MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – July 31, 2012
- A reminder: According to Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, “any person charged with an offence has the right …. to be presumed innocent until proven guilty according to law in a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal” “The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS), the investigative arm of the Canadian Forces Military Police, charged a member of the Canadian Forces (CF) for attempted murder and other charges on July 30, 2012, in relation to an incident that occurred at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shilo on July 29, 2012. Master Corporal Clarence Stillman, who is posted to CFB Shilo, was charged with two counts of attempted murder contrary to section 239 of the Criminal Code of Canada (CCC), four counts of careless use of a firearm contrary to section 86 of the CCC, four counts of pointing a firearm contrary to section 87 of the CCC, and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose contrary to section 88 of the CCC. Another member of the CF was treated for a non life-threatening gun shot wound as a result of the altercation ….”
- In the words of someone smarter than me, “gee, a focus group doing what it’s supposed to.” “A Canadian Forces aboriginal recruiting ad that likened building a canoe to serving on a warship was torpedoed after focus groups found it “offensive to the point of being comical,” says a newly released report. Groups in Vancouver were so put off by the radio spot, in fact, that a polling firm warned airing it could hurt the military’s reputation. “Although commentary was at times measured from participants, likely due to awareness of being observed and politeness, body language clearly reinforced the negative reactions among two groups in Vancouver,” says a report completed in March. “Indeed the degree of offence was deemed to be high, posing a potential risk to the reputation of the Forces were this ad to be released publicly, at least in British Columbia.” The radio spot was meant to recruit engineers. The pollster’s report does not include a transcript or description of the ad beyond the reaction it elicited, but it apparently featured a young man and his grandfather talking about the similarities between canoe-making and working on a warship ….” – a bit more here, and discussion over at Army.ca here.
- A month after a trip to the U.K. to honour Bomber Command, we learn who Canada’s Air Force boss met.
- Honorary RCN Captain explains we need ships, bad. “…. Defence procurement is a mug’s game that frustrates all involved because of the long time horizons and the sophistication of the weapons systems. Who can predict, for example, the price of copper in 2020? Or a game-changing new technology or shift in the strategic environment, including climate change? Squaring the circle between defined budgets, constantly evolving weapons systems and the strategic environment is the unhappy dilemma of defence establishments in democracies. But prepare we must because when disaster or mayhem strikes, whether natural or man-made, Canadians expect that we will be “Ready, Aye, Ready.” “
- Another important announcement “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs …. announced funding of up to $16,043 in support of A Salute for Veterans-a day-long event at the National Arts Centre on Canada Day. “Our Government encourages all Canadians to salute our Veterans and their families and to keep the memory of their achievements and sacrifices alive on Canada Day and every day,” said Minister Blaney. “We are proud to support events that honour our Veterans and our service men and women.” The free family-friendly event will include a children’s craft corner, Canadian Forces Snowbird pilots signing autographs, performers and various concerts including nostalgic songs from 1930 to 1950 performed by Gertrude Létourneau, the Central Band of the Canadian Forces, the Unisong Choir and Natalie McMaster. Vintage Wings of Canada is partnering in the event and will display historic artifacts from military conflicts ….”
- Commentary on this whole fracas: We’re WAY more than wives of Cabinet Minsters, you know…. “I’m a medical doctor, writer, speaker and founder of an international non-profit organization – and I have opinions. Many opinions. If you don’t believe me, ask my loving husband. He’ll tell you that even my opinions have opinions. Except that apparently you can’t ask my husband, because he’s a provincial cabinet minister. And I’ve just read that wives of cabinet ministers are supposed to limit themselves to the smile and wave ….”
- Khadr Boy More on the latest call to free the guy from a U.N. official “The United Nations called on the U.S. and Canadian governments to facilitate the repatriation of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr. Khadr was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan 10 years ago following a long gun battle. He pleaded guilty to terrorism-related charges in 2010, avoiding a life sentence. He told a judge during a military court proceeding he threw the grenade that killed a U.S. soldier in 2002 when he was 15 years old. Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special envoy for children and armed conflict, described Khadr as the “last child solider” behind bars at the U.S. Navy’s detention facility. “Omar Khadr was a child soldier and our experience around the world clearly indicates that a system focusing on rehabilitation is far better suited for these children who have been exploited and abused by adults,” she said in a statement. “Transferring him to Canada for proper reintegration is the right thing to do.” ….” – more here.