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January 14, 2022 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

Economic Benefits of Defence Spending

Neither the December 2021 economic and fiscal update nor the 2021 budget contained much new spending for defence beyond some very targeted incremental funding to deal with more recent issues not covered in the 2017 defence policy. These issues include NORAD’s renewal, increased support to the NATO alliance and funding for operations and resources to address sexual misconduct and gender-based violence. This should not be surprising to those who follow defence issues. The 2021 budget emphasizes that the 2017 defence policy, Strong Secure Engaged, “set out a vision for a long-term, fully-funded plan to renew and re-equip the Canadian military, built around people.” Perhaps more important for DND’s longer term funding requirements are the projected deficits in the budget, beginning at $354 billion in FY20-21 and reducing to $30 billion in FY 2025-26. Historically, when governments in Canada face large deficits and start reducing costs, the largest discretionary spending category – defence – invariably takes a hit. Based on the government’s desire to focus on getting Canadians back to work by promoting innovation and small business, it is worth discussing whether continuing defence spending at the levels planned in Strong, Secure, Engaged will help achieve those goals.

On the same subject

  • Canada’s domestic spy agency looking to hire hackers and data scientists

    January 4, 2019 | Local, C4ISR, Security

    Canada’s domestic spy agency looking to hire hackers and data scientists

    By ALEX BOUTILIER Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA–Canada’s domestic spy agency is in the market for hackers. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) wants to hire a “network exploitation analyst” to assist the agency in “cyber investigative activities.” The successful candidate will be expected to build new tools for the spy agency to carry out electronic snooping, develop and maintain a database of “malware” exploits, and provide analysis of “technical artifacts,” according to the job posting. CSIS, which investigates activities suspected of constituting threats to national security, can and routinely does rely on its sister agency, the Communication Security Establishment (CSE), for high-tech help with its espionage efforts. While CSE is focused on gathering foreign intelligence and is forbidden from spying on Canadians, it can assist domestic law enforcement and intelligence agencies with their own investigations. But one spy watcher said CSIS building up an in-house capability for cyber spying may have less to do with traditional espionage than with its new powers actually to disrupt threats to Canada. Ronald Deibert, the director of Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, said he’s not surprised CSIS is in the market for hackers — state-sponsored hacking is on the rise, and the Liberal government’s new national security laws empower Canada’s spy agencies to take part. But Deibert, one of Canada’s foremost cybersecurity researchers, told the Star that he has significant concerns about the agencies’ new electronic powers. “While (Liberal national security bill) C-59 placed some limits and provided some clarity on what those disruption powers would entail, the prospect of CSIS hacking in any form should give everyone pause, especially because there is still a lot of uncertainty around what that mandate would allow,” Deibert said in an email. “Practically speaking, CSIS hacking could include computer network interference in a foreign election process, compromising the integrity of important digital tools that Canadians rely on for everyday privacy and security, creating fake online personas and using them to spread disinformation and more.” John Townsend, a spokesperson for the spy agency, said Bill C-59 gives the agency “clear legislative authority” for the collection and analysis of information not “directly or immediately” related to national security threats. Full article:

  • Updates on defence and aerospace industry contracts

    January 16, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval

    Updates on defence and aerospace industry contracts

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN Here are some updates on defence and aerospace industry contracts and appointments, outlined in the latest issue of Esprit de Corpsmagazine: Textron’s TRU Simulation and Training has developed the world’s first full flight simulator for the CL-415 water bomber. The CL-415 is a mainstay of a number of international fleets of aerial fire-fighting units, with some of aircraft being operated by various air forces, such as those in Greece and Spain. TRU has delivered the first system to Ansett Aviation. The CL-415 was built by Canadair/Bombardier but Viking Air has acquired the rights to aircraft. TRU believes the simulator will significantly increase safety of CL-415 operations as the previous lack of a full-flight simulator for the plane meant that pilot training had to take place in the cockpit. That, in turn, has resulted in fatalities. Fifty per cent of all CL-415 crashes have taken place during training. The simulator will replicate the CL-415 on the water and in flight. The system also simulates different types of forest fires and environmental conditions that can be created by such blazes. Pratt & Whitney Canada announced recently that it started delivering PW127G engines to Airbus Defence and Space in support of Canada’s Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Aircraft Replacement Project. The engines will be installed on specially configured Airbus C295 aircraft, which will be designated the CC-295 in Canada. The Department of National Defence is scheduled to receive the first of 16 CC-295 aircraft by the end of 2019. Canada has a search area of 18 million square kilometers, making search and rescue operations challenging. With low fuel burn during cruise, the PW127G engine will provide the CC-295 aircraft with exceptional range and endurance for time-critical missions, Pratt and Whitney points out. Pratt & Whitney Canada has delivered more than 400 PW127G engines to Airbus Defence and Space for numerous C295 customers and variants. The PW100 engine family powers several aircraft families around the world, performing a variety of missions in diverse climates and flying conditions. L3 MAS has announced that it has been awarded two contracts to provide in-service support services for international F/A-18 fleet operators.  RUAG Aviation recently awarded L3 MAS a contract for the provision of preventive modifications for high-priority structural locations on the inner wings of the Swiss Air Force F/A-18 aircraft fleet. These modifications are part of the Structural Refurbishment Program, as part of the strategy to ensure their F/A-18 fleet safely reaches its planned life objective. L3 MAS was also selected by Mississippi-based Vertex Aerospace LLC to perform depot-level modifications and repairs on three NASA F/A-18 aircraft based out of the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California. L3 MAS will conduct all on- aircraft work at its Mirabel facility. Seaspan Shipyards has awarded BluMetric Environmental Inc. of Ottawa a contract valued at more than $4.16 million for work on the Royal Canadian Navy’s new Joint Support Ships. BluMetric represents one of more than 60 Ontario suppliers that Seaspan is working with to meet its commitments under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, the company noted. BluMetric is providing Shipboard Reverse Osmosis Desalination (SROD) Water Purification Systems for the new supply ships. BluMetric’s SROD water purification systems are designed to bring cutting edge desalination technologies to naval vessels, resulting in significant fleet energy savings while almost doubling output, Seaspan pointed out. In addition to being selected to provide new SROD units, BluMetric will also provide harbour acceptance trials and sea acceptance trials. As a result of its work under the shipbuilding strategy, Seaspan has developed nearly $650 million in committed contracts with approximately 520 Canadian companies. In the meantime, Seaspan Corporation also announced that Torsten Holst Pedersen and H. Theodore (“Ted”) Chang have been appointed to its executive team. Pedersen will be joining as Executive Vice-President, Ship Management and Chang will be joining as General Counsel.

  • Major defence procurements and Phoenix pay fiasco will keep rookie MP busy

    November 22, 2019 | Local, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Major defence procurements and Phoenix pay fiasco will keep rookie MP busy

    DAVID PUGLIESE, OTTAWA CITIZEN  Rookie MP Anita Anand was named to one of the federal government’s toughest portfolios on Wednesday as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rearranged his cabinet. Anand, a lawyer, takes over as Minister of Public Services and Procurement, replacing Carla Qualtrough, who became Minister of Employment and Workforce Development. Anand was elected in the October federal election to represent the riding of Oakville. She was a law professor at the University of Toronto specializing in corporate governance and shareholder rights. Anand will have a busy portfolio dealing with the ongoing Phoenix pay fiasco as well as high profile defence procurements such as the acquisition of a new fighter jet fleet as well as the Canadian Surface Combatant program. The fighter jet project is estimated to cost taxpayers up to $19 billion and bids are expected by the end of March. The surface combatant project is estimated to cost between $60 billion and $65 billion. Her background in corporate governance could come in handy as she tries to navigate these two key programs. Other major defence projects that Anand will have to deal with include shipbuilding programs like the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and the Joint Support Ships, both for the Royal Canadian Navy, as well as new icebreakers for the Canadian Coast Guard. Anand will also have to be briefed on the way ahead for the selection of a third shipyard to contribute vessels to the national shipbuilding strategy. Davie Shipbuilding in Levis, Que. is seen as a frontrunner in that competition but an Ontario shipyard is also interested. The Liberals also promised to create a defence procurement agency as part of efforts to improve the purchasing of military equipment so it is expected that Anand will play a key role in the creation of that new organization. The Liberals, however, had said very little about the procurement agency since mentioning it during the election campaign and details about how it would be set up haven’t been provided. Other faces in the cabinet announced Wednesday will be familiar to those involved in defence and veterans affairs. Harjit Sajjan remains as Minister of National Defence. Sajjan, who was first appointed defence minister in the fall of 2015, has earned mixed reviews for his performance. But he provides Trudeau with an experienced minister who won’t have to be brought up to speed on the defence portfolio. Navdeep Singh Bains continues on as Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Lawrence MacAulay returns as the Veterans Affairs Minister. Nova Scotia MP Bernadette Jordan, who was first elected in 2015, was named as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. Although that is seen as a promotion for Jordan, she has experience in the portfolio as she has served as chair of the Commons’ fisheries and oceans committee. The coast guard is expected to receive new vessels, including icebreakers.

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