Canada’s military is a ‘top priority,’ Anita Anand says


Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand says boosting and defending the nation’s armed forces is a “top priority” amid a altering international geopolitical panorama, recruitment issues and ongoing efforts to handle sexual misconduct within the military.

“I’ve frequently mentioned that my prime precedence is to be sure that all members of our armed forces are protected and revered after they placed on a uniform in service of this nation,” Anand advised CTV’s Your Morning on Friday, throughout an interview to mark Remembrance Day.

“The world is getting darker for a variety of causes, considered one of which is Russia’s unlawful, additional invasion of Ukraine,” Anand mentioned. “I undoubtedly pay attention to that altering international strategic atmosphere the place we now have aggressors making an attempt to make their mark towards the allied nations, and what we have to proceed to do, and can proceed to do, is to be unified.”

The Canadian authorities has been supporting Ukraine with multi-million greenback support packages, military gear and coaching for Ukrainian troopers, and Anand mentioned that assist will proceed in the long run.

In the meantime, the Canadian military has been struggling to recruit new members. Earlier this fall, the Canadian Armed Forces sounded the alarm over a extreme scarcity of recruits to fill 1000’s of vacant positions. Part of the issue was the truth that military recruitment and coaching centres have been shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to solely 2,000 folks being enrolled within the military in 2020-21 – lower than half of what was wanted — The Canadian Press reported.

The military has additionally been grappling with quite a few allegations of sexual misconduct, some involving high-ranking officers, which led to requires an inside tradition shift. Anand advised Your Morning that since her appointment as defence minister, she has been working to handle the problem and that features bringing in an exterior monitor, Jocelyne Therrien, to supervise efforts addressing sexual misconduct inside the Canadian Armed Forces.

“We’re persevering with to make progress by rising sources for the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre,” Anand mentioned.

Anand was additionally requested concerning the greater than 23,000 veterans whose incapacity claims have but to be processed by Veterans Affairs Canada. She mentioned that addressing the backlog “is extremely important to our government…since 2020, we’ve committed $340 million in an effort to make sure that that backlog is reduced.”

Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay has advised The Canadian Press that the preliminary claims are taking 25 weeks to course of. However, that doesn’t take into consideration how lengthy the paperwork sits earlier than it’s processed.

“By spring/summer season 2023, we count on service requirements to return to regular,” Anand mentioned.


Watch the total interview by clicking the video on the prime of this text. 


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