True North Initiative: News Scan 08 16 17

TOP STORIES

More than half of Canadians think Ottawa isn’t in control of refugee issue in Quebec

As the number of refugees crossing the border into Quebec continues to balloon in 2017, a new poll shows that the majority of Canadians are skeptical of the government’s control of the situation. New numbers released by Quebec’s Immigration Department show that in the first six months of 2017 more people entered made refugee claims in Quebec than in all of 2016. (Global)

Asylum seekers entering Quebec on the rise: immigration department

The influx of asylum seekers entering Canada continues to grow. Quebec’s Immigration Department has released new numbers showing that 6,580 people entered the country and made claims in Quebec in the first six months of the year. That’s more than the 5,505 who made similar claims in all of 2016. 2,785 are currently being temporarily housed in the greater Montreal area. (Global)

New York City councillor visits Montreal to report back to Haitian constituents

As a Haitian-American city councillor, New York City Councillor Dr. Mathieu Eugene has been a champion for immigrants in the United States for a decade. With news that Haitian asylum seekers are streaming through the Quebec border, his work has now brought him to Canada. He’s visiting Montreal to gather information for Haitian asylum seekers fleeing the U.S., fearing the government will soon deport them. (Global) (CBC)

Conservatives Criticize Trudeau For Border Crisis

Canada’s official opposition says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is “politicizing” Canada’s immigration and refugee system to a dangerous degree. Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel told The Daily Caller that Trudeau “wants it both ways” by sending out two seemingly contradictory messages: Canada’s borders are open, but please respect the border as you walk across. (Daily Caller)

Toronto woman charged with terror-related offences refuses to appear in court

A Toronto woman who was charged with terror-related offences following an alleged golf club attack at a Canadian Tire store has refused to appear in court for the second time. Security officers told the court Tuesday that Rehab Dughmosh refused to leave her holding cell for a scheduled appearance before a judge. The officers didn’t want to physically remove her without a court order. (CTV)

Anger as Irish must pass English-speaking test to become Canadian

Young Irish immigrants in Canada have expressed their annoyance at being forced to undertake an English-proficiency test, despite English being their first language, when applying for Canadian permanent resident status. Some immigration lawyers are also calling on the Canadian federal government to set aside the requirement to prove English-speaking proficiency when the applicant for permanent residency is a national of a country where English is one of the official languages. (Irish Central)

Tammy Chen, one of two Canadians killed in Burkina Faso, remembered as ‘passionate’ teacher

Tammy Jane Mackay Chen, one of two Canadians killed during a terror attack in Burkina Faso is being remembered as a "passionate, charismatic and diligent" teacher by her former students and colleagues. Chen, 34, was killed alongside her husband in an attack on a restaurant Sunday night in Ouagadougou. She was six months pregnant and a newlywed who was living in the country while finishing a doctorate at the University of Cambridge in England. Chen and her husband, Mehsen Fenaiche, who was a Senegalese citizen and a Muslim, were married last month in Ouagadougou. (Metro)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Couillard accuses political rivals of neglecting human rights of asylum seekers

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard fought back Tuesday against criticism of his government's handling of the recent wave of asylum seekers crossing illegally into Quebec from the United States. Couillard questioned the human rights commitments of both the Opposition Parti Québécois and the Coalition Avenir Québec, pointing to recent comments by their leaders, Jean-François Lisée and François Legault. (CBC)

Couillard concerned by anti-immigration banners

Premier Philippe Couillard says he is concerned by the presence of anti-immigration banners in Quebec City but does not want to give right-wing groups undue attention. Various banners carrying the word REMIGRATION were put up Monday, including one on an overpass on a busy thoroughfare in the provincial capital. An extremist right-wing group called La Meute (or wolf pack) is also organizing a demonstration in Quebec City on Sunday to denounce the attitudes of the federal and Quebec governments toward immigration. The event will be held at the same time as a pro-refugee rally. (CTV)

Canadian government, others discouraging Haitians in U.S. from seeking asylum here

Only about 50 per cent of Haitian asylum-seekers have been granted refugee status in Canada in the last few years based on a fear of persecution or threats to their lives. And since March, when special protection for them was lifted in Canada, some 296 Haitian nationals have been deported — 19 to Haiti and 277 to the U.S. (Montreal Gazette)

Boost the response to refugee claimants, urge advocacy groups

Hundreds of people have recently crossed from the United States into the province of Quebec. Many are Haitians concerned the U.S. may soon terminate a program that granted them temporary protected status following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Canada’s transportation minister has emphasized that their asylum claims in Canada will not be easy. Everyone must go through the process and have their claim assessed. About half of Haitian claims are usually rejected. In the meantime, temporary shelter and basic services have been provided to the recent arrivals and the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR) says it “welcomed the constructive response.” But it recommends several measures for improvement (Radio Canada)

Former Sask. minister shilling for Chinese immigration scheme 'appearance of a conflict,' prof. says

For the better part of the past five years, Bill Boyd was responsible for ensuring the integrity of Saskatchewan's immigration system. He was, after all, the province's high-profile minister of the economy. Now approaching retirement from politics, the backbench MLA is promoting an immigration scheme that would benefit a company in which he's directly involved. (CBC)

Vancouver woman with leukemia makes desperate plea after siblings’ visas are denied

A Vancouver woman battling leukemia is now dealing with more heartbreaking news. Elsa Nega was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in February. Recently, she applied to have her brother and sister join her in Canada as her health deteriorates, but their visa applications were denied. (Global)

U.S. trade vets say Canada's NAFTA demands a 'long shot'

Some of Canada’s key demands in the upcoming NAFTA renegotiation will be a tough sell in the United States, according to former American trade officials who say they will be difficult to achieve in the climate of a Donald Trump, America First-themed presidency. The Canadian government has just released priorities for the talks which begin Wednesday and they include a broad desire for four new chapters, and two specific demands: fewer Buy American rules for public contracts and freer movement of professionals. (Canoe)

Thousands promise to come out and protest against Canadian Nationalist Party rally

More than 3,300 people have pledged to come to out a protest against a nationalist anti-immigration rally being held in Toronto next month, a wave of support that vastly outnumbers those who have indicated they will attend the controversial event. News of the rally — and the plan for a counter-protest — spread across social media just days after a demonstration involving white supremacists, neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville, Va., and anti-racism advocates ended with three people dead. (CBC)

Vancouver mayor says city can’t stop planned right-wing rally

Vancouver’s mayor says there is little the city can do to prevent a rally planned by far-right groups, but he hopes residents confront racist rhetoric peacefully after recent turmoil in the United States. In the wake of an anti-racist protester dying in Charlottesville last Saturday, Mayor Gregor Robertson condemned a rally planned for City Hall this weekend by a collection of small groups opposed to Islam, the federal government’s immigration policies and what they call the loss of Canada’s “European heritage.” (Globe and Mail)

Over 2 million Syrian children still not in school, many at risk of dropping out

Despite pledges made at a conference in London 18 months ago, a UNICEF report states that 534,000 Syrian refugee children in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, and a total of 2.3 million Syrian children around the world that are not enrolled in any formal education. World leaders at London’s “Supporting Syria” conference in February 2016, set a goal of having all school-aged Syrian refugee kids enrolled in formal education by the end of the 2017 school year. Because they neighbour Syria, these five countries have received the highest volume of Syrian refugees, with Lebanon topping the list at 844,021. (Global)

Manchester plummets in liveability survey after terror attack

The former head of global counter-terrorism at MI6 has criticised an assessment that living conditions in Manchester have plummeted as a result of the terror attack in May, calling it unfair and counterproductive. The Economist intelligence unit (EIU) published its 2017 ranking of living conditions in 140 cities around the world on Wednesday, with Manchester the fastest-falling. It dropped eight places to 51st, putting it just 0.3% above London in 53rd. (Guardian)

'Alt-left' charged at 'alt-right,' Trump says, again placing blame for Charlottesville violence on 'both sides'

President Trump’s planned infrastructure announcement unraveled into chaos as he all but erased any credit he got on Monday for condemning white supremacists for the deadly confrontation in Charlottesville, Va. Trump said it was “a horrible day” but said several times that counter-protesters were not getting enough scrutiny for their role in the confrontation and emphasized his belief that many of the protesters who joined with white nationalists were innocent. (LA Times)

Donald Trump defends Steve Bannon: ‘He’s not a racist’ but ‘we’ll see what happens to him’

President Donald Trump won’t say whether he plans to keep top White House strategist Steve Bannon. The former head of conservative website Breitbart News has been back in the hot seat as some of Trump’s closest advisers nudge the president to get rid of him. The anti-Bannon campaign comes as Trump is under fire for not immediately condemning white supremacists and other hate groups after deadly violence last weekend in Charlottesville, Va. (Global)

Sessions: Sanctuary Chicago, 'trafficker, smuggler, predator's best friend'

Attorney General Jeff Sessions travels to Miami Wednesday to herald Miami-Dade County's decision to abandon its "sanctuary" practice to shield criminal illegals, and he plans compare their success quelling crime to the Wild West shoot-outs in Chicago, still a sanctuary city. (Washington Examiner)

ISRAEL BUILDS UNDERGROUND WALL AFTER GAZA TUNNEL TRAUMA

Israel is pressing ahead with construction of an underground barrier along the border with the Gaza Strip in an ambitious project meant to halt the threat of attack tunnels built by the Hamas militant group. Cranes and work crews are digging holes and installing sensors and other equipment for a structure that is expected to stretch along the entire 60-kilometer (40-mile) border when it is complete. (AP)

In direct challenge to Trump, Iran's president says it could restart its nuclear program 'within hours'

Iran’s president on Tuesday warned it could restart its nuclear program “within hours or days” if the Trump administration continued its confrontational policies toward the Islamic Republic. President Hassan Rouhani’s remarks were a direct response to Trump’s increasingly bellicose rhetoric toward Iran and his announcement of fresh sanctions on individuals and businesses connected to Iran’s ballistic missile program. (LA Times)

 

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Hypocrites: How Google made billions by understanding the differences between men and women

One of the reasons Google has been so successful is because of their transformative methods of direct advertising. They have allowed the company to target their audience based on demographics. Just last week a Google employee was fired and blacklisted for writing a memo that addressed the lack of women working at Google by pointing out biological facts. (Rebel)

Ezra Levant: Liberals want to turn Montreal into a sanctuary city — and Quebeckers are furious

Hundreds of illegal immigrants are being housed in the Olympic stadium in Montreal, and now in schools too. Did you hear about that? (Maybe any MS-13 gang members “fleeing” Trump’s America could help out this fall, teaching Spanish or something…) But a new poll by the Quebec pollster SOM-Cogeco Nouvelles that shows 51 per cent of Quebeckers want all these fake migrants we’ve been reporting on physically stopped at the border. (Rebel)

Tarek Fatah: Ontario’s premier failed to stand up for freedom

Perhaps it was an act of political desperation considering her low popularity ratings. But in visiting the Consulate General of Pakistan and speaking at a flag-raising ceremony on Aug. 14 -- Pakistan Independence Day -- Premier Kathleen Wynne may as well have endorsed the recent military-backed judicial coup in Islamabad. Dipping into ethnic vote banks is a time-tested routine of Canadian politicians, of all stripes. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Bizarre NAFTA demands a Liberal ploy

Reading through the Trudeau government’s 10-point wish list for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) revamp, released Monday by Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, some items seem pretty straightforward. For instance, we want freer movement of professionals like computer programmers across borders, particularly between offices of the same company. We’d like a better mechanism for resolving disputes such as the U.S. erection of barriers to our softwood lumber. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: NAFTA: Keep calm and carry on

The thing to keep in mind as negotiations begin on Wednesday between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to renegotiate the 23-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), is that this will be a marathon, not a sprint. And that in the course of these negotiations there will be political grandstanding by all sides, ups, downs, veiled threats, overt threats and possibly dramatic walkouts for effect. (Toronto Sun)

Michael Barutciski: Canada's illogical refugee policy favours illegal migrants

Many Canadians will have seen the extraordinary images of migrants being accommodated in Montreal’s Olympic stadium, as well as at a border camp established by the army in Lacolle, just south of Montreal. Many of these migrants are Haitians who have been in the U.S. for years, having obtained special status to live there following the devastating earthquake in their country in 2010. The Trump administration has signalled that this special status may expire next year. This threat, coupled with Canada’s perceived openness, is likely prompting them to come here (although these migrants may be unaware that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also removed special status for Haitians last summer). (National Post)

Licia Corbella: Trudeau has erased our border with one simple tweet

The results of Trudeau’s reckless actions are now well known. A flood of people — who are not refugees by Canada’s own definition — are walking across the world’s longest undefended border — and claiming refugee status. According to the Government of Canada’s website, a refugee claim may not be legitimate if, among other things, the person “arrived via the Canada-United States border.” (Calgary Herald)

John Ibbitson: Andrew Scheer’s inclusive appeal shouldn’t leave room for alt-right

The first Conservative Leader whom Marjory LeBreton worked for was John Diefenbaker. She was leader of the government in the Senate under Stephen Harper, before being sidelined by the Senate expenses scandal. She is well known in the party as a Red Tory: supportive of small government, but progressive on social issues. And she is worried about her party. “My fear is that Canadians … will be influenced by the excessive partisanship and deep divide we are witnessing in U.S. politics and come to the conclusion that Canadian Conservatives are the same,” she wrote me Tuesday. (Globe and Mail)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Strife in U.S. poses daunting policy test for Canada

Are black people safe in America? It’s the question many people are asking following this weekend’s violent rallies of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. Nazis, Ku Klux Klan supporters and other hate groups operating under the ‘alt-right’ umbrella took to the streets to protest the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, a symbol of the state’s Confederate past, from a downtown park. (Global)

Mischa Kaplan: Brad Wall's departure holds key lessons for conservatives

Amongst Canadian conservatives, it is common to hear critics of Justin Trudeau point out the stark contrast between the prime minister and Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall. The former is a charismatic, master communicator; the latter projects an air of staid bookishness. Trudeau relies on broad and sweeping language to convey his messages, while Wall has always been, to conservatives at least, a voice of seasoned and careful reason, known more for his quiet competence than for his personality or grand vision. (Ottawa Citizen)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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