True North Initiative: News Scan 07 24 17

TOP STORIES

Liberals overhaul citizenship test: Barbaric cultural practices out, respecting Indigenous treaties in

Respecting treaties with Indigenous Peoples, paying taxes and filling out the census are listed as mandatory obligations of Canadian citizenship in a draft version of a new study guide for the citizenship exam. The working copy obtained by The Canadian Press suggests the federal government has completely overhauled the book used by prospective Canadians to prepare for the test. (National Post) (CTV)

9/11 victim's wife disgusted by $10.5M Khadr deal

The widow of a Toronto businessman killed in the World Trade Centre on 9/11 says its sickening that the Liberal government has allowed terrorist Omar Khadr to play the victim card and collect $10.5 million. Maureen Basnicki’s husband, Ken Basnicki, was in New York City on business when he was killed in the North Tower on Sept. 11, 2001. She says the “imbalance in the justice system” reared its ugly head with Khadr’s Las Vegas-like payout. (Toronto Sun)

'We need him': Yazidi mother pleads for Canada's help to reunite with injured son

A Yazidi refugee who escaped Iraq with four of her six sons is pleading for Canadian officials to reunite her with her 12-year-old son Emad, whom she only recently learned is alive. An Islamic State attack in August 2014 separated Nofa Mihlo Zaghla from two of her sons and her husband. She and her four other sons escaped to Winnipeg in February. An image of Emad surfaced online last week, showing the boy dazed, emaciated and covered in dust. Later, a video emerged showing Emad pleading to come to Canada. (CTV)

Illegal crossings at Quebec border hit new high, drop in Manitoba

Illegal border crossings in Quebec hit their highest level of the year in June, according to new data released by the federal government on Friday afternoon. During that month, the RCMP intercepted 781 individuals attempting to cross into the province from the United States between official ports of entry and claim asylum. That number greatly exceeds the month of May’s tally of 576, and even the previous monthly high for the province, which was 672 crossings in April. (Toronto Sun)

Flow of asylum seekers crossing into Canada from U.S. rises in June

The number of asylum seekers walking across the U.S. border into Canada rose in June after dropping in the previous two months, according to government figures released on Friday. There were 884 refugee claimants who crossed the border between formal crossings and were picked up by Royal Canadian Mounted Police last month, bringing the total for the first half of 2017 to 4,345, the data showed. (Reuters)

Accused terrorist a no-show in court

Rehab Dughmosh refused to show up for her court appearance where she faces multiple federal terrorism charges for allegedly attacking customers and staff at a Scarborough Canadian Tire with a golf club and butcher knife. Dughmosh, who said on an earlier occasion she didn’t want to attend court and doesn’t believe in the Canadian justice system, apparently told jail guards she didn’t want to leave her cell, court heard. (Toronto Sun) (CBC)

An Ontario court has just affirmed that cultural norms that excuse violence have no place here:

The woman, a recent immigrant from Iran, suffered brutal spousal abuse but didn’t even realize it was against the law. After moving to Canada in 2009 her husband forced the woman, whose identity is protected by the court, to have sex with him by hitting her, pulling her hair, pinching her and forcefully removing her clothes. “She cried out quietly so the children would not hear,” court was told. He also slapped, kicked and punched their two sons and hit them with a belt. Once he locked them outside the house on a snowy winter day wearing nothing but shorts and T-shirts until their mother came home and rescued them. (Toronto Star)

Unity test begins in Alberta after big win for conservative merger

Even a massive vote in favour of unity doesn’t guarantee a smooth road ahead for Alberta’s small-c conservatives. The provincial Wildrose and Progressive Conservative parties announced this weekend that their members had voted strongly in favour of unification, with the Yes side winning 95 per cent in each party. Concern about vote-splitting on the political right won out over past grudges between the two parties. The decisive unity win alters Alberta’s political landscape, with many of the province’s conservatives clearly making the defeat of Rachel Notley’s New Democratic government in the 2019 election their main goal. (Globe and Mail) (Edmonton Journal)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Waiting game ‘agonizing, frustrating’ for refugee claimants wanting to live in Canada

The year Sebastian Commock spent waiting for his refugee hearing was the most “agonizing, frustrating” year of his life. “I’m still not fully recovered from that year, and that was just one year,” he said. With his own experience of being in limbo behind him, Commock has turned his attention to refugee claimants who’ve been waiting five years — or in some cases more — for hearings to decide whether they can remain in Canada. (Toronto Star)

Cautious glimmer of hope for Canadian pastor held 900 days in North Korea

Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim has been in North Korean detention since January 2015.

That was 900 days ago. And counting. The leader of Mississauga’s Light Presbyterian Church went missing during a humanitarian mission in a northern region where Lim was so well-known for his charity work, he’d been granted a frequent access visa. (Metro)

Canadian special forces to get new vehicles later this year

Officials with Polaris say they are track to deliver their DAGOR vehicles to Canadian special forces later this year. The contract calls for a total of 52 vehicles to be delivered in total. There is an option for 26 additional vehicles. Those would be delivered sometime in 2018 if that option is exercised. (Ottawa Citizen)

Canadian military aircraft have not flown in Syria for weeks: commander

Canadian military aircraft involved in the fight against Islamic State militants have not flown over Syria for the past few weeks, though a senior officer denied any links Friday to Russian threats. Tensions erupted last month after Moscow warned that it would track allied aircraft operating west of the Euphrates river in Syria as potential targets in retaliation for the U.S. shooting down a Syrian government jet. (CTV)

Federal government to supply more funds for B.C. wildfire response

The federal government is promising more funding to support residents affected by raging wildfires in British Columbia as some of the thousands of people displaced prepare to return home. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said the government will supply $600 per household evacuated due to wildfires and $300 for their eventual return — funds that will be managed and distributed by the Canadian Red Cross. (Canadian Press)

Trudeau 'not working hard enough' on NAFTA file, says Scheer

The leader of the Official Opposition is calling out Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for "mishandling" the North American Free Trade Agreement file, less than a month before negotiations with the U.S. and Mexico get underway.  "I've always been worried about Justin Trudeau's attitude towards trade. We saw during the softwood lumber negotiations that he failed to get an extension while president Obama was still in office," said Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer in an interview with CBC Radio's The House. (CBC)

How the West is winning the war on terror

Given all the rhetoric during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign that portrayed the so-called Islamic State as the mortal enemy of our time and Islam a “cancer”, it may come as a bit of a surprise that the U.S. State Department doesn’t quite agree with that assessment. Every year since 2005, the American equivalent of Global Affairs Canada has published its Country Reports on Terrorism, a compendium of all things terror-related that it is required to put out by law. Its 2015 report was understandably gloomy. ISIS had locked down territory in Iraq and Syria while collecting affiliates from Afghanistan to West Africa. The 2016 version by comparison is remarkably, and unexpectedly, upbeat. (Macleans)

List of IS fighters who may attack Europe 'circulated by Interpol'

A list of 173 suspected Islamic State fighters - possibly trained to launch suicide attacks in Europe - has reportedly been circulated by Interpol. The world's largest police organisation believes the fighters may seek to "build and position improvised explosive devices in order to cause serious deaths and injuries". (Sky News)

Four German women could face death penalty for joining ISIS

At least 18 foreigners arrested by Iraqi authorities on suspicion of fighting for ISIS could face the death penalty, Iraqi officials said Saturday. They’re among 26 non-Iraqis placed into custody since “terrorists were cleared” from the northern city of Mosul after it was retaken from ISIS last month. The group includes a 16-year-old girl from Germany who ran away to marry a Muslim Arab ISIS member she met on social media. (NY Post)

Sean Spicer Resigns as White House Press Secretary

Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned Friday after telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with his appointment of Anthony Scaramucci, a New York financier, as his new communications director. After offering Mr. Scaramucci the job on Friday morning, Mr. Trump asked Mr. Spicer to stay on as press secretary, reporting to Mr. Scaramucci. But Mr. Spicer rejected the offer, expressing his belief that Mr. Scaramucci’s hiring would add to the confusion and uncertainty already engulfing the White House, according to two people with direct knowledge of the exchange. (NY Times)

Israeli father, son and daughter stabbed to death in West Bank home

Three Israelis were killed and another was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Halamish on Friday night when a terrorist broke into their home and began stabbing the family as they ate their Shabbat dinner. The IDF said a Palestinian assailant killed a man and two of his children, while his wife was badly wounded and taken to hospital. The man’s grandchildren were present but not harmed, the army said. (Times of Israel)

'Ruthless human smugglers' blamed for deaths of 9 people left in a truck in 100-degree Texas heat

In an incident the local police chief described as a “horrific” human trafficking tragedy, 39 people were found in and around the trailer in a parking lot off Interstate 35 in San Antonio, about 150 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border. Eight men were pronounced dead at the scene early Sunday morning and are believed to have suffered from heat exposure and asphyxiation, police spokeswoman Romana Lopez said. Another man died later at a hospital, bringing the toll to nine. (LA Times)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trump needs to take lead on dealing with Iran

Donald Trump once said the nuclear deal with Iran, drafted and signed by the Obama Administration, was the “worst deal ever negotiated.” Trump vowed to “rip up” the deal as soon as he took office. So much for that. This week, Trump re-affirmed the U.S.’s commitment to the deal and certified Iran’s compliance with it. Trump let it be known, however, that he still believes it’s a bad deal – “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated” – and that Iran was violating the spirit of the agreement. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: The Left labels Omar Khadr “a typical Muslim”

What the left doesn't realize is that portraying Khadr as a typical Muslim is an insult to the majority of Muslim-Canadians who condemn jihad terrorism. WATCH my interview to hear why Candice thinks the left-wing elite are out of touch with Canadians on this issue. (Rebel)

Anthony Furey: Let’s not forget there was once talk about charging Khadr here in Canada

There’s been a touch of historical revisionism under way the past few weeks concerning how we talk about the Omar Khadr case. Not so much around what’s been actually said, but what’s being left out: that instead of having a public apology in hand, Khadr could have just as well have been left with a serious criminal record instead. (Toronto Sun)

Douglas Todd: Why Canadians need to debate immigration economics

In the face of an unspoken taboo against seriously debating immigration policy in Canada, Jeram says the time has come for Canadians to start openly discussing the migration issues they’ve been avoiding. Housing, employment, urban congestion, the welfare state and training are all affected by Canada’s immigration policies, says Jeram, who has a PhD from the University of Toronto, the city in which he was born and raised. (Vancouver Sun)

Michael Taube: The travesty of rewarding a terrorist

n July 2002, Omar Khadr was accused of throwing a hand grenade and killing a U.S. Army combat medic, Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer, on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Khadr was ultimately captured, linked to al Qaeda (reportedly through his father’s connections), pled guilty, and sat in a Guantanamo Bay jail cell before being repatriated by Canada in 2012. For most Americans, this was probably the last thing ever heard about Khadr. Until now. (Washington Times)

Mark Bonokoski: Liberals punted on 1st down with $10.5M Omar Khadr settlement

When Peter Kent wrote the opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that tipped off sleeping Americans to the Omar Khadr payoff, he wrote not as a Conservative MP but as the journalist he once was. This is why it resonated so strongly, and suddenly became the top news item on many U.S. networks and provoked so much outrage among American commentators over Khadr’s $10.5-million payday, despite the news being two weeks old. Good writing will do that. Political talking points won’t. (Toronto Sun)

Roy Green: If they chose ISIS over Canada, now what?

It was reported this week that two young women, reportedly Canadian, were captured in a tunnel beneath the Iraqi city of Mosul in the company of approximately two dozen additional women. The group included five Germans, three Russians, three Turks, a Chechen and six from Libya and Syria. (Global)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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