National Newswatch

Rogue tax workers snooping on Canadians in larger numbers

Nov 26 2018 — Dean Beeby — Workers at the Canada Revenue Agency continue to snoop on the confidential tax files of spouses, parents, friends, neighbours, colleagues, church members and businesses, despite a $10-million project meant to discourage them. Ten months of internal reports obtained by CBC News show the files of at least 10,000 Canadians were compromised by the agency’s employees, […]

Culinary tourism hobbled by taxes, labour shortages, says internal report

Nov 22 2018 — Dean Beeby — The Liberal government’s grand plan to make Canada a “culinary destination” for foreign tourists — think poutine or potted moose — is getting some turbulence from restaurant owners. Internal consultations with restauranteurs show they’re bristling over a new federal alcohol tax and struggling with shortages of uniquely Canadian food items that tend to be produced […]

Canada’s key satellite system hit with another launch delay

Nov 13 2018 — Dean Beeby — Canada’s showpiece satellite project has been hit with another launch delay, five years after the first of three spacecraft was scheduled for orbit. The RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) is now set to be launched from a California air force base sometime between Feb. 18 and Feb. 24, 2019. It’s the fifth such delay since the […]

Environment minister’s staff signed off on tweet praising Syria for joining Paris accord

Oct 25 2018 — Dean Beeby — Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s personal staff, and more than a dozen departmental officials, pre-approved a controversial tweet last year praising the regime in Syria — a tweet that sparked outrage and was quickly deleted. CBC News has obtained documents under the Access to Information Act showing the minister’s office gave a final thumbs-up to the […]

Liberal government writes off $1.1B US loan to Chrysler, plus interest, docs show

Oct 22 2018 — Dean Beeby — Massive write-off referred to in documents tabled in Parliament without any details of explanation. The Liberal government has quietly written off a $2.6-billion auto-sector loan that was cobbled together to save Chrysler during the 2009 global economic meltdown. The write-off, among the largest ever for a taxpayer-funded bailout, is buried in a volume of the […]

More than a dozen federal departments flunked a credit card security test Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn

Oct 7 2018 — Dean Beeby — The Canada Revenue Agency, the RCMP, Statistics Canada and more than a dozen other federal departments and agencies have failed an international test of the security of their credit card payment systems. Altogether, half of the 34 federal institutions authorized by the banking system to accept credit-card payments from citizens and others have flunked the […]

Federal workers cited 3,075 times for lapses in document security

Sep 23 2018 — Dean Beeby — Office workers at Public Services and Procurement Canada were cited 3,075 times last year for failing to lock up documents, USB keys and other storage devices containing sensitive information, says a new security report. And six of those employees were found to be chronic offenders during a “security sweep” at the department in 2017-2018, with […]

Trade disputes, lawsuits driving up Ottawa’s legal bills

Sep 16 2018 — Dean Beeby — The federal government’s legal bills are rising sharply, driven in part by fresh trade disputes with the United States. The Department of Justice paid $26.4 million to outside law firms and other legal agents in 2017-2018, the largest amount since the government began publicly reporting figures five years ago. The biggest bill last year came […]

Litigation gone digital: Ottawa experiments with artificial intelligence in tax cases

Sep 13 2018 — Dean Beeby — The Justice Department has quietly launched an artificial intelligence experiment as the Trudeau government prepares to use such sophisticated software to help make decisions in cases involving immigration, pension benefits and taxes. The 18-month pilot project, which involves the Canada Revenue Agency, was started even though the government has yet to establish clear ethical guidelines […]

Report slams $5.6M Canadian program for Afghan women

Aug 28 2018 — Dean Beeby — A Canadian project to encourage women in Afghanistan to run for political office was poorly designed and executed, according to a newly released evaluation. The $5.6 million project “had limited impact in changing women’s capacity to influence decision-making processes,” concludes the report, which suggests too little of the money went to the women it was […]

Are homegrown tech firms shut out of big federal IT contracts?

Aug 26 2018 — Dean Beeby — Canada’s homegrown tech firms say they’ve been shut out of a multimillion-dollar project to consolidate the federal government’s data operations, with American giants such as IBM and Microsoft getting the inside track. Shared Services Canada (SSC), the federal IT agency, issued a notice earlier this month inviting technology companies to qualify for a massive project […]

Liberal government revives decade-old project to move embassy in Moscow

Aug 22 2018 — Dean Beeby — The Liberal government is reviving long-delayed plans to move into a new embassy building in Moscow, after more than 10 years and $26 million spent on the empty structure. But the renewed effort comes at a troubled time in Canada-Russia relations, which may further complicate the move. Both sides expelled four of each other’s diplomats […]