True North Initiative: News Scan 01 25 17


Trump gives OK to Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed executive actions to move forward on construction of two controversial oil pipelines that affect Canada, giving his OK to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects. Speaking in the Oval Office in the White House as he signed the presidential memorandums, Trump said that "we are going to renegotiate some of the terms" of TransCanada's Keystone XL project. "And if they like, we will see if we can get that pipeline built — a lot of jobs, 28,000 jobs, great construction jobs." (CBC) (Financial Post)

Donald Trump to Move on Border Security, Immigration Enforcement, and Building the Wall

President Donald Trump will begin rolling out executive actions on immigration Wednesday, beginning with steps to tighten border security — including his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — and other domestic immigration enforcement measures, according to two administration officials. Later in the week, the president is expected to restrict the flow of refugees to the United States. The proposed plans include at least a four-month halt on all refugee admissions, as well as temporary ban on people coming from some Muslim majority countries, according to a representative of a public policy organization that monitors refugee issues. The person was briefed on the details of that proposed action by a government official and outlined the expected steps for The Associated Press. (Time) (Globe and Mail)

Donald Trump set to slam door on immigrants from 7 Middle Eastern countries

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign several executive orders on Wednesday restricting immigration from Syria and six other Middle Eastern or African countries, according to several congressional aides and immigration experts briefed on the matter. In addition to Syria, Trump‘s orders are expected to temporarily restrict access to the United States for most refugees. Another order will block visas from being issued to those from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said the aides and experts, who asked not to be identified. (Global)

NAFTA uncertainty could affect job, wage growth, says Chamber

Canada can expect “soft growth” in jobs and wages this year as uncertainty regarding NAFTA’s future leads to lower business investment, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce predicts in its 2017 economic and political outlook. “We heard loud and clear from the Canadian business community about a heightened level of apprehension about the global economy, particularly with regard to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and the renegotiation of NAFTA,” says the annual outlook, which was released Tuesday morning at an event hosted by iPolitics Live. (IPolitics)

Speaker of House calls for probe into security breach at NDP offices in Ottawa

The Speaker of the House of Commons is calling for a further investigation into a security breach involving a Liberal staffer at one of the NDP’s offices near Parliament Hill last year. Following a request from NDP whip Marjolaine Boutin-Sweet, Speaker Geoff Regan asked deputy sergeant-at-arms Pat McDonell to further examine an incident last November when Liberal staffer Mark Livingstone gained unauthorized access to the party’s office at 202 Sparks Street in Ottawa. (Globe and Mail)

Senior military officer not suspended due to national security concerns: Sajjan

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has ruled out national security concerns following the sudden suspension last week of the military's second-highest-ranking officer. Government and military officials have been tight-lipped since Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was abruptly stripped of his responsibilities on Jan. 16, less than six months after becoming vice chief of defence staff. The information vacuum has prompted an outcry from opposition critics, who say Canadians deserve to know if there was ever a potential risk to national security given media reports of an RCMP investigation. (CTV)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Asian job seekers face disadvantage even when they have higher degrees, study finds

Job candidates with Asian names and Canadian qualifications are less likely to be called for interviews than their counterparts with Anglo-Canadian names even when they have a better education, a new study has found. Using data from a recent large-scale Canadian employment study that examined interview callback rates for resumés with Asian and Anglo names, researchers found Asian-named applicants consistently received fewer calls regardless of the size of the companies involved. (Toronto Star)

'Tax haven' Canada being targeted by offshore cheats, Panama Papers show

Far from the palm-fringed beaches of the usual offshore tax havens, Canada is quietly becoming a go-to destination for international tax cheats eager to exploit the country's twin benefits of a sterling reputation and rules that allow private companies to keep their ownership secret. A joint investigation by CBC/Radio-Canada and the Toronto Star has found dozens of cases where tax advisers around the world are touting shell companies in Canada as a way to help mask a client's assets and business dealings. (CBC)

Google and Facebook working to bring fake news tools to Canada

Two of the world's biggest digital information platforms say they're getting ready to roll out tools in Canada designed to crack down on so-called "fake news." The phenomenon of false or misleading information being widely disseminated online became a major storyline in the U.S. presidential campaign, which culminated in the November election of Donald Trump. It's also been happening in Canada: Conservative leadership candidate Kellie Leitch's campaign manager, Nick Kouvalis, has admitted posting false information about the Trudeau government in an effort to draw out left-leaning voters. (CBC)

Three in Four Canadians Want a National Inquiry into Surveillance of Journalists, CJFE Poll Shows

Three out of four Canadians want a national inquiry into police surveillance of journalists, according to a new national public opinion survey released today by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE). Seventy percent support a new law that would allow journalists to protect the identity of confidential sources and whistleblowers. The results come as Canadians across the country meet with their MPs about police surveillance and press freedom as part of a week of lobbying in preparation for a national day of action on February 4, 2017. (ITBusiness)

'America first:' For Canada, it's about a lot more than trade

There's plenty of anxiety — perhaps even some panic — about what Donald Trump's "America First" administration will mean for trade. But the close-knit Canada-U.S. relationship is about more than NAFTA and pipelines. Officials and political observers are also watching to see if there will be a shake up on a host of other issues. (CBC)

‘Risky’ coffee shop tour brings Trudeau back on brand: strategists

Forget the headlines; the prime minister’s tour of coffee shops and community centres this month has been a winning political tactic, say pollsters and political strategists. Justin Trudeau’s (Papineau, Que.) campaign-style tour across the eastern part of the country before his cabinet retreat in Calgary this week may be unprecedented in recent times. A handful of political analysts and lobbyists contacted by The Hill Times could not recall another recent prime minister roaming the country to take unscripted questions from voters, so soon after winning an election. (Hill Times)

Cheers, jeers for Trudeau at Calgary town hall

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched an impassioned defence for balancing the environment and economy at a raucous town hall in the heart of oil country Tuesday. A man wearing a shirt with "I Love Oil Sands" written on it and a hat emblazoned with U.S. President Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan took Trudeau to task for earlier oilsands comments. At a town hall in Ontario earlier this month, Trudeau was criticized for saying the oilsands would need to be phased out eventually. At the close of a Calgary cabinet retreat earlier Tuesday, he said he misspoke. (CP24)

Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef skipped march against Trump

Canada’s status of women minister did not attend a women’s march Saturday, when thousands of people across the country protested the new U.S. president’s stance on abortion, history of sexist comments and other issues, because she had “prior commitments in her riding,” according to her office. Organized for the day after Donald Trump was sworn in as president, the Women’s March saw half a million people descend on Washington, D.C. to rail against the new American leader. Similar protests were held in Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa and Toronto, where organizers estimate 60,000 people marched from Queen’s Park to Nathan Phillips Square on Saturday. (Toronto Star)

Ottawa facing growing calls to bolster media industry

The Canadian news industry is hoping to galvanize support in coming weeks for federal measures that would help to prop up the bottom lines of media organizations that are struggling to adapt to new digital realities. There is little appetite for a straight-up federal bailout inside government or the industry. Still, there are growing calls for financial measures to help media organizations “to transition” to digital operations, as well as new rules surrounding domestic advertising and the copyright protection of original content. (Globe and Mail)

Trump to direct federal resources toward building a border wall on Wednesday

President Donald Trump will take executive action Wednesday directing federal resources toward building a border wall, a White House official confirmed to CNN. The move begins a multi-day roll out of immigration actions that's also expected to include moves related to refugees and visas. Trump will make the announcement during a visit to the Department of Homeland Security at 1:25 p.m. ET. Trump himself hinted at Wednesday's move on Twitter, writing "Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!" (CNN)

Kim Jong Un wants to meet Trump, will never give up nukes, says defector

he only way to change North Korea's destiny is to change its leader, says the most senior North Korean diplomat to defect in almost 20 years. Thae Yong Ho was number two in the North Korean embassy in London before he escaped with his wife and two sons, arriving in South Korea in August. "As long as Kim Jong Un is in power, there'll be no chance for the world to improve the human rights issue" or cancel "the nuclear program," he says. (CNN)

'Behave normally or go away': Dutch PM's message to immigrants seen as wooing voters ahead of March election

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte sought to lure voters away from anti-immigration lawmaker Geert Wilders, as campaigning for the March 15 national elections heated up on Monday. In a full-page newspaper message, Rutte said "we have to actively defend our values" against people who reject those values and act antisocially. "Behave normally or go away," he said. (CBC)

Children ‘cut in two’: Rising death toll and new questions in Nigeria military attack

As the death toll climbs to more than 230 in a Nigerian military attack on a refugee camp, new accounts from witnesses and satellite photos are revealing the full horror of the disaster. The Nigerian air force has apologized for the attack, calling it an accident. But witnesses say a Nigerian warplane circled twice and dropped two bombs in the middle of the town of Rann, Nigeria, where as many as 40,000 refugees have sought shelter from Boko Haram, the radical Islamist militia. (Globe and Mail)

Trump, Modi vow to combat terror; boost defence, economic ties

Four days into office, US President Donald Trump has declared India a "true friend and partner" in a phone call to Prime Minister Narendra Modi during which they vowed to stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" in the fight against terror and strengthen defence and economic ties.  During their telephonic conversation last night, the two leaders also extended invitations to each other for bilateral visits. (Business Standard)



Candice Malcolm: The new feminism is a twisted ideology

Following the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump, opposition activists organized large rallies in major cities across North America. Dubbed the ‘Women’s March,’ these rallies consisted mostly of liberal and left-wing activists promoting their own political agenda. Millions of women attended, millions more stayed at home. Feminism isn’t for everyone, and modern feminism is no longer an inclusive movement to protect and improve the lives of all women. New feminism has morphed into an anti-Western, anti-conservative (Toronto Sun)

Howard Anglin: Leitch is mostly wrong — but also right — about immigration

Let’s just jump into the piranha pond without caveats (they’ll come later) and say that much of the criticism of Kellie Leitch’s campaign statements on immigration has been overblown and distorted by those with hostile ideological and political agendas. Pause. Still with me? Good. Now, let’s rewind and start with what she gets wrong. (IPolitics)

Susan Delacourt: Trump will test Trudeau. How might he react?

Chances are that Donald Trump is not going to be convening any all-day cabinet meetings on how to deal with the Canadian government — even if he is flattered that Justin Trudeau’s ministers are spending so much time in Calgary this week thinking about the new president. We’re still not even sure how much Trump knows about Canada. Has anyone told him that Saturday Night Live was launched by a Canadian, for instance? (On second thought … yeah, let’s not mention it.) (IPolitics)

Eric Grenier: Justin Trudeau's dropping approval ratings typical of past prime ministers

Justin Trudeau's approval ratings have dropped to their lowest level since he became prime minister, according to a new poll. But an analysis of the popularity of his predecessors suggests Trudeau's sliding numbers are typical of a prime minister roughly 15 months after taking office. The survey, published by Forum Research for the Toronto Star, found Trudeau's approval rating sitting at 48 per cent, down three points since December and 10 points since November, with his disapproval rating increasing to 42 from 32 per cent two months ago. (CBC)

Lawrence Martin: The Trump effect: Conservatives play the waiting game

‘That’s not a voice we welcome in this party.” That was Rona Ambrose, Conservative Party interim leader, speaking of Donald Trump 13 months ago. Like so many others, she could not, back then, imagine him becoming the Republican nominee, much less U.S. President. Following Mr. Trump’s clenched-fist inaugural address last week, there was a noticeable silence from Ms. Ambrose and Canadian Conservatives. As well there might have been. Mr. Trump cast himself as one of the most brazen protectionists the United States has ever seen. In tariff talk, it was as if it were the Smoot-Hawley days, 1930 all over again. Only this time, there was no Great Depression in the land. Only in his alternative-fact-riddled musings. (Globe and Mail)

Michael Den Tandt: Batten the hatches — China and the U.S. poised to clash as never before

Canada is in a solid position, because of its robust imports of U.S. manufactured goods, to fend off the waves of protectionism now beginning to ripple outward from President Donald Trump’s White House. The same can’t be said for the follow-on effects of looming U.S. trade actions against Mexico and China, which round out the list of America’s top three goods trading partners, alongside Canada. Mexico, judging from recent signals emanating from the Trump administration, promises to be a pre-dinner snack on protectionist America’s plate. China is the main course. The president’s executive order withdrawing the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement, far from pulling America back from the Pacific region, sets the stage for an old-fashioned superpower standoff there. (National Post)

Paul Wells: Liberals carefully learning to navigate Trump land

Donald Trump approved of the Keystone XL pipeline project Tuesday. Sort of. Stephen Harper always said it was a no-brainer, and, well, here we are. The Liberal cabinet was meeting in Calgary, and reaction was muted. Perhaps surprisingly so. They campaigned in 2015 on getting Keystone XL approved, if they could. You’re forgiven if you don’t recall. They campaigned on a lot of things. Like, a lot. But for as long as Barack Obama was president, not all the bromance mojo in the world could get Justin Trudeau an inch further down the road than Harper had managed to get. (Toronto Star)

Tiffany Gabbay: While Trump vows to destroy Islamic terrorism, Women’s March ignored sharia

Trump was sworn in last Friday, and delivered one of the most patriotic speeches in history, but the chattering classes called it a "dark manifesto" and once again compared him to Hitler. Worse than that, as far as the Left is concerned, is that he called out radical Islamic terrorism by name and vowed to wipe it off the face of the earth. Terrorism expert and former Assistant US Prosecutor for the Southern District of New York Andy McCarthy joins us to discuss what this means. (Rebel)