True North Initiative News Scan 01 09 2018


Canada braces for more asylum claims as Trump lifts protection for 200K Salvadorans

Citizens of several other countries — including Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan — have seen their temporary protection status (TPS) revoked by the U.S. over the past year. The Salvadorans, however, are by far the largest cohort of foreigners living in the U.S. under the program, which allows foreign nationals to remain in the U.S. while their home countries recover from natural disasters, war or other strife. (Global) (Radio Canada) (Huffington Post)

200K Salvadoran immigrants face deportation from U.S. as Trump ends special protections

El Salvador is the fourth country whose citizens have lost Temporary Protected Status under President Donald Trump, and they have been, by far, the largest beneficiaries of the program, which provides humanitarian relief for foreigners whose countries are hit with natural disasters or other strife. (Global) (CBC) (Toronto Star)

Iran protests: deaths in custody spark human rights concerns

Human rights activists in Iran have raised concerns about mass arrests during the country’s largest protests in nearly a decade after at least three demonstrators died in a notorious Tehran jail. Two members of the Iranian parliament close to the reformist camp confirmed on Monday that one detainee, Sina Ghanbari, had died in Evin prison. (Guardian)

Morneau cleared of insider trading, ethics commissioner’s office still reviewing pension bill case

The federal ethics commissioner has dismissed opposition accusations that Bill Morneau benefited from insider trading, but has yet to rule on whether the finance minister was in a conflict of interest when he introduced pension legislation. A two-page letter from Mary Dawson to Mr. Morneau, dated Jan. 5, outlines her consideration of concerns raised by Conservative and NDP MPs in relation to the minister's decision to sell shares in Morneau Shepell Inc. in 2015. (Globe and Mail) (CTV)

Liberal MP Geng Tan doing his duty in aiding man accused of fraud: PMO

The Prime Minister's Office says Liberal MP Geng Tan was merely performing his parliamentary duties when he approached Chinese government officials and Canadian diplomats in Beijing on behalf of a Liberal Party donor who was under investigation for money laundering and the fraudulent sale of securities to Chinese citizens. The donor was charged six months later. (Globe and Mail)

Investigation into Darshan Kang sexual harassment allegations 'completely confidential'

The allegations against Kang brought by two female former staffers were referred to the House of Commons’ chief human resource officer, but the Speaker’s office says the investigation process is “completely confidential” and there will be no comment on the status of the case. In a brief recent telephone interview, Kang said he can say nothing about the investigation. (Calgary Herald)

Will Trudeau Face A Grilling At The Ethics Committee? That's Up To 6 Liberals

The Prime Minister's Office says it is ultimately up to a group of six Liberal MPs to decide whether Justin Trudeau will be subjected to intense questioning from opposition MPs over his visits to the Aga Khan's private island in the Bahamas. (Huffington Post)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)


Canadian with 160-year prison sentence in U.S. back in Canada as a free man

In November, Twyman finally returned to Canada as a free man after more than 27 years behind bars. Twyman was freed thanks to a group of Canadian lawyers who spent a decade fighting against Twyman’s excessively harsh sentence. During Twyman’s trial in 1989, the judge in the case, Thomas Ross, handed down the 160-year sentence against the 25-year-old because of his previous convictions as a juvenile and Tyman’s perceived lack of remorse for the crimes. The man who helped Twyman commit the burglaries, Jason Southard, received a 50-year sentence for his role in the burglaries, but would be paroled after less than 20 years. (CTV)

Senators, MPs call for $1.4-billion in conservation funding from federal government

The letter drafted by Quebec Liberal MP William Amos, a former environmental lawyer, says the money is needed for development of national parks and for protected areas being created by Indigenous groups, provinces, territories, municipalities and private interests. The pledge would ensure that Canada meets its commitment under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 17 per cent of its land by 2020. According to recent reports, just more than 10 per cent of Canada's land is currently protected. (Globe and Mail)

In wake of Iran protests, should Canada reopen embassy in Tehran?

The Iranian government's recent crackdown on protesters is renewing the debate around Canada's diplomatic relations with the country, in particular Justin Trudeau's 2015 election promise to reopen an embassy in Tehran. The largest anti-government protest since 2009 began on Dec. 28, spreading to dozens of cities across the country — and the Iranian government's response has been brutal. At least 22 protesters have been killed and according to rights groups, more than a 1,000 people have been detained. (CBC)

UK more concerned about terror than any other country, finds study

British people are more concerned about terror attacks than most of their major neighbours, with more than six in 10 concerned that a major incident will take place in 2018, new research shows. Almost two thirds (65 per cent) fear an attack this year, the survey by pollster Ipsos MORI found. This compares with 60 per cent of respondents in Turkey, 53 per cent in France, 51 per cent in Germany and 51 per cent in the US. (Independent)

Bomb blast injures six as violence continues to rise in Iraq

An explosion in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday left six people injured, according to security sources. “A bomb was placed near stores in the Abu Ghraib district, west of Baghdad,” an unnamed security source was quoted by Iraqi media. “The blast left six people injured.” (Kurdistan 24)

North Korea to Send Olympic Athletes to South Korea, in Breakthrough

North Korea agreed on Tuesday to send athletes to February’s Winter Olympics in South Korea, a symbolic breakthrough after months of escalating tensions over the North’s rapidly advancing nuclear and missile programs. (NY Times)

Analysis: Iran protests show danger of economic woes

In the past 10 days, there were new protests, the largest in Iran since its 2009 disputed presidential election, fueled by young people angry over their bleak prospects. This time, they shouted slogans against President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, a figure seen as subordinate only to God by hard-liners. (FOX)




Mark Bonokoski: The ever-converging lives of Justin Trudeau and Joshua Boyle

The prime minister is finally back in Ottawa, another year older and another year (supposedly) wiser. He is now 46, his birthday having fallen on Christmas Day, and his extended holiday at the PM’s official Quebec vacation mansion on Harrington Lake, and then to the ski country of Lake Louise and Revelstoke, has finally come to an end. His official itinerary, as put out daily by the Prime Minister’s Office, had him spending Monday in “private meetings.” (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Donald Trump and his first Fakie Awards

The Golden Globe Awards are so predictable, very boozy affairs (unlike the Oscars) with the usual elitist Hollywood crowd (like the Oscars), and with only the rarest of upsets changing the natural course of cinematic and television history in the uber-saturated world of infotainment. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau's progressivism doesn't extend to Iran

It’s been one of the most powerful images to come out of the Iranian uprising: A young woman standing on a platform, facing a crowd, her long hair out for all to see as she holds a stick with white fabric tied to it. More and more women in Iran, along with supporters worldwide, are making public, symbolic statements like this. The grassroots uprising against that nation’s repressive, theocratic has been festering ever since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that imposed regressive rules of dress and social conduct on Iranians, especially women. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew Coyne: It's too early to write off Singh and Scheer as political duds

In the spring of 1993 Opposition leader Jean Chretien, his Liberal party sagging in the polls and projected to lose to the resurgent Conservatives under Kim Campbell, was feeling the heat, openly attacked by one critic as “a tired old man who doesn’t know how to lead the party.” There were even calls for his resignation. Facing down the “nervous Nellies” in his caucus, Chretien went on to win a solid majority in that fall’s election. (National Post)

Kelly McParland: Andrew Scheer needs to be honest, reasonable and pray someone notices him

It’s as true in Ottawa as it is in provincial capitals. In a majority government, there’s very little the opposition leader can do, other than incessantly criticize the government over every little detail, and you don’t need a seat in the House of Commons for that. Even if the leader happens to be good at criticism, hardly anyone notices, because no one is watching, other than people paid to do so. (National Post)

John Ivison: No picking and choosing on the Charter, unless it suits Trudeau's Liberals

A case filed in the Federal Court last week by a Toronto anti-abortion group, as reported last week by my National Post colleague Brian Platt, makes clear there is a hierarchy of rights in this country: at the apex are those rights the Liberals find agreeable, at its base are those they find abhorrent. (National Post)

Thomas Quiggin: Trudeau's Support for Islamists a Warning to America

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada has an nine-year long record of supporting the Islamist cause while refusing to engage with reformist Muslims. With respect to ISIS fighters returning to Canada, Trudeau has argued that they will be a "powerful voice for deradicalization" and that those who oppose their return are "Islamophobic." Furthermore, the Government of Canada is not adding the names of returning ISIS fighters to the UN committee responsible for the listing of international jihadists. (Gatestone Institute)




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