Tease the day: When they talked about a floundering airbase

What exactly does the PM want to do with CFB Goose Bay?

by Nick Taylor-Vaisey

If you had to guess, what would you say is the “single largest economic engine” in Labrador? The Royal Canadian Air Force, on a website last updated in 2009, says that honour goes to CFB Goose Bay, an air base that plenty of air forces, including the RCAF and the U.S. Air Force, as well as several European contingents, once called home. That role has dwindled in recent years, but the airport’s still important, the government says. “The airfield is now the most important service in ensuring the future diversification and development of the region’s economy,” reads the same website. Enter the Ottawa Citizen’s David Pugliese, who writes today that Prime Minister Stephen Harper really wants Goose Bay to be something special. He twice wrote to Defence Minister Peter MacKay in the last year, suggesting MacKay should “establish a clear sovereignty protection mandate” for the floundering air base. Such a focus, Pugliese writes, “could help shore up embattled fellow Conservative MP Peter Penashue.” The Conservatives have, in the past, proposed a rapid reaction battalion for the base, as well as an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron. Neither of those are coming any time soon, writes Pugliese. So it’s worth asking: What does the PM really want at Goose Bay?


What’s above the fold this morning?

Every paper fronts the Toronto Argonauts’ victory in last night’s Grey Cup championship. As far as non-sports news goes, however: The Globe and Mail leads with Canadian disapproval of a Palestinian bid for United Nations status. The National Post fronts the Swiss indictment of an ex-vice president of SNC-Lavalin. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the Argo victory, and features no other national news on its front page. The Ottawa Citizen leads with growing costs of a federal disability insurance plan. iPolitics fronts the lack of money in a global climate change fund meant to help developing countries. National Newswatch showcases Calgary Centre’s byelection, where polls open (and close) today.


Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Generic drugs. An NDP private member’s bill that would make it easier to send generic drugs overseas received support from the pharmaceuticals industry—and could pass a vote. 2. Refugee caps. The federal government’s asking private groups to sponsor more refugees from other countries, but is also capping the total number each group can sponsor.
3. Olympic ad spending. The feds spent over $4 million on TV and online advertising during the London Olympics, including War of 1812 bicentennial and Royal Canadian Mint ads. 4. Compassionate conservative. The Globe chronicles Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s quest to show an increasingly urban electorate that Conservatives don’t have to be scary (not online).




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