True North Initiative News Scan 03 16 2018

TOP STORIES

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh linked to Sikh rapper who promotes independent homeland

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has personal ties with a Canadian Sikh rapper who glorifies violence and promotes Khalistani independence, the Toronto Sun has learned. Chani Natt is a Canadian rapper with a large follower on social media. His YouTube videos, often depicting violence and terrorism, have been viewed millions of times. Natt’s friendship with Singh is concerning given the violent content in his music videos. The men are waving a Soviet Union flag as well as a yellow Khalistani independence flag. Interlaced with the modern images of Natt and his gun-wielding gang, we see historic images glorifying Sikh militants during the 1984 riots in India. (Toronto Sun) (Hans India) (New India Express) (Tribune India)

NDP leader Singh says he'd attend future Sikh-separatist events

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says his participation in Sikh nationalist events is not because he is necessarily sympathetic to an Indian separatist movement, but rather because he views the gatherings as an opportunity to share his beliefs, and he won’t hesitate attending events in the future. Singh said that because of his experience dealing personally with the discrimination and marginalization as a member of the Sikh community, he views invitations to speak at these events as opportunities to speak about how he’s personally overcome that adversity. (CTV)

Jagmeet Singh now rejects glorification of Air India bombing mastermind

After having expressed some doubts, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said today he accepts the Air India inquiry's conclusion that Talwinder Singh Parmar was the mastermind behind the deadly mid-air bombing that killed hundreds of Canadians — and he thinks it's inappropriate for some Sikhs to glorify Parmar by displaying his photo. (CBC) (Hindustan Times)

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh evades questions on Sikh political violence

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is sidestepping questions about political violence, saying the issue of whether force can be justified to defend Sikh people from oppression is too complex to be answered “in a simplistic manner.” Singh made the statement one day after a new video surfaced, showing him at a seminar on Sikh sovereignty where a panellist says violence can help achieve independence. It was the second video to emerge this week showing him at pro-Sikh independence events. (Metro)

Jagmeet Singh: I will never ignore the pain that lingers in the Sikh community

As a child, I remember noticing how my parents changed when certain topics of conversation came up: They became more quiet, uncomfortable, contemplative, but at the same time did not want to reminisce. There was a pain I felt, but I didn’t understand it. My parents were loving, caring, generous and thoughtful. But they were also suffering. (Globe and Mail)

Mother convicted in Shafia honour killings ordered deported — but only after life sentence ends

A woman found guilty of murdering her three daughters in a so-called honour killing was stripped of her permanent residency Thursday and ordered deported from the country. But the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada’s expulsion order for Tooba Yahya will be executed only when she is released from a Quebec prison, her lawyer, Stephane Handfield, said in an interview. (National Post)

Father of British-Canadian accused of joining ISIS hopes to plead son's case in Canada next week

John Letts, the father of a young British-Canadian man accused of belonging to ISIS and being held in a Kurdish jail in Syria, is hoping to lobby the Canadian government in person next week for help securing his son's transfer to Canada. Letts and his wife, Sally Lane, insist the allegations against their son Jack are false but say he has the right to answer any charges against him in a British or Canadian court. (CBC)

Money was meant for return to Canada, not to join Daesh, terror trial in Senegal hears

A former Quebec university student on trial for terrorism in Senegal said a money transfer allegedly intended to get him to Syria was in fact meant for him to return to school in Canada, a court in the Senegalese capital of Dakar heard Thursday. The criminal trial is the first opportunity that Assane Kamara has had to plead his innocence since he was arrested in January 2016. He was taken into custody at the airport after trying to travel to Tunisia. (Toronto Star)

Foreign Woes Haunt Trudeau at Home After Debacle in New Delhi

The appearance of Sikh separatist Jaspal Atwal at a Trudeau reception in Mumbai was the nadir. The Canadian prime minister had already puzzled Indians by preaching liberal values in English and French. Canada and India bickered over Atwal, capping a visit derided as thin on business and heavy on photo ops in over-the-top local attire. (Bloomberg)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Wynne prorogues house, announces throne speech

Premier Kathleen Wynne is briefly proroguing the legislature so that her government can return Monday with a throne speech. In a statement Thursday, Wynne said that the changing economy has placed an “unfair burden” on some Ontarians. (Toronto Sun)

Ontario PC Party could get majority government as Tories have lead in seat-rich GTA: Ipsos

Ontario’s Progressive Conservative Party could form a majority government after the upcoming election based on polling data in the suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area, the CEO of Ipsos Global Public Affairs says. In a poll conducted for Global News days after Doug Ford was elected leader of the Ontario PC Party by its members, it found not much has changed for the Tories as it relates to party support. (Global)

Ontario PCs overturn nominations, bar former leader Patrick Brown from running as candidate

The PC Party announced on Thursday evening that Mr. Brown will not be an eligible candidate. The party also announced that new nomination races will be held in three ridings and that the results will be set aside in a fourth one plagued by allegations of ballot-box stuffing. (Globe and Mail)

Trudeau dismisses impact of NAFTA uncertainty on Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he’s willing to accelerate NAFTA talks to get ahead of U.S. and Mexico election pressures if needed, striking an upbeat tone on the fate of the trade pact. Trudeau, speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Michael McKee, said he was “very optimistic we’re going to be able to get to a win-win-win” deal on NAFTA, while downplaying the impact of talks on business investment. (BNN)

Border workers' union warns of longer airport wait times in new contract bid

More than 100 Canadian border officials and workers rallied at a terminal at Toronto's Pearson International Airport on Thursday continuing their call for a new contract from the Canadian Border Services Agency. (CBC)

Number of Canadian soldiers on UN peacekeeping missions hits new low

Just over four months after the Liberal government renewed its commitment to United Nations peacekeeping, the number of Canadian troops deployed on such missions has hit an all-time low. (CBC)

At least 4 dead in catastrophic FIU pedestrian bridge collapse; 9 rescued from rubble

A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed Thursday, just days after crews had dropped an elevated 950-ton span in place on a signature project that was intended to give Florida International University students a safe route across the busy roadway. (Miami Herald)

Saudi crown prince: If Iran develops nuclear bomb, so will we

The next leader of Saudi Arabia says his country would quickly obtain a nuclear bomb if arch rival Iran successfully develops its own nuclear weapon. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made the statement about a possible nuclear arms race in the Middle East to "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell, in an interview set to air on this Sunday's "60 Minutes." (CBS)

In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid

The Trump administration on Thursday blamed the Russian government for a campaign of cyber attacks stretching back at least two years that targeted the U.S. power grid, marking the first time the United States has publicly accused Moscow of hacking into American energy infrastructure. (Reuters)

Sweden 'Starves Out' Christian Asylum Seeker From Iran, While Letting Former ISIS Fighters Get Jobs

A Christian refugee from Iran seeking asylum in Sweden has not only been denied her request, but forced out of her job, while former fighters with the Islamic State (ISIS) have been granted that asylum. Christian asylum seekers in Sweden reported 512 religiously motivated acts of violence against them, mostly at the hands of Muslim migrants. (PJ Media)

YAZIDIS WHO ONCE FLED ISIS NOW FLEE TURKISH OFFENSIVE

Yazidis being displaced from Iraq by the Turkish offensive that has continued for two months are now taking shelter in Afrin in northern Syria. The US intervened in Iraq in August 2014, after Islamic State committed genocide against the religious minority. Now their co-religionists across the border in Syria say they are being displaced by Islamists associated with Syrian rebel groups. (Jerusalem Post)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Ezra Levant: Why NDP leader Jagmeet Singh must resign — or be fired

Jagmeet Singh isn't a terrorist. But he supports them — as I'll show you tonight. True, he put out a vague statement yesterday about advocating for peace and human rights, but not once did he denounce the Khalistan movement. It's not enough. The NDP needs to "Patrick Brown" Jagmeet Singh. (Rebel)

Toronto Sun: Many questions left unanswered about Singh's rally participation

Federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh issued a public statement Wednesday defending his participation in a Sikh separatist rally in San Francisco three years ago. It left as many questions as answers about his participation. Singh, then a New Democrat MPP in the Ontario Legislature, spoke at a 2015 rally where speakers “denounced India and called for an independent Sikh state known as Khalistan,” the Globe & Mail reported this week. (Toronto Sun)

Michelle Mandel: If only we could deport the killer Shafias now

Good riddance to the wretched Shafias — if only we could ship them immediately out on the first plane back to their native Afghanistan. Instead, convicted killers Mohammad Shafia and wife Tooba Yayha can’t be deported until they finish serving their life sentences for the horrific honour killings of their three rebellious daughters as well as Shafia’s first wife. And so Canadian taxpayers are still on the hook for their room and board until they’re paroled — which is at least 16 years away. (Toronto Sun)

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)

Margaret Wente: The strange loyalties of Jagmeet Singh

When Jagmeet Singh took over as leader of the NDP, he seemed like just the tonic the party needed – young, hip, multicultural, completely Canadian but with a dashing touch. Those turbans! That beard! He was just the kind of figure to make progressive folks feel good about themselves, their party and their prospects. GQ, the men’s fashion magazine, profiled him in rapturous terms, calling him “the incredibly well-dressed rising star in Canadian politics.” (Globe and Mail)

Peter Morici: The final battleground with China

It takes technology to be a great nation, and U.S. President Donald Trump’s notable policy successes on corporate taxes and deregulation are not enough. Trump has to deliver on trade and investment with China or it will dominate artificial intelligence and the global economy. (Toronto Sun)

Don Martin: Gun bill could become ammunition for the opposition

There's a gun fight of sorts coming to the House of Commons floor next week. It’ll erupt over a bill, expected to be tabled Tuesday, taking aim at keeping firearms away from the mentally ill or out of the hands of those with violent backgrounds. So far, so good. (CTV)

John Ivison: Canada Summer Jobs controversy is not dead — it was merely resting

Andrew Scheer’s tenure as Conservative Party leader has been covered in a thick mildew of caution. In January, the Liberals announced they would require all applicants for the Canada Summer Jobs program to check a box on the application form attesting they agree with the party’s position on abortion. (National Post)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

 

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