True North Initiative: News Scan 09 20 17

TOP STORIES

Over 5,500 asylum seekers crossed Quebec border illegally in August

Quebec bore the brunt of a major upswing in irregular border crossings during the month of August, new numbers have confirmed, with 5,530 people intercepted by the RCMP as they attempted to enter Canada via that province. That number represents a full 42 per cent of the total number of irregular crossings across Canada since the start of the year, and 90 per cent of all the crossings recorded across Canada in August. Quebec’s total for the previous month, July, had been just under 3,000 crossings (Global) (BBC)

Number of people seeking asylum in Canada at levels not seen since 2009

The number of people seeking asylum in Canada is now the highest it’s been since 2009, driven in part by a surge in asylum seekers showing up at the Canada-U.S. border. Statistics released Tuesday by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada show that as of August, 27,440 claims for asylum had been filed thus far this year, a peak since record highs of between 36,000 and 33,000 in 2008 and 2009. (National Post)

Canada not ready for second-wave of asylum seekers, union head warns

Canada is not ready to handle a second wave of Latin American asylum seekers who may already be starting to flee the United States, says the head of Canada’s border-guard union.The federal government revealed Tuesday that 5,712 refugee claimants had arrived in Canada in the month of August alone—an 82 per cent jump from July. But Customs and Immigration Union president Jean-Pierre Fortin said there has been an ominous change in the demographics. (Toronto Star)

Tarek Fatah takes the M103 fight to Ottawa

Brace yourselves, parliamentarians. Tarek Fatah is coming to town! The popular Toronto-based Sun columnist and media personality is trekking up to Ottawa to testify at the controversial M-103 hearings being held by the heritage committee on Wednesday. Fatah will be the first major speaker following Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s Monday appearance that started off the whole process. He’s been a firm critic of the motion that singles out the ill-defined phrase Islamophobia for possible special treatment in its bid to tackle discrimination, writing columns across the Sun chain on the issue. (Toronto Sun) (Notice of Meeting)

BC Supreme Court certifies temporary foreign workers’ class-action lawsuit

A class-action lawsuit brought forward by a group of temporary foreign workers has been certified against Mac’s Convenience Stores and several immigration companies. The workers say they paid recruitment fees and were promised jobs, but when they arrived in Canada were left high and dry. The class-action suit certified in B.C. Supreme Court covers temporary foreign workers who made payments to Overseas Immigration Services Inc., Overseas Career and Consulting Services Ltd., and/or Trident Immigration Services Ltd., and then received contracts to work at Mac’s stores in B.C., Alberta, the Northwest Territories, and Saskatchewan. (Global) (Globe and Mail)

Private sponsorship of refugees grows, along with resettlement needs

Britain and Argentina are among a growing number of countries allowing ordinary citizens to pay for refugee care, lodging and other assistance, as global resettlement needs outstrip places available 13-fold, a Canadian-led initiative said. Ireland, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates also plan to allow so-called private sponsorship, like Canada, where individuals and organizations can resettle refugees in addition to those brought in by the government, it said. Canada, which adopted the policy four decades ago, is spearheading the new approach, along with the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR), under the year-old Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative. (Reuters)

Liberals will offer measure to soften small business tax changes, source says

The Liberal government is set to offer a measure to Canadians affected by its proposed tax changes that would make the controversial reforms more palatable, CBC News has learned. "We are not just going to take, take, take," a senior government official, speaking on background, told CBC News. "We're going to give something as well." The offering — the proverbial spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down — would be part of the final proposals presented after the consultation period ends Oct. 2. (CBC)

Trudeau weighs calls to join ballistic missile defence

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has cracked open the door to joining the U.S. ballistic missile defence program, reversing Canada’s long-standing opposition in the face of North Korea’s new capabilities to strike North America. Trudeau said Tuesday that North Korea’s “reckless behaviour” is a threat to global peace. For months, North Korean President Kim Jong Un has conducted weapons tests that show increasing capabilities by the isolated nation. However, Trudeau declined to comment directly on U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat at the United Nations that America would “totally destroy” North Korea if it continues its development of nuclear weapons and missiles. (Toronto Star)

Queens man testifies that terrorist trained him to use weapons

Yousef has previously been identified in the trial as Ferid Imam, who traveled with Al Farekh from Canada to Pakistan in 2007. According to Brooklyn federal prosecutors, Al Farekh, an American citizen, was involved in a 2009 truck bomb attack on a U.S. military base. They said Al Farekh also helped with money collection for the terrorist organization. (NY Daily News)

Canadian Wannabe ISIS fighter caught threatening to bomb girlfriend's car

The Montreal native was stuck in Canada while his wife, in Syria with their children, kept bugging him to get on a plane and join the fight. The Mounties were aware of his efforts to join the terrorist organization. And when he tried to get a passport under his brother’s name, using his brother’s driver’s licence as identification, the federal passport office told him to get lost. By late 2015, Habib, 29, had met a new woman from Gatineau, and moved to Gatineau to be with her. But that started going badly, too. (Canoe.com)

Trump draws APPLAUSE at the UN for blasting Iran's 'murderous regime' and warning that Tehran's mullahs are still working on nuclear missiles

Donald Trump unleashed broadside after broadside against Iran on Tuesday at the United Nations, warning that the 'rogue state' is still racing toward the completion of a nuclear weapon that would destabilize the entire Middle East. 'Major portions of the world are in conflict, and some in fact are going to hell,' he said, in a speech to the General Assembly that included direct attacks on Iran, North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba. (Daily Mail)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Police intercepted 80 people crossing the border into Manitoba between official ports of entry last month, down from 87 in July

A Winnipeg immigration lawyer says new stats that show a continuing drop in the number of asylum seekers crossing into Manitoba likely means worries about a surge in irregular border crossings into the province during Donald Trump's presidency were overblown. Police intercepted 80 people crossing the border into Manitoba between official ports of entry last month, down from 87 in July and significantly lower than the 170 people taken into custody in March, according to numbers released by the federal government Tuesday. (CBC)

Leading civil society voices want changes to Liberal national security bill

Dozens of leading civil society voices are calling for changes to the Liberal government's national security bill to protect privacy and freedoms — the latest sign the high-profile legislation could be in for a rocky ride. The parties, including Amnesty International Canada, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and the Canadian Muslim Lawyers Association, outlined their concerns in a letter, made public Tuesday, to the ministers of public safety, justice and immigration. (CBC) (CTV)

Liberal MPs call on Morneau to fund improvements to no-fly list

Dozens of Liberal MPs and at least one cabinet minister are pushing Finance Minister Bill Morneau to put money aside in next year's budget for a passenger-redress system to protect Canadian travellers, including children, whose names closely match those on the country's no-fly list. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen is one of 50 Liberals MPs – accounting for more than 25 per cent of the 180-member party caucus – who are asking Mr. Morneau to fund the establishment of an independent no-fly-list computer system to allow for smooth travel for law-abiding Canadian airline passengers and their children. (Globe and Mail)

White South African family’s refugee bid rejected, accused of boosting case with ‘racist propaganda’

A white family from South Africa has had their refugee claim for asylum in Canada rejected, having been accused of submitting “white-supremacist hate literature” to bolster their claims of violence by the black majority in their homeland. The claim of the family of six was based on being white South Africans at risk of persecution due to their race, namely Afrikaners, the white minority descended from Dutch settlers in Southern Africa. (National Post)

Black Lives Matter-Toronto shut down Bloor/Yonge to protest deportation of new mother

Members of Black Lives Matter-Toronto took over a hectic downtown intersection Tuesday morning to protest the ordered deportation of a new mother. All four directions of Yonge and Bloor streets were blocked for about 20 minutes by protesters during morning rush hour, demanding that the 38-year-old Jamaican national be allowed to stay in the country with her husband and new baby. Protesters locked arms, forming a human wall, while holding signs and chanting “Let Beverly stay.” (CTV)

Food bank usage in Toronto back to recession-era levels, report says

Suzanne Davison, a 72-year-old who lives in federal co-op housing in Toronto with her 63-year-old brother, goes to her local food bank every week. On her last visit, she collected a tiny bag of potatoes, two cookies, a box of cereal, romaine lettuce, a little carton of milk, a bag of pretzels, a little jar of peanut butter, a Little Caesers pizza and cranberry juice. The box of cereal was expired. She couldn’t have the cranberry juice because it’s full of sugar and she has Type 2 diabetes. The rest will last two or three days. (Toronto Star)

Rally organizers uninvite pro-gun, anti-Islamic group

Organizers of a Sept. 30 anti-Antifa rally in Winnipeg say they've told a controversial group in Alberta volunteering to provide security at the event not to come because their presence would only add fuel to the fire. "We have told the Three Percenters to not bother coming out," said Winnipeg's Josh Sigurdson, a co-founder of Winnipeg Alternative Media organizing the Sept. 30 event dubbed the "Rally For Reasons Against AntiFa & Nazism". (Winnipeg Free Press)

False Promises, Real Fears: Why People Flee the U.S. for Canada

Information – and misinformation – is critical for thousands of people like Lydie who left the U.S. and entered Canada this year. Canadian police say they intercepted more than 5,500 people who crossed into Quebec illegally in August. The Trump administration had mired Haitians in uncertainty by suggesting that the U.S. could end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians when it expires in January 2018. About 60,000 Haitians are covered under the TPS program, which was enacted after the devastating earthquake in 2010 and allowed Haitians to remain and work in the U.S. legally. (News Deeply)

Trudeau pledges to push through tax fairness agenda and defends own family's use of tax rules

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau laid out his government's parliamentary agenda for the fall Tuesday and quickly found himself answering questions about his own use of the country's tax laws to manage his "family fortune" in light of his proposed tax fairness agenda. "Wealthy Canadians are encouraged to use private corporations to pay lower tax than the middle class. That's not fair, and we are going to stop it," Trudeau told reporters in Ottawa. (CBC)

Prime Minister Trudeau promotes 'progressive' NAFTA agenda before U.S. audience

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took his so-called progressive trade agenda to the United States on Tuesday, arguing that worker-friendly policies are key to saving public support for free trade. He made that case in a speech as he arrived in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, and was presented an award for global citizenship by the Atlantic Council think tank. (Financial Post)

NDP slam Liberal government for lack of action on ending ‘discriminatory’ immigration policy

The federal NDP sharply criticized the Liberal government Tuesday for failing to ‘scrap’ a section of Canada’s immigration act that critics say discriminates against persons with disabilities. “Today, Immigration Canada still rejects permanent residency of family members based on them having a disability,” NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan said during Question Period in Ottawa. “The Liberals have been reviewing this issue for two years and last week the Minister met with the provinces, but still no action.” (Global)

France eager to have Canada join peacekeeping efforts in Mali

France is still keen to see Canadian troops deployed to a UN peace operation in Mali as the Canadian government insists it has not yet decided what the “right” mission is. “We are not putting pressure on Canada to make the decision, this is very important because we know this is not an easy decision to make and that Canada has to assess the situation to make a thorough, full decision,” said Eric Navel, spokesman for the French embassy in Canada. “But still we’d be happy to see Canada come to Mali within the MINUSMA (the UN peace operation in Mali).” (Toronto Star)

At least 248 people killed after major 7.1 magnitude earthquake strikes near Mexico City

Police, firefighters and ordinary Mexicans dug frantically through the rubble of collapsed schools, homes and apartment buildings early Wednesday, looking for survivors of Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in decades as the number of confirmed fatalities climbed to 248. Adding poignancy and a touch of the surreal, Tuesday’s magnitude-7.1 quake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake that killed thousands. Just hours earlier, people around Mexico had held earthquake drills to mark the date. (Global) (BBC)

British police make 3rd arrest in London subway attack

British police have arrested a third suspect in connection with the bomb that partially exploded on a London subway last week. Police said they arrested a 25-year-old man in Wales on Tuesday evening under the Terrorism Act. They say a property in Newport, Wales 140 miles (225 kilometres) west of London, was being searched. Two other men arrested over the weekend – an 18-year-old refugee from Iraq and a 21-year-old from Syria – remain in custody. Neither has been charged. London police have not released details from the investigation. (Global) (BBC)

Russia shows off captured ISIS 'suicide tanks' in Syrian desert

Russia's military showed off what it claims is a captured ISIS "tank factory," taking international media — including a crew from CBC News — deep into Syria's desert to the town of Okeirbat. The community, in Syria's Hama province, used to be home to 10,000 people. It is now deserted, with most of its buildings demolished by the aerial bombardment that preceded its re-capture by Syrian government forces on Sept. 2. (CBC)

In his most aggressive warning to date, Donald Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump issued an extraordinary threat during a nationalistic and aggressive first address to the United Nations, warning that the U.S. might “totally destroy” North Korea if dictator Kim Jong Un, whom he belittlingly called “Rocket Man,” strikes against the U.S. or its allies. The threat was the most important moment of a speech that veered between an emphasis on respect for the “sovereignty” of individual countries and a demand that “rogue” countries North Korea, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba change their behaviour or face consequences from the international community. (Toronto Star) (NBC)

TRUMP: ‘THE PROBLEM IN VENEZUELA IS NOT THAT SOCIALISM HAS BEEN POORLY IMPLEMENTED’ BUT ‘FAITHFULLY IMPLEMENTED’

“The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented, but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. (Applause) From the Soviet Union to Cuba to Venezuela, wherever true socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish and devastation and failure. (Gabrien News)

Porn-actor-turned-spy who posed as jihadist gets suspended sentence

A former German intelligence agent who was also once an actor in gay pornography has been given a one-year suspended sentence for attempting to share state secrets while pretending to be a jihadist online. The 52-year-old, named as Roque M, was arrested last November in what initially appeared to be a case of an Islamist mole at work in Germany’s domestic spy agency. (Guardian)

Cellphone bomb found hidden in passenger luggage by X-ray machine at Mangalore Airport in India

A cellphone 'bomb' has been discovered hidden inside a mobile phone by staff screening baggage in an X-ray machine at Mangalore Airport in India. An IndiGo flight from Mangalore to Dubai was delayed this afternoon when a suspicious "clay-like" item was detected by airport scanners. (Mirror.co.uk)

Jihadis used social media giants Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread 27,000 extremist posts in just five months, shock figures reveal

JIHADIS used social media and other internet forums to spread 27,000 new bits of extremist content in the first five months of this year. Firms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are now hosting 180 new postings per day by ISIS alone. (Sun.co.uk)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Anthony Furey: Liberals lower deficit ... to clock in at only billions more than they promised

It’s prudent financial planning to play up your expenses while downplaying your revenues. It greatly decreases your odds of coming up short. This is what financial planners recommend families do to get their personal budgets on track. It’s what more governments should do. But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Bill Morneau have picked a really odd version of this accounting method. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: Are MPs getting the wool pulled over their eyes regarding M-103?

As the committee hearings into M-103 began, Khalid smiled and sounded affable, even praising Conservative MPs and noting she was ready to accept any amendments the committee produces. However, with the caveat it depended on what “experts” in Islamophobia recommend when they appear before the committee. “I am not an expert on the subject matter”, she noted. In Islamist circles, “experts” are those blessed by their commitment to sharia, with an ability to reference Arabic quotes off the cuff that leave guilt-ridden white liberals awestruck. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Canadian media supports Sharia censorship in M-103

On last night's show, I reported on the weak response from the media to the encroachment on freedom of speech that M-103 is beginning to have. The Canadian media is united in support of the motion, including outlets like the National Post that have abandoned conservatism in their mission to receive a bailout from the Trudeau Liberals. (Rebel)

John Ivison: Know the dirty little secret about taxing the rich? It doesn't work

The government released its annual financial report Tuesday, closing the books on fiscal 2016-17. The report was good news for the Liberals — it suggested the deficit came in at $17.8 billion, not the $23 billion predicted in the March budget. But it also indicated attempts to raise nearly $3 billion by increasing the top rate of income tax to 33 per cent had precisely the opposite effect — income tax receipts for the year fell $1.2 billion. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs meets on Thursday September 21 to study the Situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 Years after the End of the Cold War (In Camera)

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow to elect a Chair (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow to elect a Chair (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage study Systemic Racism and Religious Discrimination (M103) today at 3:30PM EST (Notice of Meeting)