Friday, July 22, 2016

Canadian firm wants to buy used Norwegian CC-130Hs for RCAF for use in Arctic

By: David Pugliese, The National Post 

A Canadian firm wants Ottawa to buy older transport aircraft from Norway, saying this could significantly boost the military’s capabilities in the Arctic relatively cheaply.

The five C-130H aircraft, modernized before they were put in storage in the U.S. and with about 50 per cent of their flying time remaining, could be acquired for about $60 million, says Tom Edmison, president of Total Corporate Aviation Services.

The deal would include tens of thousands of parts for the aircraft, which could also be used for the Royal Canadian Air Force’s existing C-130H transport planes.

“These aircraft have everything you need to operate in the Arctic,” said Edmison, a veteran pilot whose firm has offices in Calgary and Sidney, B.C.

“They’re fine airplanes. And the original replacement value for those parts is probably worth more than the airplanes.”

The proposal comes as the Liberal government, in the midst of its defence review, is seeking input on how to improve Canada’s military capabilities, including providing more of a presence in the Far North.

The original replacement value for those parts is probably worth more than the airplanes.

Edmison said the aircraft could be bought outright or acquired by Total Corporate Aviation Services, then leased to the government for Arctic operations, but flown by RCAF crews.

Some Canadian military leaders have complained about tight budgets, prompting industry to suggest innovative solutions.

Irving Shipbuilding of Halifax has proposed leasing a commercial vessel that would be converted to a multi-mission support ship for humanitarian and peacekeeping operations. The vessel would be offered on a five-year lease and have a 30-member civilian crew.

Ottawa has also entered into a lease arrangement with a sister firm to Davie Shipyards for a commercial vessel that is being converted into a refuelling and supply ship for the navy. The ship will be operated by a civilian crew, plus a few navy personnel to handle military-related duties.

Norway stored the C-130s after it bought newer J models of the same aircraft. It paid about $600-million for the four C-130J planes, plus associated equipment

The planes are being stored at a U.S. government facility in Tucson, Ariz., at a cost of $750,000 a year, so there is an economic reason to sell the planes, Edmison said.

The aircraft were originally maintained for Norway at a facility in Canada.

Edmison says his proposal offers a low-cost way of boosting Canada’s presence in the Far North over the shorter term until the military can decide how it can meet the government’s desire to establish more of a presence in the region.

“They’re low-time airplanes and they would fit perfectly to augment the Canadian military as a bridge to the future,” he added.

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The RCAF currently has 12 C-130H planes, said spokesman Maj. Alexandre Cadieux.

Renee Filiatrault, a spokeswoman for Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said she had not heard about the C-130H pitch, but would not be able to comment anyway on a specific proposal.

“We’re currently undergoing a defence policy review, which will help the government determine future direction and priorities so our military is well equipped and prepared in the years to come, including as it relates to the Arctic,” she said.

Any proposal to acquire used equipment is bound to face an uphill battle from Department of National Defence bureaucrats and air force officers, Edmison said.

“Of course they want to buy brand new planes but if they don’t have the money or if it is going to take years, then why not go this route?” he asked.

“For a relatively low cost, the air force gets a capability it needs.”

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Operation NUNAKPUT 2016 concludes in Fort Simpson

DND Press Release: 

Operation NUNAKPUT 2016 ends today in Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories after two weeks of maritime patrols and training opportunities that began on July 5. The patrols and training centred around members of 1st Canadian Ranger Patrol Group, as well as search and rescue (SAR) exercises that involved Canadian Armed Forces members, various Governmental Departments and a civilian search and rescue organization.

The importance of this training was validated during Operation NUNAKPUT 2016 when real life incidents involving two separate searches for lost boaters occurred near Lutsel K’e, about 200 kilometres east of Yellowknife. The combined efforts of the RCMP, assisted by RCAF aircraft and crews including a CC-130 Hercules from Winnipeg and a CC-138 Twin Otter from Yellowknife, resulted in the location and successful rescue of the boaters. The SAR training conducted during this year’s Op NANUKPUT ensures that the CAF and partners maintain the ability to respond to events such as this, enhancing the safety and security of all Canadians in the north.

Participants during this year’s operation include members of the Canadian Rangers; the Canadian Army; the Royal Canadian Navy; the Royal Canadian Air Force, including Yellowknife-based 440 (Transport) Squadron; the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; Department of Fisheries and Oceans; the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (Yellowknife Unit); Parks Canada; Department of the Environment and Climate Change; and the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association.

Operation NUNAKPUT is an annual sovereignty operation with a marine focus, traditionally conducted along the Mackenzie River in conjunction with several federal government departments and other supporting agencies. This year, Operation NUNAKPUT focused on the South Mackenzie River and Great Slave Lake regions.

“I am extremely impressed by how our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and airwomen are able to efficiently and effectively operate in tandem with other government departments during scenarios like those conducted throughout Operation NUNAKPUT 2016. The real life search and rescue incidents that ended successfully on Great Slave Lake during this year’s operation highlight the value of practicing these skills and exchanging knowledge between organizations, enhancing the safety and security of people living in the North.”— Brigadier-General Mike Nixon, Commanding Officer, Joint Task Force (North)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Sajjan meets academics, experts as part of DPR

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, today hosted an informative gender-focused discussion with experts in various related fields as part of public consultations taking place across the country to inform a new defence policy for Canada.

Meeting participants included academics and subject matter experts from a variety of non-governmental organizations, including the Institute for Inclusive Security and the White Ribbon Campaign.

Today’s discussion focused on five main points:
How to best assess gender implications in the development of Canada’s new defence policy;
Methods for applying Gender Based Analysis+ in the planning of new operations;
How to ensure a career within the Canadian Armed Forces is appealing to all regardless of gender;
How to apply best practices to ensure Canada remains a leader in promoting human rights and gender equality, particularly in settings where cultural norms differ widely from our own;
How best to promote the strategy of taking gender and other factors (such as age and education) into account during the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs and military operations.

“Today’s session is an important step to ensure Canada remains a world leader in the advancement of gender equality," said The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women. "I’m pleased that the Canadian Armed Forces are demonstrating leadership by integrating gender considerations into its processes and policy development. I welcome the opportunity to take part in this dialogue and play a role in the changing culture of this important Canadian institution.”

Participants provided short submissions ahead of the meeting, which were used alongside the public consultation paper to guide the discussion. These submissions are available on the Defence Policy Review online consultation portal at

“Gender equality is a priority for the Government of Canada and for the Canadian Armed Forces," said Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. "By incorporating diverse viewpoints into our discussions on defence issues, we ensure Canada’s new defence policy is more inclusive, and more representative of Canadians, as well as the women and men who serve.”

The public consultation process will continue to be open for input until July 31, 2016, via the defence consultation website at

Gender-based Analysis+ (GBA+) is an analytical tool used by the federal government to advance gender equality in Canada which assesses the potential impacts of policies, programs or initiatives on diverse groups, taking into account gender and other identity factors (such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income).

In January 2016, the Chief of Defence Staff issued a directive which forms the basis for integrating GBA+ across the CAF. In order to guide and assist the CAF in implementing GBA+, a number of Gender Advisors are being identified, trained and placed in both strategic and operational levels, including in the Chief of Defence Staff’s office.

As of July 15, 2016, the Department of National Defence (DND) has received over 13,300 submissions in the Defence Policy Review e-workbook and over 4,700 participants who have contributed comments and votes through the online discussion forum.

Including today’s session, DND has hosted eight roundtable meetings with key stakeholders as part of the Defence Policy Review.

Previous roundtables were held in Vancouver, Toronto, Yellowknife, and Ottawa with Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan; in Edmonton with Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Kent Hehr; and in Montreal and Halifax, with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, John McKay.

A guide is also available online for communities wishing to carry out their own consultations with interested citizens. These events will play an important role in augmenting the work being done by DND and the CAF, helping to ensure that the review process is credible, evidence-based, and informed by the views of Canadians.

All Canadians are encouraged to participate in the consultation process online until July 31, 2016.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Drozdova: Thoughts on Future Conflict and its impact on DND/​CAF


The following is a summary of the CDA Institute Roundtable “Defence Policy Review Considerations: Thoughts on Future Conflict and its impact on DND/​CAF” held on 25 May 2016. These roundtable discussions are held under the Chatham House Rule. This summary reflects Analyst Oksana Drozdova’s perception of the discussion. The CDAInstitute thanks our Strategic Partners Lockheed Martin Canada and General Dynamics for their generous sponsorship of the 2016/​17 Roundtable Discussion Series.

The electoral platform of the current Liberal government was filled with promises, one of which was the pledge to exercise informed decision-​making. This particular pledge has recently been put to test with the launch of the Defence Policy Review (DPR). With a few roundtables already concluded, the first being held in Vancouver and subsequent ones already held in Toronto, Yellowknife, and Edmonton, informed observers of Canadian defence policy are still keen to share their ideas on the future of Canada’s defence policy.

A recent roundtable organized by the CDA Institute, titled Defence Policy Review Considerations: Thoughts on Future Conflict and its impact on DND/​CAF, provided a venue in which contributors shared their ideas as to which key aspects of the country’s defence policy should be addressed in the DPR.

With the Liberal government proclaiming “Canada is back,” it is still unclear how exactly the “comeback” is going to happen. On one hand, the Liberals want to bring Canada back as a champion of peacekeeping. On the other, security of sovereign territory and national interests, as well as commitments to the NATO allies require more resources. The theme that should figure most prominently in the crafting the DPR, at least in this early stage, is prioritization. Will we, as a nation, be able to sustain all these roles, and if not, which should be privileged above the others?

Indeed, the financial realities of budgetary considerations (fiscal constraints) will most likely, in one way or another, guide the pen of those creating the final draft of the renewed defence strategy. And when the time comes for making the decision, the question will inevitably arise: Which strategy, broad overhaul or strategic investment, is right for us?

Numerous arguments are in favour of both approaches. Indeed, the image of multi-​purpose combat capabilities has its appeal. A flexible, combat ready army is capable of standing on its own as well as contributing to allied efforts in a meaningful way. Moreover, access to a wide range of capabilities will allow Canada to strengthen its defence posture abroad and ensure its national security at home. Moreover, while ties with the US are strong, Canada cannot forever piggy back on the support of our better equipped ally. As such, the general opinion maintains that a truly secure Canada should be able to at least defend its own territory and interests without relying entirely on the assistance of its neighbour.

However, as was raised in these discussion, in our current economic state, broad based capabilities are not something Canada can afford. And, as tough choices will need to be made, concentrating on areas of expertise in which Canada excels will yield the most benefit. In prioritizing a particular defence niche, we should not conceive of it as a means to repel a specific threat; threats constantly change. On the contrary, we should develop specialized capabilities that would be flexible and widely applicable.

Furthermore, at their essence, broad-​based capabilities are chiefly designed to repel aggression from a state. This concept of warfare is largely outdated as the potential of a true ‘state on state conflict’ is highly unlikely. Indeed, cyber-​attacks, hybrid warfare, non-​state actors, and the consequences of climate change (most notably mass migrations) are the most prominent future sources of instability. Conversely, our current defence structure, which is predicated on the broad-​based capabilities model, is designed to repel an open state aggression and has been adapted to deal with fragile states and non-​state actors. Yet, other than Russia’s sabre-​rattling, there is no significant state threat that would force Canada to engage in ‘state-​on-​state’ warfare. With low chances of a direct state assault, certain areas of broad-​based capabilities, which also happen to weigh the most heavily on the defence budget, become under-​utilized.

With dozens of ongoing conflicts around the world, Canada has any number of choices when it comes to committing its military resources. Identifying the most pressing areas in which Canadian military involvement can make the greatest impact is of the essence. For instance, while Canada can renew its longstanding commitment to UN peacekeeping as promised, it seems unlikely it can at this time return to peacekeeping on the scale that it practiced in Cyprus and Bosnia. Instead, it should strive to offer targeted technical expertise and state-​building knowledge to missions worldwide. Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan provide a good example of how persistence and targeted military intervention can help maintain a fragile and much needed balance in an unstable region.

Western democracies are gradually learning and accepting that intervention has to be comprehensive in scope and long-​term in duration. With the pattern of global instability and threats constantly changing, it will be increasingly difficult to address threats earlier – the difficulty of understanding and responding to them will remain proportionate to their complexity. Instead, Western democracies need to build and promote internal capacities and societal resilience of fragile states. And since peacekeeping, or peacebuilding – as some experts prefer to call it, stating that it is not merely a question of semantics – is what many Canadians view to be a staple of our national identity, Canada’s commitment to those operations will have to be significantly furthered and augmented.

With future military threats becoming increasingly volatile and uncertain, our military strategy will require interaction with an ill-​defined combination of state and non-​state actors who are both declared and undeclared. Multilateral engagement and allied cooperation will thus become the most effective framework to address these complex issues. The reality is as true for the idea of pursuing independent foreign policy as it is for vigorous and interventionist multilateralism, in which the international community has certainly missed the tone and substance of Canada’s well-​honed role. And if we are indeed serious about “being back,” innovatively excelling in our strengths while cooperating with our allies in a meaningful way will allow for fruitful investment with tangible results the Canadian public can see and take pride in.
Oksana Drozdova is an Analyst with the CDAInstitute currently working towards a Master’s degree at UOttawa’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). Her research interests focus on International security, Eastern European studies and issues of statehood in political theory. (Image courtesy of Bruce Campion-​Smith/​Toronto Star.)

HMCS Charlottetown in Black Sea

DND Press Release

Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Charlottetown, while deployed on Operation REASSURANCE, will work and train in the Black Sea with vessels from several allied and partner nations from July 18 to August 2, 2016.

While operating in the Black Sea, HMCS Charlottetown will participate in two training exercises and conduct maritime situational awareness operations to enhance maritime security in the region. As part of its operations in the Black Sea, HMCS Charlottetown will also conduct port visits to enhance diplomatic and defence relations with strategic Allies.

“The deployment of HMCS Charlottetown to the Black Sea demonstrates the Canadian Armed Forces commitment to enhance NATO’s maritime capability to conduct operations and respond quickly to crises and conflict in the maritime domain.” said, Lieutenant-General Stephen Bowes, Commander CJOC

“HMCS Charlottetown’s participation in joint activities and training exercises improves our interoperability with NATO allies and other partners, and better prepares us to meet our collective defence and deterrence obligations.”according to Commander Andrew Hingston, Commanding Officer HMCS Charlottetown
From July 19 to 22, HMCS Charlottetown will participate in Exercise SEA SHIELD, which is aimed at developing international cooperation in the Black Sea operating area with NATO Allies and partner states to strengthen and develop common procedures for combat readiness, including anti-submarine warfare.

From July 27 to 30, HMCS Charlottetown will participate in Exercise SEA BREEZE, which is an air, land, and maritime exercise designed to enhance maritime safety, security, and stability in the Black Sea. This year, the 2016 exercise involves naval vessels from four nations.

Operation REASSURANCE refers to the military activities undertaken by the Canadian Armed Forces to support NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe. It includes operational and tactical level demonstrations, manoeuvres, and enhanced interoperability activities with Allies and partners.

Despite "Capability Gap" 8 RCAF CF-18s Deploy to RIMPAC

By: Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Eight Canadian fighter jets have been deployed on a massive training exercise in the Pacific, despite Liberal government warnings the country does not have enough such aircraft to defend North America and fulfil its obligations to NATO.

The government says the month-long exercise is critical for training Canadian fighter pilots to work alongside allies — and the planes will return to Canada immediately if they are needed.

But the Conservatives say their involvement proves Liberal claims of a fighter-jet shortage aren't true.

The eight CF-18s arrived in Hawaii at the beginning of July as part of Canada's contribution to the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, or RIMPAC, which has been billed as one of the largest military exercises in the world. Canada is among 27 countries participating in the U.S.-led exercise, which takes place every two years.

The fighter jets are expected to remain in the region until July 29. Canada also has four naval ships, six helicopters, two refuelling aircraft, a surveillance plane and more than 1,500 military personnel participating in RIMPAC.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's spokeswoman, Jordan Owens, said the air contingent is the largest ever for Canada in the Pacific. The exercise gives Canadian pilots the opportunity to operate together and also to work alongside counterparts from traditional and non-traditional allies throughout the Pacific region, she said.

"We need to train pilots, and they have this opportunity to train with more than 20 other countries," Owens said. "This is essential for having a combat-capable air force."

Yet Sajjan warned earlier this month that only about half of the Royal Canadian Air Force's 77 CF-18s are available for operations at any given time, which was not enough to meet Canada's commitments to NATO and North American defence.

"Today, the number of mission-ready aircraft we can deploy on an average day is actually less than the number of planes we are committed to have ready," Sajjan said on July 9, as he reiterated the need to purchase a replacement fighter jet quickly.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan said the CF-18s' involvement at RIMPAC is evidence the Liberals have made up talk the military is dealing with a shortage of fighter jets to purchase a new plane without a competition.

"It proves the fact Canada can do not just our NORAD and NATO missions, but we can do these exercises as well," he said. "Anything Minister Sajjan is saying now about a capability gap is a complete fabrication."

But Owens said the CF-18s' involvement in RIMPAC highlights the difficult work the air force has been doing to manage that shortage of fighter jets. If the aircraft are needed somewhere else before RIMPAC ends, she added, "they would leave."

The question of whether the military is really dealing with a shortage of fighter jets has become central to the debate that has raged for years over which aircraft Canada should buy to replace its aging CF-18s.

The Liberals say the problem is real and requires a quick solution to ensure Canada is able to meet all its international obligations. Critics, however, have accused the Liberals of manufacturing a crisis to justify buying a new fighter jet other than the F-35 stealth fighter without a competition.

The Liberals promised during last year's election that they would hold an open competition to replace the CF-18s. But they also promised not to buy the F-35. This created a potential legal situation if the government was seen to discriminate against the stealth fighter.

Postmedia reported in June that the government was considering whether to use an exemption in federal procurement laws to buy Super Hornets as an "interim" measure to address the capability gap. That would let it sole-source the planes without fear of a lawsuit.

- Follow @leeberthiaume on Twitter.

Monday, July 18, 2016

OP CALUMET welcomes new commander

DND Press Release

Mid-Last Week, Colonel Martin Lipcsey assumed command of Operation CALUMET from Colonel John Alexander today in the Sinai Peninsula, as part of Canada's contribution to the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) since 1985.

Canada’s Major-General Denis Thompson, Force Commander of the MFO, presided over the change of command ceremony held in South Camp.

Colonel Lipcsey commands approximately 70 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel who constitute Task Force El Gorah. The CAF contingent includes senior advisors, headquarters staff, and experts in fields such as logistics, engineering, and training, as well as a flight-following unit. It also includes Military Police officers who conduct community-based policing duties in the North and South camps of the multinational peacekeeping force.

“I extend a warm welcome to Colonel Lipcsey as he leads Canada’s continued contribution to this long-standing and important peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. Equally, I extend my sincere appreciation to Colonel Alexander for his work over the past year and wish Task Force El Gorah members a safe return home to family, friends, and colleagues.” -- Major-General Denis Thompson, Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers

“I am honored by the opportunity to command a group of highly-trained professionals dedicated to keeping the peace between Egypt and Israel. I will conduct this mission in the footsteps of my predecessor and will continue to represent the Canadian Armed Forces in their contribution to the peacekeeping efforts of the Multinational Force and Observers.”Colonel Martin Lipcsey, Incoming Commander, Task Force El Gorah, Operation CALUMET

“I am extremely proud to have led this contingent of professional and dedicated Canadian Armed Forces members over the past year. I leave this mission with a great sense of accomplishment and I salute the achievements of the deployed personnel on Op CALUMET in support of peace and security in the region.” -- Colonel John Alexander, Outgoing Commander, Task Force El Gorah, Operation CALUMET

Quick Facts
The MFO is an independent international organization with peacekeeping responsibilities in the Sinai. It was established in 1981 by the United States with Egypt and Israel, and is responsible for supervising the implementation of Annex 1 (the “Security Annex”) of the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace.

Twelve nations: Australia, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Republic of the Fiji Islands, France, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay contribute some 1700 military and civilian personnel to the MFO.

Truck attack in France ups the ante for Canada’s peacekeeping mission in Mali

By: Matthew Fisher, National Post 

Canada’s impending peacemaking mission to Africa took on a more urgent tone Thursday night when a Tunisian man drove a truck through crowds enjoying Bastille Day fireworks on Nice’s palm-lined waterfront.

French President Francois Hollande immediately announced that France’s already overstretched armed forces would mobilize 10,000 troops and every member of the army reserves to guard French streets, border crossings and airports.

France needs Canada’s help — and Canada will answer the call. The army and air force will be heavily involved in Africa and no unit more so than the French-speaking brigade built around the Royal 22nd Regiment, known as the Van Doos.

As Postmedia first reported on July 6, the Trudeau government intends to send troops to French West Africa. Mali is their most likely destination, but the Central African Republic and a couple of other nearby countries are in the mix, too.

Ottawa and Paris have been talking for some time about where Canadian soldiers would fit into one of France’s multiple troop deployments there. No date has been set for the mission. The Dutch and the Germans have already been helping France with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). That is because even before the murderous attack in Nice, the Hollande government was having difficulty sustaining the tempo of its African missions as well as operations against the Islamic State in the Middle East and against terrorists on French soil. It is why the RCAF has already spent a lot of time in Africa, using its C-17 Globemasters to provide essential logistical support for French forces.

Canada’s Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan, had intended to travel to French West Africa next month to help hammer out the details of Canada’s mission there. After France’s latest terror attack, and the call-up of forces to defend France, that trip may have to be moved up.

Canadian Army headed to mission in Africa ‘very soon’: top general
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Nice attack victims: American, German, Swiss and Ukrainian tourists among those killed by driver

This will not be a benign peacekeeping mission with cold beer on beaches in Cyprus crowded with European tourists. French West Africa has become a terrifying place, with Islamic terrorists flooding south across the Sahara from the chaos of Libya to cause mayhem, anarchy and despair in half a dozen impoverished countries.

Then Defence minister Bill Graham and Gen. Rick Hillier, who was then Canada’s top soldier, went across the country during 2005 and early 2006 to prepare Canadians for the likelihood of casualties in an impending combat mission in southern Afghanistan. That mission resulted in the deaths of 158 soldiers and a large number of victims of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Sajjan and Gen. John Vance must in the same way now prepare Canadians for the dangerous slog ahead in Africa. The two men were just together in eastern Europe working out how and when Canadian combat troops would take command of a NATO battalion that will deploy to Latvia.

These warriors know each other well and are well suited to the task. Sajjan served three tours in Afghanistan where he was an army intelligence operative working deep in Taliban heartland. Vance twice commanded Task Force Kandahar, developing an effective anti-insurgency strategy that was much admired by Canada’s allies.

The African mission that is shaping up is not at all the one that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau envisaged when he pledged during last fall’s federal campaign to return the country to traditional peacekeeping. There will be nothing traditional about Canada’s deployment of up to 1,000 troops to the Bulge of Africa.

Canada’s blue berets will not stand there between opposing forces who seek peace. Jihadists control much of the north of the country where, as in Afghanistan, tours will be made worse by hellish temperatures in the high forties and even the fifties.

Only a few weeks ago China gave a hero’s funeral to one of its dead from Mali. In all, 21 blue berets have died there recently.

There will be a jumble of unfamiliar terrorist groups to reckon with, too. Groups in and near Mali that may be added to the Canadian lexicon include the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, which has been at war with fellow Tauregs from Ansar Dine, which imposes strict Sharia law, and Ansar Dine’s offshoot, the Islamic Movement of Azawad. Another part of this sinister tableau is a branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, which styles itself the Movement of Oneness and Jihad in West Africa.

Casting a pall over everything is the Islamic State. It has established a strong presence just to the north of Mali and is directly connected to or the inspiration for so many of the recent attacks in France, Belgium, Turkey and Lebanon. A further complication is that the UN estimates there are 475,000 internally displaced people.

And that is the good news. The Central African Republic, which lies further inland, and where Muslims are at war with Christians, has it own list of terrorist groups and is generally regarded as even more hazardous for peacekeepers than Mali.

Sending troops in harm’s way will not be the only reckoning for the Trudeau government. Everything that Canada is doing or will be doing militarily in the Middle East, eastern Europe and to help the French in Africa will cost big money.

Whether the prime minister likes it or not, the terrorist attacks in Nice and so many horrors elsewhere are going to demand an increase in defence spending.

North American T-28 Trojan crashes during 2016 Cold Lake airshow; Kills Pilot

DND Press Release

DND is confirming that at approximately 1:50 p.m. MDT, a T-28 Trojan flown by Bruce Evans crashed during his performance at the Cold Lake Air Show.

4 Wing emergency services responded to the situation immediately and upon securing the scene discovered Mr. Evans was killed as a result of the crash.

4 Wing and CFB Cold Lake and the Cold Lake Air Show express our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Mr. Evans.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and are providing our full support to Mr. Evans’ team here in Cold Lake," said Colonel Eric Kenny, Commander 4 Wing and CFB Cold Lake. "We express our deepest sympathies to the family, friends and loved ones of Mr. Evans.”

In the interest of public safety, the determination was made early on to cancel the remainder of the Show, and assist spectators with a safe and orderly exit of 4 Wing property.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the crash.