True North Initiative: News Scan 08 07 17

TOP STORIES

False information sends asylum-seeking Haitians to Canada

Refugee advocates say many of the 58,000 Haitians living in the United States under temporary protection – which was granted after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and exempted them from deportation to the devastated country – began to look at options in May when the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump announced the status would end in January. Attention turned to Canada in June when false rumours spread that the country was automatically welcoming people with temporary protected status (TPS) in the United States. (Globe and Mail) (CBC)

Illegal border crossings could create 'urgent need' to revisit policy, Ahmed Hussen was warned in March

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen was warned in March that the flow of migrants entering Canada illegally risked turning into a larger problem — months before this week's surge of border crossings began, documents obtained by CBC News show. The briefing prepared for Hussen by his top bureaucrat in March noted the trends in illegal crossings were continuing "despite strong collaboration among Canadian agencies and with United States counterparts" and that a "major humanitarian or security event could create an urgent need to revisit existing policies." (CBC)

300 asylum seekers in one day: pressure point at the Canada-U.S. border

The federal minister of immigration is urging against "asylum shopping," as a surge of border crossings near Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., overwhelms police, border services and housing resources. "Canada is a very, very attractive destination right now for those seeking protection. We have always welcomed those in search of sanctuary. However, our position is also that if you are an asylum seeker seeking protection you should claim asylum in the first safe country that you land in and the United Nations supports our position because it's based on the principle that you shouldn't conduct asylum shopping," Ahmed Hussen told The House this week. (CBC)

Trudeau urges asylum seekers to use proper channels to enter Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, long an outspoken champion of Canada’s reputation for welcoming newcomers, added a bracing dose of reality Friday as he urged would-be migrants to respect the country’s border with the United States. Mr. Trudeau took pains to reassure Canadians that the country has the resources and the capacity to deal with the sudden spike in asylum seekers that have crossed into Quebec in recent weeks. (Globe and Mail) (Huffington Post) (Global)

Canada's immigration minister discourages 'irregular' border crossings by asylum seekers

Canadian Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen is discouraging asylum seekers trying to enter Canada from the U.S., urging them to apply in the country in which they first land. In an interview Friday with CBC, Hussen said "irregular" crossings at Canada's borders with the U.S. aren't a new phenomenon, but Canada doesn't want to promote the practice. "We discourage people from conducting irregular crossings of our borders," he said. "It's not safe, it's not something that we want people to do. We want people to claim asylum in the first country that they're in, which in this case is the U.S." (Yahoo)

Many refugee claimants will be refused: immigration lawyer

Many of the asylum seekers are Haitians who since the 2010 earthquake had been living under special visas in the United States, but illegally crossed into Canada in hopes of remaining here. That is not guaranteed by any means, especially since Canada ended its protected visa status for Haitians last year. (CTV)

How Isis attracts women and girls from Europe with false offer of 'empowerment'

Women and girls are joining Isis after being seduced by the terrorist group’s offer of a twisted version of “empowerment” for Muslims, a new report has found.  The research, by the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI), said the reasons that drove hundreds of women to journey from Europe to Isis territories were “complex”. Emily Winterbotham, the report’s co-author, said the use of the term “jihadi bride” to describe all female Isis members was reductive. (Independent)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Huddled masses at the border put difficult focus on Trudeau's tweet

About 60 kilometres north, Montreal's Olympic stadium — another national monument, bestowed upon Canada by a Frenchman — was being converted into a temporary sanctuary to accommodate the influx of those seeking asylum. Such scenes come seven months after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau famously tweeted a welcome to those yearning to be free. (CBC)

Ottawa gets an earful on proposed expansion of U.S. border pre-clearance powers

The Prime Minister's Office received a flood of emails opposing the government's bill to implement new pre-clearance measures at Canadian airports and other departure points following a CBC News story on concerns about the powers the bill grants to U.S. border agents, documents show. It's been eight months since the U.S. Congress passed its version of a law to implement the latest cross-border agreement with Canada. (CBC)

Montrealers rally outside Olympic Stadium to welcome asylum seekers from U.S.

Several hundred people shouted “refugees welcome!” in Creole as they gathered outside Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday to show support for the waves of asylum-seekers crossing the border from the United States. Members of the group stood on a hill near the entrance to the stadium, waving signs and balloons and chanting messages of welcome. (Toronto Star)

Flood of asylum seekers raises questions about Canada's readiness

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday in Montreal to show their support for the growing number of asylum-seekers who have flooded over the Quebec border in recent weeks, but questions are being raised about whether Canada is ready to handle the influx. Some of the people at Sunday’s rally outside the temporary shelter set up at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium once sought asylum in Canada themselves. Sidahmed Tfeil, who is from Mauritania, crossed the border from the U.S. in February and is now waiting for a work permit. (CTV)

Airports pay millions for extra security as passenger wait times grow

Wait times for passengers at airport security checkpoints have grown so long that at least two major airports are paying Ottawa millions of dollars for extra officers to help reduce the lineups. The international airports in Toronto and Vancouver have each signed contracts with the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) that give them additional screening resources, even as the agency absorbs another cut in its budget this year. (CBC)

Montreal professor renews legal effort to block Canadian combat vehicle exports to Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s apparent deployment of made-in-Canada combat vehicles against its own citizens last week is breathing new life into a legal challenge of the Canadian government’s $15-billion arms deal with Riyadh. Daniel Turp, a University of Montreal professor who took the Trudeau government to court last year, has written Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland saying he will forge ahead with a renewed effort to block combat vehicle exports to Saudi Arabia unless she takes action. (Globe and Mail)

Cheering Iraqis march arrested German ISIS teen through Mosul

Linda Wenzel, 16, who disappeared from Pulsnitz near Dresden in Germany on July 1 last year, was detained in Iraq, along with other female supporters of the group, after the Battle of Mosul, which saw ISIS fighters forced out of the ancient city. The new video shows a distraught Wenzel with her arms secured by armed men being escorted through the streets amid a crowd of cheering Iraqis. (Yahoo)

North Korea's 'No. 2' official strengthens ties with Iran as UN hits Pyongyang with new sanctions

Amid new international sanctions, North Korea's "No. 2" official embarked on a 10-day visit to Iran, a move that could result in the two sides expanding their ties. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea, arrived Thursday for the weekend inauguration ceremony for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (CNBC)

North Korea vows to retaliate against US over sanctions

North Korea has vowed to retaliate and make "the US pay a price" for drafting fresh UN sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons programme. The sanctions, which were unanimously passed by the UN on Saturday, were a "violent violation of our sovereignty," the official KCNA news agency said. (BBC)

North Korea: China urges neighbour to stop missile tests

China's foreign minister has told his North Korean counterpart that Pyongyang should stop carrying out nuclear and missile tests, hours after fresh sanctions were agreed by the United Nations Security Council. Wang Yi said he urged Ri Yong-ho to abide by UN resolutions in a meeting on Sunday in the Philippines. He did not say how Mr Ri replied. (BBC)

Foiled plot to blow up plane, unleash gas revealed in Australia

Police describe twin terror plots, one involving the bombing of a passenger plane and the other a potential poison gas attack, as the "most sophisticated" ever attempted on Australian soil. A senior ISIS commander sent parts -- including weapons-grade explosives -- by air cargo from Turkey intending to build an improvised explosive device, Australian Federal Police Deputy Commissioner National Security Michael Phelan said during a press conference Friday. (CNN)

MADURO VOWS 'MAXIMUM PENALTY' FOR ATTACK ON VENEZUELA BASE

President Nicolas Maduro vowed that a band of anti-government fighters who attacked a Venezuelan army base will get the "maximum penalty" as his administration roots out his enemies. Troops killed two of the 20 intruders who slipped into the Paramacay base in the central city of Valencia early Sunday, apparently intent on fomenting a military uprising, Maduro said in his weekly broadcast on state television. (AP)

LA made $1.3B in illegal immigrant welfare payouts in just 2 years

Illegal immigrant families received nearly $1.3 billion in Los Angeles County welfare money during 2015 and 2016, nearly one-​quarter of the amount spent on the county’s entire needy population, according to data obtained by Fox News. The data was obtained from the county Department of Public Social Services -- which is responsible for doling out the benefits -- and gives a snapshot of the financial costs associated with sanctuary and related policies. (FOX)

Spurred by Trump, States Battle Sanctuary Cities

A growing number of proposed state laws designed to crack down on sanctuary cities are putting local leaders in those municipalities on the defensive, forcing many to fight off measures they say could cripple their crime-fighting abilities and threaten economic growth. (NBC)

Israel to strip Arab attacker of citizenship for first time

An Israeli court has decided to strip an Arab Israeli attacker of his citizenship, legal sources said Monday, in what a rights group said was the first ruling of its kind. The Haifa district court decided to strip Alla Zayud of his citizenship Sunday by applying a 2008 law that allows the interior ministry to deprive of their nationality those involved in "terrorist activities", the sources said. (Daily Mail)

Israel seeks to silence broadcaster Al-Jazeera for 'incitement'

Israel said on Sunday it planned to close the offices of Al-Jazeera in the Jewish state, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Arab satellite news broadcaster of incitement. Netanyahu had said on July 27 that he wanted Al-Jazeera expelled amid tensions over a sensitive Jerusalem holy site. (Yahoo)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Canada's getting its very own sanctuary city crisis

Half a year ago, Justin Trudeau took to social media to invite the world’s aspiring refugees to come to Canada. In a not-so-subtle jab against our closest ally and trading partner, Trudeau’s invitation came on the same day that Donald Trump introduced his ham-fisted travel ban. In the weeks and months that followed, Canada experienced an unprecedented surge in illegal border crossing and asylum claims. (Toronto Sun)

Candice Malcolm: Scheer follows Trudeau down the feminist rabbit hole

Andrew Scheer, the new leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, dropped a bombshell in a recent interview with Chatelaine. WATCH my video to see why today's feminists actually strive for a world where men are obsolete, and why Scheer is misguided in his effort to become a watered-down Liberal. (Rebel)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trudeau’s unhidden agenda

The federal Liberals always used to talk about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “hidden agenda” to remake Canada in his image. So today, let’s discuss Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s open agenda to remake Canada in his. The first hint came when Trudeau told The New York Times Magazine in December, 2015, that, “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada,” which makes us “the first postnational state.” (Toronto Sun)

Daryl Copeland: Canadian foreign policy at mid-term: reset or recycled?

Almost two months ago, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland delivered a parliamentary address which set out her thinking on Canada’s place in the world. Her remarks, while unanticipated, were generally well-received, and the minister has enjoyed something of a cake-walk through the doldrums of summer in the aftermath. On deeper reflection, however, there are compelling reasons to conclude Freeland got off too lightly. Not unlike the popular perception of Canada’s recovering, if not exactly resurgent global position, her declaration deserves rather more critical scrutiny than it has been accorded to date. (IPolitics)

Campbell Clark: There’s no easy solution to Canada’s border problem

The latest spate of asylum seekers crossing the border over dirt paths in Quebec has once again sparked some, including Conservative politicians, to ask why Ottawa doesn’t press Washington to allow those people to be turned back to the United States. There is, after all, a deal in place with the Americans that allows Canadian border guards to turn back asylum seekers who arrive at official border crossings from the United States – but not in between them. Many have called for the Canadian government to close that “loophole.” (Globe and Mail)

Andy Semotiuk: Comparing Trump's Immigration Bill To The Canadian Merit-Based Model

In February, Senators Cotton (R-Arkansas) and Perdue (R-Georgia) introduced a bill that would have drastically lowered the amount of legal immigrants coming into the U.S.  from some one million per year to just 540,000. The bill floundered, but was resurrected recently with the support of President Trump.  It is still quite unlikely to pass through the Senate as long as the Democrats hold the possibility of a filibuster.  However, as it is backed by the President, it is a good place to start when discussing just what type of immigration reform might eventually emerge. (Forbes)

Steven Zhou: Canadians avoiding debate on role in war on terror

The war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, supposedly ended in triumph last month as the Iraqi president proclaimed the end of the "fake state," which had been driven out of their stronghold in Mosul, Iraq. Two weeks later, Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland approved a significant increase (from four to 20) in the number of Canadian police officers in Iraq to help train their Iraqi counterparts in an effort to help stabilize the war-torn country. (CBC)

Shannon Gormley: Selling weapons to abusers is wrong. Why don't Canadian politicians get that?

Canada, having allowed the sale of weapons to a regime that habitually abuses human rights, is shocked and appalled that this very regime has used Canadian-sold weapons to abuse human rights. Representatives of not one but two Canadian governments – a previous Conservative government that in its steadfast avarice struck a $15-billion arms deal with the devil, and a current Liberal government that in its flippant cynicism signed off on it – are, with great conviction, taking turns promising and demanding the most rigorous of investigations into the alleged war criminal they have each aided and abetted. (Ottawa Citizen)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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