The Harper government plans to increase the Canadian Forces presence across the country with new units in 14 cities as well as shifting 5,000 regular force personnel from support and desk jobs to training and front-line missions.
Between now and 2016, the army will establish "territorial response battalions" in Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg, Niagara-Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, Saint John, Halifax and St. John's. The units would be designed to react to domestic emergencies such as natural disasters or a terrorist attack.
The details are outlined in the Conservative government's "Canada First" defence strategy, which has been leaked to the Citizen. No date has been set for the strategy to be released publicly. The report outlines the direction the military will follow over the next 15 years.
It's refreshing to see national defence being taken seriously again. As in defence of the national territory and interest, as opposed to sending undermanned, underequipped forces on pointless peacekeeping exercises to appear to be doing something.
Unfortunately, as with all long-term plans, carrying it out depends on the next government committing to it. I shudder to think what a Dion government will do with this plan.
Source: Ottawa Citizen