NEWS BRIEFS: CANADA
27 March 2023 (CBC)
Public Services & Procurement Canada confirmed today that the U.S. State Department has been asked to approve the potential purchase of up to 16 Boeing P8-A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft for the RCAF. “The final decision will be based on the capability offered, availability, pricing and benefits to Canadian industry,” PSPC said. In service with Australia, Britain and India as well as the U.S. Navy, it is a militarized version of the 737-800 civilian passenger jet.
27 March 2023 (CTV)
The Department of National Defence’s recent restructuring of military personnel’s housing allowance will have little benefit in the major Army garrison in Petawawa, Ontario, according to a local realtor. Cynthia Lloyd says that while her market is an “affordable location compared to other bases”, a shortage of inventory keeps prices up. “I don't think that making it more affordable on the monthly will change the market conditions here.”
25 March 2023 (CBC)
Canada plans to invest $7.3 billion to upgrade fighter bases and northern landing strips to accommodate its ordered Lockheed Martin F-35s, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office announced March 24. Also confirmed during President Joe Biden’s visi to Ottawa, the government also said that the first new Over the Horizon Radar base will be in northern Ontario, part of a 20-year upgrade of continental air defences.
25 March 2023 (CTV)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and U.S. President Joe Biden used a day of talks in Ottawa March 24 to tackle a range of shared issues, including defence and security, third-country refugees, Haiti, clean energy and trade in what Trudeau said was a demonstration of how their countries’ interests are “interwoven.” Biden, on his first visit to Canada as President, agreed, saying, “I can't think of a challenge we haven’t met together.”
23 March 2023 (CBC)
The Department of National Defence is facing pushback against a new program it says will help personnel to deal with housing costs. DND estimates that rationalizing the benefit will mean that some 7,700 personnel who have been receiving a monthly allowance will be cut off. Brigadier-General Virginia Tattersall, head of compensation and benefits, says that more members overall will be supported and while she is “sympathetic” to those who lose the allowance, they either “are able to afford” housing or live in protected base housing.
21 March 2023 (CTV)
Dwyer Hill, the home base for Joint Task Force 2 near Ottawa, is to be revitalized over the next 10 years at a projected cost of $1.4 billion, Defence Minister Anita Anand announced today. “This is the first major refresh […] since the Canadian Armed Forces acquired these facilities in 1993,” she said. The plan is to replace 89 buildings with 23 new ones as well as renovate some of the current stock.
21 March 2023 (CP)
The Canadian Armed Forces says a new approach to housing benefits will help personnel to find affordable accommodations while saving the government money. Effective July 1, it will replace post differential allowances and will be tied to actual salaries to determine those most in need.
17 March 2023 (Globe & Mail)
An anonymous veteran federal public servant was identified today as the source for a series of internationally embarrassing disclosures about foreign interference in Canadian affairs and about seeming government indifference or reluctance to act over the years. Acknowledging the prospect of eventual prosecution if identified, the whistleblower explains the reasons for sharing concerns about an evolving threat.
16 March 2023 (Defense News)
New anti-tank missiles, air defence systems and drone countermeasures for Canada’s battlegroup in Latvia are being fast-tracked, according to Defence Minister Anita Anand. “These projects will better equip our Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on NATO’s eastern flank,” she confirmed. A Request for Proposals is possibly imminent.
15 March 2023 (National Post)
Five years after Canada contracted with South Carolina-based Jankel Tactical Systems to buy 76 armoured Toyota Land Cruisers for its diplomatic missions at a unit cost of $261,622, less than half have been delivered. The Public Services & Procurement and Global Affairs departments are saying only that they are “working with the supplier […] to schedule delivery of vehicles as needed.”
15 March 2023 (CBC)
Major General Dany Fortin, summarily fired by the government in 2021 as head of its pandemic vaccine rollout and then prosecuted unsuccessfully for alleged sexual assault while a student three decades earlier, is suing Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the federal government and senior military and political figures for more than $6 million in damages. In a statement filed today, his legal team claims defamation, misfeasance in public office, conspiracy and negligent investigation.
10 March 2023 (CBC)
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland announced today that she will table the federal government’s budget on Tuesday, March 28.