True North Initiative News Scan 02 12 18


Conservatives confirm they believe Jerusalem is the capital of Israel

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, the Conservative foreign affairs critic Erin O’Toole said Saturday, marking the first time the federal opposition has taken a clear position on the issue since U.S. President Donald Trump announced in December he would move the American embassy to the disputed city. O’Toole’s comments Saturday came as part of a panel discussion at the Manning Networking Conference, an annual gathering of conservatives from across Canada. (National Post)

Canada is taking a ‘feminist approach’ to the military, defence minister says

Amid the growing fallout from the #MeToo movement in Ottawa, Canada’s defence minister is defending the Trudeau government’s record on preventing sexual assault and harassment in the armed forces. Harjit Sajjan said he won’t address an ongoing lawsuit against the Canadian military in which complainants allege sexual harassment, assault and discrimination. (Global)

Posh ISIS Brit dubbed Jihadi Jack left ‘crying for his mum and fears he has cancer’ after being ‘forgotten’ in 6ft solitary confinement cell in Syria

The parents of Jack Letts, 23, who travelled to the country to join ISIS have hit out at the British government for leaving him to die in a Kurdish jail. John and Sally Letts claim "Jihadi Jack" is being tortured by a militia group who captured the 23-year-old as he tried to flee the besieged ISIS capital Raqqa. The couple - who claim he never fought with ISIS - blasted ministers for letting him face "vigilante justice" as he rots in solitary confinement. (The Sun) (Daily Star)

Ottawa urged to ask Iran for autopsy on Canadian academic who died in prison

Canada is facing pressure to condemn Iran and demand an investigation after an Iranian-Canadian professor, who was a leading conservationist in the country, died in a Tehran prison some two weeks after his arrest on allegations of spying. Kavous Seyed-Emami, a 64-year-old academic who conducted environmental research as managing director of the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation and taught sociology at Imam Sadegh University in Tehran, died under suspicious circumstances. (Globe and Mail) (CTV) (NY Times)

Canadian couple found dead in Taiwan hotel that partially collapsed after earthquake

Taiwanese broadcasters say two Canadians are among those killed in the earthquake that hit the country this week. They say the bodies of a Canadian couple originally from Hong Kong were found in a partially collapsed hotel on Friday. (National Post)

Trudeau and L.A. mayor celebrate friendship with hike

Capping off a three-day swing through California that's mostly been focused on business and trade, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau toasted his country's friendship with Los Angeles on Saturday by taking a brisk morning hike with Mayor Eric Garcetti. Dressed in shorts and athletic shirts, the two men spoke with reporters before walking through Griffith Park. The appearance came the morning after Trudeau gave a speech about the importance of the North American Free Trade Agreement at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. (CTV)

800 female ‘Islamic State’ recruits detained in northern Syria: report

“About 800 IS women with children are in four camps … they come from around 40 countries. There are women from Canada, France, Great Britain, Tunisia, Yemen, Turkey and Australia,” he said, adding that 15 were from Germany. Houry described how the women and their children were being held at large detention sites, where they have a certain amount of freedom but are not allowed to leave. They are being held away from captured IS fighters, he added. (Egypt Independent) (Independent)

Tories accuse PM of 'political interference' after comments on Boushie case

The federal Conservatives are accusing Justin Trudeau of "political interference," after the prime minister responded to the acquittal of a white farmer in the death of a young Indigenous man by saying the criminal justice system has to "do better." Trudeau made the comments after a jury in Battleford, Sask., Friday found Gerald Stanley not guilty of second-degree murder in the 2016 death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation. (CTV) (CTV)



OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

If Patrick Brown can clear his name, he can run for Ontario PCs: Elliott

Ontario Progressive Conservative party leadership candidate Christine Elliott says that if her predecessor can clear his name, he should be able to run for the party in the next election. Patrick Brown resigned as Ontario PC leader late last month after being accused of sexual misconduct in incidents dating back years. He denounced the allegations, which have not been verified by The Canadian Press, as "absolute lies" in an interview with Postmedia, adding that he's contemplating legal action. (CTV)

Patrick Brown says he can disprove sexual misconduct allegations against him

In a lengthy Facebook post, Patrick Brown wrote that he has been investigating the allegations reported by CTV News. He said specific details of the accusations from two unnamed women, which date back to when he was a federal MP, contain discrepancies that prove the accounts are false. Brown also alleged that both his accusers know CTV reporters socially, and the broadcaster left out a contradicting account from a witness. (CTV)

Doug Ford wants to work with Jason Kenney to beat carbon tax

“Carbon tax is a terrible, terrible tax. I don’t even know why they put the word carbon in front of it. I don’t. It’s just a tax, a tax is a tax,” Ford said, winning a round of applause from the group of conservatives gathered at the Shaw Centre in downtown Ottawa Saturday morning for the Manning Networking Conference. (National Observer)

Arrival of used Aussie fighters pushed back to summer 2019 or later

It will be 2022 before the Royal Canadian Air Force receives all of the used Australian fighter jets the Liberal government intends to purchase, says senior defence official. The plan was rolled out with much fanfare at the end of last year because the air force has faced — in the words of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan — an "urgent capability gap" and is not able to meet its NATO and Norad commitments at the same time. (CBC)

Duterte says he wants to scrap Canada helicopter deal after Trudeau orders rights review

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he had cancelled a US$235 million contract to buy 16 helicopters from Canada after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government ordered a review over human rights concerns. (SCMP)

Families feel ‘blindsided’ by uncertainty around foreign caregiver program

Growing up, Natalie Mukherjee and her sisters were cared for by Filipino nannies. Her family had two Filipino nurses taking turns to look after their late grandmother. Now a mother of three, she gets help from a Filipino live-in caregiver. Despite the many reincarnations through the years, the foreign caregiver program has been an integral part of Canadian immigration since women from England, Ireland and Finland were granted permanent residence in the early 1900s to come as “nannies,” “nursemaids” and “governesses.” (Metro News)

4 women charged in major immigration sponsorship scam in Peel region

Four women are facing fraud charges in connection with an alleged  large immigration sponsorship scam in Peel region in which dozens of people from the Middle East were targeted. So far, according to Peel Regional Police, 38 people have come forward and investigators allege the group bilked residents out of nearly $800,000. (

Trudeau talks trade, health care with California leaders in San Francisco

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau picked up promises of investments and jobs during his first official visit to San Francisco, where he promoted Canada as a destination for California technology firms frustrated by uncertain U.S. immigration laws. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff announced the online business software company will invest another $2 billion in its Canadian operations. (Toronto Star)

Man facing deportation to get emergency hearing

The Federal Court has agreed to hold an emergency hearing in the case of Abdoul Abdi, a former child refugee facing deportation to Somalia. Abdi’s lawyer, Benjamin Perryman, issued a statement Sunday confirming the court will hear an emergency request to temporarily stop halt his deportation Thursday in Halifax. According to Perryman, Abdi asked Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to pause his deportationhearing with the Immigration and Refugee Board while he seeks a constitutional challenge in Federal Court of the minister’s decision decision to deport him. (Truro Daily)

Canada leads world in per capita overseas money transfers: TransferWise

Not everyone is lucky enough to have family to spend Family Day with. Many Canadians, especially new immigrants, set aside a large portion of their paycheck for relatives overseas. As it turns out, one company says per capita, Canada actually leads the world when it comes to sending money abroad. (News 1130)

At the Korean DMZ, Canadians watch warily and hope for peace

"We're just trying to keep a lid on one of the most heavily militarized zones in the world," he said. The 245-kilometre-long demilitarized zone that separates the two countries – which is in reality bristling with weaponry – passes within 100 kilometres of athletic venues at the Pyeongchang Olympics. (Globe and Mail)

To the U.S. Border Patrol, their jurisdiction includes anything within 100 miles of the borders — a zone that spans several entire states

Corey El was watching The Office as the train he takes a few times a year from New York City to Niagara Falls, N.Y., pulled into Syracuse. When he glanced up from his laptop last Thursday, he was startled. A U.S. Border Patrol agent was looking down at him from the aisle. This has never happened to him before, and the reason seemed obvious. By land, Syracuse is more than 153 kilometres (95 miles) from the Canadian border. (Toronto Star)

US immigration arrests up 30 percent in 2017

The number of undocumented immigrants arrested in the United States rose to a three-year high in 2017, reversing several years of decline, according to new figures. Pew Research Center, a think-tank, said on Thursday that a total of 143,470 people were held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials last year - up 30 percent compared with 2016. ICE enforces federal immigration laws inside the US and has the power to detain and deport undocumented immigrants. (Al Jazeera)

Israel warns over Iran's presence in Syria after air strikes

Israel issued stark warnings on Sunday over Iran's presence in neighbouring Syria after a confrontation threatened to open a new and unpredictable period in the country's seven-year civil war. Israel carried out major air raids in Syria on Saturday, including against what it described as Iranian targets -- the first time it had publicly acknowledged doing so since the war began. (Yahoo)



Candice Malcolm: Forget peoplekind, Trudeau's ISIS comments are the real problem

By now, most of the English-speaking world has heard about Justin Trudeau’s “peoplekind” gaffe. And while the international media poked fun at our Prime Minister for his over-the-top political correctness, Trudeau managed to avoid scrutiny for another disturbing comment made on the same speaking tour. At a town hall forum in Edmonton, a man in the audience asked Trudeau about his stance on ISIS terrorists returning to Canada. Trudeau has pledged taxpayer funds to “de-radicalize” these terrorists, and has even claimed that ISIS members could become “an extraordinarily powerful voice.” (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Evolving resume of PM Justin Trudeau

Embellishing one’s resume is never the smartest of moves. In many circles, even the slightest of exaggeration has been deemed such an egregious offence that it has cost jobs and high-profile CEOs the end of their impressive pay cheques. So, what, then, of Justin Trudeau? (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: C'mon, we all know 'peoplekind' wasn't a joke

Have you ever noticed how smug people often claim they were only joking when you catch them saying something foolish? As in, “Oh, come on. It’s obvious I was just kidding.” Well, now that his preposterous (and preposterously pompous) “personkind” remark has gone viral globally, that’s just what our smug prime minister is doing – claiming he was only kidding. (Toronto Sun)

Tom Parkin: Philippines helicopter deal raises more questions about Trudeau’s human rights commitment

A $233 million deal to supply 16 Canadian-made helicopters to Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte may be dead after a human rights group intervened over concerns the Trudeau government may have tried to willfully ignore. Duterte, elected in 2016, is under investigation by the International Criminal Court for thousands of extra-judicial murders. He has bragged about personally killing another man and recently suggested his soldiers are free to rape if operating under martial law. (Toronto Sun)



  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow for a Briefing on Resettlement Issues Related to Yazidi Women and Girls (In Camera)
  • 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 National Defence meet tomorrow to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Partly Public)