True North Initiative: News Scan 03 02 17

TOP STORIES

Poll showcases Canadians’ difference in attitude on immigrants versus refugees

A newly released federal survey on attitudes toward immigration suggests Canadians are somewhat more enthusiastic about accepting economic migrants than they are about refugees. While 52 per cent of those polled in the Immigration Department’s annual tracking study felt the right number of immigrants were coming to Canada, 23 per cent thought it was too high. Meanwhile, 40 per cent felt the right number of refugees was being admitted and 30 per cent thought that figure was too high. (Toronto Star) (Global) (Chronicle Herald)

Immigration minister defends legislation that prevents convicted dual nationals from losing citizenship

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen doubled down Wednesday on Liberal legislation that, along with several major changes to immigration law, would reinstate the citizenship of a convicted terrorist. Hussen justified his government’s Bill C-6 as fixing “unequal treatment” in the system — “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” — as part of his testimony to a Senate’s social affairs committee, which is studying the bill. (National Post)

Minister open to allowing appeal process in revoking citizenship

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen says he's open to the idea of adding a new appeal process in cases where people are being stripped of their citizenship. He says he would carefully consider any amendments the Senate proposes to Bill C-6, echoing comments made last fall by his predecessor, John McCallum. The legislation would revoke some of the measures passed by the previous Conservative government, including a provision that would allow the government to revoke the citizenship of dual nationals convicted of terrorism or treason. (CTV)

John Tory seeks federal help as more refugees wind up in city shelters

Toronto Mayor John Tory is asking the federal government for funding to help refugees struggling with the "hard landing" of losing government support, and he wants some of that money to go to city shelters that are now dealing with an influx of newcomers. (CBC)

What's in a name? Vancouver not a 'sanctuary city' says councillor

Vancouver is not a sanctuary city, and one city councillor says that's a good thing. The term "sanctuary city" has no legal definition, but traditionally it's been used to define a city that welcomes refugees and immigrants and does not devote municipal funds to target or arrest undocumented people. (CBC)

Scrapping refugee deal with U.S. would lead to thousands more heading north, says John Manley

Suspending the Safe Third Country Agreement would only turn the flow of dozens of asylum seekers coming to Canada through illegal border crossings into a flow of thousands, says former deputy prime minister of Canada John Manley.  "If you suspend the [Safe Third Country Agreement] then they can come across at regular border crossings, so forget 30 here, 20 there that are going through Minnesota into Manitoba — now you're starting to deal with thousands of people," Manley said in an interview with CBC News Network's Power & Politics. (CBC)

Canada and U.S. to join forces on handling border asylum-seekers

Canadian and U.S. officials are working on a plan to tackle asylum seekers crossing into Canada illegally, with American officials keen to discover how they entered the United States in the first place, said a source familiar with the matter. U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is set to visit the Canadian capital Ottawa early this month for talks on the border and the influx of people, said the source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. (Globe and Mail) (Business Insider)

Classified documents reveal Canada's planned response to 9/11-style attack

Secret documents detailing Canada's plans for responding to a Sept. 11-style attack include a scenario in which military fighter jets are forced to shoot down a hijacked commercial airliner to protect Toronto's CN Tower. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Majority of Quebecers oppose more immigration

A poll conducted by SOM for Cogeco Nouvelles and published Wednesday suggests that 55 per of respondents think Canada shouldn’t accept more immigrants in the wake of anti-immigration measures announced by U.S. President Donald Trump, while 36 per cent are in favour of welcoming more immigrants and nine per cent are undecided. (Canoe.com)

Government must account for tech failures afflicting RCMP, opposition says

Opposition parties want the federal government to tell Parliament what it's doing to fix the chronic and dangerous IT failures affecting Canada's national police force. This week, CBC News reported on a no-holds-barred memo from RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, where he warned of 'catastrophic consequences' should slipshod service and computer network outages continue. (CBC)

‘I have no idea who could have done something like this’: Arson attempt suspected at Toronto Islamic centre

A suspected arson attempt at a Toronto Islamic centre came as a surprise to the administrator, who said the mosque had never had any troubles in the past. “Honestly, I have no idea who could have done something like this but if it was intentional and a hate crime then this is unacceptable,” Muneeb Aden said Wednesday. Fire officials were called to the Reign of Islamic Da’wah Islamic Information Centre at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. The damage was minor — a small circular burn on the roof. (National Post)

Tamil-Canadians shut out of Liberal nomination vote in Toronto-area riding

One of the candidates competing against a senior Justin Trudeau staffer to win the Liberal nomination in a Toronto-area riding says Tamil-Canadians make up the vast majority of the 1,600 party members she’d signed up during her campaign and who have been declared ineligible to vote in this controversial contest. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian immigration website crash started hours before Trump victory, documents show

An immigration website that was supposedly overwhelmed by Americans wanting to flee to Canada because of a Trump presidency was more likely brought down by foreigners scrambling to get a basic travel document before a deadline. CBC News has learned that the website for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was already in trouble hours before Donald Trump's victory became clear on Nov. 8, the day of the U.S. presidential election. (CBC)

Lisa Raitt Suggests It's Time For Some Tory Leadership Contenders To Drop Out

Conservative leadership contender Lisa Raitt suggested Tuesday that it is time for some candidates to put aside their “arrogance” and pull out of the contest for the sake of the party. “There are 14 of us. There are seven of us who should be having conversations about what is going to happen, how many ballots will this go. We are getting to the point in time where we have to be very sensical about what we want for the future of this party,” she told reporters after the conclusion of the Tories’ fourth official debate. (Huffington Post)

Trump’s immigration ban hinders recruitment by U.S. hospitals, universities

U.S. President Donald Trump’s push to institute a temporary immigration ban has introduced unprecedented uncertainty into recruitment efforts by U.S. hospitals and universities, which say the administration is damaging the country’s appeal as a destination for international talent. (Globe and Mail)

IT firms breathe easy as Donald Trump proposes merit-based immigration

US President Donald Trump’s proposal for immigration reforms to encourage merit-based migration might help India’s export-focused software and information technology (IT) sector. Indian IT companies, such as Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys and Wipro, as well as multinationals like Google, IBM and Facebook send engineers on work visas to work on client locations in the US. They account for nearly 70 per cent of H1B visas issued every year to high-tech workers. (Business Standard)

Trump Said to Pick Donor Kelly Craft for Canada Ambassador

President Donald Trump has chosen Kelly Knight Craft, a long-time donor to Republican campaigns, including his own, as ambassador to Canada, according to a person familiar with the matter. Craft accepted the nomination and is completing the paperwork process required before Senate consideration, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the appointment hasn’t been announced publicly. Craft declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday. (Bloomberg)

Sessions spoke with Russian ambassador, didn't disclose in confirmation hearing

Attorney General Jeff Sessions had two conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States during the presidential campaign season last year, contact that immediately fueled calls for him to recuse himself from a Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the election. (Globe and Mail)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Why we can’t remove a foreign criminal

Sanity prevailed this week, as Chief Justice Paul S. Crampton of the Federal Court overturned earlier decisions to release a violent refugee back onto our streets. The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) had, on at least seven previous occasions, ruled to release hardened criminal and Rwandan refugee Jacob Damiany Lunyamila, despite a long list of disturbing criminal convictions. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Liberal star candidate backed 'common sense' anti-niqab rule

As the Liberals trip over themselves to paint Conservatives in a negative light for challenging the M-103 anti-Islamophobia motion, a Quebec politician who firmly supported a niqab ban is hoping to join their caucus. Although she’s since changed her tune on the religious garment. (Toronto Sun)

David Akin: Trudeau sets new trend for PMs stumping in by-elections and raises fresh questions on expenses

In Calgary Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed a unique pattern he began last fall in Medicine Hat — a sitting prime minister who will jump right in and openly campaign for any underdogs flying the Liberal flag in a by-election. Last fall, in the southern Alberta riding of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner, the Liberals were handily beaten by the Conservatives and, the early line is that Conservatives should be able to count on easy wins on April 3 when voters in the southern Calgary ridings of Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore pick the MPs that will succeed Stephen Harper and Jason Kenney respectively. (National Post)

Chantal Hebert: Liberal party’s meddling in byelections risks harming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s brand

Alan DeSousa has been the mayor of Montreal’s Saint-Laurent borough since it was created 15 years ago. Initially elected on the ticket of mayor Gérald Tremblay, he survived the corruption scandals that marked that era and was re-elected as part of Denis Coderre’s team in 2013. When DeSousa declared his intention to run for the Liberal nomination in Saint-Laurent — the riding just vacated by former foreign affairs minister Stéphane Dion — he was considered if not a shoe-in, at least a highly competitive candidate. (Toronto Star)

John Ivison: Liberals aren’t the most open party — and for non-chosen ones that’s a ‘slap to the mouth’

Afraj Gill is a 24-year-old Indian immigrant and technology entrepreneur who is running to be the Liberal candidate in the upcoming federal by-election in Markham-Thornhill, northeast of Toronto. Rarely in all my years covering politics have I talked to someone better-equipped for modern public life – young, smart and tech savvy, with an innate understanding of what is hurtling towards us, not to mention ideas on how government should respond: robot taxation, education tax credits for those in automation-prone industries and so on. (National Post)

Andrew MacDougall: When journalists join the 'dark side'

How dark is the future of journalism? It's so dark, journalists are joining the very place on which they are paid to throw shade: the government. The latest move to the "dark" side: Postmedia columnist Michael Den Tandt, who announced he was leaving his post on February 10, only to join Team Trudeau a couple of weeks later to pen (more) words about Canada-U.S. relations. (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES 

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