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Day: March 1, 2004

O Canada

Driving The Dempster

The Dempster Highway curls through Wright Pass in the Yukon Territory; Caribou use the Dempster Highway as a migratory pathway; the search party for the Lost Patrol prepares to leave Dawson City in February 1911. The sign on Bill Rutherford’s 53-foot Mack truck trailer reads The Fruit Man, but to his grateful customers in Inuvik, N.W.T., he is more than that. Since 1985, Rutherford has been hauling fresh fruit from British Columbia via the Alaska and Klondike highways to the cutoff near Dawson City, Yukon, where he follows the gravel of the Dempster Highway for 7...
Air Force

Eyes In The Skies: Air Force, Part 2

Enemy positions were also observed with the use of balloons during WW I. This photo was taken in September 1916 The literature of World War I aviation history is filled with accounts of fighter pilots, more particularly the famous aces like Manfred von Richthofen and James McCudden. Canadians are more likely to recognize the name of Billy Bishop than that of Sir Arthur Currie. Yet the fighter pilots were mere spear-bearers in the war. The most important aircrew were elsewhere. Balloons, used in the French Revolutionary wars and the American Civil War, had been the first military application of air power, and when ar...

The Fall Of The Reich: Army, Part 51

Canadian soldiers toss their hats in the air in celebration of the formal surrender of German forces in the Netherlands. The date is May 5, 1945. Starting a war is easy, the difficult part is ending it. When Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met at Yalta in February 1945 they knew the war against Hitler’s Thousand-Year Reich was all but won even if much hard fighting remained. Their attention was therefore focused on postwar Europe and plans for the destruction of the Japanese Empire. These discussions were greatly influenced by the military situation in both theatres of war and we need to remin...

A Sea Of Politics: Navy, Part 2

His Majesty's Canadian Ship Niobe visits Cornwallis, N.S., in 1912. She had become part of Canada’s navy in 1910. Inset: Sir Charles Kingsmill in 1908. The Naval Service of Canada came into being on May 4, 1910, when royal assent was granted to Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Naval Service Act. By the end of that year Canada had two training cruisers in service and the prime minister had plans to build five more, plus six torpedo-boat destroyers, a naval college, a naval school to train lower deck personnel, and a system of naval reserves. But by 1914 virtually none of this had come to ...
Defence Today

Eye On Defence: Testing The New Government

by David J. Bercuson MP David Pratt places a wreath in Rouen, France, in 2002. He was named minister of National Defence in December. In the first seven days after Paul Martin succeeded Jean Chrétien as prime minister of Canada (the time of the writing of this column) Martin did more to bolster the morale of the Canadian military than his predecessor did in his first seven years. In that one week Martin appointed Rob White as Canada’s first National Security advisor and MP David Price as parliamentary secretary to the minister of National Defence for Reserve Affairs. Price is a long-serving army reservis...
Defence Today

Air Force Blues

by Ralph Annis From top left: Capt. John Gelinas prepares his CC-130 Hercules for a 2003 flight to Afghanistan; Cpl. Chris Buglar washes an Aurora during a 2003 mission; with his canopy open, a CF-18 pilot awaits clearance to taxi onto the runway at Aviano, Italy, during a 1999 deployment; Cormorant helicopters cross the coastal range of the Rocky Mountains during a 2001 trip; acoustic navigator Capt. Bernie Vos peers out of an Aurora during a 2002 flight over the Arabian Sea. Canada’s air force has fallen dangerously close to being unable to fight and win for Canada. Throu...

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