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Canadian navy ‘will likely be there’ in emergencies regardless of considerations: Blair – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca Specific Occasions

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The navy has no higher duty than defending Canadians, Defence Minister Invoice Blair says, and his authorities will proceed to name within the troops to answer emergencies when wanted.

In an interview on Wednesday, Blair was requested about feedback from senior navy leaders who say the federal government is overly reliant on the Armed Forces at residence, placing their coaching and different missions in danger.

“I believe it’s truthful to acknowledge that that places an terrible lot of stress on the Canadian Armed Forces and on its functionality,” Blair mentioned.

“However when Canadians want their Canadian Armed Forces, my expectation is the Canadian Armed Forces will likely be there for them.”

In a year-end interview in December, Vice Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, the commander of the Canadian Joint Operations Command, raised considerations concerning the navy’s means to answer what he referred to as the deteriorating safety scenario world wide.

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“The very fact is, there appears to be an rising demand for Canadian Armed Forces presence not solely at residence in Canada, however throughout the continent and world wide,” he mentioned.

The Armed Forces has been struggling to recruit and retain members lately.


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N.W.T. wildfires: Considerations develop over rising fireplace behaviour


Internally, reconstitution has been the navy’s prime precedence since late 2022 because it tries to repair what senior leaders are calling a personnel disaster.


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As of final fall, officers mentioned the shortfall remains to be greater than 16,000 folks — in a drive that’s round 115,000 members at full power — and one other 10,000 or so troopers lack sufficient coaching to be despatched on missions.

Defence chief Gen. Wayne Eyre has mentioned even with the numbers stabilizing, it would take years to unravel the issue.

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On the identical time, there was monumental home demand on the navy to assist with the whole lot from flooding and firefighting to staffing long-term care properties that had been ravaged by COVID-19 early within the pandemic.

Eyre has been open about the truth that he thinks the federal government is asking on the navy too usually, as an alternative of contemplating it a final resort.

Greater than 2,000 Armed Forces members had been deployed to combat wildfires throughout Canada in 2023 for 131 days straight.

“Typically you’ve bought to prioritize, and there’s no higher duty for the Canadian Armed Forces — or for the federal government — than the safety of its residents,” Blair mentioned.


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In the meantime, Canada and its allies are responding to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, China’s aggressive stance within the Indo-Pacific, conflicts and coups in Africa and Israel’s struggle in Gaza.

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Canada plans to double its presence on NATO’s japanese flank in Latvia within the subsequent two years, whereas additionally sending ships to affix a U.S.-led coalition working close to the Taiwan Strait.

It has despatched officers to the Purple Sea, the place the U.S. and U.Okay. are main strikes towards Houthi rebels in Yemen, and pledged to proceed coaching Ukrainian troops in Latvia and Britain.

Demand for the navy’s providers can’t improve endlessly “with out giving one thing up,” Auchterlonie mentioned in December.

However when requested if Canada must reduce its commitments overseas, Blair mentioned: “For a lot of, a few years, Canada has a status as a rustic that claims sure when requested.”

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press




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