No More Bombs

The planes are grounded...

Well, most of them are anyways. As promised, Canada has now officially stopped its bombing mission in Iraq. However, as reported last week, Canadian aircraft--including surveillance and refueling planes--will continue to be used in the joint coalition mission in Iraq. 

But we're done with the whole bomb-dropping thing, right?

For now, yes. But it's hard to tell how long that will last.  And why all the uncertainty? Well, that would be because of Libya.

That's right, the same Libya that Canadian forces entered in 2011 to help overthrow dictator Muammar Gaddafi amidst a deadly civil war. Despite the war having officially ended some time ago, the country has remained unstable, allowing ISIS to expand its operations into the region. 

So where does Canada come into play?

The answer has yet to be announced, but Canadian Chief of Defence, General  Jonathan Vance, has said that Canada "will certainly be involved somehow, because Libya sits at a crossroads of some very important and dangerous things that are happening in the world." Whether this involvement will include the use of military force remains unclear, but for now Canada is continuing its 'non-combat' role in the region. As for the USA, they said to hell with waiting, and began bombing targets in Libya on Friday.

What does 'non-combat' mean exactly?

Non-combat is perhaps one of the most ambiguous terms used by officials to describe a mission that supposedly will not include combat fighting. Overall, that sounds fairly straightforward--except that there have been times when non-combat mission have involved what can best be described as, well...combat. See the confusion? Don't panic though, General Vance says he's not confused. In fact, on Friday, Vance told everyone to stop criticising his definition of non-combat since he is the "expert in what is and what is not combat." So basically, if General Vance says it ain't combat then it sure as hell ain't combat. Message received, General!

In other news...

Elections are on the horizon.

There are two provincial elections coming up in April and they both have something in common: they're occurring on the flatlands. Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, and Manitoba Premier, Greg Selinger, will both face an election in the coming weeks. However, there is one striking difference between the two leaders, and that is their popularity. According to a recent poll by the Angus Reid Institute, Premier Wall has the highest approval rating (62%) in the country, while Premier Selinger has the highest disapproval rating in the county (72%). Looks like one of these two has their work cut out for them.

The RCMP realize they need a better PR team...

Or at least they should have realized by now. After seemingly endless bad press in recent years, the RCMP are once again in the spotlight for more harassment allegations. Public Safety Minister, Ralph Goodale was "enraged" by the allegations, calling them an embarrassment and said the RCMP has a toxic work environment that needs to be remedied immediately. Goodale further went on to say he fully expects strong disciplinary action to be taken by the RCMP against all those involved. 

Thanks for reading.

Braden McMillian