June 15th, 2024

MP Report: Canada’s military deserves better

By Glen Motz on October 25, 2023.

As we approach Remembrance Day, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the service of our men and women in Canada’s military.

Members of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) wholeheartedly commit to protecting our great nation and place themselves in harms way if the call of duty demands. However, it is painful when one considers the many ways in which this Liberal government has failed them.

All too often, this government has failed to supply our deployed troops with the equipment they require to be successful. Verifiable stories of gear shortages left soldiers purchasing their own modern ballistic helmets and hearing protection, rain gear, vests, and belts to carry water and ammunition while deployed in Latvia.

Our female soldiers struggle with the ill-fitting body armour issued in haste. Even basic food supplies have been problematic on deployments. When soldiers were told to eat at local restaurants while posted overseas, bureaucratic backlogs left troops thousands of dollars in personal debt and their families back home struggling to offset the financial stress.

This broken system has reached a point where soldiers are leaving the military faster than the pace to replace them. But who can blame them when we are not able to supply the tools they rely on or food while they are deployed on active duty.

In addition, this government’s domestic natural disaster focus, rather than a national defence and NATO obligation focus, is no wonder CAF is currently 16,000 personnel short, have low morale and are in a constant state of crisis.

To make matters worse, the military’s Chaplain-General has had to brief the Chief of Defence staff about the increasing number of active CAF members seeking food and housing assistance just to make ends meet at home. It’s a troubling situation that shouldn’t be happening in a prosperous and caring nation like Canada.

But let’s be honest – actions speak louder than words. If the government genuinely appreciates the dedication and sacrifices of our soldiers, then it’s time to rectify this situation.

Back in 2017 the Senate of Canada reported that the government was only funding one-third of the military’s needs and would require $2 billion in new money per year to maintain operations. Yet, just weeks ago, Trudeau announced he would be cutting CAF funding by $1 billion, leaving Canada astoundingly short in meeting its NATO obligations. No wonder Canada’s allies don’t take us seriously. They even excluded us in the security partnership agreement between Australia, the Unites States and the United Kingdom (AUSUK).

As we approach Remembrance Day we honour the sacrifice, dedication and selflessness of the men and women that serve our country and those that served before them. However, it is also time to recognize that our military members deserve better.

It’s time for a new government that will demonstrate its commitment to the well-being of our men and women in uniform and the financial commitments that our military requires. It’s time for real change.

Our Canadian Armed Forces cannot protect our country with the Liberal government’s apathetic approach. This prime minister is just not worth the cost.

Glen Motz is the MP for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner

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