True North Initiative News Scan 03 06 2018



Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s current national security advisor may be spinning a theory that the Indian government played a role in Jaspal Atwal’s appearance on a guest list at the Canadian High Commission, but the former head of Canada’s spy agency says he doesn’t buy it. “I just don’t see it”, said Dick Fadden, who served as head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service and was a national security advisor to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper and to Justin Trudeau. “If it were true, it would be very serious indeed, which is why I think it’s probably not true because I still don’t see the advantage to India of their doing this,” Fadden told Evan Solomon on the Evan Solomon Show on the iHeart Radio Talk Network. (IHeartRadio)

Trial of alleged ISIS recruiter Peshdary delayed indefinitely

A high-profile trial of an alleged ISIS recruiter was postponed indefinitely today after a judge accepted the defence's argument that its job had been made impossible by late and incomplete disclosure of evidence. Prosecutors also have abandoned plans to try Awso Peshdary of Ottawa in front of a jury. Peshdary is accused of recruiting others to travel to Syria on jihad. (CBC)

Trudeau, Trump talk tariff threat over phone chat

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke by phone with U.S. President Donald Trump on a day the United States revealed it might use the threat of tariffs as a negotiating tactic to force a quick NAFTA deal. On Monday, Trump explicitly linked the fear of tariffs on steel and aluminum to the ongoing negotiation of NAFTA, then his trade czar elaborated: Robert Lighthizer said the U.S. is in a hurry to get an immediate NAFTA deal, and if it happens quickly Canada and Mexico just might avoid tariffs. (CTV)

NAFTA: U.S. in a hurry to complete talks quickly, and do bilaterals if necessary

The United States says it's in a hurry to conclude NAFTA negotiations, arguing that political challenges over the coming months will make it increasingly difficult to complete an agreement if talks drag on. If it fails in this goal of achieving a three-party agreement in the near future, the U.S. says it's prepared to split the talks into one-on-one separate negotiations with Mexico and Canada. (CTV)

Kenney threatens to stop flow of oil to B.C., and put toll on natural gas

Jason Kenney, Alberta's Opposition leader and candidate for premier, says his government would ensure "serious consequences" for British Columbia if it blocks the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. Kenney said Monday he would be prepared to stop permits for the shipment of Alberta oil to B.C. through the existing Trans Mountain line, which pumps 300,000 barrels a day of oil, gasoline and other petroleum products to Metro Vancouver. (CTV)

Oscar Ratings Plunge to Record All-Time Low

Sunday night’s telecast of the 90th annual Academy Awards saw viewership plunge 20 percent from last year to a record-low 26.5 million. High on politics and social justice issues, Sunday’s live Oscar broadcast on ABC also marked the first time on record the Oscars reached fewer than 30 million people. (Breitbart)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Plan to send Canadian peacekeepers to Colombia fizzled due to official foot-dragging

Canada had a small military team on standby to take part in a high-profile United Nations peacekeeping mission in Colombia, but foot-dragging on Ottawa's part saw other countries fill up the mission's ranks instead, newly released documents reveal. The army "identified, screened and trained" 19 Spanish-speaking soldiers to act as ceasefire observers in the South American country, which is emerging from five decades of guerilla war. (CBC)

Canada will meet climate targets despite emissions gap, McKenna says

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is committed to meeting its climate change targets despite a growing gap between promises and emissions projections. "We're absolutely committed to meeting our target," McKenna, in Edmonton for an international conference on cities and climate change, told The Canadian Press. (CTV)

Scheer off to London to lay groundwork for Canada-U.K. free trade deal should he become PM

Andrew Scheer is off to London to start laying the groundwork for his pledge to negotiate a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom should he become prime minister. The Conservative leader will use his four-day trip to begin "relationship building" with the U.K.'s Conservative government and promote the idea of a free trade deal between Canada and Britain. (CBC)

41 Tehran University Students Facing Prosecution For Participating in December 2017 Protests

The Iranian Judiciary has opened cases against 41 students of Tehran University who allegedly participated in protests in the capital city in January 2018, the university’s Deputy Chancellor for Cultural Affairs Majid Sarsangi announced on March 1, 2018. (Iran Human Rights Watch)


The four men, all Iraqi nationals, were detained in the Black Sea province of Samsun and were among up to 20 suspected members of ISIS arrested in police raids across the country, according to Anadolu Agency, citing an unnamed security source. The operation came a day after the local U.S. embassy was closed for what it said were unspecified security reasons. The embassy remained closed through Monday. (Newsweek)

'Security threat' forces closing of US Embassy in Turkey

The US Embassy in Turkey told American citizens it is closed to the public Monday because of a "security threat," and advised them to "keep a low profile," the embassy said in a security alert. The embassy, located in the Kavaklidere district of Ankara, said it "will announce the reopening once it resumes services." The alert was issued Sunday. (CNN)

ISIS video shows 4-year-old shooting prisoner in head

A deranged new video from Islamic State shows children as young as four murdering prisoners. The shocking video first emerged in late 2017, but according to the Daily Mail, the death cult has re-released it to ignite its lost fervour. (Canoe)

Philippine military identifies new leader of ISIS in South-east Asia

The Philippine military has identified the new leader or "emir" of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in South-east Asia. Major Ronald Suscano, spokesman for the army's 1st Infantry Division, said one of those who plotted the Marawi siege, identified only as "Abu Dar", replaced Isnilon Hapilon who was killed last year (2017). (Straitstimes)

North Korea Is Willing to Discuss Giving Up Nuclear Weapons, South Says

North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has told South Korean envoys that his country is willing to begin negotiations with the United States on abandoning its nuclear weapons and that it would suspend all nuclear and missile tests while it is engaged in such talks, South Korean officials said on Tuesday. During the envoys’ two-day visit to Pyongyang, the North’s capital, which ended on Tuesday, the two Koreas also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Mr. Kim and President Moon Jae-in of South Korea on the countries’ border in late April, Mr. Moon’s office said in a statement. (NY Times)

Venezuelans, Go Home: Xenophobia Haunts Refugees

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans fleeing economic collapse are crowding into cities and makeshift camps in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and throughout the region, the largest mass emigration in modern Latin American history. The resulting friction mirrors that in nations from the U.S., where immigration pervades the national debate, to Germany, where war refugees have upended politics, to Italy, where an anti-migrant party made stunning gains Sunday. (Bloomberg)

Iran's Supreme Leader Weighs In on American Gun Control Debate

Here's a situation rich with irony: Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the kind of leader that the Second Amendment was written to prevent, is offering his advice to the U.S. on getting rid of firearms. (PJ Media)



Anthony Furey: The mainstream told us populism was dead – they lied

One of the most moving scenes in The Darkest Hour is when Winston Churchill, struggling to figure out whether he should consider peace talks with Adolf Hitler, takes to the subway system to gauge the pulse of the people. Should we learn of Hitler’s terms? Should we meet him in the middle? “Absolutely not” is the resounding response of the hardworking men and women the prime minister encounters. It’s what Churchill needed to strengthen his resolve to make it clear to Neville Chamberlain and others that appeasement was off the table. The scene is entirely fiction. But its underlying message is accurate: Churchill, himself something of an outlier on the Westminster scene, was surrounded by establishment voices who believed giving in to Hitler was the only way to save England from total destruction. (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: Sexism isn't a problem in Canada — but it's Trudeau's number one issue

Actually there is one subculture in Canada, namely political Islam, that doesn’t believe in equality of women. And bizarrely, women politicians like Kathleen Wynne and Rachel Notley submit to their misogyny: wearing hijabs, sitting in the back row of mosques like second-class citizens. And Justin Trudeau, the feminist in chief, himself thinks it’s normal for women to be corralled away from him and the men when he visits those same mosques. (Rebel)

Sheila Gunn Reid: Former Liberal MP Darshan Kang Must Resign Over Allegations of Sexual Harassment

A House of Commons Human Resources investigation has concluded Calgary Skyview former Liberal MP Darshan Kang harassed a female staff member who worked in his constituency office. Kang now sits as an independent MP. Kang resigned from the Liberal caucus at the end of August 2017 after harassment allegations against him became public. (Rebel)

Toronto Sun: Trudeau's disconnect from real issues only worsens

A growing number of Canadians are realizing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s priorities are increasingly disconnected from reality and the interests of voters. That’s been helped along by a series of recent bungles, starting with his India trip fiasco. When Trudeau arrived in India he was snubbed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi because of his perceived sympathy with Sikh separatists. (Ottawa Sun)

Margaret Wente: Trudeau is an insult to feminism – and to seriousness

The past two weeks have not been kind to Justin Trudeau’s image. He decked his family out in colourful costumes, dragged them halfway across India, and wound up with the worst press of any Canadian PM on any foreign trip that anyone can remember. Canada-India relations are now in possibly their worst shape ever. (Globe and Mail)

Terry Glavin: With the PM’s endorsement, a hackneyed and reckless Indian spy-story genre is suddenly flourishing in and around Ottawa

By weaving the tangled web of a conspiracy theory that implicates rogue elements or some sort of faction within India’s intelligence agencies in the humiliations he endured during his Feb. 17–25 misadventures in India, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not only severely strained relations between Ottawa and New Delhi. He’s also drawing dangerously from a hackneyed Indian spy-story genre that ordinarily flourishes only in the most quarantined spaces at the dodgiest outer limits of public debate. (Macleans)

Neil Macdonald: Why wasn't Jaspal Atwal on Canada's no-fly list?

Never mind the matter of why the failed assassin Jaspal Atwal would be invited to any sort of diplomatic reception, let alone one starring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife. Political parties can be venal and willfully blind to ugly realities in pursuit of votes, and that should be no surprise. (CBC)



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