True North Initiative News Scan 11 29 2017

TOP STORIES

Monsef's papers still aren't in order and the media still hardly cares

Federal Minister Maryam Monsef is back in the news this week, over the same scandal that dogged her in 2016. According to news reports, Monsef still hasn’t resolved the issues with her citizenship and has yet to receive a new, updated passport. Last fall, Monsef revealed that she was born in Iran and not Afghanistan as she had once claimed. We also learned that Monsef spent most of her childhood in the city of Mashad, Iran — not war-torn Afghanistan. (Toronto Sun)

Families of young Quebecers married to ISIS militants want them to come home

Relatives of at least four young Quebecers who have started families with ISIS militants hope their daughters will be able to return to Canada, now that the group appears to have lost major territorial control in Syria and Iraq. Herman Deparice-Okomba, director of Montreal's Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence, says he began to receive a higher number of calls from the young women's families at the beginning of October. "We are talking about four to five families with whom we talk to daily," he said, adding that he has seen photos of the women's children. (CBC)

Jihadi brides: Families want ISIS women, terror offspring to return

Roll out the welcome wagon, the brides of ISIS want to come home! No, that’s not a Rogers and Hammerstein musical. CBC News is reporting that the families of four young Canadian women who had children with ISIS thugs are hoping their kin can come home now that the caliphate has been crushed. (Toronto Sun)

Plan to deal with returning ISIS fighters sparks fiery exchange between Scheer, PM

In an explosive shouting match in the House of Commons Tuesday, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer accused the Liberal government of going easy on suspected ISIS terrorists returning to Canada, while the prime minister blamed the Conservatives for “trying to scare Canadians.” The Conservatives have repeatedly hammered the government’s plan to rehabilitate ISIS fighters who return to Canada. Earlier this year, the government established a counter-radicalization centre, the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, in a bid to counter extremism. (CTV)

North Korea might be able to knock out electric power to millions of Americans -- We need to be prepared

North Korea’s launch Wednesday (Tuesday in the U.S.) of an intercontinental ballistic missile should focus our attention on the threat of the rogue nation launching an electromagnetic pulse attack that could wipe out the electric power grid serving millions of people in the U.S. and Canada. Such an attack has been downplayed by some and made the subject of fear-mongering by others over the years. But while it sounds like the plot of a science fiction movie, an electromagnetic pulse attack has become a larger issue in the past few months due to North Korea’s missile tests and stated goal of developing the capability to mount such a devastating strike. (FOX)

Fiery Bill Morneau dares Tories to take their allegations outside the House, threatens legal action

Finance Minister Bill Morneau is threatening to sue the Conservatives for suggesting he used his inside knowledge of a pending tax change announcement in 2015 to sell off stocks before their value dropped. On Tuesday, a day after sidestepping more than a dozen questions on the issue, Morneau called the insinuations by Tory finance critic Pierre Poilievre “absurd.” (National Post)

CSIS secretly capturing phone-identifying data of terrorism suspects: ruling

Canada's domestic spy service has been capturing the phone-identifying data of terrorism suspects for years without judicial knowledge or oversight, according to a ruling released Tuesday. But the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's warrantless use of data-capturing devices is legal and proper in most instances, the ruling says, as long as the agency restricts what it does with captured information. (Globe and Mail) (CBC)

CSIS' request for telecom subscriber info of possible future targets denied

A federal judge has rejected the Canadian Security Intelligence Service's request to obtain basic information about unknown phone and internet subscribers who may come to the spy agency's attention in future. Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton said CSIS failed to show a sufficient connection between its investigation and the people whose privacy rights would be compromised. A public version of his top secret September ruling -- with several redacted passages -- was issued Tuesday. (Canoe)

Wilfrid Laurier professors seek protection amid freedom-of-speech debate

Wilfrid Laurier University must protect faculty and students who are being targeted online and off as a result of the charged and public controversy over freedom of speech at the university, says an open letter from more than 60 of the school's professors. Debate over how the Waterloo, Ont., university reprimanded teaching assistant Lindsay Shepherd has led to harassment and intimidation of faculty and students through social media, e-mail and on campus, a petition released on Sunday night said. (Globe and Mail)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada vows to assist Montreal woman and her children who escaped Islamic State

The Canadian government says it is committed to providing a 22-year-old Montreal woman and her two young children with consular services after they escaped Islamic State territory in Syria, but it's not clear whether, upon her possible return to Canada, she will face charges for travelling overseas to join a terrorist organization. The woman, her two-year-old daughter and newborn baby are currently detained by Kurdish forces in Syria, a senior Canadian government source told The Globe and Mail. The source, who declined to provide the woman's name, said Global Affairs Canada is following its policy to provide consular assistance after the woman's family requested it, leaving the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to decide whether she will face charges upon her possible return. (Globe and Mail)

Meeting on North Korea crisis to be held in Canada after Christmas

A planned meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the North Korean crisis is not scheduled to take place before the Christmas break in late December, a Canadian official said on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced Canada would co-host the meeting with the United States on Canadian soil. At least a dozen foreign ministers will be involved, said the official, who asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the situation. (ABS-CBN)

Canadian satellite lost after Russian rocket fails during launch

A Russian weather satellite and nearly 20 micro-satellites from various nations, including Canada, failed to enter their designated orbits Tuesday following the launch from Russia's new cosmodrome, another blow to the nation's space program. The Roscosmos space agency said it has failed to establish communications with the Meteor M 2-1 satellite that was launched atop a Soyuz-2 booster rocket Tuesday from Russia's new Vostochny launch pad in the Far East. The agency says it's trying to determine what happened. (CBC)

Canada braces for a Trump visit in 2018

Two days after Donald Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017, a group of anti-Trump Canadians met up in Ottawa to start an “Unwelcoming Committee.” The meeting was a first step in organizing a protest to Trump’s inevitable visit to Canada. “While the exact details of Trump’s visit are still unknown, Canada is typically the first international trip of a newly inaugurated U.S. president,” the group wrote on its website. “But we’re not waiting for specifics.” (Macleans)

Grits name ex-Liberal B.C. president, $30,000-donor to port authority board

A former president of the Liberal Party’s B.C. chapter who has donated $30,000 to the party since 2004 was appointed to the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority this month. Transport Minister Marc Garneau (Notre Dame de Grâce-Westmount, Que.) named North Vancouver lawyer Craig Munroe to the 11-member board on Nov. 15 for a three-year term. His office called Mr. Munroe “eminently qualified,” while NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen said it calls into question the merit-based appointment process Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) has promised. (Hill Times)

Trudeau urged to delay trade talks until China frees two Canadians

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is being urged to postpone free-trade talks with China until the authoritarian regime frees two Canadians who have been detained for more than 20 months over a customs duty dispute. Amy Chang, whose father and mother have been trapped in China since March, 2016, wrote to Mr. Trudeau on Monday, asking him to "directly help free my parents" when he meets President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang next week. (Globe and Mail)

'I am sorry. We are sorry': Trudeau apologizes to LGBTQ2 on behalf of Canada for past discrimination

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau began by telling a story — one that began not that long ago and, in some ways, is still unfolding — about how the federal government spent decades ruining the careers and lives of Canadians because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. “This is the devastating story of people who were branded criminals by the government — people who lost their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives,” Trudeau said Tuesday as he delivered a speech building up to his promised apology for past state-sanctioned discrimination against members of the LGBTQ2 community in Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Heritage minister accused of doing ‘nothing’ for newspapers after Torstar-Postmedia deal

Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly came under fire Tuesday when opposition MPs accused her of failing to protect Canada’s struggling print news industry, one day after a deal between two media companies involving 41 newspapers resulted in the closure of almost three dozen publications. New Democrat MP Rachel Blaney challenged Joly during question period to explain how she can “sit back and do nothing” while people in the newspaper industry lose their jobs. (Toronto Star)

Chinese business leaders call for more support for PNP businesses

Paul Yin and Frank Liu think they know why many fellow immigrant investors forfeit their cash deposits and don't set up businesses on P.E.I. Both businessmen came to the Island through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and have lived here for several years. "I think there is not enough support from the government on how to support the business ... to run well," said Paul Yin, who used to own Paul's Flowers and now works as a consultant. Liu, a travel agent, provided translation. (CBC)

Bank of Canada accentuates risks from loose lending

Canada’s central bank has amplified a warning on the growing risks of loose lending as borrowers strain to keep up with stubbornly high house prices in the C$1.4tn mortgage market. In its June review of the financial system, the Bank of Canada said it was worried about sloppy underwriting of so-called high-ratio mortgages, where borrowers contribute less than 20 per cent of the purchase price as a down payment while buying insurance against default on the loan. (Financial Times)

Mayor of German town slashed with knife over liberal refugee policy

The conservative mayor of a small town in western Germany who is known for his liberal policy toward asylum seekers was slashed in the neck in an attack Monday evening. A man who witnessed the attack in the town of Altena told German television that a man, probably under the influence of alcohol, wounded the mayor with a 30-centimetre-long knife while shouting criticism of his asylum policy. (CBC)

North Korea says new ICBM puts U.S. mainland within range of nuclear weapons

North Korea’s first missile test since mid-September came a week after U.S. President Donald Trump put North Korea back on a U.S. list of countries it says support terrorism, allowing it to impose more sanctions. North Korea, which also conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test in September, has tested dozens of ballistic missiles under its leader, Kim Jong Un, in defiance of international sanctions. The latest was the highest and longest any North Korean missile had flown, landing in the sea near Japan. (Reuters)

Praljak trial: Bosnian Croat war criminal 'takes poison' in court

A war crimes appeal hearing in The Hague was cut short dramatically when one defendant drank what he said was poison upon hearing the verdict. Slobodan Praljak was one of six former Bosnian Croat political and military leaders up before the court (BBC)

They left Islam and now tour the US to talk about it

Muslims who leave the faith often face abuse and violence - but a grassroots group that's touring American colleges is trying to help. Ten years ago, Muhammad Syed became an ex-Muslim. Born in the US, he grew up in Pakistan believing "100 per cent" in Islam. (BBC)

IRANIAN WARSHIPS HEADING TO GULF OF MEXICO?

“Our fleet of warships will be sent to the Atlantic Ocean in the near future and will visit one of the friendly states in South America and the Gulf of Mexico,” Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi was quoted by Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency as saying. (JPost)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Toronto Sun: Let’s get tough on Canadian jihadists

Canadians were outraged this week to learn their government is more focused on reintegrating homegrown jihadists than locking them up for their serious crimes. While other countries don’t even want to see their own citizens who’ve gone abroad to fight as ISIS members coming back, Canada is practically rolling out the red carpet. Dan Brien, a spokesman for Public Safety Canada, told CBC that “returning foreign terrorist travellers and their families, specifically women and children, require the appropriate disengagement and reintegration support.” (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Parliament Hill rink exposes a government out of touch

If there’s one thing Canadians are really good at, it’s planning and building outdoor hockey rinks. So why then are the bureaucrats up on Parliament Hill so inept at it? This is the time of year when hockey moms and dads and community-minded neighbours get together to construct their local outdoor rinks. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: By ordering RCMP to delete Muslim migrant files, Trudeau is “actively supporting terrorism”

For the past 12 months, Justin Trudeau has opened up our borders to the U.S., taking in all of the fake refugees, criminals on the run, undesirables, self-deportees, and anyone else who is in America illegally. It started with some Muslim men walking across the frozen farmers' fields from Minnesota or North Dakota, right up into Manitoba. You saw Canadian police ordered to act as bellboys, helping illegal migrants walk across illegal entry points. (Rebel)

Will Amos: Let's fix this Citizenship Act obstacle to Canadians overseas

Canada punches above its weight internationally because of our own citizens’ contributions to stable, equitable and peaceful global governance. In an era of unpredictable, overlapping and complex global threats, the world needs an engaged Canada to assert this internationalist character on the global stage. We must encourage our best and brightest to assume roles in humanitarian, academic, development assistance and business domains internationally. (Ottawa Citizen)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on National Defence meet later today for Supplementary Estimates (B) 2017-2018

Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow for a Briefing on the Resettlement Issues Related to Yezidi Women and Girls