The state of Canada’s national defence

By Jodde Mason

Gordon O’Connor, retired Brigadier General, spoke Oct. 15 on the declining state of Canada’s military. O’Connor is an Ontario Conservative MP, who is enjoying his first tour in Parliament. He is the Official Defence Critic.

According to O’Connor, the current Liberal government does not contribute enough funding to our military. In fact, he says the military is under-funded by over $6 billion, which he’s sure the government has.

“About $20-25 billion was taken out of defence,” said O’Connor. “There’s actually no shortage of money [in the federal government]. To pull more money back is criminal.”

Beyond the military’s money woes, they also have another tough contender, bureaucracy. Because of the bureaucratic system, recruitment and training is strained. One person O’Connor knows has been waiting 24 months for training.

“Bureaucracy is everywhere, try getting service at a bank,” he said. “[In the military,] I want 3,000 less bureaucrats and 3,000 more fighters.”

O’Connor believes the bureaucracy builds a nearly impossible chain of command. There are obscene amounts of people all writing specific rules on specific things. Once the rules get down to the soldiers, they are impossibly thick, and contain far too many rules for any soldier to follow. For this reason, O’Connor would like to see an end to bureaucracy, or at least a drastic reduction of it.

Andrew Simon, a third-year political science student, asked O’Connor about terrorism in Canada, mentioning the U.S. has bailed us out before. O’Connor’s solution is to increase funding to the Communications Security Establishment, which is Canada’s equivalence of the NSA.

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