NEWS BRIEFS: CANADA
22 September 2023 (Ottawa Citizen)
More than six years after the 2017 Strong, Secure, Engaged policy paper disclosed plans for Canada to acquired armed drones, the Department of National Defence has confirmed plans to buy a fleet of General Atomics MQ-9 Reapers which can be fitted with Hellfire missiles at an overall cost of some $5 billion. “Should the finalization phase conclude successfully, contract award is expected within this fiscal year,” says DND spokesperson Jessica Lamirande. “We expect the first delivery in 2028.”
21 September 2023 (National Post)
Faced with the October 30 expiry of a federal firearms amnesty, a gun lobby plans to seek a Federal Court injunction February 22 on grounds that many owners worry about the prospect of being labelled criminals if they don’t comply. The federal cabinet directive initially issued in 2020, and since extended, reclassified as prohibited a number of common military-style firearms and while owners can still possess them, the directive prohibits transfer of ownership.
21 September 2023 (CTV)
One of Canada’s four submarines, HMCS Windsor, is back in Halifax for repairs after a “flooding” at sea in which three sailors suffered minor injuries. The navy says the September 10 accident involved “sea water stored in a tank inside the sub while at safe depth” 40 nautical miles from Halifax and that it took about 10 hours to return to base.
19 September 2023 (CP)
Public Sector Integrity Comissioner Joe Friday said today that DND broke the federal whistleblower law by not being transparent about the results of investigations into wrongdoing. He said his “disturbing” findings were part of a pattern of keeping Canadians in the dark for years.
18 September 2023 (CP)
Defence Minister Bill Blair announced September 17 during a visit to Britain that Canada has committed $33 million to underwrite Canadian Armed Forces’ training of Ukrainians at a facility in Kent. The funds are from a $500-million assistance package announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in June.
14 September 2023 (NY Times)
China’s lone domestic-built aircraft is among other warships participating in large-scale drills in the Western Pacific around Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines this week in a major response to a series of exercises by the U.S. and its allies, including Canada. Dozens of aircraft also were deployed today near Taiwanese airspace.
14 September 2023 (National Post)
When his RCAF Polaris CC-150, a 35-year-old Airbus A310-300, was grounded in New Delhi after the recent G20 Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau reportedly was offered an Indian Air Force Boeing 777-300ER executive transport to get him home. The offer evidently was declined because the PM, not permitted to fly commercially, allegedly preferred to wait.
13 September 2023 (Globe & Mail)
Imran Bayoumi, assistant director at the Washinton-based Scowcroft Center for Strategy & Security, suggests that Canada’s reliance on its military to intervene in domestic natural disasters is unsustainable. “The summer of 2023 was dominated by climate-change-induced disasters, many of which have overwhelmed provincial or territorial authorities and local first responders,” he writes. “The military has often been treated as the default option […] but this is not tenable.”
12 September 2023 (CP)
Health Canada confirmed today that it authorized the use of an updated Moderna Covid-19 vaccine which targets the XBB.1.5. variant.
12 September 2023 (Globe & Mail)
Global Affairs Canada says that government support for a Dalhousie University-based institute which combats the use of child soldiers in Africa, carries “significant risks.” The main concern evidently a second-hand link, through the Rwandan military, to a Congolese militia which recruits children.