Memorial project problematic

The federal government has postponed the unveiling of a $7.5-million Victims of Communism monument in Ottawa after it was pointed out that it did not include, among other things, a key Korean War battle involving Canadian troops. [node:read-more:link]

Extrajudicial killings by British SAS

While he was still a Colonel in 2011, British Royal Marines General Gwyn Jenkins, now Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, was told about “summary executions of supposed Taliban affiliates” by Special Air Services operators in Afghanistan. While Jenkins was not identified during court hearings, the BBC reported November 15 that rather than refer the evidence to military police, he secreted it in a classified dossier after briefing his direct superior, the head of special forces who then commissioned an SAS officer to review the issue [node:read-more:link]

CANSOFCOM to continue Africa training

Despite concerns that previous programs have involved African troops which later became involved in coups, Canadian Special Operations Forces Command is planning to join the 2024 iteration of Flintlock, a U.S.-led training exercise. “As planning is still ongoing, we cannot confirm any further details at this time,” a spokesman says, adding that “CANSOFCOM continually assesses the conduct of our partner forces.” [node:read-more:link]

Germany reassesses its military

With Russia and Ukraine still locked in combat after 22 months and a major Israeli-Palestinian conflict underway, Germany is shaking up decades-old ideas about its military’s role. In a “turning point” speech to his parliament, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the question is whether allies have it “in us to keep warmongers like Putin in check” if Europe is to avoid a return to the dark days before the 1940s. “That requires strength of our own.” [node:read-more:link]

Last Buffalo out to pasture

The RCAF’s last de Havilland CC-115 Buffalo is being reassembled at the Canada Aviation & Space Museum in Ottawa after delivery on six flatbed trucks. Purchased in the late 1960s, the fleet provided medium tactical transportation and search and rescue services at home and abroad, eventually focusing on SAR mission out of Comox, B.C. [node:read-more:link]

Definitive history of CAF in Afghanistan

The federal government has published what’s described as the first definitive history of Canada’s combat mission in Afghanistan but getting a copy is likely to be a challenge. Commissioned by DND and the Army, the three-volume history was written by embedded Royal Military College historian Sean Maloney, but only 1,600 copies, 800 each in English and French, were published. [node:read-more:link]

Israel moots Gaza expulsion

Six days after the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the country’s Intelligence Ministry drafted a document that broaches the possibility of a forced relocation of Gaza’s 2.3 million people to the Sinai Peninsula in northern Egypt. Described by Israel as a “concept”, the idea was immediately denounced by Palestinian and Egyptian leaders. [node:read-more:link]

Saskatchewan protects poppies

Minutes after the government introduced draft legislation today, the Saskatchewan legislature unanimously approved Bill 139 to prevent employers from banning commemorative poppies in the workplace. “Veterans current and past have fought for our freedom and peace,” Labour Relations & Workplace Safety Minister Don McMorris said. The measure was in response to complaints by workers in the public and private sectors [node:read-more:link]

Silver Cross Mother chosen

Gloria Hooper of St. Claude in southern Manitoba, whose son Chris Holopina died in July 1996 while on duty with Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Bosnia, is this year’s Silver Cross Mother. Chosen by the Royal Canadian Legion, she will represent all mothers who have lost a son or daughter when she lays a wreath at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Remembrance Day. [node:read-more:link]

Afghanistan memorial controversial

Veterans Affairs Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor has defended the government’s decision to use an online poll rather than rely on an “expert” panel to choose the design of the proposed national Afghanistan war memorial in Ottawa. Defending the decision before a parliamentary committee October 31, she said the majority of the 12,000 respondents, half of whom had served in Afghanistan or were otherwise associated with the combat mission, preferred the design by a member of an Alberta First Nation [node:read-more:link]

Political gaffe sparks apology

Prime Minister Trudeau apologized September 27 after a Nazi-allied war veteran was formally recognized by then House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota during last week’s visit by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Embarrassed at home and abroad, the PM also said the government had reached out diplomatically to Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Who is Yaroslav Hunka?

A 98-year-old Ontario resident is at the heart of a domestic and international political outcry about his Second World War involvement in Nazi Germany’s battle with Russia. The core of the debate is whether Yaroslav Hunka was a patriot or a war criminal who could be extradited. [node:read-more:link]

House Speaker resigns

Antony Rota, the Ontario Liberal MP who has served as Speaker of the House of Commons since 2019, announced today that he is resigning. All parties had sought his resignation after he had lauded a constituent during Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament last week. Yaroslav Hunka, 98, had served in a Nazi division during the Second World War and while Rota apologized, that wasn’t enough. [node:read-more:link]

Poland seeking extradition

Polish Education Minister Przemysław Czarnek said today that he has “taken steps” to having a 98-year-old Ukrainian-Canadian extradited for trial. Yaroslav Hunka, a member of a Nazi division during the Second World War, came into the spotlight last week when he was recognized as a “hero” by House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota, his Ontario MP. [node:read-more:link]

Apology over former Nazi

House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota apologized September 23 for honouring an Ontario man who fought in a Nazi unit during the Second World War. After human rights groups denounced his recognition of Ukrainian expatriate Yaroslav Hunka as a “hero” during Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Parliament, Rota said he was unaware of his constituent’s history. [node:read-more:link]