Month: May 2018

Two pictures, a thousand stories and millions of lives
Front Lines

Two pictures, a thousand stories and millions of lives

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words. These two pictures spawned a thousand stories and to this day, some 70 years later, they speak in profound reflection to two triumphs and the prices paid. Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal and Soviet Flag over the Reichstag by Yevgeny Khaldei are two of the most iconic photographs of the Second World War. But their genesis and their evolution in the archive of immortal photographs have taken a long and circuitous route through history. Rosenthal was an Associated Press photographer attached to the U.S. Marines in the Pacific, most notably during the bloody 36-day battle for the Japanese-held island of Iwo Jima in February and March of 1945. His photograph of marines raising the Stars and Stripes on Mount Suribachi bec...
What marriage after 60 means for survivor health benefits
Serving You

What marriage after 60 means for survivor health benefits

One of the priorities in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s October mandate letter to Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Seamus O’Regan was to eliminate the “marriage after 60” clawback clause in the Canadian Forces Superannuation Act, so that surviving spouses of veterans receive appropriate pension and health benefits. People contributing to pension plans expect to receive benefits equal to others making the same contributions. However, only contributors who marry before reaching age 60 are eligible to provide a pension for a surviving spouse. Those who choose to marry after age 60 are not. Many people who enter into a marriage after 60 are not informed that there will be no health benefits available to them if their new spouse dies, unless they are ...
The short heroic life of Buzz Beurling
O Canada

The short heroic life of Buzz Beurling

George (Buzz) Beurling was credited with 31½ “kills” in the Second World War, more than any other Canadian pilot, and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross and two Distinguished Flying Medals. He was a gifted pilot, a superb marksman and fearless in battle. He died young, at 26. These qualities are usually enough to create a mythic figure, but Beurling failed to capture the public imagination the way First World War ace Billy Bishop did, and he wasn’t beloved by fellow pilots or his superior officers. Born in Verdun, Que., Beurling wanted to fly from an early age, taking his first flight when he was 12. He tried to join the RCAF but was turned down because he lacked academic qualifications, having dropped out of school at 15. So he went to England and t...
Defence minister hopes to resolve class actions
News

Defence minister hopes to resolve class actions

The federal government and plaintiffs in several class-action lawsuits relating to sexual assault, racism, harassment and discrimination have agreed to set their court proceedings aside and try to talk it out. Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan made the announcement Feb. 23, saying he hoped the move would resolve the matters without a costly litigation process. “The government will not be proceeding with motions to strike these proceedings,” Sajjan said in a statement. “We look forward to commencing these discussions to bring closure, healing and acknowledgement to the victims. “We fully acknowledge the impact that racism and harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour may have on victims and survivors. This behaviour, as well as discrimination based on gender or race, must be...
Who won the war in Europe? Historians weigh in
Front Lines

Who won the war in Europe? Historians weigh in

History isn’t always what we might assume it to be, and there appears to be no consensus among nations over the question of which country contributed most to the Allies’ Second World War victory in Europe. The North American public tends to assume that the United States played the greatest role in bringing about VE-Day. But don’t tell that to a Russian. As many as 30 million Soviets are estimated to have died between Germany’s June 1941 invasion of the USSR and the war’s end, while the number of German troops killed by the Soviets is estimated at more than 3.5 million. That’s three-quarters of the total 4.7 million German military killed by Allied forces in the Second World War. That was preceded, of course, by Britain’s staunch defence, against all odds, during the Battle of Brit...
Preparing for a nuclear attack
Eye On Defence

Preparing for a nuclear attack

At the end of November, an article appeared on the CBC news website announcing that the Privy Council Office—the bureaucratic arm of the federal cabinet—drafted an agreement with the Department of National Defence to open up two old Cold War-era bunkers in the National Capital Region to be used in the event Ottawa becomes “unviable.” This means that in the event of a nuclear attack on Canada, and especially Ottawa, the politicians and their senior staff will have a place to hide. Ottawa’s interest in seeking shelter from a possible missile attack—could North Korea be on their minds?—is interesting because it comes while Canada is sticking to its long-held policy of not joining the anti-ballistic missile (ABM) program of the United States. A cynic might say that Ottawa is making sure i...

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