Information Denied

By Moderator, 1 March 2024

A long exposure photo from 2009 shows the Nortel Carling campus, now the home of NDHQ. Credit: Iouri Goussev, Wikimedia

In an article in Ottawa Citizen (“DND ignores requests to release information, undercutting federal law, MPs are told”), David Pugliese discusses Information Commissioner Caroline Maynard’s report to the House of Commons Committee on National Defence earlier this week. According to her, the Department of National Defence is ignoring requests to release government records as required by law. The House Committee is conducting hearings into openness and transparency within DND and the CAF – or the lack thereof. The Commissioner says that DND violates the law in almost 40% of the requests it receives to produce records under the Access to Information Act, withholding records relating to shipbuilding and sexual harassment, among other matters. Maynard says DND, in some cases, “simply ignore[es] requests made under the Access to Information law.” Pugliese notes that DND often claims that records don’t exist, and that’s why it's not releasing them. As Pugliese says, “At times such responses strain credibility. For instance, National Defence claimed not a single document or any information whatsoever was sent to Anita Anand, then the defence minister, throughout the four-month period covering the selection and announcement of the F-35 fighter jet in a $19-billion procurement deal.” If that’s true, there could be an even bigger problem – has DND gone rogue? There’s no question that DND isn’t great at providing information, you need only look at the website to see that in some places, information hasn’t been updated in months, even years! 

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Volume 19, Number 3 (2024)

Another issue of Canadian Naval Review is coming soon. As you’ll see, we continue to produce ‘insightful and engaging’ material! Pour a hot beverage, settle into a comfy chair and prepare to be delighted!

The issue begins with an Editorial by John Orr which examines recent developments in the Multi-Mission Aircraft Project. Then our first article, “The RCN and African Maritime Security: Forward Security Strikes Back?” looks at little-known activities of the RCN – i.e., operations and exercises with African countries. These activities are important but, as the authors point out, they currently lack a strategic focus.

The second article, “Learning Destroyers: Harry DeWolf and HMCS Patriot, 1925-1926,” tells us about how a young Harry DeWolf learned his trade on the destroyer HMCS Patriot, after which he became one of the RCN’s most effective officers in WWII. The third article, “A Peripheral Theatre: Rethinking Conflict in the Arctic,” examines the literature on conflict in the Arctic and proposes a new framework. The author suggests that referring to the Arctic as a region of cooperation, or alternatively a place for resource competition, no longer fits the reality and proposes a theory that the potential for conflict in the North is dependent on geopolitical dynamics in Europe and the Pacific. Our final article, “Public Communication for the Halifax-class Frigates,” examines a sample of the media coverage of the Halifax-class procurement to see how it was perceived in the media, with an eye to learning lessons for the coverage of the CSC.

As usual, we have a number of thought-provoking Making Wave commentaries and columns. For example, we have a column about subsea cable security in the Indo-Pacific region, and a look at how/why the RCN eagerly awaits the Defence Policy Update.

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