True North Initiative: News Scan 01 02 17


Canadian reportedly among victims of Istanbul nightclub attack, gunman at large

A manhunt stretched on in Turkey Sunday for an assailant who unleashed a salvo of bullets in front of and inside a crowded Istanbul nightclub during New Year’s celebrations, killing at least 39 people before fleeing. Foreigners accounted for 24, or nearly two-thirds of the attack’s victims, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported. Many were from the Middle East, including Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, although countries from India to Belgium reported their citizens among the casualties. The private Dogan news agency in Turkey said Sunday the dead also included one Canadian. (Toronto Star) (CBC)

Turkey nightclub attack: ISIS says it carried out shooting

So-called Islamic State says it was behind the new year attack on a Turkish nightclub that killed 39 people. The group said in a statement it was carried out by "a heroic soldier". At least 600 revellers were celebrating in the early hours of Sunday at Istanbul's Reina nightclub when the gunman began firing indiscriminately. IS has been blamed for recent attacks in Turkey, which is taking military action against the group in neighbouring Syria. (BBC) (Associated Press)

PM confirms Canadian killed in Turkish nightclub shooting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is confirming that a Canadian was among those who died in an attack on a Turkish nightclub that killed at least 39 people. Trudeau issued a statement saying Canada mourns with the Turkish people and with all countries who lost citizens in what he calls a vicious attack. (News 1130)

Trudeau must protect Canadian jobs from Trump policies: Rona Ambrose

Conservative interim leader Rona Ambrose says Donald Trump’s election “changes everything” for Canada and is questioning whether the Liberal government will reconsider some of its major policy planks to keep the country competitive. Ms. Ambrose, who holds her position until the new Conservative leader is chosen in May, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to come up with a plan to protect Canadian jobs in the face of the president-elect’s pledge to renegotiate the North American free-trade agreement and lower corporate and income taxes. (Globe and Mail)

As Canada begins celebrating ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ anniversary, Trudeau is in some other country on holiday

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the 2016-2017 New Year’s Eve was “150 years in the making and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ring in the New Year together.” But Trudeau was not in the country he leads at it marked the beginning of its 150th anniversary year. He and his family were out of the country on holiday, his office said, at an undisclosed location. (National Post)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Peterborough Examiner Newsmaker of the Year: Maryam Monsef

The Examiner's top newsmaker of 2016 is probably no surprise: Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, the federal minister of democratic institutions. (Peterborough Examiner)

Governor General urges Canadians to make Canada 'even better' in 2017

Canada should mark its 150th anniversary in 2017 by celebrating its diversity and working to achieve reconciliation with Aboriginal Peoples, Gov. Gen. David Johnston said in his New Year's message.  "One hundred and fifty years ago we began a great experiment. We called it Canada," Johnston said.  "And while not perfect, our Canadian experiment continues. This year, I believe our legacy will be to innovate, to improve upon our inheritance, to make this country even better. We're so fortunate to live in Canada, but there's so much more to do." (CBC)

Michael Ignatieff named to Order of Canada

Michael Ignatieff was named to the Order of Canada on Friday for his “contributions to the advancement of knowledge as a human rights scholar and reporter.” The former Liberal Party of Canada leader was appointed to the order alongside 99 others including former Supreme Court justice Morris Fish, former Information Commissioner of Canada Robert Marleau, long-time public servant and academic Paul Boothe and former Senator Hugh Segal. (IPolitics)

And then there were 13: Winnipeg doctor drops out of Conservative leadership race

On the eve of a major fundraising deadline, Winnipeg doctor Daniel Lindsay announced he is stepping away from the federal Conservatives’ leadership race. In a statement Friday morning, Lindsay said he decided the “best course of action” is instead to seek a seat as a member of parliament. Thirteen candidates are still in the running. (

After Trump's win, more U.S. students consider university in Canada

For some college-bound students distressed by the U.S. election of Donald Trump, Canadian universities are calling. Universities from Quebec to British Columbia say applications and website traffic from the United States have been surging since Trump's victory Nov. 8. Although many Canadian schools had also ramped up recruiting in the U.S. recently, some say dismay over the presidential election has fuelled a spike in interest beyond their expectations. (CBC)

Economically weak, politically fragile: Putin won 2016, but Russia has its limits as a superpower

Putin heads into 2017 on a strong note, having brokered a cease-fire in Syria that sidelined the United States and having won the praise of President-elect Donald Trump by declining to retaliate in response to President Barack Obama’s administration’s decision to punish Moscow over its alleged interference in the U.S. election. (National Post)

Israeli minister: Thank God Obama is leaving office

Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev has made public her pleasure that US President Barack Obama is soon leaving office. In an interview with Army Radio on Sunday, Regev said "thank God that Obama is finishing his term." (Jerusalem Post)

Obama left with few options to protect young immigrants

Barack Obama is under pressure during his final weeks as president to do something -- anything -- to secure the future of hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who could face deportation under the Trump administration. His options appear few. (CTV)

More than 1,100 migrants fight riot police as they storm Spanish border

At least 1,100 asylum seekers rushed the barbed wire fence protecting the tiny north African enclave, which is surrounded on all sides by Morocco, in a desperate bid to reach the EU. Spanish and Moroccan authorities desperately fought to restore order as the migrants, most from sub-Saharan Africa, scaled the border barrier and brawled with police. (

Kim Says North Korea Close to Testing Inter-Continental Missile

Kim Jong Un said North Korea is in the “last stage” of preparations to test-fire an inter-continental ballistic missile, adding to claims his isolated country has the technology to threaten the U.S. as Donald Trump prepares to take office. (Bloomberg)

China says won't allow Hong Kong to be used as subversion base

China will not allow anyone to use Hong Kong as a base for subversion against mainland China or to damage its political stability, Beijing's top official in the territory told state television. Chinese leaders are increasingly concerned about a fledgling independence movement in Hong Kong, which returned to mainland rule in 1997 with a promise of autonomy known as "one country, two systems", and recent protests in the city. (Reuters)

ISIS is plotting ‘mass casualty’ chemical attack on Britain, warns minister as he calls on citizens to help identify 'the enemy within'

The Minister of State for Security has issued a stark warning that ISIS is plotting a chemical attack on Britain. Ben Wallace said exercises are being carried out to prepare for such an atrocity. ISIS has the capabilities to produce their own mustard gas, having already used the tactics in the Middle East. (Daily Mail)



Candice Malcolm: In 2016, average people sent a message

Many are calling 2016 the worst year in recent memory. Aside from the death of several celebrities and cultural icons, 2016 was also a year plagued with escalating global conflicts and deadly Islamist terrorist attacks. Lots went wrong in 2016. But the year wasn’t all bad. 2016 was also the year that average people sent an undeniable message to elites. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Elites will be hit even harder in 2017

If the elites of the world thought 2016 was rough on them, they ain’t seen nothing yet. The year to come is going to hit the establishment even harder. It’s been incredibly tedious reading all the year-in-review pieces calling 2016 the worst year ever, bidding it an eager farewell and hoping nothing like it will ever happen again. (Toronto Sun)

Douglas Todd: Iranian-Canadians still fear theocratic regime

Ramin Mahjouri admits he has a “Robin Hood complex” — he’s always challenging authority. He does not seek trouble, but he won’t run from it either. The North Vancouver artist and publisher is willing to talk and write about issues most Iranian-Canadians won’t speak of in public. As I have been researching the persecution of members of the Baha’i religion in Iran and Canada, I have kept running into Iranian-Canadians who readily admit Baha’i are being unjustly arrested in the Islamic Republic of Iran and harassed by some non-Baha’i Iranians in Canada. (Vancouver Sun)

Rex Murphy: If Trudeau wants UN Security Council seat, he’ll have to answer questions about Israel

The first (foreign policy) question Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should be asked in this New Year is whether he approves of the Obama administration organized, New Zealand-Venezuela mediated, UN resolution against Israel? Does he approve of the UN Security Council’s vote of censure against Israel? That’s a question on the substance of the resolution. (National Post)

Nabel Alali: I’m a Syrian refugee in Canada: This is what 2016 meant to me

I fled with my family to Jordan shortly after the war began in March, 2011. There, we were registered with the United Nations as refugees. After three years in Jordan, I received a message saying that, under the government-assisted refugee program, I had been selected to go to Canada. When I saw this message, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Arriving on Jan. 13, 2016 – with my wife and three kids on a chartered plane of Syrian refugees – my journey had just begun. I knew a little about Canada and its people, but I really didn’t know anything about Canadian life. (Globe and Mail)

Eric Grenier: 5 federal politicians to watch in 2017

Both the Conservatives and New Democrats will choose new leaders in 2017, but the Liberals will also have some important decisions to make, including how to handle the prime minister's ongoing fundraising controversy and whether to move forward with electoral reform. Here are five federal politicians to watch this year. (CBC)

Stephen Maher: Year-in-review: From gordian knots to climate change, the Top 5 Canadian political stories of 2016

With the last sunset of the year just hours away, we bid farewell to 2016. Goodbye and good riddance. Internationally, this has been a year of strife, division, upheaval and dread. Terrorism and war are taking a terrible toll in the Middle East and the democratic consensus that has prevailed in the West since the war is under new threat from populist authoritarianism. (IPolitics)

Michael Coren: Preparing for what 2017 may bring

Britain’s former security minister, an old and good friend, once said to me, “Predicting the future is not only useless but dangerous; understanding the present and using that understanding to prepare for the future, however, is useful and vital.” So how do we prepare for 2017? The details may be obscure but the trends are obvious. (Toronto Star)



Abacus Data: The True North, Friendly & Free: What makes us proud to be Canadian

In our final survey of the year, and as the country prepares to celebrate its 150th birthday, we decided to explore what makes Canadians proud of their country (Abacus Data)