True North Initiative: News Scan 09 04 17

TOP STORIES

First tally of medical services for migrants is $7,000

Quebec’s public health insurance provider said it has received the first invoices from physicians and pharmacists pertaining to services offered to asylum seekers this week. According to RAMQ, 100 requests for payment totaling $7,000 were received as of Aug. 31. The agency said the data doesn’t reflect how many medical services were actually given, as the number of migrants entering Quebec increased in August and many invoices have not yet been filed. (CTV) (Montreal Gazette)

Ottawa looking to add heated accommodations for asylum seekers

The federal government is preparing to receive asylum seekers throughout the winter, but that should not be seen as a sign that it expects applicants to continue entering Canada over the next few months, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Friday. (Montreal Gazette) (Toronto Star)

Salvadorans, Hondurans could form next wave of asylum seekers, U.S. advocates warn

Salvador Sanabria was discussing the news about Haitian refugees crossing the border into Canada when he was reminded of the early 1980s, when prime minister Pierre Trudeau opened the door to thousands of Salvadorans in the United States to avoid expulsion to their war-ravaged country. “I was talking with my friend, and we said, ‘What an irony! Now, we have Justin Trudeau in Canada, the son of the man,” said Sanabria, executive director of the Los Angeles-based immigration advocacy group El Rescate. He now wonders if history will be repeated. (Toronto Star)

Vast majority of Canadians want focus on border security, poll says

The numbers are in and Canadians of all stripes have problems with how the Liberals have been handling the latest flare up of our border fiasco. A whopping 82% of Canadians think assigning police and immigration officers to monitor and secure the border is “a major priority,” according to the Angus Reid Institute. Only 47% of respondents agreed that getting new arrivals safely into Canada and set up with benefits was an important issue. If forced to choose between the two options, 70% pick border security over providing assistance. (Toronto Sun)

Canadians Think Government Being 'Too Generous' With Illegal Border Crossers: Poll

More than half of Canadians believe the federal government is being "too generous" to asylum seekers entering Canada at irregular border crossings, a new poll suggests. The Angus Reid Institute's survey, released Friday, gauged respondents' attitudes about responses made to the recent influx of asylum seekers from the U.S. It also asked them for their thoughts on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's handling of the situation. (Huffington Post)

Most Canadians disapprove of Trudeau's handling of illegal border crossings

A majority of Canadians do not like the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has handled the surge of illegal immigration in recent months. According to a new online survey conducted by Angus Reid, 57 per of Canadians polled said they disapproved of the government’s handling of the situation overall, while 43 per cent said they approved. Men surveyed were more likely to disapprove than were women, as were Canadians between the ages of 35 to 54, and those over the age of 55. (IPolitics)

Justin Trudeau 'unequivocally condemns' North Korea nuclear test while urging more UN resolutions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned North Korea’s latest nuclear weapon testing and is urging the United Nations to take further steps to contain the country’s nuclear proliferation efforts. (Toronto Sun) (CTV)

Canadian cargo plane departs for Texas as part of post-Harvey relief effort

The Canadian government sent a cargo plane loaded with humanitarian supplies to Texas on Sunday as part of a relief effort following the damage caused by hurricane Harvey. The plane, filled with supplies including baby formula, blankets and cribs, departed the Canadian Forces base in Trenton, Ont., for the Lackland Airforce base near San Antonio. (Toronto Sun)

Report: Antifa 'Domestic Terrorist Violence' Being Monitored By DHS, FBI

Politico has gotten their hands on a “confidential 2016 joint intelligence assessment by DHS and the FBI,” in which authorities offer warnings about the rise of violent Antifa groups. The outlet also conducted interviews with a “senior law enforcement official,” as well as a former member of the NYPD in order to supplement the report. (Daily Wire)

Justin Trudeau ‘will make no apologies’ for proposed tax changes that anger small business owners

Justin Trudeau says he’s paying attention to the growing dissent over his government’s controversial plan to eliminate tax incentives that he insists only benefit wealthy small business owners. But the prime minister said Friday he “will make no apologies” for the Liberal government’s commitment to helping the so-called middle class, even at the expense of the wealthiest Canadians. (Global)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Migrant flight to Canada has big impact on Miami’s Little Haiti

Out of nowhere, the Caribbean Airline Ticketing Center on the edge of Miami’s Little Haiti neighbourhood started receiving unusual customer requests. About 40 people a week were booking flights from Fort Lauderdale to Plattsburgh, N.Y., a short drive from the Canada-U.S. border. “We didn’t even know where the town was until it all started,” said Regine Maximilien, who operates the travel agency with her husband, Pierre. (Toronto Star)

Foreign students flock to Canada as government struggles to get grads to stay

Some of Canada's biggest universities are beginning the new school year with a record number of international students on campus. The steady upswing in foreign applicants began several years ago, then started to spike after the U.S. presidential election in 2016. The challenge for the Canadian government now is to maintain that trend amid competing countries, and to encourage more from the talented pool to stay on as permanent residents. (CBC)

UN calls out Ottawa over lengthy immigration detention stays

A United Nations committee has urged Ottawa to limit the use of immigration detention and drop a bilateral pact that turns asylum-seekers back at the U.S. land border. The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination makes the recommendations in its recent review of how Canada’s government policies and programs are affecting minority groups. “The Committee recommends . . . immigration detention is only undertaken as a last resort after fully considering alternative non-custodial measures. Establish a legal time limit on the detention of migrants,” (Toronto Star)

'We're allowed to stay here forever': Deportation order for Mexican family overturned

Three young Toronto boys are overjoyed to go back to school this week — a dream that often seemed impossible given the threat of deportation hanging over their family. Their parents had been ordered to return to Mexico, along with their Canadian-born sons, until a judge granted the family a reprieve in August. (CBC)

Tax changes the top issue at Liberal caucus retreat

The federal government is scrambling to contain the fallout from its controversial tax reform proposal, with Finance Minister Bill Morneau scheduling a last-minute meeting with small business owners in Vancouver on Tuesday before the Liberals gather for their first caucus meeting since summer break. (Globe and Mail)

Tories offer non-partisan NAFTA support but tell Liberals to drop 'virtue signalling'

Attack mode, says the Conservative Party’s new foreign affairs critic, will not be the opposition’s first instinct when dealing with the Liberal government’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Conservative MP Erin O’Toole says his party is willing to offer non-partisan support to the Liberal government during the continuing NAFTA renegotiation, which entered its second round this weekend in Mexico City. (Toronto Sun)

Canada demands U.S. end ‘right to work’ laws as part of NAFTA talks

Canadian negotiators are demanding the United States roll back so-called "right to work" laws – accused of gutting unions in some U.S. states by starving them of money – as part of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. The request is part of a push by Ottawa to get the U.S. and Mexico to adopt higher labour standards under the deal. (Globe and Mail)

Chechnya’s Persecuted Gays Find Refuge in Canada

The Canadian government, working with a Toronto-based nonprofit, has quietly allowed gay men and lesbians from the Chechnya Republic in Russia to seek safety in Canada over the past three months. The program, first made public by the nonprofit, the Rainbow Railroad, on Facebook on Friday, was prompted by an antigay purge in Chechnya that started earlier this year, when law enforcement and security officials arrested gay and bisexual men and beat and tortured them. (NY Times)

Persecuted in Chechnya, gay refugees face new struggles in Canada

Organizations helping traumatized gay Chechen refugees adapt to their new life in Canada are appealing to Ottawa and fellow Canadians for help. "They're struggling," said Helen Kennedy, executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Egale, of the 16 Toronto-based refugees her organization is assisting. Egale operates a crisis-counselling service that it is adapting to the needs of these most recent arrivals. (Globe and Mail)

Tens of thousands of Rohingya pour into Bangladesh amid wave of killings and arson

Aid officials said relief camps were reaching full capacity as thousands of Rohingya refugees continued to pour into Bangladesh on Sunday fleeing violence in western Myanmar. Some 73,000 people have crossed the border since violence erupted Aug. 25 in Myanmar's Rakhine state, said UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Vivian Tan. (CBC)

Two Conservative MPs banned from Azerbaijan for visiting occupied territories

Conservatives MPs Tony Clement and Rachael Harder have been banned from the Central Asian nation of Azerbaijan for visiting disputed territories occupied by Armenia that have been the scene of sporadic and bloody clashes over the past 16 months. Azerbaijan's foreign ministry has accused the MPs of falling for the "propaganda of the Armenian side" and ignoring four resolutions of the United Nations Security Council calling for the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh that was seized in a war in the early 1990s. (Globe and Mail)

With Powerful Bomb, Kim Dares Both Trump and Xi to Stop Him

In detonating North Korea’s most powerful nuclear bomb yet, Kim Jong Un is betting it’s too late for either U.S. President Donald Trump or Chinese leader Xi Jinping to be able to take away his atomic arsenal. Kim’s regime claimed on Sunday it successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb that can fit onto an intercontinental ballistic missile, advancing its quest to be able to hit the U.S. with a nuclear weapon. Earlier in the day it said it now had a bomb with a maximum force topping 100 kilotons -- more than six times the magnitude of what the U.S. detonated over Hiroshima. (Bloomberg)

North Korea preparing more missile launches, says South

South Korea says it has seen indications that the North is preparing more missile launches, possibly an intercontinental ballistic missile. It said it was strengthening its controversial US-made Thaad missile defence system after the North's test of a nuclear bomb at the weekend. (BBC)

Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced. The Queen and both families are said to be "delighted with the news". As with her previous two pregnancies, the duchess, 35, is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness. (BBC)

Iran a Far Greater Threat Than North Korea, Warns Scholar

If the U.S. stays on its present path, Iran will emerge in the coming years as a far more ominous nuclear threat than North Korea, a Heritage Foundation scholar said Wednesday. “If you like what North Korea is doing today, you’re going to love what Iran is going to be doing a few years down the road,” said James Phillips, a senior research fellow. The Obama administration, a handful of international partners, Russia and Iran agreed to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in 2015, which dictated that Iran significantly curb nuclear operations in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. The agreement dealt an estimated $100 billion in sanctions relief and unfrozen assets to Iran. (PJ Media)

Iran says warns off U.S. U2 spy plane, drone

Iran's air defences have forced an approaching U.S. spy plane and a reconnaissance drone to change course near its air space over the past six months, a military official was quoted as saying on Sunday. Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Iran's air defence force, said an unmanned RQ-4 drone was intercepted last week and a U2 spy plane was warned away in March, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. (Reuters)

DACA: Trump expected to end 'Dreamers' immigration program

President Donald Trump is expected to announce the end of an Obama-era program that allowed undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children stay and contribute to the country, sources told Fox News late Sunday. An official announcement to the end of the program will be on Tuesday, the sources said. After the announcement, Congress will have a six-month window to act. (FOX)

 

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: There could be dangerous long-term consequences to Trudeau’s immigration approach

Canada’s prime minister doesn’t seem too concerned by the surge of illegal border crossings. Aside from a firmly worded statement last week – reminding the world that Canada is “a country of laws” – Justin Trudeau hasn’t announced any new policies or measures to secure our borders. So far in 2017, upwards of 26,000 migrants have illegally entered Canada and filed asylum claims. Many of these folks have simply walked across an unpatrolled section of the border. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: North Korea openly threatens EMP attack for the first time, changing the game

The news Sunday morning that North Korea had launched what appeared to be its sixth nuclear test and most powerful one to date is troubling enough. But a statement from the rogue regime took things to a whole new level. The North said it had tested an H-bomb that was “a multi-functional thermonuclear nuke with great destructive power which can be detonated at high altitudes for super-powerful EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack according to strategic goals.” (Toronto Sun)

Howard Anglin: How Canada can restore order to its immigration system

If the first part of recovery is admitting you have a problem, then the federal government made grudging progress on the migration file last week. In a series of tweets and statements, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen confirmed that Canada is still a country of laws and that those laws will be applied to the new wave of migrants crossing illegally from the United States. It was a start, but solving the problem will take more than words. It will take tough action of a kind that Trudeau, with his faith in the power of platitudes, has so far avoided. (Macleans)

Douglas Todd: Immigrants could prosper in Canada's small towns

Canada covers almost ten million square kilometres. It’s second in geographic size only to Russia. Its forests, grasslands, mountains, rock and tundra stretch as far as the eye can see. But when it comes to human choices, Canada is not big at all: The vast majority of the country’s residents live in congestion on a tiny sliver of the country’s land mass, typically near the U.S. border. (Vancouver Sun)

Douglas Todd: Growing number renouncing Canadian immigrant status

Thousands of permanent residents are renouncing their opportunity to immigrate to Canada — for reasons ranging from a dislike of the cold to a desire to avoid Canadian taxes. More than 21,000 people with permanent resident cards who had the opportunity to become Canadian citizens have turned their back on the quest in the past two years. The highest number of  “renunciations” are from citizens of China, India and South Korea. (Ottawa Citizen)

Lorne Gunter: It’s not small biz owners who are greedy – it’s the tax hungry Liberal government

Whenever I hear about the federal Liberals’ plan to squeeze billions of extra tax dollars out of Canada’s shopkeepers, entrepreneurs, farmers, ranchers, independent fishermen, restaurateurs, software developers, engineers, lawyers, doctors and other small businesspeople, I am reminded of the old folk tale about the Little Red Hen. (Toronto Sun)

Evan Solomon: Fighting in Afghanistan: ‘You have the watches. We have the time’

Donald Trump has now officially made Afghanistan his war. How ironic. The man who portrays himself as the great isolationist, who threatens to build walls around the U.S. both literally and, in the case of trade, figuratively, is proving to be all bluster and no border. “A hasty withdrawal [from Afghanistan] would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before Sept. 11,” Trump said recently in his heavily promoted Afghan policy speech. (Macleans)

Conrad Black: Our society is under attack — from vilifying John A. to antifa

Both Canada and the United States are, in different ways, enduring an assault on their national legitimacy from within. The incessant agitation by the Canadian native community, now focused on, in Stalinist terms, the repression of John A. Macdonald, is essentially an attempt to delegitimize the entire settlement and political organization of this country by those who arrived here starting in the 16th century. As I have written many times before, the natives arrived here approximately 20,000 or more years before the Europeans did, but their civilization in the 16th century was at least 5,000 years behind that of Europe by any reasonable measurement of the maturity of a culture or economy of a society. And the natives were not sufficiently numerous or attached to durable places of residence to be said to occupy the territory of what is now Canada. (National Post)

Andy Semotiuk: Trump Facing Tug-Of-War Over Daca And Immigration Fate Of Dreamers

Some 800,000 so-called “Dreamers” may be threatened by a decision to be made by President Trump on Tuesday when he determines whether to renew their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The program, which was introduced by the Obama administration in 2012, allows qualifying undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as minors to be protected against deportation and to obtain a work permit. The reason the program is being debated now stems from a threatened lawsuit involving ten states, led by Texas, that could eliminate the program if the Trump administration does not step in to support it. (Forbes)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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