True North Initiative News Scan 01 24 18


Terror attacks in Canada 'likely to continue,' internal CSIS report says

Canada’s top spies believe terrorism will continue in Canada, according to a threat assessment report from CSIS. It notes that “domestic extremists are likely to continue to target Canadian uniformed personnel and related installations in neighbourhoods that are familiar to them (such as police stations and military recruitment centres).” Earlier words in the sentence that may offer further context have been redacted. The report was compiled by the Integrated Terrorism Assessment Centre (ITAC), which  operates from within CSIS headquarters, in January 2017. It was obtained via access to information and provided to the Sun. The document looks at the ways terrorists, particularly homegrown ones, may attack Canada in the future. (Toronto Sun)

Leaked Intelligence Documents Show Greater Threat of Islamic Terror than Government Admits

Leaked documents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) show that the intelligence service is far more concerned with Islamic terrorism behind closed doors than the left-wing Trudeau government will admit in public. One of the documents, a report from a committee hearing in October of 2016, states: “The Service has never before faced a terrorist threat of the scope, scale and complexity of Sunni Islamist-inspired terrorism,” Canadian newspaper Sun News, which obtained the documents, reports. (Breitbart)

Montreal couple hired as consultants after acquittal on terror charges

A young Montreal couple recently acquitted of terrorism charges is being paid by a publicly funded de-radicalization agency to share their experience on radicalization in the prison system. Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali, both 21, will spend the next three months at Montreal’s Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence working on a guide to help corrections officers and other workers to spot the warning signs of extremism in custody, said Herman Deparice-Okomba, head of the centre. “We need their expertise as people who have gone through the system,” he said in an interview. He added that the guide would include how to handle and work with prisoners awaiting trial or convicted for terrorism offences. (Toronto Star)

Metrolinx target of North Korean cyberattack

Ontario transit agency Metrolinx says it was the target of a cyberattack that originated in North Korea, but no personal information was compromised and systems that operate its trains and buses were not affected. Spokeswoman Anne Marie Aikins said Tuesday that the cyberattack happened recently, but would not give a date or what specifically was targeted because of security concerns. (Toronto Sun)

Liberals opt out of Canada Post overhaul

In a move bound to frustrate reform advocates of both the left and the right, the Liberal government will announce on Wednesday that it has decided not to proceed with major changes to Canada Post. Community mailboxes currently in place will not be dismantled, but home delivery will be maintained for those still receiving it, according to government officials who were not authorized to speak publicly about the decision. (Globe and Mail)

No sign of bias against government job-seekers with ethnic-sounding names, pilot project finds

Hiding ethnic-sounding names from resumes has no real bearing on who's picked from the pile of applications for jobs in the federal public service, according to a pilot project on blind hiring. A report released Tuesday by the Public Service Commission shows visible minorities were short-listed at roughly the same rate through a name-blind recruitment process (46 per cent) as through a traditional process (47 per cent). (CBC)

Labour Minister holds the Liberal line on abortion and Canada Summer Jobs

Labour Minister Patty Hajdu strived Tuesday to return to the start of the furor over the federal government's Canada Summer Jobs program and a pitched debate about rights, beliefs, freedoms and the power of the state. It all goes back to the application form through which organizations apply for federal summer jobs funding, and the new requirement that applicants must check a box affirming they respect the values set out in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms — including reproductive rights. Churches and faith groups have complained that their right to religious belief is not being respected and that otherwise valuable projects will go unfunded. (CBC) (Global)

Trudeau promotes Time's Up, #MeToo movements in Davos speech

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged international leaders to do more to promote women's rights, including confronting widespread concerns over sexual misconduct and assault, on the main stage at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday. Approximately 1,000 people lined up to listen to Trudeau's speech. "#MeToo, Time's Up, the Women's March, these movements tell us that we need to have a critical discussion on women's rights, equality and the power dynamics of gender," he said. (CBC)

Trudeau takes shot at Trump protectionism at Davos forum

Davos (Switzerland) (AFP) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticised the protectionist policies of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday while fervently defending the virtues of free trade. In a speech alluding to Trump and his threat to pull the United States out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Trudeau said his administration is "working very hard to make sure that our neighbour to the south recognises how good NAFTA is, and that (NAFTA) has benefited not just our economy, but his economy and the world's economy." (Yahoo)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada Will Stay Competitive After U.S. Tax Cuts, Morneau Says

Canadian corporate tax rates remain competitive after U.S. reductions and Finance Minister Bill Morneau said he will make sure they stay that way. Canada’s average corporate tax rate is about 27 percent now and the American reductions will lower theirs to about 26 percent, Morneau said in a Bloomberg Television interview Tuesday from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (Bloomberg)

Canada, old TPP members resurrect trade deal without U.S., but questions remain

Canada and the remaining members of the old Trans-Pacific Partnership have breathed new life into a trade deal that will forge ahead without the United States and open distant new markets at a time of uncertainty closer to home. The agreement was struck Tuesday after two days of high-level talks in Tokyo — exactly one year after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from the Pacific Rim treaty. The fresh commitment left Japan as the largest player in a new 11-nation pact that spans two hemispheres and includes both U.S. neighbours. (National Post)

Canada ranks No. 2 in Best Countries list, only beaten by Switzerland

Canada is the second best country in the world, according to the U.S. News and Report’s Best Country list. It’s only surpassed by Switzerland in the report, which takes into account rankings in categories like Adventure, Cultural Influence, Open to Business and others. (Global)

Gay couple married in Canada sues U.S. government for denying citizenship to child

Ethan and Aiden Dvash-Banks are toddler twins who share almost everything: the same toys, the same nursery, the same clothes and the same parents. Everything but a toothbrush and U.S. citizenship. To remedy what their parents, a gay married couple, view as an injustice, Ethan Dvash-Banks became a plaintiff at the tender age of 16 months in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. State Department that seeks the same rights his brother has as an American citizen. (CTV)

Democrats withdraw border wall funding offer over ‘Dreamers’ dispute

Democrats on Tuesday withdrew an offer to fund U.S. President Donald Trump‘s border wall, as tough negotiations over the future of young illegal immigrants resumed in the Senate. A day after the end of a government shutdown linked to wrangling over immigration, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said he pulled the offer because of what he said was Trump’s failure to follow through on the outlines of an agreement the two men discussed last Friday. (Global)

Iraqi Illegal Immigrant Stages Hunger Strike to Protest Deportation Order

An Iraqi national who asked for asylum at a U.S.-Mexico Border crossing is staging a hunger strike in a detention facility located in Texas. He began the strike after receiving a final order of removal issued by an immigration judge. (Breitbart)

Border Patrol arrests man who gave aid to immigrants crossing the desert

An Arizona man was reportedly arrested last week on a federal harboring charge after Border Patrol agents surveilled a building near the Mexico border where food, water and clean clothes were provided to immigrants. Scott Daniel Warren, an instructor at Arizona State University and a volunteer for immigrant aid group "No More Deaths," was arrested just hours after the group released videos showing Border Patrol agents kicking over bottles of water that had been left for immigrants crossing the desert, according to The Associated Press. (The Hill)

Save the Children offices attacked in Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Attackers have detonated explosives before storming the offices of the Save the Children charity in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad. At least two people have been killed and 12 injured, officials say. It is believed about 50 staff were in the building at the time. (BBC)

Syria war: US strikes on IS headquarters 'kills 150 militants'

The US-led coalition against the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) says it has killed up to 150 militants in air strikes on a headquarters in Syria. A statement said the strikes took place on Saturday near al-Shafah, in the Middle Euphrates river valley in the south-eastern province of Deir al-Zour. (BBC)

British men prepare to fight Turkish-led forces in Syria

British men are among a group of international volunteers preparing to fight against Turkish-led forces in north-west Syria, the BBC understands. They have joined the Kurdish militia, the YPG, in its offensive on the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin. (BBC)



Tarek Fatah: Women’s March betrayed women of Iran and Kurdistan

They came in the tens of thousands. Women across the United States and Canada marched to assert their rightful place in society, no longer on the periphery, but at the centre. Excesses of language and silly pussy hats aside, this year’s march came in light of the #MeToo movement and the exposure of many prominent men accused of sexually assaulting women. As a father of two daughters, from a society where women suffer immeasurably more than their sisters in the West, I know that every time women take a step forward, the ripple effect is felt around the world. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: It's like Trudeau ranks pro-lifers as worse than jihadists

The federal Liberal government is more afraid of Catholics and Evangelical Protestants than it is of Canadians returning home from the Middle East after fighting for ISIS. In what must surely be one of the most bizarre examples yet of Liberal hypocrisy and illogic, the same Trudeau government that is welcoming home ISIS terrorists is denying summer job funding to religious groups, unless those religious groups first swear loyalty to Liberal policy on abortion and human rights. Returning ISIS fighters are not being asked to disavow their loyalty to ISIS’s death-to-the-West, radical Islamist ideology or to swear a new oath to uphold Canadian values and security. Yet faith-based groups looking for a few thousand bucks to hire a summer camp counsellor or office temp are being told they must first declare support for abortion-on-demand, LGBTQ rights and same-sex marriage or risk being denied funding under the Canada Summer Jobs program. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Two accused terrorists hired as “anti-radicalism consultants” — and you're paying their salaries

Now, it’s technically true that these two men were "acquitted of terrorism" — just last month, actually. But one was convicted of having explosives, and both are banned from a number of terrorist-oriented activities. And just last week, the crown appealed, so they might yet be convicted. (Rebel)

Sheila Gunn Reid: Edmonton Mall “refugee” sexual assault trial: Supporters of accused (and media interest) dwindling (Day 2)

It's day two of the five day trial of 39 year old father of six, Syrian refugee Soleiman Hajj Soleiman. Hajj Soleiman is standing trial on six counts of sexual interference and another six counts of sexual assault against six minor victims — all girls under the age of 16. The charges stem from a series of separate incidents all on the same evening at at the World Waterpark wave pool at West Edmonton Mall. (Rebel)

Chris Selley: Liberals have unknowingly proposed something revolutionary in jobs grant fracas

There are a few theories going with respect to the strange fracas over government-funded summer jobs and abortion rights. Some see it as a wedge play by the Liberals to chase womb-bothering conservatives into the sunlight, where they can be pelted with spoiled produce. Others see it as a sincere expression of a uniquely Canadian brand of fanaticism: that any legal limits on abortion rights are non-debatable, even unconstitutional. Either way, it is not clear to me that the government and its partisans understand why some religious groups object to attesting that the jobs being funded — and the organization’s “core mandate” — “respect reproductive rights.” (National Post)

Tasha Kheiriddin: Forget ideological purity tests — and scrap the Canada Summer Jobs Program

That was before the era of interventionist government, of course, and before the creation of federal summer job programs. Such programs have been around for decades in various incarnations, from the COSEP (Career Oriented Summer Employment Program) of the 1980s and 1990s to the Canada Summer Jobs Program today. And the goal was pretty consistent: to create jobs by providing a wage subsidy to employers willing to give a young person a temporary foot in the door. (IPolitics)

John Ivison: India is a prize worth winning if Trudeau is serious about building trade relations

Justin Trudeau will head to India next month, thus affirming the old proverb that if you cannot have a bird of paradise, you better take a wet hen. That’s not a shot at India. There are many good reasons for the prime minister to visit the sub-continent, not least the chance to ingratiate himself with 1.6 million Indo-Canadians 18 months before a general election. (National Post)

John Ivison: Shunned ‘values’ crusader Kellie Leitch’s political career comes to its inevitable end

It was always likely to end this way once Kellie Leitch had made the calculated gamble to mount a “Canadian values” crusade as part of her leadership bid for the Conservative Party — namely, in defeat, ostracism and, ultimately, exile. In a statement obtained Tuesday by the National Post, the former minister and Conservative leadership contender said she will not seek re-election in 2019 and plans to “return to the public service that is core to my being and forms the very roots of who I am: being a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon and getting children back on playgrounds.” (National Post)




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