True North Initiative: News Scan 06 28 17

TOP STORIES

Thousands of people who fled to Canada in fear of Donald Trump cannot find jobs or homes

Thousands of people who fled to Canada in a bid to escape Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal migrants, have become trapped because of an overburdened refugee system. Refugees are struggling to find work, permanent housing or enroll their children in schools in the country. (Metro.co.uk) (Express.co.uk)

Legal limbo: Massive backlog leaves asylum seekers in for a long wait

The U.S. travel ban could mean more asylum seekers claiming refugee status in Canada but new figures show they’d be in for a long wait; the Immigration and Refugee Board says a massive backlog has left tens of thousands in legal limbo. Refugee claimants rose from 14,000 in 2014 to just over 23,600 in 2016, a 69 per cent increase. That figure does not include Syrian refugees who arrived in Canada and saw their claims fast-tracked. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada acknowledges that the rate of refugee intake has risen since 2013 and "currently exceeds the operational capacity." (CTV)

Canadian sniper's shot 'entirely consistent' with non-combat role, Trudeau says

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the record-breaking shot by a Canadian special forces sniper is something that should be "celebrated," but it is also well within the realm of the military's advise and assist role in Iraq. During a marathon news conference Tuesday marking the end of the parliamentary sitting, Trudeau rejected recent criticism by NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, who said the incident draws into question the Liberal government's claim that Canada is involved in a "non-combat" mission against ISIS. (CBC)

Trudeau blames previous Conservative administration for being partly responsible for higher-than-expected deficits

Trudeau maintained the Liberals remained consistent with their 2015 election commitment to add about $10 billion in new spending for 2016-17, their first full year in office. He argued, however, that the Liberals had to deal with a baseline deficit of $18 billion after coming to power, even though their Tory predecessors had predicted a balanced budget. (CBC)

Trudeau blames Conservative senators for acrimony in Senate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his push to reform the Senate along independent lines is playing out as planned, blaming recent legislative squabbles on Conservatives senators. "We are stymied a bit by a bloc of partisan Conservatives who vote against the government every chance they can get. [That] simply means there is more to do to create a more independent and thoughtfully reflective Senate," Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa Tuesday to mark the summer recess. (CBC)

Trudeau Blames Opposition For Not Reading His Mind On Electoral Reform

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looked reporters in the eyes Tuesday morning and told them he had "no path" to keep his campaign promise on electoral reform because none of the other parties wanted his preferred option: a ranked ballot. (Huffington Post)

What do Canadians think about immigration levels? Three poll results

Global migration has escalated into a key topic of public discussion in Europe and most English-speaking countries. The influential Economist magazine, which targets the business elite, devotes one or two articles each week to migration trends in Western countries, which are among the few that formally welcome immigrants. (Vancouver Sun)

Major security measures for Ottawa's Canada 150 bash amid ISIS threat

Heavily armed police and surveillance cameras will be strategically placed throughout the event, and a barricade will be positioned around the party to thwart any attempted attacks by vehicles. The security measures, which one source described as “unprecedented,” come as a national security memo obtained by CTV News warns that ISIS “explicitly named Canada” and the United States as potential targets after the Manchester attack in May. (CTV)

New security measures aim to protect Canada’s rail system from sabotage, terror attacks

Citing the railway system’s “vulnerability” to sabotage or terrorist attack, the federal government is introducing new security regulations for trains carrying dangerous goods. Under the proposed regulations, Canadian rail carriers will be required to inspect cars carrying dangerous cargo “for signs of tampering or suspicious items.” Both carriers and consignors will also have to introduce mandatory security training for staff and develop risk-management plans. (Globe and Mail)

China attacks Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for opposing bilateral free trade

Beijing’s ruling Communist Party has used one of its main newspapers to deliver an angry salvo at Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer, calling him “arrogant and biased” for opposing a trade deal between China and Canada. The Official Opposition Leader announced on Sunday that his party would oppose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s effort to negotiate a free-trade accord with the world’s second-biggest economy, citing concerns about human rights, labour standards and the fact the Chinese economy is dominated by state-owned companies. Canadian and U.S. intelligence agencies have warned these enterprises act in the interests of China’s Communist Party. (Globe and Mail)

No security risks in Chinese takeover of Canadian satellite firm: Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sought Tuesday to assuage public fears and political complaints that the Liberal government's decision to allow the Chinese takeover of a Canadian satellite technology company would compromise national security at home and abroad. Hytera Communications Co. Ltd. is set to take over Norsat International Inc., which manufactures radio transceivers and radio systems used by the American military and Canada's NATO partners. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

U.S. travel ban 'grey areas' could cause problems for Canadian permanent residents

When the U.S. 90-day travel ban comes into effect Thursday morning, it's the so-called Disneylander who will face the most difficulty getting into the country. A "Disneylander", as described by Toronto-based immigration lawyer Stephen Green, would be a permanent resident in Canada who hails from one of the six countries included in the ban and is seeking a U.S. visa but does not meet the exemption laid out by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. Those excluded from the ban, according to the top court, would be able to prove a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." (CBC)

Trump’s travel ban comes back: What you need to know and what’s happened so far

After months of court challenges, Trump’s ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries is going ahead – but only in part, and with lots of questions looming over it. Here’s what we know (Globe and Mail)

Centre aimed at preventing homegrown terror must cast wide net, expert advises

A new centre aimed at preventing the radicalization of young Canadians will only work if all forms of terrorism are targeted, according to a counter-terrorism expert in Ottawa. The federal government announced Monday the opening of a long-promised counter-radicalization centre, though details of what exactly will happen there haven't been released. (CBC)

Quebec's top court expedites appeal process for accused murderer facing deportation

Quebec's Court of Appeal has agreed to expedite the case of a Sri Lankan man accused of killing his wife five years ago, who is set to be deported next week. Sivaloganathan Thanabalasingham could be gone as soon as next Tuesday, unless the federal Immigration Minister steps in to halt the deportation. (CBC)

Government cuts to english-language courses leave newcomers feeling stuck without hope

Part of a settlement plan for many newcomers was to improve their English to the level required to have their credentials recognized, she said. In order for that to happen, their English has to be at a high enough level, well beyond Stage 1, said Papagiannopoulos. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Refugee groups demand suspension of Safe Third Country Agreement over Trump's travel ban

In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing elements of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect, refugee and human rights groups in Canada are urging the federal government to suspend the Safe Third Country Agreement with the U.S. The Canadian Council for Refugees and Amnesty International have issued a document calling on the Trudeau government to suspend the agreement. (IPolitics)

Trudeau appoints his first climate change ambassador with revamped mandate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tapped a long-time Canadian diplomat to step into a revamped role of Canada's ambassador for climate change. Canada hasn't had such an ambassador since January 2015. (Canadian Press)

‘We are in great peril’: Former PM Kim Campbell takes on Trump

Kim Campbell is one former Canadian prime minister who is not mincing words about her dislike – and distrust – of U.S. President Donald Trump. While her Progressive Conservative predecessor in office, Brian Mulroney, is working with the Trudeau government to help navigate negotiations with the mercurial American leader, Ms. Campbell is using her social media following to denounce Mr. Trump’s suitability for President. (Globe and Mail)

US deportations of Iraqis halted by Michigan judge

A federal court in Michigan has blocked the deportation of more than 1,400 Iraqis living in the US who have been targeted in recent immigration raids.US District Judge Mark Goldsmith expanded an order he issued last week, initially halting the removal of 114 Iraqi nationals from the Detroit area. He sided with immigration advocates who argue the detainees face persecution or death if returned to Iraq. (BBC)

Rex Tillerson accused of ‘brazen interventionist plan’ to change Iran’s government

Iran is accusing U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of “a brazen interventionist plan” to change the current government that violates international law and the U.N. Charter. Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo said in a letter to Secretary-General Antonio Guterres circulated Tuesday that Tillerson’s comments are also “a flagrant violation” of the 1981 Algiers Accords in which the United States pledged “not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran’s internal affairs.” (Global)

Venezuela crisis: Helicopter launches attack on Supreme Court

Venezuela's Supreme Court has been attacked by grenades dropped from a helicopter in what President Nicolás Maduro called a "terrorist attack". Footage on social media shows a police helicopter circling over the city before shots and a loud bang are heard. The police officer said to have piloted the stolen aircraft issued a statement denouncing the "criminal government". His whereabouts are unknown. (BBC)

China launches new warship type to boost military strength

China on Wednesday launched a new type of domestically built warship in its latest bid to modernise its military, state media said. The launch comes after China presented its first home-produced aircraft carrier in April. Amid ongoing tensions in the South China Sea, Beijing is taking an increasingly assertive stance in the waters it claims. (BBC)

Trump growing frustrated with China, weighs trade steps: officials

President Donald Trump is growing increasingly frustrated with China over its inaction on North Korea and bilateral trade issues and is now considering possible trade actions against Beijing, three senior administration officials told Reuters. The officials said Trump was looking at options including tariffs on steel imports, which Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross already has said he is considering as part of a national security study of the U.S. steel industry. (Reuters)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Joe Warmington: Alleged terror-attacker should be kicked out of Canada

Canada should grant alleged terror-attacker Rehab Dughmosh her request and send her back to her country of origin. The 32-year-old mother is accused of swinging a golf club while armed with a knife and screaming threats and Islamic chants inside a Scarborough Canadian Tire this month. “I reject all counsel here. I only believe in Islamic Sharia law,” Global News quoted the Scarborough woman as saying during a court appearance this week. “I would like to revoke my Canadian citizenship that I received. I don’t want to have any allegiance to you.” (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Liberal politicization of immigration system gets even worse

Two weeks ago, I wrote that the federal Liberal government was playing partisan games with Canada’s immigration appeal system. In the name of transparency and objectivity, the Trudeau government was refusing to renew the appointments of any immigration judges who were male or who had been appointed by the Harper government. That meant immigration appeal offices across the country would have too few adjudicators to handle the current case load. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: America and India tackle terror, while Canada plays identity politics

The U.S. State Department on Monday designated Syed Salahuddin, the Pakistan-based head of the jihadi group “Hizb ul Mujahideen”, as a global terrorist. The announcement came hours before a meeting at the White House between U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where the two leaders declared: “Destroying radical Islamic terrorism together” and “ending terror safe havens”, were the top goals of the two countries. North of the border it was a somewhat different story. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey/Ezra Levant: Canada must address “political Islam”

Anthony points out that George Kennan's Long Telegram served as a blueprint for combating the spread of communism in the early Cold War era, and how the West must now develop a similar method to address "political Islam". (Rebel)

Lorrie Goldstein: More hot air from Trudeau

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s appointment Tuesday of a new climate change ambassador — actually Canada’s fifth although her duties will be slightly different from the previous four — is what the Liberals do best when it comes to climate change. That is, they have a never-ending supply of political announcements about climate change. This as opposed to actually lowering Canada’s industrial emissions linked to climate change in line with what Trudeau promised when he signed the Paris climate accord in December, 2015. (Toronto Sun)

Peter MacKay: Canada cannot afford to turn soft on terrorism. It still needs C-51

To mark the 150th anniversary of our Confederation and Sir John A. MacDonald’s vision of a strong, united Canada, the government is properly celebrating diversity, inclusivity and peace as signature Canadian characteristics. But we should not forget how we arrived at this historic moment. We should take the time to celebrate and commemorate the members of our Armed Forces, both past and present: courageous warriors who stormed Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach in a hail of bullets and flew perilous missions over the skies of Europe, and sailed above and below the treacherous waters of the Northern Atlantic and the English Channel. We must honour those who served in two world wars, Korea, peacekeeping missions, and, since 9/11, in Afghanistan and parts of the Middle East and Africa. We must celebrate as well the emergency responders who, throughout our history, have run into harm’s way as others flee. (National Post)

Jonathan Tepperman: Canada’s Ruthlessly Smart Immigration Policy

During a speech in Iowa last week, in the middle of his red-meat calls for a border wall and tougher immigration enforcement, President Trump called for something decidedly less sanguinary: “a total rewrite of our immigration system into a merit-based system.” This is one of the few consistent positions the president has held while in office; he called for a similar reform in his State of the Union address, months before. The real surprise, though, is his source of inspiration: Canada. (NY Times)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       N/A