National Newswatch

Pro-Gaza protesters condemn Canadian leadership for support of Israel

Jul 27 2014 — Chris Cobb — For the third time since the Israeli military incursion into Gaza, protesters rallied in Ottawa Saturday to vent their anger at both Israel and Canada’s political leadership. “Free, free Gaza. Shame, shame Harper,” chanted the 500 or so protesters who gathered at the Elgin Street Human Rights Monument before marching towards Parliament Hill and the […]

DND refuse to issue report into suicide of Afghan vet Langridge

May 3 2014 — Chris Cobb — Defence Minister Rob Nicholson refused Friday to release an interim report on the suicide of Afghanistan veteran Stuart Langridge despite a plea from the late soldier’s family that they be allowed to see it. Langridge, who had suffered from depression since returning from Afghanistan, killed himself six years ago at CFB Edmonton. His family claimed […]

Suspended Sen. Brazeau now working at Ottawa strip club: patron

Feb 19 2014 — Chris Cobb — Suspended Sen. Patrick Brazeau has a new job at an Ottawa strip club, according to a patron. Brazeau was spotted at Barefax Gentlemen’s Club late Tuesday afternoon and appeared to be working as a manager, a customer said in an email to the Citizen. “He also will openly answer to the name Sen. Brazeau,” the […]

Advocate quits Conservative party as veterans groups prepare to step up pressure

Feb 3 2014 — Chris Cobb — A recently retired Canadian soldier and national veterans’ advocate has quit the Conservative party over what he says is the federal government’s lack of respect and “spectre of indifference” towards veterans. Retired Sgt. Major Barry Westholm, director of Armed Forces Engagement for Canadian Veterans Advocacy and a vocal advocate for ill and injured soldiers, also […]

Veterans’ support units plagued by understaffing, despite promises

Feb 1 2014 — Chris Cobb — The unit created to help some of Canada’s most damaged military personnel remains understaffed despite a scathing report into the unit last fall by the National Defence ombudsman. The Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) is the umbrella for a national network of 24 Integrated Personnel Support Centres (IPSCs) whose job it is to help ill […]

Military has failed to meet mental-health staffing promises

Jan 24 2014 — Chris Cobb — Canadian armed forces’ mental health facilities across the country are chronically short of skilled professionals and aren’t close to the staffing levels promised in 2012 by then defence minister Peter MacKay, the Citizen has learned. In what was billed as an “important announcement” MacKay held a media event at Canadian Forces Base Halifax in the […]

Canadian military is raising the rent — and hackles

Jan 11 2014 — Chris Cobb — The families and single men and women who live in the military’s 12,000 housing units across Canada will be facing a rent hike on April 1. The average increase across the 32 bases will be slightly more than two per cent. Some will pay more, some less. But that’s only the tip of the military […]

Canada’s military confirms another suicide amid renewed criticism

Jan 10 2014 — Chris Cobb — Canada’s military and political leadership are facing a renewed tide of criticism in the wake of more military suicides, with critics charging that the Conservative government is failing its mentally injured troops and veterans. CFB Suffield base commander Lt.-Col. Sean Hackett confirmed Thursday that Cpl. Adam Eckhardt of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry took […]

DND promises bug-free move into former Nortel campus from 2015

Dec 14 2013 — Chris Cobb — The Department of National Defence will move 8,500 military and civilian employees into the former Nortel campus on Carling Ave. over the next six years, with the first group of 3,300 scheduled to be in place by late 2015. The Nortel building cost taxpayers $208 million when the government bought it in 2010. It will […]

‘Ruthless’ cuts putting veterans, families at risk, Dallaire says

Nov 12 2013 — Chris Cobb — Decorated Canadian general Sen. Romeo Dallaire says “ruthless” federal government cuts to Veterans Affairs and National Defence are putting mentally injured war veterans and their families at risk. “We invested tens of millions of dollars for them to do the job overseas so we’d better be prepared to do what’s needed to take care of […]

Military doing a poor job at helping families of troops, ombudsman says

Nov 6 2013 — Chris Cobb — Military brass are promising to implement all recommended changes in an often damning report showing that Canadian military life is unnecessarily tough on families and especially stressful for children whose health, behaviour and education are suffering from too many relocations, substandard housing and worry about the safety of their deployed parent.

JPSU support units for injured troops badly understaffed, watchdog says

Nov 1 2013 — Chris Cobb — Support units for Canada’s ill and injured troops are suffering from “acute” staff shortages, leaving those tasked with helping the most damaged Afghan war veterans overworked, often inadequately trained and in danger of burnout, says a new report by the Department of National Defence ombudsman. Pierre Daigle’s assessment of the Joint Personnel Support Unit (JPSU) […]

Canada likely further target for criticism on bomb stance

Sep 9 2013 — Chris Cobb — PM’s inaction on cluster bombs at odds with position on Syria chemical attack, say treaty supporters. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s public outrage over the use of chemical weapons in Syria conflicts with his government’s refusal to support a worldwide ban on cluster bombs, say advocates for an international treaty aimed at eradicating the deadly weapons. […]