True North Initiative News Scan 12 01 2017


Finance Minister Morneau denies speaking to his father ahead of stock selloff

Faced with new questions over the sell-off of Morneau Shepell shares -- this time by his father -- Bill Morneau is denying that he spoke with him about a coming tax policy change ahead of time. CTV News has confirmed that the finance minister's father sold 200,000 shares in Morneau Shepell, the company he founded, days before his son brought forward a tax change that raised taxes on the wealthiest one per cent and lowered them for the middle class. According to insider trading reports, William F. Morneau Sr. sold 100,000 Morneau Shepell Inc. shares at $15.20 per share on Nov. 23, 2015, and another 100,000 shares at $15 a share on Dec. 3. (CTV)

Bill Morneau’s father sold 200K shares in family company days before tax changes announced

As Finance Minister Bill Morneau is pressed in the House of Commons for details on the circumstances of the sale of shares he held in his family business, Morneau Shepell Inc., Global News has analyzed insider trading reports of the company and discovered that Morneau’s father sold a significant number of shares days before his son announced a major tax policy change. Regulatory filings show that William F. Morneau Sr. sold 100,000 shares of Morneau Sheppell Inc. (MSI) at a price of $15.20 per share on Nov. 23, 2015, and sold another 100,000 shares on Dec 3, 2015, at a price of $15 a share. (Global)

Morneau at centre of fierce debate in Commons that leads to Tory MP's ejection

Finance Minister Bill Morneau found himself fending off fresh Opposition broadsides Thursday during another tumultuous question period — this one so turbulent a Conservative MP was booted from the House of Commons. Morneau has been at the centre of an ethics controversy for weeks, and the latest questions were focused on new revelations his father sold off about $1.5 million shares in their family-built company right before the minister made a major 2015 tax-change announcement. Opposition MPs say they believe the tax news led to a dip in the stock market — including the value of Morneau Shepell shares. (Financial Post)

North Korean defectors in Toronto worried they may be deported: ‘They treat us like garbage’

A group of North Korean defectors living in Toronto, some of them for years, are worried that they soon might be deported. Taegun Kim, a contractor who has been in Canada for 11 years, said he found out Tuesday that he might have to leave. “I’ve been living in Canada doing my own business and I’ve been settled down for a long time. And my friends here also, they also settled down well,” he said. “We North Korean defectors are doing our best for our country, doing our work.” (Global)

Tories Push Trudeau To Keep FGM Warning In Citizenship Guide

Federal Conservatives are pressuring the Liberal government to ensure that the final draft of the new citizenship guide includes a warning that female genital mutilation (FGM) is a crime in Canada. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not speak to the guide when pressed about the issue in question period Wednesday, but said he is committed to ending the "barbaric practice" around the world. (Huffington Post)

Jury Finds Garcia Zarate Not Guilty In Steinle Murder Trial; Trump Calls Verdict ‘Disgraceful’

Jurors Thursday afternoon acquitted the illegal immigrant accused of killing Kate Steinle as she walked with her father on a crowded San Francisco pier of all charges except for felony possession of a firearm. A spokesperson for the Superior Court of California made the announcement that the jury had reached a verdict shortly after 3 p.m. Shortly after 4:30 p.m., the shocking verdict was announced that Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was found not guilty of all charges except for the gun possession charge. (CBS) (ABC)

Trump slams ‘disgraceful’ verdict as illegal immigrant is acquitted of murder in San Francisco

US President Donald Trump blasted a California jury that acquitted a Mexican immigrant who was in the US illegally in the shooting death of a woman in San Francisco two years ago after local officials let the man go while he was awaiting deportation. “A disgraceful verdict in the Kate Steinle case! No wonder the people of our Country are so angry with Illegal Immigration,” Trump said in a post on Twitter Thursday night. (SCMP)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Trudeau government sets new record for vacant appointments

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has set a new record for the number of unfilled government appointments, with 585 jobs currently vacant or occupied by someone whose appointment is past its expiry date, according to an analysis by CBC News. A year after the Liberals assured Canadians their new open, merit-based appointment system was in place and would fix the problem, the government's ability to make appointments is still plagued by backlogs and bureaucracy. (CBC)

Tightened definition in Bill C-59 will make it easier to charge those promoting terrorism, Goodale says

As the government faces pressure over why it isn’t prosecuting more suspected terrorists who have returned from fighting overseas, Canada’s public safety minister says its new security legislation will at least make it easier to charge someone for promoting acts of terrorism. On Thursday, MPs started their study of Bill C-59, a massive bill that scales back some of the controversial national security legislation, known as Bill C-51, passed by the previous Conservative government in 2015. (National Post)

Assad bombs starving children in rebel-held Eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus

For the people of the last rebel-held suburb of Damascus, days begin with a desperate hunt for food and end with burials for those slaughtered. Eastern Ghouta, a besieged district northeast of the Syrian capital, has been pummelled by 247 airstrikes and 1,200 artillery shells since mid-November as President Assad’s forces and their Iranian and Russian allies try to score a decisive victory in one of the opposition’s longest-surviving bastions. (

Why North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test is worrisome

On Wednesday, North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that may be capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. The regime is calling it the Hwasong-15, which translates to “Mars” in Korean. North Korea’s state media marked the launch by showing video images of the missile blasting off, as a newscaster proclaimed that it could carry a “super large heavy warhead.” (Washington Post)

German Jews Stop Wearing Yarmulkes Due To Muslim Attacks

The members of a Jewish community in Western Germany are no longer wearing yarmulkes after being attacked multiple times by Muslims. Jews in the city of Bochum are becoming increasingly afraid and concerned that they have to hide their Jewish identities over fears that they will be attacked, The Jerusalem Post reported. Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, told the newspaper on Tuesday that German authorities have a moral obligation to ensure that Jews are protected and not targeted by the Muslim community. (Daily Wire)

Israeli soldier stabbed to death in 'terror attack'

A soldier has been stabbed to death in southern Israel in what police say was a suspected terror attack. Sgt Ron Isaac Kukia, 19, was killed at a bus stop in the city of Arad on Thursday night. Security forces are searching for at least one attacker. The attack comes amid an increase in tension, after a Palestinian was shot dead by an Israeli settler in the occupied West Bank earlier in the day. (BBC)

Pakistan attack: Gunmen storm Peshawar training college

Gunmen have stormed a college in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, killing at least nine people and injuring 36. At least three men disguised in burkas arrived in a rickshaw and entered the Peshawar Agriculture Training Institute on Friday morning. All of the attackers were also killed, the army said. The Pakistani Taliban said they had carried out the attack. (BBC)

Donald Trump could soon declare Jerusalem as Israeli capital: officials

U.S. President Donald Trump is considering recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that could upend decades of American policy and ratchet up Middle East tensions, but is expected to again delay his campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy there, U.S. officials said on Thursday. (Global)



Candice Malcolm: 'Chill out' about jihadists? Nonsense

Islamic State terrorists are back in Canada, and the Trudeau government doesn’t seem to have a clue how to handle the situation. This cluelessness was on display in Question Period last week when Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how many ISIS jihadists were back in Canada. In one of his worst performances in the House of Commons (and that’s a low bar), Trudeau responded by reading a prepared statement. Since his words were likely written by someone with expertise on the file, you would expect a thoughtful and coherent response. (Toronto Sun) (Province)

Farzana Hassan: Trudeau's famous inclusiveness shouldn't be extended to terrorists

We get it! Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a noble soul who will go to any length to appease, mollify and console marginalized groups. The assigned tasks of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is one such example, although nothing concrete has so far emerged from the meetings and brainstorming under its mandate. Trudeau has also accepted refugees from war-torn Syria and provided them opportunities to resettle in this country. (Toronto Sun)

John Robson: Politicians are failing to protect our privacy — and it's our own fault

The other day I noticed a book called “Critical Infrastructure Security” and thought sadly, “There’s a short read.” It’s amazing how dependent we are on ever more elaborate, integrated, vulnerable computer networks that we take for granted like gravity, always there, sometimes convenient and other times not, but really nothing to do with us. I have many concerns about the internet, from the proliferation of junk to the deterioration of manners to the dangers of AI starting to design itself. (Laugh while you can.) But what currently has custody of my goat is a report by Bruce Schneier’s “Cryptogram,” which I have recommended before, about the latest Equifax hack. (National Post)

Robyn Urback: There's zero proof of Morneau's nefariousness. If only the minister still had his credibility

A Senate page could've wet his or her pants on the floor of the House of Commons Thursday, and no one would have noticed. Amid the routine feckless shouting and heckling, the Speaker of the House had to remind the prime minister to refrain from calling other members liars, before ejecting Conservative MP Blake Richards, who refused to settle down. (CBC)

John Ivison: When planes become cattle cars we're trapped on for six hours, we need a passenger bill of rights

There are few more horrific scenarios in the First World than being stuck on the tarmac at an airport for six hours, in the middle of summer, without air conditioning, food or water. That was the experience of travellers on two Air Transat flights last July 31, after they were diverted to Ottawa because of bad weather. “It was as if we’d been taken hostage and there was no way out,” said Maryanne Zehil. Another passenger called 911. (National Post)