True North Initiative: News Scan 06 02 17

TOP STORIES

Woman's death alarms Canadians over more refugees crossing MN border

When the body of Mavis Otuteye was found in a ditch roughly a mile from the Canadian border, officials said it's the type of tragedy they expect to see more and more. Rita Chahal runs the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council, the largest refugee settlement organization in Manitoba. Most years, she said, her organization worked with about 60 asylum seekers who crossed the border from the U.S. "Since January alone, we've seen almost 600 people crossing the border," she said. "That's just the ones who come to our door." (MPR News)

Woman found dead near border was en route to Canada to see newborn granddaughter

A Ghanaian woman found dead near the Canada-U.S. border was on her way to see her newborn granddaughter in Toronto and had been living in the U.S. under an expired visa, CBC News has learned. Mavis Otuteye was heading for Toronto to see her daughter's five-week-old newborn when she was reported missing, said Maggie Yeboah, president of the Ghanaian Union of Manitoba. (CBC)

Massive privacy breach at Public Services reveals workers' salaries

The personal information of almost 13,000 public servants was exposed in one of the largest ever privacy breaches at a federal government department. The July 11, 2016, breach at Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) included the salary, age, reading-and-writing test results and other private information of 12,901 employees — nearly everyone working in the department, which employed 13,300 people at the time. (CBC)

Chrystia Freeland says Canadians detained in China are top priority

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has assured the daughter of a couple detained in China that Ottawa is working hard to persuade Beijing to allow them to return home. Canadian winery owners John Chang and Allison Lu have been trapped in Shanghai since March, 2016, when Chinese authorities accused them of failing to pay sufficient duties on wine shipments. (Globe and Mail)

Karla Homolka situation 'a question of forgiveness,' NDP's Thomas Mulcair says

After the discovery that Karla Homolka has volunteered at an N.D.G. school made headlines across the country, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair suggested it might be time to forgive and move on. “Everybody is going to have to take their own stock of that and ensure that first and foremost that the security of their kids is taken care of,” Mulcair said in Ottawa Wednesday. (Montreal Gazette)

Don't let cyberattack threat deter Canada from online voting, says former head of NSA

The foreign interference that may have influenced the U.S. election should not deter Canada and other countries from embracing online voting, says the former head of the U.S. National Security Agency. Retired U.S. general Keith Alexander, speaking at a defence industry trade show in Ottawa, also said it is important the Canadian military have some kind of offensive cyber capacity, even if that ability is limited. (CBC)

Trudeau-Scheer Showdown Delayed As PM Skips Question Period

If Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is eager for his question period face-off with the prime minister, he'll have to be a little more patient. Justin Trudeau is making the new leader wait. After a week-long trip to Europe for NATO and G7 meetings, and a personal audience with the Pope Tuesday, Trudeau, who arrived in Ottawa Wednesday, has decided not to show up to question period Thursday. (Huffington Post)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Man accused of killing Montrealer with a machete returns to U.K.

Van Son Nguyen, a U.K. citizen, is now back in Britain after a second-degree murder charge against him was stayed under the Jordan ruling. Nguyen, 52, is the third person accused of murder in Quebec to see his charges stayed under the Jordan ruling, a Supreme Court decision that puts time limits on how long it takes for cases to come to trial. (CBC)

Newcomers grabbing at Canada’s brass ring

“It was tough in the beginning,” remembers Maramba. “We worked nights in a dingy Toronto food factory and the work was so monotonous we played stacking games with the boxes to keep ourselves motivated.” Both Yap and Maramba were well educated and had attended university in Manila. But finding a job in Canada that suited their academic abilities and skills proved difficult so they came up with an idea to start their own advertising agency. (Macleans)

'Quebec has changed': Time is right to reopen constitutional debate, Philippe Couillard says

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says the time is right to reopen the constitutional debate in the hopes of having the province's distinct character officially recognized. In time for Canada's 150th birthday, Couillard announced Thursday a 200-page document outlining his government's vision of Quebec's role within Canada and laying out arguments in support of reopening negotiations. The document has been dubbed "Quebecers: Our Way of Being Canadians." (CBC)

Premier Couillard calls for Quebecers to fully join Canadian federation

Premier Philippe Couillard has long wished for Quebec to sign the Constitution and truly be a part of the Canadian federation. On Thursday he unveiled his plan to reopen the constitutional debate by launching a coast-to-coast discussion in the hopes of having the province's distinct character officially recognized. "We are an inclusive nation," said Couillard before beginning to speak in English. "Our nation includes our English-speaking fellow Quebecers whose actions and institutions have contributed significantly to our development. This was true yesterday. It still is true today and will be tomorrow." (CTV)

'What a waste': MP's filibuster keeps Cape Breton councillor from addressing committee

A Cape Breton councillor invited to address a parliamentary committee about a new immigration program is expressing frustration over a Conservative MP's filibuster that prevented her from speaking. Coun. Amanda McDougall, who represents District 8 of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, was asked to appear before the standing committee on citizenship and immigration in Ottawa about a pilot program to bring immigrants to Atlantic Canada. (CBC)

Elizabeth Wettlaufer pleads guilty to murdering 8 seniors

She had become “overwhelmingly angry” about the direction of her career and life and said God was urging her to kill. On Thursday, former nurse Elizabeth Wettlaufer pled guilty to murdering eight elderly patients at the three long-term care facilities where she worked between 2007 and 2014, and at a private house. When Justice Bruce Thomas of Superior Court asked if she was admitting to fatally injecting her victims with insulin for no medical reason, she replied: “Yes, your honour.” (Toronto Star)

Joly urged to cancel Madeleine Meilleur as pick for official languages commissioner

Federal Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly was under pressure from an angry opposition on Thursday to cancel the appointment of Madeleine Meilleur, the Liberal government’s pick for official languages commissioner, after revelations that two of Ms. Joly’s staff members used to work for Ms. Meilleur. (Globe and Mail)

Trump on Paris accord: 'We're getting out'

President Donald Trump proclaimed Thursday he was withdrawing the US from the Paris climate accord, a sweeping step that fulfills a campaign promise while acutely dampening global efforts to curb global warming. Speaking from the White House, Trump said he was open to renegotiating aspects of the agreement, which was inked under his predecessor and which all nations except two have signed onto. (CNN)

Trump: World won't laugh any more

In explaining why he is pulling out of the Paris climate deal, President Trump says the world will no longer take advantage of the US. (BBC)

Paris climate deal: Dismay as Trump signals exit from accord

There has been widespread international condemnation of President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the move "extremely regrettable". She defended the accord, saying: "Nothing can and nothing will stop us." Mr Trump said he was prepared to discuss a new deal, but key signatories to the accord quickly ruled that out. (BBC)

James Comey will testify in U.S. Senate next week as part of Russia probe

James Comey, the FBI director Trump fired last month who was overseeing a federal investigation into connections between Russia and the Trump campaign, will testify June 8 at a congressional hearing, it was revealed on Thursday. (CBC)

Resorts World Manila attack: Suspect found dead, no ‘concrete evidence’ of terrorism, police say

A masked gunman stormed a hotel-casino complex in the Philippine capital early Friday, shooting up a TV screen, torching gambling tables and stuffing a backpack with casino chips before being found dead of an apparent suicide, officials said. Metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde said the English-speaking suspect described him as "white, with a mustache" and about 6 feet tall, was found dead with his rifle on the fifth floor of the Resorts World Manila complex. Police are still searching the suspect's car, parked on the second floor. (Fox News)

Meet the former model who switched careers – joined defense forces to fight ISIS

Hanna Tiger Bohman is a former Canandian Model, who made a bold step towards fighting terrorism in her country, in another country and also all over the world. She joined the YPJ – a Kurdish military unit consisting of females only, in order to fight the Islamic State located in the north of Syria. (Standard Media)

Venezuelan judge murdered as street violence spirals amid political unrest

A Venezuelan judge has been shot and killed as he approached a street barricade in Caracas, in an attack that has prompted fears of growing lawlessness as the country enters its third month of political unrest. Nelson Moncada, 37, was shot several times and then robbed of his belongings in a Caracas district that has been the frequent site of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces. (Guardian)

Maduro pledges to hold referendum on new Venezuelan constitution

Venezuelan President Nicholas Maduro promised that the people will have a final say whether to reject or greenlight a new constitution, which a special body called the National Constituent Assembly has been tasked with drafting. “I shall propose it explicitly: the new constitution will go to a consultative referendum, so it is the people who say whether they are in agreement or not with the new, strengthened constitution,” Maduro pledged Thursday in a speech broadcast by state Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), as cited by Reuters. (RT)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Farzana Hassan: Cultural traditions continue to hold back South Asian women in Canada

I recently spoke at a women's symposium entitled Breaking Barriers and Moving Forward, organized jointly by the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, University of New Brunswick Department of Anthropology, Asian Heritage Society of New Brunswick, and the New Brunswick Multicultural Council. The conference was held over two days at the Fredericton campus. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trumped on climate change

Amid growing media speculation U.S. President Donald Trump will pull America out of the 2015 Paris climate treaty — which would effectively kill it — there’s a fundamental point everyone is overlooking. That is that, for Canada, it doesn’t matter whether Trump stays in the treaty, unless he introduces a national carbon pricing plan for the United States. (Toronto Sun)

Faith Goldy: Why Libertarians Should Love Andrew Scheer

Tonight I give you three reasons why libertarians should love Andrew Scheer: his commitment to free speech, his firearms policy, and his plan to enshrine property rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (Rebel)

Zool Suleman: The drip, drip of religious intolerance in Canada and the United States

In its most recent rebuke to U.S. President Donald Trump, the majority of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held last week that Trump’s second executive order on immigration “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination." Trump’s second executive order barring entry to the United States for nationals of several Muslim-majority countries seems destined for the country's Supreme Court. The revised order introduced a temporary suspension on people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days. (National Observer)

Hirsi Ali: The 'heretic' who says Muslims need to re-think sex, money, and violence ... and the concept of time

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is one of the most forceful and provocative feminist critics challenging Islam today. She is also in hiding. Andy Martin meets her in an undisclosed location and finds a woman on a mission, a woman who found the power to say No and the freedom it gave her (Independent)

Sally Armstrong: Resisting genocide

She tucks her long blond ponytail into her flak jacket, slings her shiny new Kalashnikov over her shoulder and strides confidently to the sandbagged wall at the edge of her post. First Lt. Adiba Saydo, 25, is making history. She became one of the first Yazidi women to bear arms when she joined the peshmerga, the military forces of the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. What’s more, she’s serving at the front line on the liberated side of Shingal Mountain in northwestern Iraq, the ancestral home of the Yazidi people. (UC Observer)

Don Martin: On the great pipeline divide, PM Trudeau must pick a side

The Great Divide is a towering mountain range which also serves as the southern boundary between British Columbia and Alberta. A raindrop landing on the eastern face flows to the Atlantic or Arctic oceans. If it lands a few metres west, it runs to the Pacific. Here endeth today’s geology lesson. (CTV)

Rosie Dimanno: Karla Homolka should be hounded for the rest of her life

Twenty-five years seems like a long time. A lifetime. A life sentence. The life sentence, with no possibility of parole for 25 years, Paul Bernardo received for two first-degree murders, kidnapping, forcible confinement, aggravated sexual assault and committing an indignity to a dead body. (Toronto Star)

Robyn Urback: Will we recall Elizabeth Wettlaufer's name the way we do Karla Homolka's?

Charles Cullen should be the most famous serial killer of all time. He was more prolific than Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. He pleaded guilty to murdering 29 people and admitted to killing up to 40 throughout his 16-year career, though the total number of people he's suspected of killing has been estimated by investigators to be more than 300. (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to study Canada and the Defence of North America (In Camera)