Day: May 1, 2005

Memoirs

The End Of Darkness

PHOTOS: ALEX STIRTON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA--PA133321; LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA--PA116720; LONDON PICTURES SERVICE/BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION OTTAWA; ALEX STIRTON, LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA--PA140417 Clockwise from top right: German Lieutenant-General Paul Reichelt (second from left) discusses the surrender with Canadian Lt.-Gen. Charles Foulkes (fourth from left) at Wageningen, the Netherlands, on May 5, 1945; The May 1945 surrender of U-889 off Shelburne, N.S. The aircraft in the background is a Canso flying boat from the RCAF's 161 Squadron; Tens of thousands celebrate VE-Day outside Buckingham Palace in London; Dutch civilians and Canadian soldiers celebrate the liberation of Utrecht on May 7, 1945. For Canadians, the Second World War in Europe continued almost to ...
O Canada

Reinventing The Circus

PHOTOS: PATRICK BERNATH; NATIONAL CIRCUS SCHOOL; LAURENT GUÉRIN Clockwise from top: Cirque du Soleil costume designer Eilo Ishioka adds colour to body skaters; training for Cirque in Montreal; and learing the ropes at the National Circus School. Every audience member seems to take away a different image from a Cirque du Soleil performance. For some, it is the high-tech light show or the fantastical costumes. For others, it is the aerialists moving gracefully on ropes and wires high above the ring. For me, when I went to see Cirque’s Quidam in Vancouver in May 2004, it was the young Chinese acrobats. Now, a year later, I can’t even remember exactly what they did. I just remember being awed by the degree of technical skill these tiny girls ...
Defence Today

Eye On Defence: A Capricious Decision

Neither Defence Minister Bill Graham (left) nor Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew have fully explained why it was in Canada's best interests not to join in the missile defence system. About a year ago I wrote in this space that in the ballistic missile defence discussion in Canada “Certain (political) elements…see too much political capital to be gained from the issue to ever allow its underlying realities to be dispassionately debated.” That prophecy came true with a vengeance Feb. 24 when the government told Canadians that Canada would “not participate in the United States ballistic defence system at this time.” That decision was based wholly on partisan political considerations. The announcement came on the heels of a commi...
Defence Today

Budget, Missile Defence Dominate Conference

PHOTO: ADAM DAY Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier The Conference of Defence Associations held its annual seminar in Ottawa this year against a backdrop of major activity in the world of Canadian defence and foreign affairs. Just days before the March 3-4 conference Prime Minister Paul Martin announced that Canada wouldn’t be participating in the American ballistic missile defence initiative. A new budget had also just been tabled, allocating large increases in defence spending. There was a newly appointed chief of defence staff, General Rick Hillier. There was also discusion on the soon-to-be-released International Policy Statement with its promise of the first defence policy revision since 1994. Though the to...
Defence Today

Polar Bear School

From top: Soldiers snowshoe across a frozen lake; volunteers escape icy water during a survival drill; (inset) a ranger from Kashechewan, Ont., teaches soldiers how to build signal fires. The soldiers pulled on their camouflage parkas, packed their guns onto the bus and went north to test themselves against the winter. They went seeking a hostile environment where they could practise winter warfare in the kind of high-pressure survival situation that toughens leaders and forges units. The soldiers weren’t alone in this test. For the first time in Canadian Forces history the remarkable natives of the 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3CRPG) travelled south to teach their methods of winter survival. By the end of their week in the s...
Canada & the Victoria Cross

The Passchendaele Nine Plus One: Part 9 of 18

ILLUSTRATIONS: SHARIF TARABAY Clockwise from top left: Victoria Cross recipients Philip Eric Bent, Tommy Holmes, Christopher O'Kelly, George Mullin, George Pearkes, James Peter Robertson, Collin Barron, Cecil Kinross, Hugh McKenzie and Robert Shankland. The battle for the Belgian crossroads village of Passchendaele was one of the bloodiest battles of all time. Winston Churchill called it “a forlorn expenditure of valour and life without equal in futility.” The sad part is that it never would have happened if Canadian Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie had been successful in having it called off. In just 12 days—from Oct. 26 to Nov. 6, 1917—the Canadian Corps suffered nearly 16,000 casualties, and all for a cont...

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