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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 17, 2014

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Written by milnewsca

17 April 14 at 21:00

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 10, 2014

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Written by milnewsca

10 April 14 at 20:00

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 9, 2014

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  • Ukraine (1)  Analysis:  Why Russia’s Vladimir Putin confounds the West – Neil Macdonald talks to Putin’s biographer, and to former CIA boss Michael Hayden …. “
  • Ukraine (2)  Editorial“Don’t take Putin’s bait, Ukraine”
  • Ukraine (3)  Academic commentary  “…. what happens if NATO wants to do something about Ukraine?  Would disengaged Canada set aside or would enraged Harper/Baird jump in?  If this was someplace else (Syria?), I would say the former, but the political relevance of Ukraine for Canada might just tip the balance.  As a social scientist, I am kind of thrilled to see the natural experiment play out.  As a person who does not want World War III over Ukraine, I am just a bit nervous ….”
  • The Canadian Armed Forces is considering an incentive program to go along with its new fitness test.  The Fitness for Operational Requirement for Canadian Armed Forces Employment (FORCE) program was launched last year and after a transition period it is now the official physical fitness test for military personnel, replacing the 30-year-old CF EXPRES test.  The FORCE test consists of four different phases based on basic tasks military members are expected to be able to do. The standard to pass is the same for all members, no matter age, gender or trade, and the test has to be completed annually.  As of March 2014, more than 67,000 Canadian Forces members had completed the new test. The failure rate is 5.5 to six per cent, while the old fitness test had a failure rate of 2.5 per cent.  According to documents CBC obtained through the Access to Information Act, in order to encourage members to not just pass the course but to maintain a high level of fitness, an incentive program is being considered to go along with the new test ….”
  • More messaging on vets in the House of Commons from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs  “Mr. Speaker, our government has a strong record when it comes to standing up for Canada’s veterans.  Our government has voluntarily increased monthly financial benefits to veterans across Canada. More than 5,000 veterans will benefit from these important changes, which include more money each month in addition to more veterans being eligible for home-cleaning and grass-cutting services, and in addition, there is more money for medical, rehabilitation, and retraining programs.  What is more disappointing is the opposition. The NDP and the Liberals have voted against every single initiative we have brought forward …. that member knows full well that the courts did not impose anything on Veterans Affairs on their programs. Our government voluntarily increased benefits for veterans receiving earnings loss, Canadian Forces income support, and the war veterans allowance.  This means thousands of dollars for veterans in addition to added benefits, such as snow removal, lawn care, home-cleaning services, and lower costs for long-term care.  I would encourage the opposition members to support the government, get on board, and help Canada’s veterans.”
  • A bit of commentary in the House from the Tory MP for Pembroke  “Mr. Speaker, on the eve of Vimy Ridge, a battle that marked the birth of our proud and modern Canada, it has been nearly 365 days since the inflammatory comments made by the member for Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie came to light in the House. He praised communists and remarked that World War I was purely a capitalist war on the backs of workers and peasants. It is shameful that the leader of the NDP has not only maintained silence on the member’s take on communists and capitalist war but, in fact, named him the co-chair of the NDP’s 2015 national campaign ….”
  • A Canadian Forces major is taking the federal government to court next week in Halifax for what he says is its refusal to follow its own policy on military family relocation.  Maj. Marcus Brauer has spent the last four years battling the federal government. He moved with his family in May 2010 after he was transferred from Edmonton to CFB Halifax.  He said the relocation has brought his family close to financial ruin ….”
  • Way Up North (1)  From the CAF Info-machine  “Vast tundra, mountains of ice, temperatures as low as -60°C, days without sunlight and nights without darkness – the Canadian Arctic has it all, and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have seen it all.  The Canadian Armed Forces are active in the North 24/7, exercising sovereignty and exercising its capabilities to respond to any challenges that may arise. Military exercises and operations are common in the Canadian Arctic. In February and March alone, CAF members honed their Arctic skill sets in Exercises ARCTIC RAM, TRILLIUM RESPONSE and SABRE GLACE.  The summer months bring additional opportunities to train in the Arctic through a variety of operations. Much of the coordination for these northern operations comes from Joint Task Force (North) (JTFN), the CAF formation tasked with exercising Canada’s sovereignty and contributing to safety and security in the Canadian North ….”
  • Way Up North (2)  From the Pentagon Info-machine  “Nearly 40 Airmen and two LC-130 ski-equipped aircraft from the 109th Airlift Wing will be demonstrating their vast capabilities on the Arctic ice as they join the Canadian Forces on Friday, April 11 to participate in Canada’s annual Operation Nunalivut Exercise.  Canada’s Joint Task Force-North has been conducting this exercise in and around the area of Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Canada, since 2007. This will be the first year the 109th will participate ….”
  • A former Edmonton soldier who lured young boys on the Internet and used a webcam to engage in online sex acts with some of them was sent to prison WednesdayMatthew Richervezeau, 24, was handed an eight-year prison term after earlier pleading guilty to 48 various charges, including Internet child luring, invitation to sexual touching, indecent exposure, sexual interference and possession of child pornography.  Richervezeau was also ordered to submit a DNA sample for the national DNA databank, placed on the national sex offender registry for life and banned from going to any place where children might congregate, also for life ….”
  • Canadian War Museum gala raises over $200,000 for Operation Veteran’s Supply Line and The Royal Canadian Legion’s Poppy Trust Fund ….”
  • She strikes a mournful, solitary pose on the crest of a French ridge once soaked in Canadian blood — an image one prominent former soldier says should be a daily reminder to parliamentarians that their decisions have consequences.  Sen. Romeo Dallaire has been quietly lobbying the federal government to construct a replica of the monument known as Mother Canada, located on the eastern side of the Vimy Ridge memorial perched atop the famous battlefield in France.  Dallaire wants to see the new statue erected in Jacques-Cartier Park in Gatineau, Que., directly across the river from Parliament Hill and within sight of the offices of MPs and senators who would decide where and when to deploy troops in the future ….”
  • Minister of Veterans Affairs Op-ed  “On a cold April day at Vimy Ridge”
  • From the Veterans Affairs minister’s office  On the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the Battle of Arras and the Capture of Vimy Ridge, Canadian and French citizens gathered today at the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, in France, to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who fought so valiantly at Vimy Ridge during the First World WarThe Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, addressed French and Canadian officials, Veterans and others in attendance. He paid tribute to the Canadian Corps, whose four full divisions fought side by side for the first time during the four-day battle, and honoured the memory of all the brave men and women who served during the First World War ….”
  • Back in Ottawa  “On the occasion of the 97th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, Canadians gathered today at LeBreton Flats, in front of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, to commemorate the Canadian soldiers who fought so valiantly at Vimy Ridge during the First World WarThe ceremony included the laying of wreaths by officials including Mr. Parm Gill, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs. Minister Fantino attended a ceremony in Vimy, France, to commemorate Canadian soldiers who fought and died during the First World War ….”

Written by milnewsca

9 April 14 at 22:00

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 7, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 6, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 4, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – April 1, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – March 30, 2014

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  • Fire-damaged HMCS Protecteur will return to CFB Esquimalt by late May, ship Cmdr. Julian Elbourne said Friday.  “We’re aiming to leave by the end of April,” Elbourne said from Pearl Harbor, where the Royal Canadian Navy supply ship is being prepared for the journey.  “Everyone is keen to get home.”  The date of departure is yet to be determined.  Protecteur is being emptied and secured to be towed back to Canada by the ocean tug USNS Salvor. It will be unmanned for the tow, attached with steel-wire cables. Valuables from the ship, including a helicopter, have been or will be shipped back to Esquimalt. The journey, about 4,300 kilometres, is expected to take three to four weeks.  Elbourne said the last of the crew will fly home a few days after Protecteur leaves the U.S. port. The ship was towed there a week after a Feb. 27 fire left it dead in the water about 630 kilometres from Pearl Harbor in the North Pacific.  There are 179 of the 279 ship’s crew alongside Protecteur in Hawaii, living in floating barracks while they prepare the ship for travel ….”
  • Ukraine  Commentary  “For Stephen Harper, the intersection between foreign policy and Canada’s economic interests is usually within easy reach.  But during a six-day sojourn through three countries in the midst of a crisis in Crimea which has echoes of the worst days of the Cold War, the prime minister has carefully kept daylight between his pro-Ukrainian, anti-Russian views and potential new markets for Canadian resources.  In short, he cannot allow the fear coursing through Ukraine and an illegal Russian occupation to look like a selling opportunity for Canada, although that’s what it could certainly become, even if further down the road ….”
  • “Canada’s embattled veterans affairs minister will soon unveil a pilot project to offset some costs for service dogs for injured Afghan war veterans, CTV News has learned.  Julian Fantino hinted to CTV News that he expects to announce details later next next month.  “We’re looking at how to move the yard stick forward in a way we can provide benefits,” Fantino said. “We can’t do everything but some of these things are moving along, and service dogs are one of them.”  Sources in Veterans Affairs confirm the plan is in the works but won’t release a dollar figure. One dog can cost up to $15,000 and take three years to train, depending on what services it needs to provide.  The Harper government has been studying the benefits of service dogs for years. The department commissioned a report from a group studying veterans’ health at Queen’s University, and that report was received by the department earlier this week. Its recommendations have not been released ….”
  • Veterans who testified at a Commons committee this week say the parliamentary secretary for Veterans Affairs was more interested in exploring their backgrounds and whether they had ulterior motives than hearing their views on improving compensation for ex-military personnelParm Gill, who is also the Conservative MP for Brampton-Springdale, queried three leaders of the Canadian Veterans Advocacy – a four-year-old group that has often been critical of the government’s treatment of veterans – about their service, their alleged ties to a union, and their political affiliation ….”
  • Commentary  “…. Apologies that resonate have several basic characteristics. They begin with a clear statement of what went wrong. They take responsibility for the failure and do so promptly, without being pushed.  Part of taking responsibility is saying sorry for offensive behaviour or inconvenience — with no “buts” or “ifs.” A meaningful apology usually involves some form of reparation speedily rendered. Finally, an expression of gratitude for the support of customers, voters or whatever group was harmed.  Using these criteria, here are some of the best and worst political apologies of the last year …. Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino didn’t fare well after his belligerent slanging match with veterans over the closure of offices across the country. When the veterans’ plight gained public traction, Fantino headed to the House. There he delivered a flat, insincere apology read from cue cards.  He said the standoff was caused by the behind-the-scenes influence of big unions on the vets. Blaming the standoff on others and offering no remedy has further undermined the government’s relationship with veterans ….”
  • Afghanistan  From our “hindsight is 20-20″ file …. “With Canada’s mission in Afghanistan finally in the past, former defence minister Peter MacKay has acknowledged the government could have done more for its soldiers.  In a sober interview on CBC Radio’s The House, MacKay said a mission as complex as Afghanistan “always causes pause for reflection.”  MacKay said he wished, in some ways, that Canada had “provided more equipment, helicopters, mine-clearing equipment in the early days.  I don’t think the ferocity of the mission perhaps dawned on even military leaders, let alone political leaders of two different governments,” he said.  “In retrospect, we could have perhaps prepared our soldiers better through both equipment and training.” ….”
  • Canadian war veterans, particularly those soldiers who never returned home, have long held a special place in the hearts and minds of a grateful Dutch citizenry, including those of future generations unblemished by the horrors of warOne such touching tribute, a relatively new initiative instituted in 1991, remembers and honours Canadian servicemen buried in a sprawling Second World War cemetery near the tiny forested village of Holten.  On each Christmas Eve, approximately 1,500 locals, including 300 schoolchildren, congregate at the Holten Canadian War Cemetery, the second largest of its kind in the Netherlands. They commemorate those who died helping to liberate the country from four years of Nazi occupation.  Following a solemn ceremony, wind- and rain-resistant candles are lit and placed at the base of each bone-white headstone ….”

Written by milnewsca

30 March 14 at 17:30

MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – March 28, 2014

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MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – March 27, 2014

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