National Newswatch

Business group wants National Shipbuilding Strategy reopened for Quebec shipyard

Jan 16 2019 — Murray Brewster — A Quebec-based business association claiming to represent over 1,000 companies inside and outside the province is launching a high-profile campaign to convince the Liberal government to reopen the oft-maligned National Shipbuilding Strategy. The group is demanding the federal government include the Davie shipyard, in Levis, Que., in the policy and plans to make it a […]

The Norman case casts a long shadow over Scott Brison’s retirement

Jan 10 2019 — Murray Brewster — It’s often said that timing is everything in politics. Scott Brison, the long-time Liberal cabinet minister with Conservative roots, has decided it’s time to bow out. He spent his farewell round of political interviews on Thursday defending the timing of his departure, coming as it does following allegations of political interference related to the criminal […]

Canada can afford new fighters or new frigates — but not both at once: report

Jan 8 2019 — Murray Brewster — The Trudeau government can’t afford to buy ultra-modern warships and advanced warplanes at the same time, given the limits of federal finances, a new research paper argues. The study, written for the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, says that — contrary to the assurances offered in the government’s defence policy — Ottawa will […]

Canada to deploy cargo plane part time for UN missions in new year

Dec 24 2018 — Murray Brewster — A Canadian military Hercules transport will soon begin once-a-week support missions for United Nations peacekeeping operations in Africa, the country’s top military commander said. Those flights, by a C-130J, will eventually morph to a full-fledged deployment and deliver on the second in a long list of capabilities promised over a year ago by the Liberal […]

Trudeau insists Canadian presence in Mali making a difference

Dec 23 2018 — Murray Brewster — Canada’s presence in Mali, under the banner of the United Nations, is helping the war-torn country get back on it feet at a faster pace, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau insisted during a highly secret, whirlwind visit on Saturday. He made the remarks while defending the limited duration of Canada’s deployment of helicopters to the West […]

‘Alarmed’ and ‘disgusted’: Vance erupts over report that DND evaded information requests on Mark Norman

Dec 21 2018 — Murray Brewster — The country’s top military commander is denying any knowledge of defence officials intentionally trying to subvert the federal access to information system by avoiding the use of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s name in internal correspondence. In a year-end interview with CBC News, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance described recent testimony in the criminal […]

Canadian surveillance plane buzzed by Chinese off North Korea, DND reveals

Dec 19 2018 — Murray Brewster — A Canadian military surveillance aircraft monitoring United Nations sanctions was harassed in international airspace off North Korea by the Chinese military — part of “a pattern of behaviour that’s inappropriate,” Canada’s top military commander said Wednesday. The incident involving a CP-140 Aurora, which has since returned home, took place in October as allied nations monitored […]

Peter MacKay, Scott Brison could be called as witnesses in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s trial

Dec 14 2018 — Murray Brewster — The Crown in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman’s breach of trust case tabled its witness list today — and it reads like a political, military, bureaucratic and business who’s-who of official Ottawa. It includes current and former cabinet ministers, a high-profile lobbyist, a former journalist, senior military brass and well-known business executives. The list, dated July 5, […]

Conservatives go after O’Regan over conflicts with veterans’ advocate

Dec 11 2018 — Murray Brewster — Federal Conservatives stepped up their attack on Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O’Regan today, accusing him of “publicly shaming” a frequent critic of his department during recent testimony before a House of Commons committee. The testy exchange in question period Tuesday followed criticism the day before over remarks the minister made — in an attempt to […]

Government staffer named in Mark Norman document leak case suspended from job

Dec 6 2018 — Murray Brewster — A junior procurement official named in the criminal case against the military’s former second-in-command has been suspended from his federal government position, a House of Commons committee has been told. Matthew Matchett was identified in court documents filed by the lawyers defending Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, who has been charged with a single count of breach […]

Ottawa earmarks $20 million to rejoin NATO airborne surveillance program

Dec 4 2018 — Murray Brewster — The Liberal government has budgeted up to $20 million in this fiscal year to rejoin NATO’s Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) program, reversing a Conservative-era budget cut in the name of alliance utility and solidarity. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and other senior officials recently appeared before a House of Commons committee to talk […]