IN THE NEWS

IN THE NEWS

Jun 22, 2021

There is an urgent need for the federal government to safeguard its reserves of rare earth minerals used in strategic and consumer applications, says a parliamentary committee. “This study should be a wake-up call,” it says. “It has been made abundantly clear that the overarching issue within this industry is the fact that the federal government has created a business environment where Canada will be unable to meet the growing global demand for critical minerals and, therefore, be reliant on other countries to meet our needs.”

Jun 21, 2021

The House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence adjourned for the summer today without issuing a report on the government's handling of alleged misconduct by senior military officers. involving senior military officers. A Liberal member of the committee spent 30 minutes of its last two-hour session faulting opposition parties for stalling the process.

Jun 21, 2021

Minnesota-based 3M has been found partly liable for an Army veteran’s hearing loss from using the company’s earplugs during active service. A federal jury in Florida concluded that while the products weren’t defective, the company had failed to provide warnings, so it found 3M 62 per cent liable in awarding damages in the third such case in the last few months.

Jun 21, 2021

Two German parliamentary committees are expected to consider this week a defence department request for nearly €4.5 billion to cover its share of developing a Future Combat Air System in collaboration with France and Spain. The funding would cover research and performance data through to 2027 while a technology demonstrator is tested.

Jun 21, 2021

The commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, USAF Gen Glen VanHerck, says Russia’s growing fleet of nuclear submarines are nearly on par with USN boats. He also has told Congress that the increasingly modernized Chinese navy poses an increasingly capable submarine threat.

Jun 21, 2021

Quarantine restrictions are to be eased, beginning, July 5 for fully-vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada as long as they test negative for COVID-19. Announcing the relaxation today, the government said that with few exceptions, vaccinated foreigners still would be quarantined.

Jun 21, 2021

The NATO Communication and Information Agency plans to procure new cyber defence systems as part of a sweeping upgrade. Starting in early 2022 and worth a projected €27 billion to contractors, the project includes new firewalls, penetration testing tools, and other defensive technologies.

Jun 21, 2021

Ebrahim Raisi, a hard-line veteran of Iran’s judiciary, has been elected as the country’s next president, effective in August when the moderate leader Hassan Rouhani’s term expires. Raisi, who oversaw the abduction and secret execution of political prisoners, also is seen as a likely successor to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Jun 21, 2021

When Donald Trump arbitrarily withdrew the U.S. from a multinational nuclear accord with Iran in 2018 and imposed crushing economic sanctions, there were suggestions that it would backfire, entrenching conservative hard-liners in Tehran for years to come. Their concerns evidently were justified.

Jun 21, 2021

Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett, is calling on the U.S. and its allies to “wake up” to the threat still posed by Iran even as talks continue about reviving a nuclear agreement. He says Iran’s “regime of brutal hangmen” is determined to have nuclear weapons despite repeated denials out of Tehran.

Jun 18, 2021

Canada’s border with the U.S. will remain closed to non-essential travel until July 21and restrictions on visitors from other countries also are being extended by an additional month. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair used social media today to confirm the government’s decision, adding that more details would be forthcoming June 21 on easing restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadians and others currently unable to return to or visit Canada.

Jun 18, 2021

European and U.S. rotorcraft companies are expected to go head-to-head in a NATO-led effort to field a new multi-role helicopter by 2035. Many of the alliance’s member states are launching a joint effort to develop common requirements and develop a timeline for designing, developing and deploying the new aircraft.

Jun 18, 2021

A class action lawsuit has been filed in Alberta against the federal government over its handling of a Canadian Armed Forces chaplain’s sexual abuse of children over nearly two decades. Vancouver resident Bobbie Bees, a victim of abuse at CFB Edmonton, said June 17 he decided to proceed because DND and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan were “unwilling to assist military dependants who were sexually abused on military bases” in the 1970s and 1980s.

Jun 18, 2021

An Opposition motion to censure Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan for his handling of the misconduct crisis in the Canadian Armed Forces, among other things, was approved by a vote of 169-151 in the House of Commons June 17. The motion has no legal ramifications but Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole, a former RCAF officer, had called earlier in the week for the minister’s resignation.

Jun 18, 2021

The UN General Assembly today appointed António Guterres to a second five-year term as Secretary General, effective next January. The Security Council had already recommended reappointment of the former Portugese prime minister.

Jun 17, 2021

An all-party House of Commons committee says the government should give more weight to national security than costs of information technology and security hardware procurements. In its report to Parliament, the committee expressed concerns about Chinese state-owned enterprises and recommended more rigorous screening of contractors who install and maintain equipment in sensitive facilities such as embassies.

Jun 17, 2021

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has dismissed as premature a suggestion on social media by Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that his country had been “confirmed” as an alliance member. While the U.S. and others affirmed support for Ukraine during the recent NATO, Stoltenberg pointed out that “you need consensus among 30 allies” and “this was not the focus of this summit.”

Jun 17, 2021

President Joe Biden is being pressed by Michael Waltz, a military veteran and Florida Republican member of the House of Representatives, to order an immediate evacuation of Afghans who helped U.S. troops. “If he doesn't act, and he doesn't get these people out, blood will be on his hands and on his administration's hands,” Waltz said June 16. “The time for debate is over.”

Jun 17, 2021

Greece is considering the procurement of four Littoral Combat Ships, a Lockheed Martin executive has confirmed. The NATO member requested information from the U.S. Navy several months ago and L-M would build the first ship in Italy and the three others in a Greek shipyard

Jun 17, 2021

One recommendation from the House of Commons committee on the status of women suggests that military promotions include screening for past incidents of inappropriate behaviour. The committee's 21 recommendations appear to have been largely endorsed by all parties, with the NDP attaching a supplementary opinion that adds six more.

Jun 17, 2021

Three Chinese astronauts today began a three-month mission on the country’s new space station. They docked some seven hours after launch from the Jiuquan satellite centre in the Gobi desert.

Jun 17, 2021

U.S. and Russian officials agreed June 16 to open the lines of communication about their nuclear weapons stockpiles in the hope of reducing the risk of an accident. U.S. President Joe says the dialogue on the sidelines of the recent NATO Summit is “diplomatic-speak for getting our military experts and our diplomats together to work on a mechanism that can lead to the control of new and dangerous and sophisticated weapons that are coming on the scene now that reduce the times of response, that raise the prospects of accidental war.”

Jun 17, 2021

Needing new air-to-air refuelling capacity, the U.S. Air Force could be considering the Airbus Multi-Role Tanker Transport, based on its A330 civilian airliner. If so, it would pit the European consortium against Boeing’s 767-based KC-46. The potential competition for the “bridge tanker” was disclosed June 16, a day after the U.S. and the European Union announced a five-year suspension of their 17-year tariff fight over aircraft subsidies.

Jun 17, 2021

After a day of rising tensions, which saw a far-right march in Jerusalem and incendiary balloons launched from Gaza, Israel’s new coalition government ordered airstrikes against Hamas targets June 16. It was the first such action since a ceasefire 11 days earlier and came only three days after a new coalition government took power in Israel.

Jun 17, 2021

China’s mission to the European Union has denounced as “slander” a NATO declaration that it is a “constant security challenge.” Instead, the mission states, the alliance’s position is “a misjudgment of the international situation and its own role, and a continuation of the Cold War mentality.”

Jun 17, 2021

U.S. Army researchers have high hopes for what they describe as a programmable fibre which could be incorporated into troops’ clothing for monitoring movement and vital signs and exposure to toxins. The fibre was developed at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jun 17, 2021

The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre Foundation in Ottawa has received a $2-million donation from Commissionaires Ottawa, the largest philanthropic gift in the institution’s history. its history. Its CEO says the funding “energizes the work that we’re doing” and will be used to “grow our Centre of Excellence in Frailty-Informed Care.”

Jun 15, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin ended their first in-person meeting today with broad claims of good will but clearly were deeply divided on a range of issues. Putin said their talks “took place in a constructive spirit” while Biden called the overall tone “positive.” That said, Putin denied his country has been involved in cyberattacks against the U.S., insisting that the U.S. is the main offender.

Jun 15, 2021

The U.S. and the European Union agreed today to a truce in a 17-year trade spat over government support for Boeing and Airbus, removing billions of dollars in taxes on an array of non-aerospace products for an initial five years. Both companies welcomed the agreement; Airbus said it would be “the basis to create a level-playing field.”

Jun 15, 2021

MGen Dany Fortin is suing the government over its decision to remove him “arbitrarily” from its COVID-19 vaccine logistics program over an alleged incident that occurred decades ago while he was at Royal Military College. Arguing that the process was “not in the public interest and made solely for the personal and political gain of the Ministers of Health and National Defence and the Prime Minister,” he wants his old job back or another rank-appropriate post.

Jun 15, 2021

The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, who holds authority over the Provost Marshall, submitted his resignation Monday following criticism over his decision to golf with former CDS General Vance who is currently under military police investigation for misconduct. His judgement was incredibly short-sighted, but is it enough to ruin a career?

Jun 14, 2021

Andrew Coates, the son of Deputy Defence Minister Jody Thomas, has been working at Lockheed Martin since March 2019, a month after the company secured the $77-billion contract for the RCN’s Canadian Surface Combatant program. A LinkedIn profile describes Coates, who works in industrial development at L-M, as “an experienced analyst with a demonstrated history” in the defence and space industry.

Jun 14, 2021

NATO leaders agreed June 14 that Article 5 of the alliance’s founding treaty, which states that an attack on one member is an attack on all, should apply to space. The provision hitherto had applied to more traditional attacks or, more recently, in cyberspace. They stated that “attacks to, from, or within space” could threaten “national and Euro-Atlantic prosperity, security, and stability, and could be as harmful to modern societies as a conventional attack.”

Jun 14, 2021

Mark Vandroff, a former senior director for defence policy in the previous U.S. administration, has been appointed CEO of the Fincantieri Marine Group’s Marinette Marine shipyard in Wisconsin, effective July 7. The former USN officer, who has been senior vice-president of business development at FMG since February, will succeed Jan Allman, who will become senior VP for public affairs and community relations at FMG.

Jun 14, 2021

LGen Mike Rouleau, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, resigned today after it had been disclosed that he and VAdm Craig Baines, the Royal Canadian Navy commander, had played golf Ju ne 2 with former CDS Jonathan Vance, who is under investigation for alleged sexujal misconduct. Rouleau, whose responsibilities included military police oversight, had already been set to hand over LGen Frances Allen, who now becomes the first woman to hold the No. 2 position in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Jun 14, 2021

In a sharp reversal of his predecessor’s stance on international relations, U.S. President Joe Biden told other NATO leaders today that the defence of Europe, Turkey and Canada is a “sacred obligation.” Biden also used his NATO Summit debut to rally support for the U.S. effort to contain China’s military capabilities and expansionism.

Jun 14, 2021

Britain’s Chief of the Defence Staff, Army Gen Nicholas Carter, says the Russian military is more capable and potentially more dangerous than it was seven years ago when Crimea was annexed. “The balance has changed and I think it is right for us to now think about Russia as an acute threat,” Carter said in Brussels on the eve of this week’s NATO Summit.

Jun 14, 2021

VAdm Craig Baines, the Royal Canadian Navy commander, has apologized for golfing June 2 with Gen Jonathan Vance, the former Chief of the Defence Staff being investigated for alleged in appropriate conduct. “I fully accept responsibility and accountability for not understanding how such a public display of support sends the wrong signal as to my commitment to lead in resolving our systemic cultural and misconduct issues,” Baines said in a June 12 statement to all Department of National Defence personnel.

Jun 13, 2021

Two senior officers’ recent golf outing with Gen Jonathan Vance, the former Chief of the Defence under investigation for alleged misconduct, was questionable conduct, says a spokesman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. The Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, LGen Michael Rouleau, and VAdm Craig Baines, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, shared a round and socialized with Vance in Ottawa June 2. “Troubling and unacceptable” is how Sajjan’s spokesman described it, adding that the minister would discuss “next steps” with LGen Wayne Eyre, Vance’s acting replacement.

Jun 12, 2021

Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) warships are deployed in the Baltic Sea as part of a multi-national exercise. This year, the annual Baltops exercise involves 4,000 personnel from 19 countries and featuring air defence, anti-submarine warfare, amphibious operations, maritime interdiction, and mine countermeasures operations.

Jun 11, 2021

The U.S. Defense Department says it hopes to work with other Arctic nations as it sets up a new regional centre, the location of which has not been chosen. “Regional centers are international academic venues for bilateral and multilateral research, communication and training, with the goal of building strong, sustainable, international networks of security leaders,” a department spokesman said.

Jun 11, 2021

Myanmar's military authorities have laid corruption charges against deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi, specifically accusing her of accepting bribes. This is atop earlier charges related to alleged illegal importation of half a dozen handheld radios and inciting unrest. The former state counsellor was arrested during a February coup.

Jun 11, 2021

Australia’s sixth defence minister in less than eight years, Peter Dutton, is clamping down on journalists' access to his department's senior officials. Appointed March 30, he evidently will not allow any media contact without specific permission and officials have been ordered to limit written communications to three paragraphs regardless of the complexity of an inquiry.

Jun 11, 2021

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Project Agency says it has successfully demonstrated new technology can launch semi-autonomous interceptors that fire kinetic “streamers” to disable enemy drones.

Jun 10, 2021

NATO members developing sixth-generation aircraft are being urged by the head of U.S. European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe to ensure they don’t duplicate U.S. programs. USAF Gen Tod Wolters said June 9 that “strategic transparency and alignment’’ in alliance members’ overall military programs are a key to continued success even as France and Germany have ongoing differences about their joint fighter program.

Jun 10, 2021

USAF Gen Glen VanHerck, the commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command has asked for $79.8 million to continue testing Internet services from the low-earth-orbit satellites launched by SpaceX as a solution to Arctic communications issues. The military relies on a mixture of commercial and government satellites but their capacity diminishes above 65° North latitude.

Jun 10, 2021

A former Canadian Armed Forces reservist pleaded guilty in a Maryland court today to firearms offences and obstruction of justice. Patrik Jordan Mathews was recorded by the FBI while planning an attack by The Base, a white supremacist group, at a gun rights rally in Virginia in January. The former combat engineer, who disappeared from his Manitoba home last year after his ties to the group became known, is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 28.

Jun 10, 2021

The U.S. wants Venezuela and Cuba to turn away two Iranian ships believed to be carrying arms, promising “appropriate measures” to deter a perceived threat to the U.S. and its allies. A senior administration official says the delivery would fulfill a deal deal Iran and Venezuela made a year ago.

Jun 10, 2021

As early as next month, returning fully-vaccinated Canadians might not not be subject to self-isolation or quarantine requirements. Health Minister Patty Hajdu said June 9 that this first step in a “phased” easing of federal COVID-19 border measures depends on talks with the provinces and territories as well as case counts and vaccination rates. “These metrics are very important factors as we move towards implementing the changes on the border that we hope to have in place in early July,” she said.

Jun 09, 2021

The government is preparing to commit to buying “around” three new surface combatant ships for the Royal Canadian Navy despite concerns the overall project cost has ballooned. A DND spokesperson says a contract is likely in 2023 and “as we get closer to that contract award, and discussions continue with the shipyard and other industry stakeholders, we will have more certainty on how many ships will be included in the initial build.”

Jun 09, 2021

The official spokesman for the Taliban says postwar Afghanistan will be a law-abiding society open for business and at peace with the rest of the world while still under strict control. In the meantime, adds Zabiullah Mujahid, the insurgents will continue to fight for an “Islamic government.”

Jun 08, 2021

Former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladić has lost his appeal against a 2017 conviction for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. A five-member UN panel upheld his life sentence today for his role in killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in 1995.

Jun 08, 2021

The Indian Navy has been given the green light to procure six conventionally-powered submarines at a potential cost of more than C$8 billion.While domestic shipyards are the government’s preferred source for the boats, foreign original equipment manufacturers also are expected to be involved.

Jun 08, 2021

The Russian foreign ministry has banned visits by Canada’s Justice and Intergovernmental Affairs ministers, the Commissioner of the RCMP, the Deputy Minister of Defence and the commander of the Canadian Armed Forces Intelligence Command. They and other senior officials have been accused by the ministry of “inappropriate and counterproductive activity in support of the ultra-nationalist regime” in Ukraine and other “Russophobic forces” in the Baltic states.

Jun 07, 2021

A Boeing drone has been used to refuel a Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet as part of a program leading to U.S. Navy deployment of unmanned platforms into naval air wings. They also would be tasked with intelligence gathering. g.

Jun 07, 2021

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian militant Boko Haram movement evidently has been killed in a battle with rival Islamic State West African Province forces. ISWAP leader Abu Musab al-Barnawi confirmed Shekau’s death in a verified audio recording.

Jun 07, 2021

A challenge to the historic men-only military draft will not be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. In announcing the decision today, three members of the bench noted that Congress is currently considering the issue after a commission recommended that the draft be open to both sexes between the ages of 18 and 26.

Jun 07, 2021

A civil air carrier has been contracted by the German military to repatriate more than 22,500 litres of beer from Afghanistan. German troops usually are permitted two cans or an equivalent amount of other alcohol daily but commanders recently pulled the perquisite as the troops were preparing to be repatriated themselves.

Jun 07, 2021

The head of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network, Bernie Farber, says it’s a serious omission” that the advisory panel of former officers tasked with addressing racism and discrimination in the military is not mandated to examine anti-Semitism. “Given that Jews are usually the No. 1 target of extremists, I find it odd that anti-Semitism has not been made part of what they are looking at,” says Farber, a former chief executive officer of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

Jun 07, 2021

Army BGen Simon Bernard was recently withdrawn from a secondment to the Public Health Agency of Canada, where he had been involved in COVID-19 logistics, for allegedly using the “N word” in a workplace setting last year. Confirming that Bernard was the subject of “a complaint regarding language,” DND says it is “working towards determining facts and next steps.”

Jun 07, 2021

Canada and the other G7 countries countries plan to set common minimum corporate tax rates, a move Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says is the first step toward a global deal. She also says Canada will go ahead with a three per cent digital services tax next year, contingent on any international deals.

Jun 07, 2021

Military police are reported to be interviewing Canadian military personnel who saw videos depicting possible war crimes by Iraqi security forces. “When I heard the allegations of this, it gravely concerned me,” LGen Wayne Eyre, the acting Chief of the Defence Staff, says in a interview broadcast June 6. "I've ordered an investigation.”

Jun 07, 2021

After shunning contributions to the Republican Party after its leaders refused to acknowledge Joe Biden’s election victory last November, many major defence companies are slowly reversing their stance.

Jun 07, 2021

The International Atomic Energy Agency says there are indications that North Korea could be trying to refine plutonium from spent reactor fuel. Its conclusion is based mainly on satellite imagery.

Jun 07, 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law today his country’s formal withdrawal from the 1992 Open Skies treaty which provided for reciprocal unarmed military surveillance flights over signatory countries. The U.S. had informed Russia last month that it would not rejoin the pact after the former administration quit last year.

Jun 07, 2021

UN-led talks about reuniting Cyprus are moribund and the country’s foreign minister says they will remain so as long as his Turkish-Cypriot minority is “treated as if we are nothing other than a mere community” of the Greek-Cypriot majority. “Equal international status is a must,” he said today.”

Jun 07, 2021

Dozens of Chinese companies with alleged ties to the country’s military will be off-limits to U.S. investors, effective August 2. President Joe has signed an executive order which initially targets investment in 59 companies but the prohibition is to be updated on a rolling basis.

Jun 07, 2021

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory is floating the concept of using civilian rockets to deliver commercial products anywhere on earth in less than an hour from launch. It essentially would leverage reusable technologies developed by SpaceX and other manufacturers.

Jun 04, 2021

LGen Wayne Eyre, the acting Chief of the Defence Staff, says he is seeing “cracks” in the Canadian Armed Forces as it faces a confluence of challenges at home and abroad. He says that while the CAF remains focused on defending his country and helping Canadians whenever and wherever needed, “all of that creates significant stress on the institution” when coupled with inappropriate behaviour at senior ranks.

Jun 04, 2021

NAV CANADA has launched an app designed to enhance the safety of drone operations in controlled airspace. help drone pilots and operators safely and legally fly their remotely piloted aircraft systems. The air navigation service provider said it received nearly 16,000 flight authorization requests in the second half of last year, a 54 per cent jump from the same period in 2019.

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