True North Initiative: News Scan 07 14 17

TOP STORIES

Judge rejects widow's bid to freeze Omar Khadr’s assets

An Ontario Superior judge has refused a request to freeze the reported $10.5-million settlement given to Omar Khadr last week by the federal government, saying the lawyers for his alleged American victims haven’t proven a need for such a “Draconian” order. Justice Edward Belobaba said he found no “real risk” that Khadr is sheltering or dissipating his windfall to avoid paying the US$134-million wrongful death judgment won against him in a Utah court by Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris. (Toronto Sun)

Khadr free to spend his millions after victims' unsuccessful bid to freeze assets

Omar Khadr is in desperate need of some PR advice. Or a heart. Once again, he’s missed another opportunity to dampen some of the outrage out there. Maybe his team believes it’s not even worth trying to win the hearts of Canadians — as a recent Angus Reid poll revealed, 71% of us feel the Liberal government made the wrong call by settling out of court with Khadr to the tune of a reported $10.5 million for the violation of his Charter rights while he was held at Guantanamo Bay as a teen terrorist. (Toronto Sun)

Former PM Stephen Harper reaches out to Khadr victim

First it was a Toronto Sun reader buying a full-page advertisement to apologize to Omar Khadr’s victims for the eight-figure settlement he received from the Canadian government. Now former prime minister Stephen Harper has reached out to the families to express his outrage. (Toronto Sun)

PM Trudeau says Khadr settlement troubles him, but could have cost more

Justin Trudeau says he shares the concerns of Canadians who object to reports of the government's multi-million dollar settlement with Omar Khadr. But the prime minister says if the government hadn't settled with the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, it would have cost the government as much as $30- to $40 million to put an end to the case. "I can understand Canadians' concerns about the settlement. In fact, I share those concerns about the money. That's why we settled," Trudeau said Thursday. (CTV)

Federal Court voids Canadian citizenship revocation for 312 people

The Federal Court has nullified government attempts to strip Canadian citizenship from more than 300 people after an earlier judgment struck down key provisions of the Citizenship Act introduced by the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper. Several of the cases involved clients of Nizar Zakka, a Montreal immigration consultant who created a system to hide the fact that the clients were not residing in Canada for the required two-year minimum within a five-year span. (Globe and Mail)

Alleged Toronto hostage taker Michael Storms discussed ‘bullets’ with Pakistani terrorist group member: CBSA

A Toronto man arrested after allegedly taking three women hostage last month was once caught in police surveillance talking with a member of a Pakistani terrorist group about bullets, according to documents obtained by Global News. Michael Storms, 35, was an “acquaintance” of Muhammad Aqeeq Ansari, a Pakistani national whom Canadian immigration authorities deported two years ago on the grounds he was a terrorist group member, the documents indicate. (Global)

Family sues U.S. after 11-hour detention at Canadian border, blames terrorist watchlist

The family of six say they were stopped at the Canadian border on their way back home to Minnesota. They handed over their U.S. passports and the children’s birth certificates to a border patrol officer and waited in the car. Moments later, they say three border officials emerged from their office, guns drawn and pointed at the family. The children started screaming. (National Post) (Washington Post)

Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit

Five intelligence officers and analysts with Canada’s spy service have launched a $35-million lawsuit against their employer, claiming the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is a toxic workplace with managers who openly espouse Islamophobic, racist and homophobic views and discriminate against Muslim, Black and gay employees. The allegations contained in a 54-page statement of claim — filed in Federal Court and obtained by the Toronto Star — provide detailed accusations from inside one of the country’s most secretive organizations. (Toronto Star) (Metro)

U.S. soldier arrested for being ISIS sympathizer may have believed in 9/11, moon landing conspiracies

A U.S. soldier accused of wanting to commit a mass shooting after pledging loyalty to the Islamic State group believed the moon landing was faked, questioned the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and thought the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were an inside job coordinated by the U.S. government, according to a former Army bunkmate. (Global)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Omar Khadr's legal battles could last for years

Omar Khadr may have won the first round in a fight over the enforcement of a $134-million US judgment against him, but his legal ordeal could stretch on for years, possibly ending up at the Supreme Court. "Mr. Khadr could very well have a long road ahead of him before the courts in Canada," said Matt Latella, a Toronto-based litigator with Baker & McKenzie who specializes in cross-border proceedings. (CBC)

Trudeau feels blowback from $8m Khadr settlement

Fifteen years after being captured, Omar Khadr is still a lightning rod for the Canadian conscience. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's decision to give C$10.5m ($8m; £6m) to the former Guantanamo Bay prisoner has proved divisive, even in his own party. Meanwhile, a lawsuit from an American soldier's widow continues to draw the case out. Canadian-born Khadr, 30, was captured in 2002 in Afghanistan at the age of 15, and spent a decade in Guantanamo. (BBC)

'Unquestionably qualified': Ex-astronaut Julie Payette formally introduced as Canada's next GG

Former astronaut Julie Payette says she is embracing her new role as Canada's next governor general with humility, love of country and a promise to work for all Canadians. "I'm here to serve all Canadians of all backgrounds, of all walks of life, whether new or not so new," she said. Payette expressed gratitude for having a second chance to serve her country, and said it will be a pleasure to meet and interact with Canadians from coast to coast to coast. (CBC)

Trudeau won't recuse himself from hiring of new lobbying watchdog despite ongoing investigations

Justin Trudeau will not recuse himself from the hiring process for the next lobbying commissioner, even though the current one is investigating two fundraisers that wealthy lobbyists held for the prime minister. On Thursday Postmedia confirmed that lobbying commissioner Karen Shepherd is still investigating an August 2015 fundraiser held for Trudeau by billionaire Barry Sherman, the chairman of pharmaceutical giant Apotex. She is also still investigating an August 2014 fundraiser held for Trudeau by a co-founder of Clearwater Seafoods. Both Apotex and Clearwater are registered to lobby the Prime Minister’s Office. (National Post)

Republican governor says NAFTA brings benefits on 'both sides of the border'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will make his NAFTA pitch to U.S. governors today — but several state leaders, including some Republicans, are already signalling that they see significant value in ensuring trade ties stay strong. The early stages of renegotiating the decades-old trade deal could start as early as next week. (CBC)

Paris tightens security on Bastille Day, Donald Trump guest of honour

Paris has tightened security for its annual Bastille Day parade, which this year is being opened by American troops with President Donald Trump as the guest of honour to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I. Two hours before the parade Friday, the famed Champs-Elysees avenue was emptied as was the Place de la Concorde with its golden-tipped obelisk. The wide boulevard has been targeted repeatedly by Islamic extremists, most recently last month when a man crashed his car into a convoy of gendarmes. (Global)

Israeli police killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site

Two Israeli policemen have been killed and a third wounded in a shooting attack near a sacred site in Jerusalem. They were shot by three Israeli Arabs close to the compound known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). Police chased the attackers into the site and shot them dead. (BBC)

Liu Xiaobo: China rejects foreign criticism over dissident's death

China has rejected international criticism for not allowing its most prominent critic, Liu Xiaobo, to be treated abroad for liver cancer. It said the case was an internal affair and that other countries were "in no position to make improper remarks". The activist, who had been serving an 11-year prison term for "subversion", died in a hospital in China aged 61 (BBC)

  

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES 

Candice Malcolm: A Jihadist Hits the Jackpot

When former president Barack Obama initiated efforts to implement his pledge to close Guantánamo Bay and transfer its detainees to U.S. and foreign prisons, he started a cascade effect that has boosted the global jihadist insurgency. The most recent example of the impact of Obama’s foreign policy comes from just across the 49th parallel. On the Fourth of July, news broke that an Obama acolyte—Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—would offer a historic settlement and official apology to a former Guantánamo Bay inmate. Trudeau’s Liberal government secretly awarded C$10.5 million to Omar Khadr, a man convicted of war crimes and the murder of an American soldier; Guantánamo’s youngest detainee is now 30 years old and living in Edmonton, Alberta. (Weekly Standard)

Anthony Furey: The Khadr blowback isn't going away anytime soon

There’s really been nothing like it in recent Canadian political history. The blowback against the decision to award Omar Khadr millions is immense. And it shows little sign of going away any time soon. First there was the initial gut reaction, when Canadians learned what was then a rumour of the $10.5 million pay-out. They were frustrated and angry that a teenager who’d been fighting for the other side would be awarded millions when the families of our own soldiers injured or felled in battle walk away with much less. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Refugee policy and the quality of mercy

Recent media reports have underscored the plight of some 5,500 “forgotten refugees” in Canada, whose cases have remained in limbo since December, 2015. That’s when the former federal Conservative government introduced new timelines for upcoming cases, but left these old cases unresolved. This affects many people who arrived in Canada in 2012, or earlier. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Trudeau to hand $241M tax dollars to Bill and Hillary Clinton

he Liberal government is planning to hand over $241.5 million to the Clinton Foundation for the supposed purpose of helping girls and women around the world. But one of the main accomplishments of the Clinton Foundation has been to enrich the Clintons. (Rebel)

Ezra Levant: The Rebel in Iraq: After ISIS defeat in Mosul, what’s next for Christians?

As we continue our reporting from a Christian refugee camp in Erbil, Iraq, news comes that ISIS has been defeated in Mosul. I believe this represents the beginning of the end for ISIS, but so much of this was unnecessary. Obama's haste to pull troops out of Iraq created the vacuum that allowed ISIS to grow. (Rebel)

John Ivison: Canada's rocket woman personifies image to which Liberals aspire

For a government that operates as if it were making the movie version of itself, the appointment of Julie Payette as Canada’s next Governor General is perfect: she is straight out of central casting. “She is trained to fly fighter jets, has two engineering degrees, has sung with the Montreal Symphony and became one of the most respected astronaut leaders in what was then still a very macho top-gun world of NASA,” said one former Canada Space Agency colleague. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       N/A