Editor’s Corner article

Procurement – it’s not fixing itself.
CHRIS MacLEAN  |  Sep 15, 2013

As frustration levels rise among those involved in defence procurement, FrontLine responds by publishing additional rounds of constructive commentaries in this and coming editions. Are those who can influence decisions paying attention?

Canada’s Northern Interests
Another issue the Government of Canada repeatedly claims is a priority, is progress in the Far North. Hopefully that means good things for the full-time residents there, but it’s not a given. Canada’s Northern citizens are poised between isolation and exploitation, will the Government of Canada offer hope to the young generation?

From a political standpoint, I would suggest that Canadians in the South are extremely proud of the fact that our country includes such rugged beauty and unique cultures. We would like to know that the people who live there have vibrant and meaningful lives. Problems arise when we marginalize people. They are not the problem – those who marginalize them are the cause of a multitude of social problems brought about by such actions and attitudes. This can and should be fixed. It breaks my heart, and should yours, to read in Jane Kokan’s piece about Arctic SAR as a Canadian Ranger says it would be “nice” if the SAR teams that come from “down South” would include local young people or Rangers on their missions. This is a no-brainer, so why isn’t it being done? Why aren’t we providing meaningful opportunities to the people who live full-time in the North? The fact that we don’t is a clear indication that we marginalize them, and this attitude must be changed. There is no need to study the situation, there are many ways to positively affect this, and I’d be happy to provide additional ideas.

One positive direction is the Request for Information that has just been released for a potential new project called PCW (Polar Communications and Weather). Can you imagine living without daily communications beyond the sound of your voice? That is the northern existence outside of the cities. If Canada chooses to proceed with PCW, people in tiny outlying communities will have phone and internet service. Read more in Richard Bray’s article on the subject, and FrontLine will ­continue to follow its progress in subsequent editions.

© FrontLine Defence 2013