Rick's Top 5
5. The hoax was thiiiiiis big
We were punked! Or maybe we should say we were Sharknadoed into believing a tall tale of fishermen snagging more than they bargained for in Lake Ontario. A YouTube video widely viewed of late appeared to show a shark being snagged by a fisherman on a wharf at Wolfe Island in Kingston. We were told of other sightings too. The video provoked widespread chatter about whether a bull shark could have made the long trek up the St. Lawrence River into the fresh waters of Lake Ontario. Well, the 'bull' part of the story turned out to be the only element that was true. Yesterday, Bell Media - owner of this radio station among other media properties - admitted it had created the video to plug Discovery Canada’s Shark Week. I guess some of us missed the company memo.
4. Sick Leave Spat
The Parliamentary Budget Office finds itself at loggerheads with the federal government over the true cost of public service sick leave. The government has made reform to a system that currently allows public servants to bank -- although not cash-in -- sick days a top priority in a new round of collective bargaining that kicked off this month. But the Parliamentary Budget Office appears to throw cold water on the idea that introducing a new short term disability plan, similar to what you’d find in the private sector, will save taxpayers any money. Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who is spearheading the reform for the government, say the Budget Office’s analysis misses the point. Clement has already said change in the sick leave system is part of much needed broader reforms to reduce sick leave misuse and improve morale in the public service. For their part, public service unions have banded together and refused to even discuss changes to the sick leave provisions, a stance likely to increase tensions with the government and fuel a turn for the worse in labour management relations in the coming year.
3. Next Stop: Sun Life Financial?
Did the ground move for you yesterday? How about the walls? Workers digging the LRT tunnel accidently poked through the wall of an underground parking garage yesterday. More specifically, two rock bolts that are used as part of the drilling process penetrated through the wall. The bolts help stabilize the walls of the tunnel. No one was hurt in the incident and damage to the wall beneath the Sun Life Financial building on Queen St. resulted in no risk to the integrity of the building. The Rideau Transit Group calls it no big deal and says it will cover the repair costs and is reassessing how to continue its drilling work.
2. They're Making a List...
Sex trade workers are denying salacious rumours swirling through the capital that they are building a secret file of parliamentarians who have, ahem, had cause to call upon their services. We’re told the list could be released publicly if the government proceeded with its current proposed changes to prostitution laws. National Post columnist John Ivison quotes an industry representative saying there’s plenty of chatter about the list; that sex trade workers would have no trouble creating one; and that sex trade workers might be tempted to name names, if only to expose what they believe to be the rank hypocrisy surrounding parliamentary hearings into the proposed laws. One industry rep doubted such a list would ever be released, even if it existed, because it would likely be bad for business. After all, the profession survives on discretion and confidentiality. Among other things, the legislation proposing criminalizing the purchase of sex, a move sex trade workers say will make their work even more dangerous by pushing the industry ever deeper into the back alleys.
1. Duffy's Week Gets Worse
A bad week for Mike Duffy is about the get a whole lot worse. According to the Globe & Mail, the suspended Conservative Senator will be formally charged today in connection with an RCMP investigation into his housing and other office expenses, as well his acceptance of $90,000 from Nigel Wright, former chief of staff to the Prime Minister. The news comes hard on the heels of yesterday’s sensational report of a 32 year old woman in Peru who claims she is the unacknowledged daughter of Duffy, the product of an affair between the then popular TV journalist and a woman who ran afoul of the law and spent time in the Kingston Prison for Women on drug importation charges. The sensational claim -- denied by Duffy -- pales in comparison to today’s expected developments. Duffy’s Ottawa lawyer, Don Bayne, released a statement to the Globe yesterday quoting his client as maintaining his innocence and saying he welcomes the opportunity to finally defend himself in court after being treated harshly in the court of public opinion. The investigation probed a number of expenses claimed by Duffy, especially a living allowance submitted for his secondary, or part-time residence in Kanata. Duffy insisted his primary residence was in PEI, the province he represented in the Senate, although there were allegations he never spent much time there and that his real home was in Kanata. Get ready for fireworks. Duffy has already demonstrated a readiness to point fingers and name names, even when it involves some of the people closest to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Coming up today on Madely in the Morning:
7:10 Paul Dewar, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic and MP for Ottawa Centre
7:40 Rick's Top 5
7:55 The News Challenge Contest. You could win:
- A $25 gift certificate for Tinseltown, Ottawa's year round Christmas store.
- A $50 gift card for St. Hubert BBQ Restaurant
8:10 Andrew Peck, executive director of the Glebe BIA
Coming up today on CFRA:
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Rob Snow's Afternoon Edition
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