My wish for 2014 is a list of fixes for National Defence to improve the confidence and well-being of Canadians, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families, members of the military equipment and supply economy, and last but not least those who have left or are leaving CAF service and need support.
If you need a symbol for the budget challenge facing Stephen Harper, look no further than the old Nortel campus in Ottawa's western suburbs. The site is turning into a costly hot potato for the government. Three years ago, military planners shocked analysts with their initial $623 million estimate for fixing the place up. Now the price tag is said to have jumped over 40 per cent.
Though the Department of National Defence is cutting 1,000 jobs for austerity, some 157 employees will be sharing $2 million in bonuses. The whole bonus tradition in both public service and the private sector should cease. None of us has any control over what the private sector does, but government employees get enough perks as it is without extra money for doing the job they are paid for.
Lawrence Connelly was issued a DND birth certificate by the Canadian government when born in Germany. He now lives in Orillia, works in daycare, pays his taxes, and is married with two kids. But when he applied for a passport to go to Disney World in the U.S., the Passport Office told him they needed proof of citizenship, and that has birth certificate wasn't enough.