Canada column for Sunday, June 21/15
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said no personal information was compromised by a cyberattack on several government websites.
The Anonymous hacker group claimed responsibility for the attack on the Canadian computer servers to protest against the approval of an anti-terrorism bill.
In a YouTube video, Anonymous said it “launched an attack against the Canadian Senate and Government of Canada websites in protest against the recent passing of bill C-51.”
Among the sites disabled were the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Shared Services (the super IT department), Justice, Public Works and Government Services.
Last year, the National Research Council site was hacked with the government blaming a “Chinese state-sponsored actor,” with Beijing denying involvement.
Incidents against Finance Department and Treasury Board computer systems in 2010 were linked to efforts likely originating in China to gather information on the potential takeover of a Canadian potash company.
Sen. Don Meredith has been expelled from the Conservative party’s caucus over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
A newspaper report said a woman, now 18, claimed to become involved with Meredith two years ago.
They met at a Black History Month event at a church in Ottawa and Meredith has since ended the relationship, reports say.
He is the fourth Conservative senator to leave the governing party’s caucus in the last 18 months.
Senators Patrick Brazeau, Mike Duffy and Pamela Wallin remain suspended over an expenses’ scandal being investigated.
News in brief:
- Another iconic Canadian company will be no more as Black’s Photography is closing its remaining stores due to declining sales. The closing will affect 485 workers, mainly in Ontario, as Black’s is unable to realize profitable growth. It would take “considerable investment to adapt Black’s to ongoing change," spokeswoman Luiza Stanice said. The family-run business began in Toronto in the 1930s and since 2009 has been owned by Telus.
- People living under airplane flight paths across Canada will have the chance to be included in consultations and deliberations about shifting flight paths at major airports. Transport Minister Lisa Raitt said new rules will require every airport to consult when making decisions about the routes planes fly. She referred to a “disaster” with frustrated homeowners over new flight routes over Toronto.
- Higher food prices helped push Canada’s inflation rate last month to 0.9 percent from 0.8 percent. Lower energy prices, down 11.8 percent, helped stabilize the rate. Excluding the energy and other “volatile items,” core inflation moved up 2.2 percent for the year, down from 2.3 percent in April.
Facts and figures:
Canada’s dollar is higher at 81.54 cents U.S. while the U.S. dollar returns $1.226 in Canadian funds, before bank exchange fees.
The Bank of Canada’s key interest rate is steady at 0.75 percent while the prime-lending rate is 2.85 percent.
Markets are mixed, with the Toronto Stock Exchange index down at 14,599 points and the TSX Venture index higher at 683 points.
The average price of gas is higher at an average of $1.20 a liter or $4.56 (Canadian) for a U.S. gallon across Canada.
Lotto 6/49: (June 17) 6, 7, 17, 18, 20 and 32; bonus 4. (June 13) 5, 8, 21, 31, 40 and 45; bonus 19. Lotto Max: (June 12) 4, 7, 11, 19, 34, 38 and 48; bonus 45.
- Calling it a “tragic” incident for all involved, Judge Jonathan George convicted a London, Ontario woman of dangerous driving in the deaths of a six-year-old girl and a newborn. Ruth Burger, 66, said her foot became stuck between the brake and gas pedals when she reversed out of a parking spot and smashed into a Costco store. It hit a pregnant mother, Danah McKinnon-Bozek, and her two children. Burger will be sentenced in October.
- A homeless man has turned in more than $2,000 he found on the street in Langford, British Columbia. Police say the man in his 60s said it was “the right thing to do” in turning over the cash. Mountie Constable Alex Berube said the man will get to keep the money if no one claims it within 90 days.
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com