True North Initiative News Scan 02 06 18


Canada’s immigration program for migrant caregivers under review

Foreign caregivers will not be eligible for permanent residence if they have not accrued two years of employment by Nov. 29, 2019, according to a notice posted by the Immigration Department. The federal government is currently reviewing Canada’s two programs for foreign caregivers — one for those caring for children and the other for those caring for adults with high medical needs — and has yet to decide whether to do away with them completely, renew them or come up with replacements. “Both programs were launched as five-year pilots, including a date that they expire. With a launch date of November 29, 2014, this means they will expire on November 29, 2019,” said Immigration Canada spokesperson Faith St. John. (Toronto Sun)

Canada spends $3M to stop female genital mutilation in African nation of Benin

International Development Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau will announce funding for the project Tuesday, which is the International Day for Zero Tolerance on female genital mutilation, FGM. The money will go to CUSO International, an NGO, which will use the funds over four years to reduce FGM in the rural regions of Alibori and Borgou — where the practice remains prevalent even though it was outlawed in 2003. (CBC)

Ralph Goodale unsure if there will be surge of illegal border-crossers in 2018

A senior Canadian official held talks in Washington on Monday about immigrants illegally entering from the United States and indicated Ottawa was not sure it would see a surge in border crossings this year. More than 20,000 asylum seekers made the trip last year, some losing fingers and toes to frostbite in the middle of winter. Thousands were Haitians fearing deportation after the United States ended their temporary protected status granted after a 2010 earthquake. (Global)

Two Canadians secure exit from Syria, official says

Canadian officials worked with their Turkish counterparts to secure the safe passage of two Canadian citizens across the Syrian border after a botched attempt to reverse an alleged child abduction. A senior Canadian government official, who spoke to The Globe and Mail on the condition of anonymity, said Jolly Bimbachi and Sean Allen Moore met with Canadian officials in Turkey on Monday after returning from three weeks in Syria. Ms. Bimbachi and Mr. Moore, both from Chatham, Ont., had been working together in recent months to try to reclaim her two Canadian sons from their father, who allegedly abducted the children and took them to Lebanon. (Global) (CBC)

Changes to O Canada lyrics should be promoted in a public awareness campaign: MP

Public education will be vital in making sure Canadians know about forthcoming changes to the lyrics of O Canada that are expected to become official in the coming days, says a longtime champion behind the reforms. Liberal MP Mona Fortier says she would like to see the government invest in a public awareness campaign to promote the national anthem’s new gender-neutral language. (IPolitics)

Average of 1 year for radical Canadians to ‘mobilize to violence’: CSIS

It takes an average of one year for Canadians who may be radical to be “mobilized to violence” or terrorism, according to a new report from Canada’s intelligence agency. In the report, Mobilization to Violence, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service reviewed approximately 100 cases of “individuals who mobilized to violence in Canada.” Since, as the report states, “not all extremists progress from words to deeds,” the report shows the trends of the 100 cases, hoping to find out the circumstances on how a person with radical views becomes moved into violence. (Global) (VICE)

Iranian MP: 5000 Arrested After Protests, 500 Still Detained

An Iranian parliamentarian has claimed that nearly 5,000 people were arrested during protests around the turn of the year. Almost 500 of those arrested remain imprisoned, pending investigation. Alireza Rahimi, a pro-democratic reform MP, said on cloud-based messaging service Telegram that 4,972 Iranians were arrested and 492 remain in custody, with the rest having been released. The majority of those arrested were men, Rahimi added. (Sputnik)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

What faltering stocks and bonds could mean for house prices

Stocks and bonds may be going through a bad patch, but a more important question for many Canadians is how a new feeling of financial uncertainty is affecting their biggest single investment: their homes. Statistics Canada doesn't ask Canadians directly whether they invest in stocks or bonds. However, as of May 2016, 67.8 per cent of Canadian households owned their own homes. (CBC)

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s ‘extraordinarily permissive’ new spying laws

The Liberal government’s updated national security legislation, Bill C-59, is currently being picked apart by a House of Commons committee in Ottawa. Among (many) other things, the highly complex bill grants what some critics are calling “extraordinarily permissive” new powers to Canada’s Communications Security Establishment (CSE). (Global)

Patrick Brown likely 'inflated' membership numbers — by 70,000, says Ontario PC official

It was just a few weeks ago that Patrick Brown, then leader of the resurgent Ontario Conservatives, made the announcement: the Tories had recruited an impressive 200,000 paid members. The number dwarfed that of the governing Liberals, and was more “than we’ve ever had before,” Brown boasted at the time. With Brown gone, his successor says the figure is actually far less — under 130,000 — and a party insider made a surprising admission about the discrepancy Monday, blaming it on creative exaggeration. (National Post)

TVO investigating sexual harassment allegation against Steve Paikin

Former mayoral candidate Sarah Thomson is accusing TVO host Steve Paikin of sexually harassing her, and says her entire campaign team knew about it. A TVO official announced Monday the station is launching an independent third-party investigation into the allegation and Paikin will continue to host The Agenda as “evidence to date” does not justify removing him pending the investigation outcome. (Toronto Star)

The Mulroney we never knew now wants to be our premier

Here’s one headline you won’t see in the Progressive Conservative leadership race: Caroline Who? When your last name is Mulroney, everybody knows who you are and where you came from. The challenge isn’t name recognition but definition. It’s not the headline, just the question: Who is Caroline Mulroney exactly? We know she’s the daughter of Brian and sister of Ben, but what’s she all about? (Toronto Sun)

Elizabeth May asks for donations to pay for cost of bullying investigation

Elizabeth May is asking Green party members to help cover the “new and unexpected” cost of a workplace bullying investigation into her own alleged behaviour — an investigation that she called for herself in the face of accusations from former staffers last week. In an email to party members Monday, the longtime Green leader said the bullying accusations have cast “a shadow on our work,” and that she believed the party wouldn’t be credible again without an independent probe. (Toronto Star)


A new study on ISIS fighters returning to the U.S. suggests the terror threat they pose has been overstated and fears of dislodged fighters carrying out attacks have so far not been borne out. The study, by George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, finds that to date, no returned American has committed a terrorist act, and the number and effect of returning “travelers” has been limited, particularly when compared to Western Europe. (41 NBC)

US envoy: Hamas spends Iran’s $100 million on terror, neglects Gaza

Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, assailed Hamas for its massive investment in terrorism and its attempts to destroy Israel, which come at the expense of its obligations to the people of Gaza. Responding to a report that Israeli security forces recently caught a huge shipment of explosive-producing materials en route to terror groups in Gaza, Greenblatt tweeted Sunday that “Hamas should be improving the lives of those it purports to govern, but instead chooses to increase violence and cause misery for the people of Gaza.” (World Israel News)

North Korea is dangerous. A 'bloody nose' attack on it is even more dangerous

President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address last week was heavy on misleading claims and nationalist vitriol, yet rather light on foreign-policy chat.What Trump did discuss about global affairs, though, has already raised alarms. The president lobbed more rhetorical broadsides at North Korea, a country whose perceived nuclear threat has loomed over the first year of Trump’s presidency. “North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland,” Trump said. “We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and to our allies.” (National Post)

Report: China Moves 300,000 Troops Closer to North Korean Border

China is reportedly moving missile defense batteries and troops closer to its border with North Korea, a potential sign that Beijing anticipates either a large refugee wave north or a military disturbance triggered by the belligerence of communist dictator Kim Jong-un. (Breitbart)



Anthony Furey: M103 report makes Canada look like cesspool of intolerance

Ignore the M103 committee report at your peril. Sure, it’s over one hundred pages of mostly dull bureaucratic jargon. And it largely doesn’t live up to its hype. There is no mention, positive or negative, of sharia law — as many of its critics cautioned against. Nor is there the same disproportionate focus on tending to the bruised ego of Sunni Islam, which is the tone that dominated the e-petition that first inspired the government motion that in turn kicked off this heritage committee report that was released the other day. Looks like the lobbying efforts on the part of concerned citizens was in large measure a success. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau's gaffes are no joke

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s outdone himself this time. The PM has already chalked up a pretty good list of greatest gaffes. Some are just goofy, like his claim that we need to “rethink concepts as basic as space and time.” Others offer a window into his political philosophy, like his admiration that China’s “basic dictatorship is allowing them to actually turn their economy around on a dime and say ‘we need to go green fastest.’” Then there are gaffes that have serious public policy consequences, such as his claim “the budget will balance itself” which he proved wrong all by himself. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Ottawa still waiting for the promised big penny to drop

For almost a week, rumours — all rather delicious but libellous without any proof in the pudding — have been swirling around Parliament Hill regarding a very big penny about to drop as the #MeToo movement racks up more career kills. “His name will shock you,” posted Warren Kinsella, a long-time Liberal operative, provocateur, and commentator. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew Coyne: It's time for national leadership on pipelines — that's why we created a federal government

It took a New Democrat to stand up for responsible economic development in the face of unreasoned environmental fears, and it took a premier of Alberta to call for a robust assertion of federal authority in the face of provincial intransigence. These are indeed strange times. So be it. Last week’s declaration on the part of the government of British Columbia that it would restrict crude oil shipments through its territory, whether by pipe or rail, until yet another panel of experts has delivered yet another report on the associated environmental risks, did not mention Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion by name. But it was a significant escalation in its rhetorical assault on the project. It was also an outrageous overstepping of its constitutional bounds, asserting a power the province does not possess. (National Post)

John Ivison: Trudeau is in a fight he can't win with veterans, and his frustration shows

You have to be pretty tone-deaf to tell a man who lost a leg in Afghanistan that the government is fighting veterans groups in courts “because they’re asking for more than we’re able to give right now.” Yet that’s exactly what the prime minister did at a town-hall in Edmonton last Thursday — a gaffe that has gone viral on social media and infuriated veterans. (National Post)

Myriam Denis: My ‘Job Interview’ Reveals Sexist Problems In Parliament Hill Culture

A few weeks ago, TVA Nouvelles released a story about alleged inappropriate behaviour by Claude-Éric Gagné, an influential staffer in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's office. I received a lot of questions in the past several days. I wrote this blog post to explain what I experienced in my own words. Everything I have to say about this is written here, and I will not be granting any interviews to any media outlet. I hope reading this post will inspire other victims, men and women alike, in the political sphere or elsewhere, to speak out and to denounce those kind of behaviours. (Huffington Post)



  • Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meets today to study Bill C-59, An Act Respecting National Security Matters (Public)
  • Standing Committee on National Defence meets today to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet today on committee business (In Camera)
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet today on Canada’s Development Finance Initiative (In Camera)