Responsibility: Personnel or Party?

St. Boniface - Friday, June 14, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


John McCallum, Canada's new Defence Minister, has demonstrated he either has no understanding of the military needs or is unwilling to stand up to the Prime Minister to get the resources required. Two more reports were issued this week, urging immediate increased funding to the military. These findings are added to a score of reports, including those from the Senate and the Auditor General, all concluding that Canada's military does not have sufficient resources, training, manpower or funding to do their jobs.




The only detractors from this mass of evidence have been the Canadian government, specifically the Prime Minister and the previous Minister of Defence, Art Eggleton. They disagreed with the experts, choosing instead to spend money on programs such as federal advertising. John McCallum has now added his voice to the government's claiming everything is just fine. He cites as evidence the fact that NATO leaders complimented him on the performance of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and Bosnia.




Minister McCallum misses the point. No one has ever criticised the personnel; they do a terrific job in spite of the condition of their equipment and lack of funding. Will this Minister take up the cause of our military personnel and listen to them, not reject every report on the advice of the Prime Minister? McCallum's responsibility as minister is to Canada and it's service men and women, not the leader of the Liberal party.


Mike Reilly