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Absence of military spending and veterans’ issues from debate was a huge mistake

However, two issues that were not discussed at any length was military spending, and support for Veterans. That is appalling.
Spencer Fernando Winnipeg, MB

A tonne of issues were discussed in the federal leaders’ debate, if you consider a bunch of people talking over each other in a desperate attempt to create 10 second soundbite clips a “discussion.”

However, two issues that were not discussed at any length was military spending, and support for Veterans.

That is appalling.

There appears to have been one mention of Veterans that lasted about 5 seconds, and there was zero discussion of Canada’s nearly non-existent armed forces.

And considering how the world is becoming more and more dangerous, and how our nation is being left at the mercy of foreign countries, it represents a failure of Canada’s entire political class.

The most basic function of government is to protect the nation it governs, and that means having a military that is capable of deterring potential aggression and encroachment on our territory.

Some might say, “what aggression,” and “what encroachment,” but they would be ignoring the fact that countries like China and Russia are increasingly active in the arctic, and that Canada’s arctic claims are seen as a joke because we have no ability to enforce them.

Combine that with the fact that cyberwarfare, the militarization of space, the rise of advanced drones, and hypersonic missiles give a clear edge to technologically advanced nations (like Canada if we actually used that advantage) and the potential for both tremendous vulnerability and tremendous security exists.

But none of that was discussed at the debate.

Imagine a destabilized and chaotic world that quickly descends into violence…

Wouldn’t you want Canada to have – at the very least – a strong air force and effective hypersonic weapons to deter anyone with potentially hostile intent?

Wouldn’t it be better to at least start to build up our strength now, rather than get caught off guard when it’s nearly too late?

Consider the fact that people in the early 1910s and 1930s couldn’t have predicted the horrific violence and carnage that awaited the world, and you can see that simply hoping for the best is a fool’s errand.

Canada’s military spending is stunningly low, and that means the cost of strengthening our armed forces – particularly if we focus on the air force and hypersonic missiles would actually be quite low as well.

When you consider that Canada ran deficits of about $60 billion at the height of the global recession, and we are running endless deficits of $20 billion even without a recession, it’s clear that the doubling of our military budget (from $20 billion to $40 billion) is eminently feasible.

Additionally, such a surge in military investment would be a massive driver of innovation, create a massive amount of jobs, and boost our domestic economy, lessening our reliance on exports.

Yet, none of that will happen until we start demanding that our leaders take the defence of our nation seriously, and stop sleepwalking towards potential disaster.

Even more appalling than the failure to discuss military spending is the absence of discussion of the struggles facing our veterans.

Our veterans put everything on the line for us, yet have been repeatedly abandoned by the federal government, both Liberals and Conservatives alike. And who can forget Justin Trudeau’s infamous “asking for more than we’re able to give right now,” comment to veterans, even as he kept massively increasing spending everywhere else?

That should have been brought up, and all party leaders should have been forced to make strong and ironclad commitments to Canada’s veterans.

By excluding discussion of veterans and military spending, the political class has once again shown a lack of understanding of their responsibility to the Canadian People.

Spencer Fernando
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