True North Initiative News Scan 11 27 2017

TOP STORIES

As many as 50 GTA families who defected from North Korea facing deportation

Hyekyung Jo, a North Korean defector living in Toronto with her husband and sons for seven years, had hoped to remain in Canada as a permanent resident. Instead, she and as many as 50 other North Korean families residing across the GTA recently received letters from the federal Immigration Department informing them that their requests for permanent residency are poised to be revoked. They face deportation to South Korea — a place that Jo said is hostile to North Korean nationals. (The Spec) (Toronto Star)

Chance of reintegrating Canadian ISIS fighters 'pretty remote': Goodale

The likelihood of successfully reintegrating ISIS fighters with ties to Canada who have returned home is "pretty remote," admits Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. After days of questioning over Canada’s plan to rehabilitate returning ISIS fighters, the federal government’s point man on national security says it might be too late for some. "If you want to have a good solid hope of some kind of successful intervention, it has to be at a much earlier stage. You have to prevent the problem before it exists," said Goodale in an interview with Evan Solomon, host of CTV’s Question Period. (CTV)

Refugee board workers overwhelmed by claims: union

In a letter obtained by La Presse, the union representing IRB employees told Trudeau on Friday that workers do not have the means to process claims and render decisions within an acceptable timeframe. More than 14,000 asylum seekers have crossed the border into Canada illegally since February, many of them through the Lacolle border crossing. Those files have been piled on top of the regular number of demands for asylum. More than 27,000 cases were reported to the IRB between March and September. In its letter, the union noted that represents a nearly 250-per-cent increase over previous years. (Montreal Gazette)

TRUMP IS SENDING AMERICA'S IMMIGRATION PROBLEM TO CANADA? OFFICIALS BRACE FOR AN INFLUX OF HAITIAN REFUGEES

Canada is bracing for an influx of Haitian refugees rejected by the U.S. Canadian officials in Lacolle, Quebec, just across the border near upstate New York, have dispatched a fleet of heated trailers with beds and showers to assist primarily Haitian border crossers from the U.S., according to The Intercept. Canadian immigration officials anticipate a spike in Haitian border crossers following the Trump administration’s decision this week to end deportation protection to nearly 60,000 Haitian refugees in the U.S. The administration will no longer offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to 59,000 Haitians, whose protections are set to expire January 22. They have 18 months to leave the U.S. (Newsweek)

Winnipeg man facing charges related to immigration fraud

A Winnipeg man is facing three charges related to immigration fraud dating back to 2007. The Canada Border Services Agency alleges Alfredo Arrojado, who is 66, has been charged with acting as an immigration consultant without proper authorization. The agency also alleges he misrepresenting himself before the appeal division of the Immigration and Refugee Board so that he could remain in Manitoba. (Winnipeg Sun) (CBC)

Canada working with Cuba could have key role in solving North Korean crisis: Trudeau

“I’ve had surprising conversations with places you wouldn’t expect, including places like Cuba, where they actually have … decent diplomatic relations with the North Korean regime,” Trudeau said Thursday in response to a question about the threat of nuclear war posed after an unrelated speech in Charlottetown. “And can we pass along messages through surprising conduits? There hasn’t been huge amount of discussion around that, but it was a topic of conversation when I met President Raul Castro last year.” (National Post)

Egypt strikes terrorist targets as mosque attack toll reaches 300

The death toll in a horrific terror strike on a mosque in Egypt's northern Sinai region has climbed to 300 as the military kicked off a hunt for the attackers and responded with airstrikes at "terrorist" locations and vehicles. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi vowed to respond to the gory attack on Al Rawdah mosque, affiliated with Sufi groups, with "brute force". More than 100 people were injured, the BBC reported. (Greater Kashmir)

Police Arrest Dozens Of Antifa Counter-Protesters In Quebec City

Quebec City police arrested over 40 antifa supporters Saturday when members of the leftist group tried to break up a demonstration against radical Islam. As CBC News reports, the demonstrators threw snowballs at police, who confiscated various weapons from the protesters and used tear gas to contain the violence. (Daily Caller)

Iran warns it will increase the range of its missiles to more than 1,200 miles so rockets could be launched into Europe

Iran has chillingly threatened Europe by warning it plans to increase the range of its missiles so rockets can be launched into the continent. The deputy of the country's Revolutionary Guards said it could increase the range of missiles by more than 1,200 miles — far enough to strike Europe. (Daily Mail)

  

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

'Why the Syrians, but not us?': Yemenis urge Ottawa to act amid humanitarian crisis

When Ali Al-Dhamadi saw the photo, his heart sank. He sat in his bedroom in Toronto, gripping his phone. On the screen were his children, then aged 3 and 6, playing outside their house in Yemen. They had found a new toy – an unexploded rocket, lying in the gravel just outside their home. (Globe and Mail)

Foreign students claim abuse of P.E.I. business immigration program

The 24-year-old Chinese man sits down at a living room table in Charlottetown, and begins to fill a page of legal-sized paper with diagrams and notes. He is explaining life as an employee at two businesses set up under P.E.I.’s controversial business immigration system. First, there was the trading company that required he pay high-priced rent of $1,500 for a small apartment belonging to the firm’s owner, largely using up his $2,000 salary, he says, drawing arrows back and forth on the page. (Toronto Star)

Government reviews 'cruel' case of widow who risks deportation after husband's tragic death

The federal government is reviewing the case of a Montreal widow who risks being deported because her husband died suddenly last Christmas Eve. Nicolas Faubert was killed Dec. 24, 2016, in a tragic accident, when his elderly mother struck him when she accelerated her vehicle instead of putting on the brakes. That was just weeks before the final paperwork was finalized and approved to sponsor his Belgian spouse, Sophie Thewys, and her son Louis Pollack as permanent residents in Canada. (CBC)

Why Canadian meat plants want permanent residency for migrant workers

Doing his rounds on the floor of the meat processing plant, Tony Morreale points to the “empty holes” on the production line, where positions are unfilled because of the meat cutter shortage. Outside Conestoga Meats, a huge hiring sign has become a fixture in front of the 115,000-square-foot facility located in this community near Kitchener. The plant processes more than 30,000 hogs a week, slaughtering the swine, derinding, deboning and slicing them into primo cuts for Canadian grocery chains and for export to China and Japan. (Toronto Star)

Mosque attack a reminder of threat to Canadian Sinai force

The Egyptian chapter of ISIS that likely carried out Friday's horrific attack in Bir al-Abd, Sinai, has also become a growing threat to a multinational force of peacekeepers that includes a contingent of 68 Canadian soldiers. The Multinational Force and Observer mission, or MFO, has been in the Sinai since 1981 to guarantee the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel. Canada is one of the 12 nations responsible for the MFO and has played a prominent role in the mission. (CBC)

Rookie Liberal MPs ‘super nervous’ about Morneau’s ethical issues, worried Grits look like a ‘bunch of entitled elitists’

Rookies and numerous Liberal MPs representing ridings won by close margins in 2015 are becoming “super nervous” about the ongoing explosive ethics controversies that have dogged Finance Minister Bill Morneau in recent weeks, and caused embarrassment to other senior Liberals over the last two years, and say these “unforced errors” give credence to the “false” perception the Liberals are “a bunch of entitled elitists” who are disconnected from average Canadians. (Hill Times)

Bob Rae: Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary citizenship in Canada ‘not a central issue’ as Rohingya crisis unfolds

Former Liberal MP Bob Rae says the question of revoking honorary citizenship for Myanmar’s leader is “not a central issue” as hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees remain in peril. Speaking with The West Block‘s Vassy Kapelos this weekend, Rae — currently serving as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar — argued that there are far more pressing questions at hand. (Global)

Extreme digital vetting of visitors to the US moves forward under a new name

The Department of Immigration & Customs Enforcement is taking new steps in its plans for monitoring the social media accounts of applicants and holders of US visas. At a tech industry conference last Thursday in Arlington, Virginia, ICE officials explained to software providers what they are seeking: algorithms that would assess potential threats posed by visa holders in the United States and conduct ongoing social media surveillance of those deemed high risk. (Arstechnica)

White House issues warning to Pakistan over release of militant suspect

The White House is calling the Pakistan‘s release of a U.S.-wanted militant a “step in the wrong direction” and says a refusal to re-arrest him would damage bilateral ties and Pakistan’s reputation around the world. In a statement Saturday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the U.S. “strongly condemns” the release of Hafiz Saeed from house arrest. She urged his “immediate re-arrest and prosecution.” (Global)

TERROR THREAT TO US RAIL PUTS LAW ENFORCEMENT ON ALERT

With terrorist groups renewing calls for would-be attackers to target American rail lines, at least one local law enforcement agency in the U.S. is using drones to help guard against such a threat. The police chief for the Philadelphia-area’s mass-transit system said he has known for some time that more than 140,000 miles of rail lines crisscrossing America are “porous” and had thought for a while of using drones to monitor the agency’s tracks. (KTIC Radio)

Border Patrol's 'tunnel rats' stalk drug smugglers in an underground game of hide-and-seek

For the last seven years, they’ve been going underground to locate, map and seal off the tunnels used by cartels to smuggle drugs from Mexico to San Diego and beyond. Theirs is a little-known part of the high-stakes hide-and-seek game that plays out daily along the border. While much of the attention, especially lately, has been focused on walls and what happens aboveground, more than 80 tunnels have been found in California and Arizona since 2011. (LA Times)

South Korea uses loudspeakers to taunt North Korea over a defecting soldier who was shot several times by his former comrades as he fled across the border

South Korea is broadcasting news to the North about the condition of a soldier who defected earlier this month by blasting reports through loudspeakers at the Demilitarized Zone border. The 24-year-old North Korean soldier, identified only by his surname, Oh, was shot several times when he ran across the border on November 13. (Daily Mail)

Prince Harry to marry girlfriend Meghan Markle next year

Prince Harry is to marry his American actress girlfriend Meghan Markle. Harry, fifth in line to the throne, will marry Ms Markle next spring and they plan to live at Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace in London. (BBC)

ISRAEL VOWS TO DESTROY IRANIAN POSITIONS WITHIN 40 KM OF SYRIAN BORDER

The source, who remains unnamed, said that during Syrian President Bashar Assad's surprise visit to Russia last week, Assad gave Russian Premier Vladimir Putin a message for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Damascus will agree to a demilitarized zone of up to 40 kilometers from the border in the Golan Heights as part of a comprehensive agreement between the two countries, but only if Israel does not work to remove Assad's regime from power. (Jerusalem Post)

ISIS Group to Jihadists: 'The Crusaders' Feast is Approaching... Show Them the Meaning of Terrorism'

A pro-ISIS media group continued its online verbal jihad against the Vatican and Christmas today with a threat accompanied by an image of a jihadist and a wolf overlooking St. Peter's Square. On Tuesday, the Wafa' Media Foundation released an image of smoke rising from Rome with a fighter jet overhead and a jihadist standing next to the sort of makeshift armored vehicle ISIS uses for suicide bombings in Iraq and Syria. "The date is approaching o worshippers of the cross," states the message on the image. (PJ Media)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau's de-radicalization approach is dangerous

When it comes to national security, Canadians have plenty of reasons to be skeptical of the Trudeau government and its approach to protecting our safety. Two news stories this week highlight the government’s lackluster approach to national security and show a refusal to take the necessary steps to protect Canadians from external threats. First, you might have heard about the 60 returned Islamist fighters who are reportedly back in Canada, causing problems to our intelligence and security agencies. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told the house of commons that there are “about 60” known jihadists who have made their way back to Canada. But, as reported by Postmedia’s Anthony Furey, we have reason to believe the true number is higher. That’s because the Trudeau government is using figures that are over two years old. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Trudeau’s latest homegrown jihadist excuse? Blame Harper!

Everyone wants to know what on earth is going on with homegrown jihadists here in Canada and so far they’ve got more questions than answers. This past week the issue garnered renewed attention after multiple back and forth exchanges in the House of Commons over whether we should be treating our own jihadists, freshly returned from the battlefields, with kid gloves via unproven reintegration programs or try our hardest to charge and convict them of serious Criminal Code offences. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Trudeau's housing strategy has pros, but how will we pay for it?

There are some facets of the federal Liberal government’s national housing strategy, released in Toronto on Wednesday, that make a lot of sense. No, seriously. I am not currently in the Postmedia concussion protocol as I write this. Much of the housing strategy is the kind of feel-good gobbledygook we have come to expect from the Trudeau government. For instance, there is a promise to declare housing a “fundamental right” and cut homelessness in half. (Toronto Sun)

Aaron Wudrick: The CRA fails Canadians in more ways than one

The release of an Auditor General’s report is rarely a happy occasion for the government of the day, and this fall’s offering from federal Auditor General Michael Ferguson was no exception: from a stinging indictment of the billion-dollar Phoenix payroll system boondoggle, to a clear failure by immigration officials to properly track key indicators about Syrian refugees, to evidence of poor governance at the Royal Military College of Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Roy Green: Unlike Canada, our allies demand on-site retribution

They made a choice and decision. It was their choice to follow the brutal path of the so-called Islamic State, their decision to declare Canada and Canadians a sworn enemy. No matter, they were Canadian. Canada represented Western cultural decadence. The Islamic State offered the option to commit acts of barbarism:  to set fire to a Jordanian fighter pilot locked into a cage; to hurl gays to their deaths from rooftops: to repeatedly rape young girls kidnapped from their families. (Global)

John Geddes: What should Canada do about returning jihadists?

What to do about Canadians who joined the so-called Islamic State when they come home—now that ISIS has been routed on the battlefield in the territory in Iraq and Syria that it used to call its “caliphate”—has emerged as a challenge for Justin Trudeau’s government. The return of battle-hardened ISIS terrorists is a disturbing prospect. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale’s office says the number of individuals shouldn’t be exaggerated, though, telling Maclean’s that Canadian intelligence agencies are aware of about 60 terrorist travellers who have returned to Canada from conflict zones in the past decade, including a small number from Syria and Iraq. (Macleans)

The Rebel: Justin Trudeau Welcomes Back 60 ISIS Terrorists to Canada

In his latest video, Ezra Levant addresses the fact that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has just welcomed 60 ISIS terrorists who went to fight in Syria and Iraq back to Canada. Yes, Trudeau is welcoming back 60 Muslim terrorists who left Canada to rape and pillage in the Middle East back to Canada with open arms. These terrorists hated the West enough to leave Canada in the first place and join a group that wants nothing more than to destroy the Western world, yet now they are being allowed back into Canada as if nothing had ever happened. (Rebel)

Robert Fulford: The brutalization of Falun Gong is modern China's great shame

In white shirt and suit of banker’s blue, with bland tie and neat haircut, he looks as if he might sell you an insurance policy or a car. Certainly his appearance doesn’t suggest he could inspire millions of believers around the world and arouse murderous anger in the government of China. But in fact, Li Hongzhi is the charismatic father of Falun Gong, a quasi-religion that he introduced in 1992. As a result, he’s become a cherished leader to millions of adherents. But Beijing’s official reaction to his teaching has led to tragedy for many of his followers. (National Post)

Joe Warmington: WLU students rally behind Lindsay Shepherd

Excitedly, students lined up to get a selfie with her. They asked her to sign their books, their posters and placards. The media all wanted to talk to the 22-year-old graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University. There is a new star on campus. But Lindsay Shepherd made it very clear her only goal is simply defending the concept of freedom of speech on university campuses. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow to study the Use of Ion Mobility Spectrometers by Correctional Service Canada

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