Posts Tagged ‘Leger Marketing’
- Corporal Steve Martin, R22eR, R.I.P. He’s home. More here, here and here.
- The last gang returning from ROTO 10-1 expected to arrive in Petawawa on Xmas eve – better late than never.
- Louise Arbour, a former Canadian UN judge, UN human rights boss, and president/CEO of a security think tank, tells is straight when it comes to Afghanistan: “…. In the coming months, Canada and other NATO partners are likely to face a critical choice between supporting constitutional review or standing by silently as the Afghan government implodes. The alternative for Afghans is constitutional change – giving power back to the people rather than centring it in Kabul – or a return to full-scale civil war. After so many years of sacrifice on the battlefield and financial generosity at home, Canadians must recognize that their continued engagement in Afghanistan must rest not on wishful thinking but on a policy grounded in reality.”
- Someone in the translation contractor’s office has some ‘splainin’ to do…. “A company that supplies Afghan translators for Canada’s mission in Kandahar may have mistakenly raised the interpreters’ hopes of emigrating to Canada, according to a newly released document. A contingent of Canadian military and civilian officials say International Management Services, or IMS, told interpreters that their immigration papers were being considered — even though not every application was. The officials noted the finding in a report to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, which they submitted in March after spending three weeks in Kandahar reviewing applications made under a special immigration program …. “Complications arose when (blank) contacted IMS, the prime contractor for many of the CF’s interpreters and other language assistants, to confirm employment records,” the report says. “(Blank) reported that IMS, staffed in Kandahar by local nationals, informed some program applicants that they were being considered. Given that the list submitted to IMS was only of individuals that were potentially eligible, this likely raised false expectations among applicants.” ….”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Taliban claims 6 Canadians killed on patrol in Zhari, but nothing in mainstream about such an incident.
- UN: Taliban causing more than 3 out of every 4 civilian casualties in Afghanistan lately (PDF, page 13). Taliban spokesperson: Lies! All Lies! Taliban web site: Lies! All Lies! (links to non-terrorist site)
- The UN’s senior official in Afghanistan speaks to the Security Council about how things are going in Afghanistan. What did he say? Depends on what you read.
- Year-end message from the head of Canada’s Expeditionary Force Command: LOTS of changes and work in 2010, but “We don’t know what’s coming next; we only know that the CF is ready, willing and capable of dealing with it when it does.
- Ottawa is extending the deadline for applying for compensation for illnesses linked to the use of Agent Orange and other plant killers at CFB Gagetown in the mid- to late-1960′s. “A New Brunswick widow who lost her husband to cancer six years ago is praising a decision by the federal government that will allow more people to qualify for Agent Orange payments. Bette Hudson, whose husband Ralph died of bone cancer after two decades in the military, said Wednesday that Ottawa finally got it right in loosening the rules on who can get a $20,000 ex gratia payout. Veterans Affairs Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn announced in Fredericton that the government is removing a controversial condition that required applicants to be alive on Feb. 6, 2006 — the date the federal Conservatives came to power. “It makes me feel as if my husband is worthy,” she said at the announcement, moments after Blackburn outlined the changes ….” Here’s the Veterans Affairs Canada news release and backgrounder, the Order in Council approving the change and a Canadian Forces page with various history and documents on the issue.
- Canada’s special forces are getting new vehicles (when there’s better ones to buy): “Canada’s special forces are holding off on buying new vehicles until technology catches up to its needs. The Ottawa-based Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) had been looking to replace its Humvee vehicles, now being used in Afghanistan by units such as Joint Task Force 2, but had to cut short its plans after the trucks being examined were determined not to meet various technical specifications. Industry sources say one company, U.S.-based Lockheed Martin, bid on the program, estimated to cost a little less than $80 million. The new vehicles were supposed to be acquired next year and were to be located with the Canadian Special Operations Regiment at Petawawa ….”
- More on Canada’s Communications Security Establishment moving into a brand, spanking new building right next to a brand spanking new building for the Department of National Defence (including a few details of a “private-public partnership” for building/running some of the buildings?). More on the usually-low key CSE here, including a letter to the editor from this week here explaining why they need bigger digs.
- Could possible cuts in US funding for their F-35 fighters increase the price of Canada’s proposed buy?
- Who do people responding to an online survey trust more, Canada’s government or Canada’s military? “Canadians have more trust and confidence in Canada’s armed forces than they do in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, according to a new study. The study, based on polling conducted by Leger Marketing for the Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) and released exclusively to iPolitics, found that 75.7 per cent of respondents had trust and confidence in the Canadian Forces to do a good job compared to only 54.1 per cent who trusted the federal government. While faith in both the Armed Forces and the federal government tended to rise with age, one of the sharpest divides was among English-speaking respondents — 80.3 per cent of whom trusted the military and 52.7 per cent of whom trusted the federal government ….”
- More end-of-year interview stories, this one from CBC.ca: “Defence Minister Peter MacKay is calling on the Afghan government to “pick up the slack” as the Canadian military hammers out the details and logistics of its new training mission in Afghanistan. As NATO allies continue to try to limit corruption and improve Afghanistan’s fledgling democracy and governance, the defence minister cited “incremental progress” in the country in 2010. “There are definitely improvements, tangible improvements that we can see, that we can point to,” MacKay told the CBC’s James Cudmore in a year-end interview. “And yet, all of it is tenuous as far as, will it last?” But MacKay insisted those gains translate into a “shifting of attitudes” among Afghans toward not only Canadian soldiers, but the tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers and police they are training ….”
- First, NORAD pimps Santa for some good exposure and PR (followed by Canada’s Air Force). Next: NAV CANADA, the agency that runs air traffic control at civilian airports, gets into the act. The latest to hop on the “let’s milk Santa for some attention” bandwagon? Canada’s Minister of Immigration: “Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney today reaffirmed Santa Claus as a Canadian citizen during a special citizenship ceremony. “We wish Mr. Claus all the best in his Christmas Eve duties again this year,” said Minister Kenney. “And rest assured, as a Canadian citizen living in Canada’s North, he can re-enter Canada freely once his trip around the world is complete.” Santa was on hand to reaffirm his citizenship while 100 new citizens from 32 countries were sworn in ….”
- In other security news, scumbag anti-Semite who shared info on best way to kill Canadians is back online: “The resurrection of a website advocating the genocide of Jews and Canadians, founded by a Toronto extremist who is wanted by police, highlights the difficulties of policing the Internet, where public postings can be generated and disseminated from almost anywhere. The website was founded by Salman Hossain, 25, a Canadian extremist who fled Canada earlier this year during a police investigation into use of the Internet to promote terrorist violence in Canada. Police subsequently charged him with five hate crimes — two counts of advocating genocide and three counts of promoting hatred — but so far, have been unable to locate him. The site was shut down after the charges were laid. The National Post reported last month that the site had re-emerged on a U.S. free-speech server but was again shut down. This month, it found a new home, through Internet servers based in Switzerland ….” More details on who’s hosting the site now, and the Interpol notice for the chap in question here at Army.ca.
- Who do you believe in the “he says, he says” surrounding Canada’s future mission in Afghanistan? In this corner, Canada’s Defence Minister telling the Canadian Press: “Canada is considering NATO and allied requests to keep troops in Afghanistan past 2011 to conduct non-combat training missions, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Sunday. MacKay said the government would likely make a decision in the coming weeks in the run-up to the Nov. 18 NATO leaders’ summit in Portugal. MacKay stressed that any such mission would take place out of Kandahar province, where fighting is fiercest and would be “behind the wire” – military parlance for non-combat mission. NATO has identified a shortfall of about 900 troops to conduct training and Canada is mindful of those requests, the minister said ….” (More from Postmedia News here) This is also reinforced by anonymous voices telling the Toronto Star the same thing.
- Meanwhile, in the other corner, likely in keeping with Quebec voters’ particular dislike (according to polls, anyway) for the mission, La Presse (link to original in French) hears the PM is pretty adamant about troops getting out of Afghanistan (Google translation of La Presse): “…. According to information obtained by La Presse, the date of withdrawal of Canadian troops is an irrevocable decision for the Prime Minister. In fact, Harper is currently discussing with the Liberals Michael Ignatieff last few days on Canada’s intentions in Afghanistan once the military mission is complete. And he intends to attach all the strings that option, with the support of the Liberals, before going to the NATO summit that will prioritize the future of the mission in Afghanistan. Mr. Harper therefore formally not tell his counterparts from member countries of the Alliance military in Lisbon ….” (Shameless self promotion: Here was my take from July 2009 on the whole March 2008 parliamentary motion.)
- Blog Watch: Brian Platt, visiting Afghanistan, pokes all sorts of holes into the arguments of those opposing the west’s work in Afghanistan – well worth the read.
- How one mother honours the memory of her fallen son, via CBC.ca: “The mother of a Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan is now in that country, honouring his memory by working in the canteen at the Kandahar airfield serving troops coffee. Wendy Hayward took an early retirement from her job in Winnipeg to take up the unique position that holds a special meaning for her. “I can’t think of a higher honour. I really can’t,” Hayward told CBC News in a recent interview. “I see him in the eyes of every one I serve.” Her son, Cpl. James Hayward Arnal, 25, was killed July 18, 2008 by a roadside bomb explosion in southern Afghanistan during a night patrol ….”
- According to the Canadian Press, survey says young people do remember (more about Kandahar than Vimy): “Vimy Ridge and Juno Beach are vaguely familiar, but it’s Kandahar that’s really rings a bell, especially among younger Canadians. As Remembrance Day approaches, a new poll from The Historica-Dominion Institute suggests Canadians know the most about the war in Afghanistan, with young people leading the way …. The online poll, conducted between November 1 to 5, surveyed 1,015 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points ….”
- Speaking of surveys, remember Russell Williams, the murderer-serial rapist now a guest of the state? While some worried his actions could make people think poorly about the Canadian Forces, a QMI/Léger Marketing survey says different: “…. When asked what best represented their attitude about how the case affected their view of the Canadian military, 59% of people polled said the case had no impact on their opinion. About one in five, or 23%, said it hurt their opinion of the Canadian Forces, and 4% said it actually improved their view. Another 13% said they didn’t know enough to have an opinion …. Leger did the polling online from Nov. 1-4, 2010. The company polled 1,503 Canadians 18 or older. A telephone poll of this size would have a margin of error of /- 2.6%.”
- Taliban Propaganda Watch: Attacks alleged in Kandahar, Uruzgan and Zabul, while Taliban dare Congressmen to send a delegation to roam free in Afghanistan.
The latest polling done by Leger Marketing for the Toronto Sun et. al. shows 45 per cent of those surveyed saying “Canada should step out of combat role and provide training and development only” (more detailed results on this question available here via Milnet.ca).
In addition to my tea leaf reading, I have some questions I hope is addressed by Sun Media (or any outlet’s) editorial writers and/or columnists supporting this idea:
- If you have Canadian development or aid teams working on projects, and these projects come under attack while Canadian troops are protecting them, will shooting back at the enemy constitute a “non-combat” mission? (I will guess quite confidently some will say it certainly is if a Canadian soldier is killed in such an exchange)
- If you have Canadian soldiers training Afghan troops and cops, but not being with them on patrol or on operations to mentor them and reinforce what was taught, how much is this going to increase Afghan security force confidence in Canadians? Especially considering that now, from what I understand, Canadians are sharing the risks with the forces they train and mentor?
- Is it a “combat mission” or not if Canadian troops join their Afghan trainees on patrol or operations? After all, there’s a case to be made that it’s not the CANADIANS fighting, it’s the AFGHANS fighting with CANADIANS watching/supporting/mentoring, right?
As long as there’s an armed adversary willing to kill and maim to prevent humanitarian and development aid or programs from being delivered, someone is going to end up in a situation that some will consider “combat” in order to keep the work going.
I await answers to such questions from both the media as well as those ultimately responsible for sending troops and civilians into harm’s way.