True North Initiative: News Scan 08 17 17


Refugee claimants found in possession of child porn at Quebec border

Multiple refugee claimants have been found in possession of child pornography at or near the Quebec border crossing where an influx of hundreds of asylum seekers crossing from New York state has led the Canadian government to set up a border camp, Global News has learned. In a memorandum to officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency this week, acting CBSA assistant director Daniel St-Arnaud outlines a set of guidelines for officers at and near the St-Bernard-de-Lacolle crossing to deal with the illicit material. The guidelines will “come into effect immediately” and remain until national guidelines are put in place. (Global)

Quebec calls on federal government to offer asylum seekers temporary housing

Quebec Minister of Immigration Kathleen Weil is calling on the federal government to be more present at the Canada-U.S. border where the province is struggling to process an influx of asylum seekers. Weil is asking for a federally-run temporary residence for asylum seekers as well as an acceleration to work permit processing times. (CBC)

Criminal Somali Migrants Fleeing North amid Immigration Crackdown, Says Canadian Intel

In an intelligence report by the Canada Border Services Agency, officials said Somali migrants who are eligible for deportation in the U.S. are leaving Minneapolis, as they believe they have a better chance at amnesty in Canada. “Somali nationals with criminal records in the U.S. may be attempting to evade justice by claiming refugee protection in Canada,” the report stated. (Breitbart)

Tearful reunion as Yazidi boy arrives in Winnipeg

There were tears, hugs, smiles and songs at the Winnipeg airport early Thursday morning as friends and family witnessed the reunion of a Yazidi refugee mother and her 12-year-old son. Nofa Zaghla wept as she met her son privately behind airport security before appearing before dozens of supporters and reporters in the arrivals area. (CBC)

Immigration tribunal to audit long-term detention practices

The Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) will conduct what it calls an independent audit of the long-term detention of non-citizens, after two court rulings in the past three weeks found detainees may be denied basic fairness. The audit, to be completed this fall on a sample of cases from closed files, comes after Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Morgan likened a refugee claimant’s treatment at the hands of adjudicators to that of Joseph K in Franz Kafka’s novel The Trial. The claimant was detained off and on for 17 months in a maximum-security provincial jail, even though he had done nothing wrong, the judge said in a ruling on Monday. (Globe and Mail)

Saudi Arabia defends use of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against civilians

The Saudi Arabian government is defending the recent deployment of Canadian-made armoured vehicles against residents of the kingdom’s Eastern Province, saying security forces found it necessary to use “military equipment” to fight terrorists who threatened the safety of its population. Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland recently launched an investigation into this Saudi conflict, which escalated in late July, saying she was “deeply concerned” over videos and photos showing Canadian-made Terradyne Gurkha armoured vehicles taking part in a clash in al-Qatif, a predominately Shia region of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia. (Globe and Mail)

Social media training and community support are keys to terrorist-attack response, report says

As the nature and threat of terrorist attacks evolve, emergency response teams must be able to evolve as well, and adapt their response protocols to the shifting nature of terrorism and communication. That’s the message from the Conference Board of Canada, who released a report that outlines six major recommendations to Canadian emergency responders when it comes to terrorist attacks. (Metro)

NAFTA: Early indications suggest autos will emerge as U.S. priority No. 1

Early indications are pointing to a potential No. 1 priority for the U.S. in a renegotiated NAFTA: automobiles. It’s the specific issue that was mentioned first, at greatest length, and in most detail by Donald Trump’s trade czar as talks got underway Wednesday. Robert Lighthizer pointed to the carnage in the manufacturing sector as the reason so many Americans view NAFTA as a failed agreement. (Financial Post)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

Far-right extremist groups on the rise in Canada, expert says

Last weekend’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., has thrust America’s racism, violence and toxic political climate into the global spotlight. But experts warn that right-wing extremist views are also on the rise in Canada, and should not be ignored. “The far right is becoming very bold in Canada as well and we’ve seen that in the run-up to the last (federal) election and right after that as well,” Barbara Perry, a global crime expert at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday. (CTV)

Anti-racist group says it identified 2 Canadians at Charlottesville rally

An anti-racist group says it has identified two Canadians who marched alongside white nationalists at a deadly weekend rally in Virginia. “The goal is simple,” Anti-Pegida Quebec said in a statement. “Nazi behaviour must not be accepted, tolerated or excused… (T)hese people from Montreal crossed borders to commit hateful and violent acts, it’s a crime!” (CTV)

Andrew Scheer's free speech pledge wouldn't apply in Toronto case: spokesman

A pledge by Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer to yank federal funding from universities that fail to uphold free speech wouldn't apply to a decision by the University of Toronto to ban a nationalist rally from campus, his spokesman said Wednesday. "No," was Jake Enwright's answer when asked whether the university's move would risk its federal funding under a Scheer government. (CTV)

Justin Trudeau's top adviser has an unlikely friend in the Trump administration

As far as unlikely political friendships go, it’s not quite Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley or Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman. But the fact that Justin Trudeau’s top adviser Gerald Butts is apparently pals with Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon will surely raise a few eyebrows. The revelation was buried in a piece The New Yorker published Tuesday about Bannon’s influence on Trump. (National Post)

Three Canadian cities among most livable in the world in annual global ranking

Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary are in the top five liveable cities in the world, according to the annual The Global Liveability Report. The report, produced by the Economist Intelligence Unit, looked at the top 140 cities in the world ranked based on stability, health care, culture and environment, education and infrastructure. (Global)

How the Canadian navy plans to use its newest warship

Cmdr. Corey Gleason has an opportunity offered to only a handful of Canadians. He has been appointed captain of HMCS Harry DeWolf — a first-of-its kind warship under construction at the Halifax Shipyard and expected to begin sea trials late next year. (CBC)

U.S. man charged with spraying manure on patrol car near Canadian border

A man who says his livelihood in agriculture has been nearly ruined by people who entered the country illegally to work on local farms is facing charges he sprayed liquid manure on a marked U.S. Customs and Border Protection car after confronting an agent about immigration enforcement. Mark Johnson is due in court Thursday in North Hero to answer charges of assault and disorderly conduct from the Aug. 3 spraying at the edge of a farm field about 2 miles (3 kilometres) south of the Canadian border. (CTV)

Hundreds Of Asylum-Seekers Continue To Stream Into Quebec

The number of asylum-seekers fleeing the U.S. into Canada is surging this summer, with nearly 800 people illegally walking into Quebec in June alone. One of the most popular illegal border crossing areas is just west of Lake Champlain, along the rural Roxham Road just outside Champlain, New York.  This route began to see an uptick in traffic around the time of the presidential elections, spurred by fear of the Trump administration's attitude toward refugees. That flow of asylum-seekers has increased fairly steadily in recent months. (Maine Public)

West Van woman receives settlement and apology from RCMP after human trafficking acquittal

A West Vancouver woman who was charged and subsequently acquitted of human trafficking, and then went on to sue the RCMP, has reached a settlement and received an apology. In a letter dated Aug. 7, RCMP Supt. Sean Sullivan confirms the civil suit Ladha launched against the RCMP in 2015 alleging negligent investigation and defamation had been resolved via a "compensation agreement." (CBC)

Trump adviser Steve Bannon dubs white nationalists 'clowns'

The chief White House strategist Steve Bannon has attacked white nationalists as "clowns" as the fallout from violent protests in Charlottesville continues. Mr Bannon once headed the far-right Breitbart News, seen as both a major channel for nationalism and key in helping Donald Trump win election. But he told The American Prospect: "Ethno-nationalism - it's losers". (BBC)

Toronto university cancels 'free speech' event after Charlottesville

A Canadian university has cancelled an event on the "stifling of free speech", citing safety concerns following the violent protests in Charlottesville. Featuring controversial speaker Faith Goldy, the event was organised by a visiting Ryerson University tutor. But on Wednesday, the school cancelled the 22 August event because it said it could not guarantee public safety. (BBC)


Iran supreme leader mocks US over Charlottesville

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei joined the international criticism of race-related violence in the United States on Wednesday with a mocking tweet. "If US has any power, they better manage their country, tackle #WhiteSupremacy rather than meddle in nations' affairs. #Charlottesville," Khamenei's official Twitter feed posted. Khamenei's office was responding to the furore in the US over an attack in Charlottesville by a suspected Nazi sympathiser, who ploughed his car into anti-racism protesters, leaving one dead and 19 injured. (Yahoo)

Venezuela's Maduro makes surprise visit to Cuba

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro paid tribute to the late leftist icon Fidel Castro during a surprise visit to Cuba, state media reported Wednesday. The daily Granma said Maduro traveled Tuesday to Castro's tomb in Santiago de Cuba. (Yahoo)



Candice Malcolm: The alt-right? They’re alt-Reich

A so-called “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend ended in violence and tragedy. There were many groups in attendance — on the left and the right — and while both sides engaged in violence, the alt-right has blood on its hands. Amidst the chaos of protests and counter-protests, a white supremacist is accused of using an ISIS-style tactic, deliberately driving his car through a crowd of leftist activists. It was a terrorist attack that left one woman dead and 19 injured. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Big government makes us small citizens

The headlines come and go but the long-term challenges the Western world faces continue to fester, like worms in an apple, slowly entrenching their rot below the shiny surface. Governments continue to expand their mandates into previously unthought of domains. This creeping socialism creates a bloated state and looming debt crises, such as we’ve seen in Greece. (Toronto Sun)

Globe editorial: Time to fix our uniquely Canadian border mess

No, the number of people walking across the Canada-U.S. border at Roxham Road is not a refugee crisis. In a country of 36 million people, which accepts 300,000 immigrants a year, 3,000 asylum seekers – that’s how many are believed to have illegally crossed in the last few weeks – don’t meet the definition of crisis. Not yet. But the spike in illegal arrivals is revealing, once again, the multiple, long-standing dysfunctions of this country’s refugee-determination system. It is also laying bare the incoherence of the Liberal government’s response. (Globe and Mail)

Toronto Sun: Canadians wary of Trudeau’s mess

Ever since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted his version of our immigration policy to virtue signal how it differed from the Trump administration in the U.S., the predictable has happened. Illegal asylum seekers have been flooding across our border with the U.S., most frequently in Quebec. The numbers are spinning out of control, with Montreal’s Olympic Stadium and other facilities conscripted to provide emergency shelter, traditional refugee services having been overwhelmed. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Why I won't support the left’s Jew haters

Over the past few days I have been astounded by the appalling number of pundits who keep telling me that as a Jew, I have to side with the violent left, over the violent right, as a result of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s hard to imagine an idea more ignorant of history. As someone whose Catholic father-in-law was incarcerated in Mauthausen as a “politically incorrigible” enemy of the Third Reich, and whose Jewish father was smuggled out of Russia as a child during a pogrom, allow me to give these folks some advice. (Calgary Sun)



-       N/A