True North Initiative: News Scan 06 26 17

TOP STORIES

Poll suggests 'northern populism' brewing in 'divided' Canada

A majority of Canadians believe the factors driving recent political upheaval in other Western countries are on the rise here too, a new poll suggests. But The Canadian Press/EKOS Politics survey indicates those who support challenges to the status quo here are somewhat different than those behind it elsewhere, suggesting a version of “northern populism” could be brewing in Canada. “Most of the ‘elites’ will tell you it’s not really happening here, we’re pretty immune to this sort of thing,” said Frank Graves, president of EKOS. (National Post)

Trump win produces only tiny bump in numbers of Americans applying for Canadian citizenship

The number of Americans applying for Canadian citizenship jumped slightly after Donald Trump’s election, but numbers are still only half what they were five years ago. New statistics from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada obtained by the National Post show an average of 400 U.S. citizens put in their applications in each the first four months of this year, compared to an average of 264 per month in 2016 — including a spike in applications in November, the month Trump was elected. (National Post)

'Nothing we can do': Border officers' union raises alarm over drivers evading customs

Border officers at one Ontario port of entry are becoming increasingly alarmed by the number of drivers coming into Canada without clearing customs first and are frustrated because they can’t do anything when it happens, says the union that represents them. Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, shared with the National Post several emails he’s received in recent months from staff at the Cornwall, Ont., port of entry expressing concern about drivers who either speed through the port of entry without completing inspection or drivers who bypass customs altogether. (National Post)

Trudeau Minister Won’t Call Flint Stabbing Border Security Failure

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale won’t describe last week’s stabbing in Flint, Michigan as a border security failure. Though the man accused is a Canadian citizen, Goodale told CTV News on Sunday that his U.S. counterparts have assured him that they are satisfied with current security measures in place on both sides of the border. (Daily Caller) (CTV)

Canada and China strike corporate hacking deal

China has signed an agreement saying it will stop conducting state-sponsored cyberattacks aimed at stealing Canadian private-sector trade secrets and proprietary technology. This industrial espionage accord was worked out this past Friday during high-level talks in Ottawa between senior Communist Party official Wang Yongqing and Daniel Jean, the national security and intelligence adviser to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. (Globe and Mail)

No free trade with China under a Conservative government, says Andrew Scheer

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer would sooner uphold the Liberal government’s environmental regulations than a free trade deal with China, he said in an interview, just as the Trudeau government prepares for its second round of talks with the country. “There are so many concerns with the Chinese government – their human rights record, the way their economy works. We don’t want to see Canadian manufacturers, Canadian workers put on a completely uneven playing field,” he told The West Block’s Vassy Kapelos. (Global)

Hunt for special adviser on counter-radicalization bogging down

Six months after Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said that the hunt for someone to fill the newly-created position of special adviser on counter-radicalization was down to its final two candidates, the search appears to have stalled  — even though the government apparently expected the selection process to be done months ago. Documents obtained by iPolitics through an access-to-information request show that Public Safety officials set up a day of introductory meetings for the preferred candidate, whose name is redacted, with senior ministerial and bureaucratic officials in January. (IPolitics)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Federal Court gives second chance to group of rejected Chinese immigration applicants

The Federal Court has ordered Ottawa to reconsider dozens of immigration applications from rejected applicants from China who failed to disclose they hired the same unregistered consulting firm. In a decision released last week, Justice Richard Southcott ruled in favour of the 57 former clients of Beijing-based Flyabroad, saying immigration officials shouldn’t have rejected them without giving each a fair opportunity to respond to the concerns raised. (Toronto Star)

Councillor wants Regina to adopt 'Access Without Fear' policy

A Regina councillor wants the city to ensure refugees and migrants can access its services regardless of their immigration status and without fear of deportation. Ward 3 Coun. Andrew Stevens will present a notice of motion at Monday's city council meeting, asking that the city become an 'Access Without Fear City.' (CBC)

Andrew Scheer distances himself from Kellie Leitch's Syrian refugee tweet

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says party members endorsed his positive message on immigration during the leadership campaign, suggesting former leadership rival Kellie Leitch is offside with a recent comment about Syrian refugees. Last week, Leitch tweeted a link to a column about a Syrian refugee charged with beating his wife with a hockey stick. "A battered wife and a bloodied hockey stick. That's the legacy of Trudeau's Syrian refugee program," she wrote. (CTV)

Poll: Majority of Canadians would vote for a Sikh, transgender or unilingual prime minister

Is Canada ready for a prime minister who covers his or her head for religious reasons? Just barely, says a new poll published today by the Angus Reid Institute. The poll is likely to become an immediate point of discussion in the NDP leadership race where Jagmeet Singh, a Sikh who wears a turban, is considered among the leaders. (Global)

RCMP's structure could change under new commissioner, says Ralph Goodale

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the looming retirement of RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson is as good a time as any to consider rejigging the governance of the force, including the outstanding recommendation to set up a civilian oversight body. "The change in command is an opportunity to examine all dimensions of governance and structure. The new commissioner will have important challenges to address in terms of maintaining the tradition and heritage of the force and at the same time acknowledging all of the new things that modern day policing requires," Goodale said in an interview with Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio's The House. (CBC)

Philippe Couillard’s tone shift on Islam stuns Quebec Muslims

The Quebec Premier’s sudden shift linking “Islam in general” to terror and urging Quebec Muslims to do more to combat violent extremism has baffled security and political experts alike. After years of warning Quebeckers against “creating an amalgam” between acts of Islamist terror and the wider Muslim community – and for a long time even avoiding the use any variation of the word “Islamist” in connection with terror – Philippe Couillard emerged last week with a dramatic break. After a 49-year-old Quebecker allegedly shouting an Islamic phrase was accused of stabbing a police officer in Michigan, Mr. Couillard said, “You cannot disconnect this type of event, terrorism, from Islam in general.” (Globe and Mail)

'Trump is someone you can work with': Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praises US president as 'open to shifting his position' and says NAFTA is here to stay

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Thursday that despite policy differences,President Donald Trump listens to opposing viewpoints. Trudeau praised Trump as someone with whom he can work – this despite the obvious differences of opinion on issues related to free trade, immigration, and the environment. (Daily Mail)

Air India 182: How much does Canada care about the worst mass murder in its history?

Until Sept. 11, 2001, the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182 was the deadliest terrorist attack anywhere, ever. It remains the worst mass murder in Canadian history. On June 23 of that year, 329 people were killed, including 280 Canadians and 86 children. The flight left Toronto, then Montreal bound for London, then India. It disappeared from radar off the coast of Ireland where the search for survivors and answers began. The attack was planned by a group of B.C. Sikh separatists led by a preacher named Talwinder Singh Parmar. (CBC)

'This is combat': Mulcair calls on PM to clarify Canada's Iraq mission after sniper reports

The shot is making headlines across Canada and around the world. A Canadian Special Forces sniper trained the sites of his rifle on an Islamic State insurgent nearly three and a half kilometres away in Iraq. Then he fired. But NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says the shot raises the question whether the government is sticking to its promise to keep Canadian troops out of combat against ISIS.  (CBC)

Justin Trudeau's approval ratings down since last summer recess: polls

Parliament adjourned this week, ending a sitting that has taken a toll on Justin Trudeau's approval ratings. Though a majority of Canadians still approve of the job he is doing as prime minister, that share has decreased significantly since his government approached its first summer recess around this time one year ago. (CBC)

Canadian Parliament Shuts Down Emails Over Fears Of Hacking

The House of Commons shut down email and computer network services Sunday over fears hackers might try to break into Canadian parliamentary accounts. Commons spokeswoman Heather Bradley told HuffPost Canada the Parliamentary emails accounts "were temporarily deactivated as part of preventative measures" due to the hacking in the United Kingdom. On Friday, MPs in Britain and their staff were informed of a "sustained and determined attack" against their networks. (Huffington Post)

Cyber security set to dominate at 'Five Eyes' meeting in Canada

Thwarting the encryption of terrorist messaging is priority number one between the so-called ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance. The alliance, which comprises of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, will meet in the Canadian capital of Ottawa on Tuesday. Attorney General George Brandis and Immigration Minister Peter Dutton will attend. (SBS)

Istanbul police enforce ban on gay, transgender pride march

Turkish police stopped activists for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights from gathering in large numbers for LGBT pride in Istanbul on Sunday, but smaller groups made impromptu press statements defying a ban imposed by the governor. Organizers of the 2017 Istanbul LGBTI+ Pride had vowed to march in central Taksim Square, using a Turkish hashtag for "we march," despite the ban on gay pride observances ordered by the Istanbul governor's office for the third year in a row. (CBC)

ISIS supporting hackers broke into US government websites and issued chilling warnings to Donald Trump

It is just the latest pro-Isis attack to be launched on government pages by a group that apparently seek to disrupt organisations and deface their websites. "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries," read one message, posted on Ohio governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate John Kasich's website. (Independent)

Israel attacks Syrian posts after cross-border fire from Syria

Israel said it had attacked Syrian military targets on Sunday after stray shells from fighting in Syria's civil war landed inside the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The Syrian shells hit an open area in the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries, and in retaliation the Israeli military said it "targeted two artillery positions and an ammunitions truck belonging to the Syrian regime". (Yahoo)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: Let’s assess the refugee process fairly, not solely based on Liberal dogma

A recent article in The New York Times stated as fact that Justin Trudeau’s Syrian refugee resettlement program is widely seen as a success in Canada. That may be true if you only ask liberal elites and leftist journalists. The mainstream media selectively – and almost exclusively – report on positive stories about the Syrian refugee program, while purposely burying stories that may portray the program in a negative light. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: The best response to terror? Fighting terrorism, of course

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered naive words Friday when it came to fighting terror. “Our best response is to deepen our resolve to uphold democratic values of pluralism, diversity, and inclusiveness,” he said in a statement released on the occasion of the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism. The PM continued: “We are a welcoming and generous country, and know that diversity and openness to the world are sources of strength. They have made Canada not only more prosperous, but safe and more united.” (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Canada needs a coherent policy to tackle the Islamist agenda

For all of the talk we engage in about Islamist extremism, it’s hard to believe we don’t have anything resembling a coherent policy to tackle this menace. Canada doesn’t have its act together on this most vital of global issues. But we’re not alone. The United States, for all of its conflicts with al-Qaeda and ISIS along with homegrown extremism, doesn't have a clearly articulated philosophy. Case in point: The other week the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee held controversial hearings on “Ideology and Terror: Understanding the Tools, Tactics and Techniques of Violent Extremism”. (Toronto Sun)

Sanjay Jeram: Let's have a level-headed discussion on immigration

Economists have not reached a consensus on whether the solution to depleting pension reserves and a slumping national economy is to take in more immigrants. It is possible that high levels of immigration may lead to a “smaller piece of the bigger pie” that is the Canadian economy for the average worker. This is by no means a given, but dependent on the performance of the economy and government policy at a given time. In short, Martin Collacott is right to proclaim that Canadians “deserve a full and informed debate on” immigration policy and its consequences. (Vancouver Sun)

Mike Mcderment: Canada can’t fall behind in the global race for tech talent

With Canada’s fast-growing tech sector facing a shortage of 220,000 workers by 2020, the federal government is wisely expediting the immigration process for highly skilled workers. It’s doing that via its new Global Talent Stream, which launched earlier this month. As one of the CEOs from across the country who called on Ottawa to streamline the immigration process so that Canadian high-growth companies could quickly access talent not widely available within our borders, this faster process is a welcome change. As part of the Global Skills Strategy, the expedited work permit review process cuts wait times for applications to a two-week turnaround, from months or close to a year. (Globe and Mail)

Toronto Sun: Canadians deserve extensive reporting on refugee issue

The recent intake of Syrian refugees to Canada is a big topic. It deserves fair and responsible coverage. It’s a financial issue. Government budget docs reveal it will cost around $1 billion in the coming years. We must ensure this money is well spent. (Toronto Sun)

Globe editorial: Liberal bill strikes proper balance between rights and security

Back in 2015, when they were the distant third party in Ottawa, the Trudeau Liberals made a calculated gamble. They supported, in spite of the gale of criticism directed at them, the Harper government’s anti-terrorism bill, a.k.a. Bill C-51, a.k.a. one of the worst bills ever tabled in Parliament. C-51 was overbroad, vague and written as if the Charter of Rights and Freedoms were some inconsequential bylaw. One clause allowed CSIS agents to seek a warrant, in a secret hearing, to violate the Charter in order to “reduce” a terror threat. The bill did not define “reduce,” other than to prohibit killing, injuring or sexually assaulting a suspect. And it provided for zero accountability after the fact. (Globe and Mail)

Mark Bonokoski: With Andrew Scheer, it will be trench warfare

The Liberals’ worst fears have come true. The federal Conservative Party has chosen a new leader — even if perhaps as much by chance as forethought — who will give the Trudeau crowd some serious grief in the 2019 election. The best-case scenarios for the Liberals never happened. The bombastic Kevin O’Leary, the unilingual “visitor” from Boston, cut and ran when he realized Quebec was not buying into his sales pitch. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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