True North Initiative: News Scan 07 03 17

TOP STORIES

 

Justin Trudeau ‘jealous’ of immigrants and families who chose Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he is “jealous” of immigrants to Canada and their families, who, he said, have more of a stake in the country than others. “Anytime I meet people who got to make the deliberate choice, whose parents chose Canada, I’m jealous,” he said in an interview that aired Friday morning on CTV. “Because I think being able to choose it, rather than being Canadian by default, is an amazing statement of attachment to Canada.” (Global)

Justin Trudeau fails to mention Alberta in Canada Day 150 speech

To celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech to a cheering crowd in Ottawa Saturday, highlighting the diversity and kinship of all the provinces and territories. However, he failed to mention one major Canadian province in his speech — Alberta. “We may live in British Columbia, Yukon, the Northwest Terrirtoes, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia or Newfoundland or Laborador…but we embrace that diversity while knowing  in our hearts we are all Canadians,” he said to during his speech at Rideau Hall. (Global)

Demonstrators clash at border crossing over Trudeau's immigration policies

A demonstration held by a self-described “Ultra-Nationalist” group at the Canada- U.S. border crossing took aim at the Trudeau Government’s immigration policies. But another group, ready to counter-protest, arrived first. Dozens of activists from Solidarity Across Borders lined the Roxam Road border crossing in Hemmingford hours before members of the Ultra-Nationalist group Storm Alliance arrived. (CTV)

Canadians oppose sale of high tech firms to Chinese investors: poll

An overwhelming majority of Canadians oppose the sale of two domestic technology companies with military customers to Chinese investors and believe these takeovers should be a top priority for national-security reviews, according to a new public opinion survey. Despite these concerns, a poll by Nanos Research found a slight majority of Canadians favour the Liberal government’s pursuit of a bilateral free-trade agreement with Beijing. More than half of Canadians say the level of “friendliness between China and Canada is right.” (Globe and Mail)

Canadian among injured in NYC hospital shooting

One of the victims injured in a shooting at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York City is a Canadian, CTV News has learned. Dr. Justin Timperio, 29, from St. Catharines, Ont., was shot Friday at the Bronx hospital along with six others when an ex-doctor, Henry Bello, went on a rampage. Timperio was shot twice and sustained liver and kidney damage, his father, Luciano Timperio, told CTV News. He was sedated on Saturday night and has not been awake since the shooting. (CTV)

Canadian Immigration Consultant Sentenced In Smuggling Case

A 38-year-old Windsor woman has been sentenced a five-year scheme to smuggle illegal immigrants into Detroit. The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Iram Jafri, a Canadian immigration consultant, on Friday was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $200,000 fine. She pleaded guilty in February. Federal officials Jafri spent years enriching her bank account by obtaining and selling phony visas to those wanting to live in the U.S. (CBS)

North Carolina man sentenced in failed ISIS terror attack

A man who plotted to shoot hundreds of people on behalf of the Islamic State group received a life sentence Tuesday in a case that prosecutors say illustrates the dangers of Americans radicalized through social media. Justin Nojan Sullivan, 21, received the sentence in federal court in Asheville after pleading guilty late last year to the foiled plot to attack a nightclub or concert and film it for distribution on terrorist sites. (Toronto Sun)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

High number of women failing citizenship test reflects barriers they face, advocates say

Born in India to Tibetan parents in exile, Tsesang Wangmo never went to school until she was sponsored to Canada in late 2013 by her husband, who arrived in Toronto earlier under Ottawa’s refugee sponsorship program. The 39-year-old woman immediately enrolled herself in English classes, began working as a cleaner at a downtown office building by night, and took a second cleaning job on the weekend to support her family — her husband is also a labourer. (Toronto Star)

International students in B.C. could be in fake marriage schemes

The newspaper ads in India are the visible tip of a booming underground industry in fake marriages involving would-be international students. The prize for the “spouse” whose family buys an instant marriage with a foreign student is back-door access to a full-time job in Canada and a fast-track to citizenship. The matrimonial ads normally promise that the foreign students’ sham marriage, plus all travel and study expenses, will be paid for by the Indian families who are determined to have their son or daughter emigrate. (Saskatoon Star Phoenix)

'We stay together': Guatemalan family in Edmonton granted deportation reprieve

Ten days before a deportation order would have split apart a Guatemalan family of seven living in Edmonton, the phone rang. Nely Picon Duarte picked it up, then started crying. Her family's deportation has been delayed two years so their immigration paperwork can be processed, she learned Friday. (CBC)

Parliament Hill Canada Day festivities soured by tight security

Canada’s big birthday bash on Parliament Hill was marred by a slow security-screening process that stranded thousands of partygoers in snaking and chaotic lineups. Fears of terrorism meant there was airport-level security to get on the Hill, with all visitors going through a metal detector and having their bags searched by hand. But the lineups were largely improvised, going up and down Wellington and Bank streets, with members of the public mostly policing themselves. (Globe and Mail)

Canada 150: Highlights from across the country

As thousands of partygoers congregated on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to watch Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday at the nation’s biggest bash, Canadians from across the country found other unique ways to mark the momentous occasion. On the East Coast, approximately 75 early risers kicked off the festivities with a pre-dawn cruise off the coast of Newfoundland to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean. (CTV)

Trudeau heads to Europe for G20 balancing act between Trump, Merkel

Justin Trudeau is embarking today on a week-long European sojourn that will culminate in a meeting of 20 of the world's largest economies -- one where he'll test-drive a brand new foreign affairs policy aimed at charting Canada's own course in the world. Friday's G20 meetings are shaping up as a showdown between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.S. President Donald Trump. In a speech last week to the German parliament that laid out her priorities for the meeting, Merkel -- host of the two-day gathering in Hamburg -- delivered a pointed critique of Trump's now-infamous "America First" doctrine without ever once mentioning his name. (CTV)

Liberal Senator urges colleagues to stand up against government pressure on voting decisions

Cabinet ministers’ “systematic lobbying” of Senators on government legislation could undermine the independence of the Red Chamber and it’s up to each Senator to ensure they maintain independence in their voting decisions, says a Liberal Senator from Quebec. “You have to use that vote for the purpose for which you’re called in the Senate, which is to exercise, advise, and consent on the basis of an independent point of view and examination of the bills or measures that are put to debate,” Sen. Serge Joyal (Kennebec, Que.) told The Hill Times last week. (Hill Times)

Tory leader Andrew Scheer comes to Atlantic Canada

New federal Conservative leader Andrew Scheer says he recognizes his party has a lot of rebuilding to do in Atlantic Canada but he’s up to the challenges. The former house speaker and Regina-Qu’Appelle MP won the leadership in late May in a shocking upset of what many considered would be an easy victory for Maxime Bernier. In his first major tour as leader, Scheer is trekking with his five-kid family across the Atlantic Provinces. He visited New Brunswick on Friday, spent Saturday in Charlottetown for Canada 150 celebrations, and will be in Nova Scotia Monday and Tuesday. He’ll then head to Newfoundland on Wednesday before heading back home Thursday. (Chronicle Herald)

Canadian lawyers celebrate Canada Day by fighting back against Donald Trump’s travel ban

While many Canadians gear up to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday, hundreds of lawyers from coast to coast are prepared to devote their time to those banned from entering the country’s closest neighbour. A coalition of legal volunteers are on standby to assist those impacted by the travel ban against residents of six majority Muslim countries. (Global)

20 years after handover, has the Hong Kong experiment failed? From Vancouver, it can look that way

Twenty years after the Hong Kong handover, the mood in Vancouver is far from celebratory for some of the city’s dwindling population of HK-born residents. Is their decidedly grim view across the Pacific clouded by a subconscious effort to reinforce the correctness of their choice of home? Historian Dr Leo Shin, 49, is the convener of the University of British Columbia’s Hong Kong Studies Initiative. The project, to teach, discuss and study issues related to the city, was launched this year with a symposium, “Hong Kong: 20 Years After”. (South China Morning Post)

South China Sea: China calls USS Stethem warship 'a provocation'

Beijing has called the presence of a US warship near a disputed island in the South China Sea "a serious political and military provocation". The USS Stethem sailed close to Triton Island, part of the Paracel Islands archipelago, claimed by China and others. China responded by sending military vessels and fighter jets to the area. (BBC)

Turkey bans Trans Pride march in Istanbul but organisers defiant

Turkish authorities on Saturday banned transsexual rights activists from holding a planned march in Istanbul, the country's largest city, this weekend, a week after police used rubber bullets to thwart a Gay Pride parade. Organisers however vowed to press ahead with the Trans Pride March, planned for Sunday afternoon, despite the ban. (Yahoo)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: It's a great privilege to be Canadian

Canada is the best country in the world, and being Canadian is the greatest privilege one can obtain. There are so many reasons to be proud and patriotic, so many reasons to love Canada and to embrace the big celebrations of Canada’s sesquicentennial. One of my favourite things about Canada – and it’s a very long list – is our proud and historically successful tradition of welcoming newcomers. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Canada’s at a crossroads – let’s make the right choice

Happy Canada Day! Our national celebrations are an interesting one this year. And not just because we’ve hit the major milestone of 150. But also because our country’s sesquicentennial is happening at an interesting time in world affairs. There are curious schisms going on in the world today. There are also equally curious ways to interpret these happenings. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: There's a new counterculture emerging on campuses and free speech is at the front lines

Hallelujah, the pushback has begun. For a couple of years it seemed like campuses across North America were descending into a fact-free realm of moral and cultural relativism. Everything was about trigger warnings, owning your privilege and cisgenderism (if you don’t know that last one, trust me, you’re better off for it). (Toronto Sun)

Campbell Clark: Campaign to get public behind Canada-China trade deal smacks of elitism

The campaign to sway public opinion behind a Canada-China free-trade deal is all proceeding according to plan, as long as the plan was to make it look like policy wonks, CEOs and government officials are plotting to tell ordinary Canadians what’s best. Maybe you can’t draw a lot of lessons about Canadian attitudes to trade from U.S. President Donald Trump’s election or the Brexit referendum. But it should still be clear you don’t want to emulate the failed pro-EU Remain campaign, which fought against Brexit by commissioning thick policy briefs, getting business leaders to make strident warnings and generally looking like elitists telling ordinary folks what was good for them. (Globe and Mail)

Stephen Harper: Canadians should reflect upon how fortunate we are. There is simply no better place to live

While it may be tempting to congratulate ourselves for this blessed state of affairs, our gratitude should instead go to those who came before us and built so much of what we have. It starts with acknowledging the leadership and wisdom of Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier and their colleagues. Coming together in a time of great danger, they constructed a system that would allow British, French, Aboriginal and Immigrant to unite, while preserving their unique institutions, languages, cultures and faiths. That achievement is, despite the youthfulness of our country, one of the most enduring models of democratic governance in the world today. (National Post)

Toronto Sun: ISIS is down in Iraq, but not destroyed

Last week, the Islamic State suffered a major blow in Mosul. The Iraqi government, backed by its allies, took back the site of the mosque where Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi first announced his so-called caliphate three years ago. It was an important symbolic victory in the largely successful fight to take back the city. Yes, the West and its Iraqi allies are winning. “But together with its Syrian holdings IS still occupies an area the size of Belgium,” The Economist reported Friday. “And in Iraq, the jihadists still hold enclaves east and west of Mosul, at Huwaija and Tel Afar respectively, as well as much of the Iraqi border down to the Euphrates. In liberated territory, sleeper cells are already awakening, including inside Mosul itself.” (Toronto Sun)

John Snobelen: Free thinking needed as much as free speech

There has been a lot of discussion in recent days over the issue of free speech. The issue isn’t really the ability to speak freely. Heck, lots of people seem to be able to say completely crazy stuff with impunity. Earlier this year Syed Hassan, who apparently is a social justice activist, whipped up a Toronto crowd by screeching, “We must be the enemy that sow terror in their hearts.” (Toronto Sun)

Matthew Fisher: Canada's top soldier talks about the Canadian Forces' challenges in the years to come

These days, Canada’s top soldier is consumed with implementing the initial phases of the Defence Policy Review published by the government on June 7. But never far from his mind is how to defend Canada and its strategic interests. From where Gen. Jonathan Vance sits atop Canada’s military pyramid, the review and geo-strategic concerns were inextricably linked. The reason the policy review earned relatively little negative feedback after its release is, he believes, because Canadians understand the world is becoming a much more dangerous place, and the country needs to prepare for that by spending more on the armed forces. (National Post)

Azeeah Kanji: Calling Islamophobic violence ‘terrorism’ won’t make Muslims safe

In response to criticisms that the term “terrorism” is applied almost exclusively to violence by Muslims, political leaders have been quick to describe recent acts of violence against Muslims as “terrorism” too. Justin Trudeau condemned Alexandre Bissonnette’s shooting spree at the Centre Culturel Islamique de Quebec in January as a “terrorist attack”; British Prime Minister Theresa May likewise denounced Islamophobia as a type of “extremism” after Darren Osborne’s fatal assault on Muslim worshippers outside a mosque in Finsbury Park last week. (Toronto Star)

Thomas Walkom: Trump doesn’t hold all the cards in NAFTA talks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ill-considered efforts to mollify Donald Trump continue apace. The decision to keep sending Canadian soldiers to the war in Iraq is just the latest version. The federal government’s entire defence posture and much of its foreign policy is focused on convincing the U.S. president that Canada is a loyal American ally. Ottawa’s hope is that if Trump thinks Canada is pulling its weight militarily, he will order his negotiators to go easy on this country during the upcoming North American Free Trade Agreement talks. (Toronto Star)

Tom Parkin: Canada's middle class shrinks — let’s talk about Trudeau’s socks

The average Canadian wage is falling behind inflation and the distribution of Canadian income is becoming more unequal. Isn't that a news story? Statistics Canada reports the average Canadian wage in May 2017 was $25.88 an hour—just 33 cents up from May 2016, a paltry 1.3% increase. It’s below the inflation rate, which stands at 1.6%. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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