Lack of spending for training and maintenance is just the latest example of Canada’s national defence being treated as an afterthought.
The Canadian Air Force is having a huge problem recruiting necessary personnel.
They are short 275 pilots from the target of 1,580. Additionally, the CP notes Brigadier General Eric Kenny saying the air force “is facing similar deficiencies when it comes to navigators and sensor operators who work onboard different types of aircraft as well as mechanics, he added.”
A big problem is the training system, which can only generate 115 new pilots every year. That’s not enough to keep up with attrition, meaning the air force is falling behind. A revised training program isn’t set to take effect until 2021.
A report from the Liberal-controlled Department of National Defence pinned the blame on “under-spending on maintenance for abuses and other infrastructure,” while also blaming budget cuts from the Conservative era.
Of course, the Trudeau Liberals have had three years in power, so blaming the previous government is absurd. Additionally, while the Conservatives certainly didn’t increase defence spending enough, they did increase it over what the Liberals had implemented.
Finally, there are deeper reasons why recruiting is difficult. The Trudeau government has shown a pathetic inability to get quality fighter jets to replace the aging CF-18s. The Liberals even sought to replace the old CF-18s with other old CF 18s that Australia didn’t need anymore (since they’re actually buying new planes for their air force).
When the federal government fails to give our pilots the newest and best equipment, why would anyone want to join the air force in the first place?