True North Initiative: News Scan 09 11 17

TOP STORIES

Government Data Shows Canada Deported Hundreds to War Torn Countries

Canada has deported hundreds of people to countries designated too dangerous for civilians, with more than half of those people being sent back to Iraq, according to government data obtained by Reuters. The spike in deportations comes as Canada faces a record number of migrants and is on track to have the most refugee claims in more than a decade. That has left the country scrambling to cope with the influx of asylum seekers, many crossing the US border illegally. Between January 2014 and September 6, 2017, Canada sent 249 people to 11 countries for which the government had suspended or deferred deportations because of dangers to civilians. (Globe and Mail) (Global)

American-born mother of two deported from Canada

A woman is only hours away from the street after, she says, the Canadian government turned its back on her and her two children. American citizen Tracy Michaelson wanted to stay in Canada where one of her two young children was born, and where she has been living for a number of years, but the Canadian Border Services Agency had a different opinion and she was tossed from Canada along with her two children in August. (Northumberland Today)

CBSA union outraged over delay in health notice from Health Canada on asylum seekers

The union representing Canada’s border agents is furious after an occupational health advisory regarding asylum seekers took more than three weeks to reach frontline officers. The health notice issued by Health Canada on Aug. 1 made several medical recommendations and precautions for officers working at shelters for asylum seekers, but it wasn’t sent to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) until Aug. 18, according to internal emails obtained by Global News. (Global)

Customer service a new concept for Canada’s Immigration Department

The cultural shift from an enforcement mindset to a client-centred approach could mark a new era at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, which has long faced complaints about poor customer service, long processing times and failing to provide timely and accurate information to applicants. In January, the department quietly launched a client experience branch and appointed Michelle Lattimore, a longtime civil servant, to head the new unit, which is responsible for the client support call centre, service strategy and a new “service insights and experimentation division” of 10 staffers to make dealing with immigration a more pleasant experience. (Toronto Star)

Four-year-old boy stuck in legal limbo while thousands illegally cross the border

While thousands of illegal immigrants pour across Canada’s border with the United States, a four-year-old boy adopted in India into a Calgary family has been stuck in Canadian immigration limbo, keeping him and his mother separated from his brothers and father for more than two months. Donnie Dyck was legally adopted by Jeremy and Meg Dyck — who also have two other sons Zeke, 10, and Zavier, 8 — one year ago today, on Sept. 9, 2016. The family was living in India at the time, working as humanitarian aid workers. (Calgary Herald)

Trudeau Stands By #WelcomeToCanada Tweet Amid Flood Of Asylum Seekers, But Touts 'Rule Of Law'

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he stands behind his tweet to refugees heard round the world, but has attempted to deliver a message to asylum seekers that goes well beyond 140 characters. At a press conference at the Liberal caucus retreat in Kelowna, B.C. Thursday, Trudeau was asked about the much-discussed #WelcomeToCanada tweet he sent in January on the same day U.S. President Donald Trump moved to bar refugees and visitors from seven Muslim-majority nations. (Huffington Post)

348 Canadians have asked government for help in wake of Hurricane Irma

Officials say more than 300 Canadians have reached out to the Canadian government for help as Hurricane Irma turns its force on Florida after cutting a path of destruction through the Caribbean. "We have people who are stuck in a country or an island who just can't get out," said one Global Affairs Canada official. "There are no flights getting in or out. They're frustrated. They're trying to see if there are other ways of getting out. (CBC)

Hurricane Irma: Canada sends disaster assessment team to Caribbean islands

The Canadian government and aid agencies were setting the wheels in motion Sunday to come to the aid of Caribbean islands who suffered damage by hurricane Irma. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan tweeted Sunday evening that a team was being sent to determine how Canada can provide humanitarian assistance to the region. (Global)

Vast new intelligence haul fuels next phase of fight against Islamic State

U.S. intelligence analysts have gained valuable insights into Islamic State’s planning and personnel from a vast cache of digital data and other material recovered from bombed-out offices, abandoned laptops and the cellphones of dead fighters in recently liberated areas of Iraq and Syria. In the most dramatic gain, U.S. officials over the last two months have added thousands of names of known or suspected Islamic State operatives to an international watch list used at airports and other border crossings. The Interpol database now contains about 19,000 names. (LA Times)

ISIS could drop dirty bombs from drones in Europe and the US, terror experts warn

Security experts say it is a 'matter of time' before ISIS start using commercial drones to bomb cities in Europe and in the United States. Jihadists could use quadcopters, a type of drone widely available to buy online, and often used by photographers to film or capture images from the air, and mount bombs on them, a leading terrorism official warned today. (Daily Mail)

China used research mission to test trade route through Canada’s Northwest Passage

China's official government news agency says Beijing used a scientific icebreaker voyage through Canada's Northwest Passage to test the viability of sailing Chinese cargo ships through the environmentally fragile route that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Xinhua News Agency, often used to deliver messages on behalf of the Chinese state, lauded the Sept. 6 completion of the first-ever Chinese voyage through the Arctic waterway, saying the Snow Dragon icebreaker "accumulated a wealth of experience for Chinese ships going through the Northwest Passage in the future." (Globe and Mail)

An oasis of kindness on 9/11: This town welcomed 6,700 strangers amid terror attacks

They still don't know what all the fuss is about. Sixteen years ago, this small Canadian town on an island in the North Atlantic Ocean took in nearly 6,700 people – almost doubling its population – when the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York and Washington forced 38 planes to land here. (USA Today)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada should 'wait and see' before welcoming DREAMers, senator says

Three days after suggesting Canada give special consideration to 10,000 to 30,000 undocumented immigrants from the United States, Senator Ratna Omidvar says the government should "wait and see what happens in the United States first." Omidvar urged patience when speaking to CBC News on Friday, saying immigrants "would like nothing better than to stay in the United States and I certainly hope that the United States can sort out its various issues to bring some closure to this." (CBC)

Rally against hate overwhelms 'fake news' protest in Winnipeg

People held signs that read, "Love," "United Against Hate" and "Fandom Against Hate." A few had their faces covered and held Antifa, or anti-fascist, flags. Omar Kinnaratch, an organizer with Fascist Free Treaty One and the rally against hate, said it was important to show WCAI and groups like it that they weren't welcome on Winnipeg's streets, particularly downtown. (CBC) (Huffington Post)

Parti Québécois wants to cut funding for English CEGEPs, but not extend Bill 101

The Parti Québécois plans to curb the abundance of francophone students choosing to study in English by curtailing funding for English-language CEGEPS if it forms the next provincial government under leader Jean-François Lisée. (CBC)

Conservative leader says Liberal 'arrogance' behind tax changes, pipeline snag

In the final hours of the Conservative caucus retreat in Winnipeg, leader Andrew Scheer shot straight for the Liberal jugular, accusing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of killing Canadian jobs and small businesses. Scheer said Friday that Liberal "arrogance" is behind proposed changes to the tax treatment for incorporated small businesses. "Make no mistake. The Liberals are going after the job creators and the family farm because [Trudeau] has spent the bank dry." (CBC)

Andrew Scheer has lowest approval among federal party leaders: poll

Conservative Andrew Scheer has the lowest approval among the federal party leaders, according to a new nationwide poll. The Mainstreet-Postmedia survey found 55 per cent of those polled approve of the job Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doing. However, Trudeau also had the highest disapproval at 40 per cent, with five per cent of respondents saying they are not sure about his performance. (CTV)

'This isn't about small business' Morneau says of tax changes

Finance Minister Bill Morneau says two-thirds of Canada’s small business owners, including farmers and physicians need not worry about the proposed federal changes to the tax system because they won’t be impacted “at all” by what the Liberals have put on the table. “We have no intention of trying to make it more difficult for the family farm,” said Morneau in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period. (CTV)

Jagmeet Singh Floats Decriminalization Of All Personal Drug Possession

As NDP leader, Jagmeet Singh would call for decriminalizing possession of all drugs for personal use, he said during a leadership debate Sunday. The NDP candidates were asked how they would respond to the opioid crisis which has killed at least 876 people in British Columbia alone this year. (Huffington Post)

Be wary of 'virtue signalling', push good policy instead, Conservatives told

That's the political plan ahead for the Conservatives this fall, and there's a reason Opposition Leader Andrew Scheer is going to repeat it to his MPs a lot in the coming months. When the party hired Australian conservative strategist Brian Loughnane to review what went wrong for them in the 2015 election, one thing he told them was that they had failed to give people fresh reasons to keep voting for the party. In turn, Scheer made the need for positive policy a centrepiece of his leadership campaign. (CTV)

Alberta Liberals to investigate allegations of sexual harassment against Kang

The Alberta Liberal Party is planning on conducting interviews with current and former Liberal staffers following allegations of sexual harassment from former Alberta Liberal staffer Kirstin Morrell against former two-term Alberta MLA and now MP Darshan Kang to find out if there are any more complaints. (Hill Times)

Media diversity in B.C. to get boost with federal cash

A project to increase diversity in Vancouver’s news media is among seven gender-equality programs in British Columbia that have received a total of $2.2 million in federal funding. The Multilingual Orientation Service Association for Immigrant Communities, or MOSAIC, says the project will address issues including discrimination, stereotyping and lack of representation of female experts. (Vancouver Sun)

Canadians call on Ottawa to revoke Myanmar leader's honorary citizenship amid violence against Rohingya

When Anwar Arkani first fled what is now Myanmar in the 1970s, he hoped the worst was over. But in the last five years alone, more than 17 of his relatives have been lost amid the violence there and he fears they won't be the last. "It is extremely difficult for me to stay calm or quiet, because I still have siblings alive," Arkani told CBC News. (CBC)

Number of Rohingya refugees crossing into Bangladesh swells to 270,000

The UN said Friday that an "alarming number" of 270,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled violence in Myanmar by crossing into Bangladesh in the last two weeks. The new figure confirmed Friday by UN Refugee Agency spokesperson Vivian Tan is much higher than the 164,000 the agency had previously estimated had arrived since Aug. 25. (CBC)

Rohingya crisis: UN sees 'ethnic cleansing' in Myanmar

The security operation targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar "seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing", the UN human rights chief says. Zeid Raad Al Hussein urged Myanmar to end the "cruel military operation" in Rakhine state. More than 300,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted there late last month. (BBC)

'Odd' that Canada hasn't joined U.S. missile defence program, ex-top general says

The best way for Canada to defend its people from a nuclear-armed North Korea is to join the  U.S. anti-ballistic missile defence program, argues a former chief of the defence staff. And Tom Lawson, who served as Canada's top general under former prime minister Stephen Harper, said he's heartened to see signals from the Liberal government that they might be open to it. (CBC)

Suspect arrested during raid near Paris linked to Islamic State: prosecutor

A French prosecutor said on Sunday that a man arrested last week after a police raid on a flat near Paris had a direct connection with Islamic State. Police discovered a stash of explosives in the raid last Wednesday in Villejuif, south of Paris, and found TATP, a product often used by suicide bombers. A second cache of explosive materials was discovered in a nearby town the following day. (Globe and Mail)

Canada won’t say whether it will stop prosecuting a dead ISIS fighter

Back in the summer of 2014, Farah Mohamed Shirdon, the alleged Islamic State operative from Calgary, Alberta who went by the war name “Abu Usamah” to me, was supposed to have been dead. I even reported on it using jihadist sources I cultivated during the rise of the so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria, way back before the Islamic State became the western bogeyman du jour. (VICE)

North Korea 'secretly helped by Iran to gain nuclear weapons', British officials fear

North Korea’s sudden advancement in developing nuclear weapons may be due to secret support from Iran, British officials fear. The Foreign Office is investigating whether “current and former nuclear states” helped Kim Jong-Un in his drive to mount nuclear warheads on missiles.  Senior Whitehall sources told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances. (Telegraph)

North Korea Warns U.S. of ‘Greatest Pain’ if Sanctions Pass

North Korea warned of retaliation if the United Nations Security Council approves a U.S. proposal for harsher sanctions after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. (Bloomberg)

Will accused 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed ever come to trial?

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the accused “architect” of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, will spend the 16th anniversary of the atrocity sitting in Guantánamo Bay, preparing for his 25th pre-trial hearing. That hearing will take place next month. Military prosecutors’ latest estimate is that jury selection in Mohammed’s terrorism trial will begin in January 2019. Most interested experts think that is wildly optimistic and are asking if a man arrested in Pakistan in 2003 will ever stand trial at all. (Guardian)

“I miss my mother.” It’s not what I expected to hear from a suicide bomber.

“I miss my mother.” It’s not what I expected to hear from a suicide bomber. Ahmed Qasim al-Khateb had a boyish face—big brown eyes, long eyelashes, missing front teeth, and a caterpillar moustache—but he spoke with unwavering confidence about his sacred mission. His clumsy arrogance reminded me more of a rebellious teenager than a ruthless terrorist. It took some imagination to realize that he was in fact highly dangerous. (Macleans)

'I enjoyed torturing women. Especially when their fathers or husbands were there': Female ISIS torturer describes horrors she inflicted and says British female jihadists were the most brutal

A female ISIS deserter has spoken of how she would revel in torturing other women in front of their family members during her time in an all-girl jihadist brigade in Raqqa, Syria. The woman, only known as Hajer, also reveals that the British female jihadists would be the most sadistic torturers, and would use a tool known as a 'biter', reportedly able to inflict pain 'worse than childbirth'. (Daily Mail)

Two accused in Canada 'honour killing' case face extradition

Canada's Supreme Court has paved the way for the extradition of two Canadians facing charges related to their alleged role in an "honour killing". Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Subjit Singh Badesha have been fighting extradition to India. They are accused of orchestrating the murder in 2000 of Jaswinder "Jassi" Sidhu in Punjab. (BBC)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Canadians feeling DACA sympathy should understand we deport children too

President Donald Trump made a splash this week with his decision to rescind DACA – the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals program. DACA was a temporary measure, introduced by former President Barack Obama in 2012 to provide short-term protection for illegal immigrants who came to the country before their sixteenth birthday. (Toronto Sun)

Conrad Black: Racism is dying, yet hateful people are still frequently accusing non-racists of it

Almost everyone except those psychologically and politically dependent on accusing others of being racists can agree that racism is evil. I think almost everyone except those malignant defamers, who denounce all with whom they disagree as racist, can agree that all people are fundamentally equal and must be treated equally; that all definable groups of people are equal in their human merit; and that all such groups, unless they are defined by sociopathic goals, should be proud of whatever it is that defines them as a group. (National Post)

Jonathan Kay: Why Canada's refugee policy may actually be doing more harm than good

The sight of Syrians being personally greeted by the most powerful man in Canada — after having fled a county ruled by a regime that drops poison gas on its own population — ranked among the most moving scenes in modern Canadian history. It was all the more powerful when set alongside developments in the United States, where Republicans were demonizing refugees as inveterate terrorists. (New Jersey governor and GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie went so far as to promise that under his watch, the United States wouldn’t even admit orphans under the age of five.) (National Post)

Michelle Malkin: There is no such thing as a 'deserving DREAMer'

Since when did DACA become the Depression and Anxiety Cure for Amnesty-seekers? It's this insatiable appetite for collective entitlement that demonstrates the perils of blanket amnesty. Give a privileged political class an inch and they'll take, take, take until feckless public servants give away their country. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Chumming the waters of failed Liberal ethics

There’s the smell of blood in the Liberal waters. One can only hope the media sharks go on the same feeding and tweet frenzy with the Wynne Liberals when all the courtroom doors finally swing open this week as they did with the Harperites when the ol’ Duff was tossed overboard like chum bait. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Green fleet targets shrouded in hypocrisy

The Toronto Sun’s Freedom of Information request revealing, essentially, that Ontario’s Liberal government doesn’t have a hope in hell of hitting its own target for electric vehicle purchases — let alone getting the public to buy them — demonstrates two things. Both are common features of the “green” agenda of Premier Kathleen Wynne and her predecessor, Dalton McGuinty. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Public sector one-percenters are safe, but regular small biz owners take the hit

Did you go camping this summer? Did you stay, even one night, at a private campground? Did the owner or her spouse check your family in, help you find your spot, sell you some basic supplies at the campground store, make change for shower tokens? Did she or he seem “rich” to you? (Toronto Sun)

Jim Warren: Trudeau needs to postpone small biz tax changes after having pit Canadians against each other

The federal government’s consultation on changing small business taxes has been a calamity of communications mistakes. The Trudeau government should postpone the implementation of any changes. With the transformation of the Canadian economy during the past decade, I do believe there is a legitimate issue in trying to create tax fairness for all Canadians. (Toronto Sun)

Robyn Urback: It makes zero sense to be a Canadian Trump supporter

You might spot them in gas stations in Vernon, B.C., shopping malls in Saskatoon and wandering university campuses in Calgary. They are Canadian by nationality but identify with American patriots, donning a uniform of khaki shorts, T-shirts and #MAGA hats. Generally speaking, these individuals find nourishment in the reactions of their horrified peers, and burrow in the comments sections to remind online readers of Hillary Clinton's private email server — lest we forget. (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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