NEWS BRIEFS: CANADA

24 December 2022   (CBC)
January 15 is the deadline for current and former Canadian Armed forces personnel stationed in Valcartier, Quebec, between 1995 and 2000 to apply to join a class-action lawsuit over contaminated water supplies. Claimants are eligible for up to $1,000 for each month they lived at the base where trichloroethylene, a carcinogenic degreasing agent, had leaked into groundwater over several decades
23 December 2022   (CBC)
Canada’s UN envoy, Bob Rae, discussing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, says the “the notion somehow that diplomacy is dead is not correct.” However, he says “when you’re dealing with a really aggressive country . . . it's really difficult.” Likening Russia to a schoolyard bully, he said that “you can't just say, ‘I want to make peace with the bully, so I'm going to give in to the bully.’ That kind of accommodation or appeasement doesn’t work.”
22 December 2022   (Ottawa Citizen)
This week’s disclosure that Treasury Board has approved $7 billion for the first 16 Lockheed Martin F-35A fighters of a planned 88 replacements for the RCAF’s legacy CF-188 has sparked cost comparisons with some other countries’ procurement costs even though infrastructure and other requirements can vary widely. While comparisons can be invidious can be invidious, recently-announced deals saw Finland pay the equivalent to C$15 billion for 64 aircraft, Germany the equivalent of C$12 for 35, and Switzerland the equivalent of C$8.5 billion for 36.
21 December 2022   (CBC)
Even though Major-General Dany Fortin was acquitted by a Quebec judge earlier this month of sexual assault, the Department of National Defence is undertaking a mandatory administrative review, a process based on a burden of proof which is easier to meet than in civil criminal trials. In the meantime, Fortin remains a senior advisor to the head of Canadian Joint Operations Command in Ottawa, Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, who will conduct the review.
21 December 2022   (CTV)
A Veterans Affairs Canada service agent the department says was “responsible” for suggesting that former miliary personnel consider medical assistance in dying is “no longer an employee,” VA Minister Lawrence MacAulay’s office confirmed December 20. The agent had not been at work since four cases came to light last summer.
21 December 2022   (CP)
The government reportedly has approved the procurement of 16 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighters, spares, weapons and other start-up costs for the RCAF as it faced a year-end deadline for ensuring that its overall acquisition of 88 aircraft remains on track for final delivery by 2032. Treasury Board evidently green-lit the initial funding earlier in December.
20 December 2022   (CBC)
Two RCAF officers recently disciplined for failing to follow Canadian Armed Forces’ policy on sexual misconduct are resuming their duties. Their command failures arose from a controversy over a call sign for a new female CF-18 fighter pilot at Cold Lake, Alberta, last summer. Major General Iain Huddleston, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, said both “recognized the mistakes they made and have fully accepted responsibility for their failure to step in.
20 December 2022   (Ottawa Citizen)
With two years remaining before Irving Shipbuilding begins construction of the first of the navy’s new Canadian Surface Combatant fleet, designed to replace current destroyers and frigates, the federal government has spent $4.8 billion so far. This is according to figures presented to the House of Commons two months after the Parliamentary Budget Officer estimated the total lifetime cost of the 15-ship program at $306 billion.
20 December 2022   (CP)
Canadian assets of sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich are in the federal government’s sights, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly announced December 19. Her office said she will “consider making a court application” to seize some $36 million in assets and divert the proceed to the reconstruction of Ukraine.
19 December 2022   (CP)
Major-General Iain Huddleston, commander of 1 Canadian Air Division, says the RCAF plans to tighten the rules on fighter pilots’ call signs while respecting a long-standing tradition. “They’re a tool that’s been used for many years to bring those teams that are focused on fighter operations together,” he said after two senior officers at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, were disciplined for not intervening when a new female pilot was tagged with a homophobic calls ign. “It’s important to have that team spirit, that esprit de corps, that camaraderie.”
19 December 2022   (CP)
Oleg Stepanov, Russia's ambassador to Canada, has stepped up the diplomatic rhetoric with an accusation that Canada is at the vanguard of an international effort to isolate his country. He said on state media that Global Affairs Canada has been tweeting unflattering information about the war in Ukraine, notably by commenting on widely-reported problems with Russia’s military draft.
18 December 2022   (Global News)
Canada will finalize a contract with Lockheed Martin in the “very short term” to replace the RCAF’s legacy Boeing F-18 fighters with F-35s, Defence Minister Anita Anand said in an interview televised today. “We will be . . . moving to ensure that the assets arrive as soon as possible,” she said. “But in advance of that, we need to make sure we have the pilots trained and we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure in place.”

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