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Feds late in paying many contracts

There were even cases reviewed in which contractors had to wait for months to be paid.

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Past due!

That’s what to many bills the federal government owe say, despite the fact they have promised quick settlement of monies owing, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Procurement Ombudsman Alexander Jeglic said there were even cases reviewed in which contractors had to wait for months to be paid.

“For smaller companies, delays in payments can represent a significant hardship as they may not have cash reserves on hand to tide themselves over or pay subcontractors until payment is received,” Jeglic wrote in a report Late Payments.

“Delays disproportionately affect smaller companies.”

Jeglic looked at seventeen contracts issued by various departments over a two-year period. He found 93 cases of late payments. One contractor owed $16,741 waited seven months and “was unable to contact anyone” who would help.

A Treasury Board Contracting Policy states federal agencies should pay their bills within thirty days with interest automatically offered a supplier on late payment.

But in the cases he investigated, interest was not always automatically paid, wrote Jeglic.

“Interest payments are a financial liability to the department and the Canadian taxpayer in general,” said his report.

“Departments have limited budgets, and having to spend additional funds on interest may mean fewer goods and services can be procured.”

Parliament in 2019 passed an act requiring general contractors on public works to pay trades and subcontractors within 35 days. Subcontractors may also take claims to an adjudicator for binding decisions enforceable by Court order without fear of being struck from bidders’ lists.

The cabinet bill followed 2017 Senate hearings on a similar private bill heard complaints of small contractors being blacklisted after attempting to collect money they were owed.

“There are cases,” testified lawyer Gerald Chipeur, partner with Miller Thomson LLP of Calgary.

“I can assure you it exists – it’s a real fear, and in fact, it has happened that people have suffered because they challenged a deputy minister.”

Senator Scott Tannas (Alta.) earlier told the Senate banking committee: “We had men in tears here talking about this problem. You have a giant contractor and a bunch of small contractors, and the balance of power says, ‘Would you like this contract? I’ll pay you when I feel like it,’ and you have to accept that.”

“The only folks who didn’t think there was a problem were the people in charge of paying their bills,” said Tannas.

“The people who were in charge of doing the work and getting paid said there was a problem.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Misery index places Canada in bottom ranks

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well.”

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Canada’s combination of high rates of inflation and unemployment have secured it the sixth most “miserable” advanced economy in the world.

Tuesday morning, the Fraser Institute released a study that ranked the International Monetary Fund’s top 35 economic countries.

With an inflation rate of 3.15% and unemployment rate of 7.72%, Canada’s 2021 Misery Index score is 10.88.

“Canadians are rightly concerned about the country’s high inflation and unemployment rates, and when compared to other developed countries, Canada is not doing well,” said Jason Clements, executive vice president of the Fraser Institute.

Fraser Institute

American economist Arthur Okun created the Misery Index to understand the level of economic strain felt on an everyday basis for regular citizens of a country.

Inflation and unemployment act as measures that drastically affect the costs of living that impacts economic well-being on an individual level.

Only five countries received worse scores than Canada, Spain in the last spot with a score of 17.61, followed by Greece (15.73), Italy (11.96) and Iceland (11.26)

Countries above Canada’s score include France (10.10), the United States (9.72), Australia (7.33), and the United Kingdom (7.17).

Japan (2.61) and Switzerland (3.57) received the top scores being the least miserable.

The Misery Index was prominent in policy discussions during the 1970s and 1980s, but fell out of the spotlight during the 1990s while inflation and unemployment was low.

“The fact we are again discussing the Misery Index and Canada’s high ranking on it is bad news for all Canadians, who will suffer as a result,” Clemens said.

“Governments across Canada, particularly the federal government, should prioritize those policies that will make Canadians less miserable by lowering inflation and unemployment.”

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard
esudyk@westernstandardonline.com

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LETTER: Does Copping have scientific evidence to continue with vaccine passports?

“Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.”

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RE: Vaccine passports now mandatory in Alberta

My wife and I took it upon ourselves to get tested for immunity to the COVID-19 virus at our own cost. Several other couples in our community have done the same thing. The test is carried out by the Mayo Clinic so I think we can all agree it is done by a very credible organization.

Both my wife and I tested >250 which is the highest level of immunity that they register. It is also the same level of immunity they show on the most vaccinated people. 

With this in mind, I ask the Minister of Health and the entire UCP government, what is the scientific basis for your continuing to impose the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) to discriminate against us and restrict us from being able to participate in society?

Surely our government would not discriminate against any Albertans without a sound scientific basis for doing so.

Murray Woods
Linden, AB

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‘Galileo’ stockbroker loses COVID case

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

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A Montreal stockbroker who likened himself to Galileo and said COVID-19 wasn’t real had his case tossed out of Federal Court, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“Courts make decisions based on evidence brought in each particular case,” wrote Justice Sébastien Grammond.

“Some facts however are so obvious courts assume their existence and no evidence of them is required. This is called judicial notice.”

Lucien Khodeir filed a federal challenge of Treasury Board vaccination orders for employees.

Khodeir was not personally affected by the orders issued last October 6. The court was told he works as a stock trader for CIBC World Markets.

Khodeir in his submission said vaccine mandates were unnecessary since the coronavirus did not exist, and proposed to call three expert witnesses.

“It is pure speculation,” said the court.

“In his submissions, Mr. Khodeir compares himself to Galileo who was persecuted in the 17th century for asserting that the Earth revolves around the Sun, a theory unanimously accepted today. Yet unlike Mr. Khodeir, Galileo buttressed the heliocentric theory with facts, especially his discovery of Jupiter’s moons.

“In contrast, Mr. Khodeir asks us to believe his assertions regarding the coronavirus without providing any tangible fact in support. The comparison is unfair to the great Italian scholar. Mr. Khodeir’s case has no scientific footing.”

Grammond explained judicial notice of obvious facts is intended to ensuring plaintiffs with pointless claims do not “bog down the judicial process” with unnecessary arguments.

“Over the last two years most people on this planet have been affected in various ways by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said the court.

“It has become common knowledge COVID-19 is caused by a virus.

“Numerous trusted sources of information have repeated this fact to the point that it is now beyond reasonable dispute. There is a lack of debate on this issue in scientific circles.”

The Federal Court noted dismissal of the claim was unrelated to numerous cases awaiting trial in which vaccine orders are being challenged as unnecessary, intrusive and unconstitutional. None of the plaintiffs challenging vaccine orders have disputed the existence of the coronavirus.

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Petition: No Media Bailouts

We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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No Media Bailouts

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We the undersigned call on the Canadian government to immediately cease all payouts to media companies.

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