True North Initiative News Scan 01 31 18


Canada not invited to anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris

Defence ministers from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands will join U.S. Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter on Wednesday to discuss the future of the fight against the extremist group. Canada's Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan did not receive an invitation, his office confirmed to CBC News Network's Power & Politics. (CBC)

Syrian Refugees want to leave Canada due to lack of Government support, agencies ask Canadians to help

In a recent report on CBC some Government sponsored Syrian refugees want to go back to their camps in Jordan. One mother of a family said they’ve been living in hotel in Toronto for days  and were told they weren’t going to have to stay there for such a long time. “We were told that when we arrived to the hotel that we would only be staying for three to four days maximum. However, things have been changed and we’ve been here for 10 to 11 days, and we’ve been told it could be even longer. The problem is that we have kids and we would rather be outside in a settled house than sitting at a hotel,” Abu-Rukti said. (Debate Report)

Amid growing US immigration crackdown, Canada quietly enforcing own laws

Amid an ongoing illegal immigration crackdown in the United States and the Trump administration's hardline rhetoric, Canadian officials fear more illegals living in the U.S. could be driven to seek refuge north of the border. More than 13,000 people crossed into Canada illegally in 2017 alone, according to Canadian government data. That’s more than five times the number intercepted by Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2016. (FOX)

Trudeau says Liberals 'doing the best that we can' amid sexual harassment allegations

Kristin Raworth alleged that Hehr made the inappropriate comments — which included calling her "yummy" — when he was an Alberta MLA a decade ago and she was an employee at the legislature. Hehr remains in caucus. "I don't have a rule book handed that's been handed down to me from Wilfrid Laurier as leader of the Liberal Party on how to handle these situations. This is new for organizations to have to deal with in this way," said Trudeau Tuesday when asked why Hehr still sits as a Liberal. (CBC)

Justin Trudeau on why Kent Hehr remains in caucus amid groping allegations: ‘Every case will be different’

The comment comes days after former Liberal Sports and Persons with Disabilities Minister Kent Hehr resigned from cabinet over allegations he made inappropriate sexual comments to women in elevators during his time as a member of the Alberta legislature and groped others since coming to work on Parliament Hill. Trudeau was asked why Hehr can remain in the Liberal caucus while other members hit with similar accusations have been removed. (Global)

Trudeau says zero tolerance on misconduct toward women applies to him as well

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says women who come forward with complaints of sexual assault and harassment must be supported and believed. And he's confident no one will be able to accuse him of the kinds of behaviour that have brought down several high-profile politicians this week. "I've been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful, to be respectful of people's space and people's headspace as well," he told CBC Radio's The House, in an interview airing Saturday. (CBC)

Trudeau says Canada is ready if Trump nixes NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he doesn't think U.S. President Donald Trump will pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but Canada has multiple contingency plans ready if trade talks go south. The latest round of talks wrapped in Montreal on Monday with the trade ministers from Canada, Mexico and the United States agreeing some progress was made but acknowledging there are still tough challenges ahead. (CBC)

Trump warns of immigration dangers, touts economy in SOTU

Addressing a deeply divided nation, President Donald Trump summoned the country to a “new American moment” of unity in his first State of the Union address, challenging Congress to make good on long-standing promises to fix a fractured immigration system and warning darkly of evil forces seeking to undermine America’s way of life. (Toronto Sun) (FOX)

Iranian women publicly take off their headscarf as social media protest spreads

SOCIAL media postings show a wave of women in Iran protesting the obligatory Muslim headscarf by taking theirs off and waving them on sticks. The videos and photos showed individual women in separate locations in Tehran and Isfahan as the movement has grown over the past days. ( (Daily Mail)

Iranian MPs Blame ‘Bad Weather’ for Canceled Visit to Protesters in Prison

A group of Iranian members of parliament claimed “unfavorable weather conditions” forced them to postpone a planned January 28 visit to Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison where hundreds of protesters who participated in wide-ranging and ongoing uprisings throughout the country are being held. (Breitbart)

Iran increases its military budget in response to nationwide protests

Economic woes, corruption, military spending, and intervention in neighboring countries were among the main reasons that triggered the unrests in Iran in late December. Erupting shortly after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani introduced his government’s budget for the Persian New Year (starting in March), which increased the military budget by 90 percent while cutting subsidies on the poor, the protests quickly turned into a nationwide uprising that called for the overthrow of the ruling regime in its entirety. (Washington Examiner)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

400 bottles of wine on the plane: Federal politicians have access to limitless alcohol on government flights

Between December 2016 and December 2017, passengers aboard government aircraft consumed 401 bottles of wine, 584 cans of beer and five 250-millilitre bottles of vodka, at a total cost of $8,179. The numbers were provided in answer to a question from Conservative MP Dean Allison. (National Post)

Brian Mulroney says Trudeau-Trump relationship Canada's 'ace-in-the-hole' for NAFTA

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney believes Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s positive relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump is Canada’s secret weapon when it comes to renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement. The former Conservative prime minister said he knows first-hand that Trump is pleased with his Canadian counterpart. He also expressed confidence that Canadian negotiators are on the right path to achieve a trilateral trade pact, in spite of the various dust-ups over key issues. (CTV)

NAFTA 'did not happen by accident,' Mulroney says during defence of trade deal in Washington

Former prime minister Brian Mulroney offered a spirited defence of the North American Free Trade Agreement in Washington on Tuesday, while warning about the potential impacts of a U.S. withdrawal from the deal. The comments came as Mulroney appeared before the U.S. Senate committee on foreign relations, only days after the latest round of NAFTA discussions ended in Montreal with guarded optimism about the future. (CBC)

MP calls allegations of ‘sexist,’ ‘aggressive’ behaviour by refugee judges ‘disturbing’

Finance Minister Bill Morneau was inundated with more than 10,000 missives last fall following the release of controversial tax-change proposals that infuriated the small-business community, says an internal federal document. The memo, obtained by The Canadian Press, says the flood of messages addressed directly to the minister came in addition to more than 21,000 email submissions his department received as part of a related public consultation process. (Financial Post)

Trudeau trades insults with Quebec nationalist, far-right group

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is standing by his insult towards a Quebec-based far-right group. Trudeau didn't name the group directly but said its members were "dumdums" during a speech Monday night in Quebec City honouring victims of the 2017 mosque shooting in that city. (CTV)

La Meute member lashes out after Trudeau's 'nonos' comment

A man linked to La Meute has lashed out after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made comments about “racists” at a ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of the Quebec City mosque attack Monday night. In his speech at the Quebec City ceremony, Trudeau condemned “racists … these ‘nonos’ who wear dog paws on their T-shirts,” in an apparent reference to the symbol worn by the far-right group La Meute. (Montreal Gazette)

Not enough funds, not enough peace, not enough attention paid to humanitarian crises, officials say

The world is witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War, says humanitarian officials, as funding gaps increase and the political will to solve problems and sign peace deals fades away. “Tackling conflict and forced displacement requires political will, reversing climate change and inequality which are the roots of instability also require political will,” said Gillian Barth, the President and CEO of CARE Canada at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat on Tuesday. (IPolitics)

'Dreamers' fret about their future as U.S. Congress debates their fate

As U.S. President Donald Trump and congressional leaders discuss the fate of some 700,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, the young people whose lives hang in the balance fret about their future. Meet five of those people covered by the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. (CBC)

Indian Muslim cleric issues a FATWA against women watching football because they will be distracted by players' 'bare thighs'

A senior cleric at an influential Islamic seminary in northern India has issued a fatwa against Muslim women watching football because they will be distracted by the players' bare thighs. Mufti Athar Kasmi said that watching men 'playing with bare knees' violated the tenets of Islam and was forbidden for women. (Daily Mail)



Anthony Furey: All eyes on looming Ontario PC exec vote

The turmoil within the Ontario PC Party may be about to come to an end as the party executive gears up to set the rules on Wednesday for the upcoming leadership race. This should add a sense of stability to the chaos … or at least this current round of it. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: Kurdistan betrayed, again

As the western world was waking up Monday morning, Turkey under the cover of darkness had opened a second front against our allies in Syria, the Kurdish YPG, by sending troops into the Syrian city of Idlib. The fact that Turkey, due to its NATO membership, is also supposedly an ‘ally’ of Canada, USA and European countries, may have placed Western politicians and leaders in a quandary, but nothing was excusable about the Western mainstream media making no mention at all of Turkey’s invasion of Idlib after their earlier attack on the Kurdish controlled Afrin, a city housing over 400,000 refugees. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Liberals remain popular because Tories remain lousy

Poll after poll shows that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau remains popular despite a bad six months of scandals and policy missteps for his governing Liberals. The latest survey, released Tuesday by Abacus Data, has the Liberals at 39%, the Tories at 32% and the NDP at 17%, which is about average among all major polls. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Muslim immigration minister says Canadians are getting more hateful. He's the real bigot.

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of a horrible mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque. The trial has not yet occurred, but the accused murderer, Alexandre Bissonnette, has not been charged with terrorism or a hate crime, but with multiple counts of murder. (Rebel)

Barbara Kay: The #MeToo court of public opinion needs some ground rules, fast

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s courtship of his wife, Chirlane McCray, has all the makings of a Hollywood romcom. They met in 1991 when she started working at New York City Hall. He — according to a 2013 New York Times profile on the story, a “lanky, bearded operative across the building” — was instantly attracted to her, but she had “zero interest” in him, or in any man, being a lesbian and a veteran of the black feminist movement to boot. (National Post)

Nina Shea: Iran: One of the bravest women in the world stands up for freedom -- The West should stand with her

A December 27 video of her flouting Iran’s compulsory veiling of women went viral during recent anti-regime demonstrations there. On Tehran’s busy Enghelab Street, she is seen standing on a concrete post, head uncovered, while solemnly waving a white scarf affixed to a stick, like a flag. Poignantly, the street’s Persian name means “Revolution.” (FOX)



  • Standing Committee on National Defence meet tomorrow to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow for committee business and to study Canada’s Development Finance Initiative (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow to study Bill C-59, an Act Respecting National Security matters (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet on tomorrow for a briefing on the International Organization for Migration (Partially Public)