Stephen Harper


In the 21st Century, ocean shipping matters to Canada*

*Moderator’s Note: This article was originally published in the 1 September 2014 issue of Canadian Sailing. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author. Canada has been a trading and exporting nation since its founding almost 150 years ago. Over $130 billion of Canadian exports are carried by […]


Why Canada needs to look to the seas*

*Moderator’s Note: This Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute op-ed [link to original] appeared in The Globe and Mail on 13 May 2014. It is reprinted here with the permission of CDFAI. Lest we forget. On Parliament Hill last week we marked the end of our Afghanistan mission. We also […]


HMCS Charlottetown and the Battle of Misrata*

* Moderator’s Note: This article was originally published in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on 03 September 2011. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author. Canada’s navy may be small in comparison with other nations’ maritime forces, but the work of HMCS Charlottetown off the coast of Libya is […]


Defence Budget 2012 (II)

Despite the worst fears of Chicken Little pundits, the sky did not fall for Canadian defence in the 29 March federal budget. Predicted cuts of 8-10% or more did not materialize, and so it would appear, in the tradition of Trudeau, that many analysts have been gulled by the old […]


Is Canada an Arctic Nation or a Maritime Nation?

It was probably some speechwriter in Ottawa who fed his political master the catchy phrase for describing Canada as a country ‘from coast, to coast, to coast’. The introduction of this phrase fragmented the image of Canada’s coastline into three segments that has likely impeded Canadian maritime policy formulation. Successive […]


JSS adrift in a strategic black hole*

[*Moderator’s Note: This article appeared originally as part of the ‘Plain Talk’ series in the Fall 2010 issue (Vol. 6, No. 3) of Canadian Naval Review.] Is the announcement of a new $2.6 billion project to acquire two Joint Support Ships good news or bad news for the navy? The […]


What does transformation mean to the navy?

Rumours have been swirling ever since Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie submitted his report on transformation to the CDS that there was big trouble brewing.  John Ibbitsen writes in today’s Globe and Mail, in an article entitled “Discord over cuts leaves direction of Canadian military up in the air,” that “Senior officers […]


The ‘Royal’ name change: significant or merely symbolic?

A quick internal polling of the CFPS fellowship on the question posed in this article’s title resulted in a general consensus that the navy’s name change is appropriate but not especially significant.  The Canadian naval connection to the crown was not removed by dropping the ‘RCN’ name for the navy […]


The Politics of Canadian defence procurement: The F-35 case

Once again, Canada is faced with another complicated military procurement decision. Like other examples before this one, the F-35 procurement involves the competing demands of professional military advice on the one hand, and political judgements about affordability, ‘guns-versus-butter’ trade-offs, transparency, regional equity, and a host of domestic considerations on the […]


Attracting and keeping people with a new vision

The navy is in a bind, and it is a bad one.  The money needed to run the service and to reinvest in new ships is not in the budget.  To make matters worse, it is approximately 20 percent short of people, mostly in the technical trades.  What to do? […]