True North Initiative: News Scan 12 27 16


Canadians want Trudeau to stand up to Trump, but welcome a visit: Nanos poll

Most Canadians want Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stand up to Donald Trump as a champion of progressive values and the international order, even if it strains Canada-U.S. relations, according to a new poll from Nanos Research Group. A majority of Canadians also want Mr. Trudeau to invite Mr. Trump to first visit Canada, as is tradition for an incoming president, the poll says. (Globe and Mail)

Rampant corruption on the ground biggest hurdle to bringing Yazidis to Canada, expert warns

Widespread corruption in Iraq is the biggest challenge Canada will confront in resettling Yazidi women and girls, warns the expert who led Germany's groundbreaking effort to grant asylum to 1,100 survivors of sexual slavery, torture and violence by ISIS. Canada has committed to follow Germany's lead in receiving an undetermined number of people fleeing genocide in northern Iraq, and is taking advice on what hurdles lie ahead. (CBC)

Refugee praised as 'inspirational' by BBC deemed inadmissible to Canada

A refugee named by the BBC as one of the world’s 100 most “inspirational and influential” women in 2016 has had her asylum claim suspended by Ottawa because of her activism. Karima Mehrab was recognized by the British Broadcasting Corporation for her “campaigns for independence for Balochistan,” an area that had been under the British rule until 1947 and was later acceded to Pakistan as one of the country’s four provinces. Ironically, Mehrab’s efforts are also what got the 33-year-old chair of the Baloch Students Organization (BSO), one of the groups behind the Balochistan separatist movement, into trouble in Canada. (Metro)

Trump calls U.N. ‘just a club for people’ to ‘have a good time’

Three days after the United Nations adopted a resolution calling on Israel to halt Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory, President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that the international body “is just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” The harsh criticism, which Trump made Monday while vacationing at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, signaled he would likely challenge more than just the 71-year-old institution’s approach to the Middle East once he takes office. (Washington Post)


OTHER STORIES (Domestic and International)

Canada’s growing indigenous population reshaping cities across the country

Across Canada, cities are being reshaped by growing indigenous populations. In the biggest cities on the prairies, and in smaller northern centres close to First Nations reserves, an indigenous population is growing in size and political influence. Already, changes at the local level are signalling a societal turn. (Globe and Mail)

Quebec City guide to help integrate newcomers derided as insulting, infantilizing

Immigrants who settle in Quebec City are being offered a new guide to explain local customs, and the authors spare no detail in telling the newcomers how to fit in – for example, refrain from committing incest, wash with soap and use underarm deodorant to “control perspiration and bad odours.” The guide from city hall was made public last week and has already been condemned as insulting and paternalistic. (Globe and Mail)

‘I cannot sleep at night’: A Yazidi mother’s anguish over her husband and daughters, captured by ISIS

Murat, Hachem and Jamal were separated from the rest of their kin and taken across the border into Syria with about 500 other Yazidi women and children to ISIS’s self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa. Murat’s husband and girls, aged nine, seven and five, were sent east to Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, which is now besieged on all sides by Iraqi and Kurdish forces and a mixture of religious militias. “I have heard nothing of my husband and daughters since the day that Daesh took us,” Murat said, referring to Islamic State by its Arabic acronym. (National Post)

Russian transport minister says terrorism not likely the cause of plane crash

A pilot error or a technical fault — not terrorism — is likely to be the cause of the plane crash into the Black Sea, Russia's transport minister said Monday as the nation held a day of mourning for the victims. All 84 passengers and eight crew members on the Russian military's Tu-154 plane are believed to have died Sunday morning when it crashed two minutes after taking off from the southern city of Sochi. The passengers included dozens of singers in Russia's world-famous military choir, nine Russian journalists and a Russian doctor known for her charity work in war zones. (CBC)

Japan PM Shinzo Abe in Hawaii for landmark Pearl Harbor visit

Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has visited several memorials in Hawaii, ahead of a visit to Pearl Harbor, the US naval base attacked by the Japanese in 1941. Mr Abe will be accompanied by US President Barack Obama, making the visit the first by the leaders of both countries since the attack. Mr Abe will pray for the dead but will not issue an apology, his aides said. (BBC)

European border agency Frontex warns Isis is weaponising refugees

Western security officials are warning the Isis terror group may be trying to manipulate refugees into carrying out terrorist attacks. There are also fears Isis will sneak in trained fighters among the mass movements of people fleeing war, hunger and extreme poverty.  Frontex, the European border and coast guard agency, stressed the need for the continent to be ready for the potential dangers. (



Michael Qazvini: The 7 Worst Things The UN Has Ever Done

The United Nations has long been a failed international organization whose words rarely match its actions. Staffed by dictators and tyrants, the UN has ignored some of the worst atrocities in the world, allowing and even sanctioning mankind’s vilest vices. On Friday, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed an egregiously anti-Israel resolution designed to demonize the Jewish State by scapegoating the non-issue of “settlements.” (The Daily Wire)

Rex Murphy: Justin Trudeau's easy ride will end in 2017

Justin Trudeau owned 2016, according to Rex Murphy. Trudeau brought the Liberals back to government from their long, strange interlude from power. His popularity was strong throughout most of the year — fortified by the Conservatives' lacklustre leadership race, his "bromance" with Barack Obama, wide-ranging foreign press attention and celebrity-like admiration from coast to coast. But Trudeau's last two months — marred by the bungling of the electoral reform file, his awkward lamentation for the death of dictator and dinner dates with billionaires, which called into question his commitment to his own conflict of interest guidelines — exposed vulnerabilities that will make 2017 a far bumpier road. Check out Murphy's full assessment below. (CBC)

Tony Coulson: How a frightening world shapes Canadians’ values

Over the past couple of decades, Canadian society has been evolving toward a more open and flexible outlook: a worldview that sees diversity as an asset and cross-cultural interaction as an opportunity instead of a threat. But not all Canadians welcome this change, and recent events seem to be strengthening the will of those who believe that people coming to Canada from elsewhere are more likely to bring trouble than valuable energy and ideas. One example: Canadians’ attitudes about terror attacks and the steps to be taken to avoid them. (Globe and Mail)

Lorne Gunter: Trudeau gets one right on pipelines ... so far

Trust me, I am grateful that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ended 2016 by approving, then talking up, two major pipeline projects – Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Extension and Enbridge’s Line 3. The Liberal leader had begun the year being rather dodgy about another pipeline – TransCanada’s Energy East. (Toronto Sun)

David Krayden: Donald Trump has changed Canada's political landscape dramatically

President-elect Donald Trump didn’t take much notice of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau throughout the U.S. presidential election campaign. He was barely cognizant of Canada — even when he focused, as he chronically did — on the alleged inequities and irrationality of the North American Free Trade Agreement. For Trump, the NAFTA narrative was always about Mexico. (Toronto Sun)