Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – December 6, 2012

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  • A military court has sentenced a former deputy commander of the Victoria-based military cadet corps to one year in jail and banished him from the military for sexually abusing teenaged cadets.  Capt. Daniel Moriarity, 26, was also demoted to a second lieutenant by military Judge Lt-Col. Louis-Vincent D’Auteuil, who said the man used and abused his power to fulfil his desires.  Moriarity was convicted of sexual exploitation, sexual assault and sexual interference by a military court last October in connection with attacks on a 15-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl in separate incidents at the Vernon, B.C., army camp.  During Moriarity’s sentencing on Wednesday, the judge said the victims are still emotionally dealing with the man’s actions ….” – more here.
  • “The British military is a bit strapped for cash these days, so it has ordered its personnel to “work from home” over the holidays to save on gas and electricity bills.  “Army shuts down for Christmas,” ran the headline in the Sunday Times.  The Canadian Forces have their own money troubles. Budget 2012 called for $2-billion in savings from its budget over three years.  But according to testimony at the Senate Finance committee this week, the brass at National Defence have a much more subtle solution than sending the entire armed forces on block leave. Rather, they have just moved a few decimal points around, shifted some numbers from one column to another and voila, money has appeared as if by magic Maj.-Gen. Robert Bertrand, acting chief financial officer at DND, gave the good news that no new funding is required from Parliament. But that is only because money is being “re-profiled” from the capital spending budget into the operations budget.  The supplementary spending estimates being examined by the Senate committee show that $162-million is being transferred from the capital budget to offset the spending cuts on the operations side.  “We had a capital re-profile as a result of changes in payments and contract schedules for our capital program in the order of $280-million … Again there is no requirement for additional budget appropriations through these supplementary estimates,” said Maj.-Gen. Bertrand ….”
  • Historian on Canada’s defence “plan”  “…. it is becoming increasingly clear that the government has no defence policy. Nowhere has the government stated that it foresees threats or crises that might require Canadian intervention with this or that kind of forces. Granted, in a world in flux, such forecasts are difficult to make in a credible way, but such thinking used to be called strategic planning. Governments and their militaries formed such judgments, and the elected politicians, in consultation with the brass, determined that they needed so many battalions, aircraft, ships and the money to pay for them. Moreover, in a democracy, the public was ordinarily consulted in the preparatory stages and informed, via a White Paper, of the broad outlines of the government’s policy.  Not here, not now, not from the Harper government ….”
  • Amid allegations it has been providing substandard care to its most frail residents, Canada’s largest veterans facility will undergo a provincial audit in addition to one previously announced by the federal government, The Canadian Press has learned.  Meanwhile, Canada’s veterans ombud announced Wednesday that he would formally observe the audit of Sunnybrook Veterans Centre.  “Recent allegations regarding the treatment of veterans at Sunnybrook hospital are of great concern to me,” Guy Parent said in a release.  “I want to ensure that the audit to be carried out by Veterans Affairs Canada is as thorough as necessary to fully identify and address issues of concern.”  Parent said he planned to meet affected veterans and their families to ensure their concerns are properly addressed.  In probing allegations of neglect of the most frail veterans at Sunnybrook, The Canadian Press found no level of government had inspected the 500-bed facility in seven years.  The Ontario government has always insisted the centre falls solely under Ottawa’s authority, even though 310 of the beds are classified as complex continuing care beds under provincial legislation.  “The ministry has no authority or jurisdiction to inspect or enforce long-term-care home standards at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre,” said Ontario Health Ministry spokesperson David Jensen.  However, Jensen now says the ministry will help inspect the centre at the request of Sunnybrook and Ottawa.  “We are continuing to work with Sunnybrook as the terms of reference to review patient complaints are being developed,” Jensen said ….”
  • The Royal Canadian Legion, once counted on by the government to be the voice of reason among veterans groups, is striking a more defiant tone and demanding federal officials address the issue of burial expenses for poor and homeless ex-soldiers.  A major annual conference among veterans groups is set to get underway in Charlottetown on Thursday, but the issue of the Last Post Fund — and the fact it has rejected two-thirds of applications since 2006 — is not on the agenda set by Veterans Affairs.  Brad White, an ex-army officer and the Legion’s Dominion Secretary, said his organization will not drop the issue of funeral coverage.  “I can’t understand why they won’t fix that,” said White.  Over the last six years, 20,147 applications were rejected by the Last Post Fund because the deceased veteran did not meet the eligibility criteria. To qualify a veteran must have earned less than $12,010 a year and served in Second World War, Korea, or been in receipt of a veterans disability pension ….”
  • Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Ottawa is currently conducting a 44-day deployment in the eastern Pacific with resounding operational success. On November 28, 2012 the Esquimalt-based frigate was patrolling in international waters southeast of Isla de Coco, Costa Rica when she assisted a United States (US) Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment team in boarding a suspicious fishing vessel. This boarding resulted in the seizure of 36 bales of cocaine weighing 1,086 kilograms, with an estimated wholesale value of more than US $29 million. Between November 18 and 29, CP-140 Aurora crews from 19 Wing, Comox and 14 Wing, Greenwood assisted in seizing, through surveillance and detection, 144 bales of cocaine weighing 4,300 kilograms, with a wholesale value of more than US $116 million. In total, more than US $145 million worth of drugs were seized ….”
  • Afghanistan  There are plenty of opportunities for Nanaimo residents to support or take interest in Canada’s efforts overseas, says MP Chris Alexander, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of DefenceAlexander, Canada’s first resident ambassador in Afghanistan, made a visit to the Harbour City Saturday, stopping in at the Vancouver Island Military Museum before addressing the Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative Electoral District Association in Qualicum.  “If they continue to take an interest [in Afghanistan] they will find a huge number of opportunities,” he told the Bulletin. “There are great Canadian NGOs [non-governmental organizations], international NGOs operating there, there are organizations like Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan that have a powerful presence in British Columbia that are focused on the well being of women and girls in Afghanistan.”  Alexander, the member of parliament for Ajax-Pickering in Ontario, said that very issue will be the focus of Canada’s effort in development in Afghanistan after 2014.  “After our military leaves, we’ll be making sure that the gains women and girls have made in education, in their economic empowerment, are continued and I think Canadians have a central role to play in that.” ….”
  • On corruption and how it affects security  ” As headlines keep rolling out of the Charbonneau Commission, the Inquiry, which is looking into corruption in the Quebec public construction tendering system, is increasingly becoming a teachable moment for those who study politics, bureaucracy, organized crime and power. But the Commission, which is the biggest corruption shakedown in Canada since at least the Sponsorship Scandal, also highlights other failures beyond governance.  The Commission has also shined a light on failures of intelligence sharing ….”
  • The Canadian Forces Snowbirds air demonstration team took to the skies for the team’s final airshow on October 19 at their home base, 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask.  “Typically, this show has always been for family and friends,” Captain Thomas Edelson, the Snowbirds’ Public Affairs Officer, told the Moose Jaw Times Herald. “It’s kind of a unique event.”  The show was also a farewell to pilots and technicians who are leaving the team and a welcome to the new members of the 2013 team. Normally, personnel serve with the Snowbirds for a two-year period ….”
  • ‘Tis the season ….8 Wing Trenton, Ont., has done itself proud this year by donating 71 shoeboxes full of Christmas cheer as part of Operation Christmas Child.  “This is pretty awesome,” says wing chaplain Major Tracy Graf. “We’re very happy [to have done this] in such a short time.”  Operation Christmas Child is part of the Samaritan’s Purse ministry under Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham. It is a ministry that donates shoeboxes full of small gifts and necessities such as toiletries (soap, toothbrush) and school supplies to children in impoverished nations. When culturally appropriate, the story of Jesus is also shared in the community that receives the boxes, although it is not obligatory ….”

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6 December 12 at 7:45

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  1. […] At a time when the CF are increasingly strapped for cash one does wonder about these operational priorities well away from Canada; why should the Canadian military be seriously engaged in this foreign law enforcement activity?  I don’t see the USN or USAF similarly engaged.  At […]

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