14 février 2023 | Local, Aérospatial

Personnel shortage challenging Air Force’s plan to introduce F-35, other equipment - Trail Daily Times

‘The Air Force of 2035 is going to look completely different than the Air Force in 2023’


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  • Stantec to design two fighter jet facilities in Quebec and Alberta - Construction Canada

    16 août 2021 | Local, Aérospatial

    Stantec to design two fighter jet facilities in Quebec and Alberta - Construction Canada

    Global architecture, engineering, and design firm Stantec has been selected to design the Future Fighter Capability Project Fighter Squadron Facilities at 3 Wing Bagotville, Que. and the Fighter Squadron Facility at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alta. Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes has been mandated, within the multidisciplinary team assembled by the joint-venture of builders Ellis Don / EBC and Stantec in engineering, to design the fighter jets squadron facility on one of the main bases of operations which will host the new aircrafts Canada will acquire by 2025.

  • Artificial intelligence at border could infringe on human rights: report

    26 septembre 2018 | Local, Sécurité

    Artificial intelligence at border could infringe on human rights: report

    By Anna Desmarais Using artificial intelligence at Canada's official points of entry can lead to serious human rights violations, according to a new report. Released Wednesday by the University of Toronto's International Human Rights Program (IHRP) and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, the report says the use of artificial intelligence (AI) at regular points of entry is “quite risky” without appropriate government oversight. “We know that, in other contexts, AI is not neutral,” report author Petra Molnar told iPolitics. “It's basically like a recipe. If your recipe is biased, then the result that is going to come out of the algorithm is also going to be biased.” What these technologies could do, according to the report, is decide whether a marriage is genuine, an application is complete, or whether someone entering the country is deemed “a risk” to public safety. If the government doesn't provide more oversight, such decisions could rely on appearance, religion, or travel patterns as “proxies” for more relevant data normally gathered by immigration officials. This could compromise some quintessential human rights for immigrants and refugees at the border, including the right to equality and to be protected from discrimination under the law. The report says AI machines could be taught algorithms for how to assess “red flags,” “risks,” and “frauds” based on pre-existing biases in some of the immigration and refugee system's current regulations. For example, the report said the Designated Country of Origin list, which classifies which countries are “safe” for refugee claimants, uses an “incomplete” definition of safety that does not take into account specific risks for minority groups, such as women or members of the LGBTQ community. The use of AI technologies could mean cases are likely to be determined only based on these types of guidelines and might not include the discretion and empathy employed by immigration officials when reviewing the details of a refugee claim. “Depending on how an algorithm is designed, it may result in indirect discrimination,” the report found. “The complexity of human migration is not easily reducible to an algorithm.” If someone is triaged or flagged for early deportation, it could also affect their ability to apply for a visa, appeal a negative immigration ruling, or continue to move between borders. AI technologies also bring up procedural-rights issues, such as how a potential immigrant or refugee claimant would challenge the outcome of his case at the border. “When you introduce AI, if you don't agree with the decision, where do you appeal? And what kind of appeal are you crafting?” Molnar said. “These are all new questions we have to ask ourselves.” The report found that the government has been experimenting with artificial intelligence since 2014. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirmed to the report's authors in June it was already using an automated response to “triage,” or separate, simple claims from complicated ones that need further review. This summer, the government sent out an RFI (a preliminary procurement document) seeking an “Artificial Intelligence Solution” to provide legal support for migrants entering at formal points of entry. These investments fit into the federal government's $125-million Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy to “develop global thought leadership on the economic, ethical, policy and legal implications” of AI research throughout the country. Molnar said she heard from government officials that their use of AI is “preliminary” at best. What the government is considering, she continued, is using AI technologies only for preliminary screening. After AI technologies have reviewed a case, Molnar said immigration officers should still be asked to review the decision and make any appropriate changes. Molnar said it's still too soon to tell what AI could look like at the borders, but noted the technological changes could be vast. “It can be as simple as an Excel sheet, all the way to totally autonomous robots in other sectors,” she continued. “In immigration, how this could manifest ... could include a triage system where a traveller might be designated a high risk or low risk, or streamed for high risk and low risk.” To solve these possible human-rights infringements, the report suggests installing an independent, arms-length government-oversight body to “engage in all aspects of oversight,” before the government continues to develop these technologies. This recommendation, Molnar said, is in line with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat's review into responsible use of AI throughout government offices. Among other recommendations, the board suggests more transparency from government offices about when AI technologies will be used during a discretionary decision-making process. The report notes this suggestion “is promising, from a human-rights perspective,” but the document is non-binding and is still subject to change. Until the review body is created, the report suggests government freeze “all efforts to procure, develop or adopt” any new automated-decision-system technology before a government oversight process is in place. https://ipolitics.ca/2018/09/26/artificial-intelligence-at-border-could-infringe-on-human-rights-report/

  • Military spending needed more now than ever, top defence official says

    11 juin 2020 | Local, Aérospatial, Naval, Terrestre, C4ISR, Sécurité

    Military spending needed more now than ever, top defence official says

    Lee Berthiaume The Canadian PressStaff Contact Published Thursday, June 11, 2020 4:20AM EDT OTTAWA -- The Defence Department's top civilian official is touting the importance of continued investments in the Canadian Armed Forces, and says she has received no indications the Liberal government is planning to cut spending because of the COVID-19 crisis. The comments by Defence Department deputy minister Jody Thomas come amid questions about how the Liberal government plans to find the tens of billions of dollars doled out in recent months to support Canadians during the pandemic. The emergency support, estimated at $153 billion at last count, has far surpassed expected government spending and significant belt-tightening is likely after the crisis as Ottawa will start searching for ways to keep the country from drowning in red ink. Military spending was previously slashed in the 1990s as Jean Chretien's Liberal government wrestled with massive deficits while Stephen Harper's Conservative government followed a similar course after the 2008-09 financial crash. That has prompted concerns within defence circles that the pattern will repeat itself after COVID-19, with fears the Liberals will lean heavily on the country's $29-billion defence budget to help get government spending back under control. In an interview with The Canadian Press, Thomas said she had not received any order or direction to slow or cut defence spending and that officials are continuing to work on the planned purchase of new warships, fighter jets and other equipment. "We are not experiencing any slowdowns," she said. "We are continuing very aggressively and ambitiously to continue our plan." That plan is the Liberals' defence strategy, which it released in 2017. Known as Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE), the strategy promised $553 billion in military spending over 20 years. Much of that is to buy new equipment such as jets and warships. "There has been zero indication from anyone that there would be a cut to the budget," Thomas said, adding Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan "has been very clear of his expectations of us to execute on SSE." She went on to suggest the planned defence spending is actually needed as much now as before the pandemic as the crisis amplifies the already significant global uncertainty that existed before COVID-19. A scan of recent headlines underscores that uncertainty, from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration suggesting it may pull troops from Germany to China imposing its will on Hong Kong and flexing its muscles in the South China Sea. There are also ongoing concerns about Russia and the situation in the Middle East. "Canada has to be equipped," Thomas said. "In a post-COVID world, there is, I would say as the deputy minister of defence, a need for SSE to in fact be done more quickly rather than slow it down or cut the budget." The government last week tabled its latest request for money in Parliament, which included $585 million for the continued construction of two new naval support ships in Vancouver. The first of those ships is due in 2023. Defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute said the Liberals have significantly ramped up military spending, but no one knows how fast the economy will recover or how deep Ottawa will be in the hole when the pandemic ends. "Without knowing more about these things, it's way too early to know what the impact will be to defence," he said. "But it's a basic fact of Canadian federal budgeting that if a government is looking to reduce all federal spending, DND plays a part in that because it spends the most money." And while trimming military spending was the route taken by previous governments, there are implications, as evidenced by the age of Canada's CF-18s and other old equipment and its lack of naval support vessels until the new ones are finished. "Part of the reason we're having issues with procurement today is because of the decisions that were taken before," Perry said. "The reasons they were taken -- rightly or wrongly, I would say largely rightly -- in the 1990s to reduce spending then, we're still dealing with the after-effects of it now because we didn't buy stuff then and we're trying to make up for lost time now." This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 11, 2020. https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/military-spending-needed-more-now-than-ever-top-defence-official-says-1.4979395

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