Louis Cuppens's picture
Are delays indicative of a lack of respect?
Posted on Oct 27, 2020

Is the defence of our nation important in the eyes of our elected members of parliament? History will show that issues of National Defence are tolerated, but not of significance or importance to our MPs.

Every day, members of the Canadian Armed Forces do the best they can to accomplish the tasks that have been given them by our government. They do so without fail, despite outdated equipment, a shortage of personnel, and an apparent lack of support from the government. Perhaps success in all endeavors is the enemy of the brave men and women who serve our nation unselfishly.

Besides the shortages of personnel, the litany of government neglect includes numerous examples of procurement delays in all vital areas. Included in this list would be both high- and low-profile and projects: the failing replacement programme for our fighter aircraft; the decades-long replacement of search and rescue aircraft (which are finally in the first stages of delivery); the long delays for new navy surface combat vessels and fleet support vessels; and the ongoing delays to provide the army with the equipment that it needs – all of this in an era of global unprecedented technological changes.

To illustrate the lack of government concern over defence matters one need only examine the government’s challenge to appoint a new Chief of Defence Staff.  General Vance announced his intention to retire on 23 July 2020 and he continues to serve. When Canada’s Finance Minister announced his retirement, the government appointed a new Minister in just one day. How important is Defence to our government?

With a stable of accomplished Lieutenant-Generals and Vice-Admirals to choose from, this writer cannot comprehend the selection delay. Perhaps it is another indication of the lack of importance of National Defence issues within the government.

LWF Cuppens
Lieutenant-General (retired)
Nauwigewauk, NB