National Newswatch

U.S. views on NATO polarized while allied support climbs

May 24 2017 — Murray Brewster — Canadians and Americans may disagree about the appropriate level of defence spending, but a new report says they do have one thing in common — they like NATO more than they did a few years ago. New research by the Pew Center, a U.S.-based, nonpartisan think-tank, suggests increased public support for the transatlantic alliance, despite […]

Trade challenge of RCAF search plane contract tossed

May 20 2017 — Murray Brewster — The losing bidder in the race to replace the air force’s fixed-wing search and rescue fleet has been dealt a setback by the Canadian International Trade Tribunal, CBC News has learned. The panel rejected the claim of Leonardo S.p.A., in deciding the Italian aircraft-maker does not have standing before a Canadian tribunal. The company is […]

Canada’s training plan for UN troops will be a departure from classic peacekeeping

May 17 2017 — Murray Brewster — A major component of the Liberal government’s plan to return Canada to peacekeeping involves using Canadian soldiers to train and mentor other, less experienced United Nations forces, say defence and government sources. The strategy, which would possibly be employed in some of the most dangerous parts of Africa, is a departure from traditional peacekeeping, which […]

Defence policy review to be released after Trudeau meets NATO allies in Brussels

May 14 2017 — Murray Brewster — Canada’s long-awaited defence policy review will not be made public before Prime Minister Justin Trudeau faces allies at the NATO Summit in Brussels later this month, CBC News has learned. It’s a significant decision that could make the gathering of alliance leaders uncomfortable for the prime minister, especially in light of the demands and expectations […]

Off-target airstrikes in Iraq buried behind wall of secrecy

May 11 2017 — Murray Brewster — Canadian bombs missed their targets 17 times during the air campaign in Iraq, according to new figures released by the Department of National Defence. CBC News has obtained details of one of those missions, and the documents raise troubling questions about not only the Royal Canadian Air Force’s guided munitions but how forthcoming DND is […]

Ukraine seeking Canada’s help to set up high-level corruption court

May 9 2017 — Murray Brewster — Ukraine is looking for Canada’s backing as the embattled eastern European country establishes a special court to deal with anti-corruption cases. Legislation to set up the separate judicial framework is still making its way through the Ukrainian parliament, but the country’s deputy Speaker Oksana Syroyid said her government needs other nations to help select independent-minded […]

Senators urge Liberals to scrap plan to buy Super Hornets – and go back to F-35s

May 8 2017 — Murray Brewster — The Senate’s defence committee is recommending the Trudeau government forget about buying an interim fleet of Boeing Super Hornet jet fighters and focus all of its energy on replacing the air force’s entire fleet of CF-18s. And the committee’s report, released Monday, strongly suggests the replacement warplane should be the controversial F-35 stealth fighter, which […]

Harjit Sajjan drawn into Sikh ‘genocide’ debate during Indian visit

Apr 19 2017 — Murray Brewster — A recent motion by the Ontario Legislature condemning 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India as a “genocide” has led to some uncomfortable conversations for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan as he visits the country of his birth. In a conference call with reporters in Ottawa on Wednesday, Sajjan said the matter came up in meeting with the […]

Canada risks wrath of Trump if it doesn’t boost defence cash: senators

Apr 13 2017 — Murray Brewster — Canada’s spending on defence as a share of the overall economy is going to be substantially less this year than previously thought, according to a new Senate defence committee report. The bipartisan committee estimates that in the current budget year, the country will devote 0.88 per cent of its gross domestic product towards the military […]