National Newswatch

Canada funds Europe-based missile defence program but won’t join one at home

Jul 17 2017 — Murray Brewster — While Canada remains on the outside of ballistic missile defence in North America, it is contributing cash toward the development of a similar, somewhat less sophisticated NATO system in Europe, federal documents reveal. An issues paper, prepared for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan in the fall of 2015, shows Canadian officials have participated in discussions at […]

DND refuses to discuss combat status Canadian exchange officers

Jul 12 2017 — Murray Brewster — New figures show there are 104 members of the Canadian military serving with other nations on exchange programs, but National Defence has refused to say how many of them are deployed in front line operations. Officials are withholding the information even though internal government documents show at sometime in 2015 several Canadian fighter pilots — […]

Bidder urges overhaul of design tender in $60B navy frigate program

Jun 28 2017 — Murray Brewster — Canada’s plan to buy an off-the-shelf design for the navy’s new frigates faces a “very high risk of failure” unless the Liberal government rewrites its proposed requirements, one of the bidders has told the shipyard running the competition. Documents obtained by CBC News show the unidentified company, which is bidding to supply the design and […]

Liberals limiting options for stopgap fighter jet deal

Jun 22 2017 — Murray Brewster — Talks with the Pentagon about filling the Canadian air force’s short-term need for jet fighters remain on track, said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. Those negotiations for a so-called “interim capability” continue despite the Liberal government making a very public display at the Paris Air Show this week of snubbing Boeing executives. The U.S. aerospace giant’s […]

Liberals planning $600M down payment on defence strategy

Jun 20 2017 — Murray Brewster — The Liberals will make their first down payment of up to $600 million on their marquee defence strategy this fall, a Commons committee was told Tuesday. Deputy Defence Minister John Forester said cash to put the wheels of the newly-released policy in motion will come through supplementary spending estimates that are always tabled in Parliament […]

Internal documents detail UN peacekeeping requests for Mali, other hotspots

Jun 19 2017 — Murray Brewster — The United Nations has presented Canada with a long list of peacekeeping requests that not only include fronting a dangerous mission in Mali, but separate military and police training deployments, including one in the volatile Central African Republic. The list, obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation, paints the clearest picture yet of […]

Civilian oversight key to offensive cyber operations, says expert

Jun 18 2017 — Murray Brewster — The Canadian military will be compelled to develop — if it has not already — its own disruptive and destructive cyber weapons for deployment into an increasingly volatile online world, says a leading security expert. And the use of those cyber bombs will demand the strict supervision of the country’s civilian leadership, says Rafal Rohozinski […]

Cost is one question — but partisan politics may undo Liberal defence plan

Jun 10 2017 — Murray Brewster — There was a very instructive moment this week amid all of the political messaging, applause and back-slapping involved in the arrival of the long-awaited Liberal foreign policy statement and defence review. It happened when Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was asked, in front of a sea of uniforms, to guarantee his exhaustive, occasionally thoughtful piece of […]

Liberals set to unveil plan for defence policy

Jun 7 2017 — Murray Brewster — Almost 14 months in the making, the Liberal government is set to deliver what it claims will be a substantive defence policy that will guide the Canadian military for the next generation. It comes on the heels of Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland’s address to Parliament, which among other things laid out the case for […]

Liberals to lay out foreign policy vision in major speech by Freeland

Jun 6 2017 — Murray Brewster — His name may not even appear in the text of the speech, but U.S. President Donald Trump and his policies are expected to cast a long shadow over what Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says on Tuesday in the Liberal government’s first major foreign policy statement. The long-anticipated address to Parliament, which government insiders have […]

More doubt cast over Super Hornet sale as Liberals break contact with Boeing

Jun 1 2017 — Murray Brewster — The tit-for-tat trade spat between the Liberal government and Boeing over the future of the Super Hornet fighter jet purchase escalated Thursday with an acknowledgement that federal officials have been instructed to break off contact with the U.S. aerospace giant. “We have suspended discussions with Boeing and that is what we have decided,” Steve MacKinnon, […]

Losing search plane bidder not aware of feds ‘budget flexibility’

May 30 2017 — Murray Brewster — A new and crucial wrinkle has emerged in the Liberal government’s first major military equipment purchase: the ongoing saga to replace the air force’s fixed-wing search and rescue planes. The losing bidder in the $4.7-billion program has told CBC News that it was never informed there was flexibility within the federal government’s proposed acquisition budget. […]

Heat turned up over Liberal promise of lifetime pension for wounded veterans

May 29 2017 — Murray Brewster — A group that advises Veterans Affairs Minister Kent Hehr on policy issues has fired a warning shot over the Liberal government’s plan to offer wounded veterans the “option” of lifetime pensions, CBC News has learned. The panel, consisting of former soldiers and advocates, says the long-awaited overhaul must not be a simple redistribution of money […]