Murray Brewster


Asking the right question about military service

A lot of changes are taking place in the relationship between the Government of Canada and its military. The Veterans Charter is failing disabled soldiers, according to the Veterans’ Ombudsman, Guy Parent. The National Association of Federal Retirees is reporting that the President of the Treasury Board, Tony Clement, intends […]


Are we going ‘full circle’ on maritime helicopters?

Friday’s news carried a couple of stories that speculated on whether or not the Sikorsky H-92 ‘Cyclone’ helicopter deal will be cancelled. CBCNews ran a story, entitled ‘Other options’ sought for Sea King Helicopter replacements, that quoted Public Works spokesperson Amber Irwin as saying, “the government is considering other options […]


Canadian ‘zombie’ reporting on the Sea King/Cyclone issue

Recently, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald has carried four items relating to the CH-124 Sea King and the CH-148 Cyclone. The first was “Sea Kings’ 50th birthday still a point of pride” by Marilla Stephenson (19 July), the next was an editorial, “A question of safety for Sea Kings” (26 July) which […]


Tory cuts to Public Service make a mockery of the ‘Defence Team’ concept

All this week, reports have been coming out from the federal government about closures and reductions in federal service programs.  Up until the various announcements, Defence Department spokespersons repeatedly declined to comment where the anticipated 1,000 jobs would be cut, citing the ‘rights’ of ‘Defence Team members’ to be advised […]


The history of construction of submarines in Canada

[Monday, 05 March 2012] Murray Brewster reported on 27 February in The Canadian Press article (“Glitchy subs to sail until 2030”) that Admiral Paul Maddison has stated that planning for new submarines will begin within the next four years: “I would envision initiating a next generation submarine discussion within the […]


Logjams and logistical challenges

On Tuesday, 19 January, Murray Brewster of the Canadian Press filed a report that described the logistical problems confronting the Canadian Forces as they ramped up for Operation Hestia. Quoting Lt.-Col. Chris LeMay of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, Brewster reported: “In comparison to peacekeeping deployments in Bosnia and even the […]


How much to move, how fast and how far?

Murray Brewster’s article entitled “DND to drop costly cargo ship” in the Thursday, 28 July, issue of The Chronicle Herald reports on the continuing problems with commercial charter arrangements to move large volumes of military equipment and supplies.  Readers should check Dave Perry’s first post on this subject to get […]


Defence Budget 2007 – where are we now?

With Budget 2008 quickly approaching, it’s time to take another look at defence spending. Eric Lerhe, in his previous Budget commentary, accurately assessed that the defence budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2007/2008 would be moderately increased by Budget 2007, to approximately $16.7B. Since Budget 2007, however, spending for FY 2007/2008 […]


Prime minister, top officials debating whether to scrap, upgrade or buy new

A wide-ranging discussion about the future of Canada’s troubled submarine fleet is taking place at the highest levels of the Conservative government, say political and defence sources. The Privy Council Office and the Prime Minister’s Office are examining whether to “scrap them altogether, upgrade the existing boats or buy new,” […]


Where do submarines ‘fit’ in future navy plans?

Murray Brewster’s article [The Globe and Mail, “DND may be shopping for new subs, sources say”] casts an interesting light on the future of Canada’s submarine fleet. The existing four Victoria-class submarines are consuming the largest portion of the navy’s maintenance budget. A midlife refit to keep them operating into […]