Jamaica is reportedly one of several countries in which Canada is seeking to set up a base, to better position its military to participate in international missions. A report in Montreal's news-paper, Le Devoir, stated that the Canadian Forces was negotiating to set up bases under a programme known as the Operational Support Hubs Network.
It is reported that they have already completed negotiations with Germany and Jamaica, and are in talks with Kuwait, Senegal, Kenya or Tanzania, Singapore and South Korea.
Canada's Defence Minister Peter MacKay was reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Cor-poration last Thursday as saying, "As we look out into the future, what we obviously try to do is anticipate where and when we will be needed, but it's difficult with any certainty to make those plans, without talking to other countries, without doing internal examinations."
He added, "The focus of the planning, let's be clear, is our capability for expeditionary participation in international missions ... . We are big players in NATO. We're a country that has become a go-to nation in response to situations like what we're seeing in Libya, what we saw in Haiti."
Mackay also reportedly said, "We are constantly working within that paradigm of countries, to see where we can bring that niche capability to bear. It's part of planning and preparation, in conjunction with our equipment needs."
Jamaica's Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson could not be reached for comment when The Sunday Gleaner tried to reach him over the weekend.