True North Initiative: News Scan 07 27 17

TOP STORIES

Man convicted in Via Rail terror plot expands his appeal

Schizophrenic terrorist Chiheb Esseghaier is appealing his life sentence for masterminding a plot to derail Via Rail train because he was delusional when he received the harshest penalty in Canadian law, his court documents stated. “When I filed my original notice of appeal, I was very ill. I suffer from schizophrenia,” stated Esseghaier in documents filed at the Ontario Court of Appeal on Wednesday. (Toronto Sun) (Global) (National Post)

Conservatives say Trudeau's Rolling Stone cover jeopardizes NAFTA talks

The Conservatives are accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of putting the NAFTA talks in danger by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in an article that portrays him as the anti-Donald Trump. The Prime Minister’s Office, however, calls the suggestion that Mr. Trudeau is jeopardizing free-trade talks “absurd” and claims the article reflects a good working relationship between Canada and the United States. It’s the latest tit-for-tat between the parties for their appearances in American media, which started last week when the Conservatives mounted a cross-border campaign to criticize the Trudeau government’s decision to pay $10.5-million to former Guantanamo inmate Omar Khadr. (Globe and Mail)

Trump Says Transgender People Will Not Be Allowed in the Military

President Trump abruptly announced a ban on transgender people serving in the military on Wednesday, blindsiding his defense secretary and Republican congressional leaders with a snap decision that reversed a year-old policy reviled by social conservatives. Mr. Trump made the declaration on Twitter, saying that American forces could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender service members. He said he had consulted generals and military experts, but Jim Mattis, the defense secretary, was given only a day’s notice about the decision. (NY Times)

Defence officials struggling with details of Liberal tax-break promise

National Defence is struggling to make good on one of the Trudeau government's recent promises: giving tax breaks to military personnel and police officers deployed on recognized overseas operations. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the measure during a major speech at the Royal Military College in May as part of the Liberals' new defence policy. Sajjan billed the move as an attempt to recognize the sacrifices that are often made by military personnel and their families, but it also addressed what had been a prickly issue for the minister. (CTV)

Canada promotes recruitment of transgender troops as Donald Trump imposes military ban

As U.S. President Donald Trump pushes a new policy to banish transgender Americans from the military, Canada is taking steps to promote diversity in the ranks and recruit more gay, lesbian and trans troops. Jordan Owens, spokesperson for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, said the government is fully committed to building a defence team that "reflects Canadian ideals of diversity, respect and inclusion." (CBC)

Canada to beef up police presence in Iraq after fall of Mosul

Canada plans to send more police officers to Iraq to advise and train their counterparts as the war-torn country gradually moves from military to police control of newly liberated areas, including the city of Mosul. The Liberal government will shortly announce a significant increase in its authorized police contingent in Iraq, to 20 officers from the current four, CBC News has learned. (CBC)

Avoid southern Philippines: Western governments

Western governments are warning their citizens against travelling to nearly all of the southern third of the Philippines, citing the rising threats of terror attacks and kidnappings by militants. Fresh alerts from Britain, Canada and Australia were released this week after President Rodrigo Duterte extended military rule across the southern region of Mindanao until the end of the year to combat the militants. The Canadian advisory on Monday (Jul 24) warned against visiting any part of Mindanao except for Davao, the biggest city in the south. (Channel News Asia)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

A few things in Rolling Stone's profile of Justin Trudeau that were just plain wrong

The backlash came swiftly for writer Stephen Rodrick after he walked down a path few foreign journalists can venture without enduring widespread ridicule: writing a magazine profile of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Much of the social media commentary Wednesday morning focused on the laudatory tone of the 6,500-word Rolling Stone article, riddled with pointed comparisons to U.S. President Donald Trump. Others judged the magazine by its cover, which features a portrait of Trudeau, tie loosened and sleeves rolled up, and the headline: “Why Can’t He Be Our President?” (National Post)

Monte Lake evacuation order issued as wildfire closes part of Highway 97

An evacuation order has been issued in the Monte Lake area amid news of a wildfire burning near Martin Mountain. The order affects a number of properties located inside Electoral Area “L” of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, said a Wednesday news release. (Global)

Ontario Provincial Police lose drone, ask public to help find it

Ontario Provincial Police say one their drones is missing and are asking the public to help them find it. The OPP says one of its operators was conducting a test flight of the drone in a remote area of Southwold Township in Elgin County on Wednesday afternoon following a software update. (Global)

Financially strapped legal service for B.C. immigrants gets temporary federal help

A program that provides free legal services to B.C. immigrants and refugees has been given a temporary reprieve after the federal government provided it with a $386,000 emergency cash injection. The services provided by the Legal Services Society, were set to be suspended on August 1st due to a lack of funding. The program is now set to continue until at least mid-November. (CBC)

Americans denied permanent residency because of daughter's special needs

A U.S. family of six who have built a business in Canada want to stay here but have been denied permanent residency because of the potential costs of treating the youngest child's health problems. The Warkentin family came to Canada from Colorado in 2013 to operate an outfitting business in Waterhen, 275 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg. Their work permits to run their hunting and fishing lodge will expire in November. (CBC)

Hamas Ruled a Terrorist Organization by European Court of Justice

Radical Islamist movement Hamas has been officially declared a terrorist organization by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) after judges in the European Union’s most senior court ruled the group should remain on an EU-wide terror blacklist. (Breitbart)

Israel removes Jerusalem flashpoint security apparatus

Muslim leaders have lifted a boycott of a key holy site in East Jerusalem after Israel removed the last of the security measures which had led to uproar. They urged Palestinians to re-enter the compound on Thursday for the first time since the crisis erupted two weeks ago. (BBC)

Nasa plans to build a new plane that could halve flight times

For all its reputation as a miracle of motion at the forefront of all things travel, supersonic aviation is both mired in the past and weighed down by a future laden with question marks. Not since Concorde was removed from service in October 2003 has a commercial airliner flown at beyond the speed of sound. And with the retirement of the great Anglo-French jet, the concept of soaring through the air at faster than 761mph has increasingly become a fragment of yesteryear - a ghost of some golden age that is deemed unlikely to return. (Telegraph)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau a feminist? Prove it, Prime Minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada’s top feminist, once said the government should avoid using the term “barbaric” to describe cultural violence against women — including spousal abuse, female genital mutilation and so-called “honour killings”. Back in 2011, as the Liberal immigration critic, Trudeau said using these terms was “pejorative,” overly “judgmental” and that the government should make an “attempt at responsible neutrality”. Apparently, we shouldn’t offend people who beat their wives, mutilate young girls and kill female members of their family. (Toronto Sun)

Terry Glavin: Has Canada just given up – and decided to join with Beijing?

“There is a saying that if you can’t beat them, join them.” That was the telling choice of words former Liberal cabinet minister Martin Cauchon settled on back in November 2011 in greeting the news that Huawei Canada, the subsidiary of an opaquely governed Chinese telecommunications conglomerate long encumbered by its reported links to China’s military and intelligence services, was beefing up its Ottawa operations thanks to a $6.5-million Ontario government grant. (Ottawa Citizen)

Michelle Malkin: Mexico owns border death truck tragedy

A Florida truck driver isn’t the mastermind of the human smuggling ring that led to the grisly deaths of 10 illegal immigrants in his rig, which authorities found at a San Antonio Walmart over the weekend. He’s just a cog in the machine. The accused driver, James Matthew Bradley, may now face the death penalty for transporting up to 100 people crammed in the trailer of his 18-wheeler. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Who’s really colluding with Putin? The environmentalists who killed BC’s LNG project

Yesterday, the largest investment in Canadian history was cancelled. $36 billion: Not Canadian taxpayers money, either, like Trudeau’s giveaways to Bombardier. No, a company wanted to build natural gas wells, pipelines to the west coast, the facilities to put the gas on special ships and ship it to Japan, China, Korea and India. (Rebel)

C.P. Champion: 'New' citizenship guide shows Liberals are the copy cats

It is no surprise that the Trudeau Liberals intend to replace the Conservatives’ citizenship test study guide this year for Canada’s 150th, or more likely sometime next year, or whenever it’s ready. The only surprise is that it’s taking them so long. After all, there’s very little about it that needs to change. Indeed, the whole idea of changing it, and the ideas they’re including in it, are borrowed from more original thinkers. (National Post)

Andrew Scheer: Justin Trudeau had a choice on Khadr settlement

Justin Trudeau seems to have found a new defence for his choice to make a convicted terrorist one of the wealthiest men in Canada. After first blaming the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, then the Supreme Court, then the previous government, Trudeau is now saying the Government of Canada could pay now, or it could pay later. Omar Khadr, according to the Liberals, was going to get his millions either way. (Metro)

Andrew MacDougall: The Tories have failed to turn the Khadr payout into a political win

How powerful are Justin Trudeau’s “sunny ways”? Not even the dark cloud of paying Omar Khadr a $10.5-million settlement, it seems, can obscure them. A clear majority of Canadians might oppose the payout to the former Guantanamo Bay inmate, but a second poll released in the wake of the government’s decision confirms they haven’t yet transposed their opposition to support for the Tories, with the Liberals retaining all of their healthy lead over the anti-Khadr Conservative opposition. (Macleans)

Mark Bonokoski: Bob's your aunt, as long as she's not G.I. Bob

What possessed Donald Trump, out of the blue, to suddenly tweet Wednesday that transgender individuals would once again be banned from serving “in any capacity” in the U.S. military? To deflect, most likely. To change the media channel away from Russia meddling and their alleged collusion in the Trump campaign. It worked, but not for long. (Toronto Sun)

Vince Cable: Theresa May's disastrous immigration targets pushed the UK into an uncertain Brexit – things are set to get much worse

In much the same way as the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand was the trigger, if not the underlying cause, of the First World War, the adoption by the Conservatives of an unattainable immigration target triggered the demands for tighter control of EU immigration which is leading not merely to Brexit but to extreme forms of exit by leaving the single market. (Independent)

Toronto Star: Trudeau government must limit length of time unwanted migrants can be detained

This week’s federal court ruling that the indefinite jailing of immigration detainees does not necessarily violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms should not be confused with an endorsement of Canada’s broken detention regime. The court acknowledged that our system, which too often leaves unwanted migrants, convicted of no crime, languishing in maximum-security prisons for years at a time, is in need of reform. The Trudeau government should follow through on its promise to adopt a better approach to applying the law. (Toronto Star)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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