True North Initiative News Scan 11 17 2017


While Western nations mark their ISIS fighters for death, Canada offers 'reintegration support'

Even the interviewer seemed surprised at the answer Rory Stewart, the U.K. minister of international development, gave about how Britain should deal with citizens who chose to join Islamic State. "I'm afraid we have to be serious about the fact these people are a serious danger to us, and unfortunately the only way of dealing with them will be, in almost every case, to kill them," Stewart told BBC Radio's John Pienaar last month. Stewart, a former diplomat, continued: "These are people who are executing people … who have held women and children hostage, who are torturing and murdering, trying, by violence, to impose their will. Our response has to be, when somebody does that, I'm afraid, to deal with that." (CBC)

Arabic chants at rally spark police probe

What some say are hateful words spoken at a Mississauga Celebration Square demonstration earlier this month have triggered an investigation by Peel Regional Police. It also has city changing how protests will be done in the future. This came about as a result of a complaint from B’nai Brith Canada which called “on the City of Mississauga to enforce its bylaws,” alleging protestors threatened violence against Jews and encouraged children to engage in terrorism. (Toronto Sun)

Mohamed Harkat seeks relaxation of strict monitoring

The wife of terror suspect Mohamed Harkat told a judge Thursday her husband wouldn't hurt a bug — literally — as she argued for fewer federal restrictions on his everyday activities. Authorities are balking at Harkat's request for more leeway to use the internet outside the family home and travel freely within Canada, saying he continues to pose a threat almost 15 years after being arrested. (CBC) (Globe and Mail)

Phone-tapping, fear and threats: Why an ex-Venezuelan judge is seeking refuge in Canada

A former Venezuelan judge who says she was forced under threat to sign arrest warrants for President Nicolas Maduro's political opponents is seeking refugee protection in Canada. In an exclusive interview with The Globe and Mail, Ralenis Tovar said she and her family fled Venezuela on July 28, claiming refugee status when they landed at Toronto's Pearson International Airport. (Globe and Mail)

Colombians illegally entered Canada for a better life, but turned to crime

The notion that illegal immigrants commit a lot of crime in Canada is mostly a "myth," Crown prosecutor Jonathan Thompson says. "But here the facts of this case certainly seem to feed into the system perpetuating that narrative and that's an unfortunate thing, I think, for our community." In broad daylight on Sept. 28, five illegal immigrants from Colombia allegedly "cased" a home on a quiet street in Kitchener. (Record)

Group offers assistance to federal government in resettling Yazidi

Winnipeg volunteers are asking the federal government to let them help reach the Liberals’ goal of bringing hundreds of Yazidi refugees to Canada by the end of the year. “We are offering ourselves to help, to partner with them,” Hadji Hesso, director of the Yazidi Association of Manitoba, said. “We could have reached that target by the end of August.” (WFP)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Tories express shock, sadness at sudden death of first Filipino-Canadian senator

Tobias Enverga Jr., the first Filipino-Canadian ever appointed to the Senate, has died while on a parliamentary visit to Colombia. Conservatives on Parliament Hill flooded social media with condolences upon hearing the news. (National Post)

They were denied entry into Canada despite having immigration applications approved

Marketa Wali Baraky met her future husband Adolf Gabco in a Toronto restaurant and the two started dating in 2009 when he was seeking asylum in Canada. Gabco, a Roma refugee, was deported back to his native Czech Republic in 2012 after his claim was rejected. The couple got married shortly after and Baraky applied to sponsor Gabco to Canada at the end of that year. (Metro)

Andrew Scheer: Jagmeet Singh Could Be More 'Authentic' On Issues Than Trudeau

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has suggested the new leader of the federal NDP could be a more "authentic" champion for left-wing issues than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Scheer made the remark during a question-and-answer session after he addressed the Vancouver Board of Trade Thursday morning. Board chair Anne Giardini asked Scheer how the election of Jagmeet Singh as NDP leader could change the "competitive landscape" for Tories. (Huffington Post)

Canada making push to increase number of Chinese tourists, students

Canada is making efforts to massively increase numbers of Chinese tourists and students as the federal government presses forward its rapprochement with the world's second-largest economy. "Canada can easily double or triple or quadruple the numbers" of Chinese visitors, Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, said in an interview in Beijing Thursday. (Globe and Mail)

Canada’s mission in Iraq shifts again with ISIS in retreat

Canada’s role in the fight against the so-called Islamic State is shifting yet again, with a new aircraft heading over to Iraq this week while a group of trainers begin the slow task of helping to rid the country of thousands of improvised explosives. Brig.-Gen. Daniel MacIsaac, the commander of Canada’s joint task force in Iraq, addressed the changes to Operation IMPACT in an interview with Global News from Kuwait. (Global) (CBC)

Ottawa urged to intervene in Iraqi Kurds’ dispute with Baghdad

The senior envoy for northern Iraq's Kurds – who have spent years honing their military skills under the tutelage of Canadian special forces – is calling on the Trudeau government to intervene in a growing conflict between the ethnically distinct minority and Baghdad. Falah Mustafa Bakir visits Canada on Friday for the annual Halifax International Security Forum, where he plans to ask Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and other Canadian officials to help mediate tensions in northern Iraq over a referendum in which Kurds voted to separate. (Globe and Mail)

Canadian soldiers training Iraqi troops on IED threats

Canadian troops in Iraq have begun training the Iraq army on the threat of improvised explosive devices, and have updated their Royal Canadian Air Force contributions to Operation Impact. Approximately 20 Canadian army engineers from CFB Petawawa have been deployed to Besmaya, Iraq, to deliver explosive threat training to the Iraqi security forces. (CTV)

Training foreign troops will be the ‘flagship’ of Canada's new UN peace strategy, top soldier says

Training foreign troops will be the “flagship” of Canada’s newly announced peace operations strategy, says the country’s top soldier, who concedes that elements of the plan still require months more work. Prime Minster Justin Trudeau on Wednesday took the wraps off his government’s long-awaited effort to reengage with United Nations peace missions. (Toronto Star)

Canada, U.K. join forces to phase out coal, but at least 2 Canadian provinces want out

Canada and the United Kingdom have enticed 18 other nations to adopt their mutual goal of weaning themselves off coal-fired power – but at least two provinces are trying to negotiate their way out of the federal government’s own domestic plan. Environment Minister Catherine McKenna was all smiles Thursday as she and her British counterpart officially launched the Global Alliance to Power Past Coal at the United Nations climate change talks in Germany. (Global)

NAFTA talks: Canada, Mexico will entertain 5-year review clause over termination clause

Canada and Mexico are prepared to engage the United States on one of its most contentious demands for NAFTA, in an early indication that proposals currently deemed non-starters could, in theory, be redesigned into something all three countries can live with. (Global)

Zimbabwe latest: Mugabe makes first public appearance

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has made his first public appearance since the country's army took over on Wednesday. He attended a graduation ceremony in the capital, Harare. (BBC)

Syria: Russia blocks extension of chemical attacks probe

Russia has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have extended an international inquiry into chemical weapons attacks in Syria. It is the 10th time Moscow has used its veto powers at the UN in support of its ally since the conflict began. (BBC)

North Korean defector found to have 'enormous parasites'

A North Korean soldier who was shot fleeing across the border has an extremely high level of parasites in his intestines, his doctors say. The defector crossed the demilitarised zone on Monday, but was shot several times by North Korean border guards. (BBC)

US warns of Christmas terror threat in Europe

The United States on Thursday updated its advice to travellers heading for Europe, warning of an increased terrorist threat over the Christmas and New Year holiday season. Washington has a long-standing warning to its citizens to beware extremist attacks in European cities, and in recent years it has expressly warned of dangers at festive events. (Yahoo)



Candice Malcolm: Sen. Frum stands tall against Iran's apologists

The Islamic Republic of Iran is, without a doubt, a malign regime. If you think that’s a controversial statement, consider the following facts. Iran is the number one state sponsor of terrorism in the world, directly funding jihadist organizations, including Hezbollah, Hamas and the Taliban. Iran has had its hand in deadly terrorist attacks against civilians, including the bombing of a Jewish community centre in Argentina in 1994, that killed 86 people. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Another suspected terrorist zeroing in on a lottery win

On Thursday, the Federal Court of Canada began a two-day session hearing arguments from terror suspect Mohamed Harkat to have less critical and probing eyes monitoring his activities. Why even bother? (Toronto Sun)

William Watson: Who knew? Turns out the Harper government was actually terrific for wage growth

Cast your mind back to the dark days of 2014 and 2015, before Sunny Ways. The last days of the Stephen Harper government. The leader holed up in his Centre Block crypt, lonely and accursed, like some latter-day Richard III, though with better hair and no hump. The country wallowing in recession and despond, longing for tens of billions of dollars of infrastructure spending and federal deficits to save it. The people wailing for cool, enlightened leadership with brashly striped socks. (Financial Post)

Ray Pennings: The Canadians who most embrace this country's diversity are the religious

Throughout autumn, the soup of our multicultural society has almost boiled over with questions about secularism and religion — of what is and isn’t allowed in contemporary public and common Canadian life. Efforts to relegate religious expression and thought to the margins have been ramped up. Those efforts, however, are out of step with broader Canadian society. (National Post)



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