MILNEWS.ca News Highlights – December 12, 2012
- Syria “As Syrian rebels move closer to Damascus while continuing to rack up military victories, Canada has established a contingency plan to deal with the possibility that the Syrian regime will use chemical or biological weapons against its own people. While Canada likely won’t deploy troops to Syria or send CF-18 fighter jets to patrol the skies over the country, it will send the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) — which handles chemical, biological and radioactive attacks — if asked for help by NATO. Canada will also send a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to provide clean water in Syria, as well as engineers and staff who can help set up a field hospital. And a navy frigate already in the area will be on standby ….” – more from media here, and more on the CJIRU here.
- Iran Canada: BAAAAD Iran! This from Canada’s foreign minister: “…. Canada is taking further action against the Iranian regime by expanding sanctions. Our government has amended the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations to list an additional 98 entities associated with the Iranian regime as designated persons, ratcheting up pressure on entities supporting Iran’s nuclear program, including the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Basij paramilitary organization ….”
- Mali Canada’s foreign minister: we’re deeply concerned by recent developments in the African country (where Canadians have helped train troops in the past)
- Afghanistan (1) Commons Committee to hear latest about Afghanistan tomorrow.
- Afghanistan (2) “Video from Afghanistan: Requiem for a Generation”, courtesy of Canada’s War Poet Suzanne Steele
- Afghanistan (3) Vote here to give Trevor Greene, survivor of an axe attack to the head during a meeting in Afghanistan, more help to walk again.
- “The veterans ombudsman is recommending that the federal government produce a national identity card for ex-soldiers and former members of the RCMP. In a new special report, Guy Parent says an ID card would help Veterans Affairs Canada track the roughly 750,000 veterans and allow them better access to health and financial benefits. He says it would also assist in their transition to civilian life. The card should be renewable, allowing federal officials to maintain contact with vets to keep them informed about changes to programs and services. Parent says the card should also be personalized and include the bearer’s eligibility for benefits. The ombudsman is also urging the government to expand the definition of veteran to include Mounties as well as former soldiers. Shortly after the report was released, a spokesman for Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney poured cold water on the idea. “We thank the Ombudsman for his report and working with DND we will review its contents,” said Jean-Christophe de le Rue. “However, due to the current fiscal climate, any changes resulting in new expenditures will only be made after careful consideration.” ”
- “The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, will make an important announcement for transitioning Canadian Armed Forces personnel and Veterans with representatives from the True Patriot Love Foundation and Canadian National Railway Company ….” in Edmonton this morning.
- One NDP MP’s idea to pay for Legion halls shutting down from lack of attendance (although if the members can’t – or aren’t willing to – pay, one wonders how willing taxpayers will be to do so) “Thunder Bay-Rainy River New Democrat MP John Rafferty has tabled motion M-417 in the House of Commons to establish a Royal Canadian Legion Infrastructure Renewal Fund to assist individual Legion branches across Canada in modernizing and upgrading their physical infrastructure ….”
- Remember this CF-18 crash in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2010? Conclusion of investigation: engine problems – a bit more here.
- Way Up North “The Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command, Lieutenant-General Stuart Beare, and the Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command, General Charles H. Jacoby, Jr. (U.S. Army) signed two documents – the Tri Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation and the Tri Command Training and Exercise Statement of Intent – during the 230th meeting of the Canada-US Permanent Joint Board on Defense, in Colorado Springs, Colorado (Tuesday). The Tri Command Framework for Arctic Cooperation acknowledges that defence issues do not drive Arctic affairs and that the Canadian and US militaries will support other departments and agencies in response to threats and hazards in the region when requested and directed ….” – more from the Pentagon’s Info-machine here.
- Name that AFV!
- “Public Safety Minister Vic Toews tabled new legislation Tuesday to expand the federal witness protection program to include sources working with Canada’s defence, public safety and spy agencies. The new legislation, called the Safer Witnesses Act, also makes it easier for witnesses in provincial protection programs to obtain new federal identity documents. Toews told reporters Tuesday that as it stands, federal documents can be difficult to obtain for witnesses in provincial programs ….” – more from media here and here, the government-ese version from the Public Safety Canada Info-machine here, and from the Parlimentary web page (outlining the bill’s text, and where it’s at in the process) here.