Tidbits from Both Sides of the Fight News Highlights – January 22, 2013

with one comment

  • More Mali (1a)  The Canadian government will extend the tour of the heavy-lift transport plane shuttling equipment from France to Mali for a military missionInitially, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered the massive C-17 plane for a one-week mission. But France has asked Canada and other nations to provide more air-transport help, including assistance to carry a West African force of 3,300 into Mali.  Now Mr. Harper’s government is set to approve an extension, to be announced later this week ….”
  • More Mali (1b)  And even the NDP likes the idea?  “As the lone Canadian C-17 aircraft continues its week-long mission in Mali, NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar called for an extension of the Canadian mission in Mali Monday …. With only days left for the mission, Dewar told iPolitics Monday that Canada needs to stay engaged in Mali. However, he said that if Canada is to extend the mission, there must be more parliamentary involvement to debate how a longer mission would unfold ….”
  • More Mali (2)  Canada’s soldiers and diplomats began paving the way for possible military involvement in Mali last spring, shortly after al-Qaida-backed rebels seized control of the country’s north, newly released documents showThe documents indicate Canada began laying down lines of communication with the French and Americans over the crisis in the African country as early as March of last year.  But the spade work has not yet amounted to much with the Conservative government, which only a few years ago had been eager to strut its military stuff on the world stage.  A one-week commitment of a single C-17 heavy-lift transport — intended to assist in relocating French military equipment — will likely be extended later this week. But as fighting escalates in remote desert Malian communities, the Harper government’s aversion to getting more deeply involved is almost palpable ….”
  • More Mali (3)’s latest take  “The West’s intervention to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi in 2011 was one of the triggers of the current war in Mali, and as Canada’s role in Mali slowly grows, the danger of being drawn further into a spreading West African conflict also grows ….”
  • More Mali (4) columnist’s take  “…. As for France’s interest in Mali, its record over many years speaks for itself. Caveat emptor, Mr. Baird. Have you yet been briefed on France’s remarkable history in Africa? Do you not find it just a bit off-putting that yet another French socialist president has now decided to save Africa, if possible with our help? It raises an intriguing question: How long would it take AQIM — al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the target this week of French forces in Mali — to kill as many Africans as France has done, directly or indirectly, over the years? ….”
  • More Mali (5)  Conservative Senator’s take  “…. If there is any lesson to draw from the Afghanistan experience and the challenges in Africa, it is that looking away always costs more in lives, treasure and security than facing evil head on and having the capacity to do so. The “responsibility to protect” is meaningless without the capacity to deploy and will to intervene.”
  • More Mali (6)  More on whazzup in Mali here (Google News), here (EMM Explorer) and here (France’s defence ministry’s latest update in French)
  • Algeria (1a)  Algeria’s PM shares a bit of a name of a (Canadian?) terrorist killed in an attack on a seige of a desert gas plant  The Islamist attack on the sprawling desert gas complex in southern Algeria that triggered one of the worst hostage crises in years was conceived in Mali and coordinated by a mystery Canadian named only as Chedad, the Algerian prime minister said …. Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal said the plot had been hatched in war-ravaged Mali and the attackers had traveled through Niger and Libya before slipping into Algeria.  The jihadists were said to come from Egypt, Mauritania, Niger, Tunisia, Mali, Algeria and, in one case, from Canada. The Canadian, identified initially as Chedad, was coordinating the raiders, Sellal said ….” – more here (Google)
  • Algeria (1b)  “….  Ottawa has not been able to confirm reports that Canadians were involved in the four-day siege. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said Monday his department is investigating.  “We can’t confirm the accuracy of these reports. But what we are doing, our embassy in Algiers and our team in Ottawa are working to try to verify these informations and get the names of these alleged Canadians. But we can’t report anything official at this time,” Baird told CTV News Channel ….” – more here
  • Chinooks a step closer to flying in Canada’s skies  “It has been 21 years since the distinctive ‘wokka-wokka’ sound of Canadian Chinooks was last heard in Canadian skies.  This year, however, the big, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift helicopters will be heard once again, especially over Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, Ont. This time, though, Petawawa will not simply be a waypoint for the Chinooks while en route to tasks in support of the Canadian Army; it will be the permanent home for the new fleet of CH-147F Chinook helicopters ….” – more from the RCAF Info-machine here
  • For the second time the federal government is appealing a court decision requiring it to fully consult with Treaty One First Nations in Manitoba before selling the Kapyong Barracks site.  A spokeswoman for the Defence Department said the government filed its appeal late Friday afternoon.  “The main grounds for appeal are that the Federal Court judge made errors in law with respect to what he ordered and his analysis of the duty to consult,” said Kathleen Guillot.  This will indefinitely extend the legal battle over the 160 acres of prime real estate at Kenaston Boulevard and Grant Avenue, which has now lasted more than five years.  Jeff Rath, the lawyer for Peguis First Nation, one of the Treaty One bands, said he was surprised Ottawa is appealing because he says in court the government admitted it did have a duty to consult the First Nations on the sale of Kapyong, at least when it came to Peguis. He said the government’s argument is that it fulfilled that duty, but the judge in the case disagreed.  “To me it just seems the Crown is simply trying to delay the inevitable,” said Rath.  In 2004, the Princess Patricia Light Infantry Unit abandoned the barracks to move west to Shilo, Man. Three years later, the federal government declared the barracks land surplus and moved to sell it to the Canada Lands Company for $8.6 million. CLC, a Crown corporation that redevelops surplus federal land, planned a mix of homes and businesses on the site.  But the seven Treaty One First Nations argue a 1997 agreement gave them the right of first refusal when surplus federal land become available, to fulfill outstanding land entitlements from the 1871 Treaty One. Shortly after Ottawa moved to sell the land, the seven Treaty One First Nations went to court to stop it ….”
  • Ooopsie….  The Canadian Army had to reprint 10,000 calendars for 2013 after discovering the original copies put holidays, such as Easter, Labour Day and Thanksgiving, on the wrong dates.  “We had a corrupted template and the dates for some significant holidays were incorrect,” Kristina Davis, the Army’s manager of outreach and stakeholder relations, said Monday.  She said the Army also improved the wording of captions under the pictures used for each month in the new version of the calendar.  Davis said it cost $11,796 to reprint all 10,000 copies of the calendars, which include pictures highlighting the work of the Canadian Army at home and abroad.  She said the calendars are distributed each year to businesses, community leaders and members of the media.  Davis didn’t know how many of the calendars had been distributed before the problem was discovered ….”
  • On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Pat Davidson, Member of Parliament for Sarnia Lambton, will make an announcement ….” at a monument at Oil Springs, Ontario today.
  • Way Up North  The overarching theme of Canada’s upcoming chairmanship of the Arctic Council will be the promotion of economic development of northern regions, says the Canadian minister responsible for the CouncilSpeaking on Monday at the Arctic Frontiers conference in Trømso, in northern Norway, Leona Aglukkaq said Canada will focus on sustainable economic development of the Arctic.  “With the help of our Arctic Council partners, we will focus on creating economic growth, strong and sustainable northern communities and healthy ecosystems,” said Aglukkaq, addressing the conference entitled ‘Arctic Frontiers: Geopolitics & Marine Production in a Changing Arctic.’ ….”

Written by

22 January 13 at 7:45

One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] lots of coverage at […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: