National Newswatch

Centennial Flame monument to get facelift with Nunavut images

Apr 28 2017 — Dean Beeby — It may prove to be a tight squeeze, but the Liberal government is planning to wedge symbols representing Nunavut into the Centennial Flame monument on Parliament Hill. The monument was built to celebrate Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967, long before the creation of the vast northern territory of Nunavut some 32 years later. The Centennial […]


Hundreds of Syrian refugees in Canada stuck with erroneous names

Apr 21 2017 — Dean Beeby — Syrian refugees who have recently settled in Canada have another hurdle in addition to learning a new language, finding a place to live and getting a job. They need to fix their names. Hundreds of Syrian families who fled to Canada with little or no documentation are upset with the versions of their names that […]


Canada Revenue Agency grapples with ‘phantom’ worker pay

Apr 16 2017 — Dean Beeby — Call them the phantom tax collectors. They’re the thousands of Canadians who received paycheques from the Canada Revenue Agency, even though they’re not actually on the payroll. It’s a $2-million headache for the agency, which is responding partly by writing off the erroneous payments and letting those phantom workers keep the cash.


Federal budget 2017: Hello Uber tax, goodbye Canada Savings Bonds

Mar 22 2017 — Dean Beeby — Consumer tax changes in Wednesday’s federal budget will add to the cost of Uber rides while ending a public-transit tax credit. Those are just two of several Liberal government moves that will hit pocketbooks directly, though modestly. The measures include slight increases – pennies, in fact – in tobacco and alcohol taxes.


Liberals urged to scrap 19th century rule that requires laws be printed in books

Mar 20 2017 — Dean Beeby — An obscure statute dating from Confederation has Parliament frozen in time, forcing the government to print every new law on old-fashioned paper. Bureaucrats want to ditch those rules, end the costly printing and make digital versions the new standard — but the Liberal government has yet to decide whether to break with tradition. At issue […]


Internal review questions number of diplomatic passports

Mar 19 2017 — Dean Beeby — Federal officials are raising questions about whether Canada should be issuing so many diplomatic passports each year, including some to retired officials who perform no diplomacy. The problem arises from “unclear, inconsistent or outdated eligibility provisions,” according to an internal document from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which runs the passport program. A formal […]


Diefenbaker award missing in action after Liberals take over

Mar 5 2017 — Dean Beeby — A Harper-era award, named after Conservative icon John Diefenbaker, has gone AWOL under the new Liberal government. The ‘John Diefenbaker Defender of Human Rights and Freedom Award’ remains in limbo, last handed out in late 2014 by then-foreign affairs minister John Baird, a keen admirer of the late prime minister. The annual honour was inaugurated […]


Royal Canadian Mint struggles to make money: documents

Feb 25 2017 — Dean Beeby — The Royal Canadian Mint just isn’t making the money it used to. Revenue is down sharply, jobs have been chopped, morale is in the tank, and formerly successful lines of business are being shut down – even as the mint spends millions of dollars on new executive offices. Once a cash cow, the mint – […]


Finance Canada hiring pollsters to gauge Canadians’ gut reactions to budget

Feb 24 2017 — Dean Beeby — Dozens of Canadians will be providing minute-by-minute feedback for each statement in Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s upcoming budget speech, in a relatively novel effort by the Liberal government designed to help craft its budget sales job. In cities outside Ottawa, carefully selected Canadians will each be given an electronic dial to register in real time […]

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CRA’s new fingerprinting policy could create travel problems for accused tax evaders

Feb 21 2017 — Dean Beeby — The Canada Revenue Agency has begun to record the fingerprints of every person charged with tax evasion, a move that could severely restrict foreign travel for anyone accused but not necessarily convicted of a criminal tax offence. “Introducing a mandatory fingerprinting policy would serve as a powerful deterrent to those considering committing a serious tax […]


Ottawa looks at user-fee hikes for potential new revenue

Feb 9 2017 — Dean Beeby — The Liberal government is eyeing the user fees Canadians pay for federal services as a new source of revenue. Since 2004, fees for everything from fishing licences to campsites have generally fallen farther behind the cost of providing those services. That’s the year the User Fees Act was passed, compelling departments to justify to Parliament […]


Homeowners ill-informed about flood compensation, poll suggests

Jan 22 2017 — Dean Beeby — Many Canadian homeowners may be misinformed about whether they’ll get federal compensation for basements flooded due to severe weather, a newly released survey suggests. The poll — commissioned last summer for Public Safety Canada — found 40 per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: “The government will take care of me and my home […]


Internal document raises possibility of ‘Netflix tax’

Jan 17 2017 — Dean Beeby — The Liberal government is reviewing whether to enforce a so-called Netflix tax on the digital services Canadians buy from foreign-based firms over the internet. A high-profile example is U.S.-based Netflix, which does not apply federal or provincial sales taxes to monthly billings sent to Canadian customers for its streaming service. At the same time, Canadian […]


Supreme Court building to get ‘urgent’ rehabilitation

Jan 15 2017 — Dean Beeby — Canada’s Supreme Court building is crumbling, with some parts expected to fail as early as next year, which means the venerable justices must be evicted to permit five years’ worth of urgent repairs. CBC News has learned that Public Works is already searching for a temporary location for the high court so it can refurbish […]