True North Initiative News Scan 03 29 18

TOP STORIES

Rich immigrants use Quebec to obtain their passports

Nine out of 10 immigrant-investors do not ultimately settle in Quebec even if they use a Quebec provincial program in order to obtain their Canadian passport. Quebec’s immigrant-investor program falls quite short of generating significant economic benefits in Quebec since 90% of its participants leave the province to choose a home elsewhere in the country, data compiled by Statistics Canada for Le Journal reveal. Their revenues in this country are below the Canadian average, which leads experts to believe that most of their wealth remains in their countries of origin, escaping the Canadian tax system. (True North Initiative)

Quebec mosque shooting suspect Alexandre Bissonnette pleads guilty

In the 48 hours after Alexandre Bissonnette stood in court to own up to the mass murder of six Muslim worshippers, a bloody act that showed Canadians an unexpected face of extremism, a question was asked repeatedly among the small group of people who knew about the plea, including the judge: Why would he admit guilt now?  (Globe and Mail) (CTV) (Guardian) (NY Times) (Al Jazeera)

Conservative MPs press Justin Trudeau for answers over Liberal MP’s alleged conflict of interest

Conservative MPs are pressing Justin Trudeau to respond to the “completely unethical” actions of a Liberal politician who helped a business associate get access to high-profile events during the prime minister’s recent trip to India. Raj Grewal, the first-term MP for Brampton East, was in the cross-hairs of opposition politicians Wednesday after revelations he had helped Yusuf Yenilmez, president of Zgemi Inc., a Brampton construction company, get an invitation to a high-profile reception in New Delhi. (Toronto Star)

Conservatives demand apology from Morneau over 'neanderthal' comment

The Opposition Conservatives continued Wednesday to push Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to apologize — or make his finance minister apologize — for what the Tories say was an insult directed at the party's deputy leader. Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer laid into the prime minister during question period, alleging that Finance Minister Bill Morneau made "insulting and sexist" remarks to Conservative Deputy Leader Lisa Raitt during an confrontational exchange between the two in the House finance committee Monday. (CBC)

‘Birth tourism’ uses Canadian hospitals to make non-resident babies into citizens: petition

Metro Vancouver residents are spearheading a petition to put an end to birth tourism in Canada. Lifelong Richmond resident Kerry Starchuk has put forward an online petition urging the Canadian government to reduce and eliminate birth tourism, a practice that sees pregnant women travelling to a foreign country in order to give birth and grant the baby automatic citizenship. (Global)

Senate kills call to have PM's national security adviser testify

The controversy surrounding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's trip to India had a short-lived stint on the Senate stage Wednesday. Late in the day, senators voted to pass an amendment on a motion calling for the Senate National Security and Defence Committee to invite Trudeau's national security adviser Daniel Jean to appear and field questions "related to the issues arising from the recent visit.” The amendment, from Government Representative Sen. Peter Harder, effectively watered down that ask, removing the initial motion's wording, and wiping out the direct call to have Jean appear. (CTV)

Fearing deportation, one San Jose family looks to Canada

The family is part of a wave of people — concerned about an uncertain future in the U.S. under the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policy — who are looking for refuge in other countries, especially Canada, flooding its border in staggering numbers with the hope of starting fresh. But Canadian immigration officials — overwhelmed by the need for resources and an unprecedented backlog of asylum requests — are pumping the brakes and in recent months have warned people to think twice before rushing to cross the northern border. (Mercury News)

Islamic State sympathiser who murdered his wife in front of their three children by gouging out her eye and flushing it down the toilet, cutting off fingers and wounding her genitals is jailed for life

An Islamic State sympathiser who viciously murdered and mutilated his wife in front of their children in Melbourne has been sentenced to life imprisonment. The man, who cannot be named to protect his children, attacked his 27-year-old wife with a knife at their Broadmeadows home, in Victoria's north-west, in 2016, cutting off two of her fingers and gouging out her right eye. The 36-year-old must spend at least three decades in prison before being eligible for parole. (Daily Mail)

Wife of detained US citizen in Iran pleads with Trump: 'Make our family whole again'

President Donald Trump’s upcoming Iran nuclear agreement deadline also is an opportunity, according to Hua Qu. Her husband, Xiyue Wang, is a Princeton graduate student, an American citizen, and is imprisoned in Iran. “This is a crisis,” Qu told Fox News. “This hostage crisis I hope that can be evaluated on the same level with other security issues, to be categorized as a security issue against an American citizen.” (FOX)

 

OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Does Justin Trudeau apologise too much?

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far issued four formal apologies for historic injustice since his government's election in 2015, beating all his predecessors in government mea culpas. Why is Trudeau Canada's most apologetic leader? Just over six months after his election, Justin Trudeau stood in Canada's Parliament to say sorry. (BBC)

Trudeau disappointed by Pope's decision not to apologize for residential schools

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today he's disappointed with the Pope's decision to not apologize for the Catholic Church's role in Canada's residential schools and the trauma experienced by their students. The prime minister said reconciliation is not just a matter between government and Indigenous people, but must also involve non-government actors as well. (CBC)

Scores of Iranians living in Canada decry lengthy wait times for permanent residency

Iranian nationals say they’re enduring painfully long wait times to become permanent residents and citizens in Canada and believe they are being treated unfairly. Iranians who have lived and studied in Canada for years have taken to Twitter using the #DelayedIranianApplications hashtag to share their stories. (IPolitics)

Opposition cries foul over Liberals’ 556-page budget bill

The Liberal government’s latest budget bill includes new carbon-pricing legislation, cannabis tax rules and small-business tax changes, prompting opposition accusations that the government is once again relying on omnibus budget bills to avoid scrutiny. Finance Minister Bill Morneau introduced Bill C-74 on Tuesday afternoon. It is a budget implementation bill related to measures announced in his Feb. 27 budget. The government typically introduces two budget bills during the year. (Globe and Mail)

Ottawa will miss March deadline to have phase 2 infrastructure deals in place

The federal Liberals will miss a self-imposed deadline to have the government’s signature long-term infrastructure program in place by the end of this month. Federal Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi had pledged last summer that bilateral deals would be signed with all provinces and territories “by March, 2018, at the latest.” The deals will allow Ottawa to start making announcements from what the Liberals call the second phase of infrastructure funding, worth about $33-billion over 10 years. (Globe and Mail)

‘Things could have been handled better’: How Jagmeet Singh ended up in a fight with his own MPs

Sources within the party told the National Post the episode, which saw several MPs speak out publicly against Singh’s decision to punish Hamilton MP David Christopherson for breaking ranks during a recent vote on the government’s controversial Canada Summer Jobs changes, can be chalked up to rushed decisions by a rookie leader who still has to develop ties with his caucus and his own leadership style. Singh’s decision Tuesday to reinstate Christopherson to his role on an important committee after removing him last week was a sign that he’s willing to learn from his mistakes, they said, and not of a discipline problem within the party’s ranks. (National Post)

Bureaucrats working under Harper and Trudeau rejected IBM’s advice to delay Phoenix

IBM Canada advised federal bureaucrats working for both the Harper government and the Trudeau government to delay the start date for the troubled federal payroll project known as Phoenix, advice bureaucrats working for both administrations could not accept, Global News has learned. (Global)

Ottawa sued for $195-million over Canadian visa services contract

The federal government is being sued for $195-million for cancelling an $867-million contract to manage Canadian visa application centres around the world, a dispute that ended up at the cabinet table. The re-tendered contract, now valued at $1-billion, was awarded last month to VF Worldwide Holdings, an Indian company that previously handled Canadian visa services for the government. (Globe and Mail)

Ontario's unofficial campaign begins: Liberals promise spending spree in pre-election deficit budget

Ontario’s Liberal finance minister took the unusual step Wednesday of quoting former U.S. vice-president Joe Biden in his economic blueprint. Show me your budget, Biden apparently said, “and I’ll tell you what you value.” By that standard, Liberal values have taken a dramatic turn in the last year, from a brief dedication to fiscal conservatism to favouring a spending spree that would guarantee deficits at least until the middle of the next decade. (National Post)

Malala Yousafzai returns to Pakistan for first time since shooting

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has returned to Pakistan for the first time since being shot by Taliban militants. Ms Yousafzai, now aged 20 and a vocal human rights activist, was shot in the head by a gunman for campaigning for female education in 2012. In an emotional speech at the prime minister's office, she said it had been her dream to return "without any fear". (BBC)

‘Roseanne’ Revival’s Huge Debut Stuns Hollywood, Prompts Soul-Searching

While nostalgia was expected to bring in eyeballs, no one predicted such a huge turnout on premiere night for the blue-collar family sitcom with a Donald Trump-supporting protagonist, especially among the younger demographic. But then, few predicted that Trump would become the Republican nominee and would win the presidential election when he first announced his candidacy. (Deadline)

Venezuela fire: 68 die in Carabobo police station cells

A fire at a police station in the Venezuelan city of Valencia, in Carabobo state, has left 68 people dead, government officials say. The blaze reportedly started after prisoners set fire to mattresses in an attempt to break out on Wednesday. Police used tear gas to disperse relatives who surrounded the station after news of the fire broke. (BBC)

Second Iranian Woman Sentenced to Prison for Protesting Mandatory Hijab

Maryam Shariatmadari, one of the “Girls of Revolution Street” protesting against mandatory hijab for women in Iran, was sentenced to a year in prison on March 25, 2018 by Branch 1091 of the Tehran Criminal Court for “encouraging corruption by removing her hijab,” her lawyer informed the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI). (IranHRW)

Iran: No Report On The Fate Of Young Gonabadi Dervish Protester, Kianoush Abbaszadeh

After 24 days, there are no reports of the whereabouts of Kianoush Abbaszadeh, a Dervish Gonabadi protester who was arrested in Tehran’s 7th Golestan St. When the prisoner’s relatives refer to the prison to visit Kianoush they were told that he was taken outside the prison three weeks ago and his name has not currently been in the list of inmates. (IranHRM)

Dramatic moment ‘ISIS’ sleeper cell is busted ‘while plotting Russian World Cup ATTACKS'

The clip shows the military service smashing through a glass door, before arresting several individuals. Other scenes shows documents and books recovered from the raid. The large “sleeper cell” was broken up by Vladimir Putin's security service in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. There was no immediate information on whether attacks were being planned for passenger flights or during the matches. (Daily Star)

Filipina ISIS member sentenced to ten years in prison

The Court of Appeal in Kuwait upheld the first instance verdict sentencing a Filipina 10 years for her affiliation with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (IS). The woman was charged with joining the terrorist group and referred to the Criminal Court to stand trial. (GDN)

Mother of Hostage Killed By ISIS: 'There Was No One Whose Job It Was to Help Us'

The mother of a journalist killed by ISIS in 2014 spoke out about the incident and the foundation created in his honor. Diane Foley's son James was kidnapped and ultimately murdered by ISIS militants in Syria. Martha MacCallum asked about a report that Mrs. Foley thought the attempts to free her son were an "annoyance to the U.S. government." (FOX)

Dramatic night-vision video captures US raid to kill ISIS fighters

Dramatic new video released by the US military on Tuesday reveals rare footage of American special operators and Afghan Special Security Forces conducting a nighttime raid targeting ISIS-affiliated fighters in Afghanistan — footage that the Pentagon said documents the latest in a string of successful operations against ISIS-Khorasan this month. (FOX)

Manhunt after driver tries to run over two groups of soldiers in southern France while yelling in Arabic, days after ISIS killer began rampage by shooting police officers from a car

French police are hunting for a driver who tried to run over troops outside an army base in southeast France. The unidentified driver first targeted a group of soldiers jogging by their barracks, at around 8am in Varces-Allieres-et-Risset, near Grenoble, threatening and insulting them in Arabic. (Daily Mail)

 

EDITORIAL AND OPINION PIECES

Candice Malcolm: Real women aren't fooled by Trudeau's fake feminism

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a proud feminist. He tells us over and over and over again. But Canadian women aren’t impressed. A recent Ipsos poll revealed that more women plan to vote for Conservatives than Liberals in the 2019 election. It’s a surprising revelation given how much Trudeau goes out of his way to cater to so-called women’s issues. In 2015, women made up 27% of elected Liberal Members of Parliament, and yet, Trudeau appointed 50% to his cabinet. His reason? “Because it’s 2015,” he said with a smirk. (Toronto Sun)

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)

Lorrie Goldstein: Nothing Wynne and Sousa say is believable

Premier Kathleen Wynne’s pre-election budget is a house of cards based on the absurd claims she can spend Ontario rich and that voters can be bought with their own money. That her government can be all things to all people by providing unlimited“free” public services. That this can be accomplished with no damage to the economy or taxpayers — including those who will pay higher taxes because of this budget. (Toronto Sun)

Christie Blatchford: Amanda Lindhout tells court of devastating toll of her kidnapping

In the time of #MeToo, with monikers like “Climate Barbie” and gender insensitivity deemed their own sort of violation, Lindhout is the personification of the real deal, unimaginable resilience in the face of unspeakable sexual violence. In a strong voice, with her long-time psychologist and torture expert Dr. Katherine Porterfield at her side, Lindhout described the ordeal that saw her and Brennan beaten, starved, degraded, chained and shackled and, in Lindhout’s case, rape used as a weapon. (National Post)

Licia Corbella: Hypocrisy, thy name is Jagmeet Singh

The Hamilton Centre MP was the lone New Democrat to vote in favour of a perfectly sensible, if not righteous, Conservative party motion that better clarified the dictatorial and controversial Canada Summer Jobs attestation that all applicants had to sign to qualify for program funding. The motion stated: “That . . . organizations that engage in non-political, non-activist work, such as feeding the homeless, helping refugees and giving kids an opportunity to go to camp, should be able to access Canada Summer Jobs funding regardless of their private convictions (about abortion) and regardless of whether or not they choose to sign the application attestation.” (Calgary Herald)

 

REPORTS, COMMITTEE HEARINGS, LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

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