True North Initiative: News Scan 06 30 17


Liberals extend Canada's 'advise and assist' mission in Iraq to March 2019

The federal government has ordered the military to stay in Iraq for at least two more years, as the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant prepares to enter a new phase. But despite a request from NATO for police trainers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there are "absolutely no plans" to send Canadian troops back into Afghanistan. "We have served there with distinction, with valour, over 10 years and made a significant impact," Trudeau said Thursday during an event in Charlottetown. "And Canada's looking to be helpful in other places." (National Observer) (Huffington Post) (CBC

NATO increasing troops in Afghanistan again, but Trudeau says Canadians won't be among them

Two years after winding down its military operation in Afghanistan, NATO has agreed to send more troops to help train and work alongside Afghan security forces. But Canadian trainers won't be among them, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Charlottetown on Thursday. "There are absolutely no plans to send any troops back to Afghanistan," he said. "We have served there with distinction, with valour, over 10 years and made a significant impact." (CBC)

Bracing for possible spike in asylum seekers crossing border over long weekend

After a dip in the number of people walking across the border last month, agencies working with refugees in Manitoba are bracing themselves for a possible surge over the Canada Day long weekend. In May, RCMP saw a significant decrease in the number of people intercepted after crossing the Canada-U.S. border. Police took 106 people into custody in the province last month, compared to 146 in April, 170 in March and 142 in February. (CBC)

Western Canada's immigration appeal system in crisis, lawyers say

A shortage of the adjudicators appointed to hear immigration appeals is causing the system to grind to a halt in western Canada, according to several immigration lawyers. The high number of vacant positions is related to the federal government’s backlog of appointments, caused in part by recent changes to the appointments process meant to increase transparency. (National Post)

Trump’s travel ban comes into effect today: What you need to know and what’s happened so far

After months of court challenges, Trump’s ban on travel from six Muslim-majority countries is going ahead – but only in part, and with lots of questions looming over it. Here’s what we know. (Globe and Mail) (BBC)

Oh Canada? More than 70% of Canada 150 swag made outside the country

The Canadian government is spending more than $2 million on swag to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, but more than 70 per cent of it was manufactured outside of Canada, CBC News has learned. Pins made in China. Ball caps from Bangladesh. Even the 6,200 Canada 150 hockey pucks bought by the Canadian Heritage department were made in the United States. (CBC)

Canadian military contractor targeted by hacker

A contracting company that does millions of dollars in business with Canada’s federal government and military agencies has been hacked, the Star has learned. Valcom Consulting confirmed Thursday morning that its website was recently defaced, and officials said they’re conducting an internal investigation into the incident. (Toronto Star)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Trump travel ban will impact Canadians, immigration lawyer warns

One of Halifax's busiest immigration lawyers says anyone from a country targeted by U.S. President Donald Trump's travel ban who is living legally in Canada shouldn't try to cross the American border right now. "I think your chances of getting into the United States are very very slim," says Lee Cohen. "And if one can avoid trying, one should avoid trying." (CBC)

University students largely spared from U.S. immigration ban

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision exempting students and faculty from an immigration ban will not put an end to uncertainty or the increased interest in Canadian universities as study-abroad destinations, experts say. On Monday, the Supreme Court overruled the injunction of a federal court and temporarily reinstated parts of a presidential executive order that barred the entry of people from six primarily Muslim countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. (Globe and Mail)

RCMP’s Bob Paulson sounds alarm on organized crime in exit interview

Canada’s top cop – a police commander known for his hard stand on terrorism investigations – is heading for the exit gates saying that organized crime is the biggest threat facing Canadians. While Bob Paulson, the exiting RCMP Commissioner, acknowledged the possibility of Islamic State-inspired attacks is now an ever-present reality in Canada, he said such national security risks are “significantly less” of a threat than organized crime. (Globe and Mail)

Community rallies for Guatemalan family facing deportation

The story of a Guatemalan family facing deportation from Edmonton has sparked a last-ditch community effort to keep them in Canada. The family of seven has two weeks left in the country. Deportation will separate the parents from their four youngest children, who were born in the United States. (CBC)

‘Canada is our own country,’ says Yazidi refugee as family adjusts to new life

It was just half a year ago that Jasim Mado and his wife Marjan were living in Turkey, having fled Iraq after Daesh attacked their hometown of Nineveh. They never would have dreamed the only violence they’d soon be hiding from would involve snowball fights with their grandchildren. (Toronto Star)

NDP asked to form next B.C. government after Liberal defeat

B.C.’s New Democrats will return to power at the legislature for the first time in 16 years, after toppling Premier Christy Clark’s Liberals Thursday and being asked by the lieutenant-governor to form the next government. NDP Leader John Horgan was summoned to Government House by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon and asked by the vice-regal representative to become the province’s 36th premier. That followed the Clark government’s defeat on a vote of confidence in the legislature and her subsequent resignation. (Vancouver Sun)

Liberal donor, ex-nomination candidate named to Via Rail board

A new government appointee to the Via Rail board has donated about $20,000 to the Liberal Party of Canada and its affiliates, including to his own campaign when he unsuccessfully ran for the federal Liberal nomination for a Quebec riding in 2014. (Hill Times)

Ottawa proposes new rules for resource companies

The Liberal government is proposing new rules that would require resource companies to consult with Ottawa and Indigenous communities on major projects well before the firms finalize their plans and apply for regulatory approval. (CBC)

Indigenous women call reporter ‘white lady,’ demand she leave press conference

A press conference with family members of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls devolved into shouts of “white lady,” “white man,” and demands for respect after a journalist asked whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is the person to blame for missing indigenous teens in Northern Ontario. (Global)

U.S., Hardening Line on China, Approves $1 Billion Arms Sale to Taiwan

The State Department approved on Thursday selling more than $1 billion in arms to Taiwan in yet another sign that the Trump administration is embracing a far more confrontational approach with China. Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman, underscored that the military sales have no effect on the United States’ “One China” policy, which President Trump suggested in December may be under review. Mr. Trump later affirmed to Chinese President Xi Jinping that he would honor the decades-old policy, under which the United States recognized a single Chinese government in Beijing and severed its diplomatic ties with Taiwan (NY Times)

China builds new military facilities on South China Sea islands: think tank

China has built new military facilities on islands in the South China Sea, a U.S. think tank reported on Thursday, a move that could raise tensions with Washington, which has accused Beijing of militarizing the vital waterway. The Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of Washington's Center for Strategic and International Studies, said new satellite images show missile shelters and radar and communications facilities being built on the Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs in the Spratly Islands. (Reuters)

Trump approves an oil pipeline to Mexico ‘that’ll go right under the wall’

U.S. President Donald Trump wants to build that wall, and then he wants to dig a pipeline right under it. Trump said in a speech at the Department of Energy that his administration has approved construction of a new oil pipeline to Mexico. The announcement Thursday came as part of a broader unveiling of White House plans to expand oil drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans to push for U.S. “energy dominance” in the global market. (Toronto Star)

Their fortunes enmeshed, Trump and Putin to hold first meeting next week

U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week at a summit in Germany that brings two world leaders whose political fortunes have become intertwined face-to-face for the first time. Both the Kremlin and the White House announced on Thursday that the pair will meet on the sidelines of the July 7-8 summit of G20 nations in Hamburg. (Reuters)

How ISIS tortured prisoners in Mosul

A former prisoner from Mosul's Old City told the BBC's Orla Guerin and cameraman Nicolas Hameon how IS tortured captives. (BBC)

House passes Kate’s Law, as part of illegal immigrant crackdown

House Republicans took action Thursday to crack down on illegal immigrants and the cities that shelter them. One bill passed by the House would deny federal grants to sanctuary cities and another, Kate’s Law, would increase the penalties for deported aliens who try to return to the United States. (FOX News)

Islamic State Is Near Defeat in Iraq, Prime Minister Says

Iraqi and U.S. officials said Islamic State is on the cusp of defeat in Mosul and close to being driven out of Iraq, after the country’s military seized a mosque in the city where the extremist group’s leader first proclaimed a caliphate. “We are seeing the end of the fake Daesh state,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Twitter, using another name for Islamic State. “The liberation of Mosul proves that. We will not relent,” he added. (WSJ)



Anthony Furey: You know who should be our next governor general? Justin Trudeau

There’s something of a crisis brewing in political circles. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s end of season press conference, where he blamed the opposition parties for his missteps, has been criticized from all corners. Sunny ways is being widely condemned as a sham by those keen on public policy issues. (Toronto Sun)

Farzana Hassan: Let's celebrate how Canadians now take pride in not being racist

During the days of slavery in the American south, then pre-Confederation Canada became a refuge for slaves escaping the barbarism of that institution. Of course, we have become even more enlightened since then and remain far ahead of the U.S. in race relations. Back then Canada was still a racially segregated society. There were forced schools for native children, now known as the indigenous peoples of Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew Coyne: Trudeau's petulant, tone-deaf performance a remarkable milestone

Until this week I don’t think any of us quite fathomed just how cynical Justin Trudeau could be. That he had broken several important election promises was well known; that his government was every bit as controlling, and as programmed, as its predecessor was every week becoming more apparent. (National Post)

Michael Coren: The US “startup visa” is a win for both Republicans and Democrats. It will probably die anyway

The future does not look bright for the so-called startup visa. In normal times, the immigration measure would be a win for both political parties. Republicans would claim the mantle of job creators. Democrats would notch a victory for welcoming the best and brightest to the US. These are not normal times. (Quartz)

Tamara Khandaker: Canada’s anti-radicalization centre won’t actually be deradicalizing anyone

The federal government has officially launched a new centre to do “as much as humanly possible to prevent radicalization to violence before tragedy strikes,” but some critics worry the money won’t go to organizations doing the real, ground-level work of deradicalizing young people. A year and a half after taking office, the Liberal government has finally come through on its commitment to start up a centre tasked with countering radicalization. The centre has already funded ten projects, and is in the process of trying to find more worthwhile research and outreach programs. (VICE)



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