True North Initiative: News Scan 09 07 17


Quebec's Antifa movement on rise in response to growth of far-right groups

Cora Le Moyne left the Quebec City counter-demonstration against the far right last month feeling energized by what she thought had been a successful protest. There were close to a thousand people from all walks of life, protesting against xenophobic and anti-immigration rhetoric. They sang, danced and chanted anti-racist slogans. Then on the road back home to Montreal, a photo popped up on her phone, and her heart sank. (CBC)

Canadian jihadi Farah Mohamed Shirdon killed in Iraq airstrike in 2015: U.S. military

The U.S. military says a high-profile Canadian in the so-called Islamic State was killed in a coalition airstrike in Iraq more than two years ago, marking the first official report of his death. The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees U.S. military operations in Syria and Iraq, told Global News that Farah Mohamed Shirdon was killed in the city of Mosul on July 13, 2015. (Global)

DACA repeal could spur 'jolt' of young people coming to Canada

U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to dismantle a program that protected hundreds of thousands of young people from deportation may prompt many of them to seek a new life in Canada, some immigration experts say. Repealing the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program will affect 800,000 young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children or whose families overstayed their visas. (CTV) (Our Windsor)

Canadian Immigration lawyers fear flow of misinformation as DACA ends

Immigration lawyers in Canada are warning about risks caused by the spread of misinformation as the Trump administration rolls back a U.S. government program that shielded illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors from deportation. U.S. President Donald Trump formally announced on Tuesday the end of an Obama-era program that protected almost a million young people brought illegally into the country by their parents and granted them renewable two-year work permits, which will now begin to expire in early 2018. (IPolitics)

Pablo Rodriguez, Liberal MP, Off To Los Angeles To Fight Misinformation About Canada's Immigration System

A Liberal MP is heading to Los Angeles this week for a pre-emptive strike against misinformation about Canada's immigration system circulating in the Spanish-language press that officials worry could inspire a new wave of asylum seekers. Central Americans have long been thought of as the next population primed to make the journey across the Canada-U.S. border due to major changes on the horizon in U.S. immigration policy. That includes the potential end of temporary protected status for nearly 350,000 Salvadorans and Hondurans, meaning all could face deportation to their home countries. (Huffington Post)

Ottawa Prepares for a Second Wave of Immigration

The wave of illegal immigrants from the United States, has surprised the canadian authorities, who have taken some time to respond. Ottawa has, therefore, taken initiatives to better prevent such situations, all the more that we are expecting a new wave of immigrants, this time coming from Honduras, el Salvador and Nicaragua. In front of the possibility that migrants from the Spanish-speaking community show up en masse to the border lines, this time the government is prepared accordingly. (Sherbrook Times)

RCMP should be split into federal, local agencies to fix staffing crunch, report says

A Sept. 7 essay published by the Macdonald-Laurier Institute says the RCMP's federally directed detectives who focus on top-tier criminals such as terrorists, mobsters and drug smugglers are becoming less important within the force than the RCMP officers who are loaned out for local law-enforcement duties to hundreds of communities that lack their own police services. (Globe and Mail)

Alleged Canadian Tire terror-attacker fit to stand trial, judge rules

The woman accused of assaulting and threatening employees with a knife at a Canadian Tire store in Scarborough in June is fit to face trial, an Ontario judge ruled Wednesday after reviewing the results of a psychiatric assessment. "I have no reasonable grounds to declare her unfit at this time," the judge told a Scarborough courtroom. A pre-trial hearing is set for Sept. 20. (CBC)

Finland to strip dual citizens convicted of terrorism of citizenship

The Finnish government will according to him review the anti-terrorism legislation and address any shortcomings in order to ensure security and law enforcement authorities have access to all the tools required to combat terrorism. “We’ll revise the nationality act to strip dual citizens who have committed terrorist offences of Finnish citizenship. We’ll make sure the police have the authority to use all necessary forcible measures to respond to serious acts of violence. We’ll criminalise efforts to facilitate illegal residence, including harbouring illegal immigrants, more clearly than before,” listed Terho. (Helsinki Times)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

'Dreamers' unlikely to rush to claim asylum in Canada, immigration experts say

Canadians shouldn’t expect another flood of asylum seekers to illegally cross the border in the wake of the Trump administration’s decision to scrap a program designed to protect young, undocumented immigrants in the United States, immigration experts say. The situation of the roughly 800,000 so-called Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, is very different from that of the Haitians and other asylum seekers who’ve been coming to Canada in large numbers via irregular border crossings, said Ottawa immigration lawyer Ronalee Carey. (National Post)

In Canada, an Immigration Minister Who Himself Is a Refugee

He arrived in Toronto, an exhausted 16-year-old, carrying nothing but a small gym bag packed with a change of clothes. As a Somali, he applied for asylum and was jettisoned into adulthood. He registered for high school, learned to cook and landed his first job all on his own. Over the next 25 years, he put himself through college and law school, worked his way up from pouring coffee to advising one of the country’s most powerful leaders and was elected the first Somali-Canadian member of Parliament. (NY Times)

Immigration Canada reopens Manitoba family’s application for permanent residency

Following a Global News investigation looking into problems with Canada’s immigration system, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has reopened the case of Jon and Karissa Warkentin – a family from Waterhen, Manitoba – whose application for permanent residency was denied because their six-year-old daughter, Karalynn, has developmental delay. (Global)

Ontario University offers $60,000 scholarship to students affected by Trump's DACA decision

Huron University College is offering $60,000 scholarships to students affected by President Donald Trump's decision to rescind a controversial immigration policy. But it might not be an easy path to Canada, according to an immigration lawyer. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program allowed undocumented minor immigrants to receive work permits and avoid deportation in the U.S. (CBC)

University of Alberta says it has more international students than ever, and the ‘Trump factor’ could yet bring more applications

His policies have seen thousands of people flee the U.S. and seek refuge in Canada. And now, the University of Alberta (U of A) believes U.S. President Donald Trump’s approach to politics could result in even more applications from foreign students as the post-secondary institution’s number of international undergraduate students already sits at a record high. (Global)

At caucus retreat Tories position themselves as defenders of small business

As campuses across Canada host a bit of fun before the start of the school year, Conservatives are having their own version of frosh week — a two-day caucus retreat in Winnipeg. And as any first-year student will tell you, orientation week is about making friends. Thursday and Friday's meetings in Winnipeg are as much an opportunity for caucus members to rally together before the fall session as they are a platform to reintroduce to Canadians the party's leader, Andrew Scheer, and his proposed government in waiting. (CBC)

Trudeau defends small business tax changes as doctors complain of negative impact

Justin Trudeau got a small taste of the kind of grief his backbenchers have been getting over the government's plan to end what it calls unfair tax advantages for wealthy small business owners. During a townhall meeting Wednesday night, the prime minister was lectured by two female doctors about the negative impact they contended the proposals will have on hard-working middle class Canadians. (CP) (CBC)

Canada to decide on potential free trade agreement with China this fall, with Asia seen as counterpoint to NAFTA renegotiation

While all eyes are on NAFTA, Canada is trying to move quickly on trade in the Asia-Pacific, with decisions on a China free trade agreement and an updated TPP coming this fall. Diversifying trade with market access in Asia would offer major opportunities to Canadian business, say experts, and send a signal to the United States that while the North American Free Trade Agreement is important, Canadian exports can go elsewhere. (National Post)

Canada faults Myanmar government for failing to end violence against Rohingya Muslims

Canada is blaming Aung San Suu Kyi's government and Myanmar's military for failing to stop violence that has forced more than 120,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to Bangladesh in less than two weeks. Parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Omar Alghabra said the Liberal government has asked Ms. Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and honorary Canadian citizen, to find a way to stop the violence and to work with international partners to achieve peace. The Rohingya Muslims live in Rakhine state and suffer from serious restrictions on their basic rights. (Globe and Mail)

Russia to probe Canada for saving 31 gay men from Chechnya

A Russian official has confirmed that they will be looking into reports that Canada aided 31 gay men fleeing from Chechnya. Over the weekend it was reported that the North American country have given asylum to 22 gay refugees in Chechnya over the past three months, helping them to escape the anti-gay purge that took place in the Russian republic. (Gay Times) (Pink News)

Mark Zuckerberg hosts DACA immigrants at his house, urges Congress to pass law protecting them

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted three DACA immigrants at his Silicon Valley home Wednesday, live-streaming their personal stories and pressing Congress to pass a law that protects them -- and 800,000 others -- from possible deportation. The discussion, watched by more than 1.1 million people on Zuckerberg's own Facebook page, comes one day after President Trump's decision to rescind the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, in six months. (CNBC)

EU court says Eastern European nations cannot refuse to take asylum-seekers

The European Union's top court roundly dismissed complaints on Wednesday by Slovakia and Hungary about EU migration policy, upholding Brussels' right to force member states to take in asylum seekers. In the latest twist to a divisive dispute that broke out two years ago when over a million migrants poured across the Mediterranean, the European Court of Justice found that the EU was entitled to order national governments to take in quotas of mainly Syrian refugees relocated from Italy and Greece. (CBC)

At least 10 dead, French St. Martin '95% destroyed' as Hurricane Irma tears through Caribbean

Hurricane Irma has killed at least 10 people and injured dozens of others in the Caribbean as the dangerous Category 5 storm roared over the region early Thursday. France's Interior Minister, Gerard Collomb, told Franc Info that eight people died and another 23 were injured in the French Caribbean island territories of St. Martin and St. Barthelemy. That number is expected to rise. (CBC)

With Irma’s damage done, storm-ravaged Caribbean islands now brace for Hurricane Jose

Hurricane Irma may have left a trail of destruction in the Caribbean, but islands that were ravaged by the “once-in-a-generation” event are now bracing themselves for another system that could hit them with storm-force winds on Friday. (Global)

China supports UN action on North Korea, also pushes for dialogue

China supports further United Nations action in response to North Korea’s latest nuclear test but also wants to see renewed efforts to begin dialogue involving all sides, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday. China hopes North Korea will “see the situation clearly and come to the right judgment and choice,” Wang said. (Global)

North Korea crisis: US seeks Kim Jong-un asset freeze

The US has proposed a range of new United Nations sanctions against North Korea, including an oil ban and a freeze on leader Kim Jong-un's assets. The draft resolution circulated to the Security Council members comes after North Korea's sixth nuclear test and repeated missile launches. (BBC)

Korea Nuclear Test Furthers EMP Bomb

North Korea for the first time this week revealed plans for using its nuclear arms for space-based electronics-disrupting EMP attacks, in addition to direct warhead ground blasts. The official communist party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, published a report Monday on "the EMP might of nuclear weapons," outlining an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack produced by detonating a nuclear warhead in space. (Free Beacon)

Iranian Spy Service Threatening, Blackmailing Global Media Outlets

Iran's clandestine spy network has been threatening and blackmailing scores of journalists, even going so far as to detain and threaten the family members of these reporters, in order to ensure positive coverage in global media outlets, according to a new report that estimates at least 50 international journalists have been threatened in just the past year. (Free Beacon)

Student who mocked Isis in Facebook post is investigated for Islamophobia

A student who mocked Isis on Facebook is being investigated over claims his post put "minority students at risk and in a state of panic and fear." Robbie Travers, a 21-year-old third-year law student, is being probed by the University of Edinburgh over claims he committed a "hate crime," even though no criminal investigation by the police has taken place. (

ISIS Urges Supporters To Poison Food At US Grocery Stores

In recent days, channels associated with the terrorist army have posted calls for attacks on Europe, Russia and the United States to mark the occasion of the Islamic "Sacrifice Feast" Eid al Adha. In the third part of an English-language series on jihad, IS advised would-be attackers to inject food for sale in markets with cyanide poison. According to Spiesa, the organization has tested these methods on prisons, causing horrifically painful deaths. (Zero Hedge)




Candice Malcolm: Stupid things Trudeau says

It turns out budgets don’t balance themselves, and Justin Trudeau is learning this the hard way. Back in 2015, when he was leader of the third-place party, Trudeau explained his vision for the Canadian economy. “The commitment needs to be a commitment to grow the economy and the budget will balance itself,” he explained. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: Leave DACA out of Canadian politics

The news about changes to the “Dreamers” program south of the border is a distinctly American public policy issue. But that hasn’t stopped one politician north of the border from trying to give the story a needless Canadian twist. Independent Senator Ratna Omidvar appeared on a widely shared CBC News Network segment Tuesday evening to recommend Canada welcome 30,000 to 40,000 of the illegal immigrants in the U.S. currently participating in the DACA program. (Toronto Sun)

Guidy Mamann: Canada needs a DACA program

Should Canada take in some of the young people in the U.S. who are now in jeopardy because of Donald Trump’s decision to cancel the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)? Who are the DACAs? (Toronto Sun)

John Robson: Yes, attacking North Korea is risky, but so is not attacking it

Now is it time to attack North Korea, which just tested an alleged hydrogen bomb and is working ostentatiously on missiles able to hit North America? The answer may be “No.” But if so, as people are fond of noting about answering “Yes,” it may have disastrous consequences. (National Post)

Ian MacDonald: Trudeau's going to pay a heavy price for tax reform

It’s one thing to spend down political capital. All governments do it, sooner or later. It’s quite another thing to squander it. And that’s exactly what the Liberals are doing in the name of closing tax loopholes for incorporated professionals and small businesses, including family farms. The Finance Department sparked a wave of anger with a discussion paper in mid-July about a proposal to end “income sprinkling” to family members, passive investment in stocks and real estate, and converting income into capital gains. “We’re consulting about closing unfair loopholes,” Finance Minister Bill Morneau tweeted last week. (IPolitics)

John Ivison: Trudeau appears immune to political pathogens — but only so far

If Andrew Scheer didn’t expect much of a reaction to his Conservative leadership victory, he will not have been disappointed. These Liberals have never been more popular. At the halfway mark of the government’s mandate, a new poll by Abacus Data of voting intentions suggests Justin Trudeau’s party has a 12-point lead. (National Post)

Senator Ratna Omidvar: Canada must dare to help the ‘DREAMers’

In February, Irene Bloemraad and I wrote a piece for The Globe and Mail concerning the role Canada should play if the Trump administration opted to forcibly deport its undocumented population from the United States. At the time, the piece was met with relative silence. Many understood the grim dynamic between these migrants and the state, but few could imagine protections being stripped from hundreds of thousands of people, let alone how Canada could respond to such a prospect. (Globe and Mail)



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