True North Initiative News Scan 12 15 2017


High-profile Liberal donor found to have swindled millions in immigration scheme

In the tightly-knit world of Vancouver’s wealthy Chinese immigrants, Paul Se Hui Oei stood out for his ties to some of Canada’s most powerful politicians and his mastery of cultivating guanxi, or personal relationships, that attracted legions of Chinese clients eager for his assistance in gaining a legal foothold in Canada. But behind closed doors, the authorities say, Oei, a prominent immigration consultant and philanthropist, ran an elaborate fraud scheme, pocketing millions from investors, including many Chinese citizens led to believe their investment would help them secure permanent residency in Canada. Instead, the authorities say, he spent the money on luxury cars, beauty pageants and donations to political parties. (National Post) (Richmond News)

Advocacy group threatens legal action over Liberals' ethics commissioner pick

A non-partisan government accountability organization plans to take the Liberal government to court over their rushed appointment of the new ethics commissioner. Democracy Watch is crying foul over the selection of Mario Dion as the replacement for outgoing commissioner Mary Dawson and labelling the appointment process that’s unfolded this past week as “illegal”. The Liberals announced their pick for the post on Monday, then announced a last minute one-hour Tuesday committee meeting where opposition MPs had seven minutes to ask questions of Dion. Wednesday was the last day the House of Commons was sitting before the Christmas break. (Toronto Sun)

McMaster looking into alleged hate-filled social media posts

McMaster University is finally looking into complaints about hate-filled social media posts made by students at the school. Members of the campus group Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights (SPHR) have posted praise for Hitler as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments; some have lauded the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is banned as a terrorist group in Canada. (Toronto Sun)

Judge gives stateless man a second chance to stay in Canada

The Federal Court has chided immigration officials for refusing to let a 66-year-old stateless man be a permanent resident on humanitarian grounds even though there is no prospect of deporting him to any country. In quashing the immigration decision and sending the case back to the department for reconsideration, Justice E. Susan Elliott said Francisco Suarez Abeleira can’t continue to be trapped in “limbo” in Canada and deserves a chance to have a new life. (Toronto Star)

What terror trial jury didn't hear: Sister reported, then recanted suspicious activity

The most potentially incriminating evidence gathered in Sabrine Djermane and El Mahdi Jamali’s alleged attempt to travel to Syria to join ISIL was never heard by the jury now deliberating in their trial. Statements made by two of Djermane’s sisters (and a few other people) to anti-terrorism investigators in April 2015 were key to the investigation and led to the trial that began in September. The jury assembled to hear evidence in the case at the Montreal courthouse was sequestered Thursday afternoon after Superior Court Justice Marc David delivered his final instructions to the panel. (Montreal Gazette)

Jury in Montreal terror trial didn’t hear of couple’s threats to attack Canada

The jury heard evidence of a handwritten recipe for a homemade bomb found in the apartment the couple shared in Montreal; that nails, batteries, glue and other ingredients for an explosive device were found in Jamali’s family home; that the couple had reported their Canadian passports stolen and applied for replacement travel documents; and that a computer seized in the investigation had been used to access propaganda material created by radical Islamic terror groups. (Toronto Star)

Unless it means saving lives, Canadian Forces can no longer use information obtained through torture

The Liberal government has expanded its directions covering the use of foreign intelligence likely obtained through torture to include the Canada’s military, diplomatic service and electronic spy agency. The move means the Canadian Forces, Communications Security Establishment and Global Affairs Canada are being prohibited from using information gleaned from torture, unless it means saving lives. That includes preventing a terrorist attack or protecting Canadian soldiers on overseas missions. (National Post) (CBC)

Jews Flee Paris Suburbs Over Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism

The Paris commuter newspaper 20 Minutes documents an “internal exodus” during 2017 of Jews from the Seine-Saint-Denis department, saying it is emblematic of broader concerns that French Jews, like their brothers and sisters across Europe, are finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile their faith with the changing demographics of the continent. (Breitbart)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

CSIS settles multimillion-dollar lawsuit with employees who claimed workplace Islamophobia, racism and homophobia

Canada’s spy service has settled a multimillion-dollar lawsuit with five intelligence officers and analysts who claimed they faced years of discrimination because they were gay, Muslim or Black. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service posted a comment from director David Vigneault on the agency’s website Thursday afternoon, stating that the agreement had been reached with the help of a mediator. (Toronto Star)

Debt-to-household-income ratio for Canadians hits new high in third quarter

Statistics Canada reported that household credit market debt as a proportion of household disposable income increased to 171.1 per cent, up from 170.1 per cent in the second quarter. That means there was $1.71 in credit market debt, which includes consumer credit and mortgage and non-mortgage loans, for every dollar of household disposable income. (Toronto Sun)

Liberals to unveil lifetime pensions next week, but veterans say amounts too low

The federal government is preparing to offer disabled veterans who retired in the past 12 years the lifetime pensions they have demanded but the amounts being discussed are far lower than what is given to those who left the Canadian Forces before 2006. (Globe and Mail) (CBC)

Senate committee turns ugly, shouting ensues amid accusations of a 'smear campaign' over expenses

A meeting of the Senate's all-powerful internal economy committee became heated Thursday as Independent Sen. Marilou McPhedran accused another member of the Red Chamber of trying to ruin her reputation by insinuating she has been untruthful about her expenses. (CBC)

Two Conservative senators’ business venture linked to China

Two Conservative senators – one with close ties to Beijing – set up a private consulting business this year with partners who are involved in attracting investment from China to Newfoundland and Labrador, corporate records show. Senator Victor Oh, who recently said he has not conducted any "personal business" in Canada or China since his appointment to the Red Chamber in 2013, formed a St. John's-based company in April with Senator David Wells. (Globe and Mail)

Kenney cruises to victory in Calgary-Lougheed byelection

Jason Kenney continued his steamroller run through Alberta politics Thursday, easily winning the Calgary-Lougheed byelection and setting his sights on Premier Rachel Notley. The United Conservative Party leader was the heavy favourite in the race — triggered by the resignation of UCP MLA Dave Rodney to make way for Kenney — and unofficial results showed the former federal cabinet minister with 71.5 per cent of the vote and a nearly 6,000-vote lead over the NDP’s Phillip van der Merwe. (Calgary Herald)

Trump's security paper offers stark vision of global rivalry

Trump's doctrine, to be laid out next week when he unveils his National Security Strategy, holds that nation states are in perpetual competition and the U.S. must fight on all fronts to protect and defend its sovereignty from friend and foe alike. While the administration often says that "America First" does not mean "America Alone," the NSS to be presented by Trump on Monday will make clear that the United States will stand up for itself even if that means acting unilaterally or alienating others on issues like trade, climate change and immigration, according to sources familiar with the strategy. (CTV)

Renewed Push for Immigration Reform After NYC Terror Attack

The Trump administration is doubling down on its push to end chain migration after a failed terror attack in New York on Dec. 11. Chain migration occurs when a person immigrates to the United States and in turn sponsors other relatives to join him or her. Those relatives, in turn, can sponsor people, and so on, indefinitely. (Epoch Times)

‘Wait For us’: ISIS Threatens US Over Donald Trump’s Jerusalem Move

Islamic State or ISIS threatened to carry out a terror spree in the United States in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Several social media accounts of the ISIS carried out a message that the terrorist organisation will hit back at the US for Trump’s Jerusalem move. On December 6, Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his intention of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. (India)

ISIS Threatens National Cathedral in Fiery Propaganda Image

Islamic State supporters issued a new Christmas-themed threat showing the National Cathedral in Washington in flames, with a camouflage-clad jihadist wielding a rifle standing in front of the Gothic structure. The poster circulating among ISIS channels photoshops the photo of the church used on its Wikipedia page. (PJ Media)

US woman used bitcoin to move cash to Islamic State, police say

A New York woman has been accused of laundering bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and wiring the money to help the so-called Islamic State. Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, was charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering and is being held without bail. (BBC)



Candice Malcolm: What hate crime statistics really say

We’re often told that hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise,and that anti-Muslim bigotry is a growing problem in Canada. This is the argument behind the Trudeau government’s dubious motion, M-103, which seeks to use a “whole-of-government approach” to eliminate the undefined and politically-loaded concept of  “Islamophobia”. “The government should recognize the need to quell the increasing public climate of hate and fear; condemn Islamophobia and all forms of systemic racism and religious discrimination,” reads the text. But is it true there is an “increasing public climate of hate and fear”? (Toronto Sun)

Farzana Hassan: Liberal unwillingness to condemn FGM is a sad political move

Female genital mutilation is a brutal custom rooted in patriarchy. Yet some in the Liberal government have shied away from calling it what it is, and missed a great opportunity not simply to condemn the practice but also to educate potential Canadians about the frightful effects it has on girls and women. As Canada’s citizenship guide is being reviewed, citizenship minister Ahmed Hussen has done nothing but equivocate on whether he will include a statement condemning the practice as barbaric. (Toronto Sun)

Mark Bonokoski: Hush surrounds alleged 'inappropriate behaviour' of PMO staffer

While the Trudeau Liberals like to tout a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior or sexual harassment — as in turfing offenders out of caucus — the prime minister appears more than willing to keep alleged indiscretions within his own inner circle on the down-low. As in hush-hush. (Toronto Sun)

Geoffrey Johnston: Prosecute returning ISIS fighters

The Islamic State has been defeated on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria, causing the jihadist organization's so-called caliphate to collapse. Fighters from the Islamic State -- also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh -- are fleeing the Middle East, and many are returning to their countries of origin in Europe, Canada and elsewhere. According to mass atrocities prevention expert Simon Adams, "ISIS is not just a terrorist organization." He also describes ISIS as a group that has "committed war crimes and crimes against humanity across Iraq and Syria." (Whig)

Gerry Nicolls: The UN, What’s it Good For?

When he’s not photo-bombing high school proms, or checking EBay for the latest in Star Wars socks, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reportedly angling for a prestigious seat on the United Nations Security Council. Of course, if he gets that seat (and really, how can anyone say “no” to him?), the Canadian media will naturally hail it as a great diplomatic triumph and will swamp the prime minister with gallons of gushing praise. (More so than usual I mean.) (The Post Millennial)



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