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Canada’s Armed Forces Can’t Do What We Demand

As the world becomes less secure, with regional conflicts flaring in many parts of the world, we need to remind ourselves of the importance of National Defence. It’s an essential service of our government that frequently gets overshadowed by more politically attractive issues. The risks of under-delivering on this service is a hazard, and a risk that will only be clear in retrospect. Yet, the current scenario reveals an alarming picture; our Canadian Armed Forces face a 16,000 personnel shortfall, coupled with a cumbersome procurement system and significant underfunding. This is merely the surface of issues facing the forces.

Simply put, our Armed Forces do not have the essential resources to fulfill their fundamental role defending our own territory – let alone create a significant impact internationally.


Protecting our Arctic region is of utmost importance. It is rich in untapped resources and has emerged as a focal point of interest from numerous foreign parties. Events like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have heightened concerns about the vulnerabilities of this strategic region. Presently, the defence infrastructure in the Arctic oscillates between being outdated and entirely non-existent, emphasizing the area’s exposure. It is an expensive environment in which to operate, but our presence there is paramount to enforcing our sovereignty.


Another layer of complexity is our substantial reliance on the Unites States for our defense needs. Should Americans gravitate towards more self-interest, our mutual priorities may diverge. While it is not feasible to advocate for a completely independent defence policy, Canada must bolster its armed forces to act autonomously in some matters, including taking the funding of our defence partnerships like NATO and NORAD seriously. Consider peacekeeping – where we were once pioneers, but now our contributions pale in comparison. Simply put, our Armed Forces do not have the essential resources to fulfill their fundamental role defending our own territory – let alone create a significant impact internationally. For the sake of our brave and committed armed forces personnel, and the proud history they uphold on our behalf, this needs to change.


Please contact me at Greg.McLean@parl.gc.ca or by phone at 403-244-1880 and keep up to date on my work in parliament on my website, Greg.McLean.mp.ca.

Sincerely,
Greg McLean