department of national defence
The history of research, including research in Canada, shows that very serious harms may be suffered by persons taking part in research. The rules are not perfect, and they continue to be refined when tragedies do occur, but prior review and oversight has proved a powerful corrective to make research safer for human subjects. The problem is that these research protections don't apply to everyone doing research on people in Canada -- and they should.
Foreign and defence policy has loomed over Parliament's first week back to work. Question Period is focused on big questions about when and where to use the Canadian Armed Forces, what values to champion abroad, and how to engage recalcitrant regimes. This is heady stuff.
Just as the Conservative government committed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should commit to passing the Victims Rights in the Military Justice System Act as soon as Parliament resumes. There is no reason not to do so. Equality before the law is good, common-sense policy, and supporting our troops is always the right thing to do morally and politically.
Every day, women and men put on uniforms for the RCMP and RCAF, RCN, and the Canadian Army. Every day, those men and women set out to be the wall of flesh between us and harm. Every day, whether a major catastrophe affecting thousands or just one of us lost in the wilds, we know who to look for, who to trust in.
Years of underfunding have left Canada's Coast Guard woefully unprepared to fulfill its increasing responsibilities in the Arctic. Thinning sea ice is creating new economic opportunities in the North, including resource development and rising shipping traffic.
General, might I offer up that, at the heart of the problem of suicide in the Forces, is that soldiers feel trapped and with no way out? That the widespread stigma against mental injury and illness, that the attitude you present -- that helping is coddling, and that your condescending attitude exemplifies the problem which soldiers face?
My wish for 2014 is a list of fixes for National Defence to improve the confidence and well-being of Canadians, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families, members of the military equipment and supply economy, and last but not least those who have left or are leaving CAF service and need support.
Allegations of expense scandals in the Senate have shocked many Canadians and rightfully so. Although unsettling, such antics are not an isolated case; they are part of a larger institutional problem with government.
This week is Veterans Week, a time for all Canadians to reflect on the courage and sacrifices made by veterans of past wars and missions. It is also a fitting time to recognize the struggles of the men and women currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and the sacrifices of their families.
Though the Department of National Defence is cutting 1,000 jobs for austerity, some 157 employees will be sharing $2 million in bonuses. The whole bonus tradition in both public service and the private sector should cease. None of us has any control over what the private sector does, but government employees get enough perks as it is without extra money for doing the job they are paid for.