True North Initiative: News Scan 03 01 17

TOP STORIES

It’s up to Canadians to ensure newcomers know the country’s values: focus groups

Participants in government-run focus groups on immigration issues told researchers last summer that they believe it’s up to Canadians to ensure newcomers are aware of the country’s values. Those who took part in the focus groups described those values as things like gender equality, fairness, abiding by the law and being open to difference. The focus groups were commissioned by the federal Immigration Department last year to help guide the plan for the number of immigrants Canada would accept in 2017. (Toronto Star) (Global News) (680)

Haitian migrants trapped at Mexico border offered fake jobs in Canada

A Mexican migration researcher says there are now an estimated 30,000 Haitian migrants trapped at the U.S.-Mexico border, and a group -- likely a smuggling ring -- is targeting them with the promise of fake jobs in Canada. Ariadna Estevez, a professor at the Center for Research on North America at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), toured shelters in Tijuana earlier this month, where she says a majority of people attempting to flee to the U.S. are now Haitian. (CTV)

Federal government facing ‘serious’ cyber attacks from state-sponsored hackers and terrorist groups: CSIS

The federal government is facing “serious” cyber attacks on a daily basis, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service said in its annual report released Tuesday. Increasingly numerous, capable and aggressive state-sponsored hackers and terrorist groups are making regular attempts to penetrate government computer networks, it said. “Canada remains both a target for malicious cyber activities, and a platform from which these hostile actors conduct CNO (Computer Network Operations) against entities in other countries,” the report said. State-sponsored cyber-espionage and influence activities targeting the private sector are also taking place, especially in the advanced technology sector and critical infrastructure, it said. (National Post)

Federal judge overrules IRB decision to release violent refugee with 54 criminal convictions

Five separate decisions by the Immigration and Refugee Board to release an imprisoned refugee — who is considered a danger for sexual assault and randomly attacking people on the street — have been overturned by the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, revealing growing conflict over how to handle violent refugees who cannot be deported. (National Post)

Tory debate sees agreement on more defence spending, killing carbon tax and tighter border control

The fourth official Conservative leadership debate in Edmonton saw the candidates broadly agree on defence spending, carbon taxes and illegal border crossings, while engaging in spirited exchanges on taxation and plans for growing the economy. (CBC)

Group seeks to have Saskatoon declared sanctuary city

Toronto was the first city to lead the charge. In 2013, it declared itself a sanctuary city and since then at least three others have followed suit. A group is now wanting Saskatoon to do the same and offer access to city services to undocumented refugees. “We want go a little bit past the typically symbolic gesture,” Jamal Tekleweld, spokesperson for Sanctuary Saskatoon Alliance, said on Tuesday. (Global)

Trump points to Canada as a model for U.S. immigration reform in Congress speech

Donald Trump is calling for sweeping immigration reform with a “merit-based” method for allowing people into the U.S. – and citing Canada’s points system as a model. In his first speech to a joint session of Congress, Mr. Trump tried to strike a more restrained and presidential tone, mixing a reiteration of his protectionist campaign rhetoric with calls for unity and a few policies that could find support among his political rivals. (Globe and Mail) (CNBC)

Senate committee slams Liberals for spending $186 billion without a solid plan

The Senate's national finance committee is challenging the federal Liberals to finally come up with a detailed strategy to invest billions in new infrastructure. The committee's report released this morning warns that without such a plan the money could miss its mark and impair the ability of the economy to grow in the coming years. The report says the Liberals must not only invest the right amount in infrastructure, but also in the right places — particularly in trade infrastructure. (Canadian Press)

Manitoba officials warn of burden placed on aid societies due to asylum seeker influx

Refugee advocates in Manitoba are warning of an increase in asylum seekers illegally crossing in to Canada, and say their resources are being stretched to the limit. Winnipeg's Salvation Army says it has been inundated with refugee claimants who crossed the border from North Dakota into Emerson, Man. "We expect tonight we could be housing 60 people," said Major Rob Kerr. "We had 41 this morning and we've been told there are 19 coming today." (CTV)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Justin Trudeau, Canada get shout-out in Donald Trump’s speech to Congress

Canada’s prime minister received a shout-out from U.S. President Donald Trump in his first speech to a joint session of the American Congress, in an address Tuesday that carried more than one reference to the northern neighbour. The president mentioned Justin Trudeau in highlighting the women’s business group created during the prime minister’s recent visit to Washington — a project involving the president’s daughter Ivanka. (National Post)

Immigration lawyers explain if asylum seekers are ‘queue jumping’

Are asylum seekers illegally crossing the border on foot into Canada jumping the queue ahead of other refugees? Two Winnipeg immigration lawyers following the story about the increasing number asylum seekers coming to Manitoba have different opinions on the subject. (CTV)

Meet Americans fleeing Trump — by moving to New Brunswick

The couple, who both work as veterinarians, live in Prattville, Ala., a bedroom community of ranch-style houses, not far from largely-Republican Montgomery. But not for much longer. In spring 2017, they and their family of pets plan to flee Trump's America for the shady elms and riverfront vistas of Fredericton. "My wife and I had kind of joked to all our friends and family, and my boss if Trump won, we were  leaving," Rubinstein said. "Then he did. And we were like, 'I guess, we have to.'" (CBC)

Former refugee launches website aimed at connecting newcomers with work

A former refugee has launched a site aimed at connecting newcomers with meaningful employment. Omar Rahimi started the site Hire A Refugee last week. It connects refugees with people seeking labourers. Most of the work centers around home maintenance. (CTV)

Trump says 'real and positive immigration reform is possible' in address to Congress

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was open to a broad overhaul of the U.S. immigration system, a shift from his hardline campaign rhetoric, as he made his first speech to Congress following a turbulent first month in office. (CBC)

Trump addresses Congress: A kinder, gentler president

At least for one night, Donald Trump put aside the bombast and bellicosity of a campaign that seemed to bleed into his presidency. On a presidential stage, he acted and sounded not unlike presidents of the past. Presidential, even. (BBC)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Ezra Levant: Look what ISIS terrorists did to this Christian Bible!

Which brings me to this Bible. It’s desecrated. It’s ripped. An Islamic state terrorist went into the church, that beautiful church, and took this Bible, and tried to rip it to shreds — but that’s very difficult, it’s like ripping a phone book. So he shot it with a gun, aiming in the centre of the cross. A symbolic target — to desecrate the symbol of Christianity; a symbolic murder of Christ himself, perhaps. (Rebel)

Arshy Mann: If the Liberal government abandons hundreds of LGBT refugees, does anyone care?

What would you do? Imagine for a moment that you were a gay teenager living under a regime that executes people like you. That when your family found out, they subjected you to electroshock therapy. And when you fell in love with an older man, who took advantage of you, the people in your town heard about it, beat you and ostracized you. Would you run away? I would. I’d find any means necessary to get away, even if it meant ending up alone and in an unknown country. (Daily Xtra)

Matthew Fisher: Trump was wrong on the details, but right about ‘problems’ in Sweden

Though U.S. President Donald Trump probably stumbled upon it accidentally — and though he invoked a terror attack that never happened — he was right about there being “problems they never thought possible” in Sweden since it “took in” large numbers of refugees from Muslim-majority countries. (National Post)

Paul Wells: Trudeau government will eventually have to adjust strategy with the U.S.

It’s time to conclude, on a balance of probabilities, that Donald Trump will be merely an ineffectual president. For a while it seemed the White House’s listless new tenant might have some sort of trade strategy. For a few days he even seemed to be preparing for an attack on Iran. That seems so long ago. He may yet do something big domestically, like repeal Obamacare, although the news that massive new social programs contain fine print has rattled him badly. (Toronto Star)

John Ivison: Liberals’ hopes in infrastructure plan to grow Canada’s economy dimmed by fiscal realities

When Bill Morneau was asked about a Finance department report that predicted Canada will not balance its budget until 2050, and also forecast the national debt will more than double to $1.5 trillion, he was unperturbed. The report did not take account of the brilliant measures the Liberals are taking to improve Canada’s economy, the finance minister said. (National Post)

Lorne Gunter: Growing millennial cohort pose challenge for Tory hopefuls

In the Conservative Party of Canada leadership race – a.k.a Kevin-Come-Lately and the 13 Dwarfs – the most popular candidate isn’t even running. Rona Ambrose, the very able Edmonton-area MP who has been the party’s interim leader since former Prime Minister Stephen Harper stepped aside, is one of just two Conservatives for whom “don’t know” is not the largest category in recent opinion polls. (Winnipeg Sun)

Andrew Coyne: Don’t confuse the ‘Us versus Them’ of populism with conservatism

To perceive is to distinguish between things. The disciplined mind can see the difference between a motion and a bill, or between denouncing speech and censoring it; between Islam and Islamism, between ordinary Muslims and extremists; and so on. To the undisciplined or fanatical mind, however, all these distinctions are elided. Motions blend with laws that censor speech in the service of unseen plots to impose Shariah, a prospect no sooner imagined than fixed into certainty. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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