True North Initiative News Scan 02 21 18

TOP STORIES

Over-burdened refugee tribunal ditches legislated timelines for hearings

Grappling with a historic level of asylum claims, the Immigration and Refugee Board appears to be officially giving up on following regulations dictating they must hold refugee hearings within a certain time. Meeting the legislated time frame to hear claims has increasingly posed a challenge for the independent tribunal as the number of asylum seekers has risen steadily since 2014. But after running out of internal solutions, a statement from the board Tuesday suggested they are simply out of options in the face of a backlog that grows larger by the day. (Ottawa Citizen)

Canada does not support any separatist movement, Trudeau tells Punjab CM

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday assured Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh that his country did not support any separatist movement in India or elsewhere. The categorical assurance from Trudeau came when Capt Amarinder sought the Canadian Prime Minister’s cooperation in cracking down on separatism and hate crime by fringe elements, constituting a miniscule percentage of Canada’s population, according to a press statement released by the Punjab Government. (Tribune India) (Business Today) (Indian Express)

India, Canada should lead the way on respecting diversity, says Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said that India and Canada should lead the way in respecting diversity, and that on his maiden visit to India as Prime Minister he highlighted the country’s pluralism to his three children. Speaking at an event organised by the Canada-India Mumbai Business Forum at the Taj Mahal Hotel, Colaba, Trudeau said that at a time the world is closing in on the issue of immigration, Canada has opened its doors as it is a “positive advantage” to be open to international talent. (Indian Express)

India must add more women to the workforce, says Trudeau

The Namaste was near perfect and the warmth unmistakable. Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie met with industry heads, students, NGOs and film personalities on a stopover in Mumbai Tuesday. (Times of India)

‘That Notice Means Death’: 150 North Koreans Face Deportation from Canada

In January, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that those escaping “persecution, terror and war” will be welcomed in Canada “regardless of faith.” However, a recent report reveals that Canada has been deporting North Korean asylum seekers who entered the country through South Korea. On Sunday, Al-Jazeera reported that since 2013, Canada has deported almost 2,000 North Korean asylum seekers who allegedly lied on their application forms. Another 150 North Koreans could be thrown out of the country. (Sputnik)

Pipeline politics to cost Canadian economy $10.7B in 2018: Scotiabank

Delayed oil pipeline construction is causing a steep discount for Canadian crude prices that is costing the economy roughly $15.6 billion a year, according to Scotiabank. "Pipeline approval delays have imposed clear, demonstrable and substantial economic costs on the Canadian economy," said bank chief economist Jean-Francois Perrault in a report Tuesday. The discount, however, is expected to ease through the year as more rail capacity becomes available to ship oil, bringing the expected cost to roughly $10.7 billion or 0.5 per cent of GDP for 2018 and then to $7 billion or 0.3 per cent of GDP a year until more pipeline capacity comes online. (BNN)

ISIS calls on fanatics to 'burn America', attack London and target Russian political and religious leaders in propaganda showing a militant in front of Big Ben and Putin in crosshairs

ISIS has urged fanatics to 'burn America', attack London and target Russian political and religious leaders in new propaganda. One chilling poster warning of attacks in London shows a militant in front of an image of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. A second calls on extremists to 'break the cross' and shows Russian President Vladimir Putin and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church in crosshairs. (Daily Mail)

Iran’s ‘Girls of Revolution Street’ risk imprisonment to protest mandatory hijab

Every Wednesday, images of Iranian women, hair uncovered and hijabs held aloft, pop up on social media. They’re the result of a social media campaign, led by New York-based journalist and activist Masih Alinejad, that aims to end Iran’s mandatory hijab dress code, imposed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. (Global)

IRAN'S MOST FAMOUS GENERAL IS MORE POPULAR THAN PRESIDENT AS NEW THREATS EMERGE AT HOME AND ABROAD

Major General Qassem Soleimani, head of the expeditionary Quds Force branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), enjoyed a "very favorable" view among 67.7 percent of Iranians, according to a poll conducted last month by the University of Maryland and cited Tuesday by The Wall Street Journal. In the past two years, public opinion of the military leader, seen as one of the top faces of Iran's hardline conservative political bloc, has substantially gained on the more liberal Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, whose enthusiastic supporters have dropped to 23.5 percent among the population polled. (Newsweek)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Ontario PCs still ahead in provincial election despite rocky month: Ipsos poll

The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party is still very much in the driver’s seat when it comes to the upcoming provincial election, despite a tumultuous past few weeks and not having an official leader, a new poll shows. The PCs would receive 38 per cent of the vote if an election were held tomorrow, an Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News shows. That’s up two points since a similar poll in December. (Global)

Tory MPP demands Patrick Brown be investigated for alleged 'financial improprieties'

MPP Patrick Brown should be investigated for “financial improprieties,” including allegedly accepting gifts and travel funded by third parties and lobbyists, PC MPP Randy Hillier says in a complaint to Ontario’s Integrity Commissioner. “I have put down a long list of evidence of very expensive, lavish foreign travel – no disclosure of gifts anywhere with the integrity commissioner,” Hillier said after filing the complaint Tuesday. “Gifts must be disclosed.” (Toronto Sun) (National Post)

Lawyer who defended Patrick Brown on Facebook threatens to sue Ontario Tories for libel

A lawyer whose firm was sacked by the Ontario Conservative party after he publicly questioned sexual-misconduct allegations against ex-leader Patrick Brown is now threatening to sue party officials if they don’t immediately apologize to him. It’s the latest sign of deep divisions within the provincial Conservatives, as Brown vies to regain the job he quit under pressure three weeks ago. (National Post)

Atlantic provinces to adopt Nova Scotia plan that entices foreign students to stay after graduation

A program that helps international students to stay and work in Nova Scotia will be adopted by the three other Atlantic provinces as they try to grow their population. Federal Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said Atlantic Canada has a retention rate for skilled immigrants that “hovers at around 60 per cent,” compared to rates of 90 per cent or higher in Ontario and Alberta. (Toronto Star)

Not always illegal to yell FHRITP at female reporters, judge rules dismissing case

A provincial court judge in St. John's has ruled it could be illegal to shout a sexist slur at female reporters, but not in the case of what happened to NTV reporter Heather Gillis last year outside the city dump. It was never a question of whether Justin Penton hurled the words at Gillis while she was interviewing St. John's Mayor Danny Breen at the Robin Hood Bay waste management facility in April 2017. The issue for the judge was whether or not it constituted a crime in that context. (CBC)

Trump Asks Sessions to Draft Rule 'Banning All Devices That Turn Legal Weapons into Machine Guns'

President Trump today signed a memorandum directing the Justice Department to move forward with a proposed rule "banning all devices that turn legal weapons into machineguns," including the "bump stocks" used by shooter Stephen Paddock in the Las Vegas massacre. Trump's memo notes that after the Oct. 1 mass shooting at a country music festival he asked for a review of how the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives regulates such devices. (PJ Media)

Defeated in Iraq, ISIS still haunts dreams of Yazidi children

The Islamic State has been defeated on the battlefield, but the terror remains for 8-year-old Medya. The Yazidi girl, found to suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, is tormented by images of the bearded, black-clad ISIS soldiers who held her captive for three years and repeatedly raped her mother, Saran, in the room next door. (FOX)

'Selfie terrorist' arrested at Stansted airport wanted to fight for Isis in Syria

A man arrested at a London airport has been found guilty of trying to join Isis. Police swooped on Aweys Shikhey, 38, as he tried to board a flight from Stansted to Turkey, where he hoped to make his way to Syria and fight for the so-called caliphate. (IB Times)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Ezra Levant: Trudeau takes an "authoritarian" approach to so-called "fake news"

On last night's show, Sun columnist Candice Malcolm joined me to explain why she thinks Canadians should be worried about Justin Trudeau's authoritarian campaign against so-called "fake news". Trudeau has already ordered Facebook to crack-down on "fake news", despite evidence proving an insignificant percentage content on the website is actually fake news. After Trudeau's "peoplekind" gaffe his Principal Secretary Gerald Butts lashed out on Twitter at the outlets laughing at his boss, calling them "Nazis". Since then, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna referred to a Sun article by Candice as "fake news". (Rebel)

Ezra Levant: Trudeau's India trip “a disaster” — but only foreign media tells you why

Justin Trudeau is on vacation again. On your dime, again. This time, it’s a luxury family vacation to India. Did you see them posing at the Taj Mahal? You almost never see the Taj Mahal empty like that, but to accommodate Trudeau’s vanity photo shoot, 35,000 pilgrims and tourists, some of whom had surely planned their visit for a long time, had to wait more than an hour, in 90-degree heat, while Justin and princess Sophie did their modelling. (Rebel)

Anthony Furey: Last week, Patrick Brown was leading the charge – now he’s back to playing defence

To read it on paper, it’s a phenomenal plot. Patrick Brown, at the height of his powers, knocked off just before winning the prize of becoming premier of Canada’s most populous province. In his absence, schemers rush in to fill the vacuum. But ever so slowly the once and future king began plotting his return, setting the pieces into motion for a grand comeback. He takes aim at the allegations against him. If not “clearing his name,” then he at least seriously called them into question. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: A slaughter in Nigeria goes unreported

On Saturday, a slaughter of Black Africans in 15 villages of Nigeria took place, but that news could not find space in any major newspaper or TV network other than the Daily Express in the U.K. Could this self-imposed censorship be because it was a Black on Black crime? Or was it because the murderous killers were Fulani Muslims while the victims of the massacre were from villages of Nigeria’s Christian minority? In the spirit of Black History Month and all the awareness-raising efforts of the Black Lives Matter movement, perhaps some attention could be paid to the Black lives lost in Nigeria and their stories lost in the news. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Ottawa's 'superclusters' are an exercise in economic futility

There’s a reason why when you turn on the venture capital reality show Dragon’s Den the hosts don’t include the assistant deputy minister of Economic Development Ontario or federal Innovation Minster Navdeep Bains. Politicians and bureaucrats don’t know a thing about picking economic winners and losers. In fact, they’re downright bad at it. (Toronto Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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