True North Initiative: News Scan 01 26 17


Trump continues push for barriers with orders to build Mexico wall, expand deportations

Donald Trump is moving to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, acting on the foundational promise that launched his run to the presidency. Mr. Trump’s executive orders Wednesday – which also included instructions to cut federal funding from cities and states that refuse to help deport illegal immigrants and to expand the number of immigrants targeted for deportation – give effect to the central premise of his political agenda: That immigration is both an economic and security threat to his country. (Globe and Mail)

Immigrants will comprise growing share of Canada’s population by 2036: Statscan

New population projections for Canada paint a picture of growing diversity, in all parts of the country. Nearly half of the population will likely be immigrants or children of immigrants by 2036 if current immigration levels continue, a Statistics Canada study estimates, up from 38.2 per cent in 2011. (Globe and Mail) (Toronto Sun)

Jury says 3 of 4 accused of smuggling hundreds of Tamil migrants into Canada not guilty

Three of the four men accused of bringing hundreds of Tamil migrants into Canada illegally have been found not guilty by a jury in B.C. Supreme Court. Justice William Ehrcke declared a mistrial for the fourth man after a jury told the court it couldn't reach a verdict in the case of Kunarobinson Christhurajah. (CBC)

3 challenges on Conservative minds as caucus gathers in Quebec City

Break's over, Conservatives. Interim leader Rona Ambrose kicks off a two-day strategy session for MPs and senators today in Quebec City — a chance to refocus minds ahead of Parliament's return next Monday. Beyond the usual update briefings, the discussions may wrestle with three fundamental questions. (CBC)

NDP seeks to give ethics commissioner more powers in wake of Trudeau’s Aga Khan controversy

Federal New Democrats slammed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for potentially violating ethics rules when he vacationed with the Aga Khan and said Wednesday they will seek to give Parliament’s ethics watchdog new tools to investigate possible breaches by MPs. The NDP announcement comes on the heels of Trudeau’s admission Tuesday that he spent a second vacation, in 2014, on an island in the Bahamas owned by the billionaire philanthropist and spiritual leader the Aga Khan in addition to his most recent vacation there a few weeks ago. (National Post)

Trudeau says he doesn't know bill details but supports his justice minister

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued his town hall tour of Canada with a rather friendly and low-key public meeting in Saskatoon. Trudeau was greeted with a standing ovation Wednesday night before taking questions that gave him an opportunity to explain his government's position on a series of topics including the carbon tax and indigenous issues. But Trudeau was thrown one curveball when a woman in the audience rose to ask him why his government declined to pass Wynn's law, a bill named after David Wynn, an Alberta RCMP officer killed by a career criminal who was out on bail at the time. (Canadian Press)

German girl jailed for ISIS attack in Hanover, Germany

A girl aged 16 has been jailed by a German court for six years for what is seen as the country's first attack by a sympathiser of jihadist group Islamic State. Safia S, who was 15 at the time, stabbed and seriously wounded a police officer at the central station in Hanover. Prosecutors described the attack as ordered and supervised by IS. (BBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Finance Canada drops massive hint on budget date

As long as there are federal budgets in Ottawa, there will be journalists speculating on the date of the federal budget in Ottawa. But Finance Canada may have just dropped a fairly big hint on when Bill Morneau will deliver the Liberal government’s sophomore budget. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau plans to highlight benefits of Canada-U.S. trade with Washington

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it is too soon to predict how the trade policies of the new U.S. administration will affect the Canadian economy. Trudeau said his priority is to highlight the benefits of Canada-U.S. trade to Washington and how the economies of the two countries are tied closely together. (Toronto Star)

Ottawa, provinces poised for sweeping internal trade deal

Ottawa and the provinces are preparing to announce a sweeping new deal to slash internal trade barriers as soon as the next few weeks that would take effect on July 1, Canada’s 150th anniversary. Federal and provincial officials confirmed to The Globe and Mail that negotiations have concluded and the final deal is currently being approved by cabinets across the country. (Globe and Mail)

McCallum talks China, free trade and Canadian openness in the time of Trump

John McCallum has been an academic, an economist and a parliamentarian. After serving as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during the first 14 months of Justin Trudeau’s prime-ministership, the veteran politician is now about to become Canada’s ambassador to China: a role that could create both opportunity and conflict for our country. (CTV) (Macleans)

Refugee advocates urge Canada to keep borders open amid Trump directives

Refugee advocates are urging Canada to keep its borders open to the world’s most vulnerable people as U.S. President Donald Trump orders the construction of a wall with Mexico and cracks down on illegal immigration. As promised during the election campaign, Mr. Trump signed executive orders Wednesday to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and strip federal grant money from “sanctuary” states and cities that shield illegal immigrants. Canadian refugee advocates say it’s critical that Canada continue to welcome newcomers, especially amid an unprecedented global refugee crisis that has displaced more than 65 million people (Globe and Mail)

Trump will turn on Canada, warns former Mexican congressman

A former Mexican congressman and founding member of the Mexico based think tank; the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations, is warning Canada that while Trump may look on Canada favourably now, it won't last. "It's just a matter of time before this administration turns its eyes towards Canada. [Trump] will find some excuse to turn on Canada," Agustin Barrios Gomez said Wednesday in an interview on CBC News Network's Power & Politics. (CBC)

Man charged with assault, uttering threats after Rebel TV reporter confronted at women’s march

A man faces charges stemming from a political rally in Edmonton on the weekend. Police have charged Jason Bews, 34, with assault and uttering threats. The complainant is a reporter for The Rebel TV, an online outlet devoted to right-wing commentary, activism and reporting (National Post)

Yazidi refugees reunite in Toronto after they were torn apart by ISIS 2 years ago

Clutching a Canadian flag in one hand and his father's shoulder in the other, Saadi Mado keeps repeating the same words: "Thank you, Canada. Thank you, Canada. Thank you, Canada." "I'm really happy, I'm really happy," the Iraqi man said as he gripped his father at Pearson airport Wednesday. "My dad means everything ... My father is my second half of my heart." (CBC)

Conservative MPs slam Alberta government's response to Fort McMurray fires

Conservative MPs are renewing accusations that the Alberta NDP government mismanaged the response to the Fort McMurray wildfires last May.In a joint statement from the Conservative MPs, Fort McMurray-Cold Lake MP David Yurdiga, Calgary East MP Deepak Obhrai and Lethbridge MP Rachael Harder slammed the Alberta government for slow response in asking for help and poor communication throughout the wildfire, releasing 312 pages of documents released through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. (Edmonton Journal)

Mexico: We will not pay for Trump border wall

Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump's border wall, the country's president has said in a message to the nation. Enrique Pena Nieto said he "lamented" the plans for the barrier, adding that "Mexico doesn't believe in walls". (BBC)

Trump considers executive order on voter fraud

President Donald Trump could sign an executive order or presidential memorandum initiating an investigation into voter fraud as early as Thursday, a senior administration official tells CNN. The investigation would be carried out through the Department of Justice. (CNN)

Theresa May says US and UK can lead world again, ahead of Trump meeting

Theresa May is to vow to renew the UK's special relationship with the US "for this new age" as she prepares to meet Donald Trump for the first time. She travels to Philadelphia later to address Republican leaders at an event attended by the US president. She will tell them that after Brexit, a "sovereign, global" Britain wants to enhance ties with its "old friends". (BBC)



Candice Malcolm: Fact check Trudeau, not just Trump

What do we in the media do with a leader who can’t tell the difference between lies and truth? Our American neighbours are grappling with a president known for telling whoppers, or, providing “alternative facts,” as one of his spokesmen recently said. But Canadians should also be concerned about our own prime minister’s grasp on reality. Justin Trudeau continued his “listening tour,” or, more aptly his “apology tour,” with a stop in Calgary for a public town hall. Trudeau had to deliver yet another apology, this time for a comment he made about Alberta while speaking to an audience in Peterborough, Ontario earlier this month. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Trump enacts a freeze, while Trudeau runs deficits

“While the president promises to get government off the backs off the people, Trudeau vows to put more government into lives.” This is a line from a Sun editorial ... from 1981. That president was Ronald Reagan. The prime minister was, of course, Pierre Elliott Trudeau. Thank you to the reader who unearthed this piece from 36 years ago that could have been written today. As Yogi Berra said, it’s like deja vu all over again. (Toronto Sun)

Martin Regg Cohn: How to protect Ontario from Trump’s America First plan

Nothing matters more for Justin Trudeau today than managing trade ties with the U.S. And no province is more exposed than Ontario — which makes Kathleen Wynne no less accountable. Just as the prime minister will be judged, so too the premier will be held liable if that high-stakes relationship is imperilled on her watch. (Toronto Star)

Steve Paikin: Where are the truly bilingual federal Conservative leadership candidates?

One of the most exciting leadership conventions I ever covered took place more than 30 years ago, in Ottawa. The Progressive Conservative chief, Joe Clark, had put his leadership on the line, having failed to secure what he considered a satisfactory level of support from party delegates at the preceding leadership review. So there we were, thousands of delegates and members of the media, all descending on the Ottawa Civic Centre in June 1983 to watch history unfold. (TVO)

Graham Thomson: Notley's 'applause' of Keystone XL is the sound of one hand clapping

“Premier Rachel Notley applauds Trump’s Keystone XL approval,” read one headline this week after the American president signed a memorandum to advance construction of the pipeline project on Tuesday. “Applaud”? I’m not so sure that’s what I’d call it. Notley “applauded” U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for the pipeline the way you would applaud the opposition team taking the field at your kids’ soccer game. You don’t really want to but you’d look like a jerk if you didn’t. (Edmonton Journal)

Chantal Hebert: Electoral reform continues to be Trudeau’s curse

With every new development on the electoral reform front the disconnect between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s words on the promised introduction of a new voting system and his government’s actions is more glaring. Such was again the case this week as the government reported on the public response to the online consultation it held over the holiday season. (Toronto Star)

Andrew Coyne: Donald Trump’s fixation on trade surpluses is sheer nonsense

Since his election, Donald Trump and his officials have been playing a game of good cop-bad cop with Canada over trade. One day an official will warn that NAFTA is in line for a comprehensive renegotiation, that everything is on the table, etc. The next, another will reassure us that Trump loves Canada, that all this renegotiation talk is really about Mexico, that we should not be “enormously” worried. Lather, rinse, repeat. (National Post)