True North Initiative: News Scan 02 10 17

TOP STORIES

Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump to meet Monday in Washington

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will discuss Canadian values and jobs with U.S. President Donald Trump when the pair meets in person for the first time Monday in Washington. During a visit to Iqaluit Thursday, Trudeau was asked whether he would raise the controversial U.S. travel ban with Trump, which affects people from seven majority-Muslim countries, as well as all refugees. "As everyone in Canada knows, I have two important responsibilities that stand out in the way we engage our neighbours to the south. The first is, of course, to highlight Canadian values and principles and the things that keep our country strong," he said. (CBC) (Toronto Sun)

Trudeau urged to find common ground with Trump during Washington visit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will travel to Washington on Monday to hold talks at the White House with Donald Trump, hoping to develop a personal bond of trust with an unpredictable U.S. President who is pushing an America First trade and global agenda. This will be the first face-to-face encounter between the two leaders with radically different approaches to trade, immigration and international relations, although they have had two telephone conversations since Mr. Trump became President. (Globe and Mail)

Storm of reaction to news Syrian refugee charged with sex assaults

Reports that a man accused of sexual assaults on six Edmonton teenage girls was a Syrian refugee have ignited a firestorm of reaction, from anti-immigration diatribes to criticism about how the media dealt with the story. Groups that work with refugees in the city have been inundated with calls and texts over the past 24 hours, some from people calling for an end to the refugee program and others from refugees themselves apologizing on behalf of their community. (CBC)

Census shows Conservatives still hold sway in Canada's fastest growing regions

With the West leading the country in population growth and Atlantic Canada stagnating, the Conservatives continue to have the most to gain from the demographic trends revealed in the latest census release from Statistics Canada. And while the numbers are a mixed bag for the governing Liberals, the changing population figures in Canada's 338 ridings point to potential difficulties for the NDP. (CBC)

Liberals and Conservatives tied in nationwide poll, Grits still strong in Central Canada, but losing younger voters

The federal Liberal and Conservative parties would each win the votes of one-third of Canadians if an election were held now, according to a poll taken at the beginning of February. A year and four months after taking power, the Liberals have lost about one-third of the voters who supported them in the October 2015 election, according to the poll conducted by Campaign Research, the Toronto polling firm at which Nick Kouvalis, Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s former campaign manager, serves as a principal. Richard Ciano, another firm principal, is a supporter and volunteer for Ms. Leitch’s campaign. (Hill Times)

On one issue, Canadians are a lot less tolerant than Americans

Many Canadians pride themselves on being more multicultural and less suspicious of minorities than Americans, but new public opinion research being aired today in Montréal at a McGill Institute for the Study of Canada conference finds that Canadians are more likely than Americans to favour banning Muslim women from wearing their head scarfs in public places. (Macleans)

Liberal MP's anti-Islamophobia motion set for debate next week

Members of Parliament will debate a motion to condemn Islamophobia and track incidents of hate crime against Muslims in the House of Commons next week. Motion 103 was tabled by Mississauga, Ont., Liberal backbencher Iqra Khalid last fall, but will be discussed in the  aftermath of last month's mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. It calls on government to "condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination." (CBC)

Why refugees are choosing to cross into Manitoba instead of Saskatchewan

Manitoba is seeing a dramatic increase in refugees travelling over its land border from the United States to claim refugee status in Canada, according to figures from the Canadian Border Services Agency. So why isn't Saskatchewan seeing the same rise? Manitoba immigration and refugee lawyer Bashir Khan said the prairie provinces, with their open fields and lack of forests, are the ideal place to attempt a land crossing without stopping at the border. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

As Trudeau and Trump prepare to meet, here’s a guide to where Canada-U.S. relations stand so far

Check back here for the latest news, analysis and opinion on the impact that the Trump presidency has had so far on Canada, from protectionism and the economy to pluralism and immigration. (And Americans: If you’ve considered moving to Canada, we have some pointers on why that might be more complicated than you think.) (Globe and Mail)

Parliament may probe why Canada is turning away LGBT Iranians

A parliamentary committee could soon probe why Canada suddenly started turning away LGBT Iranians seeking asylum, Xtra has learned. The move comes as members of Parliament express confusion over why a famed program that brought hundreds of refugees to safety has ground to a halt. According to a Feb 3, 2017, Xtra investigation, Canada started turning away LGBT Iranians in Turkey seeking third-country resettlement, shortly after the Liberal government’s airlift of Syrians got underway in November 2015. (Daily Xtra)

Manitoba town to receive help in handling refugee influx

Civic officials from a southern Manitoba town inundated with asylum seekers say they’ve been given assurances they’ll get some help from other levels of government as they struggle to ensure their small community remains safe and welcoming. Politicians in Emerson, Man., met with the RCMP, representatives from the federal and provincial governments, and the Canada Border Services Agency on Thursday to address concerns after 22 refugee claimants walked over from the United States on the weekend. (Globe and Mail)

The long road to refuge: Once across the border, a mountain of paperwork for asylum seekers

For those seeking asylum, getting across the Canadian border is a difficult journey. Since April 2016, more than 400 people have crossed irregularly — meaning they walked across the border through fields, often through deep snow, while braving the bitter cold. But it's not until they're across that the real work begins. (CBC)

‘Fear of the Trump government’ driving more asylum-seekers to B.C. on foot

British Columbia has seen a spike in asylum-seekers crossing its southern border on foot in recent weeks — ever since the U.S. government began issuing executive orders related to immigration — according to migrant support workers. With snow burying farmers’ fields in the Lower Mainland, many of the border hoppers have reached out for help after their arrival from health practitioners and from emergency shelters they trust not to report them. Others, Metro learned, have entered by taxi or bus. (Metro News)

Report: Unprecedented Number of Refugees Fleeing U.S. for Canada

An unprecedented number of refugees living in the U.S. are fleeing to Canada after President Donald Trump promised to crack-down on refugee resettlement. In a report by Fox News, groups who work with migrants resettling in the U.S. are saying refugees are now crossing into Canada illegally. “They’re not crossing at the actual point where there’s an immigration and customs offices,” Rita Chahal, with the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council said in a report by the Guardian. (Breitbart)

Rona Ambrose denies link between federal funding and spouse’s billionaire friend

Ms. Ambrose has come under fire in recent days, after it was revealed she was vacationing aboard Mr. Edwards’s yacht in the Caribbean at the same time she was criticizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for embracing the “billionaire lifestyle” for his trip to the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas. Mr. Trudeau is currently under investigation from the Ethics Commissioner for potentially breaking the federal Conflict of Interest Act. But Ms. Ambrose, who is no longer subject to the law because she is not a minister or parliamentary secretary, broke no rules under the MP conflict of interest code for her January trip, the Ethics Commissioner’s office said. (Globe and Mail)

Air Canada hopes Trump's vow to cut taxes will spur change north of the border

The CEO of Air Canada said he hopes President Donald Trump's promise Thursday to U.S. airline executives to cut taxes will spur similar action on this side of the border.  Calin Rovinescu said such a move might prompt Canada to cut various fees, charges and taxes that represent about 43 per cent of the average ticket price. "We certainly hope that as other countries become more competitive, Canada will do likewise," he said in Montreal after the airline, Canada's largest, unveiled a new look for its planes and uniforms for its employees. (CTV)

Mexican woman deported from the US despite protests

A Mexican woman who lived illegally in the US from the age of 14 has been deported back to her home country. Seven protesters were arrested as they tried to block the vehicle taking her away from the immigration office in Phoenix, Arizona, where she was held. President Donald Trump has promised to crack down on illegal immigrants with criminal records. Garcia de Rayos used forged documents to get a job. (BBC)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions: End migrant lawlessness

America's new top prosecutor, Jeff Sessions, has said the US must bring an end to illegal immigration, as he was sworn in at the White House. The US attorney general said: "We need to end this lawlessness that threatens the public safety, pulls down the wages of working Americans." During the ceremony, President Donald Trump signed three executive orders targeting crime and drug cartels. The Senate confirmed him in the post on Wednesday by a vote of 52 to 47. (BBC)

Trump furious after court upholds block on travel ban

President Donald Trump's travel ban will remain blocked, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The unanimous ruling from a three-judge panel means that citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries will continue to be able to travel to the US, despite Trump's executive order last month. It is a significant political setback to Trump's new administration and raises questions about how the courts will view his apparent vision for an expansive use of executive power from the Oval Office on which he is anchoring the early weeks of his presidency. (CNN)

National security adviser Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials, officials say

National security adviser Michael Flynn privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials, current and former U.S. officials said. (Washington Post)

French Far-Right Candidate Le Pen Opposes Dual Citizenship

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has vowed to request all people with dual citizenship in France and other countries to choose only one nationality, except for Europeans and Russians. She said this doesn't mean foreigners would need to leave the country, explaining they can stay "as long as they respect French laws and values". (ABC)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Jay Fayza: POLL: 20% of Canadians want “Trump-style” ban on immigration

If you only listened to the talking points of the Canadian Liberal and NDP parties, you’d think that most Canadians support open border immigration policies, and that immigrants who migrate to Canada shouldn’t assimilate into the greater culture. But if you thought that, you’d be wrong. (Rebel)

John Sankey: Compassion denied – why our refugee program is not a model to imitate

Our government claims that their program of private sponsorship of Syrian refugees is so successful that other nations should emulate it. This real Canadian sponsor, and those he sought to help, couldn’t disagree more. Most of my ancestors arrived in Canada as refugees, from the American Revolution and on. They all were able to find their future in Canada. And so, when our new Liberal government pledged in October 2015 to sponsor 25,000 refugees from Syria by the end of the year, and asked Canadians to privately sponsor more, I was proud to join thousands of others to personally commit to the myriad tasks involved in supporting victims of violence here. (Ottawa Citizen)

Don Martin: Rona Ambrose's vacation neutralizes attack on PM Trudeau

The rules are clear. Rona Ambrose did nothing technically wrong in yachting around the Caribbean last month with a billionaire buddy. So why does the Official Opposition leader act like she's been caught playing golf in Florida with Donald Trump between Nordstrom shopping expeditions for Ivanka fashion wear? The normally cool, calculating yet charismatic interim party leader has engaged in a daily rush of guilt-enhancing behavior since the news broke about her January frolic on the football-field-sized yacht of an Alberta-based investment titan. (CTV)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Time to let Bombardier crash and burn

Sometimes you can’t make anyone happy. This week, Ottawa announced that it will provide Bombardier Inc. interest-free loans amounting to $372.5 million to prop up its jet business — the latest installment in a billion-dollar stream of federal disbursements to the company dating back to 1966. Still, the news hit like a lead balloon in Quebec, where the provincial government doled out $1.3 billion to the company less than two years prior in exchange for a 49.5 per cent stake in the project, and where expectations were high that Ottawa would match that figure. (IPolitics)

Paul Wells: A face-to-face meeting is Trudeau’s best bet for dealing with Trump

Batten down the hatches. All the old Canadian insecurities are about to gust up to hurricane force. A young, inexperienced, left-leaning Canadian prime minister, alone in the Oval Office with a NATO-chomping Republican silverback who will — not — shut — up — about how tough and smart and smart and tough and winning and tough and smart he is. It’s enough to make you cover your eyes and peek between fingers. The kid’ll get eaten alive. There’ll be nothing but freshly picked-over bones of part-time drama teacher on the grassy floor of the Trump enclosure when it’s done. The Sun headlines write themselves. There’ll be time for Kevin O’Leary to shout “Bambi vs. Godzilla!” 40 times before Justin Trudeau’s aircraft even leaves the tarmac at Ottawa airport. (Toronto Star)

Faith Goldy: What Quebec mosque attack means for free speech

Is the CBC doing the Liberal government's bidding? I break down how their coverage of the Quebec mosque attack hints at a larger campaign to ready Canadians for a limitation to their most sacred right to free speech. Then MP Garnett Genius joins me to talk about his formal complaint to the CBC Ombudsman about one of our state broadcaster's most cringeworthy recent pieces! (Rebel)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities met yesterday to discuss Poverty Reduction Strategies (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met on Thursday to study Family Reunification (Partly Public)
  • Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to continue study on Canada the Defence of North America (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met yesterday to receive a briefing by Global Partnership for Education Human Rights Situation in Burundi (Partly Public)