizzle as they rallied under the gaze of rooftop police snipers.


   Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says Canada has to find a balance between internet privacy and the needs of law enforcement in the midst of a long-simmering dispute among Five Eyes countries and tech companies about encryption “backdoors.”

“We need to work with the internet companies and the service providers to achieve two objectives simultaneously. The objective of the privacy values that flow from strong new technologies and encryption, but at the same time making sure that our platforms and services and systems are not harbouring the kind of behaviour that would exploit children and create victims,” said Goodale.

Tech firms that deal in encrypted communications have warned there’s no way to provide access to law enforcement without also endangering the privacy of their users. Apple, in particular, has argued that any “backdoor” created for law enforcement would inevitably be exploited by nefarious actors, like criminals and authoritarian governments looking to spy on citizens.


The criminal case of suspended public servant Matthew Matchett, who’s accused of leaking similar material to that in the Vice Admiral Mark Norman case, was back in court on Friday for a brief update as it heads toward a preliminary inquiry scheduled for October.

The Matchett case may be the only way the public finds out more information about the controversial Norman prosecution, as Norman’s case was stayed by the Crown in May and he’s since reached a confidential settlement with the government.

Both Matchett and Norman were charged with breach of trust following an RCMP investigation into leaks around a $700-million navy supply ship project with Davie Shipbuilding. However, Matchett was only charged in February 2019, nearly a year after Norman was charged — despite the fact that RCMP disclosure given to Norman’s lawyers had also identified alleged leaks from Matchett.


   Rex Murphy:  This week, the Green Party’s Elizabeth May gave a charmingly considerate lecture to the oil and gas workers of Canada, Marthas and Henrys all of them. She is going to “transition” them out of the work they are pleasantly (if they still have work) and professionally engaged in, and which at this very moment actually exists; the work that they have been trained for and built up experience in, and for which they receive real and present pay cheques. They are going to be transitioned into a new line of work because Ms. May thinks it is better for them.
      I must explain that word transition. In the context of Ms. May’s vision, it means that all work in the oil and gas industries — and the hundreds of industries and services reliant on it — will come to a halt. It must stop. Alberta (mainly) under her vision is killing the planet. So we can have no argument about the premise. But the highly considerate Green leader wished to emphasize that “workers in fossil fuel industries and fossil fuel-dependent communities not fear for their future.” (Which, let me note, they would not be if every environmentalist and Green on the planet hadn’t been trying for two decades now to put them out of business.)


RCMP say they believe someone deliberately cut the cable of the Sea to Sky gondola located along Highway 99 in Squamish, B.C., felling the two-kilometre cable route early Saturday morning.
The gondola, which wasn't operating at the time, normally carries up to 240 passengers at a time on its 30 cars. The trip from the base to the summit 885 metres above sea level lasts approximately 10 minutes and gives visitors views over Howe Sound. It is a major tourist destination in B.C.
"We believe the cables were cut and this was a deliberate act of vandalism, " said Inspector Kara Triance with Squamish RCMP. 


  • Canadians often misunderstand the true cost of our public health care system. This occurs partly because Canadians do not incur direct expenses for their use of health care, and partly because Canadians cannot readily determine the value of their contribution to public health care insurance.
  • In 2019, the estimated average payment for public health care insurance ranges from $4,544 to $13,311 for six common Canadian family types, depending on the type of family.
  • Between 1997 and 2019, the cost of public health care insurance for the average Canadian family increased 3.2 times as fast as the cost of food, 2.1 times as fast as the cost of clothing, 1.8 times as fast as the cost of shelter, and 1.7 times faster than average income.


  The trial of a German tourist who was shot in the head while driving through the Stoney Nakoda Nation, west of Calgary is now taking place in an Alberta courtroom.
   A German tourist, Horst Stewin, and his wife and son were driving their black Durango SUV through the reserve so that Horst could admire horses, and the rustic western setting. A car approached very fast from the rear and shots were fired. A bullet hit Stewin in the left side of the head, causing the vehicle to crash into the ditch.
   Stewin – now back in Germany – is recovering from the shot, but he will be left with brain injuries that appear to be permanent.


The former common-law wife of a Chatham-area man accused of unlawfully collecting more than $60,000 in child-tax credits told the court that Michael Hulme was not the father of several dozen children.
Norita Demar, the first witness in Hulme’s trial for tax fraud, told Crown attorney Paul Bailey Thursday she would know if her ex-spouse had – or cared for – the more than 40 children allegedly named in online benefit applications to the Canada Revenue Agency.
The 39-year-old Hulme, a Bothwell resident, has pleaded not guilty to the four tax charges filed under the Income Tax Act.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Non-Muslim schoolgirls in Lincolnshire, England, are being asked to don the Islamic hijab headscarf for a day in November.

Ghada Mohamed of the Lincoln Muslim Sisters Forum is organising the event, which she hopes will be taken up by high schools all around the country, to increase non-Muslim girls “knowledge” of the religious garments and decrease alleged incidents of abuse against hijabi girls.

Friday, August 9, 2019


Canadians should welcome Alberta Premier Jason Kenney’s inquiry into foreign financing opposition to the oilsands because it will investigate a significant problem for the entire country. Nevertheless, it generated overwrought criticism from those who seek to belittle the issue.

That reaction is not new. Back in January 2012, as minister of natural resources, I denounced American funding of domestic radicals trying to block Canada’s resource development. Exposing an inconvenient truth generated a cacophony of outrage and derision from those who benefitted from the Yankee moolah or welcomed any help to block pipeline projects.


The Liberals were warned on the eve of an election year about the political consequences of following through on a four-year-old campaign promise to review the employment insurance system, newly released documents show.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had asked one of his senior ministers to conduct a sweeping review of the social safety net program to come up with ways to adapt EI to changing labour force demands.
The program hasn't had a review in more than two decades, during which time it has become more complex while the number of people qualifying for benefits has dropped.


A group of activists in Toronto say they'll deliver a petition with more than 45,000 signatures to the CBC Friday morning, asking the broadcaster to host a federal leader's debate on climate change ahead of the October federal election.

The petition was organized by four advocacy groups: and North99, along with the climate-change-focused 350 Canada and OurTime, which recently made headlines with a campaign for a Canadian Green New Deal. In a statement, LeadNow said the CBC has a responsibility as a public broadcaster to "provide a platform about this unprecedented national emergency so voters can clearly see where leaders stand on climate and what they’re prepared to do about it.”

"We look to political leaders to lead on serious issues like climate change, but there’s so much misinformation and confusion,” said Amara Possian, Canada Campaigns Manager with “A federal leaders’ debate focused on climate change and a made-in-Canada Green New Deal will give voters much-needed clarity on which parties have the best strategy to tackle the climate crisis head on.”


Community members and legal experts are concerned about provisions in a signed benefit agreement between a B.C. First Nation and a pipeline company that asks leadership to dissuade their community members from speaking out against the project.
The specific provision appears in a leaked benefits agreement between Nak'azdli Whut'en, a First Nation located roughly two hours northwest of Prince George, and TC Energy's Coastal GasLink pipeline.

Thursday, August 8, 2019


The provincial government will take a direct role in an external panel reviewing how the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) handles potentially dangerous patients, Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott says.

Following the escape of several patients, including a meat cleaver killer who had been assigned to a secure unit in CAMH, Elliott announced Tuesday she will appoint a government adviser to sit on the panel that will look at hospital procedures for issuing passes and granting privileges to forensic patients.


Another patient found not criminally responsible for a violent crime is now eligible for extensive forays into the community, despite remaining a “significant threat” to the public.

Just three years after stabbing three soldiers at a Toronto recruitment office with a large kitchen knife, Ayanle Hassan Ali is now eligible to visit his family this year in Toronto on two-day passes if his psychiatric hospital agrees he’s well enough, the Sun has learned.

At his latest ORB hearing held last month, all agreed the mentally ill man continues to pose a “significant threat” to the community.

Yet the board has agreed to a multitude of possible new privileges for Ali in the upcoming year.


  Refugees living in Berlin are being offered sexual education classes following public outcry over recent high-profile cases involving rape and other sexual offenses, according to
   Participation is voluntary for the four-hour course, "Together for Security," which Germany's integration commissioner Annette Widmann-Mauz called for following a gang rape case in Freiburg in which 10 of the 11 suspects are refugees. It is very similar to the "migrant sex courses" launched in Sweden last year.