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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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Little is known about the Canadian soldier buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa except that he died near Vimy Ridge in World War I, and he was young. He represents all Canadian service people who have no known grave.

Canada and WWI
Canada Online Spotlight10

Philippe Couillard in Charge

Thursday April 10, 2014
The day after the Liberal party's landslide victory in the 2014 Quebec provincial election, Premier-designate Philippe Couillard held a news conference to outline his immediate plans. A transition committee will be overseen by Daniel Johnson, a former Liberal premier. The new premier and his cabinet are expected to be sworn in right after the Easter break.

Philippe Couillard

With jobs and the economy predominant issues, Couillard said his first concern is the state of the public finances. He told reporters that he would call in the Quebec auditor general to do a full accounting of the province's books. He said that he would go ahead with efforts that don't require the tabling of a budget, such as new tax credits and infrastructure projects which had been announced.

Dr. Couillard also said he would address issues raised by the controversial proposed Charter of Secular Values "early in my government." He plans to find elements to form a consensus position, such as the neutrality of the state and protection of religious rights. He also plans to re-introduce the bill to legalize medically assisted death.

Photo: © Flickr user François Thivierge

More on Quebec Elections
Quebec Political Parties
Quebec Party Leaders

Canada Revenue Agency Temporarily Closes Online Services

Wednesday April 9, 2014
Update: 04/10/2014
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) says that it expects to have services restored on the weekend. Revenue Minister Kerry-Lynne Findlay has also announced that individuals will not be charged late penalties for filing their tax returns after the April 30 deadline for the length of time of the service interruption.

The CRA has temporarily shut down public access to its online services due to the Heartbleed bug. Heartbleed is an Internet security vulnerability in software code used by two-thirds of "secure" websites on the Internet.

Canada Revenue Agency

The temporary shutdown is a preventative measure to protect the integrity of taxpayers' information held by the CRA. Applications affected include EFILE, NETFILE, My Account, My Business Account and Represent a Client.

The agency is working as quickly as possible to assess the imapct of this bug, to resolve any issues, and to restore online services as soon as possible. They will be providing further information as it becomes available, including daily updates.

Photo: Canada Revenue Agency Headquarters
Courtesy Canada Revenue Agency

More on Canadian Income Taxes
Canadian Income Tax Basics
Where to Get a Canadian Income Tax Package

Arrange Direct Deposit of Government Cheques

Monday March 31, 2014

The Canadian federal government is in the process of phasing out paper cheques, which is probably just as well since Canada Post is phasing out delivering mail. Public Works says it's a money-saving measure, since it costs about 82 cents to issue a cheque, and only 13 cents to make a direct-deposit payment. And those numbers are a year or two out of date. You can make arrangements for direct deposit fairly easily - online, by mail or by phone. Since it's that time of year, here are the details for Direct Deposit of Canadian Tax Payments for any cheques that come from the Canada Revenue Agency. The nice thing about it is the money comes much more quickly,

More About Canadian Taxes
How to Change Your Address With the CRA
My Account Tax Service
Quick Access Tax Service

Battle of Ypres 1915

Monday March 31, 2014
The second Battle of Ypres in World War I established the reputation of the Canadians when the 1st Canadian Division held their own against the Germans' use of a new weapon of modern warfare - chlorine gas. It was the first large-scale use of poison gas in battle. The gas was brought to the front in large metal canisters. When it was released it cooled to a liquid and blew over the battlefield in a yellowish-green cloud. The Canadians were not initially the main target of the gas, which hit the French Moroccan and Algerian troops directly, but they still felt its effects. With no warning, gas masks or other defence, the soldiers resorted to urine-soaked handkerchiefs and pads over their mouths to allow them to function.

In Flanders Fields

It was also at Ypres that John McCrae, a Canadian military surgeon, wrote In Flanders Fields, a stirring poem of remembrance. A Major and second in command of the 1st Brigade Canadian Field Artillery, McCrae wrote the poem when his friend and former student Lieutenant Alexis Helmer was one of the 2000 Canadian soldiers killed on the Ypres battlefield.

Photo: Flanders Poppies
Tom Brakefield / Getty Images

Canada and World War I
Battle of Vimy Ridge
Battle of Beaumont Hamel
Battle of Passchendaele
The Halifax Explosion
Canada and World War I

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