True North Initiative: News Scan 10 04 17

TOP STORIES

Man charged in Edmonton attacks was ordered deported from U.S. in 2011

The Somali refugee accused of stabbing an Edmonton police constable on the weekend and running down four pedestrians was ordered to be deported from the United States in 2011 by a U.S. immigration judge, CBC News has learned. In July 2011, U.S. Customs and Border Protection transferred Abdulahi Hasan Sharif into the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, Calif., according to Jennifer D. Elzea, acting press secretary for the ICE office of public affairs. (CBC) (Toronto Star) (Globe and Mail)

Edmonton terror attacks: Abdulahi Sharif makes 1st court appearance

The man accused of attempting to kill five people in Saturday night’s vehicle and stabbing attacks in Edmonton appeared in court on Tuesday morning. A Somali interpreter was in the courtroom as Abdulahi Sharif appeared via CCTV, wearing an orange jumpsuit. (Global)

About half of asylum seekers crossing into Canada over U.S. border have refugee claims rejected: IRB

About half of the asylum claims heard so far from those who’ve crossed the Canada-U.S. border since July have been rejected, the Immigration and Refugee Board said Tuesday. But the actual number of cases the board has heard since then is a mere fraction of the 8,000 or so claims that have been filed to date. (National Post) (Toronto Sun)

Refugee Board making very slow progress in hearing claims

About half of the asylum claims heard so far from those who've crossed the Canada-U.S.. border since July have been rejected, the Immigration and Refugee Board said Tuesday. But the actual number of cases the board has heard since then is a mere fraction of the 8,000 or so claims that have been filed to date. Shereen Benzvy Miller, the head of the IRB's refugee protection division, told a House of Commons immigration committee hearing that 240 have already been finalized, and a further 373 had been scheduled as of earlier this week, with the rate of rejection around 50 per cent. (CTV)

Number of Mexican asylum claims spikes to nearly 1,000 so far this year

The number of asylum claims made by Mexican nationals in Canada this year is already nearly four times the total of all claims made in 2016, a parliamentary committee was told Tuesday. In a written response to a question from the House of Commons standing committee on citizenship and immigration, officials revealed that the number of claims so far in 2017 stands at 946. The total for all of 2016 was around 250, and in 2015 it was 111. (Global)

Truckers caught smuggling immigrants into Canada at Ambassador Bridge

Two truckers face charges after trying to cross the Ambassador Bridge from Detroit into Canada with 11 people hidden behind a curtain, Canadian authorities announced Tuesday. Paul Ngoue-Ngameleu, 42, and Henadez Makia Mbeh, 50, both of Quebec, were crossing the bridge on Sept. 21 in a truck loaded with produce when they were referred to secondary screening, according to a news release from the Canada Border Services Agency. (Detroit Free Press) (WZZM 13)

Witness says M-103 could bring violence to Canada

A religious freedom advocate whose brother was murdered for his Catholic beliefs told a parliamentary committee that legislation on Islamophobia could bring Canada the type of religious violence many people came here to escape. Peter Bhatti, the founder of International Christian Voice, told the Heritage Committee Sept. 27 that Pakistani-Canadi-ans also worry that the government’s Islamophobia Motion 103 could put the lives of their relatives in Pakistan at risk. (Catholic Register)

Jagmeet Singh WON'T Condemn Air India Bomber (Alleged Architect) Talwinder Singh Parmar Posters (Full Interview)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Authorities were warned Edmonton attack suspect was an extremist. What legal options did they have?

On Tuesday morning, Abdulahi Hasan Sharif made his first appearance in an Edmonton court for an alleged weekend rampage that’s being treated as an act of terrorism. Sharif is accused of ramming a police officer with a car, stabbing the officer multiple times, and then trying to run down pedestrians in a U-Haul van, hitting four people. Miraculously, nobody was killed. (National Post)

Quebec City and Edmonton attacks: Why it's difficult to lay terrorism charges in Canada

The attacks had all the hallmarks of terrorism. In Quebec City, a man is accused of fatally shooting six worshippers at a mosque, and attempting to kill others. In Edmonton, a man is accused of driving a van into pedestrians and stabbing a police officer. Yet neither has been charged with committing an act of terrorism. (Globe and Mail)

450,000 immigrants a year? Canada could do it, report suggests

How many newcomers should Canada let in next year? We’re about to find out. Ottawa is set to announce the country’s 2018 immigration target by Nov. 1. The federal government has already upped Canada’s immigrant intake to 300,000 annually, but could it – and should it – go even further? That’s the question at the heart of a new report by the Conference Board of Canada, which forecasts the potential impacts of different immigration levels on the overall economy, income levels and public spending. (Global)

Canada More Dependent Than Ever On Immigration, Data Shows

Canada's dependence on immigration for population growth — and economic development — has hit an all-time high. According to a National Bank of Canada analysis of Statistics Canada data, immigration now accounts for three-quarters of Canada's population growth, up from less than half in the early 1990s. (Huffington Post)

There are 750 Canadian 'Dreamers' facing possible deportation from U.S. after Trump decision

From the Stars-and-Stripes flag on her desk to the way she spells colour — without a “u,” of course — Leezia Dhalla says she couldn’t feel more American. She’s lived 21 of her 27 years south of the border, after all, and in the red-meat heartland of Texas, no less. (National Post)

Gay Afghan seeking refugee status in B.C. worries delay could cost him his life

A gay man in Afghanistan who fears for his life has waited a year and a half to come to B.C. as a refugee, and he worries continued delay could lead to his death. The federal NDP is calling on the government to intervene directly to get him out of a dangerous situation. (CBC)

Islamic Terrorist Bombing Foiled At Soccer Stadium In France

French authorities revealed Tuesday morning that they foiled an Islamic terrorist attack on Saturday when a large bomb was found near a soccer stadium where 50,000 fans were attending a game. The bomb, which consisted of “four gas cylinders covered in petrol,” was reportedly found near the grounds of Paris Saint-Germain football club just hours before the game, the Daily Mail reported. (Daily Wire)

French Parliament Advances a Sweeping Counterterrorism Bill

The French government on Tuesday moved a significant step closer to making permanent some of the emergency measures put in place after the terrorist attacks of 2015, expanding the powers of the security forces to combat terrorism in ways that critics say may also curtail civil liberties. (NY Times)

Catalan referendum: Region's independence 'in matter of days'

Catalonia will declare independence from Spain in a matter of days, the leader of the autonomous region has told the BBC. In his first interview since a disputed vote on Sunday, Carles Puigdemont said his government would "act at the end of this week or the beginning of next". (BBC)

Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock set up cameras at hotel room; girlfriend a 'person of interest'

The Las Vegas gunman transferred $100,000 overseas in the days before the attack and planned the massacre so meticulously that he even set up cameras inside the peephole of his high-rise hotel room and on a service cart outside his door, apparently to spot anyone coming for him, authorities said Tuesday. Meanwhile, investigators are taking a harder look at the shooter’s girlfriend and what she might have known about the attack at a country music festival, with the sheriff naming her a “person of interest” and saying the FBI is bringing her back to the U.S. on Wednesday for questioning. (Toronto Sun) (Global) (Daily Mail)

Las Vegas Shooter Stephen Paddock Wired $100,000 to Philippines Last Week

Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country, the Philippines, in the week before he unleashed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to multiple senior law enforcement officials. (NBC)

Las Vegas shooting: Gunman fired for 9 to 11 minutes, police say

It took about 10 minutes of gunfire for Stephen Paddock to carry out the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. From his position at a Las Vegas hotel, Paddock fired a barrage of bullets at 22,000 concertgoers below at a country music festival -- made possible through what appeared to be meticulous planning. (CNN)

Las Vegas shooting: Donald Trump to meet with survivors, law enforcement officials

President Donald Trump will reckon with the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas as he meets Wednesday with survivors and law enforcement officials in a time of grief. Trump heads to the city days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a Vegas Strip hotel and casino opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival below. The Sunday night rampage by Stephen Craig Paddock killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape. (Global)

Las Vegas shooting: First look inside gunman Stephen Paddock’s hotel room

In a hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, one man smashed out the windows and opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people attending a music festival. Shots were first reported to police at 10:08 pm PT and police say Stephen Paddock fired for 9-11 minutes before stopping. Police then began the search for the room gunman Paddock was shooting from (room 32-135) — it was a corner suite with what Las Vegas police described as an uninterrupted view of the Las Vegas Strip. (Global)

ISIS release new video, bragging that Las Vegas shooting is REVENGE for US attacks against their ‘caliphate’

Islamic State has released a new video bragging that the Las Vegas massacre was revenge for US attacks against their caliphate. In what appears to be a desperate publicity stunt, the terror group claimed the horrific acts of Stephen Paddock, 64, were down to them, saying they radicalised him months before he shot 58 people dead and injured 527 more on Sunday night. He then committed suicide. (Daily Mail)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Toronto District School Board chair defends controversial Islamic guidebook

A letter written by the chair of the Toronto District School Board concerning their controversial Islamic Heritage Month guidebook chastises a national Jewish group and reveals the board was not as eager to tone the guide down as previously thought. On Monday, I reported that the TDSB was temporarily recalling and revising their Islamic Heritage Month guidebook following a complaint from advocacy group B’nai Brith Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: Jagmeet Singh fails his first test of leadership

The weekend triumph of Jagmeet Singh as the new leader of the federal NDP was unprecedented in many respects. Gone was the old policy-driven NDP of the Ed Broadbent days. The new NDP is all about pizazz and style, not substance, where religious orthodoxy and militancy are viewed as progressive and revolutionary. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Canadian elites push “diversity” after Edmonton terrorist attack

The attacker was a Muslim "refugee" from Somalia named Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, his radical beliefs were known to the Edmonton Police and RCMP but he was allowed to continue living in Canada. After the attack, Canadian media outlets stressed the need for Canadians not to make assumptions based on race. Even an Edmonton police officer took to reporting and blocking racist comments on Twitter. (Rebel)

John Ivison: Canada needs to stand firm and pass anti-corruption legislation

Russia’s preferred style of government down the centuries has blithely been called despotism, tempered by assassination. But Canadian MPs hope that Vladimir Putin’s absolutism can be moderated by less dramatic means — international human rights pressure. The move by Canada to introduce new anti-corruption legislation has provoked a visceral reaction from the Russian government. (National Post)

Christie Blatchford: Enough of reporters acting like roving therapists after traumatic events

This undoubtedly is stating the painfully obvious, but there is something wrong with me: The more the first world emotes, the more reticent I become, the more I love the stolid, the private, the downright uncommunicative. I realized this most recently when I woke up two mornings after the slaughter in Las Vegas. I’m on the road this week, and that means I watch an unusual amount of television. (National Post)

Palvasha Qureshi: Justin Trudeau's government is all about promoting women as long as they have the 'correct' opinions

Many Canadians were happy to see Liberal MPs walk out of a status of women committee meeting last week over the anti-abortion views held by Conservative pick for committee chair, Rachael Harder. I, on the other hand, felt betrayed. On Tuesday, Harder's nomination was defeated and Conservative MP Karen Vecchio, who did not want the job, was voted in as chair. (CBC)

Stephanie Carvin: To fight homegrown terrorism, Canada must focus on facts

Sadly for Canada, this past weekend was one of extremisms. Saturday saw protests by far-right groups at a border crossing in Quebec and on Parliament Hill against refugees and immigration. The Quebec protest was successful in shutting down the Canada-U.S. border crossing for several hours. And of course, Saturday night saw the attack in Edmonton. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif is accused of an alleged attempt to kill a police officer and drive a truck into crowds. The attack is believed to have been inspired by the Islamic State. (Globe and Mail)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow to study Bill C-21, an Act to amend the Customs Act (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow to get another Briefing on the Issue of Asylum Seekers (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to study Provision of Assistance to Canadians in Difficulty Abroad (Public)

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet later today to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)