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Libs launch review to decide future size and shape of Canada’s military

OTTAWA—The Trudeau government began swimming against the tide of recent history Wednesday as it embarked on a long-awaited review on the future of the Canadian Armed Forces An ambitious public consultation was announced, something the defence minister hopes will make the process “credible and relevant.” The Liberals hope to have the entire review completed by …

Tech company pitches on system to link veterans with private sector jobs

OTTAWA – A U.S-based technology company is pitching the Trudeau government on an innovative idea to link veterans – who are either out of uniform or about to leave the military – with jobs in the private sector. Monster Government Solutions has been showcasing its so-called military skills translator software, hoping the Canada will follow …

Liberals drone shopping exercise sets stage for debate over lethal force

OTTAWA—The Trudeau government is quietly shopping for drones for the military and expects to see expressions of interest from the defence industry by mid-April. But the tire-kicking exercise is setting the stage for a potentially bruising policy debate over whether the remotely controlled aircraft should be armed and under what circumstances they would employ deadly …

Shipbuilders call for federal strategy overhaul to avoid an ’embarrassment’

OTTAWA—The Shipbuilding Association of Canada is hoping the Liberal government will change course when it comes to the renewal of the country’s navy and civilian fleets. The industry group said Wednesday that the current strategy, laid out in the former Harper government’s national shipbuilding program, is not working and has led to “unaffordable and untenable” …

Defence equipment shopping list short “several tens of billions” Senate told

OTTAWA—A Senate committee has been told there is a shortfall of tens of billions of dollars between funding that’s been set aside for military equipment and the actual price tag for what the military says it needs. Defence analyst Dave Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute testified that the “mismatch” is one of the …

Over $200M intended for veterans goes unspent in the last budget year

OTTAWA—Veterans Affairs under-spent its budget by $200 million last year, raising questions about the Liberal government’s plan to pump even more cash into a system that seems perpetually unable to get money out the door. The figures are contained in the latest plans and priority report for the federal budget year that ended last March, …

Former ombudsman ‘gob smacked’ it took Ottawa five years to track homeless vets

  OTTAWA—Pat Stogran, Canada’s first veterans ombudsman, vividly recalls being hauled into the minister’s office one day in late 2008, where an angry, red-faced Greg Thompson _ the veterans minister of the day—upbraided him for making public the issue of homelessness among ex-soldiers. It was not an issue, Thompson allegedly told the extra infantry colonel, …

NDP take heart in defeating Harper Conservatives despite their own losses

MONTREAL — The so-called “orange wave” created in Quebec and elsewhere in Canada by former NDP Leader Jack Layton went down the drain Monday night, taking much of the left-leaning party’s political strength with it. A visibly deflated Tom Mulcair, who prevailed in a long, difficult fight for his own riding of Outremont, delivered a …

Foreign sailors paid as $2 per hour while Canadian crews remain jobless: Union

OTTAWA — The Seafarers International Union of Canada is preparing to take the federal government to court over the use of foreign sailors — some of whom are allegedly being paid as little as $2 per hour — on internationally-flagged ships in Canadians waters. The labour group, which represents unlicensed sailors in all of the …

Mulcair, Harper, Trudeau confound expectations in campaign’s first debate

OTTAWA — Whatever impressions Canadians might have had about Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau were thoroughly confounded Thursday in the first televised leaders’ debate of the 2015 election campaign. Harper, the hyper-partisan of the House of Commons, was nowhere to be seen and neither was “Angry Tom” Mulcair, the chief inquisitor of question …

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