True North Initiative News Scan 12 07 2017

TOP STORIES

Government hiring outside contractor to create Canada’s new citizenship test

The federal government is turning to the private sector to help draft the latest version of the Canadian citizenship test. A request for proposal went out on Tuesday morning, with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship​ Canada (IRCC) explaining that it needs help to “develop a pool of (400) multiple choice official questions, a test blueprint, and 15 versions of the Canadian citizenship knowledge test.” (Global)

Asked what country he most admires, Trudeau’s answer is no longer China

It was the answer that left many of even his most ardent admirers scratching their heads. Justin Trudeau,  then running for the leadership of his party in 2013, was given a lob-ball question from a supporter at a “Ladies Night” meet-and-greet in Toronto: “Which nation, besides Canada, which nation’s administration do you most admire, and why?” (Global)

Trudeau says visit to China produced results despite failing to advance trade talks

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he made substantial progress during his four-day trip to China even though he failed to secure an agreement to begin formal negotiations on a comprehensive trade deal with the world's second-largest economy. Those talks, specifically the failure to advance past the exploratory stages, dominated both his meetings in Beijing with senior Chinese officials, and his appearance in Guangzhou at the Fortune Global Forum, attended by some of the most powerful business leaders in the world. (CBC)

On Trudeau’s rocky China trip, Communist newspaper lashes out at Canadian media

Justin Trudeau's rocky trip to China has spilled onto the pages of the country's nationalist state press, which lashed out at Canadian media for their "superiority and narcissism," and warned that China is in no rush to step closer to Canada. As the Canadian prime minister left Beijing Tuesday night without an expected agreement to formally launch free-trade talks, the Communist Party-run Global Times published a sharp-tongued editorial directed at Canada, and in particular the Canadian press. (Globe and Mail)

Cash for passports: Canadians play key role in lucrative business

Canadians are playing a key role in the lucrative and rapidly growing worldwide business of cash for passports, an industry that Canada, the United States and the European Union have warned could threaten national security, a CBC News investigation reveals. Industry insiders paint a picture of a multi-million dollar industry that runs in large part through Canada, connecting wealthy individuals from areas like China, Russia and the Middle East to citizenship by investment programs around the world. In return, millions of dollars in commissions are being paid to middlemen  — often Canadians. (CBC)

Lawyer for man charged with terrorism-related offences condemns RCMP 'tunnel vision'

The defence lawyer for El Mahdi Jamali is condemning what he calls "tunnel vision" on the part of RCMP officers who put together the case against his client. Jamali, 20, and Sabrine Djermane, 21, were arrested in 2015 and charged in relation to what the Crown has argued were preparations to go to Syria to fight with ISIS. However, in his closing arguments, Tiago Murias told jury members there were problems with the way investigators worked and with what they neglected to present as evidence. (CBC)

Liberals to push gender equality as G7 summit host — conduct gender-based analysis of all policies

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bringing his feminism to the G7 summit next year, which could involve stirring up the issue of sexual and reproductive health rights at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is far from being on the same page. The Liberal government is planning to make gender equality a major, overarching theme of its G7 presidency, which includes hosting the gathering of world leaders next June at a resort in La Malbaie, Que. (Canoe)

Canada conspicuously careful in responding to Trump's Jerusalem announcement

Canada is walking a tightrope after American President Donald Trump’s controversial decision Wednesday to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to the contested holy city. The Liberal government has so far avoided overt criticism of the U.S. decision, despite strong reactions from other U.S. allies and from around the globe. (National Post)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

The union representing CBSA officers wants you to know they deserve better pay

Canada Border Services Agency officers are the country's "first line of defence" against drugs, guns and bad intentions, a fact their union feels their pay should start reflecting. The Customs and Immigration Union has sponsored billboards in Windsor, Niagara Falls and Ottawa calling for "fair" treatment for staff members, who have gone without a contract for three-and-a-half years. (CBC)

'Absolutely concerned' by alleged abuse of P.E.I. students: federal minister

The federal immigration minister says he’s concerned by allegations that foreign students in Prince Edward Island have been pressured to return a portion of their wages to business immigrants, but isn’t planning major changes to the program. Ahmed Hussen said in Ottawa Wednesday he’s expecting the Liberal provincial government to take action on the issue, but also said in general he’s pleased by a provincial immigration system that is being criticized by some immigration lawyers as lacking sufficient oversight. (National Post)

Crown unable to meet with charged white supremacist rally counter-protester in Peterborough court

The counter-protester arrested at a downtown rally in September will return to court later this month for another attempt to have an issue resolution meeting with a prosecutor after making a brief appearance in Peterborough Ontario Court of Justice early Wednesday afternoon. William October, of Richmond St. W. in Toronto, – who identifies as “they” – is charged with assault and obstructing police. (Peterborough Examiner)

Senate ethics watchdog probes China trip by three Conservative senators

The Senate ethics watchdog is investigating an all-expenses-paid junket to China by three Conservative senators and their spouses to determine whether it should have been declared as a gift or sponsored travel. Chinese media have reported that Senator Victor Oh and two Senate colleagues – Don Plett and Leo Housakos – travelled to China in April, 2017, at the invitation of a Beijing-based wealth management firm that recently opened up an office in Vancouver. (Globe and Mail)

North Korea says war is inevitable as U.S., South continue military exercises

North Korea says a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula has become a matter of when, not if, as it continued to lash out at a massive joint military exercise between the United States and South Korean involving hundreds of advanced warplanes. In comments attributed to an unnamed Foreign Ministry spokesman, North Korea also claimed high-ranked U.S. officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, have further confirmed American intent for war with a series of “bellicose remarks.” (Toronto Star)

Highway to Hell! Terrifying video shows drivers on their way to work in LA passing hills covered with flames in the midst of raging wildfires

Drivers on their way to work in Los Angeles were faced with terrifying scenes along a major freeway after the fifth California wildfire this week left the hillside next to their road ablaze. The inferno - named the Skirball Fire - has consumed more than 50 acres of land and threatens LA's exclusive Bel Air neighborhood, UCLA and the Getty Center for the arts alongside the I-405 freeway. The freeway is now shut down as 125 firefighters and several helicopters attempt to get the blaze under control - but early-morning commuters managed to capture this stunning footage. (Daily Mail)

Arabs, Europe, U.N. reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli capital

Arabs and Muslims across the Middle East on Wednesday condemned the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a peace mediator. (Yahoo)

Hamas calls for Palestinian uprising against Israel

The powerful Palestinian Islamist group Hamas called on Thursday for a new uprising against Israel after U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital. “We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza. (Reuters)

Obama blocked deportation of 550,000 illegals, more than Atlanta's population

U.S. immigration officials have revealed that they face a deportation backlog of 550,000 illegal immigrants who were given temporary amnesty by former President Obama or simply let off the hook by liberal judges. (Washington Examiner)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau government two-faced on Iran

The Trudeau government continues to flip flop when it comes to its foreign policy objectives. Does Canada want to champion human rights and liberal democratic values, or does it want to befriend rogue nations and work to build new alliances – even with historically adversarial regimes? While all eyes were on Prime Minister Trudeau in China this week, there is another example of Trudeau’s two-faced approach to human rights and foreign policy: Iran. (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: China's Communists can tolerate any level of scrutiny — as long as it’s fawning

A news report on the front page of the China Daily newspaper Wednesday commended the Communist Party for its “remarkable performance at home and abroad during the past year, with Xi Jinping at the core.” Having grown used to such hard-hitting journalism, it is no surprise the Chinese leadership is upset with the tone of some of the Canadian reporting this week. (National Post)

Aaron Wherry: Cabinet ministers don't resign nowadays, they just linger and then get shuffled

Five ministers resigned from Brian Mulroney's cabinet in the first two years of his term, and several more would depart as a result of unflattering situations in the years hence. But, with typical elan, Brian Mulroney remembered his willingness to accept the resignations of his ministers as a mark of naive idealism. (CBC)

Chris Selley: Liberal minister's thalidomide disaster an insult to Canadians' intelligence

The allegations levelled against disabilities minister Kent Hehr Tuesday by a group of thalidomide survivors seemed at first, to my mind, almost unbelievable. On their suffering, relative to the old days, Hehr allegedly told the survivors: “Well, you don’t have it so bad. Everyone in Canada has a sob story.” On their shortened life expectancies, he allegedly told them: “So you probably have about 10 years left then now. That’s good news for the Canadian government.” (National Post)

Terry Glavin: The whole Liberal establishment covets close China relations... and for what?

It should tell you something about just how deeply the rot has spread that the Liberal Party of Canada was well represented at the Chinese Communist Party’s three-day “dialogue with world political parties” that was wrapping up just as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was arriving in Beijing on Sunday, and that among the 300 delegates who lauded Xi Jinping’s regime “as the core in pushing forward the building of a community of a shared future for mankind and of a better world” was none other than Jean Chretien. The former Liberal prime minister is nowadays employed by Denton’s Canada LLP, the ugly little stepsister of the global conglomerate Beijing Dacheng. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet today on Subject Matter of the Supplementary Estimates (B) 2017-18 and Committee Business

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-59, An Act respecting National security matters