It’s Time Canada Talks Turks and Caicos

Matteo Pirri

Maybe it’s the consistent -30° temperatures, or maybe it was that ice storm that jeopardized my family Christmas dinner, or perhaps it’s the revelation that ‘frost quakes’ and ‘polar vortices’ exist. Whatever it is I haven’t been too thrilled with what this winter has had in store for us over the past couple of months…

During this time of the year many Canadians flee from the worst of winter’s offerings, finding solace on the sunny beaches of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the southern United States. While many Canadians suffer the trials and tribulations associated with international travel, they do so gladly if it means a bit of respite from the Canadian cold. But wouldn’t it be nice if we Canadians had a southern destination to call our own? A place where vacationers could travel without having to worry about currency exchange rates, customs, and language barriers–all the while supporting the Canadian economy?

Well, what if I told you that such an arrangement has been in the works for almost a century, albeit at the back-burner of Canadian political consciousness?

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Seen and Heard: Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs – Drone Warfare: Justice, Strategy, Technology

A MQ-9 Reaper.  (Photo by Paul Ridgeway)

Matteo Pirri

On Wednesday October 2, in front of a packed house at the University of Toronto the 2013 Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs grappled with one of the most complex questions in modern conflict: What is it exactly about drones that make us uneasy?

Boston University Professor Neta Crawford and University of Massachusetts Associate Professor Avery Plaw discussed the legal frameworks and ethical questions involved in unmanned weapons, with Janice Stein, Director of the Munk School of Global Affairs moderating.

A “drone” is the colloquial name for an unmanned aerial vehicle that is often armed and predominately used under remote, real-time human control. Drones are an attractive military tool because in addition to removing a human pilot from the risks involved in combat operations, they also remove the requirement for the technology, armour, and safety capability of conventional aircraft. Drones allow for greater practicality, are relatively cheap to produce, have a greater effective range, and are more versatile than manned aircraft. The United States is the largest producer and most frequent user of combat drones, having conducted operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen in its efforts to fight the global War On Terror.

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