Taking care of business

It looks like a crack in the armour is forming.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s National Defence Minister Bill Blair has a fair bit to say about Canada’s military readiness. It is a concern.

Like it or not, the federal government is responsible for the safety of citizens and the capacity of the country to defend itself. Canada is failing on that front. Almost half of the military’s equipment is considered unserviceable, according to leaked internal documents secured by CBC. If called upon, less than 60% of personnel could respond if NATO were called into a crisis.

We understand fully that dollars-and-cents choices have brought us to this point in time. Successive governments in peaceful times dragged their feet, failed to secure needed equipment and most recently the Liberals have emptied arms cupboards without replacing them. 

Blair, formerly a police chief in Toronto, will know only too well that song and dance. Expectations for service cannot be met without the requisite funding. Canada’s military is forced to function under poor procurement policies and a culture that relies far too heavily on NATO partners, specifically the United States of America.

Such important tasks should not be politicized to the extent they are. How many elections in recent years had questions raised about fighter jets, helicopters and naval vessels? And guess what – every election cycle that interrupted a purchasing choice has ended up costing decidedly more.

These antics with national security issues appear to be systemic failures to do what we refer to as “taking care of business.”

The financial pressures are significant with every delayed purchase and decision. These are all akin to maintenance items around the home. Need a roof? Basement leaking? Windows out? Shorts in electricity? Putting off the inevitable has a price.

Canadians can ill afford such risks to its sovereignty – that’s serious business that demands attention now.

When does news become news?

With the kids off on March Break we were insistent on getting to the office early. No bus time or distractions on this Monday past.

It was early enough to catch the latest news report and the news cycle to start the day. Word that the news associations here and in Europe had pulled an altered photo caught our attention. The Princess of Wales’ Mother’s Day greeting photo was in circulation and appeared to have been doctored. 

As it turns out, Kate Middleton says she had done the deed herself, altering a photo for whatever reason. Some discrepancy was found in the pixelation of her daughter’s hand. Rumours swirl around the state of Middleton’s health after abdominal surgery weeks ago. Call us old fashioned, but we tend to think that health is a subject best left to sort itself out in time. 

Closer to home, residents of Centre Wellington were outraged recently about a new parking bylaw that would force paid parking. Rightly so, business owners were quite alarmed at the prospect of making business even more difficult in the busy core of town. But – and it’s a big but – council hadn’t even received the report yet.

We find it unfair to preempt council discussions with breaking news that isn’t really news. Ramping up the public in advance of a meeting, particularly when a pending action isn’t imminent, adds a whole lot of stress that isn’t helpful.

News is all about perspective.

We try our best to keep it real.