True North Initiative: News Scan 03 24 17

TOP STORIES

House of Commons passes anti-Islamophobia motion M-103

The House of Commons has passed a Liberal backbencher’s motion calling on federal politicians to condemn Islamophobia. The motion, known as M-103, became a matter of acrimonious debate, with opponents painting it as a slippery slope towards limiting freedom of speech and even bringing in Sharia law. (Global) (Rebel) (Huffington Post)

M-103 would be defeated if regular Canadians voted on it: poll

The anti-Islamophobic motion M-103 in the House of Commons would not pass if regular Canadians, as opposed to MPs, voted on the issue and only one in ten believe the motion would be effective, according to a new Angus Reid Institute poll. M-103 condemns “Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination” and while the majority of Canadians believe the Quebec mosque shooting in January are a sign of deeper anti-Muslim sentiment, many are cynical that the motion would help. (Metro)

Trudeau skips budget debate to campaign as opposition decries ‘arrogant’ rule changes

Justin Trudeau hit the campaign trail Thursday instead of defending his day-old budget in the House, fuelling concerns the Prime Minister wants to change parliamentary rules to limit his appearances in Question Period. The opposition parties have become increasingly angry over Liberal proposals that may reduce the number of days the Prime Minister faces questions in the House and may hinder the opposition’s ability to conduct filibusters. (The Globe and Mail)

Sanctuary city designation comes with legal pitfalls, city lawyers say

Lawyers with the City of Ottawa are raising a number of warnings over the legal implications of designating Ottawa a sanctuary city. A term adopted by some Canadian cities — including Vancouver, Toronto, and Hamilton — a sanctuary city is one in which undocumented immigrants are not refused social services. Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney had floated the idea of introducing a motion to council about adopting the designation, but instead opted to produce a report to be debated at the Mar. 30 meeting of the community and protective services committee. (CBC)

'They dropped the ball': Emerson reeve disappointed with federal budget

The reeve of Emerson, Man. says he's frustrated after learning this week's federal budget did not contain any new funds to address the recent influx of refugee claimants. The quiet town has turned into one of three major entry points for asylum seekers entering into Canada unofficially. The federal budget, announced Wednesday in Ottawa, failed to offer new money for asylum seekers crossing into border communities like Emerson, Hemmingford, Que., or Surrey, B.C (CBC)

Montreal man linked to ISIS arrested on terrorism-related charges in Turkey

One of the young Quebecers who left the province to fight in Syria has been arrested in Turkey on terrorism-related charges, according to media reports in that country. Wassim Boughadou, a 25-year-old Montreal man of Algerian ancestry, was taken into custody after boarding an airplane in Adana, Turkey, near the Syrian border on March 10. According to local news agencies, he was interrogated for 13 days. He is accused of being a member of, and helping to finance, Islamic State militants. (Yahoo) (Toronto Sun)

Police identify British-born London attacker

The Metropolitan Police have named British-born Khalid Masood as the man responsible for the terrorist attack in London on Wednesday. Masood, aged 52, was born in Kent and detectives believe he was most recently living in the West Midlands. Masood was also known by a number of aliases. “Masood was not the subject of any current investigations and there was no prior intelligence about his intent to mount a terrorist attack,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. (Globe and Mail)

Canada gets green light to join controversial China-led infrastructure bank

Canada has been approved to join a controversial new international infrastructure bank led by China. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank says Canada is among 13 applicants approved for membership in the bank by its board of governors. The bank says Canada will officially join once it fulfills its domestic requirements and deposits a first instalment of capital. (CTV)

Another Montreal imam accused of hate speech

Another day. Another terrorist incident with multiple deaths and another report of an imam delivering a highly toxic sermon promoting violence against the Jewish people. The latter incident comes via Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, whose organization reported the Montreal imam, Muhammad bin Musa al Nasr, to the hate crimes unit of the Montreal police Tuesday. (Toronto Sun)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Immigration detainee shouldn’t be in maximum-security jail, government critics say

Pressure is mounting on federal officials to find a solution to the indefinite detention of a failed refugee claimant who has spent more than four years in maximum-security jail without charge. Government critics from the Conservatives and New Democrats say Ebrahim Toure, recently profiled as part of a Star investigation into Canada’s immigration detention system, should at least be moved to the less-restrictive Immigration Holding Centre while Canada’s border service continues to try to deport him. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau pressed to discipline male Liberal MP who joked about female Tory MP being a stripper

Female Conservative and NDP MPs are calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to discipline a male Liberal MP who made what they say is an offensive, sexually suggestive remark at a meeting of a House of Commons committee two weeks ago. The MPs on the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and Security were settling down for their meeting on March 8 when the cellphone of Conservative MP Dianne Watts went off. (National Post)

Premiers’ Performance: Wynne’s approval rating sinks to 12 per cent – an all-time low

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne’s slide towards single digit job approval continues. After another four-point drop in quarterly job performance approval analysis by the Angus Reid Institute, the provincial Liberal leader now holds the endorsement of just 12 per cent of people in her province. An additional analysis by ARI, published today, sheds light upon some of the frustrations Ontarians are voicing regarding the provincial government’s decision to sell shares in Hydro One to private investors. (Angus Reid)

Uber Canada hits back at Liberal plan to charge tax on rides

Uber Canada says it wants the federal government to hit the brakes on plans to charge GST/HST on ride-hailing fares. Finance Minister Bill Morneau unveiled the proposed tax in Wednesday's budget. An executive with Uber's Canadian operations on Thursday called it a "tax on innovation" that would hurt Uber drivers and users. (CBC)

Snowden protectors face deportation, want asylum in Canada

The asylum seekers who sheltered NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden in Hong Kong in 2013 are facing imminent deportation and lawyers want Canada to quickly accept them as refugees. There are four adults and three children who may be put into foster care should their parents be deported. (Radio Canada)

Canada warned to be prepared for Russian-backed fake news and smears in Latvia mission

Latvia's foreign minister says the moment Canada's troops land in Latvia to lead a NATO battle group deterring Russian aggression both his country and Canada need to be ready to "immediately counter" Russian-backed smear campaigns and fake news. In an interview with CBC News, Edgars Rinkevics also shed further light on what circumstances might cause his country to trigger the Western military alliance's self-defence clause following a potential massive cyberattack. (CBC)

McGill under fire after Andrew Potter resigns over Quebec column flap

Pressure is intensifying on McGill University to explain why a high-profile academic administrator stepped down after writing a controversial opinion piece, with the school releasing a statement on Thursday aiming to assure its community it upholds academic freedom. Professors at McGill and elsewhere have said the university’s handling of Andrew Potter’s resignation as director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada is making them question that commitment. (Globe and Mail)

Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students

Canada's largest school board is cancelling new school trips to the United States until further notice. The Toronto District School Board announced the decision citing "uncertainty" with regards to who may be affected by US President Donald's Trump's latest travel restrictions. Twenty-five already scheduled trips will go ahead as planned. (BBC)

London attack: Police appeal for information on Khalid Masood

Police have appealed to anyone who knew the Westminster attacker Khalid Masood to come forward with information. Officers investigating Wednesday's attack said they wanted to hear about "associates and places he visited". The fourth victim has been named as Leslie Rhodes, 75, from Streatham in south London - one of three killed by Masood's car on Westminster Bridge. (BBC)

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak freed after six years in detention

Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has been freed from detention, six years after being overthrown. Mr Mubarak left a military hospital in southern Cairo and went to his home in the northern suburb of Heliopolis, his lawyer said. He was ordered freed earlier this month after Egypt's top appeals court cleared him over the deaths of protesters in the 2011 uprising. (BBC)

France's Marine Le Pen urges end to Russia sanctions

France's far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has called for the lifting of EU sanctions on Russia, during a visit to Moscow. The National Front (FN) leader called for closer French-Russian ties at a meeting in Russia's lower house of parliament, the Duma. She told its speaker sanctions over Russia's annexation of Crimea were counterproductive, Interfax reported. (BBC)

Jihadi terror manuals on how to use a car as a 'tool of war' for mass murder can be found in just two minutes on Google and Twitter

Guides to mounting a car terror attack were available on Google and Twitter last night.

The vile manuals were online despite widespread warnings that UK jihadists use them for training. Fanatics are urged to deploy large vehicles as ‘tools of war’ before going on a stabbing rampage – the template for Wednesday’s atrocity in Westminster. Boris Johnson accused social media websites of inciting terrorism. (Daily Mail)

Soros-funded charities targeted by Trump-inspired crackdown in East Europe

When his government lost a lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights last week over its detention and expulsion of two migrants from Bangladesh, Hungary's rightwing prime minister blamed the usual suspect: a billionaire in New York. "It is a collusion of human traffickers, Brussels bureaucrats and the organizations that work in Hungary financed by foreign money," Viktor Orban told public radio on Friday. "Let's call a spade a spade: George Soros finances them." (Yahoo)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Howard Anglin: Canada's 'sanctuary city' fad is courting chaos

As a former federal minister of Immigration, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre knows that the American phenomenon of so-called ‘sanctuary cities’ is not a response to a surfeit of refugee claims in that country. It’s a reply to the quite different problem of illegal immigration. That, of course, that hasn’t stopped him from using the recent increase in irregular border crossings by would-be refugees as an excuse to join the latest municipal fad and declare Montreal a “sanctuary city.” As a response to the recent refugee influx, it’s an empty gesture – another of the opportunistic stunts that he can’t seem to resist – but it could have real consequences down the road if Canada becomes the target of a different cohort of migrants. Call it a looming ‘non-refugee’ crisis — one for which we are totally unprepared. (IPolitics)

Anthony Furey: M-103 passes and now the Islamophobia study begins

As expected, Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s anti-Islamophobia motion passed the House of Commons with a hearty majority. The Thursday afternoon vote tally saw 201 votes for and 91 against. All Liberal MPs present voted in favour, although Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was absent. The only Conservative MP who voted for it was leadership candidate Michael Chong. (Toronto Sun)

Aaron Wherry: Everyone thinks Parliament should be reformed, but no one can agree on how

The state and functioning of the House of Commons have been widely and sorrowfully lamented in recent years. But to the list of lamentable things might now be added the latest attempt at parliamentary reform, an effort that seems in danger of being strangled by parliamentary democracy. Our current tale of woe begins, as many do, with a discussion paper. Bardish Chagger, the House leader for the Liberal government, released such a document two weeks ago on the subject of the "Modernization of the Standing Orders of the House of Commons." (CBC)

Don Martin: Liberals try to rush rule changes to benefit themselves

Conservative bellyaching which insists the Trudeau government gets a coddled ride from an adoring media is invariably baseless and increasingly tiresome. But there are exceptions. Had the Harper government pushed to radically change the way the House of Commons operates in the same full-throttle way Liberals are rushing it forward now, thundering newspaper editorials would’ve condemned the former prime minister for being on a control freak rampage. (CTV)

John Ivison: Liberals latest attempted power-grab in Commons sure to fail again

There’s a line in politics that even the most robust majority governments cross at their peril: whenever the party in power follows a course of action that unites all its political opponents in a coalition against it, trouble is sure to ensue. That’s exactly what is happening in the House of Commons, which is transfixed not by Wednesday’s budget, but by the government’s attempt to unilaterally change the rules of parliament. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to study Force Protection and continue committee business (In Camera)

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met yesterday to continue the study on the Situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 Years after the End of the Cold War (Public)