25 octobre 2019 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

Analysis: Defence issues could be on the back burner as minority Liberal government focuses on survival


As the Trudeau government focuses on its survival and seeking political support from potential allies like the NDP or the Greens, key defence issues could be put on the back burner or become part of any backroom quid pro quo.

Dealing with health care, affordable housing, pipelines, the environment and healing rifts with Alberta and Saskatchewan are expected to be just some of the top issues facing the minority Liberal government.

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Jon Vance has been telling headquarters staff in Ottawa that with the world becoming more dangerous he expects a steady flow of funding for the Canadian Forces to continue.

That, however, isn't a given. Some of the Liberal's election promises come with a steep cost, including the $6 billion needed to be set aside for the first four years of a pharmacare program and a plan to improve access to medical services.

Defence and security issues were barely mentioned during the federal election campaign, even though billions of dollars in equipment purchases will need to be approved by the government in the coming years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau backed away Wednesday from forming a coalition with one of the opposition parties, but he did emphasis collaborating with the other party leaders on various issues. That could open the potential to work together on certain defence files.

The Liberals have talked about using more Canadian military resources to deal with climate-related disasters and to provide help to poorer nations dealing with the effects of climate change. Those are initiatives both the Greens and the NDP could get behind as they mirror proposals from those parties.

The NDP has also stated it wants a fair competition for new fighter jets and to keep the multi-billion dollar shipbuilding procurement on schedule. The Green Party more generally has supported a well-equipped Canadian military but hasn't gone into details.

Bloc leader Yves François Blanchet has said his priority is not sovereignty but to promote Quebec interests. That includes a push to see Davie Shipbuilding in Levis, Que., named as the third yard under the federal shipbuilding strategy. The Bloc's wishes coincide with the Liberal's efforts to steer more shipbuilding work toward Davie.

The politics of a minority government could also come into play on the project to acquire a future fighter jet. Although the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter is now seen as the leading candidate, an aerospace union is raising warnings that the selection of that plane could mean large-scale job losses in Quebec.

In early September the Machinists Union complained that the Liberal government bowed to pressure from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to change rules to keep the F-35 in the procurement race but at the expense of other firms offering guaranteed work for Canada's aerospace sector.

The union is worried that if Canada were to purchase the F-35 then most of the long-term maintenance would be done in the U.S. That, noted the labour organization, would put in jeopardy the 600 jobs at L-3 Harris in Montreal that are linked to maintaining the Royal Canadian Air Force's current CF-18 fleet. “We will follow the situation closely and demand that manufacturing and maintenance activities of the next fighter aircraft take place in Quebec,” said David Chartrand, the Quebec co-ordinator of the Machinists Union.

Any loss of 600 jobs in Quebec is bound to get the attention of the Bloc Québécois and cause problems for the Liberals.

Trudeau also said Wednesday he would swear in a new gender-balanced cabinet on Nov. 20. Trudeau will be in need of experienced ministers in various high-profile cabinet positions, so there is a strong possibility Harjit Sajjan, who served as defence minister, and Carla Qualtrough, the procurement minister, might end up in new portfolios.

There have been suggestions at National Defence headquarters that Liberal MP Karen McCrimmon, a retired air force officer who won re-election in Kanata-Carleton, could be a potential candidate for the defence portfolio. McCrimmon, a former lieutenant colonel, was the first woman in Canada to qualify as an air navigator and the first to command an air force squadron.

Such a choice would meet Trudeau's needs for a female cabinet member with experience in the portfolio.


Sur le même sujet

  • Saab and Mitacs to grow Canadian innovation links

    3 novembre 2020 | Local, Aérospatial

    Saab and Mitacs to grow Canadian innovation links

    The partnership establishes the means to drive innovation by providing Saab access to the precise Canadian postsecondary expertise and know-how required to advance their R&D activities in Canada. Mitacs will match highly qualified research experts from Canadian academic institutes to advance Saab's next generation technologies, and Saab will provide industry guidance and other in-kind resources, while both will share the financial cost to support these applied research and innovation internships. “Saab works closely with universities around the world in fostering the academic research that can ultimately end up at the heart of our long range radars that can see stealth aircraft or helping to deliver the benefits of digitalization into airports. The MoU with Mitacs gives us the chance to extend that approach to Canada's universities, and we look forward to exploring new technologies and areas of research across Canada,” said Jonas Hjelm, Senior vice-president and Saab's head of business area Aeronautics. At a macro level, participating students and the selected projects will boost innovation by advancing Saab's development agenda with wider economic benefits in job creation and further industrialization of the research. At the intern level, the work will facilitate skills development and work-integrated learning as together Saab and Mitacs advance the mutually beneficial goals. “Mitacs is proud to partner with Saab and connect them with talent to advance business goals through research and development. Canadian student researchers drive innovation and benefit from working with Saab and applying their skills to advance aviation technologies. We are grateful to the Government of Canada for investing in R&D,” said John Hepburn, CEO and scientific director, Mitacs. This MOU arises from Saab's Industrial and Technological Benefit commitments that Saab has made as part of its bid for the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP) and is subject to Saab's selection for that program. Saab has submitted an offer of 88 Gripen E fighters for the Canadian FFCP with a comprehensive ITB offer involving the Gripen for Canada Team (https://www.saab.com/markets/canada/gripen-for-canada) https://www.skiesmag.com/press-releases/saab-and-mitacs-to-grow-canadian-innovation-links/

  • The National Research Council of Canada and Fives join forces to develop inspection technology for the aerospace sector

    16 janvier 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    The National Research Council of Canada and Fives join forces to develop inspection technology for the aerospace sector

    Licensing the next-generation of surface profilometer for in-process inspection MONTREAL, Jan. 15, 2019 /CNW/ - As the aerospace industry in Canada and around the world continues to increase its use of automated composite manufacturing techniques to produce large aircraft components, the industry is eager to find solutions to manufacture reliable, safe, and cost effective composite structures. The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and Fives are working together to improve the efficiency of manufacturing composite parts. They are developing an advanced profilometer that will provide faster and more accurate part inspection. Based on an innovative optical technology, the advanced profilometer for composite placement shows considerable advantages over existing inspection technologies used for the same purposes. This groundbreaking in-process inspection technology will help manufacturers meet strict standards by providing superior measuring information without limiting the process functionality. These faster, better measurements will speed up manufacturing processes, reduce the risk of errors, and help composite manufacturers be more competitive. Fives has already started the last testing stage of the next-generation profilometer with customers and expects to begin commercializing the technology before the end of 2019. The NRC and Fives will continue to work together to advance this technology and bring innovative manufacturing solutions to the aerospace industry. Quick facts Manufacturing makes up nearly half of Canada's aerospace sector. Canada is home to more than 700 aerospace companies employing over 85,000 skilled professionals. The aerospace industry contributed $12.6 billion to Canadian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017. The NRC's aerospace manufacturing technologies centre supports industry, particularly the aerospace sector, in developing, demonstrating and implementing next-generation, cost-effective manufacturing methods. Fives designs and supplies machines, process equipment and production lines for various industrial sectors and is a major supplier of composite manufacturing equipment to the aerospace industry. The engineering group employs close to 8,700 people in about thirty countries, mainly in Canada, the United States, and Europe. The Metal Cutting and Composites group that worked on this project has over 1,100 people globally. Quotes "The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is proud to work with Fives to advance the profilometer technology, pioneered by a multidisciplinary NRC team. Our expertise, paired with Fives' forward-thinking methods, will help achieve the original vision of developing an innovative, high-impact solution that enhances the efficiency of automated composite manufacturing and facilitates the digital transformation of the process. " Iain Stewart President, National Research Council of Canada "This is an exciting project for Fives as it demonstrates our commitment to advancing state-of-the-art composite application technology with productivity driven innovations, for both new and existing installations." Steve Thiry President and CEO, Fives Machining Systems Inc. "We have a strong history of supporting innovation. By joining with the National Research Council of Canada, we are once again contributing to the evolution of cutting-edge technologies for the aerospace and defense industries." Erik Lund President and CEO, Fives Lund About the National Research Council of Canada The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's largest research organization. It is a key part of the Innovation and Skills Plan and of Budget 2018's commitment to supporting Canada's researchers to build a more innovative economy. To help position Canada as a global leader, the NRC is increasing its collaboration with regional ecosystems and with universities, polytechnic institutions and colleges, and establishing collaboration centres across the country. Twitter: @nrc_cnrc Instagram: @nrc_cnrc About Fives As an industrial engineering Group with a heritage of over 200 years, Fives designs and supplies machines, process equipment and production lines for the world's largest industrial players in various sectors such as steel, aerospace and special machining, aluminium, automotive and manufacturing industries, cement, energy, logistics and glass. The effectiveness of its R&D programs enables Fives to design forward-thinking solutions that anticipate industrials' needs in terms of profitability, performance, quality, safety and respect for the environment. In 2017, Fives achieved a turnover of €1.9 billion and employed close to 8,700 people in about thirty countries. Twitter: @fivesgroup SOURCE National Research Council Canada For further information: Media Relations, National Research Council of Canada, 613-991-1431, 1-855-282-1637, media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca; Kimberly Prophett, Fives - Metal Cutting Composite, + 920 906 2566, kimberley.prophett@fivesgroup.com https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/the-national-research-council-of-canada-and-fives-join-forces-to-develop-inspection-technology-for-the-aerospace-sector-872551740.html

  • The Liberals want to 'refresh' the shipbuilding strategy. What does that mean?

    15 août 2018 | Local, Naval

    The Liberals want to 'refresh' the shipbuilding strategy. What does that mean?

    Murray Brewster Recent comments by a parliamentary secretary had Irving asking for a public commitment to the strategy The federal government has been quietly debating a "refresh" of its marquee — but troubled — national shipbuilding strategy, federal documents reveal. A memorandum to the deputy minister of Finance, obtained by CBC News under access to information legislation, notes there was "tangible progress" in ship construction last year, but also references impending production gaps at the two designated shipyards: Irving-owned Halifax Shipyard and Seaspan in Vancouver. The size and scope of the "policy refresh" was not made clear in the heavily redacted memo, dated Jan. 23, 2018. Officials at Public Services and Procurement Canada were asked to explain, but did not produce a response by Tuesday evening. As recently as last week, government officials were insisting they were still committed to the strategy. Still 'broken'? During the last election campaign, the Liberals pledged to fix the "broken" procurement system and invest heavily in the navy. Conceived under the Conservatives but embraced by the Liberals, the national shipbuilding strategy has been plagued by delays and ballooning cost estimates in the building of both warships and civilian vessels. Critics have long complained it would be cheaper and faster for Canada to buy offshore from foreign competitors. It also remains unclear whether the build-in-Canada provision that is at the heart of the strategy is up for consideration in the reset. Much of the icebreaking fleet belonging to the coast guard is in need of replacement — a critical gap that led the government recently to set aside $610 million for the refurbishment of three commercial ships. Similarly, the navy has been forced to lease a replenishment ship because of delays associated with the Joint Support Ship program. Confidential sources in the defence community said the review is being driven partly by a yet-to-be completed assessment of the coast guard, which has — according to a 2015 statutory assessment — among the oldest coast guard fleets in the world. The retooled policy is expected to be ready this fall, the sources said, and will also encompass updated budget estimates and timelines for delivery. Last spring, CBC News reported the federal government had received a revised delivery schedule for vessels being constructed at Seaspan. But it refused to release it. The new timetable, which apparently forecasts delays outside of the company's control, is politically sensitive. It speaks to issues at the heart of the breach-of-trust case against Vice Admiral Mark Norman, the military's second-highest commander — in particular, the program's inability to deliver ships in a timely manner. Full Article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/liberals-shipbuilding-navy-refresh-1.4785465

Toutes les nouvelles