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Colin Kenny

Senator

Colin Kenny entered the Senate on June 29th, 1984. Throughout his career he has focused on a wide range of issues including; banking, trade and commerce, energy, tobacco control, and alternative fuels. He was the inaugural Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence, serving from 2001-2009.
ERIC FEFERBERG via Getty Images

Harper is all Talk and No Action Against Putin

The Department of National Defence is currently being hounded by Treasury Board, which had designed a system that makes it impossible for DND to manage its budget. As a result, the military keeps falling behind in equipment purchases and capacity keeps declining. The government could put an end to this stalemate if it wished to, but instead seems delighted that it is pocketing the unspent money to meet its deficit-fighting promises. Canadians already have a small military and it just keeps shrinking.
08/01/2014 05:21 EDT
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Americans Are Alerted To Danger. Why Aren't Canadians?

The United States has a nation-wide network that alerts its citizens through just about every communications device possible when natural or man-made disasters have hit, or are about to hit. Not us lulled Canadians. Albertans can boast they're in pretty fair shape after the establishment of the Alberta Emergency Alert, created after a tornado swept through Edmonton in 1987, killing 27 people. Alberta is ready. The rest of Canada isn't.
07/16/2014 12:30 EDT
PA

Cameras Can Be a Cop's Best Friend

I first examined the idea of equipping beat cops with cameras nearly four years ago when six Liberal senators examined the state of the RCMP. An incredible number of citizens are pointing their own cameras at police during confrontations these days. Without that kind of investment, trigger-happy Tasering will continue.
11/13/2013 05:45 EST

Canada's Ability to Defend Itself Might Be at Risk

August 30, 2013 was an ominous day in Canadian military history. It was on this date that the destroyer HMCS Algonquin and the supply ship HMCS Protecteur collided during a routine towing exercise in the Pacific. Until the Algonquin is repaired, Canada will have just two destroyers, both on the Atlantic coast.
11/04/2013 05:38 EST

3 Things Government Should Insist On Before Giving Police Officers Tasers

If the government would take a few steps to improve the odds that Tasers will be properly used, even the most liberal-minded among us should welcome their expanded role as an alternative to the use of guns. They can lead to much more positive outcomes in serious confrontations than otherwise might be the case.
10/19/2013 06:11 EDT
Getty

Is Canada Being Polite Enough When it Comes to Espionage?

All countries with adequate resources have intelligence agencies like CSEC and CSIS. Countries have oversight mechanisms to assure these agencies' political masters -- including legislators from both government and opposition parties -- that the agencies are not breaking the laws of their country or otherwise operating outside their mandate. Canada has no such oversight mechanisms. Or, rather, Canada's mechanisms are so feeble and after-the-fact that nobody can assure ordinary Canadian citizens that their own intelligence agencies are being held to account.
10/15/2013 05:50 EDT
Getty

Canada Must Strengthen Its Missile Defence

We are not America's slaves; we're their independent partners. Look how Paul Martin told George W. that we weren't going to join the U.S. ballistic missile defence program, designed to defend against unmanned missiles that rogue states like North Korea or Iran may decide to fire at western countries. But are we shirkers or independent thinkers? Turning down Iraq was independent thinking, and good thinking at that. Refusing to share in ballistic missile defence smacks is starting to look more and more like shirking.
09/20/2013 08:17 EDT
Getty

Why Canada Can't Handle Disasters

One of the most frustrating characteristics of the Harper government is that it announces that it intends to take big steps forward on various issues of national importance, then takes furtive steps backward when nobody is looking. This promise-and-retreat routine has stricken our country's capacity to prepare for -- and respond to -- national emergencies, like the recent floods in Alberta and the train wreck in Lac-Mégantic.
09/05/2013 12:10 EDT
Getty

America Has More Reasonable Drug Laws Than Canada: What the Hell?

It beats me why so many American conservatives have smartened up about when it makes sense to send people to jail when Canadian conservatives -- at least the ones who count -- clearly haven't. The average cost of keeping a Canadian in prison for a year is more than $113,000, which is money well spent for violent offenders. But why spend it locking up minor drug offenders? Why are we hell-bent on this backwards way of thinking?
08/27/2013 07:52 EDT
CP

How Emergency Prepardness Died In Canada

When an 8-storey building collapsed in Bangladesh in April killing more than 1,100 garment workers, the rescue response was agonizingly slow. Canadians watched their TV screens in disbelief as Bangladeshi friends and relatives struggled to move rubble in search of their loved ones -- work that would have fallen into the hands of capable and well-equipped rescue teams in Canada. So one would hope. Canadians should be aware, however, that in an era when all of us are increasingly prone to both natural and man-made disasters, the federal government has discontinued funding to Canada's primary disaster relief agency.
07/12/2013 05:39 EDT
CP

Harper Plays Clever With Foreign Aid

Canadians have witnessed the emaciation of Canada's overseas development budget since Harper won his majority in 2011. Most core Conservative voters would be appalled at any increase, particularly in iffy economic times. So when it comes to foreign aid, Stephen Harper is a clever politician.
06/25/2013 12:24 EDT
Alamy

How a Union Could Save the RCMP

My advice to Stephen Harper is this: the RCMP needs a union, to improve the lot of the rank and file, to be sure, but also to help managers improve the institution. In fact, I would say forming a union is critical to rehabilitating our national police service, where efforts at reform keep spinning their wheels. .
06/17/2013 12:26 EDT
Alamy

The RCMP Makes Women Its Enemy

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews insists he wants more women in the RCMP. Why then, are government lawyers working so diligently to discourage female recruitment? Other police services don't have lawsuit after lawsuit popping up in the news on a regular basis. So if you were a woman who wanted to be a police officer, and these festering suits kept reminding you that the federal government remains more confrontational than apologetic about the RCMP's misogynist atmosphere, would you set your sites on joining the Mounties? Or would you turn to police services that have shown respect for their female employees.
06/11/2013 12:22 EDT
CP

Harper Is Punishing the Wrong Senators

It may not constitute criminal behaviour to apply for bogus housing allowances. But three people crossed over a moral line that a hundred other senators didn't. Doesn't that call for censure on the part of the institution that they hoodwinked? You can't just sweep things like this under the rug and pretend its business as usual. Wrong is wrong, and without formal censure, the Senate becomes part of the wrong. In dealing with this situation, the government has turned the concept of punishment upside down. No punishment for the housing allowance transgressors. But sweeping new rules to stymie senators involved in legitimate Senate business.
05/21/2013 05:23 EDT