Day: September 5, 2019

Standards for service dogs are overdue
Editorial

Standards for service dogs are overdue

The use of service dogs to help veterans with mental-health issues is stalled with a lack of recognized standards for training both the dogs and the veterans who receive them. Originally the federal government had approached the Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)—an arm of Public Services and Procurement Canada—to develop standards for service dogs. After consulting widely with economic, regulatory, procurement, health, safety and environmental experts, the board released draft standards in a 60-page document for further consultation. This generated an estimated 1,000 pages of comments, many of which were negative. As a result, CGSB decided in April 2018 not to proceed further. Veterans Affairs Canada then suggested standards could be developed by the department. There already was...
Heroes and Villains: Smith & 26th Panzers
Heroes And Villains

Heroes and Villains: Smith & 26th Panzers

HERO: PRIVATE ERNEST ALVIA (SMOKEY) SMITH Having crossed Italy’s Savio River on the night of Oct. 21-22, 1944, the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada’s ‘C’ Company and newly formed tank-hunting platoon cut the Cesena–Ravenna road alongside a badly damaged church. The force numbered just 50 men. Twenty were tank hunters, heavily armed with four PIAT (Projector, Infantry, Anti-Tank) launchers. Among these men was 30-year-old Private Ernest Alvia (Smokey) Smith. His nickname harkened back to school sprinting races where he always “smoked” the competition. Just as the ambush was set, a 26th Panzer Division armoured column approached. The Germans retreating from Cesena expected a clear run. Instead, the lead command car was shot up and the column’s officer killed. That left three Panther t...
Should Canada have gone to war in September 1939?
Face to Face

Should Canada have gone to war in September 1939?

In 1939, Canada was the only independent nation in North America to declare war on Germany. A member of the British Commonwealth, Canada was nonetheless independent in foreign and defence policy and had been so since the Statute of Westminster in 1931. The British colonies in the Caribbean and in South America were not independent, and they went to war automatically as soon as Britain did on Sept. 3. But Canada waited until Sept. 10 to declare war. It should not have done so. Why? Because Canada’s national interests were not directly threatened by Germany. It was protected by the vast distances of the Atlantic Ocean from any attempts at major landings by German forces; no aircraft yet developed could attack Canada from Europe and there were no missiles that could do so. If such attacks ...

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