True North Initiative: News Scan 05 29 17

TOP STORIES

Meet new Conservative leader Andrew Scheer

Andrew Scheer, an apple-cheeked social conservative and former House of Commons Speaker seen by some as a pragmatic, mainstream echo of Stephen Harper, survived a 13-ballot battle Saturday with rival Maxime Bernier as he eked out the narrowest of wins in the fight for the helm of the federal Conservatives. The nail-biting process of winnowing the 13-candidate field went the full distance before Scheer, 38, was declared the winner with just 50.95 per cent of the available points, barely besting longtime front-runner Maxime Bernier, who posted 49.05 per cent after leading all 12 of the previous ballots. (CTV)

Andrew Scheer says he's ready for ‘huge job’ of selling Conservatives – and himself

Before new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer moves into Stornoway, the elegant Ottawa residence of the head of the Official Opposition, a few things have to change. For one, Mr. Scheer recommends the National Capital Commission – which manages the government-owned property – have it kid-proofed for his expanded brood. “We told the NCC to take anything of value and either put it very high up or in storage for a couple of years,” said Mr. Scheer, whose five children range in age from 1 1/2 to 12 years old. “I hope they have Scotchgard in the carpets.” (Globe and Mail)

Justin Trudeau, Donald Trump leave G7 Summit at a crossroads

Canada is often seen as a close relative of the United States. It’s always been so, and Canadian leaders have rarely strayed far from that relationship. Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump both attended the 42nd meeting of the Group of Seven on May 26 and 27; Trudeau for his second time and Trump for his first. What emerged was a sense of rivalry, as Trudeau arrived in favour of the same progressive policy points Trump opposed. (Global)

Trudeau to seek papal apology for residential schools

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is hopeful Pope Francis will heed a personal call to make a formal apology to aboriginal survivors of sexual and physical abuse at Catholic-run residential schools during a private audience with his holiness at the Vatican on Monday. Mr. Trudeau will use the one-on-one meeting in the Apostolic Palace to request a papal apology and an “open invitation” for the pontiff to visit Canada to address victims of the residential school system. (Globe and Mail)

More arrests in Manchester attack; U.K. remains on high alert

British police made two more arrests and stormed three more locations Sunday as they hunted for suspects in the Manchester bombing, while a government minister said members of attacker Salman Abedi's network may still be at large. Greater Manchester Police said two men -- one 25 years old and the other 19 -- were arrested in the city on suspicion of terrorist offences. Eleven other men between the ages of 18 and 44 also were in custody. Most of the searches and arrests since Monday night's bombing have been in multi-ethnic south Manchester, where Abedi -- the son of Libyan parents -- was born and raised. (CTV)

'Many children' among victims in deadly attack on Coptic Christians in Egypt

Gunmen opened fire Friday on a convoy of Coptic Christians south of Cairo in Egypt killing at least 28 people – many of them children - and wounding 25, officials said. Egyptian security and medical officials said a large number of children were among the victims of the attack, but it was not immediately clear how many. According to Copts United news portal, only three children survived the attack. (France 24)

Egypt launches second day of Libyan air strikes as IS claims responsibility for attack on Christians

Egypt launched a fresh round of air strikes over Libya on Saturday, Egyptian military sources and an eyewitness told Reuters, targeting militant camps it said were responsible for a shooting spree that killed dozens of Egyptian Christians. On Friday, Egyptian fighter jets struck eastern Libya just hours after a shooting that killed 29 and wounded 24 in the southern Egyptian province of Minya when masked militants boarded vehicles en route to a monastery and opened fire at close range. (Globe and Mail)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

How Kellie Leitch accidentally revealed Canadian values

For more than a year, Kellie Leitch has waged a sensational, divisive and turbulent campaign for leadership of the federal Conservative Party. The MP was floated as a human trial balloon for a “populist” movement within the party, a strategy that led to an odious Canadian first: a front-runner for leadership of a mainstream party repeatedly having to say “I am not a racist.” Leitch’s controversial plan to screen immigrants for “anti-Canadian values” ignited national debate about immigration policy and what it was to be Canadian. The gambit, both buttressed and buffeted by world events, has yielded unintended result: to test the limits of Canadian’s tolerance—both for newcomers and for thinly-veiled bigotry. (Macleans)

In Italy, Trump faces pressure on climate from G7 leaders

Donald Trump stood alone at the G7 summit Friday, pushing back at intense efforts by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and fellow world leaders to persuade the U.S. President to back the 2015 Paris climate accord. Mr. Trump and his Western allies were also struggling to find a common position on trade and protectionism but they did pledge to redouble their efforts to confront global terrorism in the wake of the bloody bombing in Manchester, Britain. (Globe and Mail)

Divisions between Trump and G7 killing hopes for migration crisis plan

The Italian hosts of the Group of Seven summit did not choose Taormina, Sicily, as the G7 site just because nature and history had made it a pocket-sized heaven on Earth. They chose it also because it has a front-row seat to one of the greatest humanitarian tragedies of the decade – the too-often-fatal migrant crossings across the Mediterranean from North Africa. The Italians, along with their German backers on the migrants file, had hoped to propel the migration, refugee and hunger crisis to the top of the agenda at the Taormina summit. Rather optimistically, they even invited the heads of government or state of half a dozen crisis-struck African countries, including Niger, Ethiopia and Kenya, to lend some urgency to the G7’s African agenda. (Globe and Mail)

Conservative MPs say they’re now ‘well positioned to take on Prime Minister Trudeau’

Andrew Scheer represents the “next generation” of the Conservative Party of Canada, say two of the MPs who will now follow his lead in the House of Commons. Quebec’s Gerard Deltell and Alberta’s Shannon Stubbs were on hand late Saturday night following Scheer’s surprise victory over Maxime Bernier after 12 rounds of ballot counting. “We didn’t count our chickens before they hatched … but we’re so proud of Andrew Scheer and look forward to the party coming together,” said Stubbs, who supported Scheer from the outset of his campaign. (Global)

Canada’s Conservatives Choose a Man of Mystery as Their Leader

Canada’s new Conservative Party leader, Andrew Scheer — who will challenge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next national election — is somewhat of a mystery. He shares a political background with his fellow Conservative Stephen Harper, the former prime minister Mr. Trudeau defeated in 2015. But while Mr. Harper was often characterized as something of a micromanaging autocrat, Mr. Scheer campaigned on building consensus within the party. (NY Times)

Donald Trump 'tells close advisers' the US will be leaving Paris climate deal

US President Donald Trump has told "confidants", including the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, that he plans to leave a landmark international agreement on climate change, the Axios news outlet reported on Saturday, citing three sources with direct knowledge. On Saturday, Trump said in a Twitter post he would make a decision on whether to support the Paris climate deal next week. (Independent)

Manchester attacks: MI5 probes bomber 'warnings'

MI5 is to hold an inquiry into the way it dealt with warnings from the public that the Manchester suicide bomber, Salman Abedi, was a potential threat. The security service, which was alerted to Abedi's extremist views three times prior to last Monday's attack, will examine how it dealt with the warnings. (BBC)

N Korea fires Scud missile into sea, its third test in three weeks

North Korea has fired a short-range ballistic missile, its third missile test in as many weeks. The Scud flew about 450km (280 miles) before landing in Japanese waters, prompting Japan to lodge a protest. Pyongyang has repeatedly defied a UN resolution banning all nuclear and missile activity, and has ramped up the pace of its tests in recent months. (BBC)

Venezuelan opposition calls for more protests

The Venezuelan opposition has called to scale up the ongoing protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government, claiming that June will be a definitive month, and announced that the fundamental objective will be to block the Constituent Assembly. "It is very important that the country knows that the Democratic Unity will take up June as a definitive month," the vice-president of the National Assembly, Freddy Guevara, said on Sunday on behalf of the opposition alliance, Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), and stressed that the Venezuelan people "have already spent 58 days on the streets". (Business Standard)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: Security failure in Manchester bombing

More information has come out about the suicide bomber who murdered 22 people in Manchester on Monday evening. It is now apparent that various intelligence failures allowed this attack to happen. Salman Abedi was born in the U.K., the son of refugees from Libya. He was described as a normal, happy guy who supported Manchester United and studied business in university. A few years ago, however, everything changed. Abedi spent time in Libya – a country torn apart by war that has become a breeding ground for Islamist terrorist groups. (Toronto Sun)

Faith Goldy: Biggest threat facing Scheer isn’t Trudeau’s Liberals. It’s the mainstream media.

Here's my immediate reaction to the election of Andrew Scheer as the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, and what I think we can expect going forward: (Rebel)

Chantal Hebert: The Conservatives have a new leader, but not the bigger tent they need

Connect the dots that lead to Andrew Scheer’s narrow Conservative leadership victory and what you have is a triumph of retail politics over big ideas. Stephen Harper’s Conservatives lived and eventually died on the battlefield of boutique policies tailored to specific segments of the electorate. Those same dynamics ultimately determined the outcome of the former prime minister’s succession on Saturday. In the end, two unrelated but identifiable groups tipped the balance in Scheer’s favour: the party’s social conservative wing and a well-organized dairy farmers lobby. (Toronto Star)

Stephanie Carvin: Despite IS attacks, there is progress on counterterrorism

The aftermath of a terrorist attack such as the one in Manchester this week brings about a familiar and grim cycle of shock, horror, grief and anger. Moreover, such incidents, regardless of size and scale, raise the uncomfortable question of whether our societies are truly any safer almost 16 years after the War on Terror began. Every few months, it seems, a Western ally is the target of an extremist attack, and terrorism continues to be ranked as Canada’s primary national security threat. (Globe and Mail)

John Ivison: In Scheer, Tories make a very conservative choice

Andrew Scheer emerged as Conservative leader after 13 ballots on Saturday evening, a surprise victory but one with which most Tories seem to be at peace. He overtook Maxime Bernier on the final ballot, thanks to the support of social conservatives — even though he has pledged not to reopen the abortion debate — and Quebeckers upset at Bernier’s stance on supply management. Bernier was struck by the 30 per cent curse: no Canadian leadership candidate has won after recording less than 30 per cent on the first ballot. (National Post)

Andrew Coyne: In the dullness of the morning after, Andrew Scheer is the safer pair of hands

In the end the favourite wasn’t; the leader through the first 12 rounds of counting was not the leader after the last. Maxime Bernier’s insurgent coalition of free marketers and social liberals came achingly close to taking over the Conservative party, only to be repelled at the gates by an odd alliance of social conservatives and centrists behind the soporific Andrew Scheer. Could over-confidence have done in the Bernieristas? Some 9,000 party members voted on the campaign’s last day — after Bernier’s odd shrug of a speech to the party Friday night, after several days of triumphalist oinks from his young and apparently unsupervised staff. Given the closeness of the final result, could this have made the difference? (National Post)

Toronto Sun: Tories can rally behind Scheer

Canada’s Conservatives will have little problem rallying behind their new leader Andrew Scheer. This puts them in a good position to get back to work from day one, function as the official Opposition and gear up for the 2019 election. Scheer deliberately chose not to run a divisive leadership campaign. The Regina MP with the big grin and trademark dimples never lashed out at other candidates and avoided gratuitously provoking other camps. (Toronto Sun)

Neil Macdonald: Canada is uncomfortably allied with the torturers of the new Iraq

Rather courageously, sometime late last year during the battle for Mosul, an Iraqi photographer named Ali Arkady decided to do something media in the Arab world almost never do: rather than use his camera to lionize the soldiers with whom he was embedded, he began documenting their taste for rape, torture and murder. The results are now available on the website of the Toronto Star, which, rather courageously, has done something Western newspapers very seldom do: rather than pander to the sensibilities of its most fragile readers, the Star has laid out — without blurring or digitizing or coy last-moment cutaways — the predations of an American-trained, coalition-equipped Iraqi unit, an elite team that is supposed to represent the new Iraq. (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to study United States and Canadian Foreign Policy  

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-23 – An Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the US (3:30pm EST) (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet later today to meet with Immigration Consultants and to study Immigration to Atlantic Canada (Public) (3:30PM EST)