True North Initiative News Scan 03 28 18

TOP STORIES

Liberal MP included his own business affiliate in list of guests to invite to India receptions

Liberal MP Raj Grewal helped secure invitations for his own business affiliate to attend events in India, during the prime minister’s recent trip, apparently without clearance from the federal ethics commissioner. The head of a Greater Toronto Area construction company from which Grewal profits went to receptions attended by senior government officials in India last month, posing for photos with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, who is responsible for managing Canada’s massive infrastructure portfolio. (National Post) (Toronto Star)

Bill Morneau mansplains women's issues to Lisa Raitt, labels his opponents 'Neanderthals'

Taking a page from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s playbook, Finance Minister Bill Morneau has taken it upon himself to mansplain women’s issues to one female parliamentarian and even call out those who disagree with him on the subject as “Neanderthals.” Conservative MP and former cabinet minister Lisa Raitt was grilling Morneau at the House of Commons finance committee on Monday over the “gender lens” budget, labelling it a “cynical political gesture” designed to just buy votes. Raitt criticized Morneau, who was appearing as a witness to discuss the new budget, as a hypocrite when she alleged he was not living up to the budget’s lofty gender goals in his past corporate life or in his federal department. “Isn’t this just a way to get a woman’s vote?” Raitt asked. (Toronto Sun)

Trudeau breaks his silence on exchange of gifts with Aga Khan

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau broke his silence today on the latest twist in the Aga Khan scandal, saying he received an overnight bag from the billionaire Ismaili Muslim leader during his vacation on his private island in the Bahamas. In exchange, Trudeau gave the Aga Khan a sweater, the prime minister said during a raucous exchange with Conservatives in the House of Commons (CBC)

Jagmeet Singh backs off punishment of senior MP after internal rebuke

After facing a rebuke from senior New Democrat MPs, party leader Jagmeet Singh has backed away from a punishment he levied against his party's former deputy leader. Singh removed Hamilton Centre MP David Christopherson from his role as vice-chair of a powerful parliamentary committee when the MP supported a Conservative motion protesting the Liberal government's changes to the summer job program. (CBC)

Canada having second thoughts about arming Kurdish fighters

Up to $10 million worth of weapons originally purchased by Canada to help Kurdish fighters beat back ISIS could end up in the hands of the Iraqi government, or helping to support NATO's military training mission, said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The federal government originally promised the materiel — grenade launchers, sniper rifles, mortars, anti-tank rockets and other military equipment — over two years ago, when it first reconfigured the size and scope of Canada's contribution to the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS. (CBC)

ISIS-obsessed teacher who trained pupils to become London terror attack 'death squad' is dragged from dock denouncing the West on his way to begin life sentence

A teacher who tried to raise an army of 'junior jihadis' ready to attack London was dragged from court ranting about the end of 'Western domination' as he was jailed for at least 25 years. Umar Haque, 25, of Forest Gate, East London, made children aged between 11 and 14 act out battles between police and the ISIS fighters he idolised. Haque drew up a list of targets in the capital including Heathrow Airport, Parliament, Big Ben and the Westfield shopping centre to terrorise innocents. (Daily Mail) (Daily Caller)

Over 4,000 Christian families return to Mosul following victory against ISIS

More than 4,000 displaced Christian families have returned to Mosul since the city was fully liberated from Islamic State militants, the governor of the northern Iraqi province of Nineveh said. Nawfal Hammadi stated that more than 4,000 families have returned to the strategic city and have resided in its eastern and western flanks, Press TV reported. He noted that most of the Christian families had resettled in Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region after they were overran by ISIS. (Christian Today)

Kim Jong-un DID go to Beijing to meet China's President Xi in his first-ever overseas trip as leader and says he's now willing to meet Trump after the 'successful' talks

Beijing has confirmed that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has visited China to hold talks with President Xi Jinping, in his first foreign visit since taking power. The announcement corroborated speculation which was sparked when a train similar to the one the dictator's father used was spotted making a round-trip to Beijing. Xi held talks with Kim at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing and he and his wife Peng Liyuan hosted a banquet for Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju. (Daily Mail) (BBC)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Jagmeet Singh’s brother enters Ontario politics

The federal NDP Leader’s brother could soon be filling Jagmeet Singh’s shoes at Queen’s Park. Gurratan Singh announced on Twitter and Instagram that he will stand for the provincial NDP’s nomination in the riding of Brampton East. “I love this community and I want to work to make it better,” Gurratan said on Instagram on Monday evening. “I want to be your voice and fight for what matters to you.” (IPolitics)

Manitoba repeals universal health care for international students

Post-secondary students from abroad will start the fall 2018 semester without universal health care in Manitoba, to the dismay of those from far away who have come to the Prairies at already high costs. "Since it was free here, it made it much easier, less complicated than having to worry about paying," said Efe Erhie, one of several international students at the University of Manitoba who said free health care was one of the reasons they came to study in Winnipeg. (CBC)

Refugee board questioned over sexual orientation issues

The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada needs to do a better job of training its members to deal with sexual orientation and gender identity cases, a standing committee on citizenship and immigration in Ottawa heard Tuesday. "It is not uncommon for IRB members to ask why a lesbian has children or is married to a man," Mike Tutthill, executive director of Winnipeg’s Rainbow Resource Centre, said in his presentation to the committee looking into the board’s appointment, training and complaint processes (Winnipeg Free Press)

Canadian MPs accepted $620K worth of free travel from third parties, foreign entities in 2017

MPs of all political stripes accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of free travel last year, and many of those trips were bankrolled by entities with ties to foreign governments. House of Commons Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion released his annual report Tuesday. It documents sponsored travel undertaken by 73 MPs — more than a fifth of all members — to foreign locales and a handful of Canadian destinations, paid for either wholly or in part by third-party groups. (CBC)

Richmond woman's petition calls for end of birth tourism in Canada

Richmond resident Kerry Starchuk started the electronic petition. She has been campaigning on this issue for the last two years since discovering a neighbouring house was a so-called “birth house,” which caters to pregnant women who come to Canada to give birth so their child is automatically granted Canadian citizenship. “It’s wrong. It’s jumping the queue,” said Starchuk of the practice, an increasing trend in Richmond where the majority of birth tourists hail from China. (Vancouver Sun)

Canada gives border security extra powers to crack down on cheap steel, aluminum

The federal government is taking steps to crack down on companies that try to ship cheap foreign steel and aluminum through the Canadian market. Canada Border Services Agency is being granted extra powers to identify businesses that try to dodge import duties and more flexibility to determine whether prices in countries of origin are reliable or distorted. (CBC)

'Suspicious' B.C. casino-cash transactions plummeted in February: Eby

In a presentation Tuesday to the House of Commons standing committee on finance, which is receiving input on amendments to the Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act, Eby said that suspicious transactions to B.C. casinos had fallen to $200,000 in February from a high of $20 million in July 2015. “We have reduced it by a factor of 100,” said Eby. (Vancouver Sun)

More RCMP eyes on River Rock Casino and Resort requested

Ottawa is set to hear about what is to be done about a money laundering scandal centred in Richmond. B.C. Attorney-General David Eby is taking new recommendations from the province’s independent anti-money laundering review to the nation’s capital. (Richmond News)

Calgary’s police chief praises bravery, professionalism of first responders after officer shot

A Calgary police officer was shot Tuesday and one suspect is dead after what started as a convenience store robbery turned into an attempted carjacking, then a break-in in the northeast community of Abbeydale. Police said the suspect carried a gun and opened fire before running into a neighbourhood garage when officers tried to arrest him. (Global)

Ontario budget: Kathleen Wynne gambles voters won't mind a deficit

Today's Ontario budget will be more a Liberal campaign platform than an actual budget, because the spending plan will only become a reality if Kathleen Wynne's party wins re-election in little over two months. Wynne and her Finance Minister Charles Sousa have already revealed billions of dollars in pre-budget announcements that will form the backbone of the Liberal re-election efforts: (CBC)

In Venezuela, hungry child gangs use machetes to fight for ‘quality’ garbage

As Liliana picks lice from the tangled, thick hair of her boyfriend, Patricio, while they sit together on the sidewalk of a Caracas street, she’s also multi-tasking, keeping a watchful eye on her “family.” When a 10-year-old girl named Danianyeliz kneels down to drink water from a puddle, Liliana reproaches her, urging her to have a sip from a juice bottle they’ve just found in a garbage bag. (Miami Herald)

China sends massive navy for South China Sea war games after President Xi Jinping vowed to wage ‘bloody battle’ for world domination

The Chinese navy claims the movements are part of routine annual exercises, according to Reuters. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defence ministry. The photos, taken yesterday, show what appear to be at least 40 ships and submarines flanking the carrier Liaoning in what some analysts described as an unusually large display of the China’s expanding fleet. (Sun.co.uk)

Orange County may take stand against state's 'sanctuary' laws

Just more than a week after tiny Los Alamitos voted to defy California's law protecting immigrants in the country illegally, Orange County is poised to become a counterpoint against the state's resistance to the Trump administration's policies. On Tuesday, Orange County supervisors may consider whether to take up a resolution to condemn and possibly take legal action against the state's "sanctuary" laws. (LA Times) (SCMP)

Prisoner escapes ICE custody at Kennedy Airport, jumps into taxi

A prisoner of federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents escaped custody at John F. Kennedy Airport Tuesday night, authorities said. The man, described as a “violent deportee” who was previously arrested on a weapons charge, slipped away from ICE agents at Gate B23 in Terminal 4 at about 8:30 p.m., law enforcement sources said. The agents took him through X-ray screening, removed his handcuffs and were about to escort him onto a plane, when he bolted, sources said. (NY Daily News)

Punjab To Give Assistance Package To Families Of Those Killed In Iraq By ISIS

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said that the state government will work out a proper assistance package for families of those from Punjab among the 39 Indians killed by ISIS in Iraq and till then, they will continue to get a monthly pension. In his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks on the Governor's address to the assembly, the Chief Minister said while the state was waiting for the bodies of those confirmed as dead in Mosul, his government was also working out an adequate assistance package for their families. (NDTV)

Jihadi who wanted to bomb Big Ben had TWO council houses - one for him and one for his wife who 'wanted her independence' (then claimed MORE taxpayer money for being her 'carer')

A jihadi who plotted to bomb 30 landmarks acrossLondon had two council houses - one for himself and another for his wife. Muhammad Abid was jailed alongside two other men over a plot to brainwash Muslim boys as young as 11. The 27-year-old wanted to train youngsters to drive cars 'like Mujahideen' before arming them with weapons to carry out atrocities at targets including Big Ben, Heathrow Airport and Westfield shopping centre (Daily Mail)

'His sacrifice was the act of a policeman and a Christian': Hero cop's wife leads tributes as France unites in mourning for officer killed in ISIS hostage siege

France today stood in silence to honour the hero police officer murdered by an ISIS terrorist during a supermarket siege last week. Lieutenant-Colonel Arnaud Beltrame, 44, was stabbed in the throat and shot repeatedly after taking the place of a female hostage during the siege in Trebes, east of the popular medieval tourist city of Carcassonne, last Friday. Today, his coffin was carried in a procession from Paris' Pantheon to a ceremony at Hotel des Invalides, where French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a eulogy and posthumously awarded Lt. Col Beltrame the Legion of Honor. (Daily Mail)

Islamist Terror Threat In UK To Remain High For Two Years And Could Get Worse, New Security Review Warns

The threat of an Islamist terror attack on Britain will remain high for at least another two years and may get even worse, security service chiefs have revealed. The chaotic collapse of so-called Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, combined with more online radicalisation, means that the risk of terrorism on UK soil could increase further, according to the new National Security Capability Review (NSCR) to be published on Wednesday. (Huffington Post)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Karen Staughan: Political Correctness Run Amok: Nazi Pugs?

A precedent-setting decision came down in a court in Scotland this week. “Count Dankula", a once obscure, self-described YouTube “shitposter” whose real name is Marcus Meechan, has been convicted under the Communications Act of being “grossly offensive.” He will be sentenced next month, and faces up to a year in prison. His criminal act? Uploading a joke video in which he, over the course of a week or two, turned his girlfriend’s pug Buddha into a certified, card carrying Nazi. To piss her off. Because she’s always bragging about “how cute and adorable her wee dog is,” and he wanted to turn it into the “least cute thing [he] could think of.” (True North Initiative)

Toronto Sun: Wynne tries to buy the election

Premier Kathleen Wynne believes our votes can be bought — with our money — in the June 7 Ontario election. Now she’s just negotiating the price. Apparently, we don’t come cheap. Leading up to Wednesday’s provincial budget, Wynne’s announced an orgy of promised spending, allegedly to improve our lives after 15 years of Liberal rule. (Toronto Sun)

Tarek Fatah: Sandra Solomon’s bigotry helps the Islamists

Just when the spectre of a Canadian law based on Motion 103 that would have criminalized the critique of Islam seemed to be receding, one Sandra Solomon has given Islamists a fresh lease on life. Solomon states she is an ex-Muslim convert to Christianity, saying she is a Palestinian who suffered sexual abuse in Saudi Arabia by her former husband. Last week, Solomon visited a mosque in Mississauga where she tore up pages of the Quran and heaped abuse on worshippers, referring to the Muslim holy text as a “satanic evil book” and said she wants to see the Quran designated as “hate literature.” (Toronto Sun)

Ezra Levant: This gross video of a BC anti-pipeline protest will make you want to take a shower

I see this time and again — the foreign funded professional protest class has the bosses, and it has the ground troops. And the ground troops are often pitiful — sometimes mentally ill, sometimes desperately in need of a family or family-like help; and the environmentalists take advantage of them, pay them a few bucks, make them feel important for the first time in their lives — then sell them out, ruining their lives. (Rebel)

Lorne Gunter: Caution, this current Liberal collapse may not last

So when the Angus Reid organization, Ipsos, Nanos and other pollsters all find the same thing – that Liberal support is crumbling, rapidly – I desperately want that to be a) true and b) long-term. I want polls showing the federal Tories now within striking distance of a majority to last for 18 months until the next federal election. However, while I’m not an inherently pessimistic person, I am a realist. (Toronto Sun)

Licia Corbella: The frightening unpredictability of a day in the life of a cop

Timing can be strange. Just one hour before Const. Jordan Forget was shot in northeast Calgary, Postmedia video editor Dean Pilling and I were shooting some video of Chief Roger Chaffin for a feature story I’m working on. While Dean gets the chief wired for sound, Chaffin and I muse about the unpredictability of our jobs — how that’s mostly a blessing and sometimes a curse. (Calgary Sun)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

  • Standing Committee on National Defence meet tomorrow to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (Public)