Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – December 20, 2012

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  • A snowboarder, stranded in a steep ravine between Horseshoe Bay and Lions Bay, B.C., was hoisted to safety, Tuesday, December 18th, by the crew of an RCAF CH-149 Cormorant search and rescue (SAR) helicopter.  The Cormorant was launched in support of the ground SAR operation after a request from West Vancouver Police was received through the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Victoria, B.C. The helicopter, from 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron, departed 19 Wing Comox, B.C., and arrived on scene at approximately 8:30 p.m. …. In the midst of a sudden snow squall, the Cormorant crew worked together to maintain a safe hover near a steep cliff, enabling the search and rescue technicians (SAR techs) to be hoisted approximately 280 feet through trees to the waiting snowboarder and ground SAR members …. Once on the ground, the SAR techs used a horse collar to bring the snowboarder and the four ground SAR members into the helicopter. Once on board, the helicopter flew to Vancouver International Airport where the snowboarder was transferred to B.C. Ambulance ….”  
  • Apparently, he was snowboarding outside the boundaries of the park he was supposed to be in, so he’s getting billed for the rescue effortthat’ll learn him!
  • Faculty cuts at the Royal Military College of Canada could be worse than previously reported, with as many as 10 additional faculty members possibly losing their jobs.  The cuts are part of the federal government’s effort to reduce spending.  About $5.5 million is being cut from RMC’s civilian salary costs.  Dr. Jean-Marc Noel, president of the Canadian Military Colleges Faculty Association which represents about 185 civilian instructors, said 32 professors were to be laid off in the next two fiscal years.  “Now they have told me there is going to be another 10,” Noel said.  “So, 42 out of 185, so we’re nearing the almost 25% mark.”  Noel said 29 of the first group of 32 have volunteered to leave the public service, leaving three others to face layoff.  The challenge comes when the additional 10 positions are eliminated. Finding volunteers to leave then may be difficult ….”
  • Academic on Canadian naval spy fracas  “Royal Canadian Navy Sub-Lt. Jeffery Delisle supplied top secret intelligence to Russia from 2007 until his arrest in January 2012. Some say Delisle’s actions seriously damaged Canada’s participation in the “Five Eyes” intelligence community – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States – the most exclusive intelligence-sharing club in the world.  However, as troublesome as Delisle’s actions may be, they will not permanently impair Five Eyes intelligence-sharing arrangements. The relationship is made of sterner stuff.  Besides, new strategic threats will come to augment, not replace, existing threats. The Five Eyes intelligence community will need more Canadian intelligence products, not less, and vice versa ….” 
  • From the Halifax Shipping News  HMCS Athabaskan left Port Weller (Tuesday) night, crossed Lake Ontario (yesterday), and is now in the Saint Lawrence seaway. Athabaskan sailed to Port Weller for a scheduled work interval when the seaway opened in march, but the refit ran long, and she must now be towed to Halifax before the seaway closes inland of Montreal, Dec 31 for the winter.”
  • Way Up North (1)  The Harper government has approved funding for Canada’s world-beating surveillance satellite program, just as it seemed that it may become the victim of spending cutbacks.  Sources say the Prime Minister intervened personally to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding to move the next generation of Radarsat satellites off the drawing board and into production. A public announcement of the funding deal is expected soon.  Stephen Harper has lauded Radarsat — a series of satellites monitoring Canadian territory from space — in his annual visits to the Arctic, saying they can “pick up a breaching whale through the fog … so we will be able to see what the bad guys are up to.”  But the future of Radarsat was in doubt when the 2012 federal budget did not include new funding to cover the 50% increase in costs from the original price-tag of $600-million for the three new Constellation satellites ….”
  • Way Up North (2)  Liberal Environment Critic:  Time for debate on, plan for the Arctic  “…. The government must produce a comprehensive Arctic Agenda that focuses on substantial action. In 2013, Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq will represent Canada as chair of the Arctic Council, a body aimed at promoting cooperation, co-ordination and interaction among Arctic States. Given the leadership role Canada will soon play, I have repeatedly asked the minister for a take-note debate in order to further examine these pressing issues facing the Arctic. The Minister’s office has so far rebuked my inquiries, calling them “inappropriate” …. Canada no longer has the luxury of hesitation. We must show leadership and responsible stewardship, and resolve to address the many complex problems that the Arctic poses. It is time for the Harper government — and Parliament — to address the very real challenges of our North.”
  • Member of Parliament David Tilson to Announce Support for New Monument in Orangevillethis afternoon.
  • Although nothing can replace being home for the holidays, Hallmark Canada is helping to connect Canadian troops with their loved ones back home. Teaming up with the Canadian Forces Personnel and Family Support Services, Hallmark Canada is proud to support the annual Operation Night Before Christmas initiative.  Operation Night Before Christmas provides gifts to soldiers posted far from home during the holiday season.  To support the initiative, Hallmark has donated over 500 recordable storybooks. These books will be delivered to the families of Forces members, bearing a special message from their loved ones serving abroad.  Recordable Storybooks are unique in that they contain digital audio recorders that let parents and loved ones record a personal message. Plus, they can record their own voice reading the story in the book. As children turn the pages, they hear Mom or Dad’s voice reading them the story.  Canadians Forces personnel posted at CFS Alert and aboard HMCS Regina received the books in late November. Once recorded, FedEx then delivered the books to each family’s doorstep to enjoy over the holiday season ….” 
  • Canadian company, d’Avicenna is getting into the holiday spirit. Through December and January, packages of eaurganic (TM) certified organic beauty products will be shipped to spouses in the Greater Toronto Area who have husbands deployed overseas.  D’Avicenna is working with Canadian Military Family Resource Centres to expand the distribution nationally in the New Year and, to include immediate family members.   In addition to the care package, the company is offering Canadian Forces families reduced pricing on all eaurganic skin and hair care products …. The idea to give back to the armed forces community came from Shahin Kalantari, president of d’Avicenna.  Shahin was an artillery soldier during the 1985-1986 Iran-Iraq war.   Serving in the war heavily influenced the direction he took in business.  In 2004, he invested his life-savings to build d’Avicenna, an environmentally green and ethical certified organic beauty products company that uses natural plant-based products and green manufacturing processes ….”

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20 December 12 at 7:45

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