Category Archives: Uncategorized

Majority of Parliament Hill security staff haven’t had thorough background checks

A majority of the security personnel on Parliament Hill, some of whom are armed, have not had thorough background checks and routinely have access to sensitive information despite a lack of official clearance, federal officials say.

The situation applies to two groups of non-police officers employed by the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS): protective officers who carry guns and work mostly inside parliamentary buildings, and detection specialists who screen vehicles and visitors before they enter secure areas on the Hill.

The PPS was created in 2015 to beef up security in the Parliamentary precinct eight months after a gunman killed a soldier and stormed Centre Block. It combined the former Senate and House of Commons Protection Services and the RCMP’s Parliament Hill Security Unit with the RCMP in charge of the operation. However, government officials say most of the non-RCMP personnel in the PPS have not had screening equivalent to that of the RCMP officers.

The RCMP, with intelligence-sharing agreements around the world, regularly shares findings about potential threats throughout the PPS. For example, the RCMP can provide intelligence to non-police officers that comes from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), even though the recipients lack the necessary security clearance.

When PPS was created, the RCMP began to apply its own screening to all of the members of the new service. About 100 of the non-RCMP security workers received it. It includes fingerprint checks, financial inquiries, a loyalty assessment by Canada’s spy agency and, in some cases, in-person interviews. Clearances are periodically reviewed.

However, the two unions representing officers who had worked for the House of Commons and Senate objected to the change, and it was stopped before all employees had gone through the screening, PPS spokeswoman Melissa Rusk said. It was replaced by a process called a site-access check.


Pakistan releases terrorist behind Mumbai attacks that killed rabbi, wife

Pakistani authorities acting on a court order have released a US-wanted terrorist who allegedly founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai attack, which killed 168 people including a rabbi and his wife, his spokesman and officials said.

Hafiz Saeed, who has been designated a terrorist by the US Justice Department and has a $10 million bounty on his head, was released before dawn Friday after the court this week ended his detention in the eastern city of Lahore.

Holocaust-denying Professor Back in Classroom Thanks to Government of Alberta

Professor Anthony Hall has returned to work at the University of Lethbridge, after he was suspended for promoting antisemitism in October of 2016.

Hall’s return was facilitated by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s NDP Government, which passed two bills in mid-2017 that strengthened the position of Hall’s faculty association. In August, the Government even took the rare step of launching a direct legal intervention that aided Hall, and eventually prompted a labour arbitrator to order him back to work in November.

It is unclear whether the University of Lethbridge plans to appeal the arbitrator’s decision. Hall remains the subject of an Alberta human rights complaint.

“Premier Notley and her Government bear direct responsibility for placing a discredited conspiracy theorist back in a university classroom,” said Michael Mostyn, Chief Executive Officer of B’nai Brith Canada. “We repeatedly warned the Government of the likely outcome of its actions, but they sadly chose to ignore our warnings and expose Alberta university students to antisemitism and discrimination instead.

Website of the day

Professor Watchlist

Today in fake hate crimes

A Missouri high school student, identified merely as “non-white,” has admitted to writing the “N word” and “White Lives Matter” on a school bathroom mirror.


Facing Title IX discrimination suit, Penn settles with student accused of rape

The University of Pennsylvania has quietly agreed to pay a student accused of rape an undisclosed amount after he sued the school claiming Penn’s investigation into the incident violated his civil rights.
Although the specific terms of the agreement are not public, court records acknowledging the deal follow a rash of lawsuits nationwide filed by men on college campuses maintaining that punishment triggered by internal investigations into sexual misconduct have been biased against them.

Oxford Sued Over Grades by Student Who Didn’t Get Into Yale

Lawyers for an Oxford graduate who is suing the university over his “disappointing” exam grades nearly two decades ago told a London court Tuesday that he missed out on going to law school in the U.S. because of his results.

Faiz Siddiqui, who received a 2:1 degree, the second-highest grade available, says in a submission to the court that he received poor teaching for one of his papers.

“While a 2:1 degree from Oxford might rightly seem like a tremendous achievement to most, it fell significantly short of Mr. Siddiqui’s expectations and was, to him, a huge disappointment,” his lawyers said in court filings.

His lower-than-expected grades — 17 years ago — exacerbated his depression and this left him “unable to achieve the professional career he had hoped for,” including missing out on the chance to study at an Ivy League university after Oxford, his papers say.