Canada in Brief, Aug. 2-8
Phoenix pay advisers not being trained adequately: Report
A new report says federal pay advisers have not been trained adequately, furthering the likelihood that fixing the failed Phoenix pay system will take years and cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
The report, from the Senate finance committee, warns that those costs are on track to hit $2.2 billion within the next five years.
The committee blames the Phoenix debacle on a systemic cultural problem within government where senior civil servants play down bad news and avoid responsibility.
The report notes that not a single person has been held to account for tens of thousands of civil servants being overpaid, underpaid, or not paid at all since the Phoenix system was launched more than two years ago.
Feds ease carbon tax thresholds
Bowing to concerns about international competitiveness, the Trudeau government is scaling back carbon pricing guidelines for some of the country’s heaviest energy users and signalling that more easing could come before the plan takes effect in 2019.
Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued new guidelines that increase the emissions threshold at which polluters will have to pay a carbon tax.
The revisions come as big industries face competitive threats from south of the border in the form of corporate tax cuts and protectionist tariffs, and as Ottawa prepares to replace Ontario’s cap-and-trade system with its own carbon levy.
Surviving Dionne quints to visit log cabin where they were born
The two surviving Dionne quintuplets will be returning this week to the log cabin where they were born 84 years ago for a ceremony marking their birth as an event of national historic significance.
Cecile Dionne and Annette Dionne will be visiting their birth home in North Bay, Ont., on Aug. 4, for the first time in 20 years. A commemorating plaque will be unveiled during the ceremony at the home, which has been turned into a museum.
The five Dionne sisters became international sensations upon their birth on May 28, 1934, as they were the only known quintuplets at the time to survive for more than a few days.
130 ODs in one day: More needs to be done, says BC premier
Premier John Horgan says more needs to be done in British Columbia to fight the ravages of illegal drug use after a report of 130 overdoses in one day last week.
The premier says he’s thankful there were no deaths from any of the overdoses, but the staggering number reveals the amount of work ahead to battle the crisis.
BC Emergency Health Services says paramedics responded to 130 suspected overdose calls on July 27, a statistic only seen once before, in April of last year.
With files from The Canadian Press