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When ‘foreign fighters’ meant something very different

By Phil Gurski      

Canada was once concerned about Canadian volunteers returning home from the Spanish Civil War back in the 1930s. Fast forward to 2019 and what phenomenon has seized the attention of the RCMP and CSIS and the Canadian public? Returning Islamic State foreign fighters.

Upwards of 1,600 Canadians, largely though not exclusively Communist or Marxist, left our country to fight for the Spanish government against the forces of Francisco Franco, supported by Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy back in the 1930s. Photograph courtesy of Flickr

OTTAWA—I do not normally read the obituaries. It is not that I have no respect for the dead: it is just that I don’t take the time to see who has passed on. This non-practice is bound to change as I get older and more and more people from my generation, including those with who I worked alongside at CSE and CSIS, leave this mortal coil.

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Upper Chamber staff harassment ‘more widespread,’ and could happen again, say former Don Meredith Senate employees

Sexual harassment is ‘more widespread’ in the Senate than the Don Meredith case, says one of his former staffers.

‘Prudent, gradual, and phased-in’: public servant return-to-worksite plan slowly unfolding seven weeks in, but ‘no single date’ yet pinned down

News|By Mike Lapointe
Federal departments and agencies are taking numerous precautions and adapting worksites to meet physical distancing requirements, according to the Treasury Board.

‘When you have the will, there is a way’: Canadian-Lebanese Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury’s rise to federal political power

News|By Mike Lapointe
The Liberal MP was first elected in the 2015 federal election, taking just over 25,800 votes and 47 per cent of the tally in the Quebec riding of Laval-Les Îles.

Job losses in July highest among racialized communities, StatsCan data shows

News|By Palak Mangat
'I think the issue with racialized people not returning to work is more about whether or not they’re going to be hired,' says Arjumand Siddiqi, who holds the Canada Research chair in population health equity.

‘The vast majority of the TFWs would rather come here and get their PR’: some MPs signal support for extending permanent residency to Canada’s migrant farm labourers

News

‘Beirut is bleeding’: Lebanese-Canadian MPs express horror, disbelief in wake of massive explosion

News|By Mike Lapointe
'I’m sure with the will of the Lebanese and their friends from all over the world, Beirut will shine again,' says Liberal MP Fayçal El-Khoury.

‘I await your response’: inside N.S. Liberal MPs’ push for a public inquiry

News|By Neil Moss
'If the 10 MPs are articulating the position for Nova Scotia, I would like to think the government would consider that as a strong indicator of what's happening on the ground,' says Liberal MP Darrell Samson says.

Introduction of remote voting in the House could come without unanimous support

House leaders continue to hold talks over the summer, but whether an agreement can be struck to get Conservatives on side with a recent call to allow remote voting in ‘exceptional circumstances’ remains to be seen.

‘No gotcha moments’: Trudeau’s gambit reflects lessons learned from past ethical entanglements

News|By Beatrice Paez
Though late and largely unconvincing, the PM's testimony helps ensure the government’s points, rather than mere speculation, are litigated in the public square instead, says Garry Keller of StrategyCorp.
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