True North Initiative News Scan 11 13 2017


Canada deporting fewer people for terrorism, war crimes, crime

A Jordanian citizen, Othman Hamdan worked construction in northern B.C. and, in his spare time, ran social media accounts that supported the so-called Islamic State and celebrated terrorist attacks in Canada. A hearing to decide whether Hamdan should be deported is planned but figures obtained by Global News show the government has been removing far fewer foreign nationals who pose security and criminal risks than it used to. The number of foreign citizens deported for security, crime, organized crime and international human rights abuses has dropped by about a third since 2014, according to Canada Border Services Agency figures. (Global)

Liberals stripped citizenship at a record pace, new docs reveal

The Trudeau government continued to strip citizenship from dual citizens at a record pace until the day a federal court ruled that it was unconstitutional, Postmedia has learned. A new federal document reveals that the government stripped citizenship from 78 people between November 2016 and May 2017, pushing the total number of revoked citizenships under Trudeau’s watch to over 250. This represents a drastic increase in the number of revocations compared to former prime minister Stephen Harper, whose government stripped citizenship from 65 people during its nine-year tenure. (Toronto Sun) (Canoe)

Unable to find work, many Syrian refugees reluctantly turn to social assistance

Syrian refugee Ragheb Alturkmani arrived in Canada on a cloudy day on Jan. 27, 2016, unable to say a single word in English but brimming with happiness he couldn't express. After he and his wife moved with their young daughter and two teenage sons into the Halifax apartment that would become their home, he decided he wanted to give back to the community that had welcomed his family. (CBC)

Alleged terrorist gets trial date in Canadian Tire attack

A Toronto-area woman facing terror charges in an alleged attack at a Canadian Tire store will stand trial next year. Rehab Dughmosh, 32, will face a judge and jury starting May 28, 2018 for what is expected to be a three-week trial. Dughmosh is facing a total of 21 charges, including attempted murder of at least three people for the benefit of or in association with a terrorist group. (Toronto Sun) (CTV) (CP24)

John A. Macdonald statue vandalized in downtown Montreal

The John A. Macdonald monument at Place du Canada in downtown Montreal was vandalized with paint on Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The statue dedicated to Canada's first prime minister and a Father of Confederation is covered in red from his head to the base of the monument bearing his name. Montreal police say they are looking into the incident. (CBC)

Trudeau speaks out on Quebec's veil law as he weighs legal options

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is openly talking about referring Quebec's face-covering law to the Supreme Court or joining an ongoing court challenge of Bill 62, ratcheting up the rhetoric in what could become a heated federal-provincial battle. Mr. Trudeau said his government is closely monitoring the application of the provincial law adopted by the National Assembly last month, suggesting he will not remain idle if he believes it breaches the Charter rights of Canadians. (Globe and Mail)

Paradise Papers: No timeline on Bronfman investigation, unclear if results will be public

The results of the Canada Revenue Agency’s review of a top Liberal fundraiser’s use of offshore trusts may never be made public, Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough confirmed this weekend, and there is no timeline for when it might be complete. (Global)

'We weren't ready' to close deal: Trudeau defends Canada's actions on TPP

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending Canada's actions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, asserting the country simply was not ready to put pen to paper on a final agreement because of lingering concerns around culture and the automotive sector. "We weren't ready to close it yesterday," Trudeau told reporters at the closing news conference for the APEC summit in Vietnam. (CBC)

Ethics commissioner investigating Morneau's sponsorship of pension bill

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson has confirmed she has launched a formal investigation into whether Finance Minister Bill Morneau has broken federal ethics law over his sponsorship of Bill C-27. "We always are as careful as we can be to use the word examination when we’re talking about having launched an examination. Otherwise, we say we’re looking into something. It’s because when the media gets that word 'investigation' they confuse it between the two activities so we avoid the word investigation," Dawson told CTV News. (CTV)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Terrorism, security and free trade top agenda of Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit in Manila

Leaders from Asia and the Pacific will converge in Manila next week to discuss measures to help counter the threat posed by terrorists who intend to make the region their safe haven, Southeast Asian diplomats have said. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose country holds the rotating year-long chairmanship of ASEAN, will play host to fellow leaders of the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the leaders of its dialogue partners. (Gears of Biz)

Trudeau may raise 'drug war' killings with Philippines' Duterte at ASEAN meeting

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau leaves the APEC summit today destined for the Philippines, a country governed by a populist leader with a penchant for violence who is in the midst of a sweeping "war" against alleged drug lords. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has endorsed a bloody campaign that has left an estimated 7,000 people dead since June 2016, a figure that includes some low-level dealers and addicts. (CBC)

Liberal MPs to blitz home ridings in campaign to spread accomplishments

As Liberal MPs spend this week in their ridings, they are tasked with reminding Canadians what they have done since the last election as they start boosting their efforts to convince voters they deserve to stay. The co-ordinated blitz will involve visits to local businesses and schools, pitches at the doorstep, MPs serving customers at the local café and, of course, a centrally approved social media hashtag. So far, 130 of the 181 Liberal MPs have agreed to take part in what they are calling a national week of action, being described as the largest mobilization of caucus since the 2015 federal election. (Toronto Star)

Jason Kenney: Accusations that party wants to out LGBT kids are ‘ridiculous’

United Conservative Party leader, Jason Kenney, says his caucus is willing to meet in the middle on a provincial bill that would make it illegal for teachers to tell parents if their child has joined a gay-straight alliance — and suggesting that his party wants to ‘out’ vulnerable kids is “ridiculous.” (Global)

'Can I get it to go?' Trudeau draws big crowd at Manila fried chicken joint

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopped from one table to the next, chatted with people and posed for selfies on Sunday at a fast-food chain store in Manila, charming residents of the Philippines capital for the second time in two years. Trudeau, in Manila for a summit of regional leaders, dropped in at an outlet of fast-food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. after a visit to a nearby women's clinic that advocates family planning, a touchy subject in the Catholic-majority Philippines. (CBC)

Sajjan 'looking into' allowance cut for ill, injured soldiers after 180 days

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan says he is looking into a change in policy that sees a special monthly allowance cut for some soldiers if illness or injury keeps them off the job for roughly six months. As of Sept. 1, the Department of National Defence has stopped paying a special monthly allowance for those in high-risk and high-readiness operations, after they have spent 180 days off the job due to illness or injury. (CTV)

Stepping back but not down: How the Queen is gradually shifting duties to the next generation

For a Queen deeply devoted to duty who served in the Second World War, laying a wreath of remembrance has always been a significant and solemn occasion. But this year is different. Instead of Elizabeth carefully stepping up the steps of the cenotaph in central London on Sunday during the annual remembrance ceremony, her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, took on her wreath-laying responsibility. The 91-year-old monarch watched from a nearby balcony. (CBC)

Trudeau holds 'very direct' talk with Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi about state-led violence against Rohingya

Justin Trudeau used a face-to-face meeting Friday with Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi to lay out some of the evidence he has seen on the state-led violence that has shaken her country and set off a huge refugee crisis. The prime minister met with Suu Kyi for 45 minutes on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation leaders’ summit in Danang, Vietnam. (National Post)

Australia offers to pay Rohingya refugees to return to Myanmar

Australia is promising thousands of dollars to Rohingya refugees who agree to return to Myanmar, a country that has been accused of ethnic cleansing against the Muslim minority. Asylum seekers in the Australian-run detention centre on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, have been pressured by officials to return to their home countries, even if they face violence. (Guardian)

Pro-ISIS hacking group targets 800 US school websites

The latest target of pro-ISIS hackers is none other than 800 school websites across the United States. The widespread hack occurred last Monday, and lasted two hours, in which visitors were redirected to a YouTube propaganda video featuring Arabic audio, the text, “I love Islamic State (ISIS)” and images of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. (Fox)

US drill instructor guilty of abuse after Muslim's suicide

A US Marine drill instructor has been found guilty of physically abusing boot camp recruits, including three Muslim trainees, one of whom killed himself. A military jury convicted Gunnery Sgt Joseph Felix, 33, of cruelty, maltreatment and other charges. (BBC)

Security Breach and Spilled Secrets Have Shaken the N.S.A. to Its Core

Jake Williams awoke last April in an Orlando, Fla., hotel where he was leading a training session. Checking Twitter, Mr. Williams, a cybersecurity expert, was dismayed to discover that he had been thrust into the middle of one of the worst security debacles ever to befall American intelligence. Mr. Williams had written on his company blog about the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that had somehow obtained many of the hacking tools the United States used to spy on other countries. Now the group had replied in an angry screed on Twitter. It identified him — correctly — as a former member of the National Security Agency’s hacking group, Tailored Access Operations, or T.A.O., a job he had not publicly disclosed. Then the Shadow Brokers astonished him by dropping technical details that made clear they knew about highly classified hacking operations that he had conducted. (NY Times)

Trump taunts Kim as 'short and fat' after North Korea dubs him an 'old lunatic'

U.S. President Donald Trump is exchanging school yard taunts with North Korea's Kim Jong Un. In a response to North Korea calling Trump's speech in South Korea "reckless remarks by an old lunatic," Trump tweeted from Hanoi on Sunday morning: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?"' (CTV)

The mosque is Belgium’s biggest. Officials say it’s a hotbed for extremism.

The Grand Mosque of Brussels is Belgium’s biggest and oldest site of Muslim worship. Officials in Belgium say it is also a hotbed for Saudi-backed Islamist extremism. Now the Parliament wants the country’s leaders to take over the sprawling complex that is just steps from the gleaming core of the European Union. It is the latest attempt to tighten security after radicalized Belgians emerged at the heart of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels in the past three years. (Washington Post)

Iran-Iraq earthquake: Hundreds killed as border region hit

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has shaken the northern border region between Iran and Iraq, killing at least 348 people and injuring thousands more. One Iranian aid agency said 70,000 people needed shelter after the quake, one of the largest this year. (BBC)

ISIS in DIRECT threat to Trump as US President arrives in ‘new home of jihad’

Jihadis have been circulating propaganda featuring the a picture of the US President covered in bullet holes as they urge fighters to kill him. The threats come as Trump this evening flies into the Philippines in the final stop of his tour of Asia. Security forces in the Philippines have been battling the threat of jihadis for years, with the city of Marawi being to reduced to rubble by ISIS. (Daily Star)

US breaks ground for new permanent base in Israel

U.S. and Israeli officers broke ground in Israel on Monday for a permanent U.S. Army base that will house dozens of U.S. soldiers, operating under the American flag, and charged with the mission of defending against rocket and missile attack. The American base, officers in Israel say, will be an independent facility co-located at the Israel Defense Forces Air Defense School in southern Israel, near the desert capital of Beersheba. Once completed, the base will house U.S. operational systems to identify and intercept a spectrum of aerial threats, along with barracks, recreational and other facilities required to support several dozen American air defenders. (Defense News)



Candice Malcolm: Civic gratitude guides our society, brings us together

It was called “the war to end all wars,” and even today, it’s difficult to grasp the rationale and various missteps that led to the great war of empires. What we now call the First World War, 1914–1918, was an unthinkable catastrophe; unmatched in its bloodshed, it’s horror and calamity. It wasn’t just a war of nations, it was considered a war for all humanity. It was supposed to usher in a new era of peace and mutual understanding – a clean slate for Western civilization. (Toronto Sun)

Anthony Furey: Trudeau’s progressive agenda causes cracks in his trade deals strategy

Earlier this year, the Liberal government’s approach to renegotiating NAFTA was getting nods of approval from across the board. It was hard to fault them then. Even before the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s team was getting in on the ground floor. Holding meetings with the transition team. Reaching out to governors. Industry associations. You name it. They wanted to set the tone as early as possible, getting the facts out there on how interwoven many of our cross-border sectors truly are and scoring allies everywhere they could. (Toronto Sun)

Howard Anglin and Andrew House: How Canada could prepare for potential new wave of asylum seekers

Canada’s reputation as a refugee-protecting country was further burnished last Wednesday, when Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen announced a multi-year plan that will see over 137,000 refugees and other persons deemed in need of protection settling in Canada by 2020. And, after a fraught few months, Canada is enjoying something of a respite from the illegal border crossings we saw over the summer. According to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), by the end of the summer, they were processing “only” 50 to 100 claims a day, down from 1,200 a day earlier that same season. (Macleans)

Toronto Sun: A reminder to always put the people first

Last week marked the first anniversary of Donald Trump’s election as president of the United States.  The ensuing year has, without a doubt, been a wild one.  Republicans are suffering through the pangs of identity crisis as their own president tries to re-orient what it means to be an American conservative. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein:  What’s really dumb? Trudeau’s carbon pricing plan

A trick politicians use to intimidate us on the subject of human-influenced climate change is to leap from the fact that because scientists say it is real, we must support whatever they propose to address it. This is absurd. How to address human-influenced climate change involves economic policies that are political decisions, not scientific ones. (Toronto Sun)

Conrad Black: Canada must address our bad education system and overreaching courts

Last week, I discussed deteriorating results in Ontario students’ mathematics tests, but had little space to lay out broader views on education. Apart from decertifying the teachers’ unions and banning the right to strike in the public service, and invoking the notwithstanding clause where necessary to vacate judicial decisions that would impede those steps, I think the school boards should be abolished as useless and redundant, the teachers’ colleges should be seriously reoriented, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education should be entirely repurposed, teachers and students should be tested objectively every year, and those who fail should be allowed to fail. Teachers have to be treated with respect as learned professionals, but they must also behave as learned professionals, and irresponsible emulation of industrial trade unions should be responded to by impounding their immense pension funds pending resolution of all material issues. (National Post)

Christie Blatchford: Thought police strike again as Wilfrid Laurier grad student is chastised for showing Jordan Peterson video

A Wilfrid Laurier University teaching assistant has been identified as “transphobic” and sanctioned for last week showing her class an excerpt of a video debate involving the controversial University of Toronto psychology professor Jordan Peterson. In fact, her supervising professor, Nathan Rambukkana, told her that by showing the video to her “Canadian Communication in Context” class, “it basically was like … neutrally playing a speech by Hitler …” (National Post)

Andrew Scheer: No country we would rather call our home

For 150 years, Parliament has been a reflection of Canada and Canadians. It is more than a building. It is the embodiment of our national character, its strengths and its weaknesses. It has been burned to the ground and been built back up stone by stone. It has heard the echoes of gunfire. It has rung with cheers of victory at the end of two world wars, and it has stood mute witness to the tears of a nation. (Toronto Sun)




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