A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Special Forces for National 'Emergency’s'

Call me paranoid, perhaps I have been following Harpers attacks upon our democracy too long, but I fail to understand why we need to expand our 'Special Forces' (at an annual cost of $50 million) “to respond to varied, and sometimes multiple, national and international emergencies." We do have almost 2000 of these specially trained combat solders on our payroll already and we hardly need special military training to respond to 'national emergency’s' like floods, forest fires, or ice storms, not that our federal government has been quick to offer that kind of help in the past. Are our police and emergency services so underfunded that we need 'special forces' deployed within our borders/

Conservative candidate Jason Kenney says a re-elected Conservative government will expand the ranks of Canada's special forces by 35 per cent over the next seven years.
"A re-elected Conservative government will provide the Canadian Armed Forces with an expanded Special Forces capability “

Should the Conservatives get reelected or be in a minority position and ignore a vote of non confidence perhaps they will need a fast reaction force to subdue the thousands of citizens that will object to living in a police state.

The Canadian Armed Forces Special Operations Command (CANSOFCOM) is currently composed of five main units made up of just over 1,900 personnel. The government is looking to add some 665 members by 2022.
The plan would cost about $75 million over the next four years. The Conservatives would commit $10 million in 2016-17, increasing to $30 million in 2019-20. When the expansion is complete, it would cost the government about $50 million per year to maintain.

Naturaly the Minister continues to insist that we are under imminent danger of attack by those 'terrorists' who are flooding across our borders past our secure border agents with those dreaded refugee immigrants!

"Expansion of the Special Forces units will ensure that our Armed Forces are prepared to respond to the terror threat posed by groups such as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)," Kenney said.
.....and help us keep those home built democratic zealots in line.......

Bottom line I can think of MANY better uses for 50 million a year, even within military budgets! But Harper seems determined to make war not peace with his aggressive stance on almost anything and with the current state of our military equipment perhaps he sees the best use of our military to enforce his domestic policies because he sure is not doing much to enhance our reputation overseas. An internal Foreign Affairs briefing document stamped "Secret" warns that "despite Canada's reputation as an active player on the world stage, by many measures, its relative influence has declined or is under threat." -

A venerable collection of Canada’s foreign affairs community released a series of scathing essays slamming the government’s disengagement from the ‘community of nations.’  The essays, published Sept 2014 by the World Federalist movement, a non-profit research organization that studies and advocates for global governance reforms and democratization.  The University of Ottawa’s John Trent, who edited the project, says that the Harper government’s foreign policy positions have been starkly different than any other government in Canadian history.

While Canada once contributed as many as 3,000 military personnel to peacekeeping, it currently provides only 34 – not enough to fill a school bus. While the United Nations currently (July 2014) deploys an all-time high of over 80,000 military personnel in the field, Canada has kept its numbers at historical lows since 2006.
Walter Dorn from the Canadian Military College

The reality is that the present government openly and with forethought doesn’t want to engage with the UN in any meaningful way. In fact, it’s not particularly interested in any kind of multilateral, collaborative, ‘internationalist’ engagement.
Former foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy

But then $50 million is a paltry amount compared with what he wants to spend on those useless and untested F35s.........

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Unknown said...

There's always a subtext to what Harper and his Cons say Rural, so you're not paranoid, just naturally asking , what's the catch, because with Harper there is always a catch.

Rural said...

So I am not going crazy? LOL

The Mound of Sound said...

For starters this is a "red meat" bauble to toss to the SoCon base. They love this sort of thing.

Then there's the bottom line, money. It's easy to say they'll throw tens of millions into this project but they're already sinking in unfunded spending.

The military budget has been cut to barely 1% GDP, the lowest ever since WWII. That's half what it was under Pierre Trudeau.

In case Canadians haven't been looking, their navy is at its lowest state of readiness since well before WWII. With no provisioning/supply ships and not one air defence destroyer remaining, we can't sail a task force into any of our three ocean zones. Those subs are nearing the end of their service life (did you know that subs come with a 'best before' date?)

Irving is supposed to be building 5 Arctic patrol vessels for $3.5 billion. That's seven times the going rate every other navy pays for this type of ship. Even the Auditor General can't figure out where the money is going and warns we might be lucky to get just three ships which would be ten times the going rate.

We need a new search and rescue patrol aircraft to replace the Buffalo and older (vintage) Hercs. The CF-18s are close to timing out. Much of the army's kit is worn out from Afghanistan. They need new vehicles and Harper has said no.

Just like our national infrastructure, our armed forces have been left to decay during their decade under Harper. Whoever comes next is going to have to spend some serious money to patch the holes.

Meanwhile, have you seen the dandy camouflage pattern developed for Canadian soldiers to operate in Canadian cities? www.hyperstealth.com/CUEPAT/index.html

Rural said...

There is little doubt that major money will have to be spent to make up for years of neglect in this and many other areas, Mound. Tax cuts and fantasy surpluses aint gona get us there!