Stephen Harper has curtailed his trip to
Resolute to view the Operation Nanook exercises in the wake of the First Air plane crash, which happened over the weekend. As the exercises have been cancelled, Harper likely won’t have his annual Arctic photo op. Over the past few years, we've seen pics with ships
from the Coast Guard and the Navy and others with CF-18s flying overhead. (At an exorbitant price tag for that bit of vanity, one might add.)
Speaking of the military, an outgoing
general has penned a report that looks at ways that DND can save a billion
dollars in its budget. His recommendations look at fighting the bloated
civilian bureaucracy and finding a better use of
military personnel, who serve little useful purpose, at DND headquarters.
Paul Wells, from Maclean's, looks at the whole Jason Kenney vs Amnesty International
fracas. While Wells feels that Kenney has a point on the substance of his
argument, he also takes the time to look at the problems associated with “most-wanted” programs (such as the time when people in Toronto thought that the 9/11
hijackers had lived in their building, which caused them to be afraid for their lives. As it turned out, the hijackers never lived in Canada). He also looks at some of the criticisms levelled against Amnesty International by others (especially with regard to
their “mandate creep”) and the interesting connection with one of the
Amnesty critics, who is close to Kenney and was also involved in the whole
Rights and Democracy debacle. There's plenty to think about even if Wells did seem to
miss the point about the government calling people “war criminals” when this
hasn’t been proven in a court of law.
Despite overwhelming testimony opposed to
the idea, the government is pressing ahead with plans to raise the cost of
getting a pardon to $631 (from the current $150, which is already a huge jump from the
$50 that it used to be). Because
helping people move on from their pasts to get jobs and become
productive members of society needs even more barriers than currently exist.