National Newswatch

As Britain reveals its first-ever cyberattack against ISIS, experts ask if Canada will be as open

May 19 2018 — Murray Brewster — An extraordinary and significant little slice of history unfolded this spring in Britain that had nothing to do with royal nuptials. The event, which passed almost unnoticed on this side of the Atlantic, was the remarkable disclosure by the head of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) that Britain had launched its first-ever military-style cyber campaign […]

Canadian Forces hiring experts to protect vehicles from online attacks

May 17 2018 — Murray Brewster — National Defence is looking for a few good instructors to show its technicians how to protect military vehicles from hackers. A call was issued recently on the federal government’s tendering website looking for experts in a field defence officials say is a growing area of concern for the Canadian Forces — particularly as more and […]

How far behind schedule is Canada’s shipbuilding program? Ottawa won’t say

May 16 2018 — Murray Brewster — Federal officials running the country’s multi-billion dollar shipbuilding program are refusing to say how badly off-track the schedule is for the delivery of new naval supply ships and the Canadian Coast Guard’s planned heavy icebreaker — even though they’ve known since last fall. A revised schedule has been presented to Public Services and Procurement Canada […]

Vice Admiral Norman’s legal defence fund swells as case returns to court

May 15 2018 — Murray Brewster — A fundraising drive to help pay legal bills for Vice-Admiral Mark Norman — accused of leaking cabinet secrets — has netted almost $120,000 in donations. Nearly 1,000 people — among them a former federal cabinet minister and retired naval officers — have stepped up to contribute. Norman’s case returns to court Tuesday; two days have […]

Job placement program for veterans was a flop, audit finds

May 3 2018 — Murray Brewster — Only a little more than three dozen ex-soldiers were reimbursed over a two-year period by the federal government under a highly-publicized program meant to help them find post-military jobs, says an internal Department of Veterans Affairs audit. Under the career transition program, introduced by the former Conservative government in 2012, veterans were given up to […]

G7 ministers sit down in Toronto to a full plate of world troubles

Apr 22 2018 — Murray Brewster — A gathering of G7 foreign and security ministers got underway in Toronto on a slightly informal note with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland inviting her counterparts to her home for Sunday brunch. It was a light, relaxed affair that stands in contrast to the heavy agenda they face over the next couple of days in […]

Canadian chopper pilots will be using the Afghanistan playbook in Mali, committee told

Apr 20 2018 — Murray Brewster — The Canadian helicopters going to Mali will be outfitted as they were in Afghanistan, and will fly their missions the way they did there, senior military commanders said Thursday. The country’s military operations command, Lt.-Gen. Steve Bowes, and the director of the strategic joint staff at National Defence headquarters, Maj.-Gen Al Meinzinger, testified before the […]

Ottawa ditches mediation talks in $27 million Abdelrazik lawsuit

Apr 17 2018 — Murray Brewster — Lawsuit personally names former foreign minister Lawrence Cannon, who blocked Abdelrazik’s return from Sudan. A sweeping $27 million lawsuit against the federal government brought by a Sudanese-Canadian who was detained overseas — and not allowed to return home for six years — is headed back to court, CBC News has learned. The Justice Department had […]

Crown has a high bar to cross in Mark Norman breach-of-trust case: expert

Apr 10 2018 — Murray Brewster — The country’s second-highest-ranking military commander will appear in court today to face a single charge of breach of trust in an extraordinary case that will offer a new test of the RCMP’s sensitive investigations unit. The charge against Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was laid last month following nearly two years of Mounties investigating an alleged leak […]

Why the Liberals really don’t want to talk about leasing icebreakers

Apr 4 2018 — Murray Brewster — It was one of those rare displays of opposition unanimity in the House of Commons that aren’t flashy, but are definitely hard to ignore. On at least three occasions last week, a member of the Conservatives, the New Democrats or the Groupe Parlementaire Québécois (the splintered remains of the Bloc Quebecois) rose to ask basically […]

Canada having second thoughts about arming Kurdish fighters

Mar 28 2018 — Murray Brewster — Up to $10 million worth of weapons originally purchased by Canada to help Kurdish fighters beat back ISIS could end up in the hands of the Iraqi government, or helping to support NATO’s military training mission, said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The federal government originally promised the materiel — grenade launchers, sniper rifles, mortars, anti-tank […]

Canada weighing contribution to expanded NATO training mission in Iraq

Mar 24 2018 — Murray Brewster — Canada is considering how it can contribute to an expanded NATO training mission in Iraq, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Thursday. The military alliance, which already has a small team in Iraq instructing local security forces in bomb disposal, has announced it will step up its efforts in the war-ravaged country by opening new military […]