True North Initiative: News Scan 07 13 17

TOP STORIES

Omar Khadr fights back at U.S. widow's efforts to go after his assets

The widow of an American soldier killed in Afghanistan has failed to show there's a real risk former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr is hiding his money as a way to avoid paying people he might owe, new court filings show. In urging Ontario Superior Court to dismiss a request for an injunction against Khadr, his lawyer argues Tabitha Speer and another former American soldier have not shown a strong case to back their demand for an urgent freeze on any money paid him by the federal government. (CTV)

Federal commissioners asked to probe Liberal-connected firm’s cash-for-access pitch

The federal ethics and lobbying commissioners are being asked to investigate whether a lobby firm for high-tech companies that is led by a former Liberal aide broke the rules by offering access to decision makers in exchange for a $10,000 yearly fee. NDP MP Nathan Cullen has asked the federal Ethics Commissioner to investigate, while advocacy group Democracy Watch has written to both the Ethics Commissioner and the Lobbying Commissioner. (Globe and Mail)

Registered to lobby Justin Trudeau? You can still make it into his ‘cash-for-access’ events

The Liberals promised to boot anyone registered to lobby Prime Minster Justin Trudeau from his fundraising events – which have been roundly criticized for providing special access to Trudeau and other ministers for anyone willing to pay – but some are still making it into the “cash-for-access” events. Since taking steps to increase the transparency of their fundraisers, Trudeau has been the “featured guest” at two – one in Montreal on May 4, and one in Vancouver on May 18. (Global)

Former astronaut Julie Payette to be named Canada's next governor-general

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appoint former astronaut Julie Payette as Canada’s next governor-general, picking the prominent Quebecker for the high-profile position rather than a number of aboriginal leaders who were also seen to be in the running, sources say. Senior federal officials pointed out that tradition calls on the Prime Minister to appoint a francophone to the post after the seven-year tenure of David Johnston and Liberals in Quebec are ecstatic with the selection, which will be announced in Ottawa on Thursday. (Globe and Mail)

The biggest spenders and thriftiest partisans in the House of Commons

How did MPs spend more than $141 million on their office budgets in the past year? Why did Canada 150 prompt some offices to obtain extra swag, and who were the biggest spenders overall? To answer these questions, the National Post did a deep dive into House of Commons data, based on complete expense reports for the 2016-17 fiscal year. (National Post)

Active duty US Army sergeant charged with support for ISIS

A US Army sergeant in Hawaii has been charged with attempting to provide material support to the so-called Islamic State group, the FBI says. Ikaika Erik Kang, 34, is an air traffic control specialist who has previously served in Iraq and Afghanistan. His lawyer told US media that he "may have some service-related mental health issues which the government was aware of but neglected to treat". (BBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

What 3 legal minds think about the Omar Khadr settlement

It has been a week since word leaked that the federal government had agreed to pay Omar Khadr a settlement of $10.5 million to resolve his civil suit over allegations of mistreatment and breaches of his charter rights. According to an Angus Reid Institue survey released Tuesday, many Canadians seem unhappy about the payment, but also seem to believe that Khadr has not been treated fairly. (CBC)

Atlantic Immigration Pilot uptake off to a slow start

When the Atlantic Immigration Pilot was originally announced in July 2016, a goal was set by the federal government to attract 2,000 skilled workers and their families to Atlantic Canada. As part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, the pilot is designed to fill labour gaps in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland and Labrador. (Global)

Five harsh realities of rising rates for savers and borrowers

Everyone has something to complain about as interest rates rise. There are no true winners – borrowers pay more, while returns for savers and cautious investors improve to pretty bad levels from the punitively awful. Here are five harsh realities of rising rates for both savers and borrowers: (Globe and Mail)

Federal funding reportedly extended to organization helping refugees settle in Peel

Government funding has been extended for a local program helping refugees resettle in local communities, according to a Peel Region official. The Peel-Halton Refugee Assistance Program (RAP) centre provides refugees, who recently arrived in Canada, with services that connect them to necessities such as accommodations as well as access to programs designed to address other immediate and long-term needs. (Brampton Guardian)

Trudeau looks to court U.S. governors as NAFTA talks loom

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's American charm offensive enters its next phase this week with a prime speaking spot at a national conference of U.S. governors, only weeks before renewed NAFTA talks with the Trump administration. As part of a continuing effort to make the case for free trade in a country that is drifting toward economic isolation, the prime minister will try to court allies among the governors in the event NAFTA renegotiation talks go sour. (CBC)

U.S. judge halts Iraqis' deportation until court review

A federal judge has halted the deportation of 1,400 Iraqi nationals, many of them Christians, while the orders to remove them from the U.S. are reviewed by the courts. Judge Mark Goldsmith issued a 24-page opinion asserting jurisdiction in the case over the objection of the Justice Department, which argued U.S. district judges do not have jurisdiction. (CBC)

President Erdogan tells BBC: EU wastes Turkey's time

Turkey will find it "comforting" if the EU says it cannot be accepted as a member, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told the BBC. Speaking to HARDtalk's Zeinab Badawi, he said Turkey was "able to stand on its own two feet". He also denied the country had jailed 150 journalists, saying only two people with press cards were in prison. (BBC)

Chinese trade with North Korea jumped 10.5% in the first half of this year, according to China Customs data

China's imports from North Korea dropped 13.2 percent in January-to-June to $880 million, data from Chinese customs showed on Thursday. Exports to North Korea rose 29.1 percent to $1.67 billion during the period, the data showed. China's trade with North Korea expanded by 10.5 percent to $2.55 billion in the six months. (CNBC)

Belgian face veil ban backed in European court ruling

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Belgium's ban on face veils does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. It was a ruling in a case brought by two women who wanted to wear the niqab veil, which covers all but the eyes. Belgium banned the wearing of partial or total face veils in public in 2011. (BBC)

2 Americans killed fighting ISIS near Raqqa

Two American men have been killed fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants as the terror group clings to its last urban stronghold, the terror group's de-facto capital city of Raqqa in Syria. (CBS)

Theresa May: I shed 'a little tear' at exit poll

The Prime Minister Theresa May has told BBC Radio 5 live that she shed "a little tear" after hearing the exit poll result on general election night. In her most honest interview yet about the election campaign, she told 5 live Daily’s Emma Barnett: "When the result came through, it was a complete shock… I felt, I suppose, devastated really.” (BBC)

Nice attack: Prosecutor calls for ban on Paris Match photos

The Paris prosecutor has called for Paris Match magazine to be pulled from newsstands after it published CCTV images of the 14 July attack in Nice. A lorry killed 86 people when it drove into crowds celebrating Bastille Day. The publication of the images has angered a victims' group, which accused the magazine of morbid sensationalism. (BBC)

Praying for the President: Evangelical pastor shares image of prayer circle laying their hands on Donald Trump's back in the Oval Office

This is the moment evangelical leaders laid their hands on Donald Trump's back as they prayed over him in the Oval Office. Evangelical pastor Rodney Howard-Browne led a prayer circle alongside his wife Adonica in the White House and then shared the image on Facebook. President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence can be seen closing their eyes and bowing their heads in the solemn moment. (Daily Mail)

  

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: Canadians know Trudeau got it wrong on Khadr

Canadians get it. Most think Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was wrong to compensate Omar Khadr, and wrong to do it in a secret deal. Now we have the public opinion data to show it. An Angus Reid poll found an overwhelming 71% of Canadians oppose the Trudeau government settling with Khadr out of court. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: When Canada meets with the Islamic world, who’s calling the shots?

You’ve got to wonder what was being said behind closed doors earlier this week by the Canadian delegation that attended a meeting of the world’s largest group of Islamic countries. Did everyone find common ground on the top issues of the day? Did we stand up for the progressive views Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is known and loved for around the world? Who was doing the lobbying and who got lobbied? (Toronto Sun)

The Rebel: Canadians united against Trudeau's Khadr payout

On last night's show, guest host Jerry Agar looked into a poll that shows Canadians from all partisan stripes are opposed to Justin Trudeau giving Omar Khadr $10.5 million. Omar Khadr fought with the Taliban during the War in Afghanistan. He threw a grenade that killed U.S Army medic Christopher Speer and wounded Captain Mike Silver. (Rebel)

Lorrie Goldstein: Liberals could have defended Khadr case

The Trudeau Liberals insist they had little choice but to settle with Omar Khadr for $10.5 million. This in light of Khadr’s $20 million civil suit against them and because the Supreme Court found in 2010 that the Jean Chretien and Paul Martin Liberal governments violated Khadr’s Charter rights to life, liberty and security of the person in 2003 and 2004. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: What are teachers REALLY telling your kids about terrorism?

An executive with the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation told the Star that government, school boards and teachers’ unions should train teachers how to have these discussions in the classroom. I’ve got a better idea: (Rebel)

Andrew MacDougall: Justin Trudeau places his trust in Omar Khadr

The long-term political impact of the Omar Khadr settlement depends principally on one man: Omar Khadr. If Mr. Khadr keeps his nose clean, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is likely to survive his decision to apologize and compensate the former child soldier and prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. If he does not, there could be hell to pay at the ballot box come 2019. That is a lot of trust to place in a young man who spent his formative years following his father around terrorist training camps and living cheek by jowl with some of the most crazed jihadis on the planet. (Globe and Mail)

Raymond J. de Souza: If Europe's elites think Trump's defence of Western liberty is 'racist, they'd have hated Churchill

President Donald Trump’s improbable speech in Poland last week — and the reaction to it — may be a signal moment in his presidency, not unlike the speech Barack Obama gave in Cairo in 2009.  Obama went to Cairo in the early months of his presidency to deliver an “address to the Muslim world.” It was a grand vision and values speech, the sort that presidents give to provide a framework in which to situate their policies. Obama proposed that a West animated by secular liberalism had no quarrel with the world of Islam. There was no clash of civilizations, in large part because there was no distinctive civilization on behalf of which Obama purported to speak. (National Post)

Michael Petrou: Defeating ISIS in Mosul is a victory for Iraq. The challenge will be making it last

If Osama bin Laden were still alive today, he might have watched the scenes of jubilation as Iraqi forces liberated of the city of Mosul from the so-called Islamic State this week and ruefully mused: "I told you so." Among the tactical and strategic differences that divided bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization from ISIS was his belief that the birth of a caliphate, or Islamic state, could not be rushed or forced. "If our state is not supported by the proper foundations," he wrote in 2010, "the enemy will easily destroy it." (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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