Chris got her start in the magazine business in 1976, at Canadian Review magazine. After many years in print management positions she eventually became the CEO of Beacon Publishing Inc, and has been the Editor-in-Chief of FrontLine magazines since 2004. Christina has interviewed many Generals and Admirals in the Canadian Armed Forces for the pages of FrontLine Defence over the years.
Articles by this writer
It has been well over a year since Putin initiated this latest effort to bring Ukraine back under its control. The rest of the world watches, waving banners of support, some offering much needed equipment and ammunition, but never troops, never a show of global determination. The theory of global security based on the threat of mutual assured destruction has proven to be fundamentally flawed in practice.
Canada’s military colleges are widely seen as clinging to a bygone era, so how and why does the status quo continue to prevail? Dr Danic Parenteau and LGen Michel Maisonneuve (retired) propose that RMC and RMC Saint-Jean reset to Military Academies.
Keeping Russia "at bay" is not a solution to the carnage happening in Ukraine. With Russia firing 10 times the amount of ammunition than Ukraine, Putin knows he will win, unless something changes.
Afghans once put their lives and those of their families at risk to assist the Canadian Forces mission in Afghanistan in the hopes of a better future. While the Taliban threatens to make grisly examples of those left behind, our govt demands a lengthy documentation and validation process. Something is wrong with this picture.
There are so many areas where disruptive change is long, long overdue. And there is a solution, probably the only truly workable solution, to the deep-rooted problem of disrespect for all minorities – in government, in industry, and in the uniformed services.
The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, who holds authority over the Provost Marshall, submitted his resignation Monday following criticism over his decision to golf with former CDS General Vance who is currently under military police investigation for misconduct. His judgement was incredibly short-sighted, but is it enough to ruin a career?
DND alerted media Friday evening that MGen Dany Fortin, the public face of the federal vaccine rollout, is under investigation. Zero details. Short and cryptic. CTV News jumped into action and the details they uncovered highlight how damaging unnamed allegations can be.
DND has confirmed an investigation into Canada's new Chief of the Defence Staff for unspecified allegations of misconduct. Admiral Art McDonald, who assumed office in January, has voluntarily stepped aside as he is investigated by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service.
As we anxiously await deliverance from COVID-19, remember the lessons learned in 1955. We must not rush production beyond its capacity to produce and administer a safe vaccine.
An unsettling revelation that Information Ops on the Canadian public had been underway for some time before the CDS got wind of it called an immediate halt. Considering that neither the CDS nor the Minister were aware of this initiative, one has to wonder what level of oversight exists for those operators?
Since May 25th, thousands of people of all ethnicities have taken to the streets in multiple cities around the world, as a groundswell movement for real and equal justice for all people began to take hold. Will 2020 finally be the year in which listening turns to hearing, and then to action? Change has indeed begun. Hopefully our leaders will embrace and assist this grassroots progress, but if not, to borrow from General Mattis, we can still do it together. What will you do?
10 May update: Partial remains of second crew member, Captain Brenden Ian MacDonald, have been identified after CH-148 Cyclone accident. A repatriation ceremony for all six Canadian Armed Forces members killed at sea in a helicopter crash, took place on 6 May 2020. Read original story and updates here.
On all three counts against him, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter in the deadly-force arrest of George Floyd. It's an important step on a journey that must not pause.
Global interconnectivity and increasingly complex technologies seem to have seeded the relatively recent concept of
To get the insider perspective on the future of NORAD and how important Canada’s participation in this effort is, FrontLine spoke to Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Christopher Coates from his post at NORAD HQ, Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
It’s no secret that governments in power don’t enjoy having their every move scrutinized by the press. After facing progressively more restrictive “message control” going on 14 years now, I suddenly have new hope for the future, and by that I mean for the reader, for the taxpayer, for the concerned citizen. This is important, it’s a good start.
Were repeated Liberal protestations, suggesting that former Minister Wilson-Raybould should have resigned rather than stick to her convictions, a factor in yesterday's resignation of Treasury Board Minister Jane Philpott?
Ironically, now that the types of (alleged) backdoor political interference that are threatening the careers of even the most virtuous public servants, have been dragged into the sunshine, we are finding that sunny ways are not all that pretty.
The Prime Minister's most trusted political advisor, a friend of many years, surprisingly resigned on Monday, setting off a maelstrom of speculation as to the depths of possible legal interference from high levels of the Trudeau government related to the SNC-Lavalin case.
Instead of ‘getting on’ with a competition to replace Canada's aging fighter aircraft, a distraction in the form on "interim aircraft" was created to further delay the much-dreaded competition. And now even the Auditor General is crying foul.
The recent revelation of a decision by Correctional Service Canada begs the question, how many other murderers are being released to spiritual healing lodges rather than serving their full sentences?
The usually calm Canadian summer has been disrupted by the unfortunate penchant for political tweets.
It’s summer, and apparently time to consider uniform changes, again.
In taking the lead to highlight innovation, we will endeavour to provide publicity to the companies that are making a difference today. In our Fall edition, we will be initiating a special FrontLine Innovation Platform (FLIP) across multiple industries related to Defence and Safety and Security.
A critically honest and engaged discussion between government and industry on defence procurement issues was held recently at the Telfer School of Management as part of the new Complex Project Leadership Programs.
After VAdm Mark Norman’s request for financial assistance was rejected by DND (which had somehow decided the vice-admiral was guilty before being charged), supporters have stepped up to help pay legal fees for his defence. An overview of the situation that brought Canada's highly respected Vice-Chief to the courthouse.
Canadians accept the ethical responsibility to care for those who have been broken (mentally, physically or both) after being sent into harm’s way to serve the government’s will. The question is, will the courts acknowledge and legislate this moral imperative? The time has come to end this debate and do the right thing.
A former MP is revisiting the "detainee" question, suggesting Canadian soldiers committed war crimes when handing captives over to the local authorities.
A recent RCAF announcement may impact defence policy, defence procurement, SAR mission effectiveness. Who will answer the SAR community?
At first, I was satisfied that the Canadian Armed Forces had done their due diligence to discipline five members of the CAF who had disrupted a peaceful Mi’kmaq protest. But boasting of a "win" by the Proud Boys clearly indicates little, if anything, was learned.
A new Angus Reid poll shows that 71% of Canadians feel Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the wrong choice in awarding an out of court settlement of $10.5 million to Omar Khadr. The question is: who is the PM representing?
Defence procurement is a dysfunctional system that includes an ever-growing continuum of approvals but has a non-accountability as its goal.
The first objective in the government’s strategy to improve defence procurement is “delivering the right equipment to the Canadian Armed Forces and the Canadian Coast Guard in a timely manner.”
According to the Oxford Dictionary, a lie is an intentionally false statement (often involving deception or founded on a mistaken impression). A mistake, on the other hand, is caused by bad judgment or a disregard of rule or principle (for example, it was a mistake to lie ).
We're told that procurement has to be complicated, and that teams of lawyers are required on all sides, but let's deconstruct that notion. Thinking outside the bureaucratic box would allow us to reset the parameters for a less cumbersome, faster, and ultimately "more fair" system.
Five years later, has there been enough improvement in the years since CADSI's 2012 report was published?
At the annual CDA conference, Interim leader Rona Ambrose shared her thoughts on the defence policy review and defence procurement.
Why does Canada penalize advance investors for losing a defence bid? Why does only one sector benefit from defence offsets when all taxpayers contribute? Good questions, right?
Can transparency, efficiency and fairness co-exist in defence procurement?
The year 2016 started out with great promise. First, we had a new and invigorated government...
Since when did it become good form to spit on the coffin of anyone but the most vile among us? Death is an opportunity to focus on the good in someone's life.
Is it surprisingly ironic, or sadly inevitable, that the Liberals have begun to reach too far in a quest for control? On 27 October 2016, in a clarification to previous wording, the Government of Canada forbade any private companies interested in work on the CSC project (primes or subs) from any form of public announcement or promotion without prior consent from Irving Shipbuilding. This dangerous first step must be reversed – entirely.
The Liberals have taken an unprecedented step in its draft RFP for the CSC, specifying that companies (and contractors) interested in bidding on CSC must not engage in advertising their qualifications.
The most important lesson the Trudeau government should take away from Brexit is take advice from informed sources.
The Korea Veterans Association urges Canadians to contact their Members of Parliament and Senators and implore them to prepare a bill that would extend long-term care to Korean War Veterans who arrived in Korea after the 27 July 1953 armistice.
The Navy has announced that its next-generation guided-missile destroyer USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000) is scheduled to be homeported at Naval Base San Diego following its commissioning in fall 2016.
Safeguarding the Canadian way of life is the prime directive of government. Are politicians taking steps to ensure Canadians understand the issues that can affect their future security?
Average citizens should not have to dwell on how to deal angry jihadis. The Government of Canada should not depend on polls or approval ratings before making the necessary hard choices to ensure our peaceful lifestyle is protected against those who would obliterate it.
The Liberal Government has chosen to step back and make real change rather than incremental adjustments that tend to bog down the system with numerous workarounds...
General Vance admonishes The Chronicle Herald for an editorial cartoon that insinuates the CAF has some issues with the subjugation of women.
Based on Prime Minister Trudeau’s clear mandates to his new Cabinet ministers, the government is clearly ready to think outside the box when it comes to Defence Procurement.
Rona Ambrose has been chosen by her fellow party members as the interim leader of the new Conservative party. Ambrose, a very experienced Minister who held the portfolios of Environment, Public Works, and Health during her time in the Conservative Cabinet, was at times impeded by an Opposition that often opposed for the sake of being combative...
A recurring theme in many FrontLine articles over the last decade, the need for a clarification of vital national interests on which to articulate clear policy reverberates strongly in this edition.
Does quality and integrity in journalism matter? Do trade publications do enough to advocate for constructive change with informed commentary? Does the defence and security industry do enough to support the right effort?
A look at how defence procurement activity will (not) progress through Fiscal Year 2015.
The PPF course is for advanced infantry certification on a variety of infantry operations including: airborne, airmobile, rugged terrain and amphibious operations. Trained to rapidly deploy from water, land or air, soldiers with Patrol Pathfinder certification fill a valuable niche in the Canadian Army, including both combat and humanitarian roles.
While the Loyal Opposition was established to hold the ruling government to account through constructive and responsible interrogation in the House. A more current definition (found on ask.com) describes the Loyal Opposition as “a group of dissenters who seek to disrupt the programs of the party in charge.” The question now, is who cares what the people want?
Defence Procurement: it’s the Government’s duty to get things moving.
Getting many new ship builds underway through cooperation with key government departments, managing operations with reduced fleets, finding innovative ways to train enough new recruits, and the daunting task of overhauling navy culture, are all key priorities on the Admiral’s plate.
Canada’s air strikes are having the intended disruptive effect. The big question going forward is: will the peaceful Muslim community respond in unity against the so-called “Islamic State”?
I believe we are indeed willing to fight for our way of life (and clearly, inaction is not even remotely an option), but who are we fighting, and why?
Canned media releases and prepared statements are making true journalism more and more difficult.
Procurement Reform: The Government of Canada has initiated the first stages transformative policy changes to guide procurement reforms.
Many have said it wouldn’t be done, some believed it couldn’t be done, but the federal government is actually working together to find the most workable combinations for defence procurement.
Are criticisms of the FWSAR reset fair? Were years of work ''lost'' or somewhat irrelevant?
Change is in the wind. Although no one knows exactly how this will play out, defence and aerospace industry leaders welcome the new initiatives, hoping they will bring positive change.
There’s no denying that the Department of National Defence is in financial disarray.
In this interview of DND's DG Space, Col André Dupuis asserts that Canada recognizes the multi-faceted need for space-based assets to fulfill a range of whole of government requirements.
Advice from a 101 year old Cameron Highlander.
CAF Health Services is recognized as a leader in many areas of military medicine, but is failing veterans suffering mental illnesses.
What is happening at Director General Space these days? A lot, explains the head of DND's Director General Space. read more >>
How Canada builds new destroyers could determine success or failure of National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy.
As frustration levels rise among those involved in defence procurement, FrontLine responds by publishing additional rounds of constructive commentaries in this and coming editions.
The new Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, has taken the wheel during a time of renewed fiscal restraint. How will these priorities affect readiness throughout the fleet?
Should Canada make defence decisions based on the military’s perceived requirements, or should key national interests dictate what the military needs?
The Director General of the Health Services Group speaks about the Road to Mental Readiness and other initiatives.
While informed debate is beneficial to the democratic process, it is absolutely critical to progress and growth. Articles in this edition of FrontLine Defence prove once again the complexities of the defence world.
A FWSAR fly-off would be a great idea if it tested either the search or the rescue capabilities (and preferably both). But it tests only speed and range?
The New Commander of the RCAF shares his vision for the Air Force and speaks candidly about a new priority for thinking outside the box and finding more efficient ways to do business. It is leading to improved training times while saving costs and reducing the environmental footprint.
Focus on the need for a robust system to challenge requirements specifications and the need to make defendable discretionary decisions to stay on track.
Are you relieved that we are turning the clocks back to the pre-sole-sourcing days of the CF-18 replacement?
Clear policies and strong strategies are the critical links that are repeatedly called for by so many in the defence communities.
With this great summer weather, one might expect FrontLine’s editorial lineup to be on the light side. We have instead, some serious summer reading on many aspects of defence procurement.
We’ve already established that Canada’s defence procurement process is painful, but why is that so?
The Arctic Offshore Patrol Ship (AOPS) program is already running into heavy weather.
Defence Procurement, SAR and Communication Control.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter," said Martin Luther King Jr., a strong leader during a tumultuous time.
New Years' Resolutions – Let's get the right expertise in the right position, at the right time.
The new Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy talks candidly about maritime and national security, discusses the challenges involved in preparing our sumbarines for operational readiness, increasing recruitment and securing the ocean commons for all peaceful nations.
Former Police Commissioner has a steep learning curve ahead if he is to make any difference to Defence Procurement.
Now that it has a majority, will the federal government relax a bit or tighten its grip on what they like to call “communication” but what is actually “control of information”?
Will the new Associate Minister of Defence (Procurement), Julian Fantino, de-clutter the playing field?
The Conservative government has its well-deserved majority.
Protecting Canadians at home is ‘Job One’ for Canada Command. This organization is concerned with all aspects of national security – often working under the lead of Public Safety Canada to provide an important asset for emergency management.
Are the requirements for public safety, national security and military force converging? Gasp!
Defence requirements never seem to lessen
One of the most important decisions facing governments of “the west” is how to handle the dangerous unrest in the middle east, particularly Afghanistan.
Can we truly justify sovereignty claims of our Northern lands simply through a few joint exercises held up there during the more hospitable months of the year? The simple answer is no.
“We need to start cutting steel,” said General Natynczyk in September. Which shipyard will be chosen for the combat ships and which for non-combat ships?
Are we trading soldier safety for lower cost? That’s a delicate question. Our ‘special trucks’ correspondent, Shaun Connors, takes a look at the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle (TAPV) program and the companies competing to provide this much needed asset.
Three people from different backgrounds tackle the topic from widely different perspectives.
So much work had been accomplished by this government, some tough decisions were made, with mostly unwaivering dedication, to build Canada’s military prowess – knowing the international caché that brings.
Vehicle wear and crew fatigue pose both safety and combat performance concerns.
Human rights do not exist for women and children in Afghanistan.
The stigma of mental health illnesses is a challenging barrier to health care. The key to effective treatment is that people come forward to discuss their concerns.
The Chief of the Land Staff, discusses army training and the challenges he faces in preparing (and protecting) Canada’s soldiers for the many dangerous tasks that are asked of them.
FrontLine articles provide a wide-ranging selection of topics related to space, satellites and research.
In FrontLine’s continuing focus on the defence procurement system, we bring you the thoughtful response from Janet Thorsteinson to an important question recently posed by Dan Ross, ADM(Mat): “Is too much risk being passed to vendors?”
Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, briefs readers on the Canada First Defence Strategy.
Careful assessment of the post 9/11 global security environment has uncovered important niche requirements that the navy is perfectly suited to fill.
Many new names have joined the ranks of FrontLine contributors.
FrontLine’s "Great Debate" on procurement looks at the situation from many angles... none of them very good.
Recruit, train, and equip – these three words sum up the responsibilities of the Chief of the Air Staff – and always with an eye to the future. Long term plans focus on investing in capability, something that has been gradually diminished in recent decades.
Many are unaware of the full scope of what goes on in the Health Services - the underappreciated medical and dental services seems to be one of the CF's best kept secrets. The new Commander of the Health Services Group Explains her role and the wide variety of services under her command - from evaluating the health of potential recruiters to lifesaving front-line care of troops.
“The Army is growing – and that’s wonderful news because we are now able now to contribute more to the defence of Canada and Canadians.” Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie discusses transformation, training, capability requirements and other changes that have taken place in the Army in recent years. Even with all the new kit, there are key capability shortfalls.
Canada/U.S. conference promotes integration of North American defence & security industrial base. With a heightened global instability and a shared concern for domestic security, the time is right for Canada and the United States to revitalize the bilateral co-operation that has historically existed between Canadian and U.S. defence and security industries.
The creation of Canada Command is one of the most transformational initiatives in the Canadian Forces. FrontLine finds out why we need it, and how its command structure differs from the way things were done in the past.
Fixing What's Broken: “It’s a great time to be in the CF!” says General Hillier after less than two years as CDS. He is in the enviable position of rebuilding an energized Canadian Forces…
As one of the four new Force Employers, CEFCOM (Canada Expeditionary Force Command) will focus on international Canadian Forces operations, ensuring that CF assets are optimized to this one effect. The new CF vision fully integrates global operations – with Army, Navy, Air Force, and Special Forces all working as one team – under one operationally-focused commander...
The CF is determined to follow the government’s new Defence Policy Statement. MGen Walt Natynczyk, appointed as Chief of the Canadian Forces Transformation on 1 June 2005, will lead that effort.
Communicating with the public is increasingly being seen as an essential (and inevitable) aspect of maintaining public support for Canada's dangerous missions. Both CF and government leaders have repeatedly stated the need to rally support for the young Canadian men and women who are presently in harms way…
Does the word “cooperation” surface in your work as often as it does in FrontLine articles? How about teamwork, interoperability, integration, or sharing?
PSEPC was created with a mandate to build and implement national policies for emergency management, national security, and public safety. Minister McLellan discusses some of the many priorities facing her department.
Our neglect in developing a national SAR strategy has left the Canadian North dangerously vulnerable to more fatal accidents, and we may be called to task.
The new emphasis on Security being recognized and supported by the Canadian Government has had a reinforcing effect on the Navy. After decades of downsizing, the Navy is building and diversifying to cover a wide range of security and policing roles on our coasts.
The revolutionary new way of contracting for the Air Force, Optimized Weapons System Support Management, puts more responsibility on industry, but they also gain in the global market by becoming “best of breed.”
Canada’s newest Chief of the Air Staff explains how the transformed Air Force will reposition itself to effectively respond to threats faced in today’s world.
Combining previous experience in volatile countries with his service in Afghanistan as Commander of the multinational International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2004, LGen Rick Hillier is well positioned to transfer lessons learned fighting rebel forces to the new Army transformation and regeneration process.
Canada's defence industry is struggling to find ways to mitigate some aspects of the ITAR policy and the way it is administered. The CDIA has some recommendations which may help.
FrontLine has compiled a tightly edited summation of excerpts from the Minister's speech at the Toronto conference.
Welcome to the new FrontLine. This new magazine brings together many well-known writers and industry experts to offer another voice on the defence and enforcement scene. With the Canadian public becoming more and more aware of the issues and challenges in this sector, we certainly believe there is a need for this new publication.
Articles by this writer
How have women fared in infantry roles over the past decade? Don't even ask, it's a politically incorrect question.