True North Initiative: News Scan 10 18 17

TOP STORIES

Edmonton terror suspect had history in San Diego immigration detention

The man arrested in connection with attacking a police officer and four pedestrians in Edmonton, Canada, in late September had previously been ordered deported in San Diego. Abdulahi Hasan Sharif, 30, who obtained refugee status in Canada, is believed to be the same Somali man named Abdullahi Hassan Sharif, who was detained after coming without documents to the San Ysidro port of entry in 2011, government officials from both countries told several media outlets. (San Diego Union Tribune)

Opposition accuses Liberals of 'paralysis' in crackdown on crooked immigration consultants

Opposition MPs are accusing the Liberal government of failing to protect immigrants from fraudsters and predators as it swings Canada's door open to more newcomers. In a formal response to a sweeping study by MPs on the immigration committee tabled four months ago, Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said the government is "seized" with issues related to inadequate protection from unprofessional or unethical practitioners, and conceded a strong system of oversight is essential. (CBC)

Caitlan Coleman, wife of former Canadian hostage Joshua Boyle, rushed to hospital

Joshua Boyle, a Canadian who was rescued with his family last week by Pakistani troops, said Tuesday that his wife had to be rushed to the hospital and remains there. Boyle told The Associated Press in an email that his wife, Caitlan Boyle, was admitted Monday. His email did not specify why she was taken to the hospital. “My first concern has to be the health of my wife and children,” Boyle wrote. Boyle, his American wife and their three children were rescued Wednesday, five years after the couple was abducted in Afghanistan on a backpacking trip. Four children were born in captivity. (Toronto Sun)

43,000 sign petition demanding Canada revoke Myanmar leader’s honorary citizenship

A petition calling for the Liberal government to revoke Myanmar de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi‘s honorary Canadian citizenship was presented at Parliament Hill Tuesday. Gatineau, Que.-based advocate Fareed Khan, who started the online petition in September amid the ongoing persecution of the country’s Rohingya population, unveiled the 2,000-page document in front of politicians such as Liberal MP Alexandra Mendes, Conservative MP Garnett Genuis, and NDP MP Charlie Angus. (Global)

Fighting in Kirkuk threatens U.S., Canadian efforts to defeat ISIS

Western nations, including the United States and Canada, face a new and difficult task in Iraq: getting two former allies who recently turned their guns on each other to refocus their battlefield efforts on a shared enemy, ISIS. Iraqi security forces continue their campaign to restore Baghdad's full control over the contested region around the northern oil city of Kirkuk. On Monday, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters fled from positions they had held for more than three years after Iraq's prime minister launched a military operation. (CBC)

U.S.-backed forces celebrate fall of ISIS 'capital,' Raqqa

U.S.-backed Syrian forces celebrated in the devastated streets of Raqqa on Tuesday after gaining control of the northern city that once was the heart of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's self-styled caliphate, dealing a major defeat to the extremist group that has seen its territory shrink ever smaller since summer. Militants took over the vibrant metropolis on the Euphrates River in 2014, transforming it into the epicenter of their brutal rule, where opponents were beheaded and terror plots hatched. (CBC) (BBC)

Morneau using ethics loophole to maintain ownership of shares in family business

Finance Minister Bill Morneau continues to own shares in his family’s business Morneau Shepell through a corporate structure that keeps him from having to divest or put his shares in a blind trust, CTV News has learned. Morneau has been able to do so by using a loophole in the ethics law that Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson says she flagged long ago. (CTV)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Trudeau, Trump governments trade criticism as NAFTA talks falter

The vast divide between Canada and the United States over the future of North American trade burst into public view on Tuesday as top officials for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump traded blame for their negotiating impasse. In an acrimonious joint appearance that trade experts called highly unusual, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer exchanged sharp criticism while standing a metre from each other on a stage in Washington. (Toronto Star)

Morneau Must 'Come Clean' About Shares In Family Company, Tories Say

Conservatives demanded to know Tuesday whether Finance Minister Bill Morneau had sold his shares in his family company, suggesting that if not, he'd broken the law. "The law requires that ministers put their assets in a blind trust within 120 days of being appointed, but we have learned that the finance minister chose not to put his family fortune into a blind trust," Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer stated as he led off question period. (Huffington Post)

Morneau opted not to set up blind trust, ethics watchdog says

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, speaking publicly for the first time on Finance Minister Bill Morneau's conflict-of-interest controversy, is making it clear she didn't advise the former executive against establishing a blind trust for his substantial wealth. The federal watchdog said she merely told Mr. Morneau that it was not necessary to set up a blind trust that would place his wealth beyond his reach while he served in public office. (Globe and Mail)

75,000 manufacturing jobs lost — that’s the price of Ontario’s electricity disaster

In the 1990s and into the 2000s, Ontario was a low-electricity-cost jurisdiction. This was a competitive advantage for the province, helping attract business and foster economic growth. Of course, in recent years, due largely to the Green Energy Act and its inefficiencies, Ontario electricity prices have soared, hurting industrial competitiveness, especially in the manufacturing sector where electricity is a major cost. The results have been devastating. (Financial Post)

TDSB Islamic guidebook sparks protests Wednesday

Dueling protests over a controversial 170-page Islamic Heritage Month guidebook are planned for the Toronto District School board’s North York headquarters Wednesday afternoon. Jewish Defence League (JDL) head Meir Weinstein said Tuesday they are expecting a “good turnout” — up to 100 people — to protest the guide’s links to radical Islam. (Toronto Sun)

Conservatives name former Rebel Media director as 2019 campaign chair

Hamish Marshall is by all accounts bright and experienced. He has helped Andrew Scheer and the Conservative Party win before. But the man the federal Conservatives have hired to run their next election campaign comes with baggage that Scheer himself now wants to avoid — a connection to media outlet The Rebel. If most Canadians know Marshall's name at all, it's probably because of that Rebel link. Like most campaign managers, the bespectacled and baby-faced Marshall stayed behind the scenes during Scheer's leadership race. (CBC)

Accused hostage taker of Amanda Lindhout claims he lied to undercover RCMP agents

Ali Omar Adar says he lied to undercover agents when he boasted getting $10,000 for his role as negotiator in the Amanda Lindhout hostage-taking. In the second day of testimony, the man accused of helping a Somali terror group continued to say he was forced against his will to participate in the kidnapping. Adar is charged for his alleged role as a negotiator and translator. He’s accused of making the calls to the families of Canadian journalist Amanda Lindhout and Australian photographer Nigel Brennan and demanding ransom. (Global)

With possible security review looming, NHL teams look at facial recognition software

The National Hockey League and some of its 31 teams are fielding pitches from companies offering to install high-definition cameras and facial recognition software in league arenas, TSN has learned. A senior executive with one NHL club told TSN that he expects facial-recognition technology will be adopted by his team and others in the league within the next two years. (TSN)

'Still recruiting:' Imam warns youth to beware of influence of Islamic State

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. (National Observer)

Pakistani mastermind of plot to smuggle ‘terrorism’ immigrants to U.S. sentenced

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the mastermind of a smuggling ring who brought dozens of illegal immigrants from terrorist hot spots into the U.S. to 31 months in prison, rejecting the man’s pleas for leniency and saying he could have ended up getting Americans killed. Sharafat Ali Khan, while acknowledging his guilt, denied he was the main smuggler, and said he was surprised he’s the only person arrested and prosecuted in the ring, which investigators said helped more than 100 illegal immigrants from Pakistan and Afghanistan sneak into the U.S. (Washington Times)

Trump's latest travel ban blocked by federal judge

US President Donald Trump's latest bid to impose travel restrictions on citizens from eight countries entering the US has suffered a court defeat. A federal judge slapped a temporary restraining order on the open-ended ban before it could take effect this week. The policy targets Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea, as well as some Venezuelan officials. (BBC)

Taliban launch wave of attacks in Afghanistan, kill 74

The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks across Afghanistan on Tuesday, targeting police compounds and government facilities with suicide bombers in the country's south, east and west, and killing at least 74 people, officials said. Among those killed in one of the attacks was a provincial police chief. Scores were also wounded, both policemen and civilians. Afghanistan's deputy interior minister, Murad Ali Murad, called the onslaught the "biggest terrorist attack this year." (Chronicle Herald)

Dr. Jordan Peterson interviews Ayaan Hirsi Ali

(Rebel Media)

Iraq takes disputed areas as Kurds 'withdraw to 2014 lines'

Iraq's military says it has completed an operation to retake disputed areas held by Kurdish forces since 2014. On Monday and Tuesday troops retook the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk and its oilfields, as well as parts of Nineveh and Diyala provinces. Peshmerga fighters had seized the areas while battling so-called Islamic State. (BBC)

Wounded casino security guard vanishes from Las Vegas — and surfaces on the set of 'Ellen'

On Wednesday, Ellen DeGeneres’ television talk show is expected to broadcast the much-anticipated first interview with the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino security guard, who was the first shooting victim in the Oct. 1 massacre in Las Vegas. DeGeneres tweeted a photo of Campos holding a cane on the set Tuesday alongside maintenance engineer Stephen Schuck, who was also shot at by the gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel. (LA Times)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Anthony Furey: The sad part is Morneau was supposed to be the adult at the table

If Monday was bad for Bill Morneau, Tuesday was worse. And no one, least of all fiscal conservatives, should take any pleasure in this. The Conservatives are hammering Morneau over not putting his considerable wealth into a blind trust 120 days after being appointed to cabinet, as per section 27 of the Conflict of Interest Act. “Is there anyone over there who’s even slightly embarrassed about the hypocrisy of the finance minister keeping his shares out of a blind trust and not disclosing this to the public?” Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said in Tuesday’s Question Period, aiming his remarks at the Liberals. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: Who are Joshua Boyle and Caitlin Coleman?

Many in the media are painting a picture of Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlin Coleman, as victims who suffered years of torment at the hands of their Taliban captors. But there are elements in their story which beg further questioning. One problem is that non-Muslim journalists today are so scared of being labelled racist, that obvious questions arising from Boyle’s account of his and his family’s captivity aren’t being asked. (Calgary Sun)

Ezra Levant: Toronto may spend $20M on housing — for “refugees,” not citizens

Look at this CBC headline: "City may spend $20M more on settling rising number of refugees in local hotels”. And then: "Toronto considering extending contracts with hotels to house refugees until end of 2018". Hotels! With maid service, room service. You couldn’t find a more expensive way to house people. (Rebel)

Lorrie Goldstein: Wynne Liberals broke every rule in the book

Normally, Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk’s complete evisceration of how Premier Kathleen Wynne plans to pay for her “Fair Hydro Plan” would be an election game changer. That is, the final nail in the coffin of the Wynne government’s financial credibility, leading to its defeat at the polls in June. Lysyk’s findings, released Tuesday, are devastating for the Liberals. (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: Concerns raised as Liberals consider tougher French requirements for public servants

Canada is blessed with a bilingual public service – a bureaucracy mildewed with caution and capable of stifling innovation in both official languages. We are, in fact, better at stopping things happening than anyone – Canada is number one in the International Civil Service Effectiveness Index. (National Post)

Susan Delacourt: Liberals are knifing Liberals in public. Ah, nostalgia.

Justin Trudeau has never been very fond of the “old” Liberal party — “old” generally being defined as people who were Liberals before Trudeau became leader. Is he paying a price now for that bias against the party’s history? Trudeau, who spent his childhood at 24 Sussex Dr., is probably one of the few people in Canada who can legitimately claim to have been ‘born’ a Liberal. Yet he has demonstrated, over and over again, that he wasn’t all that into the party as it existed under his father and subsequent leaders. (IPolitics)

Christie Blatchford: McGuinty's statement on gas plants was untrue, key witness tells trial

In the exquisitely even-handed manner that is his trademark and in his usual careful language, Ontario’s former top public servant Tuesday called former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty a big fat liar. Peter Wallace was being cross-examined by Brian Gover, lawyer for former McGuinty chief of staff David Livingston. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to study US and Canadian Foreign Policy, Committee Business, and the Situation in Eastern Europe 25 Years after the End of the Cold War

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet today to study Canada and the Ukraine Crisis

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

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow to study Bill C-21: An Act to amend the Customs Act