True North Initiative News Scan 02 14 18


Just the Facts: Colten Boushie

(True North Initiative)

Half of prospective Boushie jurors were Aboriginal, says member of jury pool

Almost half of the prospective jurors in the Colten Boushie case were Aboriginal persons, according to one member of the jury pool. However, the reason there were no Aboriginal Canadians on the jury in this controversial case is because so many deliberately opted out of the process. Other First Nations prospective jurors, meanwhile, were openly and outwardly biased during the selection process, according to one prospective juror who spoke to the Sun. (Toronto Sun)

Trudeau’s comments on Boushie case may have ‘tainted’ a potential appeal process: lawyer

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under fire after comments he made about the controversial Colten Boushie trial, with a legal expert saying his words could have a corrosive effect on a potential appeal process. On Friday, Saskatchewan farmer, Gerald Stanley was found not-guilty of second-degree murder in the death of 22-year-old Boushie, a resident of the Red Pheasant First Nation. (Global)

Liberals to propose jury selection changes after meeting with Colten Boushie’s family

The Liberal government will propose Criminal Code changes next month to reform jury selection rules, bail processes and other justice measures that it says have long led to unfair treatment of Indigenous people in Canada’s legal system. It comes on the heels of the controversial acquittal of a Saskatchewan farmer in the death of Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Indigenous man fatally shot in 2016 — a case that the NDP leader Jagmeet Singh on Tuesday branded “an injustice” and a failure of the “court process (because it) didn’t result in justice for that life that was taken.” (Toronto Star)

Liberals draw fire for 'highly disappointing' response to Iranian-Canadian's death in Tehran prison

As Iranian-Canadian academic Kavous Seyed-Emami was buried Tuesday in Iran, the Canadian government drew sharp criticism for failing to hold the Iranian regime to account for his suspicious death. “They could have played a role in backing up the family’s demands for an autopsy and creating an international environment in which Iran would be accountable,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran. “They did none of that, which was highly disappointing.” (National Post)

Government requests meals and snacks for asylum seekers at Quebec border

The federal government is looking for a supplier to provide “meals and snacks” for asylum seekers at the St–Bernard–de–Lacolle border crossing in Quebec. That’s according to a tender notice posted on the government’s buy and sell website by the Canada Border Services Agency and a request for proposals. The contact period is for one year, with the option to extend up to four additional three-month periods. (IPolitics)

Refugee claimants challenge federal government over denial of child benefit

The legal clinic is working with other clinics and community groups to intervene in other such cases. “It is unfair that Canadian-born children do not have access to the child benefit program because of the precarious status of their parents,” said Debbie Douglas of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants. (Toronto Star)

Countries must take responsibility for their foreign fighters, U.S. says

U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis urged reluctant allied nations to address a growing problem by taking responsibility for their citizens who have been detained as foreign fighters for the Islamic State group in Syria. "Doing nothing is not an option," Mattis said following a conference of defence ministers in Rome that discussed the issue without resolving it. Some governments have expressed little interest in having such militants returned. (CBC)

Coward ISIS ‘Beatles’ dressed up as women in burkhas to escape justice

Sadists El Shafee Elsheikh, 29, and Alexanda Kotey, 34, clad themselves head-to-toe as they attempted to flee the bloody conflict zone. But, Kurdish forces saw through the poor disguises and apprehended the duo before they slipped into Turkey along with tens-of-thousands of refugees. Now, the traitors are believed to be helping US intelligence officers find their victims as they try to save themselves. (Daily Star) (Daily Mail)

Iranian intellectuals call for referendum amid political unrest

A group of prominent Iranian intellectuals have said they have lost hope that the Islamic Republic can reform, and have called for a referendum to establish whether the ruling establishment is still backed by a majority. A day after Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, touted the idea of holding a referendum as a means to heal Iran’s deepening political divisions, 15 figures – including some based in Iran – said leaders had failed to deliver on republican ideals. (Guardian)

Reverse racism? Dalhousie University restricts search for new VP to 'racially visible' and Indigenous candidates

Dalhousie University says its search for a new senior administrator will be restricted to “racially visible” and Indigenous candidates, part of its efforts to increase underrepresented groups on the Halifax campus. In a memo to the university community, provost and vice-president academic Carolyn Watters said the prerequisite is in line with the principles of Dalhousie’s employment equity policy. (Calgary Sun)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

’IT COULD HAVE BEEN ME': Some farmers support Gerald Stanley acquittal

Mark Pashovitz believes he and other Saskatchewan farmers are easy targets. They live in rural, isolated areas where it often takes police longer to respond to crimes. And their farm vehicles and equipment are tempting for thieves. That’s why he said he recently donated $1,000 to an online fundraiser to help pay the legal bills of Gerald Stanley, a white farmer acquitted last week of murder in the 2016 shooting death of a 22-year-old Cree man. (Toronto Sun)

Ex-PM Kim Campbell says sleeveless dresses ’demeaning’ for female TV broadcasters

Kim Campbell is admonishing female news anchors who wear sleeveless dresses on the air, calling the bare-armed attire “demeaning.” The former prime minister tweeted her displeasure with the fashion choice on Tuesday morning by saying “bare arms undermine credibility” (Toronto Sun)

Support for Patrick Brown grows, but his future remains uncertain

The Ontario PC leadership contest is gearing up, and so is support for the man whose resignation triggered the race.  There's been an increase in public statements in defence of Patrick Brown, particularly in the wake of his first interview since resigning as leader on Jan. 25th and his weekend post on Facebook insisting he can disprove the sexual misconduct allegations against him. (CBC)

'They like to talk': UNB professor challenges concept of lone-wolf terrorist

One University of New Brunswick professor is challenging the idea of the "lone-wolf terrorist" who emerges, appearing to have radicalized themselves in a vacuum, before committing an act of hate without provocation. "Nobody wakes up over night and decides, 'I'm suddenly going to plant a bomb,'" said David Hofmann, the sociology professor who published his research earlier this month. (CBC)

15-year prison term upheld for Mountie who tortured son in Ottawa basement

A disgraced RCMP officer convicted of torturing his captive 11-year-old son at their home in suburban Ottawa fully deserved his 15-year prison sentence, Ontario's top court ruled on Tuesday. In its decision, the Court of Appeal found no legal errors in the judge's approach to punishing the now former officer, who can only be identified as D.D., for the "horrendous abuse" inflicted on his boy, some of which was videotaped. (CBC)

Canada pledges $12M for rebuilding newly liberated areas of Iraq

Canada is contributing $12 million to help rebuild areas of northern and western Iraq recently liberated from Islamic State militants, the federal government announced Tuesday. The funding will support the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in Iraq, as well as help internally displaced people in Ninewah and Anbar provinces return home safely and support the clearance of unexploded bombs, mines and booby traps left by IS militants, said Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland. (Radio Canada)

Canada’s cyberspy agency defends proposed new powers to go on offensive

A senior official from Canada’s cyberspy agency says proposed new powers would allow it to stop a terrorist’s mobile phone from detonating a car bomb, block the ability of extremists to communicate, or prevent a foreign power from interfering in the country’s democratic process. A Liberal bill would help the Communications Security Establishment counter various forms of cyberaggression and violent extremism, Shelly Bruce, associate chief of the CSE, told a House of Commons committee studying the legislation. (Global)

The RCMP is now telling Canadian hostages’ families they won’t be prosecuted for negotiating with kidnappers

Families who have endured the kidnapping of a loved one abroad are hailing a quiet transformation in the way Ottawa responds to hostage-takings, saying reforms made public this week are overdue and badly needed to ease the despair of the next Canadian family victimized. To date, there has been no formal announcement of changes to the government’s hostage response protocols, which came under intense public scrutiny after the beheadings of two Canadian hostages in the Philippines nearly two years ago. (Toronto Star)

Government year-end earmarks $622 million in new funds for veterans

Of the nearly $4 billion in new spending authorities the Trudeau government is seeking as the fiscal year draws to an end, $622 million will go to funding long-term disability insurance and rehabilitation for veterans. New spending plans the government tabled Monday also include $775 million for the Department of National Defence, with $435 million of that in support of new measures under the 2017 Liberal defence policy and $277 million to support Canada’s contributions against ISIS in the Iraq and NATO deterrence aimed at Russia in central and eastern Europe. (IPolitics)

Liberals shake up Crown corporation after helicopter deal with Philippines

The Trudeau government has appointed a new chair of the Crown corporation that facilitated a controversial helicopter deal with the Philippines, and ordered the organization to become less reliant on selling arms. The shake-up at Canadian Commercial Corp. was announced Tuesday by International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne as he confirmed the Philippines had formally cancelled the helicopter deal. (National Post)

Bomber gets life in prison for New York, New Jersey attacks

A man who set off small bombs in two states, including a pressure cooker device that blasted shrapnel across a New York City block, was sentenced Tuesday to multiple terms of life in prison. Ahmad Khan Rahimi, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Afghanistan and lived in New Jersey, injured 30 people when one of his bombs exploded in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighbourhood on a September night in 2016. A second bomb planted nearby did not detonate. (Lethbridge Herald)

UK Government does not want captured Isis 'Beatles' returned to Britain for trial, says Gavin Williamson

The British Government does not want two British members of an Isis cell known as “The Beatles” returned to the UK for trial, the Defence Secretary has said. Gavin Williamson spoke amid a mounting diplomatic row with the US over the jihadis’ fate, with his American counterpart insisting terrorists' “countries of origin” must take responsibility. (Independent)



Tarek Fatah: Pakistan’s lioness Asma Jahangir will never die

For over 40 years the lioness of Pakistan stood alone, surrounded by a snarling pack of hyenas circling her for the kill. But they never dared come close to Asma Jahangir whose stare alone used to send many a jihadi and military general packing with tails tucked between their rears. Then on Sunday Jahangir passed away as a result of a cardiac arrest. (Toronto Sun)



  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow to study Canada’s 2018 Immigration Levels Plan (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 National Defence meet tomorrow to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)