True North Initiative: News Scan 06 08 17

TOP STORIES

Alleged golf club attacker claimed she was 'from ISIS': Source

A golf-club wielding ISIS supporter vowed to kill “white people” to avenge the fatal bombing of fellow Syrians, sources have told the Sun. “I’m here for Syria. I’m going to kill everybody,” the source quoted the woman as screaming while she allegedly attacked Canadian Tire store employees and customers on Saturday. (Canoe)

Canada plans to wage offensive cyber and drone attacks

Canada will add hundreds of new elite special forces commandos, wage offensive cyber warfare attacks and deploy armed drones to international battlefields as part of its military response to new global security threats. The new defence review identifies a wide range of harrowing and borderless threats, including the “grey zone” of hybrid warfare, ever-present terrorism and climate change. (Macleans) (CTV)

Liberal government promises extra $62B for military over next 20 years

The Trudeau government committed Wednesday to spend $62 billion more over the next two decades for a major expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces, aimed at ensuring it can properly defend the country in an increasingly unstable world. But much of the money won't flow until after the next election, and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan refused to entertain the question of whether the spending spike would mean bigger federal deficits or spending cuts in other areas. (CTV)

Terror attacks giving West a sense of daily Israeli life, Jerusalem mayor says

The last time Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat visited Toronto, in 2014, his mayoral counterpart was in rehab, and the president of the United States, Barack Obama, would soon criticize Israel for the death toll of its anti-terrorist invasion of Gaza. What a difference a few years can make. Today, Barkat, 57, has a blossoming friendship with Toronto Mayor John Tory, with whom he shares a background in the business of technology, and an ideological alliance with Donald Trump, the new U.S. president, with whom he shares a “shoot first, ask questions later” approach to terrorism. (National Post)

At least 1 investigation into 'radicalized' people in recent years: Saskatchewan

There's been at least one active investigation in Saskatchewan "in recent years" into people who had become "radicalized," the provincial government said Wednesday.  The revelation came after Premier Brad Wall spoke to reporters earlier in the day following a meeting with cabinet, justice officials and the RCMP where rural crime and terrorism were discussed. (CBC) (Global)

Liberals waive security review for Chinese takeover of high-tech firm

The Trudeau government is allowing Chinese investors to buy a Vancouver high-tech firm without a formal national security review even though Canada and many of its allies use the company’s patented satellite communications technology for security, public safety and defence. Hytera Communications of Shenzhen, China, is acquiring Vancouver-based Norsat International Inc., a company with military customers including the Pentagon that is also delivering a satellite communication system this year for the Canadian Coast Guard. (Globe and Mail)

ISIS Says Manchester Attack a Preview of Their 'Rekindled' Post-Caliphate Terror Ops

ISIS vowed that the Manchester attack is a harbinger of what's to come as Islamic State territory falls in Iraq and Syria and the terror group continues to "shift its focus towards carrying out attacks on Crusader soil." The terror group didn't publish any new attack tactic tips in today's new issue of their Rumiyah magazine, but teased to a special forthcoming publication about how their followers should observe the last 10 days of Ramadan, which ends the evening of June 24. (PJ Media)

Kurds' push for referendum a potential headache for Canadian allies

The battle for Mosul is entering its final stages, and there are growing calls for foreign troops to leave the country as soon as the Islamic State is defeated on Iraqi soil. That could mean the end of any active role for Canada in the war against the world's most notorious terrorist group. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

'Justice delayed is justice denied': Fewer than half of refugee claims being heard on time

When Razak Iyal nearly froze to death walking across the border into Manitoba with Seidu Mohammed on Christmas Eve, he says he was looking for freedom and safety. Soon after arriving, the Ghanaian asylum seekers, who lost their hands to frostbite, both made their refugee claims and were scheduled a hearing in front of the refugee board — for Mohammed it was March 23 and for Iyal it was March 27. Mohammed's date came and he won his case to stay, but for Iyal his future remains uncertain. (CBC)

Stuck in Saudi prison, Raif Badawi to receive honorary degree for defence of free speech

Five years after Raif Badawi was imprisoned in Saudi Arabia because of his liberal blog, he's being honoured by Université de Sherbrooke, the city where his wife and kids have lived for the past three years. "Tomorrow is a very, very important day for us," Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, told CBC News in a phone interview Wednesday.  "He is really happy because he sees that people haven't forgotten him, that they're thinking of him." (CBC)

Indian officer’s denial at Canadian border a mistake, federal government says

The federal government is admitting border officials made a mistake when a retired anti-insurgency officer from India was deemed inadmissible to Canada and denied entry. Days later, after an outcry from Indian officials, the officer was suddenly reissued a visa and flown back to Toronto. (Toronto Star)

Ezra Levant calls for Porter Airlines boycott after company 'blacklists' The Rebel

Porter Airlines has joined a string of Canadian companies pulling its advertisements from The Rebel, a conservative media website which has carried articles opposing immigration and questioning climate change science. In a tweet Tuesday, the Toronto-based airline confirmed that The Rebel has been “blacklisted” after it was notified that its ads were appearing on the site, run by media personality Ezra Levant. (Toronto Sun)

The 'bromance' lives: Trudeau and Obama meet for dinner date

The Justin Trudeau-Barack Obama bromance is alive and strong in 2017, as the prime minister and former president rekindled their friendship during a dinner date in Montreal. Prime Minister Trudeau met with Obama for dinner at Liverpool House in St-Henri on Tuesday, following the former U.S. president's speech sponsored by the Montreal Chamber of Commerce (CTV)

Madeleine Meilleur drops bid to be Canada’s languages commissioner

Madeleine Meilleur has taken herself out of the running for the position of Canada’s next commissioner of official languages amid accusations that her nomination by the Liberal government was blatantly partisan. Ms. Meilleur, a long-time Ontario Liberal MPP who served in provincial cabinet posts including attorney-general and minister responsible for francophone affairs, sent a letter on Tuesday to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly saying she no longer wanted to be considered for the job. (Globe and Mail)

Conservatives present united front after ballot complaints

Conservative MPs and senators are satisfied with the party's explanation for a discrepancy in the number of votes counted in last month's leadership race, newly crowned leader Andrew Scheer said Wednesday. "We had a very thorough presentation today from the party, from our deputy returning officer who managed the process," Scheer said following the party's weekly caucus meeting. (CTV)

Kevin O'Leary's pitch to pay back leadership race debt rejected

Kevin O'Leary is a businessman who loves a good deal, but his attempt to sell Elections Canada on his pitch to pay off campaign creditors seems to have flopped. CBC News first reported that after the reality TV star shocked the political world by dropping out of the Conservative leadership race, his campaign was saddled with upward of $200,000 in debt. (CBC)

Journalist shield law could soon become reality in Canada

The federal Liberal government is prepared to throw its support behind proposed legislation to protect the identity of journalists’ confidential sources, the Star has learned. The government is expected to announce Friday it will back a Conservative senator’s privately sponsored bill that would, for the first time in Canada, provide statutory protection for the identity of journalists’ sources. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau urged to press Suu Kyi for Muslim minority rights in Burma

The meeting had the look of a feel-good visit between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and honorary Canadian citizen Aung San Suu Kyi, the civilian leader of Burma, also known as Myanmar. But a major international human rights watchdog and groups representing Burmese refugees in Canada called on Trudeau to push Suu Kyi to allow an independent international investigation into allegations of widespread human rights abuses against the Muslim ethnic Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakhine. (Toronto Star)

Airbnb facilitates free temporary housing for refugees

The hospitality company, Airbnb has launched a new internet platform to help refugees and others in need to connect with hosts willing to provide temporary housing for free. Starting today, chosen relief organizations and non-profits in Canada will be able to search and book Airbnb listings for refugees and evacuees at airbnb.com/welcome. (Radio Canada)

Comey's testimony set to shine uncomfortable spotlight on Trump

In a hugely anticipated hearing, fired FBI director James Comey will recount a series of conversations with U.S. President Donald Trump that he says made him deeply uneasy and concerned about the blurring of boundaries between the White House and a law enforcement agency that prides itself on independence. The testimony, Comey's first public statements since his May 9 dismissal, is likely to bring hours of uncomfortable attention to an administration shadowed for months by an investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. (CTV)

EMP Commission Chair Warns on North Korean EMP

In April, PJ Media warned of an imminent threat to the U.S. from North Korea – an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack from an orbiting satellite. We reported that North Korea already has two satellites orbiting the U.S. and that a nuclear weapon detonated over the U.S. from one could devastate our country, resulting in the deaths of tens of millions from the loss of critical infrastructure. (PJ Media)

North Korea fires suspected land-to-ship missiles as South Korea delays THAAD

North Korea fired what appeared to be several land-to-ship missiles off its east coast on Thursday, South Korea's military said, a day after the South postponed full deployment of a controversial U.S. anti-missile system designed to deter a North Korean attack. The launches, the latest in a fast-paced series of missile tests defying world pressure to rein in its weapons program, come less than a week after the United Nations Security Council passed fresh sanctions on the reclusive state. (Reuters)

Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants

The BBC has been given rare access to see life under the Afghan Taliban in Helmand province. (BBC)

General election 2017: Voters to go to the polls

Voting in the UK general election is under way at more than 40,000 polling stations across the country. Polls opened at 07:00 BST on Thursday, with counting starting once voting ends at 22:00 BST. (BBC)

Muslim 'safe space' plan sparks row in Australia

A proposal by an Australian Islamic group to allow "safe spaces" for young Muslims to discuss "inflammatory" issues has sparked a row. The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) said such forums enabled young people's opinions to be "respectfully and intelligently debated and challenged". (BBC)

Iran FM Zarif slams 'repugnant' Trump statement on Tehran attacks

Iran's foreign minister has denounced as "repugnant" a White House statement on Wednesday's terror attack in Tehran that said Iran was a "terror sponsor". President Trump had said he was praying for the victims, but added that "states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote". (BBC)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau’s casual response to terrorism

According to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada needs “investigative national security stuff” to keep us safe and to prevent Islamist terrorism like the recent attacks in Manchester and London. During his high-profile television appearance on LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, Canada’s celebrity PM was asked about national security. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Make no mistake, terror is in Canada

Canadians learned Tuesday about a possible terror attack that happened Saturday in Toronto, four days earlier. That’s how long it took journalists to ferret out the tale of a violent and concerning incident that thankfully ended without tragedy. This is unacceptable and alarming. Both the incident itself and the fact the public remained in the dark about it for four days. (Toronto Sun)

Joe Warmington: Torontonians had right to know details from alleged ISIS-inspired attack

If we are to believe witnesses’ accounts, it was a terror attack. According to these accounts, it was inspired by ISIS. It occurred in a Scarborough Canadian Tire store at the same time the murderous mowing down of innocent people on London Bridge and the stabbings in Borough Market were happening. And, yes, it was kept from us until three days after it happened. (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: Liberal defence plan puts national interest ahead of its own partisan concerns, for now

Now we know why Chrystia Freeland went to such lengths to sell the idea of “hard power” in her speech Monday – it was an effort to soften up Liberal voters to the idea of billions being spent on swords, not ploughshares. The Strong Secure Engaged policy unveiled by Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is a defence plan you might expect from a Conservative government. Indeed it is difficult to see how the Tories will be able to criticize it, beyond the plan making it even harder for new leader Andrew Scheer to balance the books within two years of taking power. Already bulging deficits are set to distend further still. (National Post)

Andrew Coyne: Defiant anti-Trump message in Freeland’s speech is clear — and radical

It is the context, not the content of Chrystia Freeland’s speech to Parliament Tuesday that makes it radical. In any other context but the present, the foreign policy the minister laid out, in what was clearly intended to be taken as a Major Statement, would be regarded mostly as an anodyne recitation of liberal/Liberal nostrums: multilateralism, a rules-based international order, free trade, all laced with the usual “the world needs more Canada” self-congratulation and moral preening. (National Post)

Chantal Hebert: Liberals’ shift in defence and foreign policy reflect new reality in the U.S.

Tuesday’s Liberal foreign policy statement and Wednesday’s national defence reset are interlocking pieces of the same political puzzle. To examine one in isolation from the other is to risk distorting the picture. In different but related ways both reflect a Trump-imposed shift in Canada’s foreign policy priorities. (Toronto Star)

Chris Nelson: Hope is not the strategy to keep Canada safe from terrorism

It was as if two bookends of love enveloped an encyclopedia of hatred. Arriving in London two weeks ago, the front-page image was two youngsters from the town of my birth. They’d been among the 22 victims of the bombing in Manchester. Fast forward 10 days and, returning to Canadian shores, this newspaper’s front page portrayed another victim of another outburst of savagery, a young woman who’d studied here and then worked with the downtrodden. She was among eight cut down and killed in the English capital I’d just left. (Calgary Herald)

Barak Seener: Trump's Saudi pivot is a golden opportunity in terror fight

US President Trump's recent speech in Riyadh exhorted Muslim nations to counter Iranian regional aspirations and "drive out the terrorists and extremists." A NATO-style Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition of 41 Sunni states, including all six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), was initially announced by Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman in December 2015 -- including Qatar. (CNN)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet yesterday to study M-39, Immigration to Atlantic Canada (Public)  

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs meet later today to study Canada’s Development Finance Initiative (Public) (8:45am EST)  

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety met yesterday to study Bill S-233, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Public)

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet today to study Canada and the Defence of North America (3:30PM EST) (In Camera)