Matt Gurney: Only dead Canadians will shock us out of our appalling complacency


In this image from the RCAF’s Twitter account, a Cormorant helicopter rescues civilians from a washed-out highway in British Columbia.

He got the job after the last CDS got entangled in the sexual misconduct scandal now roiling the military. Given the attention the Liberals usually give the military, this is not a guarantee. Specifically, he warned that increasingly frequent domestic deployments were interfering with the military’s ability to conduct large-scale, multi-unit exercises. In typical Canadian fashion, the general reached for a hockey metaphor to describe why such large exercises are essential, and told the CP, «It’s like a hockey team that would never train, never play on the ice together, and then all of a sudden being thrown into an NHL game and be expected to win».

Military guys usually aren’t verbose or particularly expressive. As I write this column, I’m watching a press conference from British Columbia government officials, addressing the massive damage done by recent floods and landslides. The city of Vancouver, Canada’s third largest, is essentially detached from the rest of the country unless one wants to take a huge detour through the United States, which only reopened its land border to Canadians a few days ago. The economic toll of cutting off the Port of Vancouver from the rest of the country, at a time when supply chain disruptions are already biting hard, is going to be gigantic.

This is a big, big economic hit to Canada. The military is being called out to provide assistance. Because the military is too small. Eyre went out of his way to tell us so.

It also doesn’t have enough equipment and Canada has an absolutely horrific track record of procuring more. We’re going to need a much bigger military, with much more equipment, ready to handle missions both at home and abroad, trained and ready to go with almost no notice. Recall that Canada has the world’s longest shoreline. Adding two choppers to the overall fleet wouldn’t have made a huge difference, given the scale of the challenge.

Canada, a country blessed with far too much geography, had a chance to add a few extra choppers, but passed because we didn’t want to spend the money. The Cormorant experience is replicated across the military. Basically everything else the military does is subject to criticism, and fair enough. That will mean a battle lost or Canadians abandoned to drown or burn in their own country.

Eyre has warned us.

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Source: Matt Gurney | The Line

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