True North Initiative: News Scan 01 30 17

TOP STORIES

Trump's travel ban sparks mass confusion as conflicting details emerge

The Trump administration is showing no signs of backing down from an executive order barring citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., but ever-changing details about how the sweeping new rules should be enforced are sowing chaos and confusion. Trump issued the order early Friday evening, creating confusion for travellers over the weekend as foreign governments tried to grapple with how the rules would affect their citizens. (CBC)

Trump halts refugee program; Trudeau tweets they're welcome in Canada

While many in the United States, caught off-guard by President Trump's executive order on immigration, protested and heaped condemnation, the neighbor to the north took a decidedly different tack. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reiterated his country's open-door policy on refugees in a series of tweets. (CNN)

Canada to accommodate people affected by Trump’s executive order

The federal Immigration Minister is offering temporary residence to any traveller who is stranded in Canada as a result of a controversial and confusing travel ban imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump that prevents citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Ahmed Hussen announced his decision to grant the residence permits Sunday after Canadian officials worked frantically to clarify the terms of the 90-day ban that caused turmoil at U.S. airports, led to detentions of airline passengers caught in legal limbo and prompted widespread protests across the United States. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian dual citizens unaffected by U.S. ban on travel from 7 countries: Ottawa

The Trudeau government has received assurances that Canadian passport holders will not be caught up in an American travel ban that has barred citizens of seven countries from entering the United States. An email from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office late Saturday said the U.S. has given assurances that Canadians with dual citizenship will not be turned away at the border. “We have been assured that Canadian citizens travelling on Canadian passports will be dealt with in the usual process,” said the email from Kate Purchase, Trudeau’s director of communications. (Montreal Gazette) (CTV) (CBC)

Six killed in 'terrorist' attack on Quebec mosque

Gunmen stormed into a mosque in Quebec during evening prayers and opened fire on dozens of worshippers, killing six and wounding eight in what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned as a "terrorist attack." Police arrested the two assailants following the shooting Sunday in the Islamic Cultural Center in a busy district of Quebec City, police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said. She gave no indication of the identities or nationalities of the two suspects. One witness told Radio Canada that "the two men were wearing black cagoules," and one of them "had a "strong Quebecois accent." (Yahoo) (Financial Times) (CBC) (Ottawa Sun)

Canada PM says mosque attack that killed 6 is terrorism

Six people were killed and eight were injured in a shooting at a Quebec City mosque during evening prayers. Authorities reported two arrests in what Canada's prime minister called an act of terrorism. Quebec provincial police spokeswoman Christine Coulombe said early Monday that some of the wounded were gravely injured. She said the dead were approximately 35 to 70 years of age. Thirty-nine people were unharmed. More than 50 were at the mosque at the time of the attack. (Yahoo)

Trump and his policies top of mind as Parliament resumes in Ottawa Monday

U.S. President Donald Trump might not be on his way to Canada any time soon, but he — and his decision to order a temporary ban on visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries — is expected to be front and centre as MPs return to Ottawa on Monday. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who created a bit of a stir over the weekend when he tweeted a thinly veiled message to the American administration about how Canada welcomes refugees regardless of their religion, is scheduled to be in the House of Commons for question period that will likely focus on all things Trump. (Metro)

Jason Kenney Urges Canada To Give Shelter To Those Under 'Ham-Fisted' Trump Ban

Former Tory immigration minister Jason Kenney took to Twitter Saturday to urge Canada's government to welcome those stranded by U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order. On Friday, Trump banned refugees and anyone with a passport from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The order left border officers confused and travellers stranded at airports around the country. (Huffington Post) (Edmonton Journal)

NDP pushes for emergency debate on Trump’s immigration ban

The New Democrats are asking for an emergency debate on the immigration ban ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump. NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan says she wants the House of Commons to address the issue as its first order of business when MPs return to Ottawa on Monday. (Toronto Star) (CTV)

Canadian leaders denounce Trump's travel ban order

In a rare display of agreement, members of the Parti Quebecois have backed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s response to Saturday’s announcement that travelers from seven heavily-Muslim countries would be temporarily banned from entering the United States. In two much-shared tweets on Saturday, Trudeau drew sharp contrast between the order and Canada. (CTV)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Canadian terrorism expert believes travel ban will severely strain ongoing work in Middle East

As the fallout to the President Trump travel ban executive order continues, a Simon Fraser University professor believes regardless of what happens from here – the damage has been done. President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries will be in effect for a minimum of 90 days, and with it, 134 million people will be denied access to the U.S. Simon Fraser University terrorism risk & security studies professor, Andre Gerolymatos, said not only is the ban playing right into the hands of Isis propaganda artists, but is risking a long term shattering of relations with pro-U.S. Middle Eastern governments and employees. (660 News)

Trudeau government ‘concerned’ and ‘worried,’ but not ‘panicking’ over Trump administration, say political insiders

Experts and political insiders say adjusting to the new administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has become a high—if not the highest—priority for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, and that he has avoided “panicking” and is instead dealing with “the new reality.” Most agree that Mr. Trudeau’s (Papineau, Que.) relationship with Mr. Trump will not be as chummy as it was with former U.S. president Barack Obama. But instead of dwelling on the possible negative effects of the drastic changes underway in Washington, D.C., the prime minister seems to have promptly gotten to work on ensuring Canada suffers as little as possible. (Hill Times)

Muslim-Canadians concerned over U.S. travel ban

The U.S. travel ban is having ripple effects around the world and has become a cause for concern for Muslim-Canadians as well. Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, responded to President Donald Trump’s executive order on Sunday.  He gave reassurances that the ban doesn’t apply to Canadians with dual citizenship to one of the seven countries targeted by the order. Hussen also underlined that he would use his authority to provide anyone stranded in Canada with temporary residency if needed. (CBC)

Trump immigration order ‘a boon' for Canadian tech industry, say executives

Canadian technology executives are making plans to capitalize on U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration orders, using the new president’s crackdown to help their efforts to recruit skilled workers from overseas. “I think it’s really sad and horrible from a political landscape perspective, but very selfishly it’s an incredible opportunity” said Dennis Pilarinos, a former Microsoft executive whose 22-person software startup in Vancouver, Buddybuild, is in hiring mode. “It’s a chance to welcome incredibly talented engineers who might not have otherwise considered roles in Canada.” (Globe and Mail)

Canadian tech firms call on Ottawa to issue visas for those displaced by US travel ban

A group of Canadian technology company founders, executives and investors on Sunday called in a letter for Ottawa to immediately give temporary residency to those displaced by a U.S. order banning the entry of people from seven Muslim-majority countries. (Global)

Advocates urge Canada to step up after Trump's refugee halt

Immigration advocates are urging Canada to open its doors to more asylum-seekers following sweeping action by U.S. President Donald Trump to restrict them. “Canada needs to take the opposite route to show that we’re opposed to discrimination (and) that we are welcoming towards refugees,” Janet Dench, executive direction of the Canadian Council for Refugees, told CTV News. (CTV)

Iran retaliates, Canada opens arms after Trump immigration ban

World leaders reacted harshly Saturday to President Trump's executive order suspending immigration and visas for citizens from certain countries with majority Muslim populations. Iran, one of the targeted nations, suggested it would limit issuing visas to American tourists. Trump on Friday suspended all refugee admissions to the U.S. for four months and banned the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely pending a security review meant to ensure terrorists cannot slip through vetting. Trump also issued a 90-day ban on all entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries with terrorism concerns, including Syria. (Yahoo)

Top job of new Conservative leader to keep progressive, social conservatives united: Tories

The next leader of the Conservative Party will have to address frustrations between the social conservatives and progressive conservatives who have been holding their noses for years and to keep the party united, say Conservatives. “That’s pivotal. The party has always been a coalition. It’s been a coalition between the West and the East, it’s been a coalition between the English and French. It’s been a coalition between [progressive conservatives and social conservatives],” said Tom McMillan, a former environment minister in the Brian Mulroney cabinet and author of a new book, Not My Party: The Rise and Fall of Canadian Tories, from Robert Stanfield to Stephen Harper. “The most successful of those leaders have been ones who were able to pull together the Tory family, if you will.” (Hill Times)

Ralph Goodale says civilian oversight for RCMP should be examined

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal government should consider setting up a civilian board of management for the RCMP. The concept is not a new one. In fact, it was the central recommendation of the 2007 report from a task force on governance and cultural change at the RCMP. "I think it is an idea, a concept that needs to be very carefully examined and determined whether that would work effectively given the nature and the character and the tradition of the force," Goodale told CBC News. "It's an idea that needs to be examined." (CBC)

Transfer of Canadian banking records to U.S. tax agency doubled last year

Banking records of more than 315,000 Canadian residents were turned over to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service last year under a controversial information sharing deal, CBC News has learned. That is double the number transferred in the deal's first year. The Canada Revenue Agency transmitted 315,160 banking records to the IRS on Sept. 28, 2016 — a 104 per cent increase over the 154,667 records the agency sent in September 2015. (CBC)

Canada considers paying into UN fund for victims of peacekeeper abuse

Canada is considering paying into a special UN trust fund for victims of sexual exploitation and abuse by international peacekeepers, the Star has learned. But while the UN requested all member states to pay into the Trust Fund for Assistance to Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (SEA), few countries have contributed — including Canada, which has five documented cases of sexual abuse against its peacekeepers serving in Haiti. (Toronto Star)

Tens of thousands protest Trump's immigration ban in cities and airports across the country

Tens of thousands of people rallied in U.S. cities and at airports on Sunday to voice outrage over President Donald Trump's executive order restricting entry into the country for travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. In New York, Washington and Boston, a second wave of demonstrations began the afternoon after spontaneous rallies broke out at U.S. airports on Saturday as U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents began enforcing Trump's directive. The protests on Sunday were expected to spread westward as the day progressed. (Business Insider)

Trump and Putin make counter-terror top priority in first call

Donald Trump held a series of phone calls with world leaders on Saturday - including one with Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said both sides had agreed to make fighting "international terrorism" - including so-called Islamic State and "other terrorist groups" in Syria - a top priority. The White House said the call was a "significant start" to improving a relationship "in need of repair". (BBC)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trump immigration EO needs major changes

The US needs to protect its borders, it needs to take a tough stance against Islamist terrorism and it has every right to increase screening and vetting of newcomers. But Donald Trump’s executive order (EO) on immigration and refugees is not the right approach. There is a lot to unpack in Trump’s EO, and while trying to understand the law and its impact, it’s important to separate the facts from the hysteria. First, and despite the rhetoric, this is not a Muslim Ban. The vast majority of the world’s Muslims, including all American Muslims, will not be directly affected by this order. (Toronto Sun)

Candice Malcolm: ANALYSIS: Trump’s Executive Order on Immigration, the good, the bad, the awful

The directive was aimed to increase security and screening for people from a region that has been plagued with terrorism, violence and Islamist extremism. However welcome action is on this front, the executive order goes too far. It is too broad, too blunt, and will have far-reaching and adverse consequences. In light of the dramatic and hyperbolic reaction, it is useful to highlight the positive aspects of the EO, while also criticizing the problematic and unhelpful aspects. (True North Initiative)

Kasra Nejatian: Why this conservative immigration expert may not test Trump’s ban

This past week, president Donald Trump decided that despite my hatred for the Islamic Republic’s mullahs, I am too big a threat to be allowed entry into the United States. I am a conservative. I am a conservative on immigration issues. I believe in strong immigration laws and protected borders. I believe there are people in the world with hateful ideologies who mean to harm those of us in the West. I know some of them. I grew up living next to them. (Macleans)

Michael Den Tandt: Donald Trump’s refugee ban pushes Canadian politicians to forge common front

In closing America’s borders to refugees and banning visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations including U.S.-allied Iraq, President Donald Trump has managed the seemingly impossible; to shove Conservative stalwart Jason Kenney and Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, long-time foes, into the same tent. They’re joined there by Saskatchewan conservative premier Brad Wall, Alberta New Democratic premier Rachel Notley, B.C. Liberal premier Christy Clark, Ontario Liberal premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto conservative mayor John Tory, as well as federal Conservative leadership candidates Deepak Obhrai and Michael Chong — all of whom spoke in support of helping refugees Saturday, in response to Trump’s move, as did Kenney and Trudeau. (National Post)

John Ivison: Trudeau’s heart was in the right place, but travel ban tweets may tweak Trump’s warped ego

To avoid confusion, I agree entirely with Pierre Trudeau’s contention that a society that emphasizes uniformity is one which creates intolerance and hate. Donald Trump is a man temperamentally unfit to be President of the United States of America — a bully whose “win-lose” philosophy threatens peace and stability around the globe. Americans are far more likely to die from lightning, lawnmowers and armed toddlers than Islamic jihadists, so his pledge to get tough on terror by imposing a 90-day ban on travel by citizens of seven Muslim countries makes little sense, like breaking a butterfly on a wheel. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities will meet on Tuesday Jan 31, 2017 to discuss Poverty Reduction Strategies (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meeting for today has been cancelled
  • Standing Committee on National Defence will meet on Tuesday Jan 31, 2017 to study Canada and the Defence of North America (Partly public)
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development will meet on Tuesday January 31, 2017 to study Freezing Assets of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act & Special Economic Measures Act (In Camera)