True North Initiative: News Scan 03 17 17

TOP STORIES

Americans deported from U.S. planning to come to Canada

In a budget next week that’s dedicated to innovation, the federal government might want to set aside funds to fend off innovative immigration. About 4,000 kilometres southwest of Ottawa, migrant shelters line the Mexico border where, Reuters reports, many of those now being deported from Trump’s America are plotting a Canadian invasion. They’re telling reporters there’s no future trying to re-enter and stay in a hostile U.S.A.. Their Plan B is to beeline for Canada. (CTV)

In Trump era, some Mexican migrants head north - to Canada

Shortly after crossing the Rio Grande into the gang-infested border city of Reynosa, dozens of Mexicans deported during U.S President Donald Trump's first days in office said they would soon try to head north again - but this time to Canada. In a Reynosa migrant shelter, just yards from the U.S. border, 26-year-old Cenobio Rita said he had earned about $3,000 a month installing playgrounds in Richmond, Virginia, before he was deported on Feb. 15 after police found marijuana in his car. (Business Insider) (Reuters)

Cops 'duty bound' to report illegal immigrants: Report

Toronto Police are “duty bound” to notify the Canada Border Service Agency if officers identify an illegal immigrant in the course of their work, Chief Mark Saunders says in a report to the police board. Supporters of Toronto as a “Sanctuary City” — where undocumented individuals can freely access public services without being turned over to immigration authorities — have been pushing police to expand the service’s “don’t ask” policy to include “don’t tell”. (Toronto Sun)

London ranked among top cities for immigrant integration

London has scored a top ranking in Canada when it comes to helping newcomers fit in. According to newly released rankings, two cities in Ontario, along with one in Newfoundland and one in New Brunswick, come out on top when comparing how the lives of immigrants match up to those born in Canada. The Canadian Index for Measuring Integration compares how immigrants and the native-born fare in four different areas to figure out where in the country the gaps between them are smallest. (Global News)

'Pallister is right': Emerson official urges feds to address asylum-seeker surge

Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister is right to keep pressuring the federal government to do more to help address the wave of refugees streaming into the province, a local official in the border town of Emerson says. "Mr. Pallister is right: we need to start ramping this up now instead of trying to play catch up later," said Greg Janzen, reeve of the Emerson-Franklin rural municipality. (CBC)

Asylum seeker who nearly died crossing Canadian border released on conditions

The Immigration and Refugee Board has agreed to release, with conditions, an asylum seeker who nearly died crossing into the country from the United States earlier this month. Mamadou, 46, is originally from Ivory Coast, but had been living in the United States for ten years. He appeared Thursday at a detention review hearing at the IRB offices in Montreal. (CBC)

Integration still a challenge for Syrian refugees one year later: researchers

More than a year after landing in Canada, many Syrian refugees are still having trouble integrating, according to government data and researchers who have studied the issue. In comparison to government-sponsored refugees, privately sponsored newcomers tend to fare much better in the short term in language acquisition and job integration, Dawn Edlund of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said Thursday. She said that while more than half of the privately sponsored Syrian refugees who arrived before March 2016 have found work, only 10 per cent of government-sponsored refugees have done so. (Life in Quebec) (CTV)

Freeland condemns Russian aggression in Crimea, prompting Kremlin counterattack

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland strongly condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “severe repression of human rights” in occupied Crimea on Thursday, spurring a toughly worded counterattack from the Russian embassy in Ottawa. Ms. Freeland issued a statement Thursday on the third anniversary of Russian forces annexing Crimea, saying Canada unreservedly denounces what she called “this violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and urged Western countries to keep economic sanctions in place. (Globe and Mail)

Canada developing arsenal of cyber-weapons

Canada plans to take steps to “strengthen” its cyber-warfare arsenal, according to documents released by the Department of National Defence. The documents are a rare public admission from National Defence that it is developing offensive cyber-weapons in addition to tools to defend against such attacks. “Cyber ... (is) increasingly prominent among the security and defence challenges facing Canada and its allies,” read the documents, posted to the department’s website. “(In 2017) we will advance our research in the future of cyber warfare to improve and strengthen both our defensive and offensive capabilities.” (Toronto Star)

Maxime Bernier Campaign Investigated For Allegedly Breaking Tory Leadership Rules

he Conservative party is investigating allegations that leadership candidate Maxime Bernier’s campaign breached contest rules by signing up members without their knowledge, The Huffington Post Canada has learned. The claims are being levelled by fellow leadership challenger Kevin O'Leary. Reached on Thursday evening, Bernier said he had never heard of such allegations and suggested such accusations must signal that the reality TV personality’s campaign is in trouble. (Huffington Post) (Globe and Mail)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canadian working in the U.S.? What you need to know about TN, H-1B visas

Canadian nurses working at Michigan hospitals were shocked last week when border security officers stopped them from entering the U.S. because of changes to their working visas under new immigration policies. Marc Topoleski, an immigration lawyer for Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, said the changes at the border stem from new U.S. immigration policies, but officials from the Cross Border Institute at the University of Windsor disagree. (CBC)

Immigration to Canada: Moving North to Escape Trump Could Be Good for Your Health, Study Finds

Immigrants in Canada are 60 percent more likely to live longer than natives, a study published this week found. Researchers from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Toronto, an independent nonprofit group that evaluates treatments, determined that non-immigrants in Ontario had a much higher death rate regardless of where they lived. In short, immigrants saw a mortality rate of about 42,700 fewer deaths and 18,400 fewer premature deaths from 2002 to 2012 compared with people born in Canada, the study said. (Yahoo)

Here's how Canadian taxpayers and private agencies help asylum seekers

Asylum seekers walking across an international border — such as those who have recently entered Canada from the United States — often find themselves living in poverty. But many say the safety, security and opportunities they find in this country are something they could only dream of in the homes they're fleeing. (CBC)

Federal prisons have become less deadly, crowded under Liberals, numbers show

In a single year under Liberal rule, federal prisons became less deadly, less crowded and less black, according to new data obtained by The Globe and Mail that suggests prison life has changed strikingly since the Harper Conservatives fell from power. But the statistical turnaround also presents a public-policy head-scratcher. The government of Justin Trudeau came to office vowing to bring a rehabilitative focus back to corrections but has yet to take action. (Globe and Mail)

National Defence makes limited progress in finding more procurement staff

National Defence has made limited progress on the Liberal government's promise to hire hundreds of additional staff to manage the military's many complex procurement projects. A shortage of personnel has been cited as one of the reasons that efforts to buy new military equipment such as fighter jets and warships have been consistently plagued with delays and cost overruns in recent years. (CBC)

Canadians trust science, CBC, media, government, though Conservatives less trusting: survey

Canadians put a lot of faith in scientific experts, and most have at least some trust in things like the CBC, the news media, and the federal government, according to a new survey conducted by Campaign Research. However, it found those identifying as Conservatives were less trusting of all these institutions. (Hill Times)

Justin Trudeau will take Trump’s word regarding minor tweaks to NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he takes President Donald Trump at his word when it comes to upcoming trade negotiations and continues to believe adjustments to NAFTA will be minor. The prime minister made the remarks in an interview with NBC stalwart Tom Brokaw on an empty Broadway stage Wednesday, following a high-profile screening of a Canadian-themed play that was attended by the president’s daughter Ivanka. (Global News)

U.S. presence ‘welcome’ at TPP talks despite Trump withdrawing from trade deal: Canadian minister

Canada’s trade minister pitched a “progressive” approach at a meeting Wednesday with his counterparts from the other Trans-Pacific Partnership countries, and said the presence of the U.S. ambassador at the talks was “very welcome.” Trade ministers from the 11 countries remaining in the TPP met in Viña del Mar, Chile, along with representatives from China and the U.S. (National Post)

Daughter diplomacy: Trudeau’s unorthodox play for Donald Trump’s approval

A businesswoman whose lifestyle brand is struggling with liberals. A liberal-multilateralist prime minister who needs an in with a conservative-nationalist president. Diplomacy is rooted in interests. And Ivanka Trump and Justin Trudeau both have an interest in hanging out with each other. The prime minister sat with the president’s daughter Wednesday night at the Broadway musical Come From Away, the Canadian show about the Newfoundland town that took in stranded Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. It was his second olive branch to her in just over a month. (Toronto Star)

Admitted Al-Qaida fighter convicted in NY terror case

An admitted al-Qaida fighter was convicted on Thursday of federal terrorism charges for participating in a fierce firefight in Afghanistan that left two U.S. servicemen dead. A jury in federal court in Brooklyn deliberated for about two hours Thursday before convicting Ibrahim Suleiman Adnan Harun. "As demonstrated by this case, the United States will be tireless in its efforts to hold al-Qaida members accountable when they target American citizens serving their country abroad," Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Rohde said in a statement. (WHIO)

Tillerson: Military action against North Korea 'an option'

The US has said its policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over, and suggested it may decide to take pre-emptive military action. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the option was "on the table" if the threat from the North's weapons programme reached a level requiring it. During a visit to South Korea, he also said the US was exploring a range of new diplomatic and economic measures. (BBC)

Israel's Arrow anti-missile system 'in first hit'

Israel has shot down a Syrian missile using its most advanced anti-missile system for the first time, Israeli media say. A surface-to-air missile (SAM) was intercepted using the Arrow system, designed to stop long-range ballistic missiles, reports say. And in a rare admission, Israel said it had targeted several sites in Syria. (BBC)

Where Trump budget cuts will hit hardest

President Donald Trump has released a budget plan that proposes sharp cuts to many US agencies and increased spending on the military. Known as a "skinny budget", it will initially be limited to the $1tn ( £0.81tn) portion of the $4tn annual federal budget that pays for US agencies and departments. (BBC)

Europe headed for 'religion wars' despite Wilders' stumble, Turkish minister says

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders may have fallen short in this week's election in the Netherlands, but his views were shared by all the Dutch parties and are pushing Europe towards "wars of religion", Turkey's foreign minister said on Thursday. Centre-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte fended off the Wilders challenge in a victory hailed across Europe by governments facing a rising wave of nationalism. (Reuters)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Farzana Hassan: Canadian values matter, but so do the details

Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch’s idea of vetting immigrants for Canadian values seems to be gaining traction. The latest polls show 74% support among Canadians for testing immigrants for undesirable traits like misogyny and for attitudes to violence. It seems like an attractive proposal to those enlightened enough to perceive that the issue is not ethnicity but ideology. (Toronto Sun)

Thomas Walkom: The Dutch election and left and right populism

Hold the champagne. Wednesday’s Dutch election wasn’t quite the victory over populism that it is said to have been. Indeed, the results in full suggest that Dutch resistance to immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, remains high. The rest of the world rarely pays attention to elections in the Netherlands. It is a small country. It has no nuclear weapons. It is usually governed by a coalition of political parties that are largely unknown to outsiders. But this election was different. It was billed as a bellwether event that would indicate where the anti-immigrant right in Europe stands. (Toronto Star)

Jay Fayza: WikiLeaks, Vault 7 and CIA spying: What you need to know

Recently, Wikileaks published a series of documents titled Vault 7, disclosing the government’s scope of mass surveillance. We’re not just talking about collecting personal metadata, which the US government already does through the NSA’s program called Prism. We’re talking the ability to spy into people’s homes and workplaces. (Rebel)

Andrew Lawton: Immigration advocate rejects “racist” poll question, but majority want values test

The media, the Liberals and other self-appointed elites (even though those groups are often interchangeable) would have you believe that any discussion of Canadian values and immigration is inherently racist. (Rebel)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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