True North Initiative: News Scan 10 05 17

TOP STORIES

Kenney says Canada shouldn’t accept refugees denied asylum in U.S., calls for Sharif to be ‘kicked out’

Former federal defence minister and United Conservative Party leadership candidate Jason Kenney has weighed in on Saturday’s vehicle attacks in Edmonton that injured a police officer and four pedestrians. “It’s outrageous that someone would bring hatred from a foreign country and attack their fellow Canadians and a peace officer,” Kenney said in Calgary on Wednesday. “All I can do is say thanks for Const. Chernyk, an amazing Canadian.” (Global) (Edmonton Journal)

Ottawa to examine possible changes to asylum system after Edmonton attack

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is examining its asylum system and will consider whether changes need to be made in light of the terrorist attack in Edmonton allegedly committed by a Somali refugee who had been ordered deported from the United States. "We are looking into exactly what happened in this situation, but it's certain that we have asylum processes that needed to be followed rule by rule," Mr. Trudeau said in Ottawa. "We're looking into the whole system and we'll reflect on whether we need to do things differently in the future than the way they were done in 2012, but the priority is always making sure we're defending the values and rights of Canadians while keeping our communities safe." (Globe and Mail) (CTV) (CBC)

Suspect in Canada Terror Attack Had Been Ordered to Leave U.S.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement service said that it detained Mr. Sharif in July 2011 in California after he was found near the Mexican border without documentation, and that a judge in September of that year ordered him returned to Somalia. He was released from a detention center two months later, however, “due to a lack of likelihood of his removal in the reasonably foreseeable future,” the agency said. (NY Times) (Breitbart)

Man charged in Edmonton attacks crossed into U.S. from Mexico, records show

What happened after Sharif was taken into U.S. custody is unclear; American officials won't say if he actually made an asylum claim in that country. But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has confirmed that just a few months later, on September 22, 2011, an immigration judge ordered Sharif removed to Somalia. (CBC)

Absence of criminal activity allowed Edmonton terror suspect to enter Canada despite U.S. deportation order

The Edmonton terror suspect was able to make a successful asylum claim in Canada after U.S. authorities ordered him deported from their country because there was no evidence of criminal activity, according to the office of Canada’s public safety minister. The government of Canada won’t disclose exactly why Abdulahi Sharif was ordered deported by U.S. immigration officials, citing privacy laws. (Global)

Thousands of refugee claims from asylum seekers remain unprocessed: federal immigration officials

Only 300 refugee claims filed by the thousands of asylum seekers flowing across the Canadian border in Quebec in recent months have been processed by the federal tribunal that decides who gets refugee status, officials told the House Immigration and Citizenship Committee on Tuesday. Only half of those 300 asylum seekers have been granted refugee status, representatives from the federal Immigration and Refugee Board revealed in testimony to the committee. (Hill Times)

More flexible citizenship rules on language, residency to kick in Oct. 11

Relaxed rules for obtaining Canadian citizenship will take effect on Oct. 11, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen announced Wednesday. Hussen said at an event in Brampton, Ont., that the new requirements will make the path to join the "Canadian family" easier and more flexible. "As a country that's committed to the settlement and integration of newcomers successfully so they can restart their lives and make contributions to our society, we have to ensure the path to citizenship for permanent residents," he said. (CBC) (CTV)

Truckers from Quebec face charges after allegedly trying to smuggle 11 people over border

Two truck drivers from Quebec are facing multiple charges after allegedly trying to smuggle 11 people over the United States border into Canada. The Canada Border Services Agency says the truckers were stopped at the Ambassador Bridge crossing into Ontario while carrying a load of produce last month. The agency says the men aroused suspicion after failing to declare anything other than the produce shipment despite being away for a week. (Toronto Star)

RCMP casino money laundering probe uncovered alleged 'terrorist financing' links

As Postmedia has exclusively reported, RCMP investigators and B.C. government documents allege that Paul King Jin and his associates used an illegal money transfer business in Richmond to lend suspected drug-dealer cash to high-roller Chinese gamblers recruited from Macau who, with troubling ease, used massive wads of small bills to buy chips at River Rock Casino. (Vancouver Sun)

Terror trial: Jury hears testimony about accused couple's relationship

Evidence that something was placing considerable tension on their relationship came in the form of messages Djermane, 21, and Jamali, 20, exchanged on their Facebook accounts in the middle of January 2015. They were arrested in April 2015 on charges alleging they planned to commit a terrorist act outside of Canada by joining ISIL in Syria. They are also charged with possessing explosives materials and with facilitating a terrorist act. (Montreal Gazette)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

‘It was textbook’: How Edmonton Police masterfully prevented a mass casualty terrorist attack

It’s entirely possible that Edmonton could have been the victim of the worst Canadian terrorist attack since the 1985 Air India bombing. On a night with crowds packing sidewalks to enjoy one of the last snow-free evenings of the year, a man got behind the wheel of a U-Haul with an intent to kill as many of them as possible. (National Post)

Jagmeet Singh criticised for glorifying Khalsa chief accused of 1985 AI bombing

Newly-minted leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) Jagmeet Singh has already attracted controversy with his refusal to condemn the practice at some Canadian gurdwaras of displaying portraits of a man considered the “mastermind” of the Air India flight 182 terrorist bombing in 1985 that claimed 329 lives. (Hindustan Times)

Canada removes Holocaust memorial plaque that failed to mention Jews

Canada’s government has removed a plaque inaugurating the country’s new Holocaust monument after critics blasted it for failing to mention Jewish people or antisemitism. During its unveiling last week in Ottawa, Justin Trudeau gave a speech highlighting the national memorial as evidence of the government’s commitment to fighting antisemitism, racism and xenophobia. (Guardian) (BBC)

Exit-visa issue prevents Canada from resettling Rohingya refugees: Hussen

Although the Liberal government has no immediate plans to establish a special resettlement program for the Rohingya, Mr. Hussen said Canada would not even be able to do so if it did. The Bangladeshi government refuses to issue exit visas, which are required for refugee resettlement, to the more than 500,000 Rohingya who have fled what the Canadian government and the United Nations call "ethnic cleansing" in Myanmar. (Globe and Mail)

Loan program blamed for leaving refugees in financial trouble to be reworked

The Liberals are finally overhauling a program that provides loans to refugees to cover the cost of their resettlement to Canada, but they're stopping short of demands the system be scrapped entirely. Instead, the government is proposing to eliminate interest charges on all new loans and give new borrowers more time to pay them back, according to a notice of the pending changes posted online by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. (CTV)

Alexandre Bissonnette Charges In Quebec Mosque Shooting Do Not Include Terrorism

A Canadian Muslim group says the decision not to charge the suspect in the Quebec City mosque shooting with terrorism highlights a double standard. "There's no question that if a Muslim had walked into a church or a synagogue and shot up a bunch of people, that person would've been considered a terrorist by the Canadian public," Faisal Bhabha, legal counsel for the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) told HuffPost Canada on Wednesday. (Huffington Post)

Ottawa passes legislation to protect journalists’ anonymous sources from police

Reporters will have an easier time protecting their anonymous sources from police after politicians of all stripes endorsed a bill introduced by a Conservative senator that raises the bar for the issuance of search warrants. The bill, which amends the Criminal Code and the Canada Evidence Act to enhance the protection of journalistic sources, was passed unanimously in the House of Commons on Wednesday evening and brings Canada in line with most other industrialized countries in terms of protecting press freedom. (Globe and Mail)

Liberals face heightened political pressure over North Korean missile threat

The political heat was turned up Wednesday on the Liberal government's refusal to join the U.S. ballistic missile defence program, with the Opposition Conservatives demanding negotiations with the Trump administration for Canada's inclusion in the controversial program. Recent North Korean missile and nuclear tests have been "game changing" and the isolated nation represents a "direct threat," according to the party's defence and foreign affairs critics. (CBC)

Jim Mattis contradicts Trump on Iran deal ahead of key deadline

Days before President Donald Trump has to make a critical decision on whether to hold up the Iran nuclear deal, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis openly split with him on abandoning the agreement, the second senior member of the president’s national security team to recently contradict him. Mattis told senators on Tuesday that it was in America’s interest to stick with the deal, which Trump has often dismissed as a “disaster.” (Toronto Star)

3 US troops killed in ambush in Niger

Three members of the US Special Operations Forces were killed and two others were wounded in southwest Niger near the Mali-Niger border when a joint US-Nigerien patrol was attacked Wednesday, two administration officials told CNN. (CNN)

Las Vegas sheriff says he believes gunman "had to have help at some point"

"Do you think this was all accomplished on his own?" Lombardo said to reporters on Wednesday. "Self value, face value, you got to make the assumption that he had to have had some help at some point. And we want to ensure that that's the answer. Maybe he's a super guy ... [he] was working out all of this on his own. But it'd be hard for me to believe that." (CBS)

Las Vegas shooting: Paddock's girlfriend denies knowledge of attack

The girlfriend of the Las Vegas gunman who shot dead 58 people on Sunday has said she had no idea what her "kind, caring, quiet" partner was planning. Marilou Danley's comments came hours before police suggested Stephen Paddock had been living "a secret life". (BBC)

Unarmed Security Guard Took On Las Vegas Killer Stephen Paddock

Jesus Campos had no firearm when he found Stephen Paddock and approached his room on the 32rd floor of Mandalay Bay on Sunday night. Paddock, who had rigged cameras in the hallway and on the peephole of the door, saw Campos coming and fired through the door, hitting him in the leg, said Dave Hickey, president of the International Union, Security, Police and Fire Professionals of America. The union represents Campos and hundreds of security guards at Mandalay Bay. (Daily Beast)

Las Vegas shooting: Stephen Paddock 'spent decades hoarding guns and did NOT act alone'

Officials also believe Paddock may not have acted alone. Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said: “At face value he had to have some help at some point and we want to ensure that that’s the answer “Maybe he was a superhuman who figured this out all on his own but it would be hard for me to believe that.” (Express.co.uk)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Screening system failed in case of alleged Edmonton attacker Abdulahi Sharif

Abdulahi Hasan Sharif should have been deported in 2015. Or, even better, his refugee application should have been rejected in 2012. He should have never been allowed into Canada, and when we had the chance, he should’ve been sent packing. Instead, he was welcomed into Canada and now is accused of committing heinous acts of violence over the weekend in Edmonton. An ISIS flag was found in his car (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Simon Wiesenthal Center calls on TDSB to pull Islamic guide

The Toronto District School Board’s controversial Islamic Heritage Month guidebook is facing criticism from yet another prominent advocacy organization, this time the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies (FSWC). While the organization is urging the TDSB pull the whole guide pending a full review of all its contents, they’ve focused their complaint on one section in the guide that promotes the Nation of Islam. (Toronto Sun)

Danielle Smith: Minister Ralph Goodale is wrong about Canada’s refugee claimant system

When the system failed by letting in Abdulahi Husan Sharif, the Somali refugee who is accused of stabbing an officer and attempting to mow down pedestrians in a U-Haul on a busy Edmonton street Saturday night. And when asked if it pointed to a problem in our refugee processing system, Goodale said: “There’s no evidence of that whatsoever. The investigation is ongoing, but that conclusion is just not supported by the facts.” I beg to differ. The entire refugee approval system is in a shambles. (Global)

Ezra Levant: Edmonton attack “refugee” still not charged with terrorism. Why?

The Somali “refugee” behind last weekend’s rampage in Edmonton has been charged with five counts of attempted murder, along with dangerous driving and related offences. Why hasn’t he been charged as a terrorist yet? (Rebel)

KOKULAN MAHENDIRAN: Jagmeet Singh owes the public an explanation

In a world in which a viral video has the same impact as a thousand masterfully planned and executed political ads, the internationally popularized clip of Singh reacting in a calm and positive manner to a rather belligerent protester all but guaranteed him victory in the NDP’s leadership contest. With his widely covered candidacy and recent victory, he has completely reinvigorated his ailing party. (Montreal Gazette)

Andrew Coyne: Liberals’ moral arrogance on full display in fight over Status of Women chair

Just a month ago the Liberals were riding high, with a lead in the polls averaging roughly 12 points. Suddenly, things are a lot tighter. A new Ekos Research poll puts them just one point ahead of the Conservatives, 34-33: a statistical tie. Their lead in the latest Nanos and Ipsos surveys is a little better, at seven points, but Forum Research puts the Conservatives four points ahead, while an Angus Reid poll has it 36 to 33 for the Conservatives as the party that “would make the best government.” (National Post)

John Ivison: Ousting of anti-abortion committee chair an act of blatant Liberal hypocrisy

Nothing sums up this government’s unique fusion of cant and artifice as neatly as the ousting of Conservative MP Rachael Harder as chair of the status of women committee, voted out by the Liberals Tuesday on the grounds of her anti-abortion views. In their first throne speech, the Liberals pledged to respect diversity and differences of opinion in Parliament. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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

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

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