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Month: July 2005

O Canada

Deep Science

PHOTOS: SUDBURY NEUTRINO OBSERVATORY Workers in the early 1990s assemble the massive geodesic dome that is part of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory. Inset: The dome as it nears completion. Deep in the Canadian Shield, the Precambrian rock that covers more than half of Canada’s land base, miners are going to work. While gold and diamonds have come out of the Shield, the mineral that employs the most workers is nickel, especially that found around Sudbury, Ont. Each morning a group gathers at the Creighton Mine dressed in overalls, heavy boots and hard hats with a flashlight on the front. While they joke and tell rough jokes about the night before, there will also be a group of physicists, engineers and university students heading for the...
Defence Today

Eye On Defence: A Defence Policy At Last

PHOTO: DND General Rick Hillier, chief of defence staff, will have to steer the implementation of the new defence policy. On April 19, the government at long last issued its International Policy Statement. No matter what fate may befall this minority government in the months ahead, this exercise in policy generation has set a new and high standard that future governments may be hard pressed to match. The International Policy Statement consisted of five related documents. There was a capstone document issued over Prime Minister Paul Martin’s signature and four sub-documents covering trade, aid, defence and foreign policy. Yes, it took somewhat longer for these policy statements to emerge than Martin originally intended, but the...
Defence Today

New Paper Sets Direction For Canadian Forces

There are some major changes on the horizon for the Canadian Forces. Not only is there a new special operations unit—dubbed the Light Force—to support the newly formed special operations group, but there’s a new Canada Command, more soldiers, lots of new equipment and a new, bolder role in the world. These changes are all a result of the new international policy statement, A Role Of Pride And Influence In The World—released by Paul Martin’s government in April. The statement blends together four distinct aspects of international relations—trade, aid, foreign policy and defence policy. The defence policy section, though a mere 32 pages in length, is the first new set of guidelines for the Canadian Forces since the 1994...
Defence Today

Learning To Lead

Clockwise from top left: A visit to Canal du Nord; cadet Guillaume Grenier-Lachance at Notre Dame de Lorette and cadet Alex Duncan on the remains of Arromanche's artificial harbour. Sometimes there is no perfect solution; sometimes the only choice is to narrow your eyes and go hard. When Lieutenant G.M. Flowerdew crested the rise and saw two ranks of Germans arrayed across the open field, machine-guns ready, he knew the meaning of imperfect. But if he hesitated, seeing his doom, history didn’t record it. Flowerdew turned and shouted “It’s a charge, boys, it’s a charge,” then raised his sword and led his cavalry hard against the guns. The trumpeter lifted his horn to blow the call but was shot down before the first note. I...
War Art

Alex Colville

CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM--AN19710261-2059 Exhausted Prisoners. Alex Colville began his 60-year career as a war artist, and his lifetime of work has sustained his signature aloofness from those days. Understandable for a 24-year-old artist trying to survive the war and needing enough distance to keep from being completely overwhelmed. He was born in 1920 in Toronto, but spent most of his childhood in Nova Scotia and graduated from the Mount Allison University School of Art. Colville enlisted in April 1942 and served with the infantry. Even though he was talented, he could not become an official war artist unless he became an officer. He received his commission in the fall of 1943, and was sent overseas...
Canada & the Victoria Cross

Cambrai And The Great Retreat: Part 10 of 18

ILLUSTRATIONS: Sharif Tarabay Clockwise from top left: Victoria Cross recipients Harcus Strachan, Edmund De Wind, George McKean, Joseph Kaeble and Gordon Flowerdew. November 1917 saw the beginning of the turning point in the fortunes of World War I. The Russian Revolution earned Germany peace with the Bolsheviks, which freed up enough troops from the east to bolster their Western Front strength to 177 divisions. This seriously upset the balance between the German and Allied forces, who had been forced to divert 11 divisions to the Italian Front and were thinly spread with few reserves. The Germans now had sufficient strength to plan an assault to deliver a knockout blow by striking at the Allies’ weakest point, aimed at splitting the French and British armies and forcing an armistice b...

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