True North Initiative: News Scan 08 25 17

TOP STORIES

Quebec preparing welfare payments for asylum seekers

A spokesman for Quebec's employment minister says the provincial government will hand out welfare cheques to several thousand asylum seekers next week. Simon Laboissonniere says an estimated 4,000 people will get money for the month of September. The minimum basic monthly payment will be $623, while there will be an additional sum depending on the recipient's family status. (CTV) (Toronto Star)

Scheer suggests designating illegal border crossings as official

Opposition leader Andrew Scheer says the Liberal government should designate the illegal entry points into Canada being used by thousands of asylum seekers as official crossings. Scheer says that’s one way the government could stop a situation that’s created havoc not just at the border but within the Canadian immigration system as a whole. (Globe and Mail)

Andrew Scheer: Canadians ‘rightly concerned’ about asylum-seeker benefits

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer says Canadians have every right to be concerned that immediately extending health and other social benefits to newly arrived asylum seekers will strain the system. In an interview with Global’s Vassy Kapelos on Thursday morning, Scheer said the influx of would-be asylum claimants in Quebec and Manitoba in recent months is a sustained “crisis” with many facets. (Global) (CBC) (Macleans)

Liberals facing calls for longer-term solution to illegal migration from U.S.

The Liberal government is taking heat on all sides for its handling of increased illegal migration across the Canada-U.S. border, with a recent spike in Quebec. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed Wednesday in a press conference that migrants must follow rules when they get to Canada, but Canada will always be welcoming towards immigrants and refugees. (National Post)

Trudeau in U-turn on open invitation to migrants as critics condemn ‘shambles’

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had to change his stance on refugees as his critics slam the country’s immigration system as a “shambles”. Mr Trudeau’s government has faced criticism over the welcoming message giving “false hope” to the thousands of migrants coming to Canada from the US. (Express.co.uk) (Financial Express) (SCMP) (Guardian)

Transgender Canadians will soon be able to choose 'X' as gender on their passports

Canadians will soon be able to identify themselves as transgender on their passports under new rules that will come into effect by the end of the month. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said he was making the change so all Canadians can feel safe to be themselves and express their gender as they choose. "By introducing an 'X' gender designation in our government-issued documents, we are taking an important step towards advancing equality for all Canadians regardless of gender identity or expression," Hussen said in a statement. (CBC) (National Post)

Widow of U.S. soldier seeks enforcement of Utah judgment against Omar Khadr in Alberta

Canadian lawyers acting for the widow of a U.S. special forces soldier have filed an application in Alberta, essentially duplicating one filed earlier in Ontario, seeking enforcement of a massive U.S. damages award against former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. The claim calls on the Court of Queen’s Bench to recognize the judgment from Utah, and to issue a “corresponding” judgment in the amount of $173.88 million — the Canadian value of the $132.1-million American award made in June 2015. (Toronto Star)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Much still unknown about what will happen to latest asylum seekers in Quebec

As asylum seekers continue to enter Canada at an unofficial crossing point between Quebec and New York, many questions remain unanswered about their fate, including when their cases will be heard, what they will do while they wait, and what will happen to those whose claims are denied. Nearly 10,000 people have been apprehended at the border since the start of the year as they’ve sought to enter Canada in order to claim refugee status — almost equivalent to the total number of claims filed for all of 2013. This year, nearly 7,000 have arrived just since July. The majority are Haitians who have been living in the United States, some for years. (National Post)

What happens to asylum seekers crossing illegally into Canada?

The RCMP intercepted nearly 3,000 people who entered Quebec through the United States in July. These people, many of them Haitians, crossed the border illegally, not at official border crossings. They’re being temporarily housed in tents near the border at Lacolle, Que., and Cornwall, Ont. (Global)

Up to 2,300 asylum seekers entering Quebec through U.S. are under 18

Up to one−third of the 7,000 people who have crossed illegally into Quebec from the U.S. in the last six weeks are children, the province’s immigration minister said Wednesday. Quebec’s education department is considering running programs for the kids — including teaching classes — inside the temporary shelters set up to house refugee applicants in the Montreal area, said Kathleen Weil. (National Observer)

To try to stem the illegal flow of Haitians, Canada dispatches lawmaker to Miami

Looking to stem an unprecedented flow of mostly Haitian asylum seekers illegally crossing its border, Canada dispatched a Haiti-born parliamentarian to Miami Thursday to meet with community leaders. Emmanuel Dubourg, a member of parliament and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party, met with nearly two dozen Haitian community leaders and immigration advocates at Notre Dame d’Haïti Catholic Church in Little Haïti. (Miami Herald)

Hundreds of Syrian refugees add costs for New Brunswick schools

The sudden influx of Syrian refugees into New Brunswick’s school system has caused the province’s Education Department to miss a financial target. But Premier Brian Gallant says in this case, that’s not a bad problem to have. About 650 Syrian students have enrolled in New Brunswick schools during the two-year wave of refugees that have come to Canada. (660 News)

Premier Kathleen Wynne says proposal to strip public schools of John A. Macdonald's name misses mark

Premier Kathleen Wynne has weighed in on a controversial proposal by the Ontario elementary teachers union to rename public schools bearing the name of Canada's first prime minister, saying it has "missed the mark." The remarks come one day after the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario made headlines with a proposal to strip public schools of John A. Macdonald's name. (CBC)

AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde supports removing John A. Macdonald's name from Ontario schools

Perry Bellegarde, national chief for the Assembly of First Nations, supports a motion passed by the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario calling for Sir John A. Macdonald's name to be removed from schools in the province. "How would you feel if you were a young First Nations person going to that school, knowing full well that Sir John A. Macdonald was one of the architects behind the residential school system?" Bellegarde asked in an interview on Thursday. "You wouldn't want to feel good about attending that school, would you? Because I wouldn't." (CBC)

Time for Canada to join U.S. ballistic missile defence, says Romeo Dallaire

Retired general and senator Romeo Dallaire says Canadians can’t just assume the U.S. will shoot down a missile heading towards Canada, and that it is time for this country to finally embrace continental missile defence. “Canada should join the ballistic missile defence program,” Dallaire said in an interview Thursday. (National Post)

Terrorist attack at Rotterdam concert foiled: Dutch police

Alerted by a detailed tip from Spanish colleagues, Dutch police arrested a man early Thursday and questioned him on suspicion of preparing an attack on a concert in Rotterdam by an American rock band. But the Dutch justice minister suggested later in the day that the suspect may only have sent a threatening message. (Toronto Star)

Sixteen US staff in Cuba hurt in 'acoustic attack'

At least 16 US government employees were treated for symptoms after a possible acoustic attack targeting embassy staff in Cuba, the state department says. US media reports say the symptoms range from hearing loss to "mild traumatic brain injury", which could include concussion or headaches. (BBC)

IN THE PERSIAN GULF, IRAN'S DRONES POSE RISING THREAT TO US

High above the Persian Gulf, an Iranian drone crosses the path of American fighter jets lining up to land on the USS Nimitz. The drone buzzes across the sky at least a mile above the massive aircraft carrier and is spotted by the fighters. It is unarmed. (AP)

ISIS Calls Jihadists to Philippines, Threatens Pope Francis

As the Islamic State loses caliphate territory in Iraq and Syria, a new video released by the terror group touts the growth of operations in the Philippines and the destruction jihadists unleashed on a Catholic church in Marawi. (PJ Media)

'Safer than London!' North Korea opens door to Russian tourists

North Korea has opened its doors to Russian tourists, issuing a license for the first travel agency in Moscow to promise clients “full immersion” in the nation’s culture and enjoyment “safer than an evening walk in London”. (Reuters)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Illegal migrants receiving plenty of advantages

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Montreal this week, doing damage control and trying to address the crisis of illegal migrants walking into Canada. And while Trudeau insists everything is under control, the situation on the ground in Quebec suggests the opposite. Over the past six weeks, 7,000 asylum seekers have been intercepted along the Canada-U.S. border in Quebec after entering illegally. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: We can grow history without erasing it

Ontario’s elementary teachers’ union is calling for schools named after Sir John A. Macdonald to be rebranded. Behold the new historical revisionism. It’s in vogue. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau renamed Langevin Block in June. Hector-Louis Langevin was one of the men behind the residential schools system. In Halifax, there were calls to tear down a statue of Edward Cornwallis, who issued a bounty on Mi’kmaq scalps while governor of Nova Scotia. And now we come to Canada’s first prime minister. (Ottawa Sun)

John Ivison: Even John A. Macdonald isn't safe from a foolish revisionism that never ends

The reaction of people like me to the suggestion by Ontario’s elementary teachers’ federation that Sir John A. Macdonald’s name be removed from public schools was one of scorn, with added vitriol. That’s because people like me view history as a record of things past that should not be altered or rewritten in Orwellian fashion by some Ministry of Truth to suit its own political ends. (National Post)

Toronto Sun: Regular Canadians pay too much tax

It’s unacceptable, scandalous even, that the average Canadian family spends more of its income on taxes than on the basic necessities of life. Data released Thursday morning by the Fraser Institute reminded us how deeply government has its hands in our pockets. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew MacDougall: Justin Trudeau is between a rock and a heart place on immigration

So breezy is the Prime Minister you might have missed the fact these arrivals have more than tripled over the past few months, with the number fast approaching 7,000, many of them Haitians who appear to be fleeing America as it considers winding down the temporary asylum program set up after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. The Immigration and Refugee Board has called this rise of asylum-seekers through the U.S. border “unsustainable.” (Macleans)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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