Good news came out of the Canadian Senate (ya we do have one of those).
Whether it means anything is another question all together.
The Senate Defence Committee help a press conferece today detailing changes they thought needed to be made to Canada defense sector of governmentand spending.
#1: Increase Spending (obviously any “improvement” short of disbanding would require more money).. but they’re not talking small potatoes.. they’re talking from $14 billion in the current budget, to a “happy place” of $25-40 billion. Merits aside, one has to wonder where they think that money should come from.
#2: Increase the size of the Armed Forces. From the current 62,000 to 90,000 across all services. I heartily agree with this. I have no problem with Canada having a military… it is a necessity in todays world. If we truly want to promote our vision of the world, we need the soldiers on the ground to be able to project that vision. A larger military does NOT mean a shift away from peacekeeping and other historically Canadian roles, it simply means we can do more of it.. and for greater lengths of time before our troops become over burdened and weakened.
#3: Modernize equipment. Again, this is important is Canada wants to continue playing a vital role in operations around the world. Our equipment is literally rusting away. That is simply not effective. If we are to have a military at all, I want it to be well equipped, and if that means doling out more cash, then by all means we should do so.
This is one area where I think the traditional NDP/Leftwing position simply doesn’t make sense. It’s naive to think that Canada cannot have a military. We are not Costa Rica. And it is downright dangerous to neglect our military as we have in the past. It is a danger to our soldiers, who deserve the best… and it is a danger to ourselves as we are left without a capable military to protect us from disaster and patrol our interests. One of Canadas greatest problems is our inability to guard our own borders. We must fix that, not because we are threatened with invasion, but rather to ensure the sovereignty of our land.
The controversy lately over Hans Island has exemplified this need. We need to be able to provide Canadians in the North with the protection that they need. Search and Rescue is minimal in the Canadian arctic. That should change. Also, as the North warms, the Northwest Passage must be Clearly Canadian so that as it becomes a thoroughfare for shipping, Canadians are given the benefit of that business through our waters. I think if you ask most Canadians, they would look at a map of the Northwest Passage and say, Yes, obviously those must be Canadian waters… well, other countries don’t think so, particularly the United States… it is time the Canadian military and Coast Guard played a much larger role in securing the sovereignty of those waters for Canada.
This Senate report looks to be a good start, I hope it is noticed and taken by Government as a roadmap to a better, more productive, and more proud future for the Canadian Forces.