True North Initiative: News Scan 07 25 17

TOP STORIES

No need to fear influx of refugees into Quebec, UN says

Given the proven track record of the province and country to accommodate newcomers into their global mix, including the most recent influx, Quebec need not fear an inundation, said Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the representative in Canada for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which works to settle those displaced by war, violence, disaster or persecution. In fact, both Canada and Quebec should bring in even more refugees, for their own benefit and for those in need of safe haven.  (Montreal Gazette)

Canada Day security 'disaster' means the terrorists won, says former Ottawa mayor

Former Ottawa mayor Jim Durrell has blasted the “faceless bureaucrats” responsible for the “unmitigated disaster” of Canada Day, saying the long lineups under the guise of security meant the terrorists won. In a lengthy and impassioned speech to Monday’s assembled Police Services Board, Durrell, who serves as the board’s vice-chair, made clear his comments were not meant as a criticism of the various forces providing security that day. (Durrell’s son is an RCMP officer who was working downtown on July 1.) (Ottawa Sun)

'I'm on Team Human now': U.S. vet says he's glad he saved Omar Khadr

For years the battle-hardened and decorated American veteran wrestled with his conscience, with whether he'd done the right thing in saving the life of Omar Khadr, seen by many as a terrorist who profited from his crimes. Now, watching the furor over the government's $10.5-million payout to Khadr from afar, Donnie Bumanglag wants to tell his story, offer a perspective born of bitter experience -- one he admits may not be popular with many Canadians, or even some of his own former comrades in arms. (CTV) (CBC)

Israel removes flashpoint metal detectors at holy site

Israel has removed metal detectors from outside a holy site in East Jerusalem after uproar from Palestinians over their recent introduction. Israel's security cabinet voted early on Tuesday to remove and replace them with less obtrusive surveillance. There were deadly clashes after the metal detectors were set up, which Palestinians saw as an Israeli attempt to assert control over the site. (BBC)

Who is Linda Wenzel? German Teenager Who Joined ISIS 'Wants To Go Back Home'

German teenager Linda Wenzel, who joined the Islamic State group — also known as ISIS — in 2016, and has been detained in Iraq, said she was regretting joining the terrorist organization and wanted to go home and meet her family. Four German women including Wenzel, who belongs to a small town of Pulsnitz near Dresden, were being given consular assistance in a prison in Iraq. However, the details such as where she was found have not been revealed, Guardian reported. (IB Times)

“Expert” lauds proposal to remove ‘patronizing’ duty to ‘get a job’ from citizenship study guide

Immigration advocates are applauding the federal government’s potential move to remove “getting a job” as a responsibility for immigrants to Canada. “It almost seems insulting to include that as a responsibility, when that’s exactly what most immigrants want,” said Amy Casipullai, a senior co-ordinator for policy and communications with the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. (Global)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Nova Scotia had 13 hoax terrorism incidents in 2016, the highest in Canada

Welcome to Nova Scotia, home to Peggy’s Cove, Canada’s Atlantic Fleet and for 2016, hoax terrorism. With 13 incidents in the province last year, Nova Scotia had the highest number of incidents and the highest rate per 100,000 people out of any province in Canada. That’s more than double any other province that year, with Quebec experiencing only six incidents of hoax terrorism. (Global)

Canadian defence deal with Azerbaijan raises new questions about arms export controls

A deal by a Canadian company to export armoured personnel carriers to Azerbaijan and set up a joint production of these military-style vehicles in the oil-rich former Soviet republic is once again raising questions about the efficacy of Canada's defence export controls. (CBC)

Canadian dollar hits 80-cent US mark amid further signs of economic strength

The loonie hit 80 cents US on Monday, a level it hasn't closed at in more than two years, against a weakening in U.S. currency and amid further signs of a strengthening Canadian economy. The Canadian dollar, which ended up with an average trading price of 79.92 cents US, up 0.23 of a cent, has been steadily climbing over the last two months. (CTV)

Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John Horgan to discuss pipeline project, wildfires in first meeting

The debate around the future of the planned TransMountain pipeline expansion in British Columbia could intensify today when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets new B.C. Premier John Horgan for the first time. Horgan was sworn into office late last month after an unprecedented photo-finish election that saw former premier Christy Clark’s short-lived minority Liberal government defeated and Horgan’s NDP take over with the backing of the Green party. (Global)

Driver Charged After Several Immigrants Die In Hot Truck

The small, family-owned Iowa trucking company linked to the deadly case of immigrant smuggling in Texas has a history of safety and tax violations and financial problems, public records show. Pyle Transportation Inc. failed to pay federal employment and trucking taxes for years, faced lawsuits from Iowa labour regulators over unpaid wages owed to drivers and has been ordered to pay major penalties for violations of federal safety rules, records show. The IRS and others who say the company owes them money have often found no assets available to garnish. (Huffington Post)

Yazidi girl held captive by Isis reveals she was raped every day for six months

A Yazidi girl who escaped from the Islamic State (Isis) has told of how she was raped every day for six months by her captor. Ekhlas, who was 14 when she imprisoned, tried to escape jihadis in northern Iraq by climbing Mount Sinjar but was caught and held as a sex slave. In 2014, Isis began to target the Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish group, which Isis believes are “devil worshippers”. (Yahoo)

Iran's tech sector blooms under shield of sanctions

The names may be unfamiliar but the services are immediately recognisable: Snapp is Iran's answer to Uber, Digikala is its Amazon, and Pintapin its Booking.com. US sanctions have protected the Islamic republic's tech sector, barring Silicon Valley from profiting from one of the world's most promising emerging markets, and giving a free run to domestic start-ups to recreate their services. (Yahoo)

China and India Locked in 'Eyeball-to-Eyeball' Border Standoff

China and India, two nuclear-armed powers with a combined population of 2.7 billion, have been in an “eyeball-to-eyeball” military stand-off over territory in Bhutan, a kingdom in a remote area of the Himalayas, since mid-June. The flare-up, one of the most serious since China won a border war in 1962, comes as the two rising powers jostle for regional influence. The current dispute is near a three-way junction between Bhutan, China’s Tibet and India’s Sikkim. (Bloomberg)

Hunt continues for chainshaw-wielding attacker in Switzerland

A man suspected of wounding five people with a chainsaw was still on the loose Tuesday, and a massive manhunt was taking place on the Swiss-German border. All-night searches for the suspect, 51-year-old Franz Wrousis, accused of attacking two employees of a health insurance company in their office in Schaffhausen’s old town on Monday morning, were unsuccessful, Swiss police said in a statement. (Global)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Anthony Furey: Omar Khadr solidarity campaign?! You've got to be kidding me

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. A registered third-party group previously committed to defeating former prime minister Stephen Harper has now turned its attention to getting Canadians to show some love for Omar Khadr. “I stand with Omar Khadr” is the latest campaign from activist group Leadnow. They’re calling on Canadians to sign a petition to show their solidarity with the former al-Qaida enthusiast. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Liberals' citizenship guide overhaul is all ‘feel good’

The Liberal government’s reported changes to Canada’s citizenship guide appear to be yet another instance of politically correct, feel good signalling winning over pragmatic public policy. A draft version of the new guide, as reported by the Canadian Press, reveals Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has “completely overhauled” the study document used by prospective citizenship applicants preparing for their test. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Spare me the lecture, Justin

'Justin Trudeau’s little lecture about what happens in Canada should stay in Canada, and not dished out to American ears, is a bit rich coming from someone who was posing for Vogue magazine within hours of being sworn in as prime minister. It was also a bit rich, and incredibly disingenuous, to call the controversy sweeping the country over the Liberals’ $10.5-million payout to Omar Khadr nothing more than a “domestic squabble.” The vast majority of Canadians remain outraged. (Edmonton Sun)

Ezra Levant: My 10-point report card on Trump’s first six months as president

Tonight, let's ignore the Media Party narrative about "chaos" and "Russia," and look at real things instead: What has Trump accomplished since his inauguration, and what promises has he failed to keep? Number one is Trump’s first appointment to the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, because the Supreme Court writes more of America’s laws all the time. (Rebel)

Douglas Todd: Why Canada needs to debate immigration

Simon Fraser University political scientist Sanjay Jeram is bravely going where few Canadian scholars — and virtually no politicians — dare to go. 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. (The Province)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Female genital mutilation is child abuse — and we're not doing enough to stop it

Female genital mutilation is one of the most horrific abuses that can be perpetrated on a young girl. It involves the excision of the clitoris, cutting of the labia and, in its most extreme form, sewing the vaginal lips shut. It has no medical benefits, and can lead to severe infection, urinary incontinence, complications in childbirth, death and — in all cases — extreme and unimaginable pain. All in the name of “purity”, of making a girl suitable for marriage by removing her ability to feel pleasure during sex. (IPolitics)

Rick Gibbons: Gibbons: Tories' Khadr tactics may backfire for all of us

As insulting as the Trudeau government’s mishandling of the Omar Khadr payout was for most Canadians, the Conservatives managed to compound things last week with their own ham-fisted, self-serving attempt to exploit it south of the border. Hey, I’m with most Canadians in believing Justin Trudeau deserves to pay a hefty political price for his government’s mishandling of the case (oddly, polls suggest otherwise). But let’s keep this fight at home and among Canadians. Why intentionally incite Americans and their dangerously unpredictable president, unless you’re willing to risk wildly unintended results? (Ottawa Sun)

Ahmed Sahi: What drives Canadian youth to adopt jihad?

Who could have ever imagined a time in Canada when the “boy next door” could become a radicalized extremist who’s headed abroad for jihad? According to CSIS, more than 120 Canadians have now gone overseas to join various terror groups. Just last week, two Canadians were among 20 women and girls recently captured by Iraqi forces hunting for ISIS militants in Mosul — once again highlighting the strong allure possessed by ISIS, and the phenomenon of youth radicalization. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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