True North Initiative News Scan 03 22 18

TOP STORIES

Amor Ftouhi, Canadian national, hit with additional charges in Flint airport terror attack

The Canadian national responsible for the attack last year on airport police officer in Flint, Michigan now faces additional terrorism charges in the United States. On June 20, 2017, Amor M. Ftouhi, 50, of Montreal, walked up to the officer, identified as Jeff Neville, while screaming “Allahu Akbar”, according to media reports. He already faces charges for interference with an airport officer. Wednesday afternoon the U.S. Department of Justice added the additional charge of committing an act of terrorism transcending national boundaries, a charge that could result in a lifetime in prison. Mr. Ftouhi already faces life in prison for the original charges. (Washington Times) (NY Daily News)

Trudeau government slammed for failing to deport criminals, security risks

Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt pressed the Trudeau government for answers on Wednesday following a Global News investigation which revealed Canada has become increasingly ineffective at removing individuals for public safety or security concerns, calling it a “clear case of government failure.” “The federal policy is very clear: security-order deportation is the prime focus for this government and they are failing on this,” Raitt said during question period in the House of Commons on Wednesday. “Will the minister tell us what he plans to do?” (Global)

Canada struggles to deport foreign criminals. It’s even harder when they’re ‘stateless’ persons

Huong Dac Doan was 16 when he walked into a Vancouver restaurant with a handgun and attempted to rob it. Three years later, he was convicted in another robbery, this time shooting one victim in the chest and another in the leg, according to documents from the B.C. Supreme Court. Both lived but Doan was handed his first federal sentence — and a deportation order in 1997. “Mr. Doan has extensive long-standing gang ties with Asian Organized Crime that are well documented throughout his file,” the Canada Border Services Agency said. “It appears that he has connections with organized crime internationally and in other parts of Canada.” More than 20 years later, he is still living in Canada. (Global)

Service Canada defends asking staff to use gender-neutral language

Canadian activists praised Service Canada’s decision to ask its employees to adopt gender-neutral language when interacting with the public as a step toward greater inclusivity, while members of the political opposition mocked the policy mercilessly. Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos defended the federal institution’s internal directive Wednesday, saying it was a matter of respect and an effort “to adapt to the reality of 21st-century families.” (Toronto Sun) (CBC) (Global)

Tories plan all-nighter in bid to get Trudeau’s national security adviser to testify about India trip

The Conservatives are preparing to force Parliament to pull an all-nighter on Thursday to compel Justin Trudeau to call his national security adviser to testify at a public committee about the Prime Minister’s recent trip to India. The Tories will present a motion for debate and a vote in the House of Commons on Thursday calling for Mr. Trudeau to instruct national security adviser Daniel Jean to appear at the public safety and national security committee before the end of the month. The Official Opposition is expecting to file dozens of other motions to trigger a marathon vote – likely extending throughout the night, or longer – if Thursday’s attempt to call Mr. Jean fails. Conservative spokesman Jake Enwright said the additional motions would be used only if the Daniel Jean motion is not passed. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian parents plead for mercy ahead of son's sentencing in NYC bomb plot

The parents of a Canadian man convicted of plotting ISIS attacks against busy New York City landmarks say their son was a mentally ill teenager and doesn't deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison, however horrible his crimes. Abdulrahman El Bahnasawy, 20, of Mississauga, Ont., pleaded guilty in October 2016 to conspiring with ISIS operatives in the failed plan to bomb Times Square and the city's subway system. At his sentencing hearing in federal court on April 9, U.S. prosecutors will argue for life in prison, but his parents are appealing for a lesser sentence and treatment for their son. (CBC)

Canadian attitudes toward immigrants, refugees remain positive: study

The arrival of Syrian refugees, as well as thousands of asylum seekers over the United States border, along with the global growth in anti-immigrant sentiment have barely moved the positive attitude most Canadians have toward new arrivals, a study has found. Six-in-10 Canadians chose “disagree” when asked the question “Are immigration levels too high?” in the February survey by the Environics Institute for Survey Research – a finding that has remained relatively stable for a decade. Eight-in-10 said immigrants have a positive economic impact. Compared with last year’s survey, more respondents believed that immigrants adopt Canadian values. Most of the national results extended a steady 30-year trend toward greater acceptance of immigrants. (Globe and Mail)

Man implicated in honour killing of B.C. woman granted permanent residency

Darshan Singh Sidhu, one of seven people in India originally implicated in the alleged “honour” killing of a B.C. woman in that country in 2000, was granted a permanent resident visa to Canada by mistake in 2008 after he lied about his criminal record. The error was revealed in a recent Federal Court decision concerning whether Sidhu’s son, who was granted a visa at the same time, should be allowed to remain in Canada despite the misrepresentations of his father, who has since returned to India. (Toronto Sun)

Sikh Youth Being Trained At ISI Facilities In Pakistan To Carry Out Terror Activities In India: Home Ministry Tells Parliament Panel

In a report tabled in parliament, a House panel, based on inputs from the Union home ministry, has revealed that Sikh youths are being trained at ISI facilities in Pakistan to carry out terror activities in India, and members of the community settled in Canada and other places are also being instigated against the country with false and malicious propaganda. Top officials of the home ministry, led by the Union Home Secretary, told the Committee on Estimates, headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, that radicalisation of youths by terrorist groups through the misuse of internet and social media has emerged as a big challenge. (Outlook India)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

London pastor sentenced to house arrest for helping migrant workers

Instead, the London pastor has been dealt a six-month conditional sentence and an electronic monitoring bracelet, plus a $10,000 fine for employing 17 foreign nationals who were not authorized to work at their jobs under the Refugee and Immigration Act. This was a migrant worker exploitation case with a twist — Callejas said he found jobs for foreign workers who told him they had been mistreated under the legal foreign worker contracts that brought them to Canada. (London Free Press)

Liberals' claim of 'steady increase' in gun crime rests on a 'drastic' comparison to a low-crime year

The year 2013 has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance lately in government talking points and statistics. The alarming crime stats presented by Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale at the guns and gangs summit earlier this month in Ottawa all took 2013 as their point of comparison. Goodale pointed to a sharp increase in gang shootings since that year. (CBC)

The numbers are in: Canadians really, really hate their premiers

Six Canadian premiers have approval ratings lower than Donald Trump, according to a new poll released by the Angus Reid Institute. The U.S. president, who famously broke records for low approval in his inaugural year, currently has a 40 per cent approval rating. By contrast, at least 50 per cent of Canadian premiers cannot claim approval ratings of more than one third. (National Post)

Jailed Saudi blogger Badawi's wife seeks citizenship to lobby for his release

The wife of jailed Saudi blogger Raif Badawi is urging Ottawa to speed up her demand for Canadian citizenship, so she can continue to lobby for her husband's release by travelling to other countries. Badawi was arrested six years ago and ordered to spend 10 years in prison and receive 1000 lashes for criticizing the Saudi government in his blog in 2012. (CTV)

Deportation hearing for former child refugee Abdoul Abdi deferred until after judicial review

A deportation hearing for a former Somali child refugee has been postponed until after Federal Court takes up his case this spring. In a decision today, the Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto delayed Abdoul Abdi's hearing until after a judicial review is heard on May 29. Lawyer Benjamin Perryman says the decision is significant as it allows Abdi to keep working in Canada while he awaits the review of Ottawa's deportation decision. (Toronto Star)

Trump set to announce China sanctions after IP probe

The Trump administration plans to announce sanctions against China on Thursday after determining that the country is encouraging the theft and transfer of intellectual property from US businesses. The White House said the actions come after years of talks about the issue that failed to produce change. The actions are expected to include tariffs, as well as other measures. China said it was ready to retaliate with "necessary measures". (BBC)

Chinese paper says China should prepare for military action over Taiwan

A widely read Chinese state-run newspaper said on Thursday China should prepare for military action over self-ruled Taiwan, and pressure Washington over cooperation on North Korea, after the United States passed a law to boost ties with Taiwan. Beijing was infuriated after U.S. President Donald Trump signed legislation last week that encourages the United States to send senior officials to Taiwan to meet Taiwanese counterparts and vice versa. (Yahoo)

Trump cutting Obama-era refugee admissions 77%

The Trump administration, which has proposed a massive 60 percent reduction in refugee admissions from the Obama-era high of 110,000, is expected to cut that number even deeper. according to preliminary estimates. Experts evaluating the administration’s latest refugee totals now predict a slash of over 77 percent, to 25,000 refugees a year. (Washington Examiner)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Politicians judged by company they keep

Many activists are angry over recent reports about NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and his affiliations with Sikh separatists who advocate for violence in pursuit of an independent Sikh ethno-state. These activists claim there is a double standard, that Singh is being held to higher expectations than other federal party leaders and that Singh is getting lumped in with radicals because he shares the same faith. “More guilt-by-association in Canadian media against Sikhs. Getting ridiculous now,” wrote British journalist Sunny Hundal over the weekend. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: What words will Justin Trudeau ban next?

We’re shocked Canada’s progressive Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs more time to look into a Service Canada directive ordering federal employees to adopt gender-neutral language when interacting with the public. Time for what? Canada’s virtue-signaling, feminist PM has rarely shied away from lecturing others about the need to foster inclusion, the rationale behind a new policy being defended by Families Minister Jean-Yves Duclos. (Toronto Sun)

Christie Blatchford: Trudeau government’s needless obsession with gender is exhausting

I went to a Service Ontario office in downtown Toronto Wednesday to renew my driver’s licence. It was everything a customer/taxpayer could want: Swift service from an employee who was polite and capable. I was in and out within 15 minutes, just as I usually am when I go to such an office every year or two to do business. That’s pretty much all I want, not only from this particular department, but also from any and all arms of government: In my freaking dreams, of course. (National Post)

Mark Bonokoski: Wynne's right about one old, white politician who needs to go!

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, the queen of wedge-driven Liberal Party politics, wants you to hate me, and everything about me. She talks about the importance of young people getting out to vote, but says it with a venom-edged racist message that epitomizes all that is wrong today with the party she leads. She talks inclusiveness, and spews divisiveness. (Toronto Sun)

Terry Glavin: When it comes to peacekeeping, Canada's (sort of, but not really) back!

With the announcement this week that Canadian peacekeepers will be headed to Mali perhaps as soon as August, Canada has finally come around to something like a consummation of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s election campaign vow to revive this country’s purportedly starring role as champion and avatar of the United Nations’ blue-helmeted peace warriors. With the long-awaited decision finally made, it should be useful to step back a bit for a clearer reading of the UN’s peacekeeping mandate, Canada’s peacekeeping legacy, and the strange way Canadians tend to rhapsodize about it all. (National Post)

Walter E. Williams: Morals the problem, not gun ownership

One of the unavoidable tragedies of youth is the temptation to think that what is seen today has always been. Nowhere is this more noticeable than in our responses to the recent Parkland, Florida, massacre. Part of the responses to those murders are calls to raise the age to purchase a gun and to have more thorough background checks — in a word, to make gun purchases more difficult. That’s a vision that sees easy gun availability as the problem; thus, the solution is to reduce that availability. The vision that sees “easy” availability as the problem ignores the fact of U.S. history that guns were far more available yesteryear. (Toronto Sun)

J.J. McCullough: The Real Reason Refugees Are Crossing, Legally and Illegally, into Canada

In the age of Trump vs. Trudeau, a plot point that journalists of both nations have gripped especially tight is the supposed stampede of Third World refugees from the United States into Canada. Reuters was but the latest to produce a feature story on the phenomenon, reporting on Monday that “more than 20,000 people, including thousands of Haitians and Nigerians and hundreds of Turks, Syrians and Eritreans, have crossed the border into Canada illegally over the past year in search of asylum, many fleeing in fear that Trump would deport them to their home countries.” (National Review)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet today for Immigration and Refugee Board's Appointment, Training and Complaint Processes (Public)
  • Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-59, An Act respecting national security matters (Public)
  • Standing Committee on National Defence meet today to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (public)
  • Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Development meet today to study the Provision of Assistance to Canadians in Difficulty Abroad (Consular Affairs) (Partly Public)