Note no mention (but see “Update”) in the story about the hideously expensive, inefficient and desperately slow National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (one example here, in the Liberals’ election platform money supposedly saved from not acquiring the F-35 was supposed to help the NSPS–see p. 2 PDF bottom right). And there won’t be serious boots on the ground for UN peacekeeping:
Defence minister’s mandate letter: end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq, Syria
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has given new defence minister [see post here] his marching orders — and Harjitt Sajjan’s top priority is to end Canada’s combat mission in Iraq and Syria [RCAF bombing still going on].
The Nov. 6 letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Canadian Press, was also notable for what it didn’t say in terms of the other thorny issues facing the new Liberal government.
Sajjan was told to work with Public Services and Procurement Minister Judy Foote on an “open and transparent” competition to replace Canada’s CF-18 fighter jets, but the letter makes no reference to excluding the F-35 — something Trudeau promised during the election [emphasis added, see “Canadian Election: ISIS, the F-35, Justin Trudeau and POTUS“]…
The letter does flesh out what the Liberals have in mind when it comes to re-engaging in United Nations peacekeeping.
The Trudeau government is prepared to make available “Canada’s specialized capabilities [emphasis added, i.e not infantry and probably not special forces]— from mobile medical teams, to engineering support, to aircraft that can carry supplies and personnel — on a case by case basis [see my comment here].”
Sajjan will also be expected to co-ordinate with Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion to help the United Nations “respond more quickly to emerging and escalating conflicts and providing well-trained personnel to international initiatives that can be quickly deployed, such as mission commanders, staff officers and headquarters units [emphasis added, see penultimate para here].”
No reflection of the NDP’s nonsense about making Canada the leading Western contributor to UN peacekeeping. More relevant to the F-35:
More shipbuilding angles:
Update: Shipbuilding in fact is mentioned along with a budget commitment it will be hard to keep–at iPolitics:
The letter also says that Trudeau expects Sajjan to work to maintain current spending levels for the Department of National Defence, including planned increases to their funding [see “2015 Federal Budget: Hot Air, Not Much There There for Defence, Part 2“].
It also specifies that he will be expected to honour the commitments former prime minister Stephen Harper made in his National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy while also investing in strengthening Canada’s navy…
Good flipping luck. All the ministerial mandate letters are here.