A great nation must be willing and able to defend itself.
It’s not about having a massive or overwhelming amount of military force, but it’s essential to have a force that earns respect and discourages aggression.
Unfortunately, Canada’s armed forces have deteriorated so severely that our nation is basically undefended.
Our army is tiny, our navy barely exists, and our air force is plagued with pilot shortages and old aircraft that are barely air-worthy, not to mention the “replacements” for our old F-18s that are just more old F-18s.
The procurement system is a total shambles, as nothing comes in on time, it takes a decade or more to even organize the purchase of garbage equipment, and everything ends up going over budget.
And while the Trudeau government has certainly failed to strengthen our armed forces, responsibility for the debacle is a multi-party problem.
Defence spending under both PC and Liberal governments was around 2 percent of GDP for many years (itself an already-low number), until the Mulroney government started cutting the military budget.
The Chretien government kept spending low, and while both Paul Martin and Stephen Harper periodically talked about boosting the budget, it never strayed far from 1 percent of GDP, which is about where it remains today.
Like past governments, the Liberals talked a big game about increasing the budget, and then failed to deliver.
Simply put, the Canadian political establishment has made a decision that our nation doesn’t really need a military, and the resulting pathetic levels of funding have led to us being surpassed by nations with a dramatically smaller GDP.
According to Global Fire Power, Canada ranks 41st in the world when it comes to the number of fighter aircraft with just 53 of them.
We are barely ahead of Sudan and Bangladesh. We trail Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Morocco, Angola, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and many others.
When it comes to tanks, we are in 85th spot, with 80 tanks. We just barely surpass Slovenia, Kenya, and Uruguay. Stunningly, we trail nations like Armenia, Georgia, Peru, Tanzania, Singapore, Albania, and many others.
If our military was commensurate with our position in world GDP (around 10th), then we should be closer to having about 2000 tanks and around 250 aircraft. Even if we focused more on our air force than our land forces, which would make sense given our large amount of air space, we should have a dramatically larger air force.
This is often where some people will say something like, “we’re a small country,” or “we don’t have any enemies,” or “the US protects us.”
However, all of those arguments are deeply flawed.
First of all, Canada is not a “small country.” Since we have a relatively high GDP per capita, we are one of the world’s largest economies. Our economy is comparable to Russia, and Russia has one of the most powerful armed forces in the world. There is no reason that we couldn’t focus our country on, as I’ve proposed elsewhere, building a strong and advanced air force and taking the lead along with our allies in the development of hypersonic missiles. We certainly have the money and technology for that.
Second, the idea that “we don’t have any enemies,” is false. Even the Liberals have bragged about sending troops to Europe to counter Russia, and the increasing militarization and aggression of Communist China certainly isn’t “friendly.” The whole point of having a strong military is that —while we hope to not need to use it—we can if necessary. Peace can turn into war in a split second, and we’re either prepared, or we aren’t.
Third, while the US is a great ally and we have a strong relationship with them, we are also a sovereign country. And being a sovereign country means not being reliant on others for our national defence. After all, we are supposed to be contributing to our alliance with the US and with NATO, and having at least a decent level of military power is essential to that. Additionally, it’s quite ironic that many of the same people who criticize the US for supposedly spending too much on their military instead of addressing domestic issues are the same people who say Canada doesn’t need a military since the US protects us. Why should we ask US taxpayers to pay the price for our defence?
Some also argue that it’s simply “too costly” to build up our armed forces. Sure, it would cost anywhere between $25 billion to $50 billion annually if we brought our military spending up to 2 percent or 3 percent, but those are about the size of the budget deficits run by both the Harper and Trudeau governments in previous years. Additionally, such a large investment—if directed largely towards domestic military arms production—would create a massive amount of manufacturing jobs, would have spin-off impacts that would boost research and development, and would expand the economy, offsetting some of the initial costs.
And before anyone says “Canada doesn’t build weapons,” just remember that we are already producing many billions of dollars worth of military equipment, we’re just selling it to countries like Saudi Arabia instead of utilizing it ourselves.
In fact, a 2016 Globe and Mail article noted that Canada had become the world’s second-largest arms exporter to the Middle East.
And for those who would question the cost, just imagine what would happen if the world is plunged into massive conflict and we are totally unprepared. The build-up would have to happen in a far shorter period, meaning it would be far more desperate, far more wasteful, and far more expensive.
We can either start to invest now, or desperately try to catch up when it may be too late.
Canada is a beautiful country with a proud military history, including building an immense fighting force that helped defeat Nazi Germany in WWII. Having a strong military is a core part of our national identity as Canadians, is intrinsic to who we are as a people. It’s time to remember that, and start strengthening our armed forces once more.
During an NHL game in Vancouver, a fan’s homemade sign which read “Support Don Cherry” was confiscated by the arena’s security, according to Rebel News.
The man who brought the sign to the game stated that he “just wanted to support Don Cherry” after his deeply controversial firing. The game was being played between the Vancouver Canucks and the Dallas Stars.
As well as this, the man displayed his message during a break in play, which is the designated time for signs like this to be held up. Apparently after he had held the sign up, a member of Vancouver’s security team approached the man and told him to follow him into the hallway where he met multiple policeman, who then took the sign from him.
Justice Russel Zinn has just released his written ruling on the Lawton and True North v. Canada case. The case was started when Rebel Media and the True North Centre for Public Policy began a legal action to obtain permission to cover the official English and French federal election debates. The two media organizations claimed they would face “irreparable harm” if they were denied access to the two debates.
The two media groups found that their accreditation to cover the debates was denied on the morning of Friday, Oct. 4, just three days before the debate. The two outlets then quickly filed urgent motions to the federal court on Monday, just hours before the debate for an interlocutory injunction against the commission’s denial. Their motion was heard at 3 p.m. and a decision was made shortly after at 4:30 p.m., just two-and-a-half hours before the debate started.
The two news outlets were particularly interested in going to the two debates run by the Leaders’ Debates Commission as they were the only debates in which Justin Trudeau attended. Most important to the two media organizations were the media scrums that took place after each debate, which gave time for accredited journalists to question the Prime Minister for up to ten minutes.
After the debates, Trudeau’s government decided to appeal the court’s decision to allow the group coverage of the debate. Their reasoning that Lawton, a journalist for True North didn’t meet their accreditation standards–despite other journalists being allowed to attend the event not meeting them.
The written decision released Thursday details why the honorable Justice Zinn decided to force the Canadian government to compensate True North for the legal costs they incurred.
The decision mentions in section 15, “The Executive Director of the Commission attests that ultimately all applications for accreditation were accepted except the two before the Court”
The decision to deny the media groups accreditation was an attempt by the Commission, created by the Trudeau government. Both True North and The Rebel are highly critical of the Trudeau government.
Justice Zinn’s decision also criticizes the vague qualifications that the Commission laid out and the unfair nature in which the accreditations were given out
“For these reasons, I find that the Applicants are likely to succeed at the hearing of the merits in successfully challenging the accreditation decisions as both unreasonable and procedurally unfair.”
The decision also criticized the stance of the Commission that the groups would not be negatively impacted by not being allowed physical access to the debate. Justice Zinn retorted in section 53 and 54 that the Commission was ignoring the real reason in which a media group would be interested in attending the debate would be for the scrum
“This submission ignores the reality that accredited persons have access to more than the two-hour period when the leaders are involved on stage in debating. As noted above, no accredited press have direct access to the leaders during that period. If all one gets from accreditation is the ‘privilege’ of sitting in a room with some 258 other journalists watching the televised broadcast of the six leaders debating, then one must wonder why anyone would apply to be accredited rather than watching from the comfort of one’s office or home.
In section 54 Justice Zinn states, “The Commission’s Executive Director in his affidavit provides the answer. The benefit of accreditation, and perhaps the sole benefit, is access to the media scrum.”
#FireJessAllen trends again on Twitter as The Social host who called hockey players 'white boys', 'bullies' clarifies
Comments made on an episode of CTV’s The Social yesterday have received heavy online backlash following comments made by one of their correspondents regarding Don Cherry’s firing, though the centre of the controversy has clarified some of her statements.
Former Maclean’s magazine editor and TV talk show co-host Jessica Allen was at the receiving end of plenty of online backlash following comments made about Don Cherry, and the “altar of hockey” which Canada worships, going on to say that the “white boy” hockey players could have used their parents’ money to instead, travel the world.
“Maybe it’s because of where I grew up, and going to a couple different universities. In my mind, in my experience, who does. They all tended to be white boys, who weren’t very nice, they weren’t very thoughtful they were often bullies, their parents were able to afford to spend $5000 a year on minor hockey. You could do other things than spend time in an arena, you could go on a trip and learn about the world. See other things. The world is a big place, maybe get outside of that bubble.”
The comments prompted swift replies from many upset hockey moms nationwide, who felt as though Allen was making sweeping generalizations about their sons, and undermining the importance and sense of community that many small towns across Canada have attached to the game.
During the controversy, CTV did not reply to TPM‘s request for comment, though Allen went on the air the next day and decided to clear the air.
“It turns out I struck a nerve with many people when I spoke of personal experiences with specific people who were hockey players — white, not typically kind or thoughtful, and typically bullies, from affluent families. I wish these experiences didn’t happen, and they no way negate the positive experiences that millions in this country have had with hockey,” said Allen.
“My lived experiences certainly don’t negate how much good the sport does for communities and families across the country. Rest assured hockey families, I wasn’t speaking about your sons and daughters, who I’m sure aren’t bullies, and I’m sure love hockey as much as you do,” Allen continued, before rattling off examples of the positive effects it has had in her family.
“I was speaking about my own lived experiences, often negative experiences with those who played the sport, and how they led to me being conflicted with hockey being so closely bound with our national identity.
Allen’s comments may not have gone over as well as she had hoped, though, as many perceived her comments as doubling down.
This prompted the Twitter hashtags #FireJessAllen and #FireJessicaAllen to trend for the better part of Thursday.
Though Allen attempted to clarify that she was speaking about her own experiences, it seems as though she may have struck the same nerve twice.
“Sometimes a scandal isn’t just a scandal, but a biopsy of a society,” said the British author Douglas Murray earlier this year. This apercu was coined in his reporting on the scandal that involved the indomitable philosopher, Roger Scruton, who was fired from his position in the British government for things he never said. This was the product of the crafty editing skills of George Eaton, who distorted Scruton’s responses to make him look like all kinds of politically incorrect bugaboos.
Though the context and character are different, Murray’s phrase can apply to the non-ceremonial ousting of Canada’s beloved curmudgeon, Don Cherry. His defenestration carries with it all the great features of the perfect cancelling. One of them is perhaps the most aggravating: false outrage over things that a few years ago might have disturbed the overly sensitive, but the effects would have been momentary. It would have blown over after a day or two. People would have quickly gained their composure and moved on and left the octogenarian to his work, which many Canadians enjoy. And yes, his cantankerous demeanour is among the many reasons why this has been the case for decades.
But, unfortunately, the culture we’re living in rewards outrage to the point that people will pursue it for the sake of social validation and to feed their own egomania; they’re supposed compassion for the “violated” comes off so contrived and convenient as to be nauseating. Particularly since the things upon which they train their sights are often as frivolous as a sports broadcaster expressing his concerns over people not wearing poppies. One can’t help but take notice of the façade being showcased by many, since if we were to suggest that they do something that would actually make their outrage worthwhile—such as donating property to an immigrant Cherry ostensibly violated—they’d likely disappear quickly from their podium of virtue. When Cherry was on his show earlier this week, Tucker Carlson said that these people are “fascists” with no feelings and are using their “outrage” to “exert power.”
We certainly can argue over the applicability of the word “fascist,” but the gist of what Carlson said is accurate. With the most cursory reading of the avalanche of denouncements, it’d not be far-fetched to assert that many deep down aren’t really that appalled by Don Cherry’s comments. For with the advent of social media, these people have developed even more of an addiction to attaining instant approval from their peers and, upon seeing where the wind is blowing, have shifted their focus to satisfying this addiction through the pursuit of superficial causes they likely weren’t interested in until an hour ago.
What this has created is a generation of moral narcissists who engage in performative outrage, treating takedowns of old-timers like Don Cherry as some great act of bravery and something for which they are owed adulation. They operate in a non-existent universe in which they have had no moments of indiscretion, and they arrogantly impose their new standards of perfection onto people for offences past and present. In a sober-minded world, they’d likely be left standing on a corner rambling like a crazed wing nut and attract only a few supporters. But social media provides them with an obsequious, like-minded tribe who will readily applaud their every utterance and provide them with a constant dose of self-satisfaction.
In a new article for the Atlantic with the fitting title, “The Dark Psychology of Social Networks,” Jonathan Haidt and Tobias Rose-Stockwell provide one of the most insightful analyses of this social malaise. They argue that people have become susceptible to this contagion of “fake outrage” as social media has transformed “communication into a public performance.” The lack of intimacy in the Twittersphere makes interaction with others entirely based upon outdoing the next person with their “grandstanding” and scrutinizing of others instead of actually making an attempt to connect with people by productive, two-way communication. “ Nuance and truth are casualties in this competition to gain the approval of an audience,” they observe. “Grandstanders scrutinize every word spoken by their opponents—and sometimes even their friends—for the potential to evoke public outrage. Context collapses. The intent of the speaker is ignored.”
With the immediate consumption of mass information, people have lost touch with ideas and principles that have long sustained civil society and have come to see little value in learning about them, while becoming obsessed with dim-witted fights. “Even though they have unprecedented access to all that has ever been written and digitized,” Haidt and Rose-Stockwell write, “members of Gen Z (those born after 1995 or so) may find themselves less familiar with the accumulated wisdom of humanity than any recent generation, and therefore more prone to embrace ideas that bring social prestige within their immediate network yet are ultimately misguided.”
These people deprive themselves of the timeless values that would restrain them—such as reason, curiosity, truth, giving others the benefit of the doubt, decency, pluralism, among others.
People, such as those on The Social, instead become dog whistle specialists, who are incredibly precise when it comes to reading minds and confirming one’s motives without any further questions. They then claim it as evidence of a much larger crisis, though the only ones really “taking offence” are the cultural elitists in the major metropolitans and their Twitter legion of moral narcissists desperate to profit off of outrage.
Don Cherry is only the latest casualty of this insidious enterprise.