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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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From representing a town of 5,000 to a riding the size of Poland: NDP MP Bachrach settles into job

News|By Beatrice Paez
Much of Taylor Bachrach's career has been steeped in politics, but he hasn’t always been a card-carrying NDP member.

Parties agree to NDP’s push for representation on steering committees

News|By Palak Mangat
Chief Government Whip Mark Holland says the party was hoping to strike the Procedure and House Affairs Committee last week, but opposition had not reached a consensus.

Stand by me: a number of chiefs of staff stick with ministers

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Jason Easton is staying on as chief of staff to now-International Trade and Small Business Minister Mary Ng, plus Lesley Sherban will be her director of operations.

Feds risk coveting support of autocratic nations in UN Security Council bid, says Conservative MP

News|By Neil Moss
Peter Kent says Canada's campaign for a seat on the UN Security Council is a 'possible, even, likely motivation' for a vote supporting a pro-Palestine, anti-Israel resolution last month in the UN General Assembly.

Should he stay or should he go? Defeated Tory candidates divided on Scheer’s future

‘He made too many mistakes, too often and if he can’t win in Quebec, he will never be prime minister. It’s that simple,’ says a defeated Quebec candidate.

Veterans’ benefits lead in supplementary spending ask of nearly $5-billion

The estimates include $44-million for Phoenix damages, $131.9-million towards reconciliation on Indigenous rights and fisheries issues, and $9.9-million for the Canadian Accessibility Standards Development Organization.

Feds’ silence on funding, transition plan for child welfare law causing ‘intense nervousness and frustration’

Bill C-92 takes effect Jan. 1, bringing in new, stricter, and culturally sensitive standards to Indigenous child welfare decisions. 

‘The tail doesn’t wag the dog’: PSAC wants a deal of its own amid ongoing negotiations

News|By Mike Lapointe
The government is ‘disappointed’ PSAC rejected an offer in line with recent agreements signed by 34 other bargaining units, according to a Treasury Board spokesperson.

Premiers’ nuclear announcement a potential boon, but issues remain: experts

Energy experts say SMRs could be an environmentally friendly baseload option compared to intermittent sources like wind and solar.
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