True North Initiative: News Scan 01 12 17

TOP STORIES

Where the Conservative leadership candidates stand on immigration

Here’s a closer look at where the candidates stand on immigration -- including their views about how many should be accepted, how they should be screened and who should be encouraged to come. (CTV)

Liberal MPs collecting contact data on Canadians who want to attend Trudeau events

Canadians who want to attend events on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s so-called “church basements” tour this week are being asked to submit their names, phone numbers and email addresses through Liberal MPs’ pages on the party website. Three Ontario MPs that are hosting events in their ridings with Trudeau this week are directing potential guests to event listings on their personalized pages on Liberal.ca that allows them to RSVP by filling in a form with their contact details. (CTV)

B.C. judge adjourns peace bond hearing in terror case until after October appeal

A provincial court judge in British Columbia has delayed a hearing over a peace bond for two people awaiting an appeal on terror charges. Judge Reg Harris granted the adjournment Wednesday after defence lawyers representing John Nuttall and Amanda Korody argued that the hearing would be a waste of legal resources since the couple is already bound to bail conditions while the Crown's appeal goes ahead later this year. A jury found Nuttall and Korody guilty of terror allegations in 2015. (CTV)

Canadian pro-Daesh teenager sentenced

A teenager in Brandon Manitoba has been sentenced to time served and two years probation for online counseling of terrorism. The teen’s name can’t be mentioned as he was 16-years-old at the time and so considered a minor. He was arrested in November 2015 after police traced a number of twitter postings back to him, he was arrested, charged, and has been kept in jail since then. (Radio Canada)

Ottawa ignored calls to probe veteran suicides despite troubling 2014 audit

Veterans Affairs is not yet routinely reviewing suicides of former soldiers to identify lessons that might protect other vulnerable vets, despite an internal audit of cases that found troubling gaps at the department responsible for Canada’s most chronically ill and injured veterans. Government documents obtained by The Globe and Mail through access-to-information legislation show that a 2014 probe of 49 suicidal vets and 31 suicides uncovered instances where Veterans Affairs was not properly monitoring the distraught vets. Some weren’t even screened for suicide risk in the first place. (Globe and Mail)

Liberals test Netflix tax, airport privatization and 'moonshots' ahead of budget

The federal government has tested the public’s appetite for a Netflix tax, a new smartphone app for streaming Canadian content and spending on “moonshot” projects like placing a network of balloons on the edge of space to boost Internet access. The policy suggestions are contained in a wide-ranging, 114-page report prepared for the Privy Council Office in November based on small focus-group sessions with Canadians in nine cities. (Globe and Mail)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

New travel requirements creating snags for people coming to Canada

New entry requirements for travellers to Canada are apparently still causing headaches months after they were implemented, and the holiday season saw an unknown number of people stranded when they couldn’t board their flights. (Global)

Manitoba refugee agency inundated with claimants fleeing U.S.

In a typical year, a Manitoba front-line refugee organization sees 60 or 70 people ask for their help in seeking refuge in Canada. In just 10 months last year, the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council saw more than 80 new clients come through its doors. (Yahoo)

'Unsung hero' facing deportation under rescinded rule

A migrant worker who has stood up for fellow workers and become a public face of the labour rights movement is facing deportation herself, caught up in the very rules she fought successfully to change. Gina Bahiwal, 42, has run out of options and is scheduled for deportation to the Philippines on Sunday. She was left without status under the former Tory government’s now rescinded “four-in-four-out” rules that banned migrant workers from Canada for four years after having worked here for four. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau’s cabinet makeover largely a reaction to U.S. political ripples: expert

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook up key positions in his cabinet on Tuesday as he prepared for the new realities of a Donald Trump presidency by naming former International Trade minister Chrystia Freeland as Canada’s new Foreign Affairs minister, while, in an unconventional move, also announcing that the climbing cabinet star would remain in charge of trade relations with the United States. (Hill Times)

Liberals explore creation of new housing benefit for low-income renters

The federal government is looking at creating a new benefit to help low-income Canadians who struggle to pay the rent each month. Multiple sources say officials want to establish a new housing supplement program that would link benefits to individuals, rather than housing units — a departure from how such supplements have typically worked in Canada. (Canadian Press)

Canadian embassy in Haiti investigating $1.7M fraud

The Canadian government has fired 17 local recruits from its embassy in Haiti after uncovering a system of fraud that cost the diplomatic mission $1.7 million over 12 years, Global Affairs Canada says. The majority of that staff, 12 people, worked for Global Affairs Canada. The other five worked for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. (CBC)

Morneau to talk Trump with private-sector forecasters ahead of 2017 budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will meet with private-sector economists Friday for closed-door talks that are expected to focus heavily on how Canada should prepare for the new political landscape in Washington. (Globe and Mail)

Donald Trump’s News Session Starts War With and Within Media

He deemed BuzzFeed News “a failing pile of garbage,” mocked an inquiry about his tax returns — “Gee, I’ve never heard that one before” — and, in an unheard-of moment for a presidential news conference, shouted down questions from a CNN reporter, declaring, with some menace, “Not you.” “Your organization is terrible,” said President-elect Donald J. Trump, his voice rising as Jim Acosta of CNN tried to interject. “No, I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question.” (New York Times)

Mr. Putin's troll army

It came as no surprise to anyone paying attention when the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated recently that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his intelligence agencies had attempted to influence the American presidential election. The U.S. intelligence community had been signalling for months that Russia was involved in hacking and leaking sensitive information from the Democratic National Committee and other key allies of Hillary Clinton. But the unclassified version of the intelligence report released Friday focused at least as much on Russia’s “state-run propaganda machine” — including a “network of quasi-government trolls” which it described as a crucial component of the influence campaign. (IPolitics)

Trump conducts his own sting operation to ensnare intelligence briefers – and says he caught them leaking

President-elect Donald Trump, after growing suspicious that intelligence officials were leaking news about their classified briefings with him, says he conducted a sting operation to try to prove top spies were behind the leaks. Trump revealed the extraordinary scheme to try to entrap the senior spies in a furious press conference where he suggested the intelligence community had been behind salacious and totally unproven allegations against him. (Daily Mail)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau keeping up with the Kardashians

Trudeau can’t seem to distinguish his private lifestyle from his public role as prime minister. He mixes public interests with the interests of the Liberal Party, and at times seems to treat the public purse as an extension of his trust fund. Whether it’s the need for two nannies to help with his children or gallivanting in the Bahamas, Trudeau is turning the role of the prime minister into an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: “Not a lot of confidence” in Trudeau’s vision of Canada’s future

On last night's show, Rebel Commentator Candice Malcolm talked to me about the many ways Justin Trudeau is mishandling the Canadian economy. (Rebel)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trudeau oblivious to his perceived conflict of interest

It’s now obvious from the reporting of my Postmedia colleague David Akin that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau placed himself into a perceived conflict of interest by his actions during the Christmas, new year break. I’m not saying he committed a crime or broke whatever rules the Liberal party has on avoiding conflict of interest. I’m saying any reasonable person looking at the facts would be concerned about a potential conflict of interest. Here’s why. (Toronto Sun)

Colby Cosh: Maryam Monsef had an impossible job, and did it poorly

Justin Trudeau’s first cabinet shuffle has started a small debate over whether Maryam Monsef has been “demoted” in being moved from the Democratic Institutions ministry to Status of Women. I suppose either position in this argument is vaguely tenable. “Democratic Institutions” is just 13 years old as a cabinet position, and I do not know that any holder of the various versions of the title can claim a concrete legislative achievement. “Status of Women,” by contrast, was founded 45 years ago, and you will get in trouble for suggesting it is a relatively out-of-the-way cabinet position. (National Post)

Terry Glavin: Canada, almost alone, amid an unravelling global order

The main event on Tuesday was the abrupt replacement of the endearingly hapless Foreign Affairs Minister, Stephane Dion, with International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland. Perhaps the most intelligent and capable of Trudeau’s ministers, Freeland is easily the best suited for the Foreign Affairs post. She was already chair of the cabinet committee on Canada-U.S. relations, and she is expected to lead talks with the incoming administration of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has vowed to reopen and reconfigure to American advantage. (National Post)

Robert Greenhill: Canada is not back when comes to global aid – it’s far back

However, Mr. Trudeau inherited a government whose international resources lagged its rhetoric. Today, Canada’s rhetoric-resource gap has reached a critical point. If we re-engage with the world without the means to make a real difference, we risk wasting much of the goodwill this government has created. Canada used to be a leader in international assistance. Today, we are a laggard. When it comes to committing real resources, Canada is not back – it is very far back. (Globe and Mail)

Terry Glavin: The one problem with Justin Trudeau’s new team

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s top-tier team makeover on Tuesday adds and elevates a great deal of gravitas, fresh energy and intellectual heft around the federal cabinet table. On the face of it, all is well, the government is in good hands, and at last, coherence and consistency can be expected to define the Trudeau government’s policy priorities. On the face of it, anyway. (Macleans)

Andrew Coyne: Cabinet-making a totally different trade across the border

You’ll have spotted one difference off the top: cabinet ministers in Canada are simply appointed by the prime minister. No further vetting or approval is required, beyond showing up at the appointed hour to say the oath and clasp hands with the governor general. In the U.S., by contrast, these and other senior appointments are made only with the “advice and consent” of the Senate. (National Post)

William Watson: Not being able to spend money fast enough is apparently considered a problem in Ottawa

The PBO is worried that because of delays “there is a growing risk that money the Government originally expected to be spent in 2016–17 will be deferred to subsequent years.” Many of the rest of us probably don’t find that so worrisome. When the government doesn’t spend money it has budgeted, it calls that a “lapse.” Given the scale of government spending these days, many taxpayers wouldn’t mind more such lapses, in fact as many lapses as possible. (Financial Post)

Ezra Levant: The real “fake news”: BuzzFeed’s insane Trump hoax

Yesterday, BuzzFeed published a story claiming that Russia had secret video tapes of Donald Trump engaged in bizarre sexual activities with prostitutes, and that this compromising material had turned Trump into a Manchurian candidate, a Russian spy essentially. Who would believe that bizarre story? The answer, of course is: Deranged liberal journalists who want to believe anything, or make up anything, to try to harm Trump. (Rebel)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

On paying its global share, Canada's not back—it's far back

Data shows that, despite the change in government, Canada’s support for international assistance remains well below historical and international benchmarks. The human cost of this shortfall was equivalent to half a million lives in 2016 alone. (Open Canada)