The Chinese Communist Party has a massive global apparatus to spread propaganda, from paid inserts in The Washington Post and The New York Times to networks of Twitter bots. China Daily is one of nine Chinese outlets that have been designated as foreign missions by the State Department. Earlier this year, the Chinese regime launched an aggressive campaign to deflect blame for its coverup and weaponization of the coronavirus outbreak. In this episode, we sit down with Indiana Congressman Jim Banks, one of the first to demand reparations from the Chinese regime for its deadly coverup of the CCP virus. This is American Thought Leaders 🇺🇸, and I’m Jan Jekielek. American Thought Leaders is an Epoch Times show available on YouTube, Facebook, and The Epoch Times website. Follow Jan on Twitter: @JanJekielek…
OTTAWA—The Royal Canadian Navy is poised to enter a new era by taking possession of the first armed warship under the federal government’s multibillion-dollar shipbuilding plan, and the first built for Arctic military operations in decades.
HMCS Harry deWolf will be welcomed in a ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Halifax on Friday, five years after Irving Shipbuilding first started cutting steel on the Arctic offshore patrol ship—and two years later than originally scheduled.
Top navy commanders will be on hand to mark the occasion along with representatives from Irving, which is slated to build five more such vessels for the navy and two for the Canadian Coast Guard in the next few years.
While the deWolf’s delivery is a major milestone for the federal government’s shipbuilding plan—through which Ottawa is replacing nearly all of the large ships in the navy and coast guard—it wasn’t easy coming.
Then-prime minister Stephen Harper first announced plans to build up to eight armed Arctic patrol vessels in July 2007 and Irving was selected in October 2011 to produce them before building replacements for the navy’s frigates and destroyers.
But the following years saw several cost overruns and delays in the program.
After work started on the deWolf in 2015, Irving said it would only be able to build five ships with the $3.1 billion budgeted for the project. The government ended up increasing the budget to $4.1 billion for six.
That money does not include the two ships for the coast guard, which are expected to cost about $400 million each.
Technical problems were also blamed for pushing the delivery date back several times. Then Irving closed its Halifax shipyard in March for several months because of COVID-19.
Despite those setbacks, University of Calgary professor Rob Huebert described the deWolf’s arrival as an “amazing step forward” for the Royal Canadian Navy. It’s the first vessel specially built for military operations in the Arctic since the 1950s.
And the timing couldn’t come at a better time as more and more countries are starting to increase their interest—and military footprints—in the Far North as it becomes easier to access due to climate change, said Huebert, who is an expert on Arctic policy.
“Even the most profound Arctic exceptionalist who says the Arctic is just peace, love and ’Kumbaya’ will recognize there is a growing need to have at least a presence in the Arctic as it opens up and becomes a greater part of the geopolitical environment,” he said.
“But once again, this is going to now give us a capability to operate that we haven’t had since a short little period between 1956 to ’57 with [HMCS] Labrador.”
The Labrador was an icebreaker built for the navy but was in the fleet just a few years before being transferred to non-military use.
The navy was actually disdainful when Harper announced the new Arctic ships in 2007. Part of it was their slow speed and light armament, as the ships have only one small cannon. But mostly it was because the navy saw the Arctic as coast guard territory.
“Because they had not done this since ’57, there was a little bit of: OK, what the hell do we do with these ships? We know what we need to do with NATO and in the Pacific. But this is going to sort of require us to scratch our head,’” Huebert said.
“Once the navy got comfortable and started realizing what it could do with it, that has subsequently changed.”
The Royal Canadian Navy is only the latest naval force to join the fray in the Far North. Russia, the U.S., China, and some European countries have been increasing their maritime capabilities in the region in recent years as part of a seemingly slow military buildup.
By Lee Berthiaume
Focus News: Canada’s Navy Enters New Era With New Arctic Warship
President Donald Trump and public health officials on Thursday encouraged Americans who have recovered from COVID-19 to donate their convalescent blood plasma to help combat the disease. “More than 2 million Americans have recovered from the virus, and today we’re asking them to visit Coronavirus.gov and volunteer to donate plasma. We need plasma,” Trump said at a press conference on the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. “It’s something that’s been very effective, and we need plasma from those that were infected and successfully recovered, as most people do. Most people do,” he added. Plasma-based treatment has the potential to give antibodies to patients affected by the virus聽and is “potentially game changing,” according to a statement from the White House. The statement noted that donors…