20 novembre 2023 | Local, Terrestre, Sécurité

Defence Minister Bill Blair releases second status report of the External Monitor

Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, released the second biannual status report of the External Monitor, Jocelyne Therrien.


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  • Canada's arms deal with Saudi Arabia is shrinking

    10 septembre 2018 | Local, Terrestre

    Canada's arms deal with Saudi Arabia is shrinking

    The LAV sale is being scaled back. Critics want it killed completely. Murray Brewster · CBC News A Canadian defence contractor will be selling fewer armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia than originally planned, according to new documents obtained by CBC News. That could be a mixed blessing in light of the ongoing diplomatic dispute between the two countries, say human rights groups and a defence analyst. The scaled-back order — implemented before the Riyadh government erupted in fury over Canada's public criticism of Saudi Arabia's arrest of activists and froze new trade with Canada this summer — could make it politically less defensible for the Liberal government, which has argued it's in the country's business and economic interests to uphold the deal. The documents show General Dynamic Land Systems Canada, the London, Ont.-based manufacturer, was — as of spring last year — going to deliver only 742 of the modern LAV-6s, a reduction from the original 2014 deal. The initial order from the desert kingdom was for 928 vehicles, including 119 of the heavy assault variety equipped with 105 millimetre cannons. Details of the agreement have long been kept under a cloak of secrecy. General Dynamic Land Systems, the Canadian Commercial Corporation (the Crown corporation which brokered the deal) and the Saudi government have all refused to acknowledge the specifics, other than the roughly $15 billion price tag. Last spring, CBC News obtained copies of internal documents and a slide deck presentation from 2014 outlining the original agreement. The latest internal company documents obtained by CBC News are dated March 29, 2017, and indicate the agreement had been amended a few months prior, perhaps in the latter half of 2016. The documents also indicate delivery of the vehicles is already underway and has been for months. CBC News asked for a response from both Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland's office and General Dynamics Land Systems Canada. Both declined comment over the weekend.. A cash-strapped kingdom A defence analyst said the amended order likely has more to do with the current state of Saudi Arabia's finances than its frustration over Canada's human rights criticism. "Saudi Arabia — in part because of low oil prices and in part because of corruption and mismanagement of its own economy — has a large budget deficit," said Thomas Juneau, a University of Ottawa assistant professor and former National Defence analyst. "Spending $15 billion over a number of years for armoured vehicles that it doesn't need that much, at least in a pressing sense, is an easier target for budget cuts, for sure." The kingdom has projected a budget deficit of $52 billion US this year and the country's finance minister said last spring it is on track to cut spending by seven per cent. When it was signed, the armoured vehicle deal was a way for Canada to cement relations with an important strategic partner in the region, said Juneau. Should Ottawa cancel the sale? He said he wonders if it's still worthwhile, in light of the furious diplomatic row that began over the Canadian government's tweeted expressions of concern for jailed activists — and quickly escalated with the expulsion of Canada's ambassador, the freezing of trade, the cancellation of grain shipments and the withdrawal of Saudi medical students from Canadian programs. "Now, with the dust not really having settled after the dispute from August, is that partnership, in abstract terms, still necessary? I think it is. But is it still possible?" said Juneau. Human rights groups say they believe there is even more reason for Ottawa to walk away from the deal now, given the events of this summer and the declining economic benefit. "We're compromising our position on human rights for even less than we thought," said Cesar Jaramillo, the executive director of Project Ploughshares, which has opposed the agreement from the outset. "Even if it's not a huge decrease, it is still a decrease. It should, at least in political and economic terms, make it easier for the Trudeau government to reconsider this deal, especially in terms of the latest diplomatic spat." Full article: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-s-arms-deal-with-saudi-arabia-is-shrinking-1.4815571

  • Airbus pulls out of Canada's fighter jet competition

    30 août 2019 | Local, Aérospatial

    Airbus pulls out of Canada's fighter jet competition

    by Murray Brewster One of the companies in the race to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 jet fighters has dropped out of the competition. Airbus Defence and Space, which was pitching the Eurofighter Typhoon, notified the Liberal government Friday that it was not going to bid. The decision was made after a detailed review of the tender issued by the federal government in mid-July. The move leaves only three companies in the contest: Lockheed Martin Canada with its F-35; Boeing with the Super Hornet; and Saab, which is offering an updated version of its Gripen fighter. Simon Jacques, president of Airbus Defence and Space Canada, made a point of saying the company appreciated the professional dealings it had with defence and procurement officials. "Airbus Defence and Space is proud of our longstanding partnership with the Government of Canada, and of serving our fifth home country's aerospace priorities for over three decades," Jacques said in a statement. "Together we continue in our focus of supporting the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, growing skilled aerospace jobs across the country and spurring innovation in the Canadian aerospace sector." Airbus decided to withdraw after looking at the NORAD security requirements and the cost it imposes on companies outside of North America. It also said it was convinced that the industrial benefits regime, as written in the tender, "does not sufficiently value the binding commitments the Typhoon Canada package was willing to make." A controversial evaluation process After complaints from the Trump administration, the Liberal government revised the industrial benefits portion of the tender to make it more fair to Lockheed Martin. The changes to the evaluation process irked some competitors. Under long-established military procurement policy, the federal government demands companies spend the equivalent of a contract's value in Canada as a way to bolster industry in this country. The F-35 program is not structured that way. It allows Canadian companies to bid on the aircraft's global supply chain contracts. There is, however, no guarantee that they'll get any of those contracts. The recent revision ensures that Lockheed Martin will not be severely penalized for having a different system. DND staff warned to keep mum while attending air shows during fighter jet competition F-35 demo team returns to Canada this fall as fighter jet makers jockey for position Airbus, Boeing may pull out of fighter jet race they say is rigged for F-35 Last spring, Boeing executives voiced their concerns publicly during a defence trade show in Ottawa. "I was surprised by the recommended changes," said Jim Barnes, the director of business development in Canada for Boeing Defence, Space & Security. "We believe we can put a really compelling offer on the table. "You have a policy that's been in place for decades that has been very successful. The minister has mentioned this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, so why would you deviate from a policy that has been so successful to accommodate a competitor?" https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/airbus-canada-fighters-1.5265665

  • Title Publication Date	Department	News type Teaser Minister Blair officially accepts delivery of first new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army

    19 octobre 2023 | Local, Terrestre

    Title Publication Date Department News type Teaser Minister Blair officially accepts delivery of first new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles for the Canadian Army

    Today, the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, and General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff, visited Garrison Petawawa where the first four new Armoured Combat Support Vehicles (ACSVs) were officially accepted by the Canadian Army.

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