The Maritimes become host to one of the world’s largest naval exercise, the public safety minister shoots down a potentially troublesome firearms classification directive by his predecessor, and CAE bags some $10 million in defence contracts. These are the stories we’ll discuss on this episode of the Vanguard Podcast.

But first the latest from Operation Honour….

Two CAF members face sexual assault charges

You’ll probably remember near the end of August that the CDS, provided an update on Operation Honour.

That’s the CAF’s campaign launch in 2015 in response to an investigation by Retired Justice Deschamp
On sexual misconduct in the military.


Justice Deschamp found “sexualized culture” within the armed forces and an endemic sexual culture condoned by the military leadership.

While Gen. Jonathan Vance reported last month, that 30 CAF members have been punished and 97 more investigations were being carried out, he also warned that there would be “no quick fixes.

It seems the armed forces is getting down to cleaning up its ranks.

Last week, it reported that two military personnel were facing sexual assault charges. 

One of them is a Master Seaman who is being charged for allegedly sexually assaulting another member of the HMCS Athabascan while the vessel in Nov of 20015.

The other is a sergeant in the Military Police Unit based in Halifax.

The charged military personnel were identified in the released report although there were very little details accompanying the release.

But still, I think this is a step in the right direction and sends the signal that the CAF is serious about Operation Honour and taking steps to be more transparent.

We look forward to learning from the military as well what is happening to these charges and cases as they move along the military justice system.

A US$120-M win for CAE

Simulation and training company CAE has several updates that they were happy to share as well.

The company, which has regional operations in Canada reported that it recently won in excess of $120 million in defence contracts.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)
An MQ-9 Reaper drone.(U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson)

Topping the list was an agreement to provide aircrew training services and courseware development program
for the US the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones.

Other notable contracts include a contract options on the MH-60 Tech Refresh and Procurement Simulators Program; and a contract to upgrade the Australian Armed Forces of their CAE GESI command and staff training system.

Maritimes host one of the world’s largest naval exercise

The Royal Canadian Navy is leading a fleet of 11 ships and approximately 25 aircraft from Canada, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States in anti-submarine warfare drills.

Cutlass Fury 16 takes place in and around the Maritime Operating Areas off the coasts of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John’s, Newfoundland, from September 12 to 26.

French Submarine Perle SSN arrives at Halifax Harbour on September 7, 2016 to take part in Exercise CUTLASS FURY. Photo: LS , Laurance Clarke 12 Wing Imaging Services, Shearwater, N.S SW08-2016-0227-024 ~ Le sous marin français Perle SSN arrive au port d’Halifax, le 7 septembre 2016, afin de participer à l’exercice CUTLASS FURY. Photo : Mat 1 Laurance Clarke, Services d’imagerie de la 12e Escadre, Shearwater, Nouvelle Écosse SW08-2016-0227-009
French Submarine Perle SSN arrives at Halifax Harbour on September 7, 2016 to take part in Exercise CUTLASS FURY.

Cutlass Fury 16 brings together 3000 participants from five partner nations and includes 11 surface ships, 3 submarines, and approximately 25 aircraft.

Midnight gun classification directive shot down

Former public safety minister Steven Blaney must have thought a directive he made to the RCMP was locked and loaded.

But Ralph Goodale, the current Liberal minister of public safety, stepped in to shoot it down.

In the waning days of the Conservative government, Blaney issued a directive to RCMP Commissioner Bob Polson

Blaney gave the RCMP 180 days to evaluate, classify and issue a Firearms Reference Table (FRT) for a certain firearm model so that that model could be imported into Canada.

the Ceska Zbrojovka CZ-858 rifle
The Ceska Zbrojovka CZ-858 rifle

Blaney then issued a press release announcing that he had overturned the RCMP’s earlier decision to classify as prohibited firearms- the Ceska Zbrojoyka CZ-858 rifle and some firearms from Swiss Arms.

Upon assuming office, earlier this year, Goodale discovered the directive and had them rescinded.

His reasons:

  • Bad timing – the directive was issued just days before the federal elections
  • An arbitrary timeline was imposed
  • And the directive could lead to misclassification of firearms -which could put the public in danger

This issue is important because it touches on the critical matter of gun control in Canada and ho can classify which firearms as restricted and non-restricted.