National Newswatch
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Liberal fundraising numbers slip slightly while NDP surges

Jul 31 2014 — Glen McGregor

The end of July marks the deadline for the federal parties to submit their fundraising information from the second quarter of 2014 and already the Liberals are spinning their numbers as a success, despite a slight decline in contributions. The New Democrats, meanwhile, say they’re up more than 10 per cent, year over year. Although […]

Jul 31 2014 — Mark Kennedy

More than two-thirds of Canadians want this country’s marijuana laws to be softened, according to an opinion poll conducted for the federal government earlier this year. And while a small majority of the public believes companies should not be permitted to sell marijuana just as they sell alcohol and cigarettes, it’s clear that many Canadians […]

Jul 31 2014 — Alex Boutilier

Federal bureaucrats are warning that some departments and agencies lack sufficient network security and that Ottawa needs a more coherent plan to address large-scale cyber attacks, according to internal documents obtained by the Star. The documents reveal that even as the government accused Chinese-backed hackers of infiltrating the National Research Council’s network on Tuesday, senior […]

Jul 31 2014 — Colin Freeze

In its fight against Chinese espionage and other cyberthreats, Canada’s electronic-intelligence agency intercepts citizens’ private messages without judicial warrants. A 22-page “Operational Procedures for Cyber Defence” document obtained by The Globe speaks to just how Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) can log, store and study volumes of electronic communications that touch government computer networks – […]

Jul 31 2014 —

‘My own government betrayed me and I’m going to wreak an appropriate amount of political revenge.’ B.C. pot advocate Marc Emery has spoken to CBC News in his first interview since being transferred from a U.S. federal prison to a private deportation facility in Louisiana. Emery was sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 […]

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Vaughan MP Fantino’s pot flyer riles top Liberal

Jul 31 2014 —

Subtle it’s not. The flyer that landed in Vaughan mailboxes Wednesday claims Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has gone to pot — and said he wants young people to go there, too. “The Liberal Agenda: Sell Pot! In local stores”, shows a young teen lighting up a joint with Trudeau’s smiling mug and a marijuana leaf […]

A man prepares to fill his car's gas tank in Toronto in a September 12, 2012 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu

IMF calls on Canada, others to raise carbon taxes, cut income taxes

Jul 31 2014 —

The International Monetary Fund says Canada and other countries can improve their economies and environment by hiking energy taxes — while cutting them on people and capital. In a new book, Getting Energy Prices Right: From Principle to Practice, the IMF essentially endorses policies at times advocated by the federal Liberals and NDP calling for […]

Veritas (Truth) guards the entrance of the Supreme Court of Canada as the Peace tower is seen in the background in an April 25, 2014 photo in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

High court narrows scope of allowable evidence from police stings

Jul 31 2014 —

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that confessions extracted through so-called Mr. Big police sting operations must be regulated more carefully in order to be admissible in court. The ruling came today in the case of a Newfoundland man who was initially convicted in the first-degree murder of his three-year-old twin daughters.

Jul 31 2014 —

“To possess a firearm is a right, and it’s a right that comes with responsibilities.” — Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney at a news conference in Powassan, Ont., while announcing planned changes to Canada’s gun laws, July 23, 2014. — The Canadian Press has examined Blaney’s statement and put it to its baloney meter test […]

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Jul 31 2014 —

China’s foreign ministry accused Canada on Thursday of making irresponsible accusations lacking any credible evidence after Canada singled out Chinese hackers for attacking a key computer network and lodged a protest with Beijing. Officials said “a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor” had recently broken into the National Research Council. The council, Canada’s leading research body, […]

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Jul 31 2014 —

A protester near the scene of Stephen Harper’s Saskatoon appearance sustained minor injuries when a van heading to the event allegedly ran over her foot and hit at least one other person. “I’m a little choked because the guy never even came over to see if I was OK, or to say sorry, or to […]

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Jul 31 2014 — Jordan Press

Attempts to broadcast video from the Senate should take another small step in the coming months, but it won’t be enough to get cameras into the upper chamber before 2015. Details of an eight-week video experiment are being sorted out. It’s part of an ongoing discussion: To improve their reputation by enhancing their transparency, should […]

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Jul 30 2014 —

The justice minister’s office says the government won’t make Marc Nadon repay any monies he collected during his ill-fated appointment to the high court. The elevation of Nadon from the Federal Court of Appeal was ruled invalid in March on the grounds it violated Quebec-specific provisions of the Supreme Court Act. Registrar Roger Bilodeau says […]

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Featured Ink

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Even Germany finds Canada-Europe trade deal too pro-business

Jul 31 2014 — Tom Walkom

Just nine months ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper declared the proposed Canada-European Union free trade pact a done deal. “This is a big deal,” the prime minister crowed as he signed an agreement in principle with the president of the EU’s European Commission. “Indeed, it is the biggest deal our country has ever made. It […]

Robyn Urback

Of course Redford’s flights had ‘ghost riders.’ Do you know how annoying other passengers are?

Jul 31 2014 — Robyn Urback

Airplanes are pretty much floating incubators of misery. Hundreds of strangers sit practically hip-to-hip, sucking in pressurized air and coughing into their sleeves, as if that will really protect anyone. Your seatmate will inevitably be either (a) incurably chatty (b) chewing loudly (c) constantly needing the bathroom or (d) a baby. Or else, any combination […]

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Alberta Tories zip it in Redford air farce

Jul 31 2014 — Rick Bell

From what we know, and we don’t know much, it sounds like a sleazy little arrangement. Staffers booking seats for ghost riders on at least a dozen provincial flights and then removing the names before printing the flight manifest. The booking of phantom passengers and then nixing their phantom reservations allowed former premier Alison Redford […]

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Canada’s veterans deserve better

Jul 31 2014 — Michael Taube

There’s no doubt the federal Tories strongly support Canada’s military. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s commitment to our troops, which includes a more robust and confident organization to take the lead in international missions such as Afghanistan, has made many Canadians proud. When it comes to supporting our military veterans, the government’s record has been much, […]

Bob Hepburn

Is John Tory in Toronto mayoral race ‘sweet spot?

Jul 31 2014 — Bob Hepburn

When John Tory entered the Toronto mayoral race back in February, he trailed both front-runner Olivia Chow and incumbent bad-boy mayor Rob Ford by a fairly wide margin in opinion polls. At the time, Tory’s campaign strategists felt that if he was to have any realistic hope of winning he would have to overtake second-place […]

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Omar Khadr is a ‘good kid’ – not a bogeyman

Jul 31 2014 — Konrad Yakabuski

If Omar Khadr didn’t exist, Conservatives might have to invent him. You might even say that’s what they’ve done. For the version of Mr. Khadr perpetuated by the Harper government – the “radicalized” terrorist guilty of “heinous crimes” – does not now exist and probably never did.

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If it’s 876, that’s Jamaica calling

Jul 31 2014 — Daphne Bramham

And you’d best not answer. Every 90 seconds or so for the past eight months, one of Jean Olson’s two phones would ring. It started at 5 a.m. and continued all day, every day until well into the evening. Whether on her cellphone or her North Vancouver home’s landline, the area code that almost invariably […]

Jul 31 2014 — Haroon Siddiqui

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza militants rain down mostly primitive and mostly ineffective rockets on Israel. Benjamin Netanyahu unleashes some of the most modern and lethal arsenal on Gaza homes, hospitals, health clinics, nursing and rehab centres, mosques and office buildings. Even civilians who had taken shelter in United Nations-run schools are not spared. […]

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Entertainment Plus

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Selena Gomez — I Did NOT Bang Orlando Bloom … It Was Just A Cigarette Break

Jul 31 2014 —

Selena Gomez says she’s never done the nasty with Orlando Bloom … and she has absolutely zero to do with his raging battle against her ex-BF Justin Bieber. Sources directly connected to Selena tell us … the reason she was with Orlando back in March is because their manager organized an event for his clients […]