True North Initiative: News Scan 09 25 17


Trump slaps travel restrictions on North Korea, Venezuela in expanded ban

U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday slapped new travel restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding the list of countries covered by his original travel bans that have been derided by critics and challenged in court. Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia were left on the list of affected countries in a new proclamation issued by the president. Restrictions on citizens from Sudan were lifted. (CBC) (CBC) (CNN) (Global)

Merkel on track for fourth term as far right set to enter Parliament, projections show

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was on course to claim a fourth term in office Sunday even as the far right spoiled her victory party, surging into parliament for the first time in more than half a century, according to projections based on exit polls and official results following a nationwide vote. The results represented at least a partial affirmation of Merkel’s emphasis on Germany’s stability and economic prosperity at a time of upheaval elsewhere around the globe. They clear the way for her to extend her 12-year stewardship to 16, which would tie the record for postwar Germany. (National Post) (Guardian)

Most Canadians disapprove of Khadr deal, 44 per cent say it will influence their vote in 2019: poll

'This issue alone will impact how people will vote in 2019,' says pollster Eli Yufest. (Hill Times)

Woman shares traumatic FGM secret and a bond is formed

When Malaika was 6, she travelled with her family on an airplane for the first time, on a summer vacation to Somalia to see her aunts, uncles and cousins. While there, she was rounded up with other girls in the village and taken into a stranger’s living room, where her genitals were cut with a razor blade. Now in her early 20s and pursuing a post-secondary degree, Malaika, who was born and raised in the Ottawa area, says she was told by family members to not speak about the cutting. For about 15 years she kept the secret. (Toronto Star)

Canada willing to broker peace between U.S. and North Korea: McCallum

Canada’s ambassador to China, John McCallum, says that Beijing is angry with North Korea, but Canada is willing to “help to broker a peace” on the Korean Peninsula. “I think China, to use an undiplomatic word, is getting more and more pissed off with North Korea,” McCallum, who took over Canada’s diplomatic post in the country after nearly two decades in Parliament, told CTV’s Question Period. “They seem to be goading their only friend, so China is doing more to implement the sanctions than it had before.” (CTV)

Conrich couple face human trafficking charges after allegedly exploiting foreign worker

According to RCMP officials, the Strathmore RCMP detachment received a complaint from someone who identified themself as a victim of human trafficking. The complainant, who is not a resident of Canada, told RCMP they had arrived in Canada on a Temporary Foreign Worker permit and were promised permanent residenct by their employers. The employers, a couple from Conrich, allegedly withheld the worker's passport and immigration documents and financially exploited them. (CTV)

Canada targets senior Venezuelan officials with sanctions

Canada will impose sanctions against senior members of the Venezuelan government over their "anti-democratic behaviour". Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is among the 40 people who will have their assets frozen, and Canadians will be banned from doing business with them. Canada's foreign minister said the country "will not stand by silently" amid the country's ongoing crisis. (BBC)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada looks to China trade deal while knowing 'there are issues there,' McCallum says

The Liberal government is still making its list of pros and cons — including the potential public fallout — about launching formal talks around a free trade deal with China, Canada's ambassador in Beijing says. "It's in our genes, if you will, to do free trade agreements, but there are concerns. There are some industries which would not be happy. There are some groups of Canadians who would not favour such an agreement," John McCallum told CBC Radio's The House. (CBC)

Jassi case: Punjab Police team to return tomorrow as extradition fails

The hopes of extradition of the two alleged conspirators of the Jassi honour killing were dashed to the ground with the three-member Punjab Police team which had gone to Canada to bringing back the accused scheduled to return empty-handed on Sunday. The team is returning as the Canadian Department of Justice has not provided a clear roadmap on how long it will take to decide the review petition filed before it to reconsider the extradition of the two accused--Malkiat Kaur and Surjit Badesha--mother and uncle respectively, of Jassi. (Tribune India)

Non-Americans barred from U.S. for smoking pot — even in states where it’s legal

Colorado seems like a vision of post-prohibition tolerance for marijuana. You can buy pot for smoking, dozens of different kinds of edibles, grow your own or qualify as a “cannabis sommelier.” But it’s more complicated than it seems. (Global)

New Chinese-English school planned for P.E.I.

The latest venture of the P.E.I. monks' religious leader is a new, private school in which students will learn in both Mandarin and English, planned to open next fall. Buddhist monks on P.E.I. have built extensive facilities on the Island, while at the same time an influx of Chinese immigrants to P.E.I. in the last few years means Mandarin is the main immigrant language spoken on P.E.I., as it is in the rest of Canada. (CBC)

Conservative MP Dianne Watts officially announces bid for BC Liberal leadership

Dianne Watts, a former mayor of the City of Surrey, says she will quit her federal Conservative seat to run for the leadership of the BC Liberals, seeking to win the trust of a provincial party now out of power for the first time in 16 years so she can reboot it. Ms. Watts announced her plans Sunday during a rally in this city she led for a decade, calling on about 200 supporters, many of who had followed her through municipal and federal politics, to follow her into her new provincial campaign. (Globe and Mail)

High stakes as U.S. Commerce Department set to rule on Boeing, Bombardier

Politicians, defence officials and Canada’s aerospace industry have Monday circled on their calendars as the date to watch in Boeing’s ongoing trade dogfight with Montreal-based Bombardier. Here’s what you need to know, and what is expected to follow: (Financial Post)

Canadian Chamber of Commerce critical of proposed tax reforms by Ottawa

Members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce say proposed tax changes for businesses by the federal government are casting business people in a negative light, and the finance minister should apologize. "Whenever a process from government starts to position business people and the business community in such a negative light, it is an absolute disaster from a communications perspective and I think an apology from our federal minister to the Canadian business community would be appropriate," said Steve McLellan, CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. (CTV)

Turkey OKs military intervention, warns Iraqi Kurds on independence vote

The Turkish parliament renewed a bill on Saturday that allows the military to intervene in Iraq and Syria if faced with national security threats, a move seen as a final warning to Iraqi Kurds to call off their independence referendum on Monday. The decree allows Turkey to send troops over its southern border if developments in Iraq or Syria are seen as national security threats. Turkish officials have repeatedly warned the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq to abandon its plans for independence. (Toronto Star)

Kurdish Referendum: Iran Shuts Border With Iraq Over Kurdistan Independence Vote

Iraq's Kurds will go ahead with a referendum on independence on Monday because their partnership with Baghdad has failed, Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani said on Sunday, shrugging off international opposition to the vote. In response, the Iraqi government asked the autonomous Kurdish region to hand over control of its international border posts, its international airports and called on foreign countries to stop importing Kurdish crude oil. (Haaretz)

Iraqi Kurdistan in historic independence vote

People are voting in a landmark referendum on independence for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that the international community has criticised. Polls are open in the three northern provinces that make up the region, as well as disputed areas claimed by the Kurds and the government in Baghdad. (BBC)

17 ISIS Fighters Reported Killed as U.S. Ends Lull in Libya Airstrikes

The United States military said on Sunday that it had conducted drone strikes on an Islamic State training camp in Libya, killing 17 militants in the first American airstrikes in the strife-torn North African nation since January. A half-dozen “precision strikes” on Friday hit a training camp about 150 miles southeast of Surt, from which militants were moving fighters in and out of the country, stockpiling weapons and equipment, and plotting and conducting attacks, the Pentagon’s Africa Command said in a statement. Three vehicles were also destroyed. (NY Times)

Witnesses: Many Rohingya still trying to flee Myanmar

The massive exodus of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar to escape brutal persecution appears to have slowed down, but several recent refugees say at least tens of thousands more are huddled near beaches or in forests waiting to escape. Some Rohingya who have fled over the last week said Myanmar army soldiers were shooting at those trying to flee to Bangladesh. Others said thousands were stuck in Myanmar because most boatmen had made the crossing to safety themselves and soldiers had burned many of the boats that remained. (CTV)

ISIS challenges Prince Harry to a fight vowing to send him and his Apache helicopters to ‘hellfire’

A disturbing video shows a Singaporean fighter who identifies himself as Abu Uqayl taking issue with the Royal speaking about terrorism during a recent trip to the city-state. The Prince, who served as an Army chopper pilot in Afghanistan, is directly targeted in the chilling clip circulated by Islamic State monitoring group SITE Intelligence. "Why don't you come here and fight us if you're man enough, so that we can send you and your Apaches to hellfire, biidhnillah (Allah permitting)", the fatigued terror thug says. (

Parsons Green attack: Seventh person arrested in Cardiff over London Tube bombing

A man has been arrested in Cardiff in connection with the Parsons Green attack. The 20-year-old suspect was detained in a dawn raid under the Terrorism Act and remains in custody. He is the seventh person to be arrested in relation to the attempted bombing on 15 September. (Independent)



Candice Malcolm: Jason Kenney can inspire a new conservative movement across the country

It’s a tough time to be a conservative in Canada. After a decade of strong and (mostly) principled leadership under Stephen Harper, the Conservative Party of Canada has had trouble moving on.  Thus far, they’ve been unable to articulate a clear conservative alternative to the reckless Liberal government.  New party leader Andrew Scheer has yet to find his voice or take a firm conservative stance on an issue, be it on the environment, immigration, or even freedom of speech. When it comes to the provinces, the void for common sense is even more apparent. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Trudeau’s UN flop was a sad display of moral relativism

It was quite the study in contrasts. Last Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump stood in front of a packed house at the United Nations to deliver a stinging indictment of North Korea, the harms of socialism and the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. Then, on Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to a half-filled room in the same hall to deliver a stinging indictment of... Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew Lawton: Free speech can’t be a casualty of Canada’s ‘whole-of-government’ approach to Islamophobia

When the House of Commons passed the contentious anti-Islamophobia motion, M-103, earlier this year, critics feared the vote could be a death knell for free speech. I was one of them. My opposition to the motion wasn’t rooted in a belief that it amounted to a Sharia-compliant overhaul of Canadian government, rather that it played to the worst form of identity politics. Even though Liberal MP Iqra Khalid’s M-103 has no censorship power, my concern was that it opens the door for policy that does. (Global)

Rob Breakenridge: Little to be gained by pursuing UN Security Council seat

Very few Canadians likely recall the outcome of the 2010 UN Security Council vote, let alone spend much time dwelling on it.  Moreover, it’s unlikely any future historians will marvel at the ascendancy of Portugal to the world stage in the ensuing decade. Yet, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would have us all believe that Canada losing out to Portugal seven years ago represented some sort of calamity for Canada’s position on the international stage and that we must strive to rectify this blight by prevailing over either Norway or Ireland for one of two open seats in 2021. (Global)

David Akin: Poll finds Scheer’s Tories ahead of Trudeau’s Liberals but can we believe it?

The takeaway from the new poll from Toronto-based Forum Research seems rather remarkable. If an election were held today, Forum says, 39 per cent of the country would vote for Andrew Scheer’s Conservative Party and 35 per cent would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals. Forum’s president Lorne Bozinoff doesn’t stop there, though. He then applies his poll result to a seat distribution model and concludes that, if an election were held right now, the result would be a Conservative minority — can you say Prime Minister Andrew Scheer? — where the Tories would have precisely half the seats in the House of Commons. The Tories would win 169, while the Liberals would win 130 seats, the NDP 26, the Bloc Quebecois 12, and the Green Party would keep its single seat. (Global)

Lorne Gunter: Trudeau’s UN address makes tackling First Nations problems even harder

A lot of breathless analysis and media handwringing has been devoted to U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations this week. OMG, many commentators have cringed, can you believe Trump called North Korean dictator Kim Jung-un “Rocket Man?” (And Kim called Trump a “dotard?) Did you hear Trump threaten to “totally destroy” a country of 25 million people? Gasp! (Calgary Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Some good news for Scheer

The “sunny ways” of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have some dark clouds moving in. Nothing dangerous yet, but foreboding just the same. If a federal election were held today, a new poll by Forum Research has the Conservatives unseating the Trudeau Liberals and winning a minority government. (Toronto Sun)

Surjit Singh Flora: Canada’s Sikh population needs to communicate its identity to the country

The population of Sikhs in the world today is approximately 27 million. Jagmeet Singh is one of those who have worked hard to find a place in Canadians’ hearts, recently stepping down as deputy leader of the Ontario NDP in take a shot at replacing Tom Mulcair as next federal leader of the NDP. At a Brampton rally the other week, as soon as Singh stood up and started to speak a woman who was angry about Islamic sharia law interrupted him. (Toronto Sun)



-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet tomorrow for a “Briefing on the Road to Mental Readiness Program” (Public)

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow to study the Situation in Eastern Europe and Central Asia 25 Years after the End of the Cold War (In Camera)

-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow for committee business (In Camera)