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Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight

Posts Tagged ‘Michaëlle Jean

CF IN HAITI: First Sailors In, Docs Complain about Unloading Priorities

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Some of the latest:

A bit of a map to help orient you is available here.

  1. “Water related materials” (you can live longer without food than you can without water, and bad water makes more people sick)
  2. “Logistics Enablers” (stuff that helps get blocked roads open and aid into areas once routes are opened)
  3. Food materials (and)
  4. Medical supplies

Something else to remember:  these priorities change as the operation goes on, according to the World Food Program.

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

CF IN HAITI: Security a Growing Concern, Base of Operations Chosen?

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Some of the latest:

  • CBC News (via Twitter here and here and CBC.ca here) reports Canadian Forces ships are near Haiti, preparing to start deploying sailors and other experts to “clear roads of debris so that aid convoys can get in, offer first aid if they can, and look for Canadians and the bodies of Canadians so they can be returned home.”  CBC also says the focus of the CF’s work may be the town of Jacmel, a port community of approximately 30,000 on Haiti’s southern coast reportedly “(very) hard hit but getting less help to this point” (weather information available here, and tide information here).  It’s also the hometown of Canada’s Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
  • The Canadian Press reports that security is increasingly a problem that will be dealt with by Canadian Forces in Haiti:  “…. Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon says security has been fingered as one of the key challenges facing relief and reconstruction efforts as aid slowly ramps up and the death toll continues to mount. “Although the concern over an increase in civilian violence is shared by several countries involved, it will be resolved by our capacity to deliver aid and our capacity to stabilize Haiti,” Cannon said Monday….”

For more news, check out these sites (newest additions in bold):

Four Canadian Soldiers, One Reporter Killed in K’Har IED Blast

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This, from a CF statement:

Four Canadian soldiers and one Canadian reporter embedded with Joint Task Force Afghanistan (JTF-Afg) were killed, while four other Canadian soldiers and one Canadian civilian official were injured in an IED incident in Kandahar province, on Wednesday December 30, 2009.

The incident occurred 4 km south of Kandahar City at approximately 4:00 p.m., Kandahar time, Wednesday afternoon as a result of an improvised explosive device attack on an armoured vehicle during a patrol.

We will not release the names of the soldiers, as notification of next-of-kin is ongoing at this time. Further information on the incident will be provided once this has been completed.

All of the injured personnel were evacuated to the Role 3 Multi-National Medical Facility at Kandahar Airfield. They are undergoing medical examination and treatment, and their names will not be released.

This, from CanWest:

A Canadian journalist and four Canadian soldiers died in Afghanistan on Wednesday in the blast of an improvised explosive device. Calgary Herald reporter Michelle Lang, 34, was on secondment to Canwest News Service and was travelling with a provincial reconstruction team in Kandahar when the attack occurred ….

Condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of the fallen, and hopes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Update (1): From a statement from the Governor-General:

This new tragedy, like all those before it, is shocking. It reminds us of the underhanded, blind, daily violence facing our Canadian soldiers, journalists and humanitarian workers in Afghanistan, who are working alongside the local population already hard hit by decades of terror.

Here here.

Written by milnewsca

30 December 09 at 19:14

Where were our elected officials….

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….telling citizens about why Canada should be helping Afghanistan?

I’ve whined about this before here and here, but two recent statements by non-politicians draw the eye to how it COULD have been done.

1)  The Governor-General’s latest statement on the death of one of Canada’s fallen:

“To better appreciate our soldiers’ achievements on the ground, I met and spoke with a number of representatives from Afghan civil society, women and men who, faced with barbarity, are defending life in Afghanistan and fighting injustice and misery; these are the people we never—or rarely—hear from. The people of Afghanistan support progress, democracy, the reconstruction of peace, the rebuilding of their country, the respect of rights and freedoms, the equality of women, education and development, and Canada, in turn, supports their efforts and initiatives to promote viable Afghan solutions to Afghan problems.

They all told me that the actions of our soldiers to insure the security of the area and that the contributions being made by the Canadian International Development Agency and all other civil Canadian partners are helping them to move forward as they face the forces of destruction in their country.

At the Sayad Pacha elementary school, which Canada helped to build in Kandahar in 2008, the girls and boys clearly told me in their own words that their greatest concern was security, and that it was essential to rebuilding their country, devastated by decades of war, and crucial in order for them to achieve their dreams. They also told me how grateful they were to all the soldiers who expose themselves to danger to protect them. They see the soldiers at work, on patrol, looking for explosive devices, uncovering mines and defending communities from terrorist incursions, all at great risk to themselves. “

2)  Canada’s Task Force Afghanistan Brigadier General John Vance’s defence of the motivation of the troops (and concern over Senator Colin Kenny’s recent “this is Canada’s Vietnam” editorial), courtesy of the Canadian Press and the Globe & Mail:

“[Pte. Lormand] took a fatal strike where an Afghan family might have. He lived in the community so they knew the families he was protecting and they saw him as just that – a protector …. Neither (he) nor his family benefit from uninformed opinions about what his goals were and the techniques he used to achieve them …. The thousands of young, clear, determined eyes that remain wide open here in Kandahar are working hard every day to protect and stabilize the population – not an impossible mission, as some might suggest.”

Yet another reminder of whose job it is to explain why we’re there:

“Under the Canadian parliamentary system, ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister and to Parliament for presenting and explaining government policies, priorities and decisions to the public. Ministers, both individually and collectively as members of Cabinet, are the principal spokespersons for the Government of Canada and its institutions. It is their role to provide leadership in establishing the priorities and overall themes of government communications …. Ministers are the principal spokespersons of the Government of Canada …. Ministers present and explain government policies, priorities and decisions to the public.”

It could have been soooooooooo different.

Written by milnewsca

15 September 09 at 9:57

Canada’s Governor General Spells it Out

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Governor General Michaëlle Jean always issues a statement when a Canadian Forces member is killed in Afghanistan.  Her latest statement (version français ici) on the death of Private Patrick Lormand, however, goes into far more detail than previous messages for the fallen – here it is, in its entirety:

“It broke my heart today to learn of the death of Private Patrick Lormand of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal 22 Regiment, based in Valcartier. This courageous soldier died when the vehicle in which he was travelling ran over one of the improvised explosive devices that insurgents use to spread and maintain terror in Afghanistan. Four of his colleagues were also injured in the explosion.

As a tribute to Private Lormand, I would like to reflect on the mission for which he so bravely gave his life, because, not three days ago, I was with our soldiers in Afghanistan to honour the difficult and remarkable job they are doing.

To better appreciate our soldiers’ achievements on the ground, I met and spoke with a number of representatives from Afghan civil society, women and men who, faced with barbarity, are defending life in Afghanistan and fighting injustice and misery; these are the people we never—or rarely—hear from. The people of Afghanistan support progress, democracy, the reconstruction of peace, the rebuilding of their country, the respect of rights and freedoms, the equality of women, education and development, and Canada, in turn, supports their efforts and initiatives to promote viable Afghan solutions to Afghan problems.

They all told me that the actions of our soldiers to insure the security of the area and that the contributions being made by the Canadian International Development Agency and all other civil Canadian partners are helping them to move forward as they face the forces of destruction in their country.

At the Sayad Pacha elementary school, which Canada helped to build in Kandahar in 2008, the girls and boys clearly told me in their own words that their greatest concern was security, and that it was essential to rebuilding their country, devastated by decades of war, and crucial in order for them to achieve their dreams. They also told me how grateful they were to all the soldiers who expose themselves to danger to protect them. They see the soldiers at work, on patrol, looking for explosive devices, uncovering mines and defending communities from terrorist incursions, all at great risk to themselves.

I visited the base hospital, where caring and professional Canadian Forces medical teams work day and night to care for civilians and soldiers, Afghans and members of the NATO coalition. Among the patients were three children who were being treated for severe burns and mutilations they suffered as a result of a slyly buried homemade bomb. Everyone at the hospital was mourning the two other children who had died the previous day in their care. I know they are in mourning again today for Private Lormand.

We have lost an extraordinary Canadian.

My husband, Jean-Daniel Lafond, our daughter, Marie-Éden, and I join all Canadians in expressing our deepest sympathies to Private Lormand’s family, loved ones and friends, as well as to his comrades still in Afghanistan, for whom this is another difficult loss.

Our thoughts are also with those who were injured, and their families and friends.”

Well said, Your Excellency.

Written by milnewsca

14 September 09 at 19:27

More Female Victims of the Taliban

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Canada’s Governor General and Commander in Chief of the Canadian Forces draws a line between our latest fallen and another woman killed by the Taliban.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by milnewsca

15 April 09 at 8:09

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