True North Initiative: News Scan 06 16 17


Increase of asylum claims in Canada means wait times could hit over 11 years, cost $2.97B

A increase in asylum claims in Canada could eventually mean a staggering 11-year wait for a hearing and $2.97 billion in federal social supports for claimants in the meantime, an internal government analysis has concluded. The Immigration and Refugee Board is already trying to whittle down its current backlog, but received no new money in the latest federal budget. (Global) (Toronto Star) (Globe and Mail)

Immigration and Refugee Board can't keep up with asylum claims

An increase in asylum claims in Canada could eventually mean a staggering 11-year wait for a hearing and $2.97 billion in federal social supports for claimants in the meantime, an internal government analysis has concluded. The Immigration and Refugee Board is already trying to whittle down its current backlog, but received no new money in the latest federal budget. (CBC)

Dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism will no longer lose citizenship under new bill

A Liberal bill that would make it easier for people to become Canadian citizens has passed the Senate, after over a year of back-and-forth in Parliament. Bill C-6 was designed to repeal many of the previous Conservative government’s changes to how people become citizens – and how they can lose that status. Among other things, the legislation repeals a provision that strips dual citizens of their Canadian status if convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage. (Global) (Toronto Star)

Trudeau government has passed half the bills Harper did by this time in the mandate

The Liberal government is busy clearing the legislative decks before Parliament rises for the summer, trying to secure the smooth passage of its budget through the Senate despite some headwinds. But a review of the bills passed so far shows this government has been less legislatively ambitious than the one it replaced. (CBC)

Russia claims to have killed ISIS leader

Russia claimed Friday it killed the leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria group in an airstrike targeting a meeting of ISIS leaders just outside the group's de facto capital in Syria. The Russian Defence Ministry said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in late May along with other senior group commanders. (CBC) (BBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Liberals ready to make changes to House rules on omnibus bills, prorogation

The Liberal government is ready to move forward with several reforms to the rules of the House of Commons, with proposed changes covering prorogation and omnibus legislation. But it's still unclear whether they will have any opposition support. The changes won't include new rules to codify a prime minister's question period, but the Liberals are committing to continue the recent practice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking all questions each Wednesday. (CBC)

Heated exchange over legal rights as lawyers battle to have refugee claimant let out of jail

The relative fairness of monthly detention reviews for immigration detainees was called into question Thursday in a testy exchange between the lawyers for a West African man who has been in maximum-security jail without charge for nearly four-and-a-half years and an Immigration and Refugee Board member. Jared Will, who is representing Ebrahim Toure — a failed refugee claimant who has been behind bars since February 2013 because the government has been unable to deport him — objected to the fact that the government’s representative had not disclosed evidence cited to justify Toure’s continued detention. (Toronto Star)

Canada-U.S. preclearance bill finally moves ahead, but privacy concerns mount over Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’

After Canada’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday he’s “embarrassed” at the slow progress of a long-awaited border preclearance bill, a Commons committee has finally approved the law. But the federal privacy czar is raising concerns the bill won’t prevent “intrusive” violations at preclearance locations inside Canada, if President Donald Trump’s administration follows through on a reported plan to require the search of electronic devices at the border — part of his promise to introduce “extreme vetting.” (National Post)

Experts talk unity in the face of extremism

With recent worldwide terrorist attacks in mind, André Gagné, a theology professor at Concordia University who specializes in religion and violence, said the key to improving anti-radicalization and terrorism prevention strategies in Quebec is to include members of different religious communities in their implementation. Gagné also said we need to understand that Islamic extremism is not the only kind we see today in Canada. (Global)

Terrorism fears shouldn't block school trip to London, says Burnaby parent

A Burnaby parent took the school district to task this week for blocking a school trip to London, England because of concerns about terrorism. At a public meeting Monday, Alpha Secondary School parent Stuart Ramsey presented trustees with a PowerPoint presentation that combined terrorism and traffic-death statistics to show students were actually less safe in Canada than London. (Burnaby Now)

Canada watching developments, but not offering to help Qatar

More than a week into Qatar’s diplomatic brawl with its neighbouring Gulf countries, the Canadian government isn’t offering any assistance in mediation, but says it’s following the developments. On June 5, Gulf Cooperation Council members Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, along with Egypt, cut ties with Qatar, alleging that Qatar is responsible for causing regional unrest, for supporting and funding terrorism and for getting too close to Iran — all accusations that Qatar denies. (IPolitics)

The journey to become an American citizen is a unique path

A few days after the 9/11 terrorist attack, I received a letter from the Justice Department containing my notice to be sworn in as an American citizen. I was both ecstatic and a little anxious upon receiving the letter. I had been essentially living in the United States continuously since college and for the previous 7 years as a permanent resident under green card status. But as one born in Canada, I had yearned for the right to vote and fully engage as a citizen in this country. (NY Daily News)

Dutch judge rejects extension of terror suspect's detention

A Dutch investigating judge on Friday refused to prolong the detention of a radicalized man who is suspected by prosecutors of “possible involvement in making preparations for a terrorist crime.” The 29-year-old man, whose identity has not been released, was detained a week ago outside the PSV Eindhoven soccer stadium where thousands of fans were attending a pop concert by Dutch singer Guus Meeuwis. Police said the man was known to be radicalized, did not have a ticket for the concert and was making video recordings. (News 1130)

London fire: Queen and Prince William visit Grenfell Tower centre

The Queen and Prince William are visiting a relief centre helping victims of the Grenfell Tower fire. Their visit to the Westway Sports Centre comes after police say some of those killed in the fire at the west London flats may never be identified. The BBC understands that at present there could be as many as 76 people missing as a result of the blaze. (BBC)

Sadiq Khan confronted by young boy as he faces furious crowd demanding answers at Grenfell Tower scene

SADNESS gave way to fury last night as angry locals demanded to know how the devastating Grenfell Tower inferno was allowed to happen. London Mayor Sadiq Khan and TV’s Jon Snow were heckled during visits to the scene after it emerged that the fire’s rapid spread was “entirely avoidable”. (

NHS cyber-attack was 'launched from North Korea'

British security officials believe that hackers in North Korea were behind the cyber-attack that crippled parts of the NHS and other organisations around the world last month, the BBC has learned. Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) led the international investigation. (BBC)


Stopping short of a complete turnabout, President Donald Trump is expected to announce a revised Cuba policy aimed at stopping the flow of U.S. cash to the country's military and security services while maintaining diplomatic relations and allowing U.S. airlines and cruise ships to continue service to the island. (AP)



Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau like a ‘crazy cat lady’ when it comes to refugees

The aphorism about the road to hell being paved with good intentions is dramatically illustrated today by the Trudeau Liberals’ commitment to aggressive refugee settlement in Canada with no fiduciary forethought. The direct result is another screwing of taxpayers. According to a documents obtained by the Canadian Press through Access to Information, the flood of asylum claims – through legal refugee channels and queue-jumping at unmanned border crossings – could eventually create an 11-year wait for claimant processing and almost $3 billion in federal social support. (Toronto Sun)

Faith Goldy: Australia's solution to migrant crisis: "Stop the Boats"

While leaders like Justin Trudeau and Angela Merkel open up their borders to mass Muslim migration, Australia is enforcing their laws and keeping the country safe. (Rebel)

Richard Branson: Canadians need to come together to take our startup community forward

From my first steps as an entrepreneur, I have felt the only mission worth pursuing in business is to make people’s lives better. I have followed the general rule that frustration can be an enormous driver of change, if you are good at spotting the opportunities sitting at the centre of a problem. Whether it is the travel industry, health care, the entertainment or leisure sector, this strategy has always worked for me. (Globe and Mail)

Geoffrey Clarfield: The United Nations is losing staggering sums to corruption, mismanagement and bad decision-making

Let me take you on a short UN safari around the world, beginning and ending in Washington, D.C., to see just how effectively the United Nations spends our tax dollars. In 2009 in Washington, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the world was threatened by an H1N1 global flu pandemic. It recommended that almost everyone be vaccinated. Then, in 2010, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) published its evaluation of the WHO. It pointed out that the medical scientists who had advised the WHO to declare this pandemic were also paid consultants of the large international pharmaceutical companies, who stood to make hundreds of millions of dollars on this upsurge in the purchase of global vaccines. There was no subsequent UN financial investigation by the WHO to look into the BMJ’s initial findings. (National Post)

Robyn Urback: Having trouble reading regular news, ladies? Don't worry, the women's pages are back

For years, female members of the federal Liberal caucus produced a special policy book on social and economic issues affecting Canadian women and their families. There were three volumes presented between 2006 and 2009, each of which outlined proposals on topics such as child care, parental leave and income inequality. Despite sounding rather bland, these books were gauchely named The Pink Book, and stamped with a rose icon on every page, lest the reader forget whose Maybelline eyes should be scanning those pages. (CBC)

John Ivison: Liberals forced to swallow humble pie — again — on parliamentary rule changes

The great parliamentary reform uprising is over, and the government’s forces have been routed. Bardish Chagger introduced a package of rule changes for the House of Commons three months ago, with a misplaced sense of imperiousness. The measures unveiled by the Government House Leader included an end to Friday sittings; the introduction of electronic voting; limits on politically motivated prorogation; the creation of a Prime Minister’s Question Period; and the use of U.K.-style time allocation as an alternative to filibustering. (National Post)



-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met on Wednesday to study M-39, Immigration to Atlantic Canada and to meet with Immigration Consultants (Partly in Public)

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

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety met on Wednesday for committee business and to study Bill C-23, an Act respecting the preclearance of persons and goods in Canada and the USA (Partly in Public)

-       Standing Committee on National Defence met yesterday to study Canada’s involvement in NATO (In Camera)