True North Initiative: News Scan 01 09 17


Four IDF Soldier Killed, 15 Wounded in East Jerusalem Truck Attack

A truck crashed into a group of soldiers in eastern Jerusalem Jan. 8, killing four and injuring at least 15, in what is suspected to be a terror attack. The soldiers, cadets in an officers’ training course,  had just gotten off of a bus on early Sunday afternoon on the promenade in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, also known as East Talpiot. The promenade marks the border between the eastern and western halves of the city, and is usually full of joggers, walkers and tourists. (CJ News) (Rebel)

Jerusalem lorry attacker 'was IS supporter'

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said "all the signs" are that a man who killed four soldiers in Jerusalem was a supporter of so-called Islamic State (IS). But he did not outline evidence to support the claim. (BBC)

Fort Lauderdale airport shooting: Suspect Santiago held

Police in Florida have questioned a suspected gunman after five people were killed and eight injured in a shooting at Fort Lauderdale airport. The suspect has been identified by police as 26-year-old Esteban Santiago, an Iraq war veteran. Officials say they have not ruled out terrorism as a possible motive. (BBC) (Toronto Star) (CTV)

Illegal entry: New numbers show spike in refugees​ ​fleeing ​to Manitoba

The number of refugees illegally entering Manitoba near the Emerson border has doubled every year since 2013. New numbers provided to CBC by the Canada Border Services Agency show the number of refugees crossing into the province illegally has doubled every year.If the current trend continues, Manitoba will be on track to have 544 refugees enter the province for the 2016-17 reporting period. (CBC)

Manitoba teen who planned to fight for ISIS overseas expected to be sentenced

A Manitoba teen who told police he would "strike from within" if he couldn't get overseas to fight with ISIS is expected to be sentenced Monday morning in a Brandon, Man., courtroom. Police became aware of the teen, who was 16 when he was arrested in November 2015, after a CBC reporter told police about a Twitter account of someone who was converting to Islam and planning to leave Canada to fight with the militant group. (CBC)

PMO held talks with Trump team to avert trade war

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most trusted lieutenants have held talks with top advisers to U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in an attempt to avert a costly trade war between the neighbouring nations. Mr. Trudeau’s principal secretary Gerald Butts, chief of staff Katie Telford and Canada’s ambassador to the United States, David MacNaughton, have met several times in Washington, in what have been described as bridge-building talks with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, and Stephen Bannon, chief strategist and senior counsellor to the incoming Republican president. (Globe and Mail) (CTV)

Shutdown of key Yazidi aid group creates new hurdle for Canada's resettlement plan

Yazda, a non-governmental organization working in Iraq and other regions to help Yazidi survivors of sexual slavery, abuse and torture by ISIS, was shut down by the Kurdistan Regional Government on Jan. 2. Executive director Murad Ismael was shocked by the sudden shutdown that left more than 600 traumatized women and girls without therapy, support and medical services. (CBC)

Suspected Ottawa terrorist Gonyou-McLean released from jail

By all accounts, Tevis Gonyou-McLean has been punished enough. And so Ontario Court Justice Matthew Webber agreed to release the suspected terrorist from jail after he pleaded guilty to two counts of mischief (smashing his GPS bracelet, twice) and two counts of breaching his release conditions (missing curfew, twice). ( (Ottawa Citizen)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Trudeau’s trip to Aga Khan’s private island kept secret to protect privacy, PMO says

The Prime Minister’s Office is defending Justin Trudeau’s secret family vacation — in which he, his wife and children took a government jet to the Bahamas and stayed at the billionaire Aga Khan’s private island — stating it was necessary to protect their privacy during the holidays. “Like many Canadians, the prime minister and his family spent private time together over the holiday season,” Trudeau’s press secretary, Cameron Ahmad, said in an emailed statement. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau to skip Davos meeting, plans cross-country Canadian tour

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not attend the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump, his office says, so he can refocus his energies on a cross-country tour to take the pulse of Canadians as he enters the second year of the Liberal mandate. (Globe and Mail)

Kellie Leitch would charge immigrants for Canadian values test

Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch says she would charge immigrants a fee to cover the cost of her proposed Canadian values screening test at the border. "For myself, screening everyone for Canadian values, screening everyone at the border is important ... My intention is to transfer that cost to the individual who is immigrating here," the Simcoe-Grey MP told the CBC's Catherine Cullen on The House. (CBC)

Obhrai: Leitch channels Trump by making immigrants pay for values test

Conservative leadership candidate Deepak Obhrai says that rival candidate Kellie Leitch’s plan to make immigrants pay for her anti-Canadian values screening test “is a Trump-style policy” and that she must stop her “Xenophobic attacks on immigrants.” (IPolitics)

Dion tops shuffle watch list

Liberal insiders aren’t expecting a major cabinet shuffle any time soon — owing in part to a federal budget expected in late February or early March — but many see a Trump-induced reset as inevitable in 2017 and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion as one of several ministers who could be poised for a change. (IPolitics)

B.C. Armenian church celebrates Orthodox Christmas with sponsored refugees

Ara Strak says he and his family are marking Orthodox Christmas with prayers of gratitude even while the memory of fleeing from his bombed-out apartment in Aleppo is still fresh in his minds. He and a handful of other Syrian refugees sponsored by Richmond B.C.'s St. Gregory Armenian Church attended services there this weekend. (CBC)

Sunwing pilot's 'misunderstanding' caused bomb scare near Toronto's Pearson airport

A Sunwing Airlines pilot's "misunderstanding" set off a massive emergency response to a bomb threat near Pearson International Airport that forced the evacuation of two buildings and the dispatch of Toronto police's Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive Unit — an elite team that responds to suspects acts of terrorism. (CBC)

Inside Quebec's far right: Radical groups push extreme message

On a sunny day in mid-October, about 100 people gathered outside Quebec's National Assembly, chanting their concern that immigration was eroding Quebec culture. They were members of the various groups that make up the far right in Quebec: Justiciers du peuple, PEGIDA Quebec and Soldats d'Odin among them. Standing apart from the crowd that Saturday were a dozen members of a group that even the rest of the far right finds radical. (CBC)

B.C. judge questions Crown's urgency in applying for peace bond for Nuttall, Korody

A provincial court judge in British Columbia is questioning the Crown's urgency to impose additional restrictions on a couple freed five months ago after a higher court overturned verdicts finding them guilty of committing terrorist acts. (CBC)

Veterans Affairs Canada still understaffed despite Liberal pledge

The Liberals came to power promising to hire hundreds of front-line workers at Veterans Affairs Canada but only a fraction of those jobs have materialized even as the level of service to those who were injured in the line of military duty remains far below departmental standards. (Globe and Mail)

Catholic church in Neepawa bursting at the seams due to immigration

Neepawa's population has swelled with immigrants, mainly from the Philippines, who have come in recent years to work at the town's pork processing plant. As a result, other industries and services in the town, which had a population of about 3,500 in 2011, are also needing new workers. (CBC)

The Canadian businessman who sponsored 200 refugees

Jim Estill would put up CA$1.5m (US$1.1m/£910,000) of his own money to bring over 50 refugee families to Canada, and co-ordinate a community-wide effort to help settle them into their new life. (BBC)

With a key Arctic research project set to close in 2018, the Trudeau government ponders next steps

As the Trudeau government begins to set its 2017 budget priorities, the country’s 1,000-strong community of Arctic researchers is hoping to secure new funding for a key research network that will otherwise be forced to wind down in 2018. And, according to documents obtained by the National Post, those researchers have reason to be optimistic. (National Post)

How Russian advances in the Arctic are leaving NATO behind

As Russian cyber activities in the United States and military intervention in Syria dominate headlines, the Russian bear has pursued a steady march forward much closer to Canada, in the Arctic. Russia moved ahead with several steps in its Arctic strategy in 2016, refurbishing military bases, constructing new airfields and building outports. A key element of this policy came together in June, when Russia launched its new nuclear-powered icebreaker in St. Petersburg. (CBC)

China to ‘take revenge’ if Trump recognizes Taiwan’s independence: state tabloid

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that China would take “take revenge” if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan‘s president made a controversial stopover in Houston. (Global News)



Candice Malcolm: Trudeau doesn’t appreciate Canada’s greatness

No matter how you measure it, Canada is a great country. And yet, to many Liberals, Canada is still not a real country. They think we’re sort of a half-country –  a country without an identity, ever in search of discovering itself.Leftist intellectuals are always trying to define, or redefine, Canadian values, culture and identity. And Trudeau himself has reinvigorated this stale old discussion. (Toronto Sun)

John Ibbitson: Conservative Party’s fortunes hinge on immigration policy

The Conservative leadership campaign has become a debate over immigration. Resolving that debate could determine the party’s future. Because immigrants decide elections. In every campaign since 1968, with the single exception of 2006, the party that dominated the broad band of suburban ridings surrounding Toronto formed the government. Most of those ridings have large concentrations of immigrants. But strategists report that the typical Conservative Party member is white, male and over 60. Some of them are sympathetic to the nativist arguments that vaulted Donald Trump into the American presidency. (Globe and Mail)

Anthony Furey: Trudeau’s 'unicorns and rainbows' budgeting comes back to bite him

A couple of days before the last federal election, Stephen Harper told me the economic plan that Justin Trudeau was pitching to the electorate was “all unicorns and rainbows." While we never truly learn until decades later the long-term ramifications of economic decisions made today, a recent paper by the federal department of finance has shocked political watchers and given weight to the former prime minister’s comments from a year and a half ago. (Toronto Sun)

Colby Cosh: The optimist’s guide to Justin Trudeau’s endless deficit spending

Yesterday, colleague Coyne wrote about the federal finance ministry’s new long-term fiscal projections as a sort of fun, idle math exercise, not to be taken too seriously. He didn’t go far enough: I say they are a form of poetry. The numbers offer us a vision of government as, in essence, a cold input-output device. Not a romantic exercise in national destiny-shaping; not an overgrown sulfurous monster that flings men into battle or prison; not an ur-mother guiding our steps with a warm hand between the shoulder blades. Just a spreadsheet on a laptop on a desk in a quiet, bare office in which the squeak of one’s chair seems to echo forever. (National Post)

Paul Wells: Justin Trudeau tries to shake air of entitlement

Somewhere in the sullen sandstone bunker of Ottawa’s Langevin Block, somebody has finally pulled the populism alarm. You know the one. It says IN CASE OF ENTITLEMENT, BREAK GLASS. Beneath that inscription, in a smaller font, it says I MEAN, FEEL FREE TO WAIT A WHILE, BECAUSE ENTITLEMENT IS FUN. BUT IF IT GETS REALLY BAD, GO AHEAD AND BREAK THAT GLASS. (Toronto Star)

Angela Chapin: Canada is great because we don't brag about being great

In 2016, the media fawned over Justin Trudeau. The Economist ran a cover story titled: “Liberty Moves North: Canada’s Example to the World” and our immigration website became so popular it crashed on the night of the U.S. election. For a country that’s historically been known as a wallflower, the attention is long overdue. But we shouldn’t become “braggadocious” and let our national ego inflate. In short: We shouldn’t become American. Canada has become so popular internationally precisely because of its humility. (Ottawa Citizen)

Campbell Clark: Conservatives can’t win without support from Quebec

There was a time when Conservatives could win without Quebec, but now it would be folly to try. Yet it seems some Tory leadership candidates and putative contenders are trying to convince the party to do just that. Kevin O’Leary, the TV personality who keeps hinting he’ll run, has come up with bizarre excuses for why he wouldn’t need to speak French, including the assertion that it’s not necessary because many young Quebeckers are bilingual. Lisa Raitt, the veteran former cabinet minister, took a simple question in French last week but had to answer in English. (Globe and Mail)

Ian Cooper: Canada needs to retool economy to technology jobs

For several years think tanks, economists and politicians of all stripes have lamented two very worrying features of Canada’s economy, namely its reliance on natural resources and manufacturing, and its moribund labour productivity growth. While economic data don’t stir the passions of the average Canadian, the fact is much of this country’s wealth has been built on the ability to sell commodities globally and to make physical goods that are usually designed and branded elsewhere. Meanwhile, the hourly wage earned by Canadians doing the actual work has effectively stagnated. (Toronto Star)