Decades of bipartisan neglect, and now a Liberal government simultaneously obsessed with political correctness and political cover-ups is betraying the once-proud legacy of the Canadian Armed Forces.
Nobody likes to say this about the Canadian Armed Forces, but the sad reality is that it has become a shambles.
Ask yourself when the last time was you heard a positive story about the CAF?
Personally, I can’t recall one in years.
Instead, the CAF only gets in the news when there is a procurement scandal, when Veterans are being mistreated, or now, with a seemingly endless parade of top military officials resigning and being ensnared in investigations.
This comes amid a Liberal government that has continued the decades-long bipartisan tradition of underfunding the military, promising ‘future funding’ that never seems to really materialize and leaving our men and women in uniform stuck with substandard equipment.
It’s gotten so bad that governments don’t even feel the need to pretend they care about the military.
And now, the Liberal government is making clear they don’t even care about addressing the complete breakdown of leadership in the CAF.
Together with the Bloc, the Liberals have voted to shut down the Defense Committee investigation into sexual misconduct in the CAF:
“Liberal and Bloc Quebecois MPs voted together in favour of the Liberal motion that was leaked to Global News over the weekend and which aims to shut down the probe which has heard damning testimony into the government’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations in the military.”
People were quick to react:
#FakeFeminist Trudeau Government aided and abetted by their consistent partner in crime, the Bloc.”
— Sen. Denise Batters (@denisebatters) April 12, 2021
“BREAKING: Liberals pass motion to shutdown the investigation into sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. The Liberal cover-up continues! #cdnpoli #NDDN”
— James Bezan (@jamesbezan) April 12, 2021
“The Trudeau Liberals: self-proclaimed feminists. “Liberals and Bloc shut down probe of sexual misconduct allegations in Canada’s military”
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) April 12, 2021
“So infuriating, and it just makes it worse to see Joly and Monsef posting about women’s rights (abortion) while being completely silent on this.”
So infuriating, and it just makes it worse to see Joly and Monsef posting about women's rights (abortion) while being completely silent on this.
— Ali Quea (@Quea_Ali) April 12, 2021
As had been noted by Mercedes Stephenson, the committee was being shut down before key witnesses had a chance to speak:
“Several witnesses who are considered crucial to the investigation have yet to appear before the committee, which is probing sexual misconduct issues in the Canadian Armed Forces, including allegations raised against Vance. If passed, the motion would effectively shut down the committee before they can testify.
The list of key witnesses yet to testify include former PMO staffer Elder Marques, who was a senior adviser in the Prime Minister’s Office at the time the allegations were put forth against Vance.”
Clearly, the Liberals are trying to protect their own partisan political interests, rather than get to the bottom of what appears to be a serious problem in the CAF.
What have military leaders actually done well?
I’ll get to the complicity of politicians – and the Canadian People – in all of this later in the article.
But first, we need to ask this question:
What have Canada’s military leaders actually done well as of late?
Have they advocated effectively for Canada’s armed forces?
Doesn’t seem like it.
Have they built morale?
Just the opposite apparently.
Have they resisted political correctness?
Nope, they’ve embraced it, while often treating people like trash behind the scenes.
Have they inspired people to join up?
Yet again, nope. Recruitment continues to lag.
Most of the time, military leaders are in the news talking about ‘inclusivity’ or ‘diversity’ rather than the actual goal of the armed forces – which is to train Canadians to be effective in the controlled use of violence to assist our allies and defend our country if necessary.
It may not sound nice, but that’s the whole point of the armed forces.
Canada has forgotten why we have a military in the first place
The world has been at relative peace for some time, with military engagements like Afghanistan representing a fight against a foe who was not a direct state-level threat to Canada.
Of course, that is changing rapidly now, with China building up their armed forces and expanding their belligerence seemingly everywhere.
In the arctic – an area essential to our national security and future prosperity with immense potential wealth – Russia and China are incredibly active and are militarizing at a rapid pace, while Canada is doing literally nothing.
We lack the ability to defend large swathes of our territory, effectively controlling much of Canada in name only.
And many Canadian politicians seem completely fine with this.
Even the Conservatives, though they lamented the military being underfunded when they were out of power, failed to build the forces up dramatically when they were in power, with modest increases and then reductions later on, leaving the CAF in about the same moribund state as under the Liberals.
Naïve attitude of many Canadians leads to our country being virtually undefended
While it’s easy – and often partially justified – to simply blame politicians, the fact is they want to get elected.
If they thought boosting military spending would win them elections, they would do it.
Unfortunately, many Canadians have increasingly developed a naïve view of the world, a view where being ‘nice’ is somehow expected to be enough, and a view where we forget that the history of our world often includes violence and conflict.
We also have a lack of responsibility when it comes to our allies, as the less we are able to defend ourselves the more we are implicitly expecting our allies – particularly the US – to bail us out if we get into trouble.
But to expect help from our allies, we should also be able to contribute to our alliances, and that requires a stronger CAF.
If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you are someone who thinks we need a stronger Canadian national defense capability, and I would encourage you to speak to those you know and advocate for the importance of our armed forces being capable of defending our country and contributing to our alliances.
At a time when many Canadians are starting to wake up to the rising belligerence of China, we can make headway in winning people over to the idea that Canada has neglected our military for far too long.
Our country has a long history of military strength, and in an increasingly divided world we must get back to those roots as soon as possible, and stop betraying the legacy of the CAF.