Parliamentary Analyst

Hudson R. Rock (no relation to Rock Hudson) was formed in Newfoundland and Labrador (the ‘Rock’). Young Hudson gradually carved his own career path across Canada. He was stoned in British Columbia, worked at the bottom of the pile at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, performed with a rock band in Manitoba (but got tired of being taken for granite). He also sought a position in Quebec, but was unhappy being just another pierre. Eventually, his finely chiseled features were noticed by a Toronto architect who invited Hudson to sit as a gargoyle on the old Maple Leaf Gardens. Hudson was subsequently invited to sit on the East Block on Parliament Hill before being elevated to the Peace Tower, from which he continues to protrude today.

Articles by this writer

May 2023  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Canada continues to dodge NATO calls for defence spending. There is a long-standing complaint that Canada continues to fall short of the alliance’s stated goal that its members’ defence spending should equal a minimum of 2% of gross domestic product.

July 2022  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Promises to keep and miles to go. The long and often frustrating overhaul of Canada’s military justice system continues. Even with the recent implementation of Bill C-77 (a package of amendments to the National Defence Act intended to protect vulnerable witnesses within the military justice system), the road ahead is long.

June 2021  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Canada continues to reiterate Canada’s “unwavering” commitment to the alliance, and has steadfastly answered calls for troops, equipment and materiel for a range of missions and exercises.

December 2020  |  Magazine

The JSS project timeline is much longer than it should be, but is well underway. So why, after all this time, did the House ask PBO to review costs?

October 2019  |  Magazine

The Arctic and Northern Policy Framework was quietly released the day before an election was called. What does that signify about priorities for the Arctic?

May 2019  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

How legislative and regulatory changes will affect future military exports is unclear at this stage, but begs a fundamental question: is it possible to keep the sticky hands of politics out of it?

December 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill

Two years ago, VAdm Mark Norman was temporarily relieved as VCDS. His lawyer, Marie Henein, is revved up for a showdown in court, but may have difficulty getting access to classified documents needed to defend her client.

October 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill

Twitter is reshaping and redefining the rules and boundaries of what is, and what is not, ‘acceptable’ public discourse including by Government communicators faced with the challenge, the opportunity, and the risk of using such technology.

August 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill

Until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, NATO’s worst fears could be summed up in two words: Warsaw Pact. Nowadays, it seems, two other words have come to represent NATO’s worst fears: Donald Trump. What kind of impact is Trump having on NATO?

May 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill

Helicopters and personnel will be deployed to Mali in August to augment what is arguably the most challenging UN mission in recent years. In addition to the challenges of protecting its own assets while supporting other members of the coalition, is the prospect of introducing female troops and personnel into a conflict zone where Muslim extremists control large swaths of the country.

April 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

The more things change, the more they stay the same. NATO, ATT, international trade, human rights abuses – can anyone get it right?

February 2018  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

The concept of a “social covenant” is being taken to the Supreme Court of Canada. The BC Court of Appeal decided this solemn obligation does not exist – what will the Supreme Court have to say? Stay tuned.

November 2017  |  Hudson on the Hill

Canada has a long and usually proud record in the world of international peacekeeping. But the world has changed, and with it, the nature of the mission. Now called "peace enforcement" – it is very dangerous.

September 2017  |  Hudson on the Hill

The federal government’s new Defence Policy is both a promising treasure chest and a potential Pandora’s Box of unintended consequences that would leave the Canadian Armed Forces struggling with more than one “capability gap.”

May 2017  |  Hudson on the Hill

A bold call for expediting platform replacement and modernization.

April 2017  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Does Canada face unmanageable simultaneous commitments to NORAD and NATO? The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence (SCND) recently went In Camera to start drafting its long-awaited report on “Canada and the Defence of North America”, an issue the Members of Parliament have been studying for the better part of a year. Is the air force tripping up on policy changes?

March 2017  |  Hudson on the Hill

The future of peacekeeping missions and defence spending commitments are vague.

October 2016  |  Hudson on the Hill

MND acknowledged that “this is not the peacekeeping of the past.” Truer words were never spoken, but what does it mean for Canada?

August 2016  |  Hudson on the Hill

Obligations to shareholders and the ­markets are all very nice and, frankly, understandable. But what about ­obligations to taxpayers everywhere who ultimately foot the bills?

May 2016  |  Hudson on the Hill

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter,” said Winston Churchill. The question is, should politicians make more effort to educate the "average voter" on issues related to national defence?

March 2016  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Why does military procurement take up only 4 of the 269 pages in the federal budget for 2016?

February 2016  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Several issues facing the Prime Minister and his still-fledgling government fall into the damned if you do, damned if you don’t category. Then there’s the Middle East.

December 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill

Minister Sajjan’s credentials and influence within cabinet and caucus are going to be tested in the coming months.

September 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill

Is it essential to include Mexico as an equal defence partner with Canada and the United States?

July 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill

The campaign for the 2015 general election has, in fact, been going on ever since the Conservative Party of Canada turned its two parliamentary minorities into its first majority back in May 2011.

May 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill

There is a nagging perception that the terrorists have won – in a fiscal sense at least.

March 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

With the next election set for 19 October, the government faces relentless Opposition in the House of Commons. To avoid making a decision that may cost it votes, the government is leaving the fighter jet replacement millstone in the custody of the National Fighter Procurement Secretariat (NFPS), which was set up in early 2012. However, further study is pointless and a decision is long overdue.

January 2015  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

FrontLine readers are, no doubt, aware of the numerous critiques of the Government’s support, administration and care of those who serve our nation in uniform. Will the new trio of heavy hitters be able to reset the much-criticized portfolio of Veterans Affairs Canada?

November 2014  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

What we have not considered, as a community of free thinkers, is that we have grossly underestimated the appeal and reach of jihadist propaganda to Canadians (and Americans) who feel any of the above stigmatizations or proclivities.

September 2014  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Defining Canada’s Roles and Commitments.

July 2014  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Watching as Canada struggles to maintain a Naval fleet that is ­commensurate with its efforts to be influential in global affairs.

January 2014  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine, Magazine

It seems that the whole notion of political party membership being the only way to power at the federal level might need a determined re-think.

November 2013  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Deliberations on optional budget reductions must examine some sacred cows that have escaped scrutiny, largely because of ignorance, apathy or cowardice. Consider these gutsy ideas when cutting the defence budget.

July 2013  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Is history about to happen while we’re looking the other way? Don't forget, every decade can be decisive.

May 2013  |  Magazine

A review of the WoG finds that an understanding of basic legislative frameworks are necessary.

March 2013  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine, Magazine

Promoting the myth that Canada is a peacekeeping country ­distorts and misunderstands history.

January 2013  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine, Magazine

Success in battle begins behind the lines. Trimming the tail could mean pulling the teeth - the how and the why.

September 2012  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Canada has no defence policy and members of parliament seem disinterested in that fact. The CFDS is out of date, unaffordable and impotent.

July 2012  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

While parliamentarians enjoy their summer break, they might spend some time thinking about how they can do a better job of holding government to account. Perhaps a bit of summertime reading would remind them of what needs to be done.

May 2012  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Ottawa pundits have decried the sad state of parliamentary government, which exists, to some degree, because few Members of Parliament or Senators rise above petty partisanship.

January 2012  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine, Magazine

General (ret) Rick Hillier has been awarded the Order of Canada.

September 2011  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Committees are often their own worst enemies when it comes to deciding which subjects to study. They often select issues based on current media profiles.

July 2011  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Hudson returns to take a look at key leaders in the new parliament.

January 2011  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

The duty of defence procurement.

November 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

War is much more than the deployment and sustainment of military forces.

September 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Few in Parliament seem to be thinking big thoughts about the future of Canadian defence needs.

July 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

The government needs a daily reminder of real leadership.

May 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Is the government calling the shots, or has the Cabinet abrogated its responsibilities?

March 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

DND/CF, the RCMP, and other ‘action’ agencies can be depended upon to lead effectively, however, operational initiative is not always appreciated by other elements of ­government.

January 2010  |  Hudson on the Hill

Another decade of darkness is returning and Canada’s parliament is once again oblivious to the coming collapse. There are three reasons for this.

November 2009  |  Hudson on the Hill, Magazine

Hudson reviews and reports on the effectiveness of House of Commons and Senate proceedings and committees.