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BWilson

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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 1:07:52 PM
 Some interesting bits in this article, for example:


Quote:
Canada’s influence declined for a time after that. John Diefenbaker tried to renege on commitments to put small nuclear warheads in anti-aircraft missiles as part of the country’s NATO and NORAD undertakings (we had warheads of sandbags for a time in the Bomarc missiles). His government fell largely on this issue and Lester Pearson put that right, but reneged on his promise to sell uranium to France, which Canada had agreed to do on the same basis as to the U.K. This helped motivate Charles de Gaulle to try to break up the country by encouraging Quebec to secede when he came to Montreal in 1967.


[Read More]

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 4:35:48 PM
Conrad Black, former Canadian citizen though still a Canadian resident and convicted felon who has served time in the US. Other than that, an all round great guy. We're still not sure how he got back into the country after renouncing his citizenship in a fit of pique because he was pandering for a seat in the House of Lords in the UK. So it's Lord Black I guess but he's still with us.

To his points:

Those Bomarc-B Missiles caused a lot of problems for PM Diefenbaker when the word got out that they would be nuclear tipped.

The country was already mightily angry with Dief for cancelling the Avro Arrow interceptor programme which purportedly was slated to be the outstanding fighter of its day and a great source of pride for Canadians. Less known is that Canada was punching well above its weight in other aspects of aerospace research.


Thousands were put out of work overnight with the cancellation of the Arrow.

Later it was revealed that the US government had been lobbying with the Canadian government to take the missiles as a far cheaper alternative to a fighter development programme that was running way over cost. Dief was convinced that there would be no market for the Canadian plane and he cancelled it without warning to the workers.

Anyway he agreed to Bomarc-B's, and 56 of them were deployed in North Bay, Ontario and in La Macaza, Québec. These missiles would have been under the control of the commander of NORAD who is always an American. A Canadian is second in command.

Note that the nuclear missiles were secretly delivered to the North Bay facility on New Year's Eve of 1963. The government hoped that protesters at the gates would be at home. The missiles were the property of the US government.

That never plays well in this country when it appears that sovereignty has been lost.

Conrad Black seems to have missed the fact that the no nukes movement was very powerful in Canada and that Dief lost the '63 election to Lester B. Pearson in 1963. The Bomarc Missile crisis had a lot to do with that.

In the article, Black implies that the election was lost because Dief reneged on the promise to allow nukes on Canadian soil. Quite the opposite.


As for De Gaulle, that is the first time that I have heard that his "Vive Le Québec libre" speech was calculated. The SOB was greeted in the province of Québec with crowds of people who cheered as he appeared. I think that he got caught up in the adulation accorded him and blurted his infamous call to French-Canadian independence.

As I recall, the Liberal Pearson government in 1965 decided not to sell uranium to any country that did not intend it for peaceful purposes, not just France.

Canada may be the only nuclear capable country that doesn't use it's technology to produce weapons. We do make nuclear reactors.

Canada was involved in the provision of uranium for the Manhattan Project.

Canada was researching the production of plutonium in labs in Montreal during WW2.

Between 1959 and 1964 Canada shipped spent uranium to the US for the production of plutonium.

All of that was cut off in 1965. We think so anyway. Black is very convenient in his analysis.


I do concur with Black in that we need to beef up our defences though I don't think that we could ever invest sufficient numbers to defend this land mass.

The current government is committing our forces to NATO missions in Latvia. We were supposed to be involved in a UN mission in Mali but that seems to be on hold as we await Mr. Trump's clarification on his foreign policy.

Meanwhile we are well below the minimum to be spent on defence according the to NATO agreement. The government argues that we can either be a contributor to missions or we can beef up the spending on military assets.

So I am not sure which way to go. I think that we have contributed more than many other NATO nations to actual missions. Many of the member countries spend dollars on defence but never deploy. I am not sure that we can do both.


As for Conrad Black, he is a bright bastard. I'll give him that but he is a condescending bastard too.

Cheers,

George


Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2775

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 5:31:30 PM
George,

Excuse my French, but according to you, he's a bastard none the less!!?
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 5:33:26 PM
May I add, this is the type of snide innuendo for which Conrad Black is famous:

From BW's link:


Quote:
On Tuesday I was speaking on the radio by telephone with my friend Evan Solomon in Ottawa (where he has been since his shabby treatment by the moronocracy that “manages” the CBC)


Evan Solomon was a top rated political reporter for the CBC and the host of the popular Power and Politics, nightly political affairs show.

When it was discovered that Solomon was acting as a broker for the sale of art pieces to people with whom he was interviewing on his show, he was let go. He was using his position and his contacts to facilitate sales for a third party and accepting commissions of up to $300,000 for his services.

He did not disclose to the buyer that he was receiving commission for the sales of art pieces. They thought that he was just introducing them to someone with some interesting art works.

Buyers for whom Solomon acted as a broker and who have appeared on his investigative news shows include Jim Balsillie, the founder of Research in Motion (now Blackberry) and Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada and currently Governor of the Bank of England.

Does the CBC act with consistency in these conflict of interest cases with their employees? Perhaps not but Solomon was a high profile reporter and he would have been seen as less than unbiased in his reporting after the news of his side business came out.

Conrad Black hates all the media except the National Post newspaper (the very same one that BW linked us to).

Most news media wondered why a man who had renounced his citizenship and slagged the country of his birth, was allowed back into the country after serving time in the US for 3 counts of fraud and 1 of obstruction of justice. Lord Black never forgives a slight.

The Post was founded by Black and while he no longer owns it, when it comes to reporting on Conrad Black, the Post is the epitome of the lickspittle press.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 5:42:43 PM

Quote:
George,

Excuse my French, but according to you, he's a bastard none the less!!?
--Michigan Dave


Oui, en français, il est un bâtard.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 5:57:44 PM
In fairness, Conrad Black can write very well, and he seems to have great knowledge of Canadian history viewed from his ultra conservative perch.

His books:

[Read More]

I thought that I had better toss this in just in case Conrad decides to join MHO.

If he can figure out who I am, he may sue me for libel.



Cheers,


brian grafton
Victoria, BC, Canada
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Moderator


Posts: 1316

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/17/2017 8:02:51 PM
Bill, that's some article. I would grade it at a B+ for style and about a C for accuracy. The man doesn't seem to understand cause and effect. Mayhap that's why he never came to grips with going to jail for what he was found guilty of doing.

In truth, George is perhaps harsher (or at least more articulate in his dislike) on Lord Black than most Canadians, though Black is certainly not a popular man. He is recognized for his intellect, his writing ability and his wealth; he is also recognized for his wealth, influence and self-focus. But it is worth noting that although he has decided to live in Canada "temporarily", he clings to his life peerage in Britain with some desperation, actually having the balls to equate Nelson Mandela's criminal record with his own when arguing for his return to political life. Canada is rather less interested in continuing the honours he has previously received: he has been stripped of his position as Privy Counsellor and his award of the Order of Canada. These are not minor issues, at least in Canada: in listing of orders, only the VC comes before PC.

I will give Lord Black this: if the foci of his article (power, influence and voice) were all that were important, he probably has some justification in saying that Canada isn't a player. If fighting is to be seen as a plus, IMHO he loses a a few grade points because of his lack of consistency. Canada's one-time Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, was a Nobel Peace recipient for his creative thinking during the Suez Crisis. Peace-keeping (rather than war-making) became a Canadian Forces marker, and one I believe the majority of Canadians were proud of. IMHO, a commitment to keeping the peace is at least as honourable as alternative approaches to resolving confrontations. Being known as a nation that can step into the middle of a high-risk issue (see Cyprus, the Israeli/Lebanese border, or a number of other venues) and not press its own agenda is, IMHO, as brave, important and honourable as fighting brush-fire wars on one side or the other.

All that aside, and despite the rather limited scope (and tunnel vision) of the "National Post" article Bill cites, I gotta say I loved Lord Black's description of the United Nations as
Quote:
...a primal scream therapy centre for the world’s most egregious despotisms and kleptocracies.
Sadly, I tend to remember Secretary Colin Powell destroying both his credibility and his honour as he demanded the UN back the US invasion of Iraq because of WMD. Talk about egregious!

I'm not going to argue with Lord Black's assessment, because it isn't a bit of history. It represents a fiction out of which a host of op-eds have been and will continue to be born. There is nothing here that has to be accepted, argued, or refuted. We're looking at an op-ed piece, for God's sake! This has no more validity than a section of an essay by Maureen Dowd would have if it talked about any of the subjects that so disturb her.

At the same time, I hear in my mind the voice of another and now lamented Canadian, Leonard Cohen, saying very softly, "Let us compare mythologies".

Cheers
Brian G

---------------
"We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly.

"The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" Bumper sticker.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 2:48:34 AM
 Oh, I don't know fellows. I read CB's column from time to time. I enjoy his style of writing and pick up occasional bits I hadn't heard before, such as the suggestion that CDG's Quebec comments may have been payback for a reneged deal of some kind. CDG was certainly capable of recalling slights and repaying them at moments of his choosing.

 The fact that CB was convicted of a crime and "served time", yet remains a figure of standing who is capable of wide-ranging commentary only makes him more interesting -- Black lived some very intense reality, and it colors his comments on the criminal justice system of the West.


Quote:
We're looking at an op-ed piece, for God's sake!


 Actually, it seems to me that is most of what the American "media" is doing these days ... I just take it all through that "this is mostly opinion" filter anymore, realizing that hardly any of the reporting today is rigorously factual. And I have come to the conclusion that, for me at least, it is increasingly unimportant. I'll die with my impressions of how the world was and why certain events happened, and without a doubt, most of those surviving me will have completely different impressions and will have absorbed other legends as to how their world came to be. IIRC, Kipling touched on that theme in "In the Neolithic Age".

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 7:17:34 AM
We should have left him with you folks in the US. You had a British citizen in your cells. We weren't under any compulsion to accept him and yet Conservative PM Stephen Harper (there's that name again) allowed him back in.

Well, check that. Immigration examined the case and granted him a temporary permit to return. Jason Kenney, Immigration Minister in the Harper government told the country that his department doesn't discuss individual cases.


As I have said, I had never heard that De Gaulle's motivation for his little speech was that he was miffed at Canada's decision not to sell uranium.

I have heard that PM Lester Pearson was concerned about the visit because De Gaulle had been showing signs that he was upset about something.

Before that, I will remind everyone that De Gaulle had exhibited good will toward Canada when he needed the country:

1. He was good friends with Gen. Georges Vanier and his wife. Vanier would later become our GG but in 1940 he had been appointed as the liaison to the French National Committee in London.

2. In 1944 he came to Ottawa in the company of Vanier and addressed the crowd.


3. Back again in 1945, De Gaulle was looking for financial support from Canada to aid in restructuring. Supported by Vanier, he got his money.


1967 was an important year in the life of our country. It was our centennial year. Expo '67 in Montréal was showing Canada to the world.

Government leaders from around the world were visiting, all entering in the capital Ottawa.


But De Gaulle seemed upset at the world.

He had bolted on NATO. He had refused to allow the UK into the Common Market.

So he came to Canada but did not like the agenda offered him so he came by ship and made port in Québec City. I believe that he arrived on the anniversary of the day that Jacques Cartier had claimed Canada for the King of France. He continued to hit small towns and Montreal, making speeches all the way and marvelling at his popularity. He even insisted on making unscheduled speeches because he did not want to disappoint his adoring public.

Of note, he remarked on the number of signs in the audiences that said, "Vive Le Québec Libre", the motto of the Québec séparatistes. He was not a stupid man and so I suspect that he had no doubt of what the signs meant.

Note the following:

De Gaulle had skipped the 50th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, something that bothered the Canadians.

He did not send anyone of significance to the funeral of GG Georges Vanier in 1967 and certainly he wasn't there.

While snubbing his official invite to come to Ottawa, he had also received an invitation to visit Quebec from the Premier, Daniel Johnson, who was his friend.

So the uranium thing? Maybe. I don't know.


I do know that his country, in many cemeteries, holds the bodies of too many Canadians who gave their lives for French independence.

Conrad Black knows that too but he is not above tweaking the nose of any Liberal government.



Full disclosure: Conrad Black used to be the head of a national grocery chain, Dominion Stores. Steve Clement has described it as a poorly run operation before Black got his hands on it. However, it was, for many years, the number one chain in the country.

My brother was an employee, just a regular working stiff in one of the grocery stores. Black took 56 million from the pension plan and invested it in his publishing empire.

The Union sued and the company was found at fault. In the end, the employees were bought off and my brother got little and certainly had no pension.

As well, Black had begun setting up cut rate stores as part of the Dominion chain. People who worked at the full service stores were moved into the cut rate stores but were given a pay cut. Take it or leave it.

My brother left but he has little good to say about Black, who is of Canada's privileged class and who cares little for the little guy. Just cogs in his money making ventures.

Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 8:20:44 AM
George,

 I have to laugh. Your attitude is so uncharitable that you come off sounding like the caricature of a pro-Trump person in the U.S. ("Should have kept that dam' foreigner out!") Yeah, he was a British citizen -- but born Canadian. It wasn't, therefore, so incredibly unusual that Canada allowed to him to again reside in the country. Other than that, do you object to him being a successful businessman ? The whole prison bit IMO should be water under the bridge. Black was accused, convicted, and served his time ... as far as I know, he has not been recidivist. It is unfair to view him as a person simply from the standpoint of one negative episode in his life (although I realize bias against people who have been convicted is common).

 On CDG, I doubt he worried much what Canada as a whole thought about him. But the story of a reneged deal and CDG-payback doesn't sound unrealistic.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 8:41:11 AM
BW are you just taking the piss out of me right now?

Black renounced his Canadian citizenship so that he could accept a peerage in the UK. He denounced the country of his birth for personal gain and made very uncharitable comments, which he continues to do.

That has never been forgiven. His legal troubles came after that and I am not the only one who took some pleasure out of his conviction.

The US laws are much tougher than ours and the conviction validates what many have been saying about him for years. He's a crook.


What was the purpose of your original post, may I ask?

Do you share Black's view that Canada is no longer respected because of deficiencies in defence spending?

Cheers,

George

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 9:05:35 AM
 Ah, he was a crook (per U.S. law). I see no reason to condemn him, as an individual, on that score. If he wanted to become the Canadian PM, then, sure, it would be fair play for opponents to use that history against him. Other than that, it strikes me as axe-grinding. I thought the response of the immigration office was very on-point about not discussing individual cases. Bravo, quite professional IMO. I wish more government today was that discreet.

 I posted the link to the article because it touches on an interesting topic. Please recall it was not I that began the personal comments about CB ... but I see no reason not to make my own comments since the topic was brought up.

 Regarding your question. Black made an important distinction about the difference of "liked" versus "respected".


Quote:
Canadians seem to imagine that influence can be had in distant corners of the world just by being virtuous and altruistic and disinterested. That is not how international relations work.


 His second sentence in that quote is on-target. Even then, being "respected" does not equate to having "influence". His final sentence in the article hits that point:


Quote:
Strength, not amiable piety, creates national influence.


 So where does that leave Canada ? Well, my personal take is that Canada's "back yard" is the Arctic waters. Frankly, I don't think anyone is going to "carry Canada's water" for it there -- too many resources up for grabs. So, yes, perhaps more Canadian military spending with an eye to, if nothing else, projecting strength and maintaining influence in the Arctic waters.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 9:59:58 AM
I concur that Canada must do more to protect its own land mass.

To that end, we are in a never ending cycle to upgrade RCN capabilities.

But more is needed including a deep water port in the Arctic and a full time training base there as well.

It may be that we cannot offer our services to the UN for major missions like the upcoming one in Mali. PM Trudeau announced that "Canada is back". His reference is to a peace keeping role that Canada pioneered as part of the UN. The Mali mission, a dangerous one, is delayed. The word is that Trudeau is waiting to see how Trump's foreign policy will affect Canada. The UN is getting impatient with us.

We do have NATO obligations and it seems that we will assume those in Latvia, shortly.

The Canadian Forces website has an extensive review of Canadian military missions past and present. It is an impressive list and one that most countries know little of.

Currently, we have peacekeepers in a number of places and special forces who have been supporting the Kurds in Iraq.

Do we need to spend more money? For sure but I do not agree with Black that we are not respected because of a lack of military commitment.

We seem to be making a contribution in line with a middle power.

Rather, if there is any disrespect, it is because our foreign policy is much too closely aligned with that of the US. There was a time when Canada was considered a reliable and independent go-between for other nations who wished to communicate with the US and for the US State Department if it needed help.

That still happens occasionally. The Obama attempt at detente with Cuba was partly facilitated by the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

But if Canada appears to be too close to the US, as is the case now, other countries won't see us as any different than the US.



If I may, my bombastic reaction to Conrad Black is not without merit nor is my claim that he is an untrustworthy businessman and man.

1. You know about his fraud conviction

2. You know about his fiddling with the pension funds of one of his businesses and the harm that he caused to working Canadians.

3. He was accused by the Ontario Securities Commission of diverting funds from his Hollinger Enterprises to himself and two partners.
As of 2015, he has been banned from accepting a position as a director of any publicly traded company in Ontario.

4. The Canada Revenue Agency is after him for not paying taxes on over 5 million dollars in income in 2002. CRA put a lien on his house in Toronto on the exclusive Bridle Path. Too clever by half, it seems that Black sold the property with the condition that he will live there for as long as he wishes.

5. The Canadian government has removed Black to his appointment to the Order of Canada. Black went to court to have that removal disallowed saying that he would rather resign. Denied so the GG removed him.

6. PM Harper who allowed Black back in the country, removed Black from his appointment to the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.


No there are no criminal convictions although the tax situations is still to be clarified. But it should be clear that this man is an unwelcome person here.

I noted that you suggested that I sounded like an anti-Trumper.

Ironically, Conrad Black and Donald Trump are good buds and Trump supported Black during his problems with the US judicial system.

In return, Black has announced his support for Mr. Trump.

[Read More]

Birds of a feather?


Cheers,

George

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 408

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 11:45:30 AM
Hi George,


Quote:
Full disclosure: Conrad Black used to be the head of a national grocery chain, Dominion Stores. Steve Clement has described it as a poorly run operation before Black got his hands on it. However, it was, for many years, the number one chain in the country.


Dominion Stores was a poorly run operation 'when' Black controlled it, he certainly did little or nothing to improve its prospects....or to be perhaps a little more charitable, Dominion was a well run chain, by 1960's standards.....but a revitalized Loblaw proceeded to eat Dominion's lunch in the 1980's and beyond. A Loblaw, that although still "family" controlled, brought in outside "professional" managers, starting in the mid 1970;s. As Loblaw improved how they ran their business (essentially introducing premium Private Label products to North America...soon to be copied by just about every grocery chain in the US &
Canada), Dominion was not able to "adjust", despite having (in Ontario) "primo" store sites.

Not unlike K-mart, which appeared to be a well run chain, by 1960's standards, until a very small upstart, based in Arkansas, brought retailing - kicking and screaming - into the 20th century.

Yes, the man can write...and yes, he is a pompous ass -:)

s.c.

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 12:29:59 PM
he is a pompous ass -:)

Steve,

 Just wondering. Is that a chargeable offense in Canada ? More seriously, many people with wealth, power, or both, tend to be pompous, arrogant, or possess other unpleasant personality aspects ... I guess they believe they don't have to be liked to survive on a daily basis.

 When I read your first paragraph, my thoughts were immediately about K-Mart, or SS Kresge as it was known in earlier days. Another chain that declined in that era was "Ben Franklin's Five and Dime". It is still present in name, but the original firm went bankrupt a couple of decades ago.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 1:15:25 PM
But it should be clear that this man is an unwelcome person here.

 Heh, I'll consider that a "per George" declaration.

 If I were Canadian, I would question the UN deployments. Competition for the resources of the Arctic is going to increase and Canada would be better off preparing for Arctic capabilities than standing between warring parties in the developing world. The NATO deployments make sense as Canada could call upon NATO to assist with defense of Arctic territories.

 Black is not alone in his support for Trump. Your PM also seems to have re-tuned his frequency to work easily with the new U.S. administration. Nothing wrong with that! I was genuinely impressed with "young" Trudeau's sense of discretion when Trump was elected. Unlike other foreign leaders who should have known better, Trudeau did not stick his foot in his mouth.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Steve Clements
Toronto, ON, Canada
top 20
E-7 Sgt First Class
Moderator
Posts: 408

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 1:42:48 PM

Quote:
he is a pompous ass -:)

Steve,

 Just wondering. Is that a chargeable offense in Canada ? More seriously, many people with wealth, power, or both, tend to be pompous, arrogant, or possess other unpleasant personality aspects ... I guess they believe they don't have to be liked to survive on a daily basis.

 When I read your first paragraph, my thoughts were immediately about K-Mart, or SS Kresge as it was known in earlier days. Another chain that declined in that era was "Ben Franklin's Five and Dime". It is still present in name, but the original firm went bankrupt a couple of decades ago.

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


BW,

No, not a chargeable offense....albeit most arrogant/pompous people make some effort to mask their arrogance. Such does not appear to be the case with Mr. Black.... -:)

I don't read his columns much (he writes for the National Post, I read the Globe), but I have noticed that, recently, he appears to be on an "atheists are bad" kick. Which I find kinda ironic....he never struck me as being a religious or spiritual person....but what do I know?

As for Ben Franklin Five and Dime, if I am not mistaken, Sam Walton was a Ben Franklin franchisee before he tried his hand with his first Wal-Mart store in NW Arkansas....his early Wal-Mart stores (which borrowed heavily from the then existing K-marts/Woolco's) operated on a gross margin that was close to half of what a Ben Franklin store needed to "survive". Which, in English, kinda means that Sam operated on a 33%/35% mark-up, vs. more like 100% at Ben Franklin. His customers could do the math....

s.c.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 2:48:58 PM
BW, I have no idea why you would consider my view that Conrad Black is unwelcome in this country as false, a "per George" declaration.

I don't know the man personally. We don't travel in the same circles.

He does represent for me, everything that is wrong about wealth accumulation in this country. He is a wealthy man who knows how to disguise his relationship with his business. He is involved in multiple corporations and holding companies.

He is part of the 1% who are gradually accumulating more and more wealth while the peons struggle to get by. And it seems that he doesn't want to pay fair taxes and that seems all too consistent with many of his class.

But I am Canadian. You know that of course. I may know a little of how the country responded to the news that he was coming back to Canada.



Just one of many polls on the subject and as this one was published in his National Post, you can be sure that it provided fodder for his reporters and editorial writers for a good period of time.

It does seem to confirm my contention, does it not?



BWilson

top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 3:13:44 PM
George,

 I am very skeptical of polls anymore, especially where the topic may be contentious. A nice graphic. Has anyone official in Canada with competent authority over who is allowed to reside made any formal statements on his being allowed to be in country ? It seems to me that absent a formal "persona non grata" declaration, stating he is "not welcome" is more of a personal view than anything else.


Quote:
He is part of the 1% who are gradually accumulating more and more wealth while the peons struggle to get by. And it seems that he doesn't want to pay fair taxes and that seems all too consistent with many of his class.


 Mmm, be careful not to fall into stereotyping. I know nothing personal about Black, but the stance you outline sounds like a polemic on class struggle. Not -all- rich people are evil

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 4:06:31 PM
OK Bill. I will not be able to convince you that this man is unwelcome or that he is an unscrupulous business man.

Ignore the polls if you wish. But I live here and even anecdotal reports including discussions with friends, confirm that this guy was not wanted.

He insulted his own country, the country that allowed him to become rich (although his is not a rags to riches story), and denounced his citizenship.

So I'm pretty sure that the supporters of Conrad Black in this country are fewer than you think.


There will be no comments from the government. He is part of the Conservative elite. They allowed him to return even with a criminal conviction that would have caused rejection of most other applications for permanent residency.

He is a staunch critic of both the Liberal and NDP parties. He hammers at them from his bully pulpit in the Post and other magazines.

Who knows he may even know where the Conservative skeletons are buried.

Class struggle? Hell yes. We are in one right now, and while there are decent business people with a social conscience, Conrad Black is not one of them, in my view.


Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/18/2017 4:35:31 PM
Leaving Conrad Black forever I hope, and more à propos to BW's original post, I can tell you that the Canadian military is under review by the current Liberal government.

We are in deficit budgeting right now. I think that the Liberals would like to streamline the Canadian forces to make them smaller but more responsive to domestic and international demands.

This will undoubtedly result in the presentation of a "white paper" on transformation of the military. The Liberals are looking at what the military needs for the types of missions that it may have to undertake. As always, funding will inform the final product.

In 2011, Gen. Andrew Leslie prepared a report on the transformation of the Canadian military. It has long been accepted that we have too much tail for too few teeth.

Leslie's report appears below. Dry as dust but it has been well received. Leslie retired from the military and is now a Liberal MP.

[Read More]


National Defence has stated what it sees as the responsibilities of the Canadian Armed Forces.


Quote:
A Modern Military with Clearly Defined Missions and Capabilities

The Government has established a level of ambition for the Canadian Forces that will enable them to meet the country's defence needs, enhance the safety and security of Canadians and support the Government's foreign policy and national security objectives. To fulfill these commitments, the Canadian Forces must be able to deliver excellence at home, be a strong and reliable partner in the defence of North America, and project leadership abroad by making meaningful contributions to international security.

The military will deliver on this level of ambition by maintaining its ability to conduct six core missions within Canada, in North America and globally, at times simultaneously. Specifically, the Forces will have the capacity to:

Conduct daily domestic and continental operations, including in the Arctic and through NORAD;

Support a major international event in Canada, such as the 2010 Olympics;

Respond to a major terrorist attack;

Support civilian authorities during a crisis in Canada such as a natural disaster;

Lead and/or conduct a major international operation for an extended period; and

Deploy forces in response to crises elsewhere in the world for shorter periods.

To carry out these missions, the Canadian Forces will need to be a fully integrated, flexible, multi-role and combat-capable military, working in partnership with the knowledgeable and responsive civilian personnel of the Department of National Defence. This integrated Defence team will constitute a core element of a whole-of-government approach to meeting security requirements, both domestically and internationally.



How all of this changes the army, navy and air force, I really don't know. I suspect that we are in another era of "do more with less".

EDIT: Or perhaps "do less with less".

The "Canada First" Defence Strategy

[Read More]


Cheers,

George

BWilson

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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 5:08:37 AM
 An overall interesting website, George. I'll have to dig into it. I am a bit confused about the "Canada First" page ... it is some seven years old and even features a photo of Harper at the top of the document. Time for updates, methinks. Although Leslie's document is six years old now, it was refreshing to see Arctic capabilities at the top of the list -- sound priorities IMO. The interesting thing about challenges in the Arctic is that they likely won't be decided by mass but by very specialized capabilities. Canadian troops trained along the lines of the British SAS and SBS as well as equipment specialized for Arctic land and naval operations will be the key (IMO).

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

BWilson

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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 5:23:30 AM
So I'm pretty sure that the supporters of Conrad Black in this country are fewer than you think.

George,

 That may well be. But you have to understand my skepticism when what you provide me is anecdote ("my friends agree with me" ... yes, and my friends agree with me about many things ... we tend to choose our social circles based upon those who have like-minded ideas), and the results of a poll conducted -seven years- ago. Like I said, it is your business how you feel about him ... but if the government is not asking to him to leave, then at some level he is welcome in Canada. I don't really understand your comment about him being a critic. Isn't that the exercise of free speech ? I would think Canadians would be proud that they tolerate a wide range of viewpoints in their public discussion of politics. I can understand your frustration at him getting special treatment from the government -- I have a similar view regarding Hillary Clinton. But they are rich and powerful people ... and the rules are different for them.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 7:15:56 AM
Good morning BW.

The poll is relevant because it was taken when the story broke that Conrad Black wanted to return to Canada after serving his sentence in the US.

I suspect that the results would not be much different today although people's minds are on other things.


I don't understand your query about my support of free speech. Of course, I do.

The opposition parties hammered PM Stephen Harper during the decision making process with respect to Black. The accusation was that they were giving him preferential treatment because he is ideologically aligned with the Conservatives. PM Harper denied this, pointing out that people with a criminal record are permitted to apply for temporary status.

That's true but immigration and Canadian Border Services Agency would quite likely deny that privilege to most felons (non-Canadian), who appeared at the border for entry into Canada.

It is ironic that Black actually turned on the Harper Conservatives after getting back in. He also made uncharitable remarks about First Nations people in a talk that he gave.

I think that his remarks about Harper were informed by his experiences in the US correctional system, one that he feels that Harper was trying to emulate in Canada.

[Read More]

Cheers,

George

BWilson

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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 7:35:16 AM
I don't understand your query about my support of free speech.

 Not your support for free speech, but you commented about him being a "staunch critic" of certain politicians and parties. I note only that is good -- ALL politicians and parties need more staunch critics who can write reasonably well to keep their feet to the fire. CB may not be liked by some Canadians, but perhaps because of that, his writing touches nerves that should be touched so that they don't grow too complacent. Of course, he is only one voice of many, and that is as it should be.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 8:14:56 AM

Quote:
 An overall interesting website, George. I'll have to dig into it. I am a bit confused about the "Canada First" page ... it is some seven years old and even features a photo of Harper at the top of the document. Time for updates, methinks. Although Leslie's document is six years old now, it was refreshing to see Arctic capabilities at the top of the list -- sound priorities IMO. The interesting thing about challenges in the Arctic is that they likely won't be decided by mass but by very specialized capabilities. Canadian troops trained along the lines of the British SAS and SBS as well as equipment specialized for Arctic land and naval operations will be the key (IMO).

Cheers

BW
--BWilson


You may be aware that Canadian special forces including our elite commandos JTF2 who work alongside our Canadian Special Operations Regiment.
Both are under the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM)

JTF2's training parallels that of other special forces in the world. We are told that it is similar to the SAS training. They are very good.

The CSOR is in Iraq right now in support of the Kurds fighting Daesh.

We didn't even know that JTF2 existed until the Afghanistan war when the press took a couple of photos of these guys escorting a couple of Taliban leaders that they had scooped. They are rated very highly by other forces, I understand.

They government doesn't like to talk about them and JTF2 doesn't like to talk about itself. One of their primary roles is domestic terrorism.

Canadian forces are trained for cold weather combat and many of the allied forces come here to train with us.

I believe that the US Marines were involved in a training programme with the Van Doos in Quebec last winter.

So all the Canadian forces train for cold weather fighting.

The army has evolved so that there are immediate response units who can be quickly transported to hot spots until regular units can get there.

Our problem is with facilities in the far north from which to stage operations. So it is still necessary to transport people to to where the action is.

Even our jet fighters who must respond say to incursions by Russian bombers, make that response from air bases farther south in Cold Lake, Alberta or Bagotville, Quebec.

It has been slow in coming but there will be an expansion of the Canadian Armed Forces Arctic Training Centre in Resolute, Nunavut.



Also delayed in construction is the deep water port, Nanisivik Naval Facility on Baffin Island.

The RCN arctic capable ships are in the pipeline so there has been progress.




[Read More]


A recent training exercise with US Marines in Valcartier, Quebec

[Read More]


Since the Afghanistan war, there has been a shortage of money for the military and winter warfare training suffered for the regular soldiers if not the special forces. Steps have been taken to rebuild that capability.

Cheers,

George




BWilson

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Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 12:41:23 PM
George,

 My guess (contingent upon a scramble for Arctic resources) is that Canada will not so much face traditional Russian challenges like bombers, but will encounter a Russian version of China's current activities in the South China Sea. It could get dicey. Once Putin plants the flag and declares something Russian based on continental shelves or whatever, any confrontation could go high-stakes very quickly. I would also expect the Northwest Passage to become a contested waterway with several countries involved. Canada's best bet is to establish a military presence as far north as can be practicably maintained; Canada won't want someone else getting there first, establishing some spurious presence, and then saber-rattling to get what they want.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 2:02:24 PM
Hello BW,

All of the "Arctic" countries including the US are submitting their claims with scientific back-up. Canada's contention is that the Northwest Passage is "historic internal" water. The US claims otherwise so right now our biggest concern is whether this will go America's way.

The US claims that the passage is an international strait and therefore ships may pass without permission or with any kind of information passed to the Canadian government. Ships have already made the passage, including US vessels. The Danes sent one through about a year ago.

The more that it may be said that this is a viable international passage with frequent use, the more that we are likely to lose our sovereignty.

The Chinese want to run tankers carrying dangerous cargo right through the passage and right next to our mainland shores.

We don't have the capacity or capability to deal with a spill in these pristine waters.

And right now, we would be hard pressed to effect a rescue operation should one of these international ships get into trouble.

Even when our own people are in trouble it takes hours to get our Search and Rescue people up there. Our SAR techs are top notch and they rescue people in some extreme conditions but if they are coming from southern bases, there will be deaths before they can get there.



But Canada and the US are doing their research together to determine where the continental shelf ends.

I have to add that it seems that the Russians have been very co-operative and agree to abide by the international group that will make this decision.

However, the northern nations all agree that the land masses, the islands are Canadian. It's the water routes in between that are disputed.

We do have a land dispute over Hans Island which sits between Greenland and Baffin Island. It's just a small chunk of rock of little value but the Danes keep landing and sticking up a flag and we keep taking it down and putting ours up. To ignore the Danes would be the first admission that we don't have solid land claims in the north.

[Read More]

Note that the Russians were the first to put their claim in and it includes the North Pole I believe.

This dispute will go on for a while.

Here's an example of why it is a complex issue:


Quote:
Multiple and overlapping claims create the potential for disputes. For instance, if the Lomonosov Ridge is proven to link Siberia and Ellesmere Island, then Canada, Denmark and Russia might face a three-way delimitation problem. Canada and Denmark, both standing to benefit from a determination that the Lomonosov Ridge is a natural prolongation of the North American continent, conducted a joint on-ice expedition north of Ellesmere Island in 2006. Collaborative exercises of this kind help to avert disputes at an early stage.(21) Were they to occur, actual disputes arising from overlapping submissions would likely be resolved through discussions, negotiations and/or arbitration in accordance with international law.


Meanwhile ships continue to pass. The US has agreed that if it sends icebreakers into the passage, it will inform the Canadians first. This agreement does not alter the US legal position.


So yes, we need to establish sovereignty and get past the planning stage.

Right now our coastline is patrolled by Canadian Rangers, Inuit who are hired to do so. There have been times when the first knowledge that we have of a foreign vessel in our waters is when the Rangers see one in transit.


Arctic capable ships are on the way but we need to upgrade our aging ice breakers, if only to assist ships that may need help in the passage.

And we need that Arctic training base and deep water port completed so that we may keep people up there.

If you are a bear for punishment you may want to read this government document: The Arctic: Canada's legal claim.

I just went to the section titled, "Internal Waters" to help me understand the scientific rationale for the claims.

[Read More]


Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2775

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/19/2017 9:10:04 PM
Hi George,

Didn't know anything about JTF2,

very impressive!

MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/20/2017 6:50:10 AM

Quote:
Hi George,

Didn't know anything about JTF2,

very impressive!

MD
--Michigan Dave


The existence of this unit was not public knowledge for a long time and it doesn't comprise a great number of men. They are under the command of the person in charge of the Special Forces regiment.

But we have to understand that the Canadian forces, by US standards are very small. We have to decide what the missions of our military could or would be and then create units that can respond.

Canada, since FDR told PM King in Aug. 1940, at Ogdensburg, NY that the US would consider any attack on Canada to be an attack on the US has gradually integrated our military goals with those of the US. Some say that we have sacrificed a great deal of sovereignty in the process.

The result was the creation of the Permanent Joint Board of Defence. That agreement allowed Canada to participate more fully in the war in Europe without fear that Canada would be attacked.

Since then our military planning has evolved domestically into plans for the defence of North America with Canada contributing as it is able. That means that we have to define what we can do and then pay for it. Sometimes we are behind on those commitments as the branches of service are beggared as the government spends on other initiatives.

For the US the agreement made sense as well as does the current emphasis on North American perimeter defence. They have a stable and willing partner in Canada. And Canada benefits because the might of the US military is there if someone is foolish enough to attack North America through us.

So JTF2 was born of necessity. It can do many things but if domestic terrorism occurs, it would respond if the police and other authorities could not manage the situation. Example: When that man shot the soldier outside the war memorial and entered parliament, JTF2 immediately went on the ready. They weren't needed because the police and the sergeant-at-arms in Parliament, eliminated the threat.

The failure rate for JTF2 candidates is extremely high as it is in most special forces. Many try, few make it.

So we have capable soldiers who do some great things and are often underfunded and making do with older equipment. So we lurch between decades of little funding to a sudden increase in support and then we allow our equipment to age and then we repeat. That's where we are today, in a period of poor funding.



BWilson

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Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/30/2017 12:15:31 PM
 Some interesting info for you here, George. [Read More]



Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/30/2017 2:10:01 PM
Thanks BW.

Interesting graphics. This sovereignty problem is a difficult one as we can see with the graphic.

Canada contends that the Lomonosov Ridge originates on the Canadian continental shelf. Russia and the Denmark see it differently.

Our news reports have been talking about Russian militarization of the north. There is no way that we can match that but our absence makes it difficult to claim sovereignty over the historically internal waters.

The Russians have over 40 ice breakers. They use them on the northern Arctic route as the article indicates. Several breakers are nuclear. Canada has none.

Mr. Trump's executive orders that open up the Arctic ocean to oil exploration are also problematic. These are pristine waters, perhaps the last oceans to be polluted by man.

If those waters that we claim are international waters, we are concerned that international rigs will appear off our shores.

I don't believe that either the US or Canada have the assets necessary to deal with a spill like the one that occurred off the southern coast of the US.

So we need to at least demonstrate the political will to occupy and use the Arctic. That means military and civilian development.

But even the Russians have had trouble in forcing people to settle in the Arctic though the Soviet era gave them the opportunity to build cities in the north and it was not problem to find willing pioneers.


Thanks for the essay. Enlightening.


Cheers,

George



BWilson

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Posts: 3330

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/30/2017 2:44:44 PM
George,

 Just a look at the map indicates how intricate the situation is. Several players, natural resources and waterways, and disputed borders. My gut feeling is as long as the energy situation remains stable, the disputes in the Arctic will be settled by negotiation. As you say, operations there are very challenging.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 4/30/2017 3:35:30 PM
BW, right now oil prices are too low to make it worthwhile to invest up there. In the future, who knows.

The interesting part of the research is that it all seems to be based on geographic and geological surveys of the ocean floor to determine the extent of continental shelves.

And all of those nations on the map are involved. And from what I can gather, there seems to be a great deal of co-operation between the Arctic nations. I don't know whether the Russians have been involved in any joint data collection as Canada and the US have but they have agreed to accept the ruling whenever it comes down.

Canada plans to make its submission in 2018. Right now, Canada, Russia and Denmark all claim the North Pole.


Quote:
Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Canada ratified in 2003, all coastal states have a continental shelf extending 200 nautical miles (370 km) from coastal baselines. They can also extend their claim by 150 nautical miles (278 km) beyond 200 nautical miles if the shelf is a natural prolongation of their landmass.


So everybody wants to prove that their continental shelf includes ridges and mountain ranges that are natural extensions from the shore line extended under the sea.

This is one of the surveys that Canada will submit:

We claim that the Lomonosov Ridge (ominously Russian sounding) and the Alpha-Mendeleyev ridges are natural extensions from Canada.



Take a look at the Canada basin that projects from Canada but certainly directly in front of Alaska. That could be contentious between our two countries.

I am not a scientist but when I look at all of those Arctic Islands through which runs the Northwest Passage, I cannot see how the waterways can be construed as an international strait. The straight line is from the Bering strait to the east of Greenland. The difference of course is that there may be a window to navigate through our islands.

A strait is a waterway that connects two large bodies of water, so in this case, the Atlantic and the Pacific.

The following is rather ominous to Canadians.

The US Dept. of Defense sent a Report to Congress on Strategy to Protect US National Security Interests in the Arctic Region:


Quote:
The Dept. of Defense will preserve the global mobility of US military and civilian vessels and aircraft throughout the Arctic as in other regions.
This includes conducting Freedom of Navigation Operations to challenge excessive maritime claims where necessary


The report was filed in Dec. of 2016. I didn't consider this to be an issue of national security for the US. It certainly is for Canada.

This means that US war ships could decide to sail next to and among the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

I wouldn't categorize the situation as belligerent but knowing our history, it seems a little like the Alaska Boundary Dispute in which Teddy Roosevelt rattled sabres at Canada. We lost that one.

Cheers,

George

BWilson

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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/1/2017 1:36:10 AM
I didn't consider this to be an issue of national security for the US.

 It is, in terms of movement of warships and other shipping in event of war. If the waters are free of enough ice, they are a passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific. That may not sound incredibly advantageous ... except that IIRC U.S. aircraft carriers are too large to transit the Panama Canal. And crossing "over" Canada would be a shorter journey than sailing around the tip of South America. Depending on ice conditions, these waters also allow closer approach to the northern shoreline of Russia. Mind you, I have no idea if the USN actually would attempt to send a carrier task force through Arctic waters -- there are other factors besides geography involved, but some of the thinking may be driven by considerations like this.

Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/1/2017 6:46:47 AM
Yes I can see the logic from a USN and a USA perspective.

In the event of a conflict, the integrated defence plans between our two countries would necessitate the transit of shipping through the water.

Canada believes that the US is more concerned with potential economic development in the area and argues that as they feel that the passage links two bodies of water, it is an international strait.

Sovereignty is an interesting concept as it has geographical and functional elements to it. So to layman like me, it seems clear that if all of those islands of the Arctic Archipelago are accepted as Canadian, and they are, then how can the waters surrounding not also be Canadian.

The functional part has to do with use. According to the International Court of Justice, a sea route has to be demonstrably useful, not potentially useful. That was the logic used to determine ownership of the Corfu strait.

And so even as the Arctic nations attempt to determine the extent and position of continental shelves, foreign countries are making trips through the passage without informing Canada. It is very provocative action to us.

This conflict between our two countries goes back to the '70's when the US sent the tanker USS Manhattan through the passage without telling Canada.

Canada responded by enacting the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act, asserting regulatory control 100 miles from any shore line.

The US responded with, "We cannot accept the assertion of a Canadian claim that the Arctic waters are internal waters of Canada. … Such acceptance would jeopardize the freedom of navigation essential for United States naval activities worldwide.”

And so it goes. In 1988, our countries agreed to an Arctic Co-operation in which the US agrees not to send icebreakers without informing Canada. Canada will not protest once informed.

Our government has determined that the best way to assert our sovereignty is to make sure that we have people and ships up there.

We do have a military and coast guard shipping programme that is building ships that can operate up there.

This would allay US fears of security breaches as Canada would be exercising control as part of "North American Perimeter Defence".

They have ice operation capability but are not true ice breakers. They will provide armed surveillance supported by helicopters.

They are supposed to be coming off the line in 1918.

[Read More]


This is all part of a National Shipbuilding Programme which includes the Arctic Patrol vessels and Surface Combatants to replace our aging frigates.

It also includes non combat vessels for the Coast Guard including a polar ice breaker.

So far I would assess the procurement process and the building process to be sloppy and slow.

But we are trying to get up there.

Canada doesn't want the waters just to say that they are ours. It is important to have regulatory control of who is sailing within a few kilometres of Canadian land and to enforce pollution control actions in our waters.

Other countries just want to transit.

Cheers,

George

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/1/2017 7:13:11 AM
BTW, July 1, 2017 is Canada Day and our 150th birthday.

I would say that there is a political statement being made with this travelling air show coming up this summer.

[Read More]


Cheers,

George

BWilson

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Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/1/2017 1:21:39 PM
George,

 There is some good reading to be found on the 'net on this topic. From RAND --

[Read More]


Quote:
Despite this being a period of generally heightened tensions between Russia and the West, cooperation on Arctic affairs has remained largely intact, with the exception of direct military-to-military cooperation in the region. This report examines potential transformations that could alter Russia's current cooperative stance there. It analyzes four current security challenges in the Arctic: increased maritime access because of climate change; increased interest in Arctic resources; upcoming decisions on claims set forward by several Arctic states regarding the limits of their continental shelf; and Russia's perception of a threat from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Arctic.


Cheers

BW
---------------
With occasional, fatigued glances at life's rear-view mirror from the other side of time.

Society's righteous paranoia lows profoundly. -- random wisdom of a computer

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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Posts: 2775

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/2/2017 10:19:47 AM
George,

This is the real perspective on Canada's real world image!

[Read More]

Take off, Eh!
MD

BTW My favorite Canadian Meal!

[Read More]
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
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Posts: 5315

Re: Conrad Black, on Canada's world image
Posted on: 5/2/2017 3:43:49 PM

Quote:
George,

 There is some good reading to be found on the 'net on this topic. From RAND --

[Read More]


Quote:
Despite this being a period of generally heightened tensions between Russia and the West, cooperation on Arctic affairs has remained largely intact, with the exception of direct military-to-military cooperation in the region. This report examines potential transformations that could alter Russia's current cooperative stance there. It analyzes four current security challenges in the Arctic: increased maritime access because of climate change; increased interest in Arctic resources; upcoming decisions on claims set forward by several Arctic states regarding the limits of their continental shelf; and Russia's perception of a threat from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Arctic.


Cheers

BW
--BWilson



Thanks for the Rand article. A couple of things surprised me.

One was the contention that the Russian military build-up in the Arctic hasn't come close to matching USSR Cold War assets in the north.

Secondly the lack of trust in the Russians to co-operate with the findings of the group that will determine sovereignty and where in the North was expressed in the article. The authors suggest that there is no reason to believe that the Russians will comply with a ruling not in their favour.

Have the Russians or the USSR ever violated a ruling regarding sovereignty from the International Court of Justice, before?


Also with respect to the US contention that the Northwest Passage is an international strait, I also read in another piece that the US holds the same position with respect to the Northern Arctic route which takes shipping close to the northern border of Russia. So there is some consistency there.

Now that would be interesting should US military vessels make frequent trips through those waters. We suspect that submarines are already up there.

Cheers,

George

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