True North Initiative: News Scan 10 16 17

TOP STORIES

Liberals prepare to reveal 2018 immigration plan they say will boost economy, help refugees

The Liberal government is finalizing its 2018 immigration plan, aiming to strike the right balance amid a global migration crisis, a surge in illegal border-crossers and persistent labour gaps across the country. Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen recently wrapped up cross-country consultations and is preparing to table the annual immigration levels in the House of Commons by the Nov. 1 deadline. As he sets next year's target for the number of newcomers allowed into the country, the government's goal is to attract top talent in a competitive global market while reuniting families and offering refuge to people displaced by disaster and conflict. (CBC)

New rules will let new Canadians become citizens sooner, minister says

A reduction in the time newcomers must wait before applying for citizenship and other changes will make it easier for immigrants to feel part of Canada, federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi says. Under amendments to the Citizenship Act that took effect this week, people only need to be present in Canada for three years instead of four out of the last five. (Edmonton Sun)

'Inappropriate' to ask asylum seekers at Canada border ISIS opinion, minister says

A questionnaire asking asylum seekers in Canada what they think about ISIS and the Taliban has been scrapped after a minister deemed it “inappropriate.” The document was used by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at a U.S. border crossing in Quebec, according to reports. The queries appeared to specifically target Muslim asylum seekers, as they did not mention any other religions or non-Muslim terrorist groups. (FOX)

Canadian ex-hostage says terrorists raped wife, killed daughter

A Canadian ex-hostage revealed members of an Afghan terrorist group raped his American wife and killed his infant daughter during the five years they were held captive. Joshua Boyle, Caitlan Coleman and their three children landed in Toronto late Friday night after they were rescued in a joint effort between the U.S. and Pakistan this week. The couple was kidnapped in 2012 while they were hiking in Afghanistan, and Coleman, who is from Pennsylvania, went on to have four children in captivity. (NY Daily News) (Globe and Mail)

Ex-hostage Joshua Boyle says he, wife were kidnapped because she was pregnant

A couple held hostage for five years by a Taliban-linked network and forced to raise three children while in captivity were initially targeted for ransom because of the impending birth of their first child, the Canadian man at the heart of the case speculated Saturday. (Toronto Sun)

Jagmeet Singh Suggests CBC's Insistent Questioning About Alleged Terrorist Was Racist

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh thinks a controversial CBC interview in which he was asked repeatedly to denounce the veneration of alleged Air India mastermind Talwinder Singh Parmar was racist. "Should I just say 'yes' directly? I think there was definitely some sort of clear problematic line of thought behind that question, so I'm definitely concerned with it," he told reporters Sunday when asked if he felt the questions were racist. (Huffington Post)

Jagmeet Singh denounces ‘anyone held responsible’ for Air India bombing

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh has defended his response when asked if he would condemn any Canadian Sikhs who glorify Talwinder Singh Parmar, the mastermind of the 1985 Air India bombing, as a martyr. (Global)

ISIS resistance diminishing in Iraq, says Canadian military commander

A Canadian military officer attached to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq says efforts to drive the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant from the country have gone faster than expected – a sign, he says, that the group’s back has been broken. Brig.-Gen. Craig Aitchison, who is helping oversee coalition ground operations in Iraq, says commanders have been surprised by the lack of resistance from ISIL in recent months. (Global) (CTV)

Morneau to announce small business tax cut Monday

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will announce a small business tax cut on Monday, CTV News has learned. Senior government officials say the small business tax, which currently stands at 10.5 per cent, will be lowered to nine per cent. That was a Liberal campaign promise, and Monday’s announcement will come in the wake of loud and angry pushback to the government’s proposal to cut tax loopholes for businesses. (CTV) (Global)

Details missing from Liberal pledge not to tax employee discounts

The government has yet to explain how it intends to fulfil Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge not to go after anyone’s employee discounts -- despite that promise contradicting how the Canada Revenue Agency enforces the law. In an attempt to put the final nail in the coffin on concerns over a CRA edict that suggested the tax agency was changing its approach to taxable employee discounts, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “Let me be blunt: we are not going to tax anyone's employee discounts.” (CTV)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

In a dead heat elsewhere, Justin Trudeau's Liberals still tops in Quebec

As Justin Trudeau approaches the second anniversary of his election victory, his Liberals are in a dead heat with Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party – but in Quebec the prime minister continues to lead, a new poll shows. Nationally, the Liberals and Conservatives were tied at 35 per cent, with the New Democratic Party at 18 per cent, according to results of the Angus Reid Institute poll, made public Friday. (Montreal Gazette)

Singh-led NDP could prove to be ‘double whammy’ for Liberals in 2019, could ‘siphon off’ significant chunk of votes

The Liberals are concerned that the Jagmeet Singh-led New Democrats would “siphon off” a significant chunk of votes from them in the 2019 election, creating three-way races across the country that would be a “double whammy” for the ruling party trying to hold off the Conservatives, and, at the minimum, could reduce them to a minority government, say current and former Liberal MPs, and former senior Liberals. (Hill Times)

As U.S. shocks with NAFTA demands, other countries asking: What does Trump want?

The chief U.S. negotiator shrugged his shoulders when asked about signs of trouble in the NAFTA talks on Sunday. John Melle pulled open a door, entered a work room, and offered a one-word reply about how it’s going. “Fabulous,” he said. Upon leaving those rooms, people are saying the exact opposite. The No. 1 discussion topic at this current round is whether Melle’s team is being ordered to sabotage the talks, so President Donald Trump can declare NAFTA has failed. (Financial Post)

Kent calls on ethics commissioner to investigate Morneau over corporation that holds French villa

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is facing a call for an investigation into his failure for two years to disclose the existence of one of his private corporations to Canada's ethics watchdog. In a letter to Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, Conservative MP Peter Kent asks her to take a closer look at SCI Mas des Morneau, a company incorporated in France which owns and manages Morneau's villa in the picturesque town of Oppède in France's Provence region. Morneau and his wife Nancy McCain are listed as partners. (CBC)

Imam warns youth that Islamic State is 'still recruiting'

The tall, slim teenager asks a question that's on the minds of many of the young people gathered around the cloth-covered tables in a small meeting room at a mosque in northeast Calgary. "If someone from ISIS or ISIL approaches you, how would you respond to them, so that you're not attacked any further?" wonders Zubair Tariq, 16. (CBC) (Global) (Toronto Star)

Taliban-linked network that took Canadian and his family captive could face justice in Canada

A freed Canadian hostage held captive with his family in Afghanistan could see his kidnappers brought to justice in Canada but there are plenty of hurdles to overcome, a legal expert says. Joshua Boyle demanded that his abductors, members of the Taliban-linked Haqqani network, be punished for their actions when he returned to Canada on Friday with his wife Caitlan Coleman and their three young children after five years in captivity. Boyle said his captors killed his daughter and raped Coleman. (National Post)

Trump aims blow at Iran and threatens landmark nuclear deal

US President Donald Trump has condemned Iran as a "fanatical regime" and refused to continue signing off on a landmark international nuclear deal. In a combative speech on Friday, Mr Trump accused Iran of sponsoring terrorism and proposed new sanctions. He said Iran had already violated the 2015 deal, which imposed curbs on Iran's nuclear capability in return for easing international embargoes. (BBC)

'It's a dark day': 276 killed in deadliest single attack in Somalia's history

The most powerful bomb blast ever witnessed in Somalia's capital killed 276 people with around 300 others injured, the country's information minister said early Monday, making it the deadliest single attack in this Horn of Africa nation. The toll could continue to rise. (CBC)

German Towns Filled With Refugees Ask, ‘Who Is Integrating Whom?’

Late this summer, Nadine Langer took her six-year old to her first day at school. The girl was one of two German children in her class, she said, amid 20, mostly Syrian, refugees. (WSJ)

Austrian 'whizz-kid' in election triumph

Austria's political "whizz-kid" Sebastian Kurz was on course Sunday to become Europe's youngest leader, potentially in coalition with the far-right after its best result in almost 20 years. Kurz's conservative People's Party (OeVP) won 31.7 percent of the vote, followed by Chancellor Christian Kern's Social Democrats (SPOe) on 26.9 percent, projections that were broadly in line with preliminary results showed. (Yahoo)

Clashes reported after Iraqi forces advance on Kurdish-held sites

Clashes have been reported between Iraqi and Kurdish forces after Baghdad sent troops towards disputed areas held by the Kurds in Kirkuk province. State TV said government forces had taken control of some areas, including oil fields, "without fighting". But Kurdish officials denied this. (BBC)

Venezuela socialists win governor seats amid fraud claims

Electoral authorities in Venezuela say the governing Socialist Party has won 17 of 23 state governorships in a crushing victory. President Nicolás Maduro hailed it as a victory for Chavismo, his party's brand of socialism named after former president Hugo Chávez. But opposition leaders alleged fraud. (BBC)

Somalia attack: Death toll rises in Mogadishu blast

At least 276 people are now known to have died in a massive bomb attack in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu on Saturday. A Turkish military plane is meeting victims, tweets Somali ambulance service Aamin Ambulance. (BBC)

Hillary Clinton blames sexism for election defeat to Donald Trump

Former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton blamed her 2016 election loss to Donald Trump on sexism and the “double standards” women are held to in public life during a promotional tour for her new memoir in Britain on Sunday. (Global)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Refugee screenings shouldn't be guided by political correctness

The Trudeau government is putting political correctness ahead of our public safety and national security. The latest example comes through an RCMP questionnaire that was used to screen migrants who illegally crossed into Quebec. Quebec RCMP would use the questionnaire to pose basic questions to these illegal migrants, like where they’re from, why they’re leaving the U.S. and why they’re crossing illegally. The 41-question document also delved into national security questions, meant to screen for radicalization and potential terrorism – including questions about a person’s values and worldview. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: After Jagmeet Singh’s win, we need to talk more about the ills of socialism

If the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words is true, then a recent photo gallery on food shortages in Venezuela should be all anyone needs to understand the ills of socialism. The Bloomberg Businessweek feature shows pictures of regular Venezuelans from before and after the recent food shortages began. To name one, Julio Cesar Montes, a 50-year-old security guard and father of five, plummeted from 172 lbs. to 115lbs. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trudeau’s trying times

Halfway through his electoral mandate, won on the night of Oct. 19, 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces a sudden and unexpected drop in the polls, along with a growing list of broken promises from that election. Today, let’s look at some of the major ones: Trudeau promised a revenue neutral middle class tax cut. It isn’t. The tax cut is costing Canadians $1.2 billion annually from the federal treasury. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau's vanity budget

Leave it to the Trudeau Liberals to spend taxpayers’ money in the weirdest of places, especially if it adds to their hipster image. Like budget books, for example. Normally these ponderous texts, most now gathering dust on reporters’ and accountants’ shelves, have covers as plain as plain can be because they are what they are. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: A fool's homecoming

If we are expected to express joy at the release of Canadian Joshua Boyle who was held hostage five years by Taliban-linked extremists, excuse us if we take a pass. He’s both an idiot and a fool. (Toronto Sun)

Farzana Hassan: What this liberal Muslim will be saying before the M-103 committee

On Monday, the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage will reconvene to discuss the pros and cons of M-103, the hotly-debated motion that has polarized the country. The motion is controversial for a number of reasons. Its critics justifiably fear that the motion attempts to thwart freedom of conscience and speech when it comes to criticizing the disturbing and extreme Islamic practices sometimes seen among migrant communities. (Toronto Sun)

Geoffrey Johnston: Terrorism threatens Canada

Terrorism is a threat to Canada's national security, one that Canadians and their government should discuss openly and rationally. Last month, Edmonton was rocked by apparent terrorist attacks allegedly perpetrated by a Somali refugee. Police allege that Abdulahi Hasan Sharif used a car to ram a peace officer at a traffic checkpoint outside of Commonwealth Stadium on Sept. 30. The officer, Const. Michael Chernyk, was thrown into the air before hitting the pavement. (Kingston Whig)

Lorne Gunter: The 'don't paint everyone with the same brush' rule must apply to gun owners too

How come when a purported ISIS supporter allegedly attacks an Edmonton city police officer outside a CFL game two weeks ago and later that night allegedly runs down a handful of bar-goers in the city’s downtown, the first instinct of the prime minister, the Alberta premier and the mayor is to warn the rest of us not to hate on all Muslims? Yet after some nutjob with an arsenal of guns shoots up an open-air concert in Vegas, many of these same leaders and their supporters think it is perfectly acceptable to lump all gun owners together and call for legislation to punish everyone with a firearm? (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to study Bill C-47: An Act to amend the Export and Import Permits Act and the Criminal Code

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet today for committee business

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet later today to study Bill M-39: Immigration to Atlantic Canada