True North Initiative News Scan 11 03 2017

TOP STORIES

Canadian teen convicted of Manhattan terror plot takes on Omar Khadr-linked legal team

After a year of strange back-and-forth, a Canadian teenager convicted of plotting to bomb the New York subway and Times Square has taken on a new legal team linked to Dennis Edney, the celebrated Alberta lawyer who acted for Omar Khadr. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 19, has been represented by federal public defenders since his secret arrest in May 2016, but faced pressure from his own parents to hire Edney and a New York firm working with the Edmonton lawyer, court documents reveal. (National Post)

BIN LADEN FILES: Harry death plot, Iran ties and bashing the Bard

Terror master Osama bin Laden’s bizarre worldview and wishlist of death are among the top secret files the CIA has released. Spooks released files Wednesday revealing his viewing habits, plot to kill Prince Harry, troubling ties with Iran and the trigger that made him hate the west. The CEO of al-Qaida was iced by a U.S. Navy Seal team in 2011, reduced to hiding like a rat in his compound in the mountains of Pakistan. (Toronto Sun) (Global)

Terror trial: Expert analyzes videos, photos found on computers of accused couple

The Facebook pages of Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali, the young couple on trial at the Montreal courthouse on terror-related charges, indicated they had an admiration for an influential extremist imam before they were arrested two years ago. (Montreal Gazette)

New York truck attack: Trump urges death penalty for Sayfullo Saipov

US President Donald Trump has repeated calls for the suspect in the New York truck attack to get the death penalty. But Mr Trump backed away from his call a day earlier to send Sayfullo Saipov to Guantanamo Bay, saying "that process takes much longer". The suspect, who allegedly drove along a Manhattan cycle path killing eight people, told police he "felt good" about Tuesday's Halloween attack. (BBC)

Liberals urged to reveal exact number of ministers using conflict-of-interest loophole

Opposition parties called on the Trudeau government on Thursday to stop playing "ethics bingo" and clear up the confusion over how many cabinet ministers are using a conflict-of-interest loophole to avoid divesting or putting assets in a blind trust. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson have offered different versions of the number of cabinet ministers holding controlled assets indirectly through numbered corporations. (Globe and Mail)

Costs to run Prime Minister Trudeau's office climb higher

The cost of running the Prime Minister's Office has risen to the highest level since 2011. Justin Trudeau's office cost taxpayers $8.3 million in 2016-17, the latest audited figure available and the first full fiscal year of his prime ministership. The level is higher than for any year during Stephen Harper's last term of office, 2011-15, a period when the Conservative government was focused on eliminating the federal deficit. (CBC)

Deir al-Zour: Syrian army 'takes last IS stronghold'

The Syrian army has retaken Deir al-Zour, the last major stronghold of so-called Islamic State (IS) in Syria, state TV says. "The city is completely liberated from terrorism," the state TV report said. Other reports said the Syrian army and its allies were clearing the last pockets of resistance from IS. (BBC)

Five jailed over terror plot in Sydney

Four men and a teenager have been jailed in Australia over a plot to carry out a terror attack in Sydney. The plan was foiled by police in New South Wales (NSW) in 2014. The plot had included discussions about targeting an Australian Federal Police building in Sydney and a jail in nearby Lithgow, a court heard. (BBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

50-year-old woman dies in immigration detention

A 50-year-old woman detained by Canadian immigration officials in a maximum-security jail in Milton died on Monday, according to a brief news release from the Canada Border Services Agency. The agency, which has the power to arrest and jail non-citizens, would not disclose the woman’s identity, country of origin or her cause of death, as per its usual protocol. The woman is the 10th person to die in immigration detention in the last five years and at least the sixteenth since 2000. (Toronto Star)

'It's a drop in the bucket': expert says Ottawa's immigration plan falls short

A national group dedicated to integrating immigrants into Canadian society says Canada's new immigration plan isn't all it had hoped for. The Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance says the multi-year immigration plan laid out by the federal government on Wednesday falls short of targets it sought from Ottawa. The Liberal government's plan to welcome nearly one million immigrants over the next three years will see 310,000 people arrive in 2018, up from 300,000 this year. That number will rise to 330,000 in 2019, then 340,000 in 2020. (CBC)

Conservative MP Karen Vecchio says she faced harassment on Parliament Hill

On the same day the federal government released a report on harassment in Canadian workplaces, a Conservative MP says she experienced intimidation on Parliament Hill and that she complained to senior officials. Karen Vecchio told CBC News she faced harassment from an MP after she witnessed a sexist remark directed at her colleague, Dianne Watts, earlier this year. Watts has since left federal politics to run for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (CBC)

Tories Accuse Bill Morneau Of 'Belittling' Lisa Raitt With Quip About 'Counting'

Conservatives suggested Finance Minister Bill Morneau made a sexist remark in the House of Commons Thursday when he quipped that some opposition MPs have a "tough time counting" after a question from deputy Tory leader Lisa Raitt. The moment occurred in question period as Tories hammered the beleaguered finance minister with questions about his personal finances and disclosures to federal ethics commissioner Mary Dawson. The ethics watchdog recently fined Morneau $200 for taking too long to disclose a private corporation that owns a villa in France. (Huffington Post)

Tory MP accuses Liberal MP of intimidating her over heckle

A Conservative MP is accusing a Liberal MP of intimidating her while they were riding a bus around Parliament Hill. Conservative Alice Wong (Richmond Centre) said she was sitting in an aisle seat on Wednesday when Liberal Adam Vaughan (Spadina-Fort York) entered the bus and hovered over her. Wong said Vaughan waved his hand in her face, chastised and intimidated her for something she had said during question period earlier that day. (Toronto Star)

'It's insane': Ont. patient told she'd have to wait 4.5 years to see neurologist

An Ontario doctor says health-care wait times have reached “insane” lengths in the province, as one of her patients faces a 4.5-year wait to see a neurologist. When Dr. Joy Hataley, a family practice anesthetist in Kingston, Ont., recently tried to send a patient to a neurologist at the Kingston General Hospital, she received a letter from the specialist’s office telling her that the current wait time for new patient referrals is 4.5 years. The letter said that, if the delay is “unacceptable” to Dr. Hataley, she should instead refer the patient to a neurologist in Ottawa or Toronto. (CTV)

The other name behind Morneau Shepell sent cash to Morneau's opponent

The man whose last name is now uttered in question period multiple times a day — Warren Shepell — evidently didn’t want Finance Minister Bill Morneau to win his Toronto seat in the 2015 federal election. Shepell — who made it clear in an interview with the Financial Post back in 2015 that he’s no fan of Morneau — donated $1,500 to the NDP in the fall of 2015: $500 on Sept. 10 and $1,000 after the election, on Nov. 1, 2015. (IPolitics)

Millennials: Communism sounds pretty chill

According to the latest survey from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, a D.C.-based nonprofit, one in two U.S. millennials say they would rather live in a socialist or communist country than a capitalist democracy. What’s more, 22% of them have a favorable view of Karl Marx and a surprising number see Joseph Stalin and Kim Jong Un as “heroes.” Really, that’s what the numbers show. (Marketwatch)

Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call. I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. I’d had my suspicions from the moment I walked in the door of the DNC a month or so earlier, based on the leaked emails. But who knew if some of them might have been forged? I needed to have solid proof, and so did Bernie. (Politico)

Donald Trump to warn Asia: World ‘running out of time’ on North Korea

President Donald Trump will tell leaders on a five-nation Asia tour that the world is “running out of time” on North Korea‘s nuclear crisis and that he will give his strategy to isolate Pyongyang a few months before making adjustments, a top Trump aide said on Thursday. (Global)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Farzana Hassan: The radical Islamists are very much a part of the problem

Linda Sarsour, former executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, could not bring herself to forcefully condemn this week’s terrorist attack in New York City. Instead, she chose the occasion to defend Islam by stating, “Every believing Muslim says Allahu Akbar every day during prayers. We cannot criminalize ‘God is Great’; prosecute the criminal, not a faith.” Her comment sparked reactions from moderate Muslims on Twitter who believe in calling out radical Islamism in all its sinister and violent forms. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trudeau’s Paris climate deal to cost billions

A new United Nations report says the Trudeau government is so far behind meeting the greenhouse gas reduction targets it agreed to in the Paris climate accord, it will likely have to buy billions of dollars worth of carbon offsets to meet its international commitments. The problem, as even the report concedes, is that global carbon offset markets are riddled with fraud, meaning that buying them may not actually lower emissions. (Toronto Sun)

Themrise Khan: Tough questions we should be asking about Canada's immigration targets

The immigration levels for 2018 announced this week by Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen come as no surprise. The Liberals have been vying to go beyond their predecessors since they took office; their plan would welcome one million new entrants by 2020 (there were 260,000 in 2015 alone). (Ottawa Citizen)

Barbara Kay: The Jewish blindspot to the horrors of the niqab

Sir Salman Rushdie spoke at Montreal’s Jewish Public Library last week. We were two of an estimated 700-strong (mostly Jewish) audience. Rushdie’s insightful and entertaining address on “literature and politics in the modern world” was excellent, but the evening’s most noteworthy moment arrived with the Q&A, when, inevitably, his response was solicited regarding Quebec’s new Bill 62, which bans face coverings in the realm of public services. Rushdie gracefully sidestepped any comment on the law itself, but did express a robust opinion on the niqab. (National Post)

Don Pittis: The great jobs debate over whether Canada will have too many or too few

As both Canada and the U.S. wait to see new jobs numbers that come out later today, the Canadian government may be unintentionally taking sides in a great jobs debate over whether we'll need more workers in the future, or fewer. Typical of the divisive era we're living in, the two views are polar opposites. (CBC)

Stuart Thomson: A look inside the mind of Jason Kenney shows us where Canadian conservatism is headed

Jason Kenney entered the United Conservative Party leadership race as a man without policies. Sticking rigidly to his “grassroots guarantee,” a pledge that all policy would be democratically decided by the party’s members rather than imposed by the leader, Kenney left himself open to time-honoured accusations of a “secret agenda.” (National Post)

John Ivison: In the era of extreme immigration vetting, Canada remains a noble outlier

While Donald Trump used Tuesday’s deadly attack in New York to promote immigration restrictions, a remarkable consensus continues to hold in Canada, evident in the response to the government’s announcement that nearly 1 million newcomers will be welcomed over the next three years. Immigration minister Ahmed Hussen said late Wednesday 310,000 new entrants will arrive next year, 330,000 in 2019 and 340,000 in 2020. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

 

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