True North Initiative News Scan 12 05 2017


Sri Lankan family deported after spending 5 years in Canada

A Sri Lankan family who spent five years in Canada was deported Sunday despite appeals to Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to issue a reprieve. Their flight took off from Montreal's Trudeau airport Sunday evening. Before leaving their home in Parc-Extension, Robert Lawrence, the father of the family, said they were all very sad, but still love Canada despite their deportation. (Yahoo)

Trudeau set to meet China’s ‘paramount leader’ as free trade talks fail to emerge in Beijing

Expectations that Canada was primed to launch formal free trade talks with China crashed on Monday, when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came out of discussions with his Chinese counterpart pledging only to continue exploring the possibility of pursuing an accord. Both leaders painted their dialogue as warm and productive, yet Trudeau and Premier Li Keqiang told reporters that the shared goal of beginning formal trade negotiations between Canada and the world’s second-largest economy was held up for the time being. Trudeau said that China is “very aware” it would be a substantial precedent to begin trade negotiations with a G7 country for the first time, but added that there was no single issue that kept the two sides from agreeing to launch discussions. (Toronto Star)

Trudeau says trade with China an answer to rising populism

Pursuing free trade with China and preserving the North American Free Trade Agreement are part of Canada’s international mission to combat the rising tide of populism, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. Trudeau capped the first leg of his China trip in Beijing on Tuesday meeting the country’s powerful president as talks continued to formally kickstart free trade negotiations between the two countries. (Financial Post)

Trudeau’s Beijing Scramble Is Canada’s Latest Trade Stumble

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s latest trip to China was preceded by a slew of signals that the countries would launch free-trade talks. Canadian lawmakers said flatly that was the goal; exploratory talks had just wrapped; Canada released a public consultation teeing things up; and Trudeau’s trade chief, Francois-Philippe Champagne, spoke about the allure of the Chinese market -- while also warning no decision had been made. (Bloomberg)

Closing arguments begin for Montreal couple accused of terrorism-related offences

Lawyers are delivering their closing statements in the trial of a young Montreal couple accused of preparing to go to Syria to fight with ISIS. The prosecution also accuse Sabrine Djermane, 21, and El Mahdi Jamali, 20, of having instructions and materials to make a bomb. They were arrested in the spring of 2015 and are facing charges of: Attempting to leave Canada to commit a terrorist act. Possession of an explosive substance. Committing an act under the direction of, or for the profit of, a terrorist organization. (CBC) (CTV)

Conservatives accuse Trudeau of smug approach to returning foreign fighters

The debate over whether the government is doing enough to deal with foreign fighters returning to Canada took a personal turn in the House of Commons on Monday when Conservatives accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of wearing the “same little arrogant smile” when answering questions about the matter in recent weeks. (Global)

Ex-intelligence official reveals covert operation to free Boyle family from militants

In the board room of a suburban office building north of Toronto, the plan to free Joshua Boyle and his family from Haqqani Network militants was plotted on whiteboards on the walls. “Operation Hurriyah,” it read across the top in blue marker, using the Arabic term for freedom. “Mission – Thru influence, negotiation, pressure or ransom enable their safe return.” (Global)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International) 

'I just go to die': Edmonton TB patient implores Ottawa to reconsider Haiti deportation

Renold Francisque wept as he stepped out of the Canada Border Services building in Edmonton. A crimson growth on the side of his neck bulged over his shirt collar as he stared down at a letter that read to him like a death sentence. For the past nine months, Francisque has been treated for tuberculosis. But his treatment may end abruptly on Jan. 2, 2018, if he is deported back to Haiti. (Yahoo)

Immigration firm sanctioned for offering fake jobs still drawing complaints after changing its name

A company that was sanctioned by the Saskatchewan government for offering fake jobs to would-be immigrants from China has changed its name but is still facing allegations of improper conduct. In 2013, the government suspended the immigration consultant connected to Canmax, after discovering the company had offered almost 100 fake jobs to Chinese nationals seeking permanent residence in Canada through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program. (CBC)

At a Chinese Internet giant, Trudeau sells Canada – but is denied a live broadcast

The publicity materials for Justin Trudeau's inaugural event in China this week promised a splashy debut. "Why would this great leader, famous for his good looks and youth, choose to visit Sina first?" asked the official news account of the company, a Chinese online giant that made Mr. Trudeau the guest of honour at its Beijing headquarters on his second official visit to China. (CBC)

'This isn’t my idea of a threesome': Tory MP apologizes for 'flippant' comment to Liberal

A Liberal member of Parliament from Quebec says a Conservative MP made comments towards her that were “humiliating” and “sexual in nature” during an event back in May. Sherry Romanado levelled the accusation Monday, even though Manitoba MP James Bezan had risen in the House of Commons a few hours earlier to deliver an apology — which he later said he’d been trying to give for months. (National Post)

Small-business advocates lament ‘appalling’ lack of detail ahead of Jan. 1 tax changes

The federal government will impose new restrictions on how small-business owners can divide income among family members as of Jan. 1, even though the promised details of the changes still haven't been released. Anxious business owners are warning the lack of information will create big headaches in the new year. (Globe and Mail)

Big changes for Florida with mass Puerto Rican immigration

On September 20, powerful Maria tore across Puerto Rico, destroying homes, shattering the island's rickety power grid and phone network, and leaving its 3.4 million residents in the dark and incommunicado. Many remain so today. "It's a relief to be off the island and to be away from where everything is so difficult," said Sanchez, a 43 year-old bilingual school teacher. (Rappler)

Jerusalem: Turkey warns Trump against crossing 'red line'

Turkey's president has warned it could sever ties with Israel if the US recognises Jerusalem as its capital. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said such a move would cross a "red line" for Muslims. A growing number of countries have urged Donald Trump not to make his anticipated announcement. (BBC)

International warnings as Trump delays Jerusalem decision

International leaders warned US President Donald Trump Tuesday that he risked outraging Muslims and jeopardising Middle East peace efforts if he recognized Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and moved the US embassy there. Trump delayed a controversial decision on the ancient holy city on Monday, following frantic public warnings from allies and private phone calls between world leaders. (Yahoo)

'The threat is very real': Millions in Tokyo to take part in North Korean nuclear attack exercise

The national and city governments are to carry out a series of exercises between January and March to prepare for a potential attack on Tokyo, the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported, the first time that a major Japanese city will have carried out responses to a simulated attack. (Telegraph)



Linda Frum: There's nothing Islamophobic about arresting ISIS fighters

According to Canadian intelligence agencies, at least 250 Canadian citizens have traveled to Syria and Iraq to fight for the terrorist organization ISIS and at least 60 of those have returned to Canada. The terrorist threat to Canada posed by these extremists is obvious. However, even if they do not commit new acts of violence in our country it remains the case that these individuals broke the law by travelling to another country for the purposes of committing an act of terror. (Toronto Sun)

Lindsay Shepherd: My Laurier interrogation shows universities have lost sight of their purpose

One of the research paper topics that students from Communication Studies 101 at Wilfrid Laurier University can choose to write about this semester is communication bubbles. Communication bubbles refer to the phenomenon of people becoming entrapped in ideological echo chambers as a result of only seeking out, or being fed, news that confirms their existing beliefs. This trend has been greatly exacerbated in recent years by social media. As a proponent of viewpoint diversity, I find the idea of communication bubbles fascinating but troubling—I believe a willingness to explore new ideas, entertain a variety of perspectives, and confront information that challenges one’s beliefs are critical values. (National Post)

Jerry Agar: Are lunatics in charge of our schools?

Perhaps you have been dreamily going through life thinking the people who run education in this province are connected to reality. I fervently wish that were true. But recently, two things happened to crush that dream for any of us naïve enough to believe in such things. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Trudeau’s trade deal with China turns into an embarrassment

The big buildup, the anticipation and then … nothing. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should have stayed in bed, colloquially speaking, and spared taxpayers the expense of yet another high-end jaunt to Beijing with a cadre of cabinet ministers and bureaucrats. (Toronto Sun)

Toronto Sun: No need to rush deal with China

It looks like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t going to walk away from his visit to China this week with a deal to formally begin trade deal negotiations. And that should be just fine with Canadians. While it’s odd for the PM to go abroad and not come home with a noteworthy win, a lot of observers point out that Trudeau’s much-coveted prize – a trade deal with China – is fraught with peril. (Toronto Sun)

John Ivison: Trudeau breaks the three rules of doing business in China, leaves Beijing empty-handed

Justin Trudeau left China’s capital without a deal to launch free trade negotiations with the world’s second largest economy. But after ‎the Prime Minister’s meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping, an agreement appears close. Sources suggested the deal was on and then off again at various points in the evening. (National Post)



  • Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-59: An Act respecting National Security Matters
  • Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet today for a Briefing on the Resettlement Issues Related to Yezidi Women and Girls
  • Standing Committee on National Defence meet tomorrow to study Canada and the Ukraine Crisis