Youth’s thousand-yard stare speaks volumes in WW I documentary

For all the talk of the talking in director Peter Jackson’s First World War documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, it’s a scene in which those featured in the film don’t say anything that resonates perhaps more than any other. It comes at the storyline’s transition from the war’s outbreak in 1914 and the...
  • How independent should an ombudsman be?

    April 25, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Like his predecessors, military ombudsman Gary Walbourne is engaged in what appears to be a futile battle for independence from his masters at the Department of National Defence and in the Canadian Armed Forces. In his March report, entitled The Case for a Permanent and...
  • The chief of the defence staff has a theory: happy retirees make for more and better recruits. Appearing before the Senate Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs, General Jonathan Vance said recruitment, training and treatment of Canadian Armed Forces personnel is “at a turning point.” It has...
  • Ships and airplanes—for sovereignty’s sake

    April 12, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Canada’s coastline is the world’s longest. Its landmass is second largest. And its territorial waters are massive. According to the Geological Survey of Canada, the country’s coastline including bays, inlets, islands and the like, runs 243,000 kilometres—almost three times the world’s second-longest shore, Indonesia’s. Its...
  • Canada has reason to be in Latvia

    April 5, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Recent events on and within the borders of Russia should quell lingering doubt, if any exists, around the wisdom of Canada contributing troops to European security. After 13 years fighting a war in Afghanistan, Canadian soldiers have come full circle, returning to the once-familiar climes...
  • Budget does little to improve veterans benefits

    March 28, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Bad for the military; not good enough for veterans. That about sums up defence-related elements of the federal budget tabled March 22 by Finance Minister Bill Morneau. Ottawa says it will spend $624 million more on veterans’ programs over the next five years, most of...
  • Canadian Rangers hampered by delays

    March 21, 2017 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Hurry up and wait, goes the old military adage. Just ask the Canadian Rangers. The military ombudsman did. And in a second interim report on the challenges they face, Gary Walbourne says the 5,000 volunteers who form Canada’s first line of defence in the Arctic...
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