True North Initiative News Scan 02 16 18

TOP STORIES

Nearly 300 Romanians have claimed asylum in Canada: officials

Almost 300 Romanian nationals have claimed asylum in Canada since the federal government lifted the visa requirement in December, immigration officials said Thursday. Appearing before the House of Commons immigration committee, Paul MacKinnon, assistant deputy minister with the immigration department, said 232 Romanian nationals have claimed asylum since December. The total number of asylum claims before the visa was lifted was “very low” according to MacKinnon. Conservative immigration critic Michelle Rempel questioned whether that number is expected to grow. (IPolitics) (CTV)

Ottawa ending policy that rejects immigrants on medical grounds by April, Hussen says

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said today he will present a plan by April to kill an outdated policy that excludes immigrants based on their medical conditions — but the NDP wants quicker action to end the "discriminatory" clause. NDP immigration critic Jenny Kwan held a news conference today calling on the government to repeal a section of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that allows applicants to be rejected because they could impose an "excessive demand" on the health care system. (CBC)

'I AM SUING CTV': Patrick Brown launches lawsuit over sexual misconduct report

Patrick Brown has made good on a promise to launch a lawsuit against CTV over a bombshell sexual misconduct story he says is full of “lies.” “I am suing CTV,” Brown said in a Facebook post Thursday morning. “My lawyers are talking to CTV. “Early this week, CTV lawyers agreed to ensure that all emails, texts and other correspondence related to this travesty are held independently for safe keeping,” Brown said in the post. (Toronto Sun)

Resignation was sent out 'without my permission': Patrick Brown

Patrick Brown admitted in a television interview that members of his staff drafted and released his resignation letter without his permission, throwing its validity into question ahead of a crucial leadership vote and a looming provincial election. “The resignation was actually sent out on my behalf without my permission at the time,” Brown told Global News. “I understood that they were drafting a copy of the resignation. I was shocked when I found out that it was sent out without even an opportunity to see it.” (City News)

Ex-Ontario Liberal minister accused of sexually assaulting staffer, Premier’s Office says unaware about case

A former Ontario Liberal cabinet minister is being accused of sexually assaulting and abusing one of his staffers over a decade ago. The woman’s lawyer, former Liberal MP John Nunziata, tweeted that Premier Kathleen Wynne was informed about the alleged abuse three weeks ago. He didn’t disclose the name of the accused. (Global)

Supporter of homophobic, anti-Semitic U.S. religious leader to speak at NDP convention

An American political activist who publicly supports a U.S. religious leader known for his homophobic and anti-Semitic rhetoric is among the keynote speakers at the New Democrats' biennial convention this weekend in Ottawa. Tamika Mallory, one of the organizers of last year's Women's March on Washington that took place immediately after Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, will address NDP delegates late Friday afternoon. (Globe and Mail)

Trudeau won't meet with Indian leader behind Sikh separatist controversy

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will not meet with the Indian politician who has publicly accused members of Trudeau's cabinet of being connected to the Sikh separatist movement. Despite Indian media reports that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is to be Trudeau's tour guide at the Golden Temple in Amritsar during a state visit to India that begins Sunday, officials in the Prime Minister's Office say no meeting is planned. (CBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Reality Check: What could happen if ‘Jihadi Jack’ comes to Canada?

A vow by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian” is being put to the test as consular officials grapple with how to respond to a request for repatriation by a British-Canadian man imprisoned by Kurdish authorities on suspicion of being a member of ISIS. Kurdish forces imprisoned Jack Letts in May 2017 after he left the group’s de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa prior to its fall but his parents have said he was a tourist in Syria in 2014 when he was captured by terrorists and then fled. (Global)

Trudeau ratchets up pipeline pressure on British Columbia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has increased the pressure on British Columbia in the dispute over the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, saying the province's proposal to block the project risks alienating Alberta and derailing any consensus on Canada's climate-change plan. (Globe and Mail)

Sex ed, carbon tax hot topics in PC Leaders debate

Carbon taxes and the province’s sex-ed curriculum dominated a televised debate Thursday for the four Ontario Progressive Conservative candidates vying to replace Patrick Brown. TVO moderator Steve Paikin led the group through an hour’s worth of lively questions, finding some differences but a lot more common ground. (Toronto Sun)

Mother fears Canadian government could force her family to leave due to son’s disability

Karolina Krystyniak and her family moved to Canada in the summer of 2016. She’s an assistant professor of finance at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. But Krystyniak, 32, fears her family could be forced out of Canada because of her four-year-old son Franek’s medical condition. “Even though me and my husband could be really good candidates to immigrate, my son’s condition – my son’s disability – makes it potentially impossible for us to stay here,” she said. (Global)

Canadian PM Trudeau begins 7-day India tour tomorrow, unlikely to meet Amarinder

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to begin his seven-day state visit to India on Saturday. Besides Mumbai and Delhi, Trudeau’s stops include Amritsar, Agra and Ahmedabad. Arriving at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trudeau will hold talks on strengthening bilateral relations in key areas of mutual interest, including trade and investment, energy, science and innovation. Discussions on co-operation in security and counter-terrorism and exchange views on global and regional issues of mutual interest will also form important components of the visit, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs last month. (Indian Express)

Despite talk on reducing waste, federal Liberals gave plastics giant $35M grant

The Liberal government gave $35 million to a chemical company that makes plastic resins just one day before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to use Canada's G7 presidency to get other nations to commit to reducing or phasing out single-use plastics. The grant to Nova Chemicals was announced in late January as part of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a $1.26-billion, five-year business growth measure that was unveiled in last year's federal budget. (CTV)

Judge reserves decision at emergency hearing on Abdoul Abdi deportation case

An emergency hearing was held in a Halifax courtroom this morning to determine whether deportation proceedings should be halted against a former child refugee from Somalia. The request follows the refusal by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to pause a deportation hearing — scheduled for next month — while the Federal Court hears a constitutional challenge to the decision to deport 24-year-old Abdoul Abdi. (CBC)

Hundreds of villages destroyed, Bob Rae says, after touring Northern Rakhine State

In an effort to show the world Myanmar is ready to take back hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, its government is finally granting foreign officials access to Northern Rakhine State, the site where atrocities against the Muslim minority were committed. Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae, was among diplomats and UN staff taken on a government-organized helicopter trip across the territory earlier this month. (CTV)

Desperate to come home, Syrians brave ISIS mines in Raqqa

Mohammed Kuraji returned to Syria's Raqqa to prepare a homecoming but ended up organising a funeral. Stepping into his home, an unexploded mine detonated and killed his elderly father. "It was terrifying. The blast was so strong that I couldn't hear," said the 26-year-old, who was also wounded in the incident two months ago. (Rudaw)

American flag destroyed, replaced with 'ISIS flag' at Utah high school

An American flag at a high school in Southwest Utah was found destroyed and replaced with an ISIS flag Thursday, Fox 13 reported. An unknown perpetrator had taken down the flag at Hurricane High School, which is in the Washington County School District, and replaced it with “what looked like a flag used by ISIS,” police said. (FOX)

Former British soldier in court for terrorism offence of fighting Isis

James Matthews, 43, is thought to be the first person prosecuted under such legislation for assisting a group helped by the UK government. Matthews, who joined Kurdish forces to fight against Isis, was cheered by a crowd outside Westminster magistrates court as he arrived for a preliminary hearing. He has been charged with one count of attending a place used for terrorist training, under the Terrorism Act 2006. (Guardian)

Florida school shooting: Nikolas Cruz confesses to police

The teenager accused of killing 17 people at a Florida high school on Wednesday has confessed to the shooting, police say. Nikolas Cruz, 19, said he arrived on campus and began shooting students before abandoning his weapon and escaping, according to a court document. (BBC)

Iran may be spying on Brits using ‘weaponised’ phone apps downloaded from Apple and Google’s app stores, report claims

IRAN could be spying on Brits and Americans using “weaponised” apps which are available on Apple and Google's online stores, an explosive new report has claimed. The Iranian regime has created their own messaging apps which are spyware-enabled to help them hunt down anti-government protesters in the country, according to the report obtained by The Sun Online. (Sun.co.uk)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: The fight again carbon taxes is the policy fight of our lives

The fight against a national carbon tax is the policy fight of our lifetime. Every taxpayer in the country, and especially every conservative who believes in the principle of limited government, should do everything they can to stop this devastating tax grab. Make no mistake, the carbon tax initiative is not about protecting the planet. It isn’t designed to lower pollution levels, enable so-called green innovation or even to curb carbon emissions. (Toronto Sun)

Candice Malcolm: Trudeau conflates terrorists with immigrants

On last night's show, Sun columnist Candice Malcolm joined Ezra Levant to discuss Justin Trudeau's comments at a recent townhall where he compared ISIS terrorists to legal immigrants. (Rebel)

James Wallace: The case against Patrick Brown's accusers

Three weeks after toxic sexual misconduct allegations against Patrick Brown first aired on CTV, questions continue to fester about what, if anything, actually transpired between Brown and his two accusers. Brown has called the allegations against him “lies,” “fictitious and malicious,” and the story a “travesty.” (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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