True North Initiative: News Scan 08 11 17

TOP STORIES

Somalis with criminal records coming to Canada from US, intelligence report warns

As the United States has stepped up deportations of Somalis with criminal records, some have crossed illegally into Canada and made refugee claims under false identities, according to an intelligence report obtained by Global News. The fear of deportation by U.S. immigration authorities appears to have driven some Somalis with criminal histories to travel north and illicitly cross the border to claim asylum, said the Canada Border Services Agency Intelligence Brief. (Global)

A Surge of Migrants Crossing Into Quebec Tests Canada’s Welcome

The crowd of asylum seekers who gathered the other day outside this city’s Olympic Stadium, their temporary home, hailed from across the globe. They had fled violence, poverty, persecution and, some say, President Trump, often with only a suitcase to their name and a wisp of hope that Canada will allow them to stay. They are part of a new surge of mostly Haitian migrants who have illegally crossed into Quebec by the hundreds every day over the past several weeks, walking over a ditch at the end of a dead-end road in upstate New York. They are seeking to benefit from a loophole in a treaty between the two countries that allows them to make refugee claims in Canada if they do not arrive at legal ports of entry. (New York Times) (Seattle Times)

More temporary shelters for asylum seekers added at Lacolle border crossing

A temporary camp erected by Canadian troops near the Lacolle border crossing is being expanded due to the continuing influx of asylum seekers. On Wednesday, nearly 100 troops were deployed to set up the tent village. Between 22 and 25 tents with flooring, heat and electricity were erected, a number that has since been increased to 32. In total, officials said the camp should be able to hold 500 people. (CTV)

Baloney Meter: Libs avoid triggering 'irregular arrival' of asylum seekers

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen was warned by his officials that irregular crossings across the Canadian border could be on the rise this summer, which would require him to rethink the way the Liberal government is handling the situation. But the minister said what his officials were talking about in the briefing note, which the CBC obtained under the Access to Information Act, was not the increased stream of asylum seekers crossing into Quebec from the United States in the last few weeks, but a "mass arrival" scenario. (Calgary Herald)

Ex-PM Paul Martin expresses regret about early phases of Khadr case

Former prime minister Paul Martin said he thinks a federal payout to Omar Khadr could have been avoided had Ottawa handled the situation differently from the start. Speaking after receiving an award in Halifax, Martin told The Canadian Press he wishes Ottawa had taken a different approach in the early stages of the Khadr case, but his own government had to work with the hand it had been dealt. (CBC)

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall retiring from politics

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall announced on Thursday he is retiring from politics after 14 years as the leader of the Saskatchewan Party.  Wall, 51, said he would stay on as premier until the party elects a new leader.  "Together with [my wife] Tami, I have decided that now is the time for renewal ­— for my party, for the government, for the province. It's time for me to retire from politics," Wall said Thursday morning in a video posted to Facebook. (CBC) (CTV)

Canadians in Cuba were also treated for hearing loss, Ottawa says amid U.S. probe of possible attack

Global Affairs Canada has confirmed at least one Canadian diplomat in Cuba has been treated in hospital after suffering headaches and hearing loss. The information comes a day after the U.S. government said it believed some of its diplomats in Havana had been targeted with a covert sonic device that left them with severe hearing loss. (CBC)

Trump escalates ‘fire and fury’ threat to N. Korea

Not backing down, U.S. President Donald Trump warned Kim Jong Un’s government on Thursday to “get their act together” or face extraordinary trouble, and suggested he had been too mild when he vowed to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the U.S. “Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough,” Trump said, in the latest U.S. salvo in an escalating exchange of threats between the nuclear-armed nations. (Toronto Sun)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada Struggles To Help Influx Of Haitian Asylum-Seekers From The US

The Canadian authorities had to redeploy immigration staff to tend to needs of asylum seekers from the United States, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada spokesperson Beatrice Fenelon told Sputnik on Thursday. Most of the refugees are Haitians who were admitted to the United States after the devastating 2010 quake, but whose legal status was unclear. (Normangee Star)

Supreme Court will not hear case of refugee who could lose status after return visit to Sri Lanka

Nilam first came to Canada in 2008 as a refugee from the Sri Lankan civil war, which ended in 2009. He became a permanent resident in 2011, but travelled back to his home country for two lengthy visits in 2011 and 2012, and got married during the second trip. Under the old rules still in place in 2011, he could have lost his refugee status, but as he was already a permanent resident, that would have had little impact. (National Post)

Statistics Canada to re-examine mystery surge of anglophones in Quebec regions

The group that represents Quebec English-speaking community groups says it's shocked by and skeptical of new Statistics Canada numbers that show a surge in the number of people who speak English as a mother tongue. If the latest census figures hold true, then in regional cities where French is predominant — including Rimouski, Rivière-du-Loup and Saguenay — the number of people who reported speaking English as a mother tongue has more than doubled since 2011. (CBC)

QUEBEC HAS REACHED ITS LIMIT FOR INTEGRATION “, SAYS FRANÇOIS LEGAULT

“When you look at the unemployment rate, which is 15 % for immigrants in the first five years, when we look at the learning of French, we see that we have already exceeded our capacity of integration”, explained Mr. Legault in an interview with TVA News on Thursday. The chief caquiste also reiterated the intention of his party to reduce the number of immigrants who are trying to rebuild their lives in Quebec. (Sherbrook Times)

Trans Mountain Pipeline is not in B.C.’s best interest says BC NDP government

The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is not in B.C.’s best interest says the BC NDP government. B.C.’s Attorney General David Eby, along with Environment Minister George Heyman made the announcement on Thursday at a press conference. “We are committed to use every tool to defend B.C.’s coast [from] threat of tanker traffic,” said Heyman. (Global)

TAREK FATAH’S CAMPUS TALK CANCELLED 10 DAYS BEFORE EVENT

Political commentator Tarek Fatah’s Aug. 10 campus talk was cancelled by Ryerson 10 days prior, without any explanation. Fatah was scheduled to speak on behalf of the Canada Indian Foundation (CIF) as part of a speaker series, that has now been relocated to Sheridan college. According to executive director of CIF, Vipul Jani, there is confusion regarding why Sheridan is open to hosting the event, but Ryerson is not. (Eye Opener)

Over 170,000 foreign terrorists fighting in Syria

At least 170,000 foreign terrorists have fought under different banners throughout Syria’s civil war, all of whom were summoned with no other mission but to suppress the will of the Syrian people, according to Syrian Academician Dr. Ibrahim Salqini. (Yenisafak)

Saudi Arabia's Unprecedented Crackdown Complicates Trump's Mideast Hopes

Saudi Arabia is engaged in an unprecedented domestic military operation that has worsened sectarian tensions long ignored by Washington, raising concerns about Western support for the U.S.-friendly government the Trump administration has pulled especially close and the ripple effect the crackdown may have on an already fractured Middle East. (Huffington Post)

Second Unit of Yazidi Women Fighters Moves Into Raqqa to Crush ISIS

A second unit of Yazidi women fighting under the Syrian Democratic Forces has been deployed into Raqqa, fighting not only to defeat the Islamic State in their declared capital but to avenge the genocide and abuse perpetrated on their people. It's been three years since ISIS launched their campaign of terror against Yazidis in northern Iraq, branding the followers of the ancient gnostic faith as devil worshippers. Yazidis have been murdered, from executions to being buried alive or starving to death, and abducted, with some 7,000 women and girls sold into sexual slavery. (PJ Media)

Migrant crisis: Spain arrivals triple compared with 2016

Three times as many migrants have arrived in Spain so far this year compared to the same period in 2016, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) says. It means the number of sea arrivals in Spain - at 8,385 - could overtake Greece, which has had 11,713 people. (BBC)

Japan moves missile defence system into central Tokyo

Japan has wheeled missile defence systems into the heart of Tokyo after North Korea threatened to send a volley of rockets over the country towards Guam. Pictures show how a PAC-3 Patriot missile unit has been moved in to a compound at the Defence Ministry in the capital after officials said they could shoot down North Korean rockets if they pass overhead. (Daily Mail)

China's WeChat, Weibo and Baidu under investigation

China says it is investigating its largest social media platforms - Weibo, WeChat and Baidu Tieba - for alleged violations of cyber security laws. The Cyberspace Administration said people had been using the three platforms to spread terror-related material, rumours and obscenities. The breaches "jeopardised national security," the administration said. (BBC)

Al-Qaeda hostages McGown and Gustafsson talk of time in Sahara

Stephen McGown watched the swallows migrate back and forth across the Sahara six times before he was finally rescued from the grip of Islamist extremists. In that time, he only truly feared for his life on three occasions - all of them within the first panicked months which followed his kidnap from a hotel in Timbuktu. (BBC)

Thousands of North Korea's top military officials march in support of Kim Jong-un

Thousands of North Korea's top military officers have marched through Pyongyang in a show of support for their dictator Kim Jong-un as the country issued yet more threats against the 'reckless and hysteric' US. Pictures show organised lines of men from the country's armed forces cheering and raising their fists during the parade, in front of the capital's Fatherland Liberation War Victory monument. It comes days after tens of thousands of placard-waving civilians staged a similar rally in the city. (Daily Mail)

Chinese paper says China should stay neutral if North Korea attacks first

If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea's government China will stop them, a Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday. President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric toward North Korea and its leader on Thursday, warning Pyongyang against attacking Guam or U.S. allies after it disclosed plans to fire missiles over Japan to land near the U.S. Pacific territory. (Reuters)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Anthony Furey: A nuclear-free North Korea is the goal, however impractical

On Thursday, President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to North Korea should they keep talking about an attack on the U.S. territory of Guam. Problem is, they are doing just that. We also learned Thursday that a plan for the rogue state to fire four intermediate range missiles into Guam is being prepared and, according to state media, will be presented to Kim Jong-un within a matter of days. (Toronto Sun)

William Watson: People are sneaking into Canada because we've basically told them to

Let me get this straight. If you show up at a Canada Border Services Agency post on the world’s longest undefended border and ask to come in as a refugee, we say: “No, you’re already in the U.S. Apply in the U.S. It’s a civilized place with which we have an agreement on these matters.” But if you then go to one of the thousands of truly undefended parts of the border and cross over illegally, we arrest and detain you but then do allow you to apply for refugee status. In other words, ring the doorbell and we won’t let you in, but come in through the bathroom window and you’ll find dinner and your room waiting for you. And that’s true even if the formerly undefended bits now actually are defended, in the sense that the RCMP has set up a booth and tents to observe and process your entry, which they arrest you for but don’t try to prevent.  (Financial Post)

Andrew MacDougall: Will Haitians force Trudeau into being hard-hearted?

What was once a slow trickle of bodies from the United States to Canada threatens to become a steady flow. And instead of Muslims fleeing the imprecise scope of Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” across the Manitoba border, it’s now worried Haitians who form the majority of those seeking sanctuary this summer in Quebec. (Toronto Star)

Globe editorial: Don’t fear Ottawa’s new border preclearance law

In a perfect world, law-abiding travellers would move across the Canada-United States border quickly and seamlessly. But in a perfect world, there would also have been no 9/11, and the threat of terrorism wouldn’t exist. Those realities have created a tension between the Canadian desire to speed people across the border with minimal delay, and the American desire to carefully screen every visitor. Which is why the Trudeau government’s proposed Preclearance Act, which aims to write into law an agreement signed two years ago between the Harper government and the Obama administration, is so controversial, and so necessary. (Globe and Mail)

Mark Bonokoski: Wine, women and cops in the rear-view mirror

The hipster Trudeau Liberals, determined to see pot legalized before there is even a court-validated method of judging marijuana’s impairment factor, now wants to see women convicted for the indictable sin of having one glass of wine. Experts who know their way around a breathalyzer contend the majority of women who imbibe a single glass of vino would likely end up in custody if the legal drinking limit for driving was reduced to 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood from its current 80 mg. (Toronto Sun)

Farzana Hassan: The challenge of fundamentalism in Pakistan and around the world

Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy of Pakistan is a professor of physics but he often lectures in various parts of the world on the state of Islam. At a venue in Mississauga he recently presented his ideas on the rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan. According to the internationally known scholar and commentator, the rise of fundamentalism in Pakistan stemmed from years of colonial rule and a desire to be perceived as distinctive from predominantly Hindu India. (Toronto Sun)

Colby Cosh: Brad Wall could be the most successful Canadian politician alive, period

Let me be the first to propose the silly-but-I-sort-of-half-believe-it theory of Brad Wall’s retirement from politics. It is, perhaps at least partly, about his son’s music career. Wall’s kid Colter (you’ll notice that classic Western Hockey League first name) is a talented country singer-songwriter whose first full LP came out this summer. He is on a pretty clear path to American stardom, and the “songwriter” part of his resume is a potential gold mine (potash deposit?) in a time that has made it difficult to profit from physical records. (National Post)

Rick Moran: Is It Already Too Late to Stop North Korea?

In the wake of this shocking report in the Washington Post on North Korea's nuclear and ICBM program being far more advanced than we previously believed, Foreign Policy published an article by one of the premier nuclear experts in the U.S. that essentially says the game is over and North Korea has won. (PJ Media)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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