True North Initiative: News Scan 06 09 17


B.C. man’s trial for terrorism-related charges begins

The trial of a B.C. man alleged to have published support for the Islamic State terrorist group online opened on Thursday with an RCMP officer analyzing a series of Facebook posts, including one involving an attack on Parliament three years ago. Othman Hamdan was arrested in July, 2015, in the northeastern B.C. community of Fort St. John. He faces three charges of counselling the commission of indictable offences for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with, a terrorist organization. He is also charged with directly or indirectly instructing persons to carry out terrorist activities. (Globe and Mail)

B.C. man facing terror charges cheered 2014 Quebec, Ottawa attacks

A British Columbia man accused of posting terrorist propaganda online mourned two attackers who were shot dead by police after killing Canadian soldiers in 2014, an expert witness for the Crown has testified. A trial for Othman Hamdan of Fort St. John has begun in B.C. Supreme Court with RCMP Const. Tarek Mokdad, an expert in Islamist-inspired terrorism and so-called "lone wolf" attacks, describing several posts on the man's Facebook page (CBC)

Canada's military will soon be able to disrupt ISIS: defence minister

A day after releasing his sweeping new policy for the future of the nation’s military, the federal defence minister says the new cyber team for the Canadian Armed Forces will be able to disrupt terror organizations like ISIS. As the military looks to expand its role, the new defence policy from the government is giving the Armed Forces the power to engage in cyber attacks, and hire a team of new cyber operators. (News 1130)

Trump’s NAFTA plans stall Canadian private market investment: report

The heated rhetoric on international trade by U.S. President Donald Trump could already be having an adverse impact on the Canadian economy, according to new data which shows private financial market investment stalled in the first four months of 2017. Following a record 2016 of $2.11 billion in venture capital investment in Canada, a new report by research firm Pitchbook shows only $490 million was invested to the end of April this year. (Global)

ISIS-supporting news agency tells Muslims to avoid 'gathering places of the Crusaders' as fanatics plan to 'explode, run over people and cut their necks any time'

A pro-ISIS news agency has told followers to stay away from the 'gathering places of the Crusaders' as it warns that 'thousands of lonely lions' are prepared to slaughter civilians at any time. In a statement published by Nashir News Agency, people in America, Russia, France, Britain, Canada, Belgium, Australia - and those 'outside the Caliphate' - are warned of 'almost daily blessed attacks' by Islamic State fighters. (Daily Mail)

Theresa May to seek to form UK government

Theresa May will visit Buckingham Palace at 12:30 BST to seek permission to form a new UK government, despite losing her Commons majority. She is seeking to stay in office on the understanding that the Democratic Unionists of Northern Ireland will support her minority administration. With one seat left to declare, the Tories are eight seats short of the 326 figure needed to command a majority. (BBC) (Yahoo)

Iran's Khamenei says attacks to increase hatred toward U.S., Saudi: TV

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Friday attacks in Tehran by Islamic State that killed at least 17 people will increase hatred toward the United States and Saudi Arabia, state TV reported. Suicide bombers and gunmen attacked the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini's mausoleum in Tehran on Wednesday. Scores of people were wounded. (Reuters) (FOX News)

Two U.S. Citizens Arrested for Ties to Hezbollah

Two naturalized U.S. citizens have been arrested on charges related to activities on behalf of Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization based in Lebanon. Ali Kourani, 32, of the Bronx, N.Y. and Samer el Debek, 37, of Dearborn, Mich. were arrested on June 1, according to a Justice Department press release sent out Thursday. (Free Beacon)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

'Appalling' shortage of immigration appeal judges means long delays for justice, Calgary lawyers warn

Calling it a "crisis," Calgary lawyers are warning an extreme shortage of judges to deal with immigration appeals in western Canada will make already lengthy waits for family re-unification unacceptably long. The Immigration Appeal Division — a tribunal that hears rejected family-class immigration cases — is experiencing a dramatic reduction in board members. (Yahoo)

Canada an increasingly desired destination for international business students

New data on potential applicants to global business schools, released recently by the U.S.-based Graduate Management Admission Council, show that between 2009 and 2016 Canada muscled its way onto a top-five list of international study destinations. The United States and Britain typically are preferred choices, but last year Canada moved into second place (from fifth in 2009) as a destination for prospective MBA students from Africa. (Globe and Mail)

Ontario child killer denied full parole for refusing to take responsibility for her actions

The two-member panel also noted Chaudhary, who faces deportation, had requested a transfer to another halfway house on pretense of wanting to be closer to her family when in fact she sought to distance herself from a parole officer who was challenging her immigration case. (National Post)

How would Scheer handle Trump? Lean on private industry, says Conservative leader

The new federal Conservative leader kicked off the 2019 campaign at a park just outside of Ilderton, Ont. on Thursday. Around 700 people came out to shake the hand of Andrew Scheer and listen to a fifteen minute speech pitching himself as the way forward.  "Conservatives will take our cues from the legion halls, from the small businesses, from the mini-vans to the parks," Scheer told the crowd, adding that Liberals will stick to the "cocktail circuit." (CBC)

Critics oppose Liberals' handling of Chinese investor's Norsat takeover

Critics slammed the Liberal government on Thursday for giving what they called a serious lack of scrutiny to a Chinese investor’s takeover of a Vancouver high-tech firm even though Canada and its allies depend on the company’s communications technology. (Globe and Mail)

NATO's secretary general hoping to see more of Canada following defence plan

The head of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization says he is expecting Canada to increase its presence on missions now that the Liberal government is promising to spend more on soldiers, ships and fighter jets. "We are not able to tell exactly today what kind of missions and operations we will have in five to 10 years, but now we need more Canadian presence in Europe," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Chris Hall, host of CBC Radio's The House. (CBC)

Canada needs stronger protections from foreign elections influence: senators

The Liberal government should toughen up Canada's election law to better protect the voting process from foreign influence -- and money -- in time for the 2019 campaign, senators argue in a new report. "The (Canada Elections Act) does not sufficiently protect Canadian elections from improper foreign interference," said a report released Thursday by the Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs. (CTV)

Comey says he was fired because of Russia investigation

Former FBI Director James Comey asserted Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump fired him to interfere with his investigation of Russia's role in the 2016 election and its ties to the Trump campaign. "It's my judgment that I was fired because of the Russia investigation," Comey told the Senate intelligence committee in explosive testimony that threatened to undermine Trump's presidency. (CTV)

Comey says he leaked Trump conversations because he couldn’t trust president to tell the truth

Former FBI director James Comey said in dramatic testimony Thursday he could not trust President Trump to tell the truth, leading him to take extraordinary steps to document their private conversations, and to make public the details to spur the appointment of a special counsel to probe the administration over possible links to Russia (National Post)

N. Korea says launch tested 'new type' of cruise missile

Pyongyang on Friday hailed the successful test of a new type of surface-to-ship cruise missile, which it said was designed to hit "any enemy group of battleships" that threatened North Korea. The launch Thursday -- the North's fifth weapons test in a month -- was overseen by leader Kim Jong-Un, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported, and came less than a week after the United Nations tightened sanctions against the Stalinist regime. (Yahoo)

Hung Parliament: Q&A guide to what happens when no-one wins the election

The general election has ended in a hung Parliament, where no party has the 326 seats needed to get an overall majority in the House of Commons. So what happens now? (BBC)

Call for Theresa May to step down as early election gamble backfires for U.K. Conservatives

Despite a shock election result that robbed her party of its parliamentary majority, British Prime Minister Theresa May will ignore calls for her resignation and seek to form a new government on Friday. A spokesman for Downing Street confirmed that May plans to visit Buckingham Palace to seek permission from Queen Elizabeth II to put together a new government. (National Post)



Michelle Malkin: YouTube banned me, but not the hate imams

One of the many maddening takeaways from the London Bridge jihad attack is this: If you post videos on YouTube radicalizing Muslim viewers to kill innocent people, YouTube will leave you alone. But if you post a video on YouTube honouring innocent people murdered by barbaric jihadists, your video will get banned. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Tax Freedom Day ... this year, one day later

This year Canadians are working just a little bit longer to pay off their taxes. Tax Freedom Day falls day later than it did in 2016. The national tax burden has gone up, according to the Fraser Institute. (Toronto Sun)

Don Martin: MPs avoid questioning foreign policy that’s sure to be a winner with voters

The Liberals rolled out their redefinition and rearming of Canada on the world stage this week. It’s a major revamp, a line of political demarcation in the life of this Liberal government. But you’d never know it from Question Period in the Commons. (CTV)

John Ivison: New Liberal plan to grow the Forces gets parliamentary reality check

Things don’t just happen because politicians are keen on them. As Yes, Minister’s Sir Humphrey Appelby noted: “Neville Chamberlain was keen on peace.” The Trudeau government is, all of a sudden, ardent in its enthusiasm for rebuilding the military — growing the regular force and spending billions on equipment purchases and new investments. (National Post)

Kelly McParland: Freeland’s fighting words are at odds with all of the Liberals’ military practices in the past generation

One of the great things about Canadian Liberalism is that you can have it all. You can shift to the left or pivot to the right as the public mood varies, ignoring any principles that might get compromised in the process. You can sign an international climate accord in Kyoto but do nothing to enforce it, then sign a second accord in Paris that carries no enforcement mechanism and insist that this time you really mean it. You can pledge to welcome 25,000 Syrians, miss the target, let private sponsors fill the gap and then proudly proclaim victory. You can run up deficits in the name of fairness, all the while ignoring the unfairness of saddling future generations with the costs. You can make and break promises with abandon: electoral reform, a balanced budget, better relations with the provinces? It’s been 30 years, and we’re still waiting for a Liberal government to keep its promise to repeal the GST. (National Post)

Gordon Clark: Richmond’s regrettable return to Chinese signs issue

The best thing one can say about the Chinese sign controversy in Richmond, which sprung up again this week, is that at least the city’s mayor has the right take on the issue. Malcolm Brodie said he was surprised that Richmond council wanted to explore again the issue of restricting Chinese business signs, having considered and rejected the notion twice, in 2013 and 2015, according to a CBC report. (The Province)

Farzana Hassan: Terrorism and the civil liberties dilemma

The suspects in the latest terror attacks that killed eight and wounded 48 in London last Saturday were no strangers to British authorities. They were known to be ISIS sympathizers. Many of their alleged accomplices, including some women, have been taken into custody. But all of this has come too late. (Toronto Sun)



-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met on Wednesday to study M-39, Immigration to Atlantic Canada (Public)  

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs met yesterday to study Canada’s Development Finance Initiative (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety met on Wednesday to study Bill S-233, An Act to amend the Customs Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Public)

-       Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to study Canada and the Defence of North America (In Camera)