True North Initiative News Scan 03 15 2018

TOP STORIES

Edmonton terrorist can't use defence of being not criminally responsible, court hears

The man accused of attacking an Edmonton police officer doesn't qualify for the defence of not criminally responsible, court heart Wednesday. As his interpreter translated into Somali, Abdulahi Sharif listened to the brief proceedings from the prisoner docket handcuffed and dressed in a blue and white shirt. "The report at Alberta Hospital has found Mr. Sharif is not NCR (not criminally responsible)," said Sharif's lawyer Karanpal Aujla. "He's fit to plea." (CBC) (Canoe)

As Jagmeet Singh condemns terrorism, second video shows him speaking alongside Sikh separatist

A second video of Jagmeet Singh has surfaced showing the NDP leader speaking on a panel focused on Sikh sovereignty, alongside another speaker who appears to endorse violence in the quest for an independent Sikh state. The video has come to light as Singh condemns “all acts of terrorism” in the wake of a news report about his presence at a Sikh rally in 2015 that featured calls for an independent state. (National Post)

Jagmeet Singh attended 2016 seminar with Sikh youth leader who advocated political violence

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh participated in a pro-sovereignty seminar in 2016 with the co-founder of the British-based National Sikh Youth Federation who endorsed the use of political violence as a “legitimate form of resistance” to achieve an independent Sikh homeland in India. This is the second instance where Mr. Singh has taken part in events where Sikh extremists denounced India and called for an independent state known as Khalistan. (Globe and Mail)

Where Jagmeet Singh is really coming from

Here’s a funny Youtube video about Jagmeet Singh that came out during his first run for federal Parliament in 2011. It’s from JusReign, a YouTuber with a lot of subscribers who ended up working on Singh’s campaign. In the video, the two young men mostly goof around, wrestle, eat gulab jamun and goof some more. (Macleans)

Jagmeet Singh issues condemnation of terrorist acts amid rally controversy

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh issued a blanket condemnation of terrorist acts Wednesday following media reports about his attendance at a California rally three years ago that sang the praises of Sikh separatism and a violent religious leader killed during the 1984 invasion of India’s Golden Temple. Singh issued a statement in which he condemned all acts of terrorism, regardless of who is responsible, after the Globe and Mail disclosed that he attended and spoke at the 2015 rally in San Francisco, an event billed as a commemoration of Sikhs who died during the bloody 1984 invasion in Amritsar. (Globe and Mail) (CTV)

Trump boasted to donors about making up facts during talks with Trudeau: report

President Trump said at a fundraising dinner that he made up facts during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The Washington Post reported Wednesday. Trump told those at the dinner that he insisted that the U.S. had a trade deficit with Canada, but did not know if that was the case, according to leaked audio of the speech obtained by the Post. (The Hill) (Washington Post)

Trump’s new economic adviser called Trudeau a ‘left-wing crazy guy’ — but he sides with Canada on NAFTA, tariffs

There is good news and bad news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in U.S. President Donald Trump’s choice for chief economic adviser. The bad news first. Trump’s new director of the National Economic Council, conservative economic pundit Larry Kudlow, two weeks ago called Trudeau a “left-wing crazy guy.” The good news, which is probably more important: Kudlow has been a staunch ally of Trudeau’s trade agenda and an enthusiastic advocate of harmonious economic relations with Canada. (Toronto Star)

Sons of slain professor who died in Iran urge Trudeau to help their mother

Ramin and Mehran Seyed-Emami said in a joint interview with The Associated Press that they have been speaking out despite intimidation and threats. They said they believe it is their only hope for getting their mother back to Vancouver after she was stopped at the airport March 7 and barred from leaving Iran. Their father, Kavous Seyed-Emami, a 63-year-old professor of sociology at Imam Sadeq University in Tehran and the managing director of the Persian Heritage Wildlife Foundation, died in February. (CBC)

New Round In Iran's Nationwide Protests?

Authorities insist people can uphold their traditional ceremonies on the condition of not disrupting public order. Interesting is how this regime hangs people and carries out lashings in public, yet now is thumping its chest about “public order.” Based on the Iranian regime’s terminology, “public order” is tantamount to the mullahs’ rule. (Forbes)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Finland is the happiest place on earth — 2018 index sees Canada sitting seventh

The World Happiness Report published Wednesday ranked 156 countries by happiness levels, based on factors such as life expectancy, social support and corruption. Unlike past years, the annual report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network also evaluated 117 countries by the happiness and well-being of their immigrants. (Vancouver Sun)

'We lost everything': After 7 years of war, Syrian migrant families can only dream of returning home

As the devastating war in Syria enters its eighth year, countless families have been separated — including two cousins who grew up together in Damascus and now live on opposite sides of the globe. Amani Sulaiman and her family are among the 50,930 Syrian refugees who have resettled in Canada. Meanwhile, her cousin Omar Almouisati and his family are currently stuck in Jordan. (CBC)

Burlington man charged after Syrians lose over $200,000 in immigration fraud: police

A Burlington man is facing fraud charges after police say he promised Syrian refugees in Qatar sponsorship to Canada. The Halton Regional Police fraud unit says allegations came to their attention through a community volunteer group in Toronto who had victims come to them through relatives now living in Canada. (Global)

Manitoba hopes to save $3M by pulling universal health care for international students

The Manitoba government could save millions of dollars by cutting universal health care for international post-secondary students, but some say that could deter potential scholars from pursuing higher education in Manitoba. (CBC)

Orlando nightclub shooter’s widow, Noor Salman, goes on trial

About an hour after Omar Mateen left home, preparing for what became the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, his wife, Noor Salman, sent him a text. It suggested what he should say if his mother invited him over to observe Ramadan, the Muslim holiday of fasting and prayer. Prosecutors say it was intended as a cover story, in case someone found out what he planned to do. Her lawyers say it was an innocent message. (NBC)

Russia vows revenge as Theresa May kicks out 23 Russian spies from UK and blasts Vladimir Putin’s ‘contempt’ for Salisbury poisoning

The PM said Russia had shown "contempt and defiance" in the aftermath of an attempt to kill ex-spy Sergei Skripal and warned that the poisoning represented "the unlawful use of force by Russia against the United Kingdom". She also confirmed that no ministers or members of the Royal Family will attend this summer's World Cup in Russia - but stopped short of calling on the England team to pull out of the tournament. (Sun.co.uk)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Foreign service is anything but professional

Just how professional is Canada’s professional foreign service? Recent events give Canadians the impression that our federal diplomats are not only incompetent but in the bag for the Liberal Party of Canada. The most recent example of cringe-worthy bureaucratic stupidity came on Monday when the visiting delegation from Belgium was met at an official event with a German flag. The King and Queen of Belgium planned their trip to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Canadian troops liberating Belgium during the First World War. Canadians were once again instrumental in defeating the Nazi’s and freeing Belgium during the Second World War. Our Belgian allies wanted to thank Canada for its historic contributions to peace and freedom. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Sikh homeland rally? What was Jagmeet Singh thinking?

Bad enough that federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh spoke at a separatist Sikh homeland rally three years ago, but to do it from a stage where a huge poster honoured a violent Sikh religious leader demands more than just an expanded tweet condemning “all acts of terrorism.” Why was Singh at that San Francisco rally in the first place? What was he attempting to accomplish? (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Wynne spills the beans on carbon pricing

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne has inadvertently performed a service for all Canadians by revealing that the main reason governments introduce carbon pricing is to increase their revenues. Not to lower industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change. Her admission came in a tweet attacking new Ontario Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford a day after he was elected by the party on Saturday. Wynne alleged that: “The Conservatives’ plan to kill carbon pricing and rush to balance the budget will put as many as 40,000 public sector jobs at risk. That means higher class sizes, longer waits for healthcare and fewer community supports.” (Toronto Sun)

Victor Laszlo: Top 10: ISIS still major threat to global security

(Rebel)

Terry Glavin: The despots of the world have taken our measure. And found us weak

It was seven years ago this week that the bright hopes of a nonviolent, democratic revolution erupted in people singing and marching peacefully in the streets of Syria. Since then, seven decades’ worth of solemn UN covenants, international treaties and binding conventions have gone up in flames in the hellhole of corpse heaps, concentration camps and ruined cities that the Baathist mass murderer Bashar Al-Assad has been permitted to make of his country. (National Post)

Chantal Hebert: Doug Ford’s win shows that grassroot movements continue to shape Canada’s politics

Doug Ford was elected leader of Canada’s largest provincial conservative party last weekend with little support from the caucus he will soon lead in an election or, for that matter, from much of the Ontario Tory establishment. A mobilized so-called Ford nation and an assist from the social conservative wing of the party helped the former Toronto mayoral candidate secure the leadership. (Toronto Star)

John Ivison: Liberals aim to limit influence of foreign money on federal elections

The Liberal government hopes to have new rules aimed at limiting the ability of foreign money to influence Canadian federal elections in place before the 2019 vote. Sources suggest the government will reform the Canada Elections Act by introducing measures to try to level the playing field between third parties and political parties, and improve the transparency of donations. (National Post)

INU Staff: IRAN’S NEW YEAR IS A NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR ITS DEMOCRATIC ASPIRATIONS

Although Chahrshanbeh Suri and Nowruz are not political, opponents of the regime see the celebrations as symbolic of the hope for a new day in the political future of the country. Chahrshanbeh Suri celebrations include the act of jumping over small fires as a means of demonstrating purification in preparation for the New Year. Such acts may be viewed as representative of the nation’s purification by fire, via regime change. (Iran News Update)

Robyn Urback: Jagmeet Singh keeps getting asked about Sikh extremism because he won't give an answer

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh lucked out in a couple of ways when he posted one of his more sophomoric and senseless tweets back in 2016, marking the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. "He saw a country wracked by poverty, illiteracy & disease. So he lead (sic) a revolution that uplifted the lives of millions. RIP #FidelCastro," Singh wrote, along with a picture of a young Castro. (CBC)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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