True North Initiative News Scan 12 11 2017


Victim says police not doing enough to find convicted rapist who vanished before sentencing

Sarah had identified one suspect in her rape, an international student. She said the student was the one assailant she could remember. When Justice Richard Danyliuk acquitted the man of sexual assault, saying he believed the man honestly thought Sarah had consented to sex that night, she was heartbroken. "I just collapsed, and I was underneath the table, like, shaking and bawling," she said. (CBC)

Syrian refugees slam interpreting services in Saint John

It's been two years since the first Syrian refugees began arriving in the Saint John area, and some of those upset by continuing growing pains voiced their complaints outside the YMCA on Friday. At the core of the issue is access to interpreting services. The YMCA of Greater Saint John provides support to Syrians settled in the area, including interpreters. (CBC)

Netflix Tax Decision Is Up To Morneau, Not Me: Heritage Minister Melanie Joly

The federal heritage minister says she never agreed to exempt online streaming giant Netflix from any sales tax on its service as part of a deal that has been a political nightmare in her home province of Quebec. There were no taxes on streaming services as part of the cultural policy that Melanie Joly unveiled in late September. Instead, the policy unveiling had at its centre a $500-million pledge by California-based Netflix to set up a Canadian office and fund original homegrown content. (Huffington Post)

Jury deciding fate of young couple to be sequestered next week

The jury hearing the trial of a young couple facing terrorism charges at the Montreal courthouse will be sequestered next week. Closing arguments in the lengthy trial came to an end on Friday after defence lawyer Charles Benmouyal argued the Crown had failed to prove the couple, Sabrine Djermane, 21, and El Mahdi Jamali, 20, were doing anything more than planning to get married, against the wishes of their parents, and were preparing to travel to Greece together. (Montreal Gazette)

Man in southwestern Ontario charged after family attacked with bat amid shouts of 'ISIS'

They came to Canada to get away from war in Colombia, and are teaching their teenage son to stand up for others when he sees injustice. But Sergio Estepa is still nursing a cracked rib and large bruise after a baseball bat attack Thursday afternoon in a busy parking lot in St. Thomas, Ont. He and his family got little help from bystanders as a man charged at him, unprovoked, yelling about terrorists and ISIS. (CBC)

Ethics czar working ‘diligently’ to complete Trudeau investigation, promises to report ‘in the near future’

Ethics Commissioner Mary Dawson, who started investigating last January Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s stay at the Aga Khan’s private island in the Bahamas, is “working diligently” to get it done and make it public in the “near future,” says a spokeswoman for the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner. (Hill Times)

CRA to review disability tax credit applications after backlash from diabetics

After months of criticism and accusations it lied to disability advocates, the Canada Revenue Agency is reverting to a previous interpretation of a tax credit used by diabetics and will review applications denied since May 2017. Liberal MP Kamal Khera, the parliamentary secretary for the minister of national revenue, said the government is sorry for the confusion. "When there's an apology due we do apologize," Khera told CBC News Network's Power & Politics. (CBC)

Three arrested for Molotov cocktail attack on Gothenburg synagogue

Police arrested three people Sunday morning on suspicion of being connected with the incident. “The arrested individuals are suspected of attempted arson,” Peter Nordengard, duty officer with Police Region Väst (West), told TT. No injuries are reported following the attack and the synagogue was not damaged. (


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

International terror experts gather in Melbourne conference; fight against global extremism continues

Counterterrorism experts from around the world gathered here on Monday to discuss means to combat global extremism, as Australian police warned of increased possibilities of attacks ahead of the holiday season. The International Counter-Terrorism Forum, a three-day conference being hosted for the first time outside the US, brings together experts from intelligence agencies, officials and academics from countries such as the US, UK, Canada, France, Singapore, New Zealand and Belgium, to focus on terror prevention, reports Efe news. (Newsx)

Iraq 'completely liberated' from ISIS, says prime minister

After more than three years of combat operations, Iraq announced Saturday that the fight against the Islamic State group is over after the country's security forces drove the extremists from all of the territory they once held. Iraqi and American officials warned, however, that key challenges remain despite the military victory. (CBC)

3 reasons it may be premature to celebrate ISIS defeat in Iraq

Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced victory against ISIS, saying that the land is “completely liberated” from the radical Islamic terrorist group. Those comments set off a day of celebrations in the country, which has been fighting ISIS militants on its soil since 2014. The Iraqi government declared Sunday a national holiday. Despite the fanfare, Canada’s military approach to Iraq hasn’t changed. (CTV)

As Australia ousts MPs with dual citizenship, Canada's Parliament embraces many in its ranks

As a dual citizenship debacle rocks Australia's political world, Canada's Parliament embraces sitting MPs and Senators who were born around the world and hold dual, or even triple, citizenship. There are now at least 56 sitting parliamentarians — 44 MPs and 12 senators — born in countries outside Canada, according to information from the Library of Parliament and websites. At least 22 of them have citizenship from other countries, CBC News confirmed through queries to parliamentarians' offices. (CBC)

After Fall of ISIS, Iraq’s Second-Largest City Picks Up the Pieces

In the heat of the late summer sun, weeks after the end of one of the largest urban battles since World War II, a high school principal trekked from his home in east Mosul to the west bank of the Tigris River to confront the ruins of his life’s work. (NY Times)

What to watch as Trudeau, Scheer face test in 4 byelections

Voters in four ridings spread across the country go to the polls Monday in federal byelections that will provide a midterm report card on Justin Trudeau's Liberal government and present another tough electoral test for Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer. (CBC)

Cases of foreign caregivers seeking permanent residency significantly reduced

The federal government says the number of foreign workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program applying for permanent residency has reduced drastically over the past three years. On Saturday, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi announced the number has dropped from 62,000 to 23,000 cases. “The reason we did that is because we value the work caregivers do and we understand the aspirations that they have to become Canadians,” Sohi said. (Global)

Montreal to launch roundtable on diversity and discrimination

The Plante administration will announce later today the creation of a roundtable to address discrimination and diversity issues in the city, CBC News has learned. Made up of about a dozen members of Montreal's different cultural communities, the roundtable will meet regularly at City Hall during the next year with the goal of "making Montreal more inclusive," according to a source within the Plante administration. (CBC)

Journalist refugee launches Canada's first Syrian newspaper

There are wedding photos placed in quiet corners of the living room — a beaming young woman with black curls in a white dress hangs off the arm of a happy, clean shaven, suited man. A Christmas tree, just touching the ceiling, adorned with multicoloured orbs, sits on the edge of a giant window overlooking a lightly snow-dusted, grassless front yard in suburban Etobicoke. Tucked away, somewhere in the tidy room, are two laptops. (Toronto Star)

Thousands of veterans waiting as backlog for disability benefits explodes

The number of veterans waiting to find out whether they qualify for disability benefits has skyrocketed over the last eight months, new figures show, leaving thousands of former military members in limbo. Veterans Affairs Canada says there were about 29,000 applications for disability benefits in the queue waiting to be processed at the end of November — a nearly 50 per cent increase since the end of March. (Toronto Sun)

Police warn that jihadi fighters may return to Australia following the defeat of ISIS in Iraq

Iraq claimed victory over ISIS on the weekend, after more than three years of fighting. Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi announced his forces were in full control of the country’s border with Syria. The news has Australian police concerned that jihadi fighters may try to return and pose a terrorism threat as Australia enters peak terror season. (Business Insider)

Airbnb warns federal government about overregulation

As municipalities across the country try to figure out their regulatory relationship with Airbnb, the short-term rental service has asked the federal government to hold off on making rules that would affect its business. (CBC)

Terrorism expert questions use of ongoing surveillance resources for returning foreign fighters

In the UK over half of those who travelled to Syria and Iraq, an estimated 425, have returned. The government keeps most of them under surveillance but Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies at RUSI, says three out of four Islamic-led terrorist attacks in the UK this year were by individuals who were already radicalized and linked into a terrorist network. (National Newswatch)

Terrifying moment baseball bat-wielding racist shouting 'ISIS' and 'terrorist' attacked a family for speaking SPANISH in a parking lot in Canada

A family from Colombia was attacked by a bat-wielding man who screamed at them 'ISIS' and 'terrorist' in a shocking act of violence that police say was racially motivated. Video taken by Sergio Estepa shows her, her common-law partner Mari Zambrano, their 13-year-old son and a friend in a strip mall parking lot in St Thomas, Ontario, Canada on Thursday. (Daily Mail)

Briton jailed for 10 years for joining Islamic State

A Libyan-British national with close links to the Manchester Arena bomber has been jailed for 10 years for being a member of Islamic State. Mohammed Abdallah, 26, travelled to Syria with the help of his younger brother, Abdalraouf, who was convicted last year of assisting others in committing acts of terrorism. (Guardian)

Terror-alert speakers, CCTV rolled out across Melbourne's CBD

Sixty-five sets of speakers have already been installed at city sites where security cameras are in place, including Bourke Street Mall and Flinders Street Station. Police Minister Lisa Neville said another 31 CCTV cameras would be installed over the next 12 months, along with the loudspeakers, to help keep people safe in a major emergency. (ABC)

11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. “It was forced on me,” she recalls. She had become pregnant, she says, and child welfare authorities were investigating — so her family and church officials decided the simplest way to avoid a messy criminal case was to organize a wedding. (NY Times)

Grooming gangs of Muslim men failed to integrate into British society

The failure of certain parts of the Asian community to integrate into British society has led to gangs of British Pakistani Muslim men​ targeting white women with drink and drugs before raping and sexually abusing them, an anti-extremism think tank claims. The report by Quilliam calls for greater support to help integrate British Pakistani people into modern British society. (Telegraph)

Jerusalem: Netanyahu expects EU to follow US recognition

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu says he expects European countries to follow the US in recognising Jerusalem as his country's capital. He is in Brussels for talks - the first time an Israeli prime minister has visited the city in more than 20 years. (BBC)

Israel, Turkey leaders trade insults over US Jerusalem decision

Relations between Israel and Turkey took a bitter turn Sunday as their leaders traded accusations of involvement in terrorism, days after the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would fight against the controversial declaration, describing Israel as a "terrorist state" that kills children, in a speech in Istanbul. (Yahoo)

Why North Korea’s nuclear test is still producing aftershocks

North Korea's nuclear test in September didn't just generate diplomatic shockwaves but also a 6.3 magnitude earthquake. Aftershocks have continued ever since, and on Saturday the US Geological Survey said it had detected two more, sparking significant debate about what might be going on underground. (BBC)

Venezuela opposition banned from running in 2018 election

Venezuela's President, Nicolás Maduro, says the country's main opposition parties are banned from taking part in next year's presidential election. He said only parties which took part in Sunday's mayoral polls would be able to contest the presidency. (BBC)



Candice Malcolm: Canada dodged a bullet on China trip

When I was a graduate student, my class travelled to Shanghai to participate in an academic program. Before we arrived in China, we were briefed about the different norms and rules to follow while studying at a Chinese university. The first rule was not to ask questions about controversial topics, topics that would make our hosts feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. We were specifically told to avoid the “three T’s”: Taiwan, Tibet and Tiananmen Square. When we arrived, we learned that real list of taboo topics was even longer. (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Response to Trump move is about Jew hatred

To anyone unfamiliar with the burning cauldron of Mideast politics, it must seem bizarre. How can people around the world be rioting, firing rockets at Israel, firebombing a synagogue in Sweden and threatening even more terrorism over U.S. President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? And promising to move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv within three years? (Toronto Sun)

Lorrie Goldstein: Trudeau’s government just plain cruel

One of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s favourite boasts about his Liberal government – perhaps his very favourite – is its great compassion for ordinary Canadians. Ordinary Canadians who are Thalidomide survivors, disabled veterans, diabetics, retail employees and small business owners would beg to disagree. (Toronto Sun)

Tom Parkin: The blunt facts about Morneau's tax cut for the rich

There’s been massive anger at U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent “middle class tax cut”—and especially his deceptiveness, since his tax cut actually pays the biggest benefit to affluent Americans, not the middle class. Oddly, there’s been very little analysis of our own Finance Minister’s “middle class tax cut”—which, like Trump’s, pays the maximum benefit to highest incomes. So let’s start. (Toronto Sun)



-       Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration meet tomorrow to study Medical Inadmissibility of Immigrants

-       Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security meet today to study Bill C-66, Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act

-       Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development meet tomorrow on United States and Canadian Foreign Policy