December 21st: Looking Back

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The scandal surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party’s cash-for-access fundraisers continues to develop. Last week, it was reported that Justin Trudeau invited five dozen Liberal Party donors to an official dinner in honour of the People’s Republic of China’s Premier Li Keqiang in September. The official dinner gave donors exclusive access to the Prime Minister, senior cabinet ministers, and top officials from the Chinese government. Despite Justin Trudeau’s attempt to portray these cash-for-access fundraisers as a means to “champion the middle class” and as a “non-story” made up by the media, he is in very deep trouble. For the first time in a decade, Parliament’s independent ethical watchdog will ask a sitting prime minister to defend his integrity. Will the ethics commissioner conclude that Justin Trudeau breached the Conflict of Interest Act? 

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Michael Giesbrecht: Shannon Stubbs Demands Liberals Come Clean with Business Case for Vegreville Job Cuts

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With Christmas just days away, Shannon Stubbs, Conservative MP for Lakeland, Alberta is stepping up efforts to force the Trudeau Liberals to justify their decision to close the immigration case processing centre in Vegreville, forcing 280 workers to move, or travel 100 kilometres west to Edmonton.

Stubbs met Sunday with affected workers, Vegreville’s mayor, the local MLA, and area residents, to keep the pressure on the government for answers.

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ISIS claims responsibility for Jordan terror attack that killed retired Newfoundland teacher

In a communiqué issued Tuesday, ISIL claimed responsibility for a weekend terrorist attack in Jordan that left 10 dead, including a retired Canadian teacher. The statement described the victims as “citizens of Crusader coalition countries,” reflecting ISIL’s strategy of using terrorism to undermine the anti-ISIL coalition in Syria and Iraq. “We promise the coalition countries with what is worse and more severe, Allah permitting, until all the religion is for Allah,” read the communiqué, according to the SITE Intelligence Group. (National Post)

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 Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov assassinated in Ankara

The Russian ambassador to Turkey was shot in the back and killed as he gave a speech at an Ankara art gallery on Monday by an off-duty police officer who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and “Allahu Akbar” as he opened fire. President Tayyip Erdogan, in a video message to the nation, cast the attack as an attempt to undermine NATO-member Turkey’s relations with Russia - ties long tested by the war in Syria. He said he had agreed in a telephone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin to step up cooperation in fighting terrorism. (Globe and Mail) (CBC)

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PM defends fundraisers, blames media and opposition for arousing criticism

The Liberals have been under fire in the House of Commons for weeks over appearances by Trudeau and some cabinet ministers at so-called cash-for-access fundraising events, raising concerns those who can afford the $1,500 ticket prices can buy better access than most Canadians have. Trudeau repeated his assertion, made frequently in question period, that his government follows all fundraising rules. "That's the thing -- that comments that media and that oppositions make are causing people concerns," he told LaFlamme. (CTV)

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Candice Malcolm: The stupid things Trudeau says

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(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

Everybody seems to love Justin Trudeau.

Our prime minister is something of a whiz kid when it comes to getting positive news coverage, whether it’s for memorizing a few lines about quantum computing, striking cool yoga poses, declaring himself a ‘feminist’ over and over and over, or for taking perfect selfies with refugees, bureaucrats at Global Affairs Canada and even Chinese Panda bears.

Journalists all over the world swarm Trudeau at international summits and swoon over his good looks. He’s been called “dreamy,” “charming,” “handsome,” and a “genuine heartthrob.”

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Candice Malcolm: Trudeau channels Hillary Clinton

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking cues from failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

He should proceed with caution, because things didn’t end well for her.

Clinton was running against one of the most reviled (by Democrats) Republican opponents in U.S. political history.

She had glowing endorsements from the media, unions, Wall Street, Hollywood, even many Republicans.

Yet she managed to lose.

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Trudeau invited Liberal donors to official dinner for Chinese Premier

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invited five dozen Liberal Party donors to an official dinner in honour of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in September – giving them the opportunity to mingle with senior cabinet ministers and top officials of the Chinese government. Among the guests were former Liberal cabinet minister Raymond Chan and Toronto consultant Richard Zhou – the party’s main fundraising emissaries to the Chinese-Canadian business community. Many of the Liberal donors have direct dealings with China either through their businesses, law firms, lobbying activities or close connections to the Chinese government, The Globe and Mail has learned. (Globe and Mail)

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Canada adopts lottery system for reuniting immigrants with parents, grandparents

Canada is adopting a lottery system to replace the current first-come, first-served immigration process to reunite parents and grandparents. The change, which will take effect in the new year, is designed to make the system fair for all applicants, according to a release from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. In past, the number of applications has far exceeded the number of available spots, creating a backlog in applications. "We're listening to what past applicants had to say and making the process fairer for people who want to sponsor their parents or grandparents," Immigration Minister John McCallum said in a statement. (CBC) (Macleans) (IPolitics)

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December 14th: Looking Back

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Last week, Postmedia News obtained a report by the Canada Border Services Agency. The documents revealed that “in the next three years, Mexican drug cartels are expected to expand their presence in Canada by sending operatives and recruiting local airport or marine port workers with ties to Mexico” as a result of the Trudeau’s government’s decision to lift the visa requirement for Mexican travelers. This shouldn’t be news to the Liberal government. As True North’s Candice Malcolm pointed out, Mexico has a bad reputation for being a launching pad for criminal networks and terrorist organizations seeking to gain stealth entry into North America. A visa requirement was put in place on Mexican visitors to deter bogus refugee claims. Justin Trudeau’s decision to lift the visa requirement on Mexican travelers was reckless and has put Canadians’ safety at risk.

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