True North Initiative News Scan 03 13 2018


Rideau Hall welcomes Belgian royalty with a German flag

A flag mix-up caused Canada a bit of embarrassment today — day one of a state visit by the king and queen of Belgium, the first such visit in over 40 years. Belgian journalist Wim Dehandschutter was the one who first pointed out that the flag marking a tree Belgium's Queen Fabiola planted on the grounds of Rideau Hall back in 1977 was actually Germany's flag. (CBC)

Trudeau skips meeting Belgian royalty, business delegation

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising diplomatic eyebrows for not meeting with Belgian royalty and business leaders during their week-long visit to Canada. Trudeau has no plans to meet with the Belgian royal couple, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde, or their delegation of 150 business leaders, academics and political leaders, who arrived Sunday. While senior members of the Quebec and Ontario governments and business leaders are scheduled to meet with the group, sources tell the Star the delegation feels snubbed by the federal Liberals. (Toronto Star)

Mississauga man who pleaded guilty to N.Y. terror plot deserves life in prison: prosecutors

U.S. prosecutors are requesting a life sentence for a Canadian man who admitted to plotting terrorist attacks on New York City landmarks at the behest of a high-ranking Islamic State operative. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, a 20-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., pleaded guilty in October 2017 to planning bombings and mass shootings at Times Square, in subway stations and at concert venues while still a teenager. (CBC)

When Justin Trudeau invited guests to see Come From Away on Broadway, a couple of hundred didn't even bother to RSVP

Justin Trudeau famously came from away to see a Broadway musical about Newfoundland hospitality — but not all those he invited were as eager to attend. According to an access-to-information response obtained by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian government bought 502 tickets to a performance of Come From Away in New York City last summer. (National Post)

Justin Trudeau says Donald Trump has always talked straight with him

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says U.S. President Donald Trump is a straight shooter. Trudeau was a guest on Anderson Cooper 360 on Tuesday when the CNN host mentioned Trump’s flip-flop on gun control and asked whether Trudeau had full confidence he would stick to his word in their dealings. (Global)

Trump stresses desire for quick NAFTA deal in phone chat with Trudeau

U.S. President Donald Trump urged the quick completion of the NAFTA negotiations in a phone call with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday, amid indications the U.S. wants a deal wrapped up this spring. Trudeau called his American counterpart during a tour of aluminum facilities in Quebec, on a day the prime minister did American television interviews to promote the integrated Canada-U.S. economy. (CTV)

Lauren Southern denied entry to UK, purportedly over criticism of Islam

Canadian right-wing journalist and activist Lauren Southern was barred from entering the United Kingdom on Monday, purportedly over a poster she distributed about Islam in February -- making her the latest international right-wing figure to be denied entry to the U.K. after criticizing the religion. (FOX)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Andrew Scheer’s gun policies include firearms ombudsman, taking power from RCMP

Mr. Scheer’s proposals include a sweeping pledge to review the Criminal Code and repeal all federal regulations on gun ownership, usage and transportation, which do not “ensure that Canada’s firearms laws respect the rights of honest firearms owners, recognize the fact that hunting and sports shooting are an important part of Canadian culture and history, and empower police to concentrate on real criminals who are a threat to the public.” (Globe and Mail)

Doug Ford developing a 'shorter and clearer' PC election platform from scratch: adviser

With just three months until the next provincial election, Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party is going back to square one on its policy platform. While some parts of the platform developed by former leader Patrick Brown may survive, new chief Doug Ford is more or less starting from scratch, a source on his team said Monday. (National Post)

Migrant caregivers demand Ottawa repeal 'demeaning' rules that reject immigrants on medical grounds

Dozens of migrant caregivers gathered in Toronto on Monday to demand that the federal government immediately repeal a section of a law that denies permanent residency to immigrants with disabilities. (CBC)

B.C. immigrant agency sees decline in government-assisted refugees

But despite this growing number of refugee arrivals, the Immigrant Services Society of BC has reported that 642 government-assisted refugees arrived in the province last year – a number that represents one-third of the 1,911 who arrived in 2016. The target number of arrivals was 900. (Globe and Mail)

Syrian scholarship students now seeking refugee protection

Daughters For Life insists it fully supported the students and says their decision to seek asylum is based on the advantages of refugee protection and not because of any alleged shortcomings in the scholarship program. But in interviews, three of the Syrian students say the foundation didn't prepare them for life in Canada, that they struggled financially and, with their future immigration status in question, had no choice but to claim asylum. (CBC)

Undaunted by Trump's wall, migrants vow to go over it

Eladio Sanchez is unimpressed by the eight border wall prototypes looming over his house in Tijuana, Mexico, almost within spitting distance of where US President Donald Trump will visit Tuesday. At age 30, he has already snuck over the border several times, and doesn't expect Trump's wall will have much effect on undocumented migrants like him. (Yahoo)

Trump administration accuses California of “bankrolling” human smuggling operations

On the eve of President Trump’s first visit to the state since taking office, his administration took another shot at California lawmakers who have pledged to fight a federal lawsuit against new state laws that extend protections to people living in the U.S. illegally. Administration officials said those laws and policies endanger federal agents and make immigrant communities less safe. (Sacbee)

One ‘spark’ could reignite protests, warns Iran’s interior minister

In separate interviews with leading Iranian newspapers, Iranian Interior Minister Abdul Reza Rahmani Fazli discussed the findings of an Interior Ministry report warning that the grievances that led to the nationwide protests in December and January could once again cause unrest in the country. (Al-Monitor)

Iran says it has offered Pakistan and China participation in India's Chabahar project

In what may come as a shock to India, Iran said yesterday it offered Pakistan and China participation in the Chabahar project, a port that is being built by India for the express purpose of bypassing Pakistan. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper reported today that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif yesterday invited Pakistan to participate in Chabahar seaport project + and in the development of its link with the Gwadar Port "as he sought to allay concerns here (in Pakistan) over Indian involvement in the Iranian port." (Times of India)

Parsons Green Tube 'bomber', 18, 'lied about being kidnapped by ISIS in Iraq so he could secure asylum in Britain as he claims he learnt what to say while in the Calais Jungle'

The alleged Parsons Green bomber told a court today that he made up a story about being kidnapped by Islamic State to get leave to remain in Britain. Ahmed Hassan arrived in Britain in October 2015 and told immigration officials he had been forced to train 'to kill' by Isis, the Old Bailey has heard. (Daily Mail)

Immigrants to UK held in 'prison-like' conditions: report

Immigrants to Britain detained in the country's largest detention centre were kept in "prison-like" conditions for "excessively" long periods of time, according to a watchdog report released on Tuesday. Foreign nationals were housed in the facility near Heathrow Airport on the western outskirts of London in some cases for as long as four years, the government probe said. (Yahoo)

Hardline Sikh group’s Facebook page taken down

The hardline activist group Sikhs For Justice has protested the taking down of its page on Facebook, alleging that action was taken at the behest of the Indian government. (Hindustan Times)



Anthony Furey: Doug Ford a moderate in an immoderate era

There must be something in the water in Ontario politics. Because a lot of what’s happening these days is not quite right. The political class keep doing things at odds with public opinion and common sense. Take the latest example from Kathleen Wynne. After promising to return the budget back to balance before the election, she had her finance minister go in front of a business luncheon last week and announce shocking plans to run an $8 billion deficit. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Ford’s victory a reminder for politicians everywhere

It’s been something of a must-watch political soap opera, the Ontario PC leadership race. It all started with the shocking resignation of former leader Patrick Brown over sexual misconduct allegations and the drama continued from there. People across the country watched as troubling headline after headline emerged in what was at times referred to as a trainwreck or a dumpster fire. The PCs were itching to be done with it all. Leave the drama and scandals behind and get on with fighting Ontario’s wildly unpopular Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne. (Toronto Sun)

Surjit Singh Flora: Drug smuggling has become a problem for Canada's Punjabis

The drugs have started eating away at our Punjabi youth. This disease has spread throughout North America. The desire to earn quick money without any hard work has pushed many Punjabi youth into drug trafficking. Last year a Punjabi husband and wife were caught by the RCMP with cocaine worth $8.4 million. It was a large consignment of drugs being taken from the United States to Calgary. The couple, identified as Gurminder Singh Toor, 31, and Kirandeep Kaur Toor, 26, were arrested in connection with the cocaine. (Toronto Sun)



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