Daniel Proussalidis - November 8th, 2013
OTTAWA – Canada’s list of banned terrorist entities is growing, with the addition of two Islamist groups Friday.
The list now includes two more al-Qaida-linked groups: Jabhat Al-Nusra, also known as the Front for the Defense of the Syrian People, and the Signatories in Blood, which is active in West Africa.
Jabhat al-Nusra is one of the rebel groups taking over territory in northern Syria recently, creating new concerns for Western backers of the opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
The Signatories in Blood is believed to be behind a hostage-taking at an Algerian gas plant last January that also included Canadian involvement, along with suicide bombings in Niger in March.
Public Safety Canada says in its regulatory filings for the expanded list that “everyone who knowingly participates in or contributes to any activity of a terrorist group … is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment.”
Jessica Murphy - November 6th, 2013
I came across this speech today – an address by then rookie Prime Minister Stephen Harper before a Senate committee discussing his plans to reform the upper chamber. Some seven years later, the federal government is readying to argue Parliament has the power to move ahead alone with reforms including implementing term limits before the Supreme Court of Canada next week.
There’s video here
Harper on the importance of Senate reform:
As everyone in this room knows, it has become a right of passage for aspiring leaders and prime ministers to promise Senate reform – on their way to the top. The promises are usually made in Western Canada. And these statements of intent are usually warmly received by party activists, editorial writers and ordinary people. But once they are elected, Senate reform quickly falls to the bottom of the Government’s agenda. Nothing ever gets done. And the status quo goes on. Honourable Senators, this has got to stop. For the Senate must change. And we will be the ones to make it happen. The Government is not looking for a report. We are seeking action.
On “modest” Senate reforms like term limits:
“We must act. The Government believes that S-4 is achievable through the action of Parliament itself….The key point is this. We are seeking limited, fixed terms of office, not decades based on the antiquated criteria of age. I have carefully reviewed your deliberations on this Bill. Some Senators have said the Bill goes too far. Others have said it does not go far enough. But we can all agree on one thing: it does go somewhere. Somewhere reasonable, and somewhere achievable.
And in conclusion:
I would like to read a quote from a book I reviewed recently. On page 206, the author writes, and I quote: “Probably on no other public question in Canada has there been such unanimity of opinion as on that of the necessity for Senate reform.” The author is Robert MacKay. The book is The Unreformed Senate of Canada. The year is 1926.
Daniel Proussalidis - November 1st, 2013
OTTAWA – A French naval defence contractor is meeting potential Canadian business partners for the construction of up to 15 new combat ships — Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) — even before the feds choose a design.
The ships will eventually replace the Navy’s destroyers and frigates.
Officials with shipbuilder DCNS toured several Quebec companies this week as part of a networking opportunity organized by bureaucrats with the Economic Development Agency for the Regions of Quebec.
Patrick Boissier, president and CEO of DCNS, is trying to position the company to provide the design for the new ships to be built on the East Coast as part of the feds’ $36.6-billion shipbuilding strategy. Read more…