The good news is that finally someone from the Donald Trump regime set foot in Canada. The bad news is that the new head of the Department of Homeland Security didn't seem to know what he was doing.
"When someone is stopped at the border and questioned, or turned back, which is not very common, there's a reason why. What they say to the press is their business," John Kelly told Power & Politics on the CBC News Network.
On the heels of a case where a woman is told incorrectly she needed a immigrant visa and her friends weren't even questioned, that isn't a correct response.
On the same show, Kelly talked about how they could reveal the real reasons why people has been turned back, but he is more concerned with respecting privacy rights. The reasons haven't been the issue, well except for Manpreet Kooner. The issue has been the selective approach and questionable statements.
As for the run for the Canadian border from potential refugee applicants, Kelly also offered a theory that "many of them have only been in the United States a few days before they made the trek north.” Given the extensive planning of those who have been in the United States for awhile, we can't imagine that people are landing in the United States and turning around that quickly.
Even so, that reasoning doesn't account for the majority of those crossing. Some take "many" to be a considerable amount short of 50%. Kelly may be using the word "many" as in 25 people. A category that only features 25 people out of hundreds shouldn't be the only talking point.
Kelly also talked about the the movement of the people going north if they are from one of the Muslim-majority countries the administration has put on its restricted list. The Homeland Security secretary should also understand that since the current president spoke of a "Muslim ban" during the presidential campaign, Muslims from other countries might fear they would be next. He spoke of being "perplexed" as to why they were not crossing at points of entry. Anyone reading CanadianCrossing.com would be aware of the provisions of the Safe Third Country Agreement.
Kelly talked about "dozens and dozens and dozens of ongoing plots to get to the United States or blow up airplanes” by terrorists on CTV’s Power Play. "That seems to be their Stanley Cup playoffs," Kelly said. "They want to knock down airplanes. They are trying to do it every day … I can't count the number of airplanes that have not been blown up in flight, whether they're United or Air Canada."
While the reference to the Stanley Cup is definitely appreciated, the level of hysterical fear hype was more dangerous than usual. Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick denied the airline was involved in such threats. "There is not a new specific threat against Air Canada,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told reporters.
Rosemary Barton of Power & Politics did ask Kelly about Canada's plans to legalize marijuana for recreational use this year. Kelly didn't seem all that concerned, but did have an odd disclaimer. "I would just highly recommend Canadians to just check those pockets one more time."
While that is technically good advice, the vibe behind the quote felt a bit odd. Could have been a light-hearted attempt at a serious point, but still sounded odd.
Kelly admitted that he has only been in the job for 7 weeks and he does work for a boss who has been making his job much worse. But Kelly caused quite a bit of commotion in only a few hours on Canadian soil.
Canadian politicians have a better sense of cabinet posts since they are already in the legislature and sometimes has run another cabinet post. Donald Trump has had a extraordinary view of picking underqualified people for major posts in his inner circle.
U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order against the latest Donald Trump travel ban, which was scheduled to take place today. The 2.0 version reduced the number of countries from 7 to 6 with a 120-day ban on all refugees. In his ruling, Watson cited "questionable evidence supporting the government’s national security motivation."
We will have to wait to see whether people of Iraqi descent will get their Nexus cards back now that their country isn't on the list.
At Girl Guides of Canada, we know our members value the safe, inclusive and accepting space that Guiding provides. These values are reflected in all we do, including the Girl Guide travel experiences we offer girls and women. While the United States is a frequent destination for Guiding trips, the ability of all our members to equally enter this country is currently uncertain.
As such, Girl Guides of Canada will not be approving any new travel to the United States until further notice. This includes both trips that are over or under 72-hours and any travel that includes a connecting flight through an American airport. In respect of this decision, the nationally-sponsored trip this summer to a camp in California has been changed to an alternate destination.
The bold in their statement is theirs, not ours.
"We really wanted to make sure that no girl gets left behind," Sarah Kiriliuk, national manager of marketing and communications for the Girl Guides of Canada, told CBC News Network.
Manpreet Kooner proved a great example of this philosophy. Kooner's 2 friends weren't questioned and could have crossed. But they didn't want to leave their friend behind. The Girl Guides are getting a good lesson, even if that means losing out on field trips in the United States.
photo credit: Justin Tang/The Canadian Press