True North Initiative: News Scan 01 03 17

TOP STORIES

Milton woman killed in attack on Istanbul nightclub

The Canadian killed in the New Year’s attack on an Istanbul nightclub has been identified as Alaa Al-Muhandis of Milton, Ont. Global Affairs Canada confirmed her identity in an email on Monday evening. Media reported that Al-Muhandis was a 29-year-old mother of two. Her Facebook page states that she attended Streetsville Secondary School in Mississauga and was a graduate of Seneca College. (Toronto Star)

The making of a spy: How the RCMP came to use Abdullah Milton against an Ottawa terror cluster

The prized RCMP agent who infiltrated an ISIL network in Ottawa says he got into the spy business by accident. It was January 2011, and Abdullah Milton was in Ottawa for the first time. “I was a tourist,” the Muslim convert revealed in a March 2014 interview with RCMP investigators. His version of events has gone untold until now. (Edmonton Sun)

Teachers struggling after surge of refugees, U of W education expert says

For teachers across Canada, the past year brought new challenges as thousands of refugee children entered the classroom. More than 20,000 of the Syrian refugees who have settled in Canada are under the age of 18, and the trials for teachers range from language barriers to trauma, according to Jan Stewart, a professor in the faculty of education at the University of Winnipeg. (CBC)

PMO tried to keep Trudeau's vacation details secret

For the second year in a row, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has kept details of his family vacation secret until pressed by reporters, despite the fact taxpayers pay part of the costs. After refusing for days to say where the Trudeaus had gone, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed Monday that he left on Boxing Day for Nassau, Bahamas. (CTV) (IPolitics)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canadian political renewal in 2017

2017 is a big year for Canada, both culturally and politically. Along with the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the birth of Canada as a nation, and the 375th anniversary of Montreal, the largest French-speaking city in North America, there is a political renewal underway. (Radio Canada)

The challenges ahead for the Liberal government

The Liberal government checked off a number of the biggest items on its to-do list in 2016 -- introducing the Canada Child Benefit, withdrawing fighter jets from the mission in Iraq and Syria, a national climate agreement and meeting with the premiers -- but some are only partly underway. An inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women is set to kick off early in the new year, with the promised legislation to legalize marijuana seemingly on the way. (CTV)

Pilot passed out in cockpit, accused of being drunk, police say

A pilot who allegedly passed out in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 in Canada was arrested on suspicion of being drunk, police said. Capt. Miroslav Gronych was "behaving oddly before he became unconscious in the cockpit" on Saturday, Calgary police said. The plane, with 99 passengers and six crew members, was scheduled to fly to Regina before heading to Winnipeg and Cancun, Mexico. (CNN)

The scorecard on your parliamentary committees: 881 hours of talking at 488 meetings

Around Parliament Hill, anyone who knows anything will tell you that some of the most significant work an MP will do will be “at committee.” By “at committee”, parliamentarians, journalists, lobbyists and others mean at one of the 29 standing, special, or joint committees that MPs participate in. Most of these committees meet two times a week whenever the House of Commons is in session. (National Post)

New travel requirement keeps man out of Canada over Christmas

A Nova Scotia man says a lack of information about a new security document required to travel to Canada has ruined his family's Christmas. Mark Ashworth of Ellershouse, N.S., knew nothing about the need for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) when he booked a trip to Canada for his 69-year-old father, who lives in England. (CBC)

Jagmeet Singh Is A Young, Photogenic, Confident Politician. Sound Familiar?

He is the candidate many New Democrats hope will take the federal leap — a bright light who represents the future of the party, and a leader who could potentially compete against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, say supporters. Outside of the Greater Toronto Area and NDP circles, however, few have heard of Jagmeet Singh. (Huffington Post)

Canada's top CEOs earn 193 times average worker's salary

In a report published Tuesday, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives looked at salary information from 249 TSX-listed companies. The think-tank then calculated numbers based on the 100 people at the top of that list. According to the group, the richest 100 CEOs in Canada took in an average of $9.5 million in 2015, a figure that includes salaries, bonuses, share grants and stock options. (CBC)

Canada’s opening stance for NAFTA talks: Common ground, not confrontation

The Canadian government is signalling the approach it intends to take should Donald Trump make good on his promise to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Canada's ambassador to the U.S. is laying out some starting principles such as co-operation instead of confrontation. In a lengthy interview, David MacNaughton expressed his desire to see the countries propose common-ground, common-sense ideas that improve the old agreement instead of flinging out hardball demands that could produce deep, drama-filled bargaining. (Canadian Press)

Assange To Hannity: Source For WikiLeaks Was Not Russian Government

In an exclusive interview with FOX News Channel's Sean Hannity the founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange said Russia was not the source for the DNC and John Podesta hacks. (Real Clear Politics)

Facing growing North Korea nuke threat, Trump vows: 'It won't happen!'

President-elect Donald Trump had a message Monday for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his latest missile threats. "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen!" Trump tweeted. (CNN)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Tom Parkin: The next NDP leader must focus on jobs and economy

Last year was a near-complete disaster for the federal NDP. But in its leadership campaign this year, the social democrats have the opportunity to build a durable and broad voter coalition as the party for jobs and the economy. (Toronto Sun)

Melissa Lantsman: Opposition women had a good year

The women of Canada’s official Opposition had a very good 2016 — and it had nothing to do with gender balance. Principled leadership came straight from the top. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: How Trump will reshape energy, environmental policies

On this, our last Christmas holiday shows, ClimateDepot.com director Marc Morano joins me to talk about how governments use “the environment” as an excuse to interfere with almost every aspect of our lives. We review the year in “climate change” and “green” initiatives like carbon taxes. We also look ahead to what we can expect from a Donald Trump presidency. (Rebel)

Konrad Yakabuski: Trudeau’s divide and conquer strategy pays off

While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was still insouciantly snapping selfies, I suggested the “difficult arbitrages” he faced in doling out federal cash transfers would bring his honeymoon to an end by setting up a nasty clash with the provinces before 2016 was out. Whether Mr. Trudeau can avoid all-out warfare with his provincial counterparts is the big question facing his government in 2017. (Globe and Mail)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

Nanos Research: Liberals open 2017 with a 15 point diminishing advantage over Conservatives

The latest Nanos ballot tracking has the Liberals with 43.0 per cent support nationally, followed by the Conservatives at 27.9 per cent, the NDP at 16.7 per cent and the Greens at 5.9 percent. Although the Liberals hold a 15 point advantage, it has been diminishing over the past number of weeks of Nanos tracking. (Nanos Research)