National Newswatch

Canada’s new frigates could take part in ballistic missile defence – if Ottawa says yes

Dec 24 2019 — Murray Brewster — Canada’s new frigates are being designed with ballistic missile defence in mind, even though successive federal governments have avoided taking part in the U.S. program. When they slip into the water some time in the mid-to-late 2020s, the new warships probably won’t have the direct capability to shoot down incoming intercontinental rockets. But the decisions […]

Quebec shipyard at the heart of the Mark Norman case poised to become federal builder

Dec 19 2019 — Murray Brewster — A Quebec shipyard that was once at the centre of the now-dropped criminal case against former Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is now formally in line to become the federal government’s third go-to shipbuilder. Public Services and Procurement Canada announced Thursday that Chantier Davie, located in Levis, Que., has pre-qualified for the position and could potentially join […]

Sajjan given mandate to modernize NORAD, buy fighter jet fleet

Dec 13 2019 — Murray Brewster — Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s new marching orders from the prime minister put special emphasis on the expensive and politically touchy necessity of renewing Canada’s commitment with the United States to defend the skies and sea lane approaches to North America. The minister’s mandate letter, signed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, was released Friday and also […]

How NATO’s defence spending benchmark turned into an international PR exercise

Dec 3 2019 — Murray Brewster — It’s the bureaucratic equivalent of searching behind the couch cushions for loose change: the semi-regular exercise of finding federal expenses to include in Canada’s annual calculation of defence spending. And it appears federal officials have gotten quite good at it. Documents and briefing notes released to CBC News under access to information legislation follow the […]

Prime minister’s aircraft grounded after hangar accident

Dec 2 2019 — Murray Brewster — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be hitching rides on a variety of air force planes for the foreseeable future. The CF-150 Polaris Airbus that usually shuttles the prime minister to world events is out of commission following a hangar accident last month. The nearly 30-year-old passenger aircraft, which is specially outfitted with a private cabin, […]