True North Initiative News Scan 01 18 2018


Minister uses profanity as he criticizes companies' excuses not to hire diverse leaders

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains used profanity as he criticized the lack of diversity in corporate leadership positions to a group of Windsor, Ont., law students on Wednesday. "One of the issues I hear from people is 'Well, we just don't have the people. We don't have the talent. We don't have the women. We don't have the diversity in our corporation. We would love to promote diversity but we just can't find the people,'" Bains told the group of about 100 people at the University of Windsor.  "That's a bunch of bullshit." (CBC)

Feds Using U.S. Border Data To Crack Down On Immigration Violations

A budding cross-border data exchange with the United States is quietly helping Canada crack down on immigration violators. The federal government has flagged more than 1,000 possible cases of people overstaying their visas or committing other immigration infractions based on information provided by the United States, newly obtained memos show. Under a 2011 continental security pact, Canada and the United States agreed to set up co-ordinated systems to track the entry and exit information of travellers. (Huffington Post) (Toronto Star)

Girl's family apologizes to 'every Canadian' for hijab hoax; Mayor John Tory encourages forgiveness

The family of a young girl who garnered international attention with a harrowing hijab attack story that turned out to be a hoax has now offered an apology to all Canadians. In a statement released Wednesday, the family explains they were fooled by the 11-year-old’s tall tale — just as many others were, including the prime minister. “We are deeply saddened for the pain and anger that our family has caused in the past several days,” the statement reads. “When our young daughter told the school that she was attacked by a stranger, the school reacted with compassion and support — as did the police.” (Toronto Sun)


Jeff Sessions has suggested the U.S. should adopt Canada’s policy on immigration, backing a stricter set of criteria that prevented “illiterate” people from coming into the country. The attorney general claimed President Donald Trump is not anti-immigration, but he said the administration wanted to see that people had the skills and education to prosper. (Newsweek)

'It's slavery in the modern world': Foreign workers say they were hungry, abused at Toronto temple

Four migrant workers from India faced harsh living conditions and were drastically underpaid as sculptors on a Hindu temple in Toronto, according to two of the workers who spoke exclusively to CBC Toronto. By day, they sculpted and painted one of the most holy parts of the temple, by night they would languish in the basement of the building, sleeping on cots by the boiler, according to Sekar Kurusamy, 51, and Suthakar Masilamani, 46. (CBC)

Bonuses, performance pay for government executives rise under Trudeau

Spending on bonuses and other performance pay for top federal government executives increased by more than double the rate of inflation in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's first year in office, CBC News has learned. The 3.2 per cent increase in spending for 2015-16, the most recent year available, was also more than twice the 1.25 per cent pay increases the government has negotiated with many of its public sector unions. (CBC)

2 Canadians Reportedly Kidnapped In Nigeria: Global Affairs

Global Affairs Canada says it's aware of reports that two Canadian citizens have been kidnapped in Nigeria. Spokesman John Babcock says consular officials in Nigeria are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information. (Huffington Post)

Crown appeals acquittal of Sabrine Djermane on terrorism charges

The nuance is significant because while the Crown had concrete evidence Jamali possessed some of the materials required to build a pressure cooker bomb — similar to the ones used in the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon in 2013 — the only evidence against Djermane concerning explosives was that police found a handwritten copy of the recipe on a nightstand in a binder next to her bed. (Montreal Gazette)

Bombardier won't confirm pending order in Iran for 10 regional jets

According to Iran English daily publication the Financial Tribune, Bombardier (TSX:BBD.B) has reached a preliminary agreement to sell 10 new CRJ-900 regional jets to Iran. The publication said a final contract will be officially unveiled within a month with first deliveries starting 10 months later. The contract would also include maintenance and repair services, training and parts, it said. The newspaper quotes the head of Qeshm Investment and Development Company as saying Bombardier is ready to finance 80 per cent of the order. (CTV)

Mullahs Demand More Money for Islamic Studies amid Protests in Iran

Despite protests calling for greater economic restraint in funding projects to promote Shiite Islam around the world, Islamic leaders during a Friday prayer called for more money to go towards Shiite seminaries in Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a population of mostly secular youth who, on December 28, renewed calls for the ousting of the radical Islamic government for the first time since 2009. (Breitbart)

No Canadians caught up in Iran protests yet, says Global Affairs

Over 1,000 people have been arrested in widespread recent protests in Iran, including a European citizen, but Canadian authorities say they are not aware of any Canadian citizens caught in the fray so far. Over the weekend an Iranian judicial official said a European citizen had been arrested in anti-government protests in western Iran, and accused the individual of having been “trained by European intelligence services … leading the rioters.”The official did not specify the nationality of the detainee. (IPolitics)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Survivors of ISIS atrocities settling in Calgary urge Canada not to turn away others

Kamo Zandinan is haunted by the two years spent in the hands of ISIS militants in Iraq, too weak to do anything but watch as they snatched her husband and four of her seven children — the youngest, a three-year-old girl — with the intention of killing them or selling them off into sexual slavery. These are images she can't shake, especially at night. (CBC)

Foreign spouses hit snags with 'streamlined' sponsorship program

The federal government's streamlined spousal-sponsorship program was supposed to fast-track the immigration process for the foreign-born husbands and wives of Canadians. But for a Swedish woman living in Ottawa, the process has been anything but smooth, with her application being sent back not once, but twice. Her immigration lawyer blames government error. Each time, Alexandra Dickenson's application went back to the bottom of the pile. (CBC)

How is China persuading graft suspects in Canada to ‘surrender’? An embezzler’s disastrous deal offers clues

After the flight touched down in Beijing, the former manager of the real estate arm of the Hebei Port Group was immediately taken into custody by two white-gloved officers who led him onto the tarmac by both arms. A “huge amount” of money involved in He’s bribery case was frozen, said China’s anti-graft agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), which documented the arrest in a series of photos. (SCMP)

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi released from immigration detention

A former child refugee from Somalia who was shuffled between Nova Scotia foster and group homes as a youth, and who as an adult now faces deportation, was released Wednesday from immigration detention. Abdoul Abdi had spent two weeks detained in jails in the Maritimes and Ontario on immigration grounds after serving a four-year prison sentence for aggravated assault. (CBC)

Ottawa professor released from French prison calls for inquiry into extradition

Hassan Diab, the Ottawa academic released from a French prison last week after judges ordered the dismissal of terrorism charges against him, is calling for a public inquiry into his case and a review of the law that allowed his extradition to France. However, Mr. Diab says he doesn't want any Canadian taxpayer money as compensation for his nine-year ordeal, which included three years in solitary confinement. If he is awarded any money, he says he wants it to go to his family, friends and supporters who spent their own money working on his case. For instance, his wife, Rania Tfaily, paid for his flight from Paris to Ottawa over the weekend. (Globe and Mail)

Ottawa quiet on whether Canada will support new U.S.-backed Syrian border force

The federal government is refusing to say whether Canada will support the creation of a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria, plans for which have already drawn opposition from Russia, Iran, Turkey and even the UN. The U.S.-led coalition that has been fighting the so-called Islamic State confirmed earlier this week that it plans to establish the border force over the next few years. (Global)

Scheer: Canada speaks with one voice on renegotiating NAFTA deal

In his first foreign trip as leader of the official Opposition, Andrew Scheer avoided any criticism of the Liberal federal government, telling a Washington audience that Canada speaks with one voice on NAFTA. The Conservative leader was at the Wilson Center on Wednesday explaining that he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have their partisan differences, but not when it comes to preserving the Canada-U.S. relationship. (CTV)

Turkey Warns: ‘We Will Take Our Own Measures’ Against U.S.-Allied Syrian Kurds

Turkey vows to take action against a United States-supported plan to establish a Kurdish-majority force of 30,000 troops in Syria “regardless of who backs them,” cautioned Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. (Breitbart)

Donald Trump is prepared to deploy troops for attack on North Korea

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is “very seriously” considering military options for the North Korea nuclear stand-off, a Republican congressional chairman has revealed. Mac Thornberry, who heads up the House Armed Services Committee, told The Daily Telegraph that officials were looking into ammunition and deployment issues linked to military involvement. (National Post)


Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has accused Saudi Arabia of double-crossing the Palestinians and betraying 1.6 billion Muslims by siding with the U.S. and Israel on regional affairs. Despite Iran and Saudi Arabia's decades-long proxy war of influence in the Middle East, revolutionary Shiite Muslim cleric Khamenei said Tuesday that his country was "ready to act brotherly even with those among the Muslims who were once openly hostile to Iran." (Newsweek)

Chaos In Courtroom: Man Accused Of Murdering Deputies: ‘I Killed F****** Cops’, Warns He’ll Do It Again

An explosive day in the courtroom as opening statements began in the trial of Luis Bracamontes- the undocumented immigrant accused of killing two deputies in 2014. A judge ordered the jury out of the room, during an outburst by the defendant as he admitted to murdering the peace officers. Bracamontes said there’s no need for a trial, but the judge ruled it will still go on. “There was no need to prove all this s***,” Bracamontes said. “Be silent!” the judge yelled back. (CBS)



Candice Malcolm: Stay vigilant about Sharia in Canada

Jihadist terrorists seek to destabilize our society through acts of war; meanwhile non-violent Islamists — driven by the same dogmatic ideology — work to quietly advance their cause and spread the doctrine of political Islam across the West. Examples of Islamist practices seeping into our society are all around us, and perhaps the most concerning is the encroachment of Sharia Law.  What exactly is Sharia? It’s a set of guidelines and religious rules, stemming from the Islamic Quran and Hadith that guide Muslims and command an overall way of life. It’s more than just a legal system; Sharia dictates both the private moral teachings of the Islamic faith as well as strict public rules that all Muslims are commanded to live by. (Toronto Sun)

Licia Corbella: Omar Khadr's rights more important than Canadian charities' rights

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have his chance to prove that he treats Canadian churches and social agencies with the same respect he showed convicted terrorist Omar Khadr when those faith groups’ applications for Canada Summer Jobs grants are processed in the next few weeks. The federal government has effectively prevented faith-based social agencies and churches from applying online for some of the 70,000 subsidized wage grants for summer students as a result of an “attestation” on the online application that requires applicants to agree with the federal Liberal party’s policy on abortion. (Calgary Herald)

Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau Liberals play it ‘stupid’ with country’s economy

When Bill Clinton successfully ran for the U.S. presidency back in 1992, his chief strategist, James Carville, correctly summed up what mattered most to Americans. “It’s the economy, stupid.” Our prime minister and his band of Liberal dreamers need to be reminded of this, for even a staunch Democrat like Carville understood out of the gate that both progressivism and socialism — the twin sisters of the left — need a solid economy to fund their aspirations. The credit card has to work. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Why can’t politicians admit mistakes?

What is it in the DNA of politicians that prevents them from admitting to even an honest mistake? Do they not understand how foolish they look when they don’t and how it contributes to public cynicism about politics? And, worst of all, that it undermines the very things they hoped to avoid in terms of public attitudes about important issues? (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: Interest-rate hike could turn aspirational voters away from Trudeau’s Liberals

Justin Trudeau was elected on a “fairness” ticket — in his words, “putting more money in the pockets of those who need it, instead of giving advantages and benefits to the wealthy.” But polls suggest Canadians are experiencing acute anxiety about their personal debt situations — and Wednesday’s interest-rate rise is likely to worsen circumstances for nearly half of all Canadians who say they are hovering close to financial insolvency (National Post)

Melayna Williams: How Canada’s child welfare system fails refugees like Abdoul Abdi

Abdoul Abdi’s pending case has recently captured Canada’s attention. The 23-year-old came to Canada from Somalia at the age of six, along with his sister and aunts. He was soon placed in foster care by the Nova Scotia Department of Community Service. The reason he was taken from his family was never properly explained, but the government proceeded to move the young boy through 31 separate placements and failed for years to seek citizenship for him. (Macleans)




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