True North Initiative: News Scan 02 08 17


Canadians deeply dislike Trump, but prefer him to Trudeau on economy, security: poll

Despite deep overall disapproval of U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadians prefer Trump’s approach to managing the economy and national security over the approach of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a new poll says. The poll from Mainstreet Research, provided exclusively to the National Post, is the latest survey to show that a significant majority of Canadians have a dim view of Trump. But it is the first poll that compares Trump to Trudeau across a range of personal characteristics and policy areas. (National Post)

Canadians want Trudeau to stand up to Trump, even if it leads to trade war: poll

As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares for his first encounter with Donald Trump at the White House, a new poll conducted for The Globe and Mail shows Canadians expect him to stand up to the President’s aggressive America-first strategy even if it leads to a trade war with Canada’s biggest trading partner. (Globe and Mail)

Canada raises alert on fraudulent Chinese visas

Canadian border agents and airlines are being warned to be on the lookout for tampered Canadian visas from Chinese nationals coming from Shanghai and the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, but Ottawa is being tight-lipped about the extent of the problem and threat to this country’s security. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian border communities struggle with surge in asylum seekers in past year

Canadian officials are seeing a sharp increase in the number of refugee claimants illegally crossing the U.S. border to avoid a ban on bilateral asylum. In Quebec alone, the Canada Border Services Agency said the number of migrants from the U.S. who have been intercepted by the RCMP has tripled in the past year to 1,280 from 424. In 2016, some 430 asylum seekers walked for hours from the U.S. through thick prairie snow to Manitoba. A group of 22 people, including a child and a baby, was caught over the weekend trying to sneak in from North Dakota. (Toronto Star) (Fox News) (Metro)

Asylum seekers entering Manitoba can expect refugee hearings in Canada: lawyer

A top immigration lawyer says that asylum seekers sneaking across the U.S.-Manitoba border can expect to have their refugee claims heard by Canada. Chantal Desloges told CTV’s Power Play that although some believe the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement means the migrants will be sent back, that is not in fact how the agreement works. “It only applies if the person shows up at a regulated border crossing and reports to a Canada Border Services officer,” Desloges said. “So if you sneak across the border and make your claim inside Canada, the Safe Third Country Agreement doesn’t apply to you.” (CTV)

Another 22 asylum seekers brave cold to illegally cross U.S.-Manitoba border

Another 22 asylum seekers walked through a stretch of cold wilderness between North Dakota and Manitoba last weekend, crossing the border to join dozens of others who’ve fled to Canada since U.S. President Donald Trump took office. (CTV)

Manitoba town pleads for federal help with refugee claimants crisis

A small southern Manitoba town within sight of the U.S. border is pleading for federal help amid an influx of refugee claimants, including nearly two dozen this past weekend, who have endured the harsh prairie winter to cross into Canada. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian cabinet ministers roll in for first meetings in Trump's Washington

Canadian cabinet ministers are fanning throughout the U.S. capital this week to meet members of the new Trump administration, laying the groundwork for an anticipated visit by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as well as the upcoming renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Metro)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Canada mobilizes campaign team for Security Council bid

Global Affairs Canada has established a dedicated team to work on the government’s goal of winning a two-year seat on the United Nations Security Council beginning in 2021. Eight people are working on Canada’s bid for the Security Council, with six at headquarters in Ottawa and two at Canada’s permanent mission to the UN in New York City, according to the foreign ministry (Hill Times)

Trudeau confers with European leaders on Trump, Freeland to meet Tillerson

The Trudeau government has been conferring with jittery European allies about how to engage with the new Donald Trump administration in Washington, sources say. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau talked Trump with British Prime Minister Theresa May on the weekend and the unpredictable U.S. president was also a subject of discussion in a Monday call with French President Francois Hollande. (CTV)

MP files complaint with CBC over article on Canada's mass shooters

An MP has lodged a formal complaint against the CBC for what he considers “shockingly offensive remarks” made in an opinion article featured on their website. Garnett Genuis, the Conservative MP for Sherwood Park – Fort Saskatchewan, submitted a letter to CBC ombudsman Esther Enkin to raise concerns about an opinion piece by journalist Neil Macdonald headlined “Simple truth is Canada’s mass shooters are usually white and Canadian-born.” (Toronto Sun)

Asylum seeker who walked across border denied refugee status

A 29-year-old Ghanaian asylum seeker's fate will remain in limbo for at least the next 10 months. On Tuesday, the refugee claimant's application was denied by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. "He has been accused by the member [of the board] to have had fraudulent identity documents and his identity is not clear," said the claimant's lawyer, Bashir Khan. (CBC)

Oakville family's 'nightmare' parental sponsorship application fails after 7 years

An Oakville family is frustrated that their immigration application to sponsor their elderly parents to immigrate to Canada dragged on so long that it was denied because of health reasons. Lesley McAra and her husband Pete applied to bring her parents here from England. They first started the process in 2009. Finally, seven years later, their claim was rejected. (CBC)

'I just want my family': Woman says innocent paperwork error dashes immigration dreams

A St. John's woman has been trying to bring family members to Newfoundland from her home country of India for the past eight years, but a seemingly innocent mistake during the immigration process has dashed their hopes. Leena Raju moved to St. John's from India 25 years ago. She never married — says she never wanted to — and instead chose a life taking care of other people as a personal care assistant with Eastern Health. (CBC)

'It's a slap in the face': Prospect of sanctuary city status divides council

All week, councillors have been consumed by the prospect of what a “sanctuary city” would mean for Ottawa, waiting anxiously to learn what kind of proposal a colleague will bring to the council table. Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney plans to formally notify council Wednesday that she will have a motion calling on the city to not require people to produce immigration papers when accessing municipal services, unless required by federal and provincial laws. City services aren’t asking customers for immigration papers to get library cards or child care, but McKenney said immigrants who might not have their documentation sorted out don’t know that. (Ottawa Citizen)

Employers learn details of program aimed at bringing skilled immigrants to Atlantic Canada

A new three year pilot program aims to speed up immigration for skilled workers to P.E.I. Under the project, P.E.I will be allowed to bring in 120 more immigrants in the first year. That's on top of immigration programs that already exist. It's part of an Atlantic-wide program with a goal of bringing more skilled immigrant workers to the region. (CBC)

Immigration likely to boost N.B. population in census, expert says

An economics professor at the University of New Brunswick says he thinks the province is in for some good news today when 2016 census data on population and dwelling counts is released. Specifically, Constantine Passaris said he thinks these results will show an increase in New Brunswick's population due in large part to immigration –particularly of Syrian refugees–during the early part of the census period. (CBC)

U.S. immigration uncertainty sharpening Canada’s competitive edge, say experts

Last month’s executive order from U.S. President Donald Trump banning travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries left companies scrambling to help detained workers or those trapped in travel limbo. Meanwhile, protesters gathered and supporters frothed at the prospect of tightened borders. In Vancouver, Rick Perreault took to Twitter with a straightforward offer: “Stuck in YVR trying to get in to the US & need space to work, wifi, phone, you’re welcome to use my office, [direct message] me #WelcometoCanada.” (Business Vancouver)

Liberals Won't Bail Out Canada's News Industry, Sources Say

The Trudeau government won’t be bailing out Canada’s struggling news industry, The Huffington Post Canada has learned. The upcoming federal budget will include no cash to set up a civic journalism fund — as was recently recommended by the Public Policy Forum in a report commissioned by Heritage Canada, several sources confirmed. (Huffington Post)

Feds $372M loan to Bombardier 'disappointing,' critics say

Bombardier is getting a boost of $372.5 million from the federal government in the form of a loan, but critics — both in Quebec and in the rest of Canada — are calling it a "disappointment." For many in Quebec, the sum is nowhere close to the $1 billion in federal funding the aerospace company had been seeking since the end of 2015. (CBC)

Canada will never ‘be party to’ torture, defence minister says after visit to Trump’s Washington

Canada will never be a “party” to torture, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said a day after meeting his counterpart in U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Sajjan would not say if Defense Secretary James Mattis had made any assurances that the U.S. would not employ torture under Trump, an avowed torture supporter. But Sajjan, a former military officer who served in Afghanistan, said they did discuss “ethics in soldiering” when they spoke at the Pentagon outside Washington on Monday. (Toronto Star)

Alexei Navalny: Russian opposition leader 'found guilty'

Russia's leading opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, has been found guilty of embezzlement, local media report. A judge was still reading the verdict in the city of Kirov, but news agencies said it was clear in his remarks that Mr Navalny had been convicted. (BBC)

92% of left-wing activists live with their parents and one in three is unemployed, study of Berlin protesters finds

The vast majority of left-wing protesters arrested on suspicion of politically-fuelled offences in Berlin are young men who live with their parents, a new report found. The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013. Of these 84 per cent were men, and 72 per cent were aged between 18 and 29. (Daily Mail)



Lorne Gunter: Hold on to your wallets as Trudeau gears up for the big spend

Like father like son. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The more things change ...Choose whatever old saying you like. Any one of them will cover the spending habits of the current federal Liberal government. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Justin Trudeau following his dad's bad fiscal planning

Call it like father, like son. A new study by the Fraser Institute suggests Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is taking the nation’s finances down the same black hole of never-ending deficits and debt that his late father did when he was prime minister in the 1970s and early 1980s. (Toronto Sun)

Paul Wells: Liberals trying to look more liberal with relaunch of cherished programs

In the eternal balancing act of Canadian Liberalism, it’s a week for tilting left. One after another, cabinet ministers are lining up to resuscitate programs that please the Liberal base and that the Harper Conservatives fought tooth and nail. (Toronto Star)

Lawrence Martin: For Trudeau, old politics won’t cut it

So where, in the pantheon of leaders abandoning their pledges, should we rank Justin Trudeau’s shattered promise on electoral reform? He’s got a lot of good company on this kind of thing, as he has with leaders who vacation on yachts in lieu of tugboats. Is that a problem, that he’s like others? (Globe and Mail)

Toronto Sun: Scrap Toronto’s 'sanctuary’ policy

Mayor John Tory and Toronto council “reaffirmed” Toronto’s status as a “sanctuary city” for illegal migrants late last month. As Toronto Sun columnist Jerry Agar pointed out Tuesday, they might as well have “reaffirmed” we will all (except for illegal migrants) pay taxes this year. (Toronto Sun)



  • Standing Committee on Human Resources, Skills and Social Development and the Status of Persons with Disabilities met yesterday to discuss Poverty Reduction Strategies (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet later today to study Family Reunification (Partly Public)
  • Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to continue study on Canada the Defence of North America (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to receive a briefing by Global Partnership for Education Human Rights Situation in Burundi (Partly Public)