Posts Tagged ‘CIDA’
- No Fly Zone in Libya (1) – A Canadian General is taking the lead on NATO’s no fly mission. “A Canadian general was thrust Friday into the command role of NATO’s mission in Libya, taking responsibility for enforcing the no-fly zone and arms embargo as the United States continued to hand over control of the week-old campaign against Moammar Gadhafi. Lt.-Gen. Charles Bouchard will lead NATO forces in a mission Defence Minister Peter MacKay acknowledged Friday was “yet to be fully defined” by leaders of the international coalition tasked with protecting Libyans from forces loyal to Gadhafi. At a press briefing on Canada’s operations in Libya Friday, MacKay said the appointment of Bouchard to this key role is a testament to the respect Canada’s military enjoys around the world ….” The General’s official bio is here. More from Canadian Press here, Postmedia News here and the Globe & Mail here.
- No Fly Zone in Libya (2) - For once, ceasefire.ca mentions a good point. “…. The Alliance has not yet formally agreed to run the civilian-protection element of the mission, which is attempting to prevent attacks on Libyan civilians by conducting airstrikes on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s forces. NATO spokespersons stated on Friday that “NATO is actively considering whether to take on a broader role under the UN Security Council Resolution. Without prejudging the deliberations, we would expect a decision to take over all operations in the next few days.” ….”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (3) – More on the CP-140 Aurora’s headed downrange.
- No Fly Zone in Libya (4) – Retired General Lew-Mac raises a good point. “…. Absent well-defined political leadership for the implementation of UN Resolution 1973, we now have a number of coalition military actions that arguably go beyond the letter and the intent of the resolution and seem to be more in support of regime change than protecting civilian population centres. If that is the case, the Security Council should meet and sanction the current military actions in Libya in support of Resolution 1973 and clearly state the removal of Colonel Gadhafi as the mission’s objective. In the meantime, a ground invasion force led and dominated by Arab countries should be organized to deal with the inevitable, near-term stalemate.”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (5) – The Globe & Mail’s Margaret Wente also raises a good point. “Why is Canada at war in Libya? You won’t get the answer from our elected leaders. They’re too busy fighting an election to explain it to us. You can’t count on the opposition parties to raise awkward questions, either. They have better things to do at a crucial time like this. Besides, it’s just a little war. It will be over soon, unless it isn’t. If all goes well, perhaps Canadians won’t notice that our political class has committed us to an open-ended military action in North Africa without a clue about what the mission is, who’s in charge, or how deep the quagmire might get ….”
- No Fly Zone in Libya (6) – QMI’s Larry Cornies raises yet another intriguing question. “Canada’s military firepower is modest; its presence in the Mediterranean more symbolic than essential. Is there an opportunity here for Canada to lead on the diplomatic front to negotiate a post-Gadhafi solution with the same zeal it once displayed in advocating R2P?”
- In case you haven’t heard yet, we’re going into a federal election next month.
- Rash o’ Pre-Election Announcements (1) – Meanwhile, the PM announces non-military help for Libya as well. “…. Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Government is immediately providing nearly $3 million to support the efforts of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to address the repatriation of people displaced into neighbouring countries. This is in addition to the $5 million in humanitarian assistance that the Government announced on March 2, 2011 for the people of Libya. Today’s announcement raises Canada’s total humanitarian assistance to the crisis in Libya to almost $8 million ….”
- Rash o’ Pre-Election Announcements (2) – This one from Defence Minister Peter MacKay: “…. A new career transition support policy for severely ill and injured Canadian Forces (CF) personnel will come into effect on May 1, 2011. Under this policy, severely ill and injured personnel with complex career transition needs, and who can no longer serve in the Regular Force or Primary Reserve, will be provided a longer transition period before returning to civilian life. For each of these individuals, the CF will develop a tailored and flexible plan that features comprehensive health care, career transition assistance, and the social support of the military community over a period of up to three years. The Minister also announced a change to the CF promotion policy whereby any qualified CF member who has been severely injured in Afghanistan with a battlefield injury will also be eligible for promotion if they continue serving with the CF ….”
- Rash o’ Pre-Election Announcements (3) – One more from the Defence Minister: “The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, in conjunction with The Ottawa Hospital and The Ottawa Hospital Foundation, today helped unveil the Rehabilitation Virtual Reality Laboratory, housing the CAREN system, at The Ottawa Hospital Rehabilitation Centre …. This initiative is another example of CF’s excellent partnership with The Ottawa Hospital that ensures ill and injured CF personnel receive excellent care when they need it the most …. The installation of this system was made possible through the funding efforts of the community, which raised $500,000 for the laboratory at the General Campus of The Ottawa Hospital, and the CF, which contributed $1.5 million to the CAREN system. The Ottawa Hospital Foundation is proud to play a role in making this state-of-the-art tool a reality at the Hospital, said Foundation President and CEO Susan Doyle ….”
- F-35 Tug o’ War (1) – More on the price/cost wrangling.
- F-35 Tug o’ War (2) – Blogger Mark Collins asks how the Liberals are going to deal with future fighter buys if they get back at the helm.
- Canada’s newest upgraded tanks arrive in Afghanistan to help in (what’s left of) the fight (via Army.ca).
- Another way Canada’s helping in Afghanistan: building secure quarters to protect Afghan public servants. “Two weeks ago, Kandahar deputy governor Abdul Latif Ashna inspected a Canadian project to provide secure homes for 15 Afghan government officials and their families. Exactly one week later the Afghan lead on the Committee to Secure Civil Servants was dead when the car he was riding in was blown up by a suspected suicide bomber on a motorcycle. “Ashna’s death was very poignant,” said Philip Lupul, a Canadian diplomat who worked closely with Mr. Ashna on the housing project, which is to be completed by the end of next month. “He had pointed out some changes that he thought should be made to the houses and we had accepted them. “One of the tragedies of this is that he would certainly have been a candidate for one of these homes. We lost a good friend who was part of this project.” …. “
- “Canada spent more than $41 million on hired guns in Afghanistan over four years, much of it going to security companies slammed by the U.S. Senate for having warlords on the payroll. Both the Defence and Foreign Affairs departments have employed 11 security contractors in Kabul and Kandahar since 2006, but have kept quiet about the details. Now documents tabled in Parliament at the request of the New Democrats provide the first comprehensive picture of the use of private contractors, which have been accused of adding to the chaos in Afghanistan. The records show Foreign Affairs paid nearly $8 million to ArmorGroup Securities Ltd., recently cited in a U.S. Senate investigation (link to news release – 105 page, 23 MB PDF report downloadable here) as relying on Afghan warlords who in 2007 were engaged in “murder, kidnapping, bribery and anti-Coalition activities.” The company, which has since been taken over by G4S Risk Management, provided security around the Canadian embassy in Kabul and guarded diplomats. Tundra SCA stands on guard for the Defence Department outside Canadian military forward operating bases and has collected more than $5.3 million ….” A bit more on one of the bad boys turned good boys here.
- “A school that’s a hallmark of Canada’s struggle against Afghan insurgents is on the brink of getting rid of some teachers and classes as Ottawa ponders whether to toss a lifeline. The Afghan-Canadian Community Centre, where thousands of girls and women have braved Taliban threats to get an education, needs more than $500,000 by month’s end to avoid severe cutbacks, said Ryan Aldred, who heads a charity that supports the school. Thousands of women, girls and men have learned skills such as how to use computers, start a business or speak English at the centre …. The Canadian International Development Agency has contributed $313,773 to keep the school open, but when Aldred applied for more money in late 2009, CIDA eventually turned him down. “Although approved in principle, the grant was declined in May 2010 due to a ‘lack of resources to support new initiatives’ and ‘the priority currently placed on initiatives that directly support the attainment of (CIDA’s) benchmarks,’ ” Aldred said ….”
- Meanwhile, a wounded warrior says in the reality that is Afghanistan, sometimes a good warlord can help keep a grip on things. “The Canadian Forces have always been pragmatic in who it uses to help the CF in places like Kandahar. White western forces are at a disadvantage in a place where it is incredibly difficult to know who is on first. That’s why warlords and those on the ground are the way to ensure peace. Their troubled past will not make these people go away and in fact Col Toorjan is well known as the protector of the Provincial Reconstruction Team ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Claims of civilian casualties in Kandahar.
- F-35 Watch “With all the buzz around Ottawa about a potential spring election, there remains a drought of hot-button political issues over which the coming campaign will be contested. One exception to this, of course, is the Conservative government’s controversial commitment to purchase the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Although no contract has been signed, the Harper Tories remain adamant that they will proceed with the purchase of 65 of the sophisticated aircraft, which, at an initial procurement cost of $9 billion and an estimated $7 billion in future maintenance expenses, makes this the largest military project expenditure in Canada’s history ….”
- What’s Canada Buying? Translation cards (~$47,000 worth) that soldiers can point at when they don’t know the language of the locals (via Army.ca).
- “Canada’s lead weapons treaty negotiator has been removed from his post after American negotiators complained he was “too tough and aggressive” on behalf of Canada in disarmament talks. The Ottawa Citizen has learned that veteran Foreign Affairs arms treaty expert Earl Turcotte has also run afoul of his bosses after apparently objecting to key elements in long-awaited legislation that will see Canada ratify the international Convention on Cluster Munitions. Turcotte, widely respected and often publicly praised at international negotiations for his negotiating skills, has emailed colleagues across the world telling them he will soon resign from Foreign Affairs to independently advocate for the cluster treaty he helped to craft in Dublin in May 2008 ….”
- Members of Canada’s civilian intelligence service are apparently being asked to be more discrete with the swag they can buy in their kit shop. “Canadian spies are being warned not to wear their loyalty on their sleeve — or their wrist or lapel. The hush-hush reminder to employees of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service advises keeping polo shirts, watches and pins emblazoned with the distinctive CSIS crest away from curious eyes. The items are sold in a secret shop tucked away on the lower level of CSIS headquarters in Ottawa, and made available to employees posted elsewhere through the agency’s online memorabilia catalogue. The souvenirs — which also include hoodies, key chains, mugs, pens and plaques — offer members of the intelligence service “a tangible sense of belonging to the organization,” says an internal CSIS article obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. But in keeping with CSIS policy, it seems the stylish spy must be careful to keep the merchandise undercover. “Although the clothing does not display the Service’s acronym, it does feature the emblem,” says the October 2010 publication, parts of which remain classified …. “The policy essentially states that employees should exercise discretion in disclosing employment outside the work environment. Furthermore, employees working in (deleted from document) must be particularly vigilant in concealing their employer or any association with CSIS.” ….”
- Egypt Watch: My guess is that someone with a rank in his title will be boss in Egypt before end of week. “…. Since it would be the army that finally tells Mubarak to leave, the military would dominate the interim regime. They would not want to put yet another general out front, so they might decide that ElBaradei is the right candidate for interim leader, precisely because he has no independent power base ….”
- First, a correction: Remember the Canadian contract listing where the CF is looking for help to improve storytelling in yesterday’s update? It seems I put the wrong link in – this is the correct one. Many thanks to Richard, who drew my attention to this.
- Vandoos into Zangabad: “Taliban fighters in the notorious village of Zangabad aren’t about to just melt away, the commander of NATO forces in southern Afghanistan warned Monday as Canadian troops officially took control of the long-standing insurgent stronghold. “Yeah, they’re going to fight. This is their home turf,” Maj.-Gen. James Terry told The Canadian Press at a patrol base in southwestern Panjwaii, the troubled district where a combined force of coalition and Afghan soldiers is pushing forward. So far, though, “it’s going real well,” Terry said ….”
- Canada sending medicine, medical equipment to Afghanistan: “…. the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation (CIDA), highlighted the first phase of Health Partners International Canada’s (HPIC) Capacity Building and Access to Medicines (CBAM) project, a five-year project that will provide Afghans with reliable access to medicine and medical supplies …. For more information on the Capacity Building and Access to Medicines project visit www.hpicanada.ca and www.Afghanistan.gc.ca ….”
- The Globe & Mail manages an e-mail interview with the commander of Canada’s Special Operations Forces, Brigadier-General Mike Day – this on the alleged lack of accountability we hear suggested from some out there: “Q: There’s nothing you’re doing that the Prime Minister wouldn’t know about, right? A: All the senior leaders hear what we’re doing. This idea that nobody knows – it’s [expletive]. ” More from the Globe here.
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban’s sites are down for now, but not before you get to see lies about Canadian deaths.
- Remember this little bank firebombing incident around the G8/G20, aimed at sending a message to “resist the trampling of native rights, of the rights of us all, and resist the ongoing destruction of our planet”? Someone’s pleaded guilty, and now he’s about to be sentenced.
- The government is expected to announce today a plan/strategy to prevent another Air India bombing from happening: “The Honourable Vic Toews, Canada’s Public Safety Minister, and the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism will release the Air India Inquiry Action Plan ….” More from the Globe & Mail here and Postmedia News here.
- So, what’s the former head of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Peter Tinsley, up to these days? Running for office, it seems: “…. Peter Tinsley, the former chief of the Military Police Complaints Commission — one of several public servants who have parted ways with Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government — announced on Monday that he’ll be the Liberal candidate for the Ontario riding of Prince Edward-Hastings in the next election. And Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is hinting that Tinsley may not be the only person the Liberals will be recruiting from among the swelling ranks of public servants and whistleblowers who have publicly sparred with Harper’s government. “Will he be the only one? Watch this space,” Ignatieff said ….”
This (PDF), from the Afghan School Project (funded in part by Canada’s International Development Agency):
Despite recent insecurity, more than two hundred students at the Afghan-Canadian Community Center (ACCC) in Kandahar, Afghanistan graduated on November 2, 2009 from a professional education program funded largely by the Canadian International Development Agency.
“Through the education and support provided by the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, the Government of Canada and the Canadian people, the Center has given us hope for a better future,” said Class Valedictorian Bibi Zhilla, “Now it is our responsibility to share this precious gift with others in need.”
The ACCC provides professional education to approximately 1,000 students in Kandahar, more than half of them women. A group of 30 students have had the opportunity to study Business Management with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) via the Internet.
ACCC Director Ehsanullah Ehsan travelled to Calgary to receive an honourary degree from SAIT in June 2009. ACCC students had planned to accompany Ehsan during the trip, but were unable to do so for security reasons. This group of students received graduation certificates from SAIT during this ceremony.
Congratulations to all who worked hard and faced real risks learning and wanting to help rebuild your homeland.