This Week in Canadian Politics 2018-05-27

by | May 27, 2018


By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

“Canada’s military is considering lifting a longstanding citizenship requirement as a way to boost its numbers.

Right now, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) offers waivers to foreign nationals only in exceptional cases — to individuals on international military exchanges, for example, or to candidates who have specialized skills in high demand.

That citizenship requirement is now under review.

“In line with the government of Canada’s objective of raising the numbers of Forces personnel, there are currently initial discussions to review the possibility for foreign nationals’ recruitment beyond skills applicants,” Byrne Furlong, spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, wrote in an email. “It is too early to mention anything about any results or conclusion of such review‎.”

DND spokesman Maj. Alexandre Munoz said the existing Skilled Military Foreign Applicant program is open to any foreign applicant with a specialized skill set that would reduce training costs or fill particular needs — a trained pilot or a doctor, to cite two examples.”


“The federal government has blocked the sale of Canadian construction company Aecon Group Inc. to Chinese interests, citing national security.

The controversial deal between Aecon and China’s CCCC International Holding Ltd., also known as CCCI, would have been worth $1.5 billion.

“As is always the case, we listened to the advice of our national security agencies throughout the multi-step national security review process under the Investment Canada Act,” Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains said in a statement Wednesday.

“Based on their findings, in order to protect national security, we ordered CCCI not to implement the proposed investment.”

The statement did not explain what specific threats to Canada’s national security surfaced during the review.”


“As with many of the trade actions announced by the Trump administration, the possible effects of his proposed Section 232 investigation of vehicle imports are both menacing and unclear.

To understand how it might affect Canada, one first has to know how the Trump administration intends to define an “imported car.”

A Japanese car made in Japan or a German car made in Germany would clearly fit the bill. But what about a Cadillac XTS assembled by General Motors in Oshawa, Ont., using mostly U.S. parts?

Although the exact breakdown of vehicles by NAFTA country of origin is a closely guarded commercial secret, it’s safe to say there’s a lot more U.S. than Canadian content in cars and trucks assembled here. An average ratio might be about seven-to-one.

But the words Donald Trump used on the day his administration announced this latest Section 232 investigation — calling Canada and Mexico “spoiled,” for example — strongly suggest he had NAFTA imports in mind, as well as cars and trucks from other continents.”


“De-radicalization expert Mubin Shaikh said he’s conflicted over what to do about returned former Canadian ISIS fighter Abu Huzaifa, a man he said he has personally counselled since he returned to Canada.

“He’s going to school. He’s working. He’s trying to repair his life. He understands what he did was wrong, or even what he was involved in was wrong. And he is working toward rectifying that,” Shaikh said in an interview with host Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network’s Power & PoliticsThursday.

“What does that mean? That we can rehabilitate him and just send him on his merry way and everything is okay? I don’t like that idea. I think we need to keep him in some kind of program or something where at least we have eyes on him.”

Huzaifa returned to Canada in 2016, but a new New York Times podcast has drawn renewed attention to his story. The former ISIS member gave detailed accounts to NYT reporter Rukmini Callimachi of carrying out two execution-style killings while a member of ISIS in Syria.”


“Ontario’s Liberal leader insists her attacks on the New Democrats are different from those of the Progressive Conservatives, though both are labelling the poll-leading party as “radical.”

On Friday, the Progressive Conservatives alleged an NDP candidate in east Toronto, Tasleem Riaz, had made offensive comments online, including a post from 2013 misquoting Adolf Hitler, and a release sent by the Liberals on Saturday morning cites the post and describes the New Democrats as “too risky, too radical.”

When asked about her use of the term — one Tory leader Doug Ford has frequently used to denounce the NDP — Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne was quick to distinguish herself from the Progressive Conservative leader.”


“Call it the “Curious Case of the Bashed Bear and the Whacked Whale.”

Two Inuit sculptures intended as Canada’s gifts to New Zealand’s prime minister and attorney general mysteriously arrived in that country smashed to bits.

“Due to the long distance travelled, including transit points in three countries, it was not possible to determine where or when the damage to the sculptures occurred or to assign blame to any one person,” said Angela Savard, spokesperson for the Department of Justice Canada.

“No police authorities were contacted in the three countries as there was no clear crime to report.”

The soapstone carvings of a whale and a bear were chosen by Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould from a federal ‘gift bank’ shortly before her official trip to New Zealand in 2016.”


“Imagine for a moment you’ve taken the kind of drug normally intended to put you to sleep through torturous plane rides, but this one’s designed to make tedious political disputes disappear.

When you wake up, the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline debate will be over.

And so what happened?

Did it get built? Did B.C. or Alberta emerge victorious? Is the pipeline cited as one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s greatest accomplishments or worst failures?

And what about the argument itself? The trading of threats between the provinces; the epic warnings from both Ottawa and the company; the end-of days pronouncements from people on either side of the fight?”


Scott Douglas Jacobsen founded In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal.

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