National Newswatch

RCMP officers screened Quebec border crossers on religion and values, questionnaire shows

Oct 11 2017 — Michelle Shephard — An RCMP guide for screening asylum seekers includes several questions that appear to target Muslims. When asked about the questionnaire, a spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told the Star the RCMP has suspended its use. RCMP officers have been screening Muslim refugee claimants entering from the U.S. at Quebec’s Roxham Rd. crossing, asking […]

NDP calls for investigation into ‘shocking’ allegations of racist, anti-gay and anti-Muslim culture at Canada’s spy agency

Jul 14 2017 — Michelle Shephard — The NDP is calling on Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale to order an investigation into workplace conditions at the country’s spy service after allegations of racism, homophobia and Islamophobia surfaced in a $35-million lawsuit this week. “The reports of persistent discrimination targeted at Muslim, gay and black employees by CSIS supervisors are so disturbing that […]

Five CSIS employees are accusing the spy agency of Islamophobia, racism and homophobia in a $35-million lawsuit

Jul 13 2017 — Michelle Shephard — Five intelligence officers and analysts with Canada’s spy service have launched a $35-million lawsuit against their employer, claiming the Canadian Security Intelligence Service is a toxic workplace with managers who openly espouse Islamophobic, racist and homophobic views and discriminate against Muslim, Black and gay employees.

Canadian hostage, children seen in just-released Taliban video

Dec 19 2016 — Michelle Shephard — A video showing the two children of Canadian captive Joshua Boyle and his American wife Caitlan Coleman for the first time was posted online Monday as Coleman describes what they call their “Kafkaesque nightmare.” The family has been held by the Taliban-linked Haqqani Network since 2012 — both boys born in captivity. Coleman says the […]

Omar Khadr ‘ready’ for release

May 7 2015 — Michelle Shephard — “I’m ready,” Omar Khadr recently told a prison psychologist about his potential release. “I hope that people get a chance to know the new me.” Khadr will learn his fate Thursday morning, when once again he will be driven under escort from Bowden Institution in Innisfail, Alta., his latest prison home after more than 12 […]

The epic legal battle for Omar Khadr’s release

May 5 2015 — Michelle Shephard — There are not many lawyers who would offer a home to their clients or fight for more than a decade on their behalf, given the enormous financial and personal cost. But Edmonton lawyers Dennis Edney and Nathan Whitling, who have doggedly defended Omar Khadr, are unlike many lawyers. And they are also unlike each other, […]

Omar Khadr’s bail release not an issue for U.S., spokesperson says

May 2 2015 — Michelle Shephard — The U.S. State Department says the release of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr would not harm diplomatic relations between Washington and Ottawa, one of the main arguments federal government lawyers are making to keep the 28-year-old behind bars. “No,” a department spokesperson told the Toronto Star Friday when asked if his release would have […]

Khadr access blocked, prompting media court challenge

Jul 22 2014 — Michelle Shephard — Canadian prison officials are refusing to let the public hear from former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr, repeatedly denying interview requests despite the fact that Khadr is willing to talk after 12 years of custody and may soon be released. After nearly two years of failed attempts to access Khadr, the Toronto Star, CBC and White […]