True North Initiative: News Scan 09 26 17


Chelsea Manning denied entry to Canada

Chelsea Manning was turned back at the Canadian-U.S. border because she was convicted of espionage for passing information to Wikileaks, the former U.S. intelligence analyst said on Monday. Manning told Reuters via direct message on Twitter that she drove up to the Canadian border in Lacolle, Quebec, on Thursday evening, planning to vacation in Montreal and Vancouver. She said she was stopped at the border and detained overnight before being handed a report stating she was inadmissible “on grounds of serious criminality,” according to a picture of the report she posted online. (New York Post) (National Post) (Global)

B.C. man acquitted of 4 terrorism charges related to Facebook posts

A British Columbia man accused of using his Facebook account to express support of "lone wolf" terrorist attacks has been acquitted of all charges. Othman Hamdan's judge-alone trial began in June, when he pleaded not guilty to encouraging the commission of murder, assault and mischief as well as inducing and instructing someone to carry out a terrorist act. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Bruce Butler announced his decision on Friday, and it was confirmed by the criminal registry Monday. (CTV) (CBC)

Calgary-based activist says LGBT refugees struggle to heal, prove persecution

One of the organizers of Serbia's much-protested LGBT pride parade has moved to Calgary, and is now speaking out about the difficulties refugees face proving their cases. Boban Stojanovic escaped to Canada from Belgrade, Serbia, last year with his partner, after he was attacked in the middle of the city mid-day. Despite recognizing his attackers, he says Serbian police failed to investigate and bring them to justice. (CBC)

Halifax refugee community impacted by new travel ban

President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new travel ban that bans citizens of eight countries from entering the United States, is a move that’s being felt by refugee support workers in Halifax. The Halifax Refugee Clinic is a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization that provides ‘legal services as well as settlement services to refugee claimants who can’t afford a private lawyer.’ The clinic says they’ve ‘seen an increase’ in asylum seekers coming to Nova Scotia, out of fear of being discriminated against in the United States. (Global)

Ukraine asks Canada for access to satellite images to monitor Russian, rebel troop movements

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has pressed the Trudeau government to restart a program supplying the Ukrainian military with satellite imagery to monitor Russian and separatist rebel troop movements, and says it is "extremely important" for Canada to be part of a potential UN peacekeeping mission in the war-torn country. In an exclusive interview with CBC's Rosemary Barton, Poroshenko said he urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to provide his country with sophisticated imagery of the Ukraine-Russia border from a Canadian satellite. (CBC)

U.S. VP Pence blasts 'failings' of Canadian health system

The vice-president of the United States has some less-than-complimentary words for Canada's health-care system, which he accuses of certain "failings." Mike Pence made the remarks in an interview last week with Alaska radio station KFQD. He was being asked about the Republican health legislation struggling to get through Congress. (CTV)

North Korea moving airplanes to east coast after U.S. bomber display: South Korean spy agency

North Korea has been moving airplanes and boosting defenses on its east coast after the United States dispatched B-1B bombers to the Korean peninsula over the weekend, South Korea‘s Yonhap News Agency reported on Tuesday, citing the country’s spy agency. The United States seemed to have disclosed the flight route of the bombers intentionally because North Korea seemed to be unaware, the report said. (Global)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

United Nations report blasts Canada for destruction of historic black community

A United Nations working group is calling out Canada for its history of racist policies — specifically highlighting its history of slavery and the “deplorable” destruction of Africville, a black community in Nova Scotia. The report released Monday recommends that Canada apologize for slavery, consider paying reparations, build monuments to African Canadians, and create a national department of African Canadian affairs, among other things. (VICE) (CBC)

White nationalists received city permission for Saturday rally at Confederation Square in Peterborough; counter protests planned

Coun. Diane Therrien says a Neo-Nazi should never have gotten permission to hold a rally on city property at Confederation Square, on Saturday. A group of self-proclaimed white nationalists is organizing an Anti-Trudeau/illegal immigration rally at Confederation Square on Saturday. Kevin Goudreau, chairman of the Canadian Nationalist Front, is organizing the event. At City Hall on Monday, Therrien said city staff gave the group permission to hold its rally in the park because it's expected to be a peaceful protest. But she wasn't accepting that idea. (Peterborough Examiner)

Montreal's housing market is very different from Canada's boom cities

Montreal real estate isn’t hot, and it’s not being driven by foreign buyers fleeing Toronto and Vancouver. There’s significant media coverage on how Montreal is the new real estate hot spot, especially in the luxury segment. It’s certainly attention grabbing, so we pulled some sales data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board (GMREB). Turns out Greater Montreal real estate is doing okay, but to say it’s booming is a bold faced lie. (Business Insider)

How a new wave of immigration has changed Canada’s Syrian food experience

Habeeb Salloum is 93. Ever since his family left French-occupied Syria in the 1920s for a homestead in northern Saskatchewan, he has witnessed Syrian food evolve from an unknown entity in Canada to a vibrant, respected cuisine. Amid the ravages of the Great Depression, his family lived on an isolated plain, far from any neighbours. Facing a brand-new country and climate, they grew traditional Syrian grains and legumes to sustain themselves through the long prairie winters. (Globe and Mail)

Trudeau downplays uncertainty about U.S. trade demands, while promoting Canada’s team

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau downplayed pessimistic assessments of NAFTA negotiations amid uncertainty and confusion about exactly how President Donald Trump wants to rewrite the free trade pact to boost American industries and resolve international trade disputes. At a news conference, Trudeau appeared to take a dig at the U.S. team’s failure to put forward specific demands. The prime minister said, while he’s not concerned talks are stagnating, Canadian trade negotiators have done their “homework” and put “concrete proposals” on the table, and he is “very pleased to have a chance to discuss them with our counterparts from the other countries.” (Toronto Star)

Canada’s top NAFTA negotiator says U.S. hasn’t proposed changes to thorny issues

Canada’s lead NAFTA negotiator doesn’t expect the United States to make demands for the dairy sector during the third round of talks this week, and said American officials still haven’t proposed changes to some of the thorniest issues of the agreement, including on car manufacturing and dispute resolution mechanisms. Steve Verheul, chief trade negotiator with Global Affairs, said there is still “plenty to work with for the time being” but stopped short of expressing confidence that the shared goal of a new deal by the end of the year can be met. (Toronto Star)

Canadian aid workers describe chaos at Rohingya border camp

Standing on the easternmost riverside city of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, in the shadow a Burmese horizon that’s still on fire, Zaid Al-Rawni watched small boats crossing the treacherous waters full of people. They’d go back empty and come back with more people. A regular and steady flow of dead bodies came alongside the boats, as Bangladeshi men and women wait on the other side to bury them. (Toronto Star)

Illegal immigrant, 32, 'breaks into New Jersey home and sexually assaults six-year-old girl in her bed'

A 32-year-old undocumented immigrant was charged with sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl after her father found the stranger in bed with her in the middle of the night, police say. Edgar Mendoza, a citizen of Guatemala, allegedly broke into a home early Tuesday morning on Bayard Street in the Chambersburg section of Trenton, New Jersey, The Trentonian reported. (Daily Mail)

Holocaust denier in Belgium ordered to visit concentration camps and write about them

A court in Brussels has ordered a former Belgian lawmaker to visit five Nazi concentration camps and write about his experiences as punishment for publicly denying the Holocaust, a crime in Belgium. Laurent Louis, a far-right politician and self-proclaimed “anti-Zionist,” was convicted of Holocaust denial in 2015 after he wrote blog posts publicly doubting whether Jews were killed en masse in Nazi gas chambers during the Second World War. He received a roughly $20,000 fine and a six-month suspended prison sentence. (National Post)

Iraqi Kurdistan referendum: High turnout in independence vote

Large numbers of people have taken part in a landmark vote on independence for Iraq's Kurdistan region, amid growing opposition both at home and abroad. Votes are still being counted, with a big victory for "yes" expected. Kurds say it will give them a mandate to negotiate secession, but Iraq's PM denounced it as "unconstitutional". (BBC)

Palestinian gunman kills three Israelis in West Bank

Three Israelis have been shot dead by a Palestinian at the entrance to the Jewish settlement of Har Adara in the occupied West Bank, Israeli police say. The gunman, a 37-year-old from a nearby village, was also shot and died later. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the attack on Palestinian incitement. (BBC)

North Korea accuses US of declaring war, says it has right to shoot down bombers

North Korea's foreign minister on Monday accused President Donald Trump of declaring war, saying that gives the rogue regime the right to shoot down U.S. strategic bombers. Pyongyang could target planes even when they are not flying in North Korean airspace, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told reporters in New York. (CNBC)

North Korea crisis: Washington denies 'war declared'

The US has said a statement from North Korea accusing Washington of declaring war on it was "absurd". The White House also warned Pyongyang to stop provocations after it said it had the right to shoot down US bombers. A UN spokesman said fiery talk could lead to fatal misunderstandings (BBC)

California Is Already Preparing for a North Korean Nuclear Attack

With U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war, California officials are taking the threat of nuclear exchange seriously. Noting the heightened North Korean threat, the Los Angeles-area Joint Regional Intelligence Center issued a bulletin last month warning that a nuclear attack on Southern California would be “catastrophic” and urged officials in the region to shore up their nuclear attack response plans. (Foreign Policy)

US Marines get first female infantry officer

A female US Marine has made history by becoming the first woman to complete the Corps' famously gruelling infantry officer training. The lieutenant, who wants to keep her identity private, graduated in Quantico, Virginia, on Monday. (BBC)

In Venezuela, they were teachers and doctors. To buy food, they became prostitutes.

At a squat, concrete brothel on the muddy banks of the Arauca River, Gabriel Sánchez rattled off the previous jobs of the women who now sell their bodies at his establishment for $25 an hour. “We’ve got lots of teachers, some doctors, many professional women and one petroleum engineer,” he yelled over the din of vallenato music. “All of them showed up with their degrees in hand.” (Miami Herald)



Candice Malcolm: Stop normalizing Sharia law in Canada

Sharia insists that there is no separation between mosque and state, and that Islamic rules dictate both the private and public lives of the people. Sharia law replaces Canadian law, it doesn’t live alongside it – but that’s not where the trouble with Sharia ends. Even if Sharia only applied to Muslims in Canada, how would we feel about a set of laws that permits a man to beat his wife? How about a legal system that allows a man to divorce his wife simply by saying the word “divorce” three times aloud? Sharia is not consistent with our way of life in Canada – despite what Liberals and the CBC want us to believe. (Toronto Sun)

Lorne Gunter: Digging down Ontario's cap and trade plan

With Premier Kathleen Wynne announcing yet again on Friday that Ontario will join the California/Quebec cap and trade carbon pricing market Jan. 1 — today, let’s consider some important questions. For example, will it work? Will it effectively lower Ontario’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change, given that we’re paying for it? The government says cap and trade will cost the average Ontario household $156 this year alone. (Toronto Sun)

Jerry Agar: Wynne Liberals like McGuinty Liberals

Did Ontario’s Liberal party become a new and completely different party when Kathleen Wynne replaced Dalton McGuinty as Liberal leader and premier? Lately, some Liberals have tried to convince me that the recent history of the Ontario Liberal party has nothing to do with the current Ontario Liberals who are running the province. Whether ongoing legal proceedings in Toronto against two former senior staffers to McGuinty will have an impact on Wynne’s re-election chances in June, remains to be seen. (Toronto Sun)

Tom Parkin: Bloc's attack on Jagmeet Singh will backfire

Martine Ouellet, a former PQ Minister and new Bloc Quebecois leader, apparently wants to be better known in the worst possible way. She achieved fame last week with an attack on NDP leadership aspirant Jagmeet Singh, which drew condemnation inside and outside Quebec. The BQ, wiped out by the NDP in 2011, is casting about for a cause to fight for. They’ve decided on one: prejudice. (Toronto Sun)

Andrew Coyne: The odd merger of Bombardier and the Canadian government

Perhaps I have been wrong about Bombardier. Until this week I had been patiently explaining to readers that the company was not, as its annual reports might suggest, in the aerospace and mass transit business. It is, I suggested, in the subsidy business. Governments, federal and provincial, periodically offer it subsidies worth hundreds of millions of dollars, in return for which Bombardier agrees to take them. (National Post)



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

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet today 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 today for committee business (In Camera)