True North Initiative: News Scan 09 22 17


Other countries, security, refugees: Here's what Trudeau didn't talk about at the UN

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech to the United Nations general assembly Thursday focused largely on domestic issues, even including his finance minister’s proposed tax reforms, but didn’t get much into geopolitics. A heavy focus on his Liberal government’s handling of Indigenous issues was expected in this, Trudeau’s second speech to the UN’s New York plenary chamber in as many years. Trudeau went into detail explaining his government’s policy and Canada’s difficult history with Indigenous peoples. (National Post)

Trudeau tells UN of Canada's shame over Indigenous Peoples

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used a speech to the United Nations on Thursday to probe a source of national shame: the historic struggles of Canada’s Indigenous peoples. He spoke of forced migration and forced family separation in residential schools, which he said left a devastating legacy on reserves to this day. He said Canada came to exist without the consent and participation of the Indigenous populations who had lived there for millenniums. (Toronto Sun)

Cyber terrorism, job losses among feared side effects of technological change in Canada: Ipsos poll

The rapid pace of technological advancement is widely feared to hold severe ramifications for national security, the job market and the cohesiveness of Canada’s communities, according to a new Ipsos poll provided to Global News. The poll was conducted as part of Ipsos’ CanadaNext project, in which Canadians were asked to share their thoughts about how technology, businesses and communities will change in the next 10 years. (Global)

Justin Trudeau offers no comment on North Korea threats, says diplomacy may prevail

Justin Trudeau avoided being drawn into the tit-for-tat threats between the leaders of the U.S. and North Korea, pointing instead to signs that diplomacy might prevail in a nuclear standoff that has the countries trading insults. Canada’s prime minister said he spoke this week with the South Korean president about possible solutions to the standoff, notably by working with China. There were indeed signs Thursday of a bolstered Chinese role, via economic measures. (Global)

Sanctions alone won’t change North Korea’s behaviour, say experts

Economic sanctions against North Korea won’t be enough to stop it from expanding its nuclear strike capability, say international security experts. “I think a lot of people have the impression that we should be able to put on sanctions and instantaneously this is going to compel Kim Jong Un to rethink his life,” said Andrea Charron, director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba. (Global)

North Korea says Donald Trump will ‘pay dearly’ for his threats

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called President Donald Trump “deranged” and said in a statement carried by the state news agency that he will “pay dearly” for his threats. Kim said that Trump is “unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country.” He also described the president as “a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire.” “I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK,” said the statement carried by North’s official Korean Central News Agency in a dispatch issued from Pyongyang on Friday morning. (Global)

In defiance to US, Iran unveils latest missile during parade

Iran's Revolutionary Guard on Friday unveiled its latest ballistic missile capable of reaching much of the Middle East, including Israel, while the country's president vowed that Tehran would press ahead with its missile program in defiance of U.S. demands to the contrary. The unveiling came during a military parade in Tehran that commemorated the 1980s Iraq-Iran war. The move was a direct challenge to President Donald Trump, who in August signed a bill imposing mandatory penalties on those involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. (AP)

Not one of the 400 Brits who fought alongside ISIS charged with war crimes or deported

None of the 400 citizens returning here after fighting for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq have been charged with war crimes. Yet the Council of Europe’s legal affairs committee recently ruled membership of the terror group, also known as Daesh , is enough for prosecution at the Hague’s International Criminal Court. Labour Shadow Minister Liam Byrne  representing Britain, backed the decision. (Mirror)

Germany jails Syrian refugee over Canadian UN observer's abduction

A German court has convicted a Syrian refugee of being an accessory to a war crime against humanitarian operations over his participation in the 2013 kidnapping of a Canadian United Nations observer. The Stuttgart state court Wednesday sentenced the defendant, who has been identified only as Suliman Al-S. in line with German privacy rules, to 3½ years in prison. Prosecutors haven't identified the observer but the facts released correspond with those of the kidnapping of Canadian lawyer Carl Campeau, who was abducted from a Damascus suburb. He escaped after eight months. (CBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Dozens march through Shediac in support of refugee threatened by deportation

Roadblocks and construction weren't enough to discourage Amine Maazaoui's supporters from reaching MP Dominic LeBlanc's constituency office in Shediac on Thursday. Maazaoui has been holed up in the Shediac Bay Community Church for nearly two-and-a-half years. The 31-year-old faces deportation back to Tunisia if he leaves the confines of the building. “It's not life to be between four walls,” says Maazaoui. “I think now is the time for the government to go back and check my case and lift the deportation and give me my permanent residency.” (CTV) (CBC)

Would-be immigrants flood virtual job fair

People living abroad who are hoping to establish a foothold in Canada are getting an opportunity to hunt for work and connect with potential employers before they even arrive, thanks to a virtual job fair being held in Ottawa. Launched by the non-profit International Talent Acquisition Centre (In-TAC) with support from the federal government, the two-day fair allows Canadian citizens, permanent residents and foreigners with work permits to upload their resumés and chat online with representatives of 64 Canadian employers, large and small. (CBC)

Police investigate graffiti telling newcomers ‘go home’

Winnipeg police say they are investigating graffiti scrawled on a fence outside the home of Syrian refugees, telling them to go home. Officers tell CTV News the Major Crimes Unit and other units are investigating the messages, as well as possible threats against people living in the adjacent homes. (Winnipeg Sun)

Winnipeggers come forward to show Syrian refugees they’re welcome in Canada

Just two days after hateful words were written on the fence where six Syrian refugee families live, many Winnipeggers have come forward to offer words of kindness and offer a helping hand. Jill Carter hopped on a bus and then walked to the families house, just to knock on their door and hug them and tell them that they’re welcome in Canada. (Global)

New deadline established for competition to design navy's new warships

Defence companies and shipbuilders competing to design Canada's new fleet of warships have been given until Nov. 17 to submit their proposals. It's the third such deadline for the design competition, which is the most recent -- and arguably most politically sensitive -- phase in the entire $60-billion plan to build 15 warships. Participating firms were originally supposed to have submitted their designs for the new vessels in April, but that deadline was pushed back to June before disappearing entirely. (CTV)

Liberals paid headhunters $77K to help with botched appointment of a new languages czar

As part of the much-scrutinized process that led to Madeleine Meilleur being nominated as Canada’s official languages commissioner this spring, the federal government spent almost $77,000 on a headhunting firm, part of more than $2 million spent on “executive search” services this year alone. (National Post)

Canada sending bomb disposal experts to Iraq to train security forces

A handful of Canadian army combat engineers will soon be in Iraq to train local security forces in the finer points of detecting and defusing roadside bombs, the Liberal government announced Thursday. An advance team has already been sent to observe the kind of instruction being given under a NATO program that was announced at the Warsaw Summit in the summer of 2016, but only established in earlier this year. A media release by National Defence provided few specifics, saying only a dozen engineers would be involved in the new endeavour and that they would deploy "later this fall." (CBC)

Canadian tech industry sees increase from U.S.-based job applicants

Canada is used to worrying about the country’s brightest minds in tech leaving for Silicon Valley, but lately, the job applications have been heading north of the border instead. A July survey of Canadian high-growth firms conducted by Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District found 62 per cent of respondents have noticed a recent significant increase in job applications from the United States. MaRS sent the survey to 42 companies it believed would have exposure to such job-seekers; 18 companies reported an increase, 11 reported no relevant increase and 13 declined to respond. (Financial Post)

World Leaders Urge Big Tech to Police Terrorist Content

The establishment was challenging the disrupters: Get your algorithms to stop terrorists from using the internet. At an unusual session on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, leaders of one powerful government after another told the leaders of some of the most powerful internet companies to intensify their efforts to take down terrorist propaganda. Sometimes the government officials displayed naïveté about how technology works. Other times, they sidestepped the more difficult questions, like how to distinguish between free expression and incitement to violence. They ignored the impassioned debates over what constitutes a terrorist. And they said little about how to address other kinds of hate speech – including posts that could incite racist or sexist violence. Both prevail on the internet. (NY Times)

My client isn’t a terrorist, he’s a fat idiot, says lawyer of man accused in US ‘beheading plot’

A man accused of participating in a plot to behead conservative US blogger Pamela Geller became consumed by Islamic State group propaganda because he was overweight, lonely and desperate for an escape from his bleak life, his defence lawyer said Wednesday. (SCMP)

North Korea could test hydrogen bomb over Pacific Ocean, says foreign minister

North Korea could test a powerful nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean in response to US President Donald Trump's threats of military action, the country's foreign minister has warned. Ri Yong Ho spoke to reporters in New York shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an unprecedented televised statement, accusing Trump of being "mentally deranged." (CNN)

U.S. slow to present specifics on key NAFTA demands

The United States has made a big fuss over using NAFTA talks to demand better labour standards in Mexico, but after two rounds of discussions, U.S. negotiators have still not presented any specifics about what they would like to see changed. A source close to negotiations says this is just one example of how the U.S. team is lagging when it comes to presenting NAFTA proposals, or what negotiators call text. (CBC)

India calls Pakistan ‘Terroristan’ in UN speech row

India has responded angrily to a speech by Pakistan's prime minister to the UN general assembly, with an envoy calling the country "Terroristan". In his speech PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi accused India of "war crimes" in the disputed Kashmir region and of "exporting terror" to Pakistan. India addresses the UN on Saturday, but used a right of reply to respond. (BBC)



Christie Blatchford: Unfashionable as it is to say, Trump spoke the ugly truth in his refreshing UN speech

Unfashionable and hazardous as it is to say this, I’m with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Neetanyahu, who tweeted on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inaugural speech to the United Nations, “In over 30 years in my experience with the UN, I never heard a bolder or more courageous speech.” Moi non plus. (National Post)

Terry Glavin: Trudeau, at the United Nations, charms democrats and mass murderers alike

In his address to the 72nd United Nations General Assembly here Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau succeeded in ingratiating himself with the presidents of mid-level democracies, ruthless dictators and mass murderers alike. He delivered a magnificent performance that pleased everyone and offended no one. Trudeau’s emphasis on his government’s efforts to address the longstanding alienation and impoverishment of Canada’s Indigenous communities struck just the right tone of contrition and earnestness. (Ottawa Citizen)

David Akin: At the United Nations, Justin Trudeau turns Canada away from the world and to his country’s failures

For his first speech, in 2016, at the United Nations General Assembly, Justin Trudeau wanted to send a particular message to the international community. For the week prior to his speech, he and his ministers had been telling anyone in New York City who would listen that “Canada was back.” Never mind the fact that to most UN watchers, Canada had never left. During the Harper decade, Canada was an enthusiastic partner in the United Nations’ health, development and humanitarian and refugee work. (Global)

Farzana Hassan: Tunisia slowly becoming a model for other Muslim nations

Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi must be congratulated on lifting a forty-year ban on a basic human right of Tunisian women. Last week the country’s progressive president finally allowed women to marry non-Muslim men. It was a brave move, given that most clerics opposed the president’s initiative, stating it was a “flagrant violation” of Islamic precept. However, that is a puzzling conclusion considering that two of the prophet Mohammad’s daughters were married to non-Muslim men. (Toronto Sun)

J.J. McCullough: For multicultural Canada, monocultural Quebec remains a tough challenge

For all the praise Canada receives as “the one Western country” untouched by bigoted populism (to quote Fareed Zakaria), recent anxieties in the province of Quebec are a reminder that there exist challenges of multiculturalism even the clever Canadians can’t solve. Like many diverse countries, Canada houses minority communities both old and new, and the ensuing tension provokes a familiar dilemma: Can a state treat all minorities with respect and fairness while offering above-and-beyond cultural and political protections to the groups it deems especially worth defending? (Washington Post)

Father de Souza: Pope and Trudeau both talk about 'open borders,' but are pragmatists at heart

From the first months of his pontificate, Pope Francis has championed openness to migrants and refugees, advocating a generous provision for same and castigating those countries that close their borders. Yet a new word was given papal emphasis recently—“integration”—that echoes the recent moves of the Canadian government to limit those coming to Canada to seek asylum. On the return flight last week from his visit to Colombia, Pope Francis took questions from journalists aboard the plane, and was asked about President Donald Trump’s decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which suspended deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children. As was expected, he was critical of the Trump administration’s decision to end the program. But then he added, thinking of the situation in Europe, something more. (National Post)

Globe and Mail: Decision to publish gay Chechens story made after exhausting ‘all avenues’

Last week a reader wondered, on Twitter, whether stories by John Ibbitson on Canada's clandestine project to evacuate gay men from Russia to Canada "put gay Chechen refugees (or continuance of the program) at risk?" It's an important question. Mr. Ibbitson first broke this story in early September with the news that for three months, the federal government had been evacuating gay Chechen men from Russia to Canada, a move that could damage relations between the two countries. About 22 are now in Canada. (Globe and Mail)



-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security met yesterday to elect a Chair (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration met yesterday to elect a Chair (Public)