Canada needs a better funded military force
While the world descends into one of the most chaotic periods of conflict since the Cold War, Canada’s military is in urgent need of an update.
With potential hot-spots in the North Pole, the nation will require a well-funded defence force to repel any possible intrusions from nations like Russia, while the continued growth of China will require equal investments from all NATO allies.
Canada has been spending roughly 1.23
While our healthcare system, the economy, and immigration are all crucial components of our society, they cannot continue to overshadow the growing necessity of a robust Canadian military.
Sadly, there is a pervasive stigma around politicians who have a “hawkish” approach to military investment. Most often, those who are singled out are members of the Washington D.C. establishment; White House and Pentagon leaders who are vested in advancing their personal fortune
The United States rests comfortably atop the ranking of military spending among NATO members, allocating 3.6% of its GDP on national defence.
While this may seem high to many, in reality it is on par with China’s military spending when looking at just new military equipment.
The United States pays a far higher average salary to its armed forces as a result of differing purchasing powers, that gap covers a significant portion of the spending difference between the two nations.
China is governed by Xi Jinping, an authoritarian who suppresses religious liberty and dissent. According to the reputable FreedomHouse, the country consistently ranks low in all areas of personal freedom protection.
In our globalized world, the Chinese government has used authoritarianism to police various levels of internet usage. Emily Dreyfuss of Wired calls China’s use of technology as an “instrument of control”. If that wasn’t enough, the government is now attempting to implement a dystopian social credit system that would eliminate individual privacy.
China’s government is using its citizenry as an experiment, and in doing so, neglecting the innate dignity of personhood. Technology can be advantageous, but when used to curb liberty it can only be classified as regression.
In March, Xi Jinping consolidated his own political power by amending the constitution’s provision of a two-term presidential limit. He has further intertwined his partisans in the larger political system, fortifying a prolonged term at the country’s helm.
Scholar Samuel Huntington posited in his work Political Order in Changing Societies, that modernization would lead to democracy. This has yet to occur in China. As long as the Communist Party remains, there is little optimism that Asia’s superpower will welcome democratic change.
A more comprehensive explanation for the relatively peaceful Sino-Western relations originates from the “capitalist peace theory”. It argues that economic interdependence fosters diplomacy and a reluctance towards armed conflict.
Nonetheless, it should not distract Canadian leaders from realizing the shrewd nature of Chinese foreign policy. In response to Canada arresting Huawei CFO, Wang Manzhou’s, two Canadians were detained and Richardson International’s canola imports were completely blocked.
Another cause for concern is China’s military, which has benefited tremendously from the country’s booming economy. An article in Reuter’s writes “In just over two decades, China has built a force of conventional missiles that rival or outperform those in the U.S.
To little surprise, Xi Jinping has manipulated executive powers to prioritize territorial conquest. The Asia Pacific region has been completely dominated, and Africa is likely to follow. Over the course of the next decade, China will invest $175 billion in the continent and substantially increase its military presence in the area.
Containing China is an arduous necessity. Large swathes of territory cannot become proxied by an authoritarian regime. Furthermore, the restrictions faced by China’s citizens cannot become globally normalized. Protecting the Western-led international order is a task NATO must seriously consider in the face of growing adversity. International bipolarity has already risked large scale destruction and can have more devastating impacts a second time around.
Since taking charge in 1999, Putin’s Kremlin has mainstreamed imperialism by carrying over communist era authoritarianism. Similar to China, freedoms are restricted. Between 1992 and 2019, 83 journalists were killed, and there has been an effort by the government to politicize the Orthodox church.
Although elections are held, the “field is tilted” in Putin’s favour, a characteristic of hybrid-regimes. Lastly, the illegal annexation of Crimea and a likely reunification with Belarus are just two manifestations of Russia’s expansionist approach. If Belarus is absorbed into the Russian Federation, the new borders will be directly adjacent to Poland, a valuable NATO ally. As the European Union faces disarray, the most devastating (and potentially final) blow would be Russian aggression.
The most pressing danger for Canada is Putin’s search for Arctic supremacy. CBC News published an article in February describing Russia’s increased armament of Severny Klever, a strategic military base in the northern region. Currently, “250 military personnel” have been deployed to maintain air and sea surveillance and anti-ship missiles. Putin claims that the Arctic region has resources worth up to $30 trillion. Controlling the region would be a valuable addition for him, as Russia is set to face a bleak economic future.
Canadian leaders must summon a quick response. Never before has a state demonstrated such intent to
Politicians from both sides of the ideological spectrum ought to accept the realities of climate change. It is an existential crisis that is set to worsen as time progresses. Former American Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hagel has even labelled environmental shifts as potentially leading to terrorism and biological risks.
In response, the United States has established the “Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap.” It allows for all branches of the military to be prepared for
Canada’s armed forces
Canada currently has 88,000 available military personnel. 64,000 are active, and 24,000 are in the reserves.
Each year, over 400,000 reach the eligibility age to serve in the Armed Forces. This leads to a total of 16,000,000 available manpower and over 13,000,000 being fit for service.
The current levels of available military personnel may be misleading, Canada clearly boasts an exceptional number of citizens fit for service if events require it. A widely unpopular approach, but one that would prove utilitarian nonetheless is mandatory military service.
Need for change
Trump may be brash, even embarrassing, towards world leaders, but he was completely right to demand NATO spend more on defence. In 2014, members of the alliance agreed to allocate 2% of their respective GDP towards the military. This has failed to happen, especially in Canada.
Allocating 1% of the country’s annual GDP to the military, does not suffice.
Politicians rarely discuss our armed forces, and there has been inactivity by past governments to make necessary investments.
In 2017, the Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan claimed that the Canadian Armed Forces are in a hole. A lack of sufficient funding has left it unable to complete even the most basic of tasks.
But insufficient funding isn’t the only dilemma, quality entries have also been declining in recent years. The National Post noted that the Canadian military has been accepting new recruits who are fatter, less educated and harder to motivate than previous generations, per a Defence Department audit.
In order to remain at a constant level, the military needs more than 4,000 new recruits each year to keep 68,000 full-time troops in uniform.
Perhaps the greatest embarrassment is the chaotic state of our air force. In 2018, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) reported a shortage of 275 pilots. It also needs more mechanics, sensor operators and other trained personnel. The Air Force is a multi-purpose body and should be adequately funded, just as the other military branches. A greater initiative should be taken to ensure all measures for its strength are fulfilled.
Unfavourable work conditions
Like any employee, service-people must enjoy their work environment. Unfavourable conditions decrease any interest in joining the armed forces, creating the negative predicament our country faces.
In the Air Force, burnout is a sad reality for many because employees are left doing the work of unfilled positions. The overwork affects them psychologically and has already incentivized many pilots to leave for commercial airlines instead.
James Bezan, the Conservative defence critic, said that another likely cause for the drop in RCAF pilots is a result of the CF-18 fighter jets being too old.
A second National Defence audit has found that many of Canada’s military bases are falling apart. This is because of systematic underspending on the maintenance, repair and replacement of sewers, roads and electrical, heating systems. It also concludes that the risk of electrical outages, sewer backups and other service disruptions at military bases is set to increase. The disruptions threaten
Canada has incredible potential. We are rich in energy, mineral, and timber resources; commodities that will help us navigate through an uncertain future.
The bountiful deposit provides financial security, allowing for more meaningful defence spending. If climate change’s effects are on par with scientific predictions, international trade will undergo major shifts. Canada can accumulate enormous wealth, and surpass the world’s traditional powers.
As international institutions begin to grow unpopular, sovereignty may be a defining feature going forward.
NATO will not fall, but Canada need to transform its role from being an ally on standby to active participation. With an enlarged military, NATO can become an avenue for pursuing Canadian interests.
Conrad Black dedicates the latter stage of his book, The Canadian Manifesto to advocate for a set of changes oriented towards achieving dominance. Regarding foreign policy, he notes that greater wealth and military strength will propel us from “passivity” into a world leader worth emulating.
A reinvigorated Canadian military can become the impetus for NATO, halt aggression, and ignite a renaissance for the Western-led international order.
Fiscal responsibility is paramount but it shouldn’t hinder Canada’s protection.
While our prime minister can survive a blackface scandal, the same can’t be said for these pumpkins.
Bed Bath & Beyond has removed all black Jack-o’-lanterns from their shelves after a News 12 uncovered complaints that a law firm’s display had generated outrage.
The niche jack-o-lanterns are incredible festive, adding a moderate touch of Gothic to the already dark holiday.
However, it’s 2019, and some colours must not be appropriated. Due to complaints from community members, the plastic pumpkins were removed from the Feerick, Nugent, MacCartney Law Offices in Nyack to take the pumpkins down less than 48 hours after setting them up.
“We understand that someone complained about them and so once we got word of that we immediately took them down,” says law firm partner Mary Marzolla.
“We represent people of all colors and faiths, and we would never do anything to exclude anyone from any community.”
The pumpkins had also been custom made, each being engraved with the name of a partner at the firm. Marzolla asserts the pumpkins were purely meant to be festive and not designed to offend anyone.
” It’s just nothing I take offense to personally, but since it did offend someone we took proactive steps to take it down,” says associate Alak Shah.
However, taking them down wasn’t enough.
Local NAACP Director Wilbur Aldridge said it shows an “extreme lack of sensitivity,” and now both attorneys have scolded Bed Bath & Beyond over their insensitivity and lack of foresight.
Bed Bath & Beyond, of course, bent the knee and capitulated, removing all of the pumpkins from sale.
On Monday, two children in Montreal were found killed by their father, who later committed suicide. The children, one girl and on boy, aged five and seven respectively, were found by their mother at 9 p.m. on Tuesday when she returned from work to her house on Curatteau St. at Pierre-De Coubertin Ave. in the Tétreaultville district, reports the Montreal Gazette. The father was found dead in the next room, and police ruled that it was a suicide.
Police report that neighbours had seen the father outside at roughly 3 p.m., only hours before the bodies were discovered.
“The father had his head down and didn’t say hello,” said another neighbour.
One woman, whose son was friends with one of the children, said the boy had come over to play just last Saturday, and that he will be missed by her son.
“They played in the basement for two hours,” said Mayela Sandoval. “They met this year and my son really liked him, they played together every day.”
Neighbour Manoj Chandarana told reporters that he saw four police cruisers and two ambulances hurrying to the scene and knew something was terribly wrong.
“There are suicides, we know that, but to take the lives of children is not acceptable,” he said. “Just think, if they were here today, they would be at school or daycare. Children look to their parents for protection.”
Police are still investigating the circumstances which led the 40-year-old man to commit such a terrible act.
On Wednesday, October 23, Essex Police discovered a transport truck containing the dead bodies of 39 people believed to be from Bulgaria. 38 have been identified as adults, while one was a teen. All 39 were pronounced dead on site.
According to police, one 25-year-old man from Northern Ireland, the driver of the vehicle, has been arrested and remains in custody on suspicion of murder.
“We believe the lorry is from Bulgaria and entered the country at Holyhead on Saturday 19 October and we are working closely with our partners to investigate,” says Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills in a press release.
“We have arrested the lorry driver in connection with the incident who remains in police custody as our enquiries continue. I appreciate this cordon is going to disrupt the activity of local businesses in the area and we will work to ensure that disruption is kept as short as possible. We are working with Thurrock Council to mitigate against any impact our investigation scene will have locally.”
Police say they were alerted to the existence of the truck shortly before 1.40 am Wednesday morning. They received reports that a number of people had been found inside a lorry’s container at the Waterglade Industrial Park on Eastern Avenue in Grays.
A full murder investigation into the tragedy and role the driver played is now underway. Police say that they have so far been unable to identify any of the victims and anticipate that it will be a lengthy process.
The circumstances surrounding the truck and the transport of so many people remain unknown to the public.
“This is a tragic incident where a large number of people have lost their lives. Our enquiries are ongoing to establish what has happened,” says Mills.
“We are in the process of identifying the victims, however, I anticipate that this could be a lengthy process.”
Today, the BC Human Rights Tribunal released their bombshell ruling in favour of all of the defendants Jessica “Jonathan” Yaniv had brought suits against for declining to provide services to her male genitals. In three of the cases, Yaniv was ordered to pay $2,000 in damages each to Sandeep Banipal, Marcia DaSilva, and Sukhdip Hehar for “improper conduct.”
The details of the ruling, released in a 60-page document, includes stunning detail of the Tribunal’s decision, with Yaniv being described as “engaging in extortionate behaviour,” and “being untruthful” with details, as well as “offering evidence calculated to mislead the Tribunal.”
Most shockingly, the Tribunal recognized the reality that the majority of defendants in the case were racialized women, and documented a condemnation of Yaniv as being on a mission to “punish” certain racial groups for not “assimilating into Canadian culture.” According to the ruling documents, Yaniv allegedly attempted to explain away the volume of suits against racialized women as an unavoidable consequence of “these are the only people” who provide these aesthetic services.
The Tribunal didn’t buy it.
Speaking with the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedom’s Jay Cameron, one of the key lawyers who worked on behalf of the women pro bono, the excitement over the ruling rang through his voice.
“One of the clients I spoke with was crying. It was a very heavy weight off her shoulders—the stress, the loss of income. She was exceedingly relieved.”
Commending the Tribunal for their comprehensive ruling, Cameron discussed the details of the document released by the BCHRT.
“It became evident there was a [racial] pattern with the complaints once there was more information about them.” Cameron says, noting that the pattern wasn’t immediately clear due to the publication ban, which obscured the details from case to case. But once the individual respondents were named, all became clear. Cameron also stated that the comments made by Yaniv at the tribunal proceedings itself revealed a highly charged racial sentiment.
“Yaniv’s perception of why there was a refusal to provide a service—whether because of culture, religion, or failure to conform to Canadian social norms as Yaniv sees them.” Cameron says, “That became something obvious that we had to advance on behalf of the defendants—that there was an improper motivation for the complaints.”
The Tribunal ruling revealed that Yaniv had also used fake Facebook profiles and profile images to solicit services from the women in an attempt to present as either a biological female, or significantly more feminine and far along transition than Yaniv in fact was.
On this, Cameron says “Yaniv realized when using their ordinary physical presentation on Facebook, that the women were saying look, we don’t provide this service to men because we don’t service male genitalia,” continuing, “So to work around that, Yaniv thought to work around that I will present as something stereotypically female and then spring it on them later.”
Cameron adds that the Tribunal found it was improper and calculated to obtain sufficient evidence against a service provider to ground a human rights complaint.
While Cameron said he could not comment on whether or not he foresees Yaniv attempting to ground a complaint against him in the wake of his latest victory, he offered that the Justice Centre was a public constitutional firm that did pro bono work on public interest cases.
“The friction between self-identification and service providers, that’s of public interest. The theatrical aspects of some of the complainant’s behaviour, that’s of public interest. The Justice Centre exists by virtue of the fact that people make donations.”
While the Tribunal cases for the estheticians may have come to a close, Yaniv has already launched two additional suits… One in the BCHRT against anti-LGBT Christian activist Bill Whatcott for allegedly misgendering Yaniv, and one in the BC Civil Courts against a Vancouver-area physiotherapist after the table Yaniv had been lying on allegedly broke.
In both cases, Yaniv is seeking the maximum allowable claim of $35,000.