Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence

Issue 4 - Evidence, Evening meeting


KINGSTON, Monday, November 29, 2004

The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this day at 5:30 p.m. to examine and report on the need for a national security policy for Canada, (Town Hall Meeting).

Senator Colin Kenny (Chairman) in the Chair.

[English]

The Chairman: Good evening. Welcome. It is my pleasure to welcome you to a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on National Security and Defence. Come on up to the front. We have some seats for you. We are happy to have you sitting there.

Tonight's town hall meeting forum is for the residents of Kingston on issues relating to defence policy. My name is Colin Kenny. I am a senator from Ontario and I chair the committee.

Here is how the evening will go, we hope. First, I will introduce the senators, then I will talk briefly about some of the committee's work to date and then I will pass the proceedings over to Professor David Haglund from Queen's University, who will act as moderator for this evening's discussions.

On behalf of the committee, Dr. Haglund, I would like to thank you very much for your assistance in getting the meeting organized.

On my immediate right is the distinguished senator from Nova Scotia, Senator Michael Forrestall. Senator Forrestall has served the constituents of Dartmouth for the past 37 years, first as their member of the House of Commons, then as their senator. During his tenure in the House, he served as parliamentary secretary to several cabinet ministers, including the Minister of Transport and the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion.

On my far right is Senator Tommy Banks from Alberta. Senator Banks is well known to Canadians as one of our most versatile musicians and entertainers. His musical career spans over 50 years. He has received a Juno Award and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He is also the chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources and of the Alberta Liberal Caucus.

On my immediate left is Senator Joseph Day from New Brunswick. He has a longstanding connection to Kingston. He holds a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering from RMC and an LLB from Queen's University. Senator Day also has a Masters of Law from Osgoode Hall. Prior to his appointment to the Senate in 2001, he had a successful career as an attorney. He is also Deputy Chair of the Standing Senate Committee on National Finance and on our Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.

Beside him is Jim Munson from Ontario. Senator Munson was a trusted journalist and a former Director of Communications for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien before he was called to the Senate. Senator Munson has twice been nominated for a Gemini Award in recognition of excellence in journalism.

We are just being joined now by Senator Jane Cordy from Nova Scotia. She is an accomplished educator with an extensive record of community involvement, including serving as Vice-Chair of the Halifax-Dartmouth Port Development Commission. She is also the Chair of the Canadian NATO Parliamentary Association.

Our committee is the first permanent Senate committee mandated to examine both security and defence. We have produced five reports on national security and defence over the past three years. Our reports have concluded that the Canadian Forces were underfunded and overworked and we have recommended, amongst other things: a permanent increase in baseline spending on the military of approximately 25 per cent, with continued increases tied to inflation thereafter; a reduction in the pace of military deployment overseas until resources allocated to the forces more closely match the tasks demanded of them; and a refocusing of the role of the reserves to concentrate more on domestic preparedness.

In total, we have made over 130 recommendations and what we are doing here is the next step. The committee has been charged by the Senate to look at Canada's defence policy. This is the first time such an undertaking has occurred in the past decade. We are examining what kind of Canadian Forces Canada needs and, more importantly, what kind of military do Canadians want.

The information and opinions we collect from you this evening will be incorporated into a report that we will submit to the Senate prior to September 2005. I should say that the last time we did it — three senators on this committee participated in the last exercise back in 1993-94 — roughly 90 per cent of the committee's report was subsequently incorporated into the white paper that became the government policy that we are still working under today.

I want to reiterate that we are here to listen to you. We want to hear what you have to say. We do not view this as a question-and-answer session. We really view this as us hearing what you have to say and perhaps asking you to clarify what we have heard. It is your opportunity to give us your views and what we would like to hear are your feelings about the Canadian Forces, how you would like to see them organized and what sort of things you would like to see them do.

As I mentioned earlier, our moderator is David Haglund. Dr. Haglund is Professor of Political Studies at Queen's University and served as the Director for the Centre of International Relations. He will advise you on the rules of the meeting.

Doctor, the floor is yours.

Dr. David Haglund, Professor of Political Studies, Queen's University: Thank you, senator. Thank you, senators, for coming to Kingston to share your important responsibilities with the members of the community.

The ground rules are: There are two microphones in the hall. If you wish to make a comment, line up in front of one of them. I realize there is not much room, but I think you will see there are aisles that will allow you to do so.

You will not be asking questions. The senators are here to learn from us, to learn from you. You will to be making a presentation that will not exceed three minutes. I have a technological gadget here I have never worked before and will no doubt mess up, but until such time as I confuse matters, I will be keeping close track of your usage of time by pressing a start and stop button. When the red light goes on, you stop. The yellow light should go on at the 30-second mark if I have that correctly. Keep looking in my direction.

If when the three minutes are up you have not stopped, the microphones will go dead. So you might as well plan to stop.

Only one member of the committee may then ask a question of you to clarify your comments. They will try to keep the questions short and I have been instructed to assist them in this task by reminding them that 30 seconds is ample time to ask a pointed question. If they do ask a question of you, you will then have up to a minute and a half to respond. I will enforce the time limits and I will advise you when your time has elapsed.

For the minute-and-a-half response, should you care to make one, I do not plan to tax my technological knowledge and reprogram this gadget, so I will clear my throat or otherwise make it obvious that your time to respond has ended.

The committee requires the speakers to identify themselves for the record. This is so that they can create an accurate record of the evening and follow up, if necessary, with you. Since this is a parliamentary proceeding, you will understand that an accurate record is needed. I think you will all have picked up registration cards and when you are in line to make your presentation, please make sure that you have handed your card to the clerk, who would be next to each microphone. There should have been a card on your chair when you arrived. If you did not get one, there are more available at the back of the room.

When you begin to speak, please remember to state your name for the record. Thank you.

The Chairman: Dr. Haglund, one item that I neglected to mention is that we have translation facilities here. Headphones are available at the back of the room. Obviously, either language is acceptable to the committee.

Mr. Paul Gervan, As an individual: I suspect that I will be sharing a slightly different perspective than most of you with regard to military matters, since I am neither a professional nor a politician. However, I think I speak for a large number of Canadians who, as my grandmother used to say, are mad enough to spit.

Canada's defence policy seems to be totally out of joint with the realities of the world as we know it now. The world has changed dramatically in the past three or four years. It seems to me that we are on the verge of just carrying on with our antiquated means of playing this pathetic role of toadying to the American empire and trying to keep pace with their irrational and destructive defence spending.

I have travelled a great deal in the past 40 years. My business has called me overseas many times. Two things have been clear: The futility of force — it just has not worked in my lifetime. I have not seen it result in further peace or stability in the world. In fact, we are in a much more unstable circumstance and our children are more threatened, I think, by the international situation now than I was as a child of the bomb in the 1940s and 1950s.

With respect to this change that I have spoken about, the world has been totally realigned. I think anyone who has been outside of Canada has been very much impressed by how unpopular the United States is. It seems that we are, in fact, just carrying on, particularly with our missile defence expenditures, politic expenditures, toadying to the U.S. interests, and we are way out of step with the wishes of the vast majority of the inhabitants of this planet.

We are in a dream world. America is, in fact, the evil empire and we are supporting them. We are on the border here, and with our wealth of resources, our water and our oil, if there is anything that our military should be doing it is protecting our sovereignty, both to the north and to the south.

Diesel submarines and these laughable procurement policies have been an embarrassment to the military. I feel sorry for those in the military. I feel sorry for us who have had to pay for it. I would wish dearly that Canada would reallocate its military resources to a civil defence, protecting our resources and our sovereignty, and moving dramatically away to an independent foreign policy, an independent military policy and less integration with the American Forces.

Senator Banks: We think that we are, in the main, pursuing an independent policy, as has been widely evidenced, I believe. However, do you think that we have no responsibility ever to involve ourselves in a foreign adventure, as you might see it, when it comes to sending an expeditionary force somewhere to do something that we, as a national interest, think is right?

Mr. Gervan: Yes, I definitely applaud Canada's peacekeeping efforts in the world, inasmuch as they are independent and appropriate. Our peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan are not independent and appropriate. We were assigned that by George Bush. It is inappropriate for our forces to be there.

It may be appropriate for our forces and humanitarian efforts to be launched towards the Sudan or other humanitarian crises in the world.

However, certainly you folks from the Liberal Party — my God, the Liberal Party — have sold us down the drain to George Bush. Let there be no mistake: The decision on missile defence has been made. Canadians have not had a voice in that decision. That is a huge decision that has huge financial ramifications for this country. It has huge ramifications for the security of this country and huge ramifications not just for the monies spent on it, but also the fact that those squandered monies could go to far more useful things, such as AIDS in Africa. There are all kinds of humanitarian crises crying out to us. Why would we spend money on missile defence, which has never been proven to work, and which is not defence; it is offensive in nature. It fuels the further arms race.

I hear you coughing, thank you. I will be out of here.

Mr. Haglund: It was not I who was coughing, actually. However, thank you, Senator Munson, for coughing. The time was up.

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret'd) Arthur T.R.H. Neadow, As an individual: Madam and gentlemen, I am a Lieutenant-Colonel, Retired, PPCLI. I spent 55 years in the service of my country, starting as a young cadet at the age of 10 and finishing at age 65 as one of the active supplementary reservists who agreed to be called out before the War Measures Act was declared in accordance with the recommendations of the previous parliamentary committee, under Marcel Prud'homme.

I was planning to give you a lot more of my bona fides, but because of the three-minute limit, I will say that I joined the PW here in Kingston, the Princess of Wales Own Regiment and then the Brockville Rifles, saw the error of my ways and joined the regular force with the Patricia's. Those are my bona fides.

Today, I would like to speak about three points. I would like to speak about the principles of war as they apply to command and control, leadership training and administration. I would like to speak on the impact on foreign policy of a poorly organized and poorly equipped reserve force and regular force. I will presume to make a point on immigration. The last point I would like to make, if I have time, is on your visit.

There are 10 principles of war. To the best of my knowledge, most of the soldiers that I bumped into today cannot recall them, cannot recite them, and if they can recite them, they do not know what the hell they mean.

I will not recite them for you here, except to say that the primary principle is the selection and maintenance of the aim, and in any white paper I have looked at, I have never seen any indication that anybody who was involved in writing the paper had any understanding whatsoever of the principle of war called "selection and maintenance of the aim." It is simple: You decide what to do, then you prepare the force to do it and then you do it.

Instead, the last white paper that I read had 55 missions and tasks for the force and, of course, we could not do them or we did not know which one to look after first. That is a violation of every military and business principle on leadership that I have ever read. This white paper replaced a very simple mission that we used to have, and that was close with and destroy the enemy. That seems to be completely lost in many of the papers that are presented by the government.

When we turned to this standard, we could carry out any mission that was less than total war — peacekeeping, peacemaking, or like when I commanded the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force in Israel; we could do that with the training that we had then.

Senator Munson: Just a brief question. Would you be prepared to see our taxes go up to pay for more defence spending? When we talk to Canadians, everybody admires the military and what the military is doing. However, when we ask about spending, the priorities are health and education. It seems at the end of the day, the government makes a decision on what they will spend.

What do you see in terms of spending priorities?

Mr. Neadow: Sir, I have a very radical answer to that, and that is I am now approaching 73 years of age, and medicine is becoming something I would really love to have — I should have it — but there are better places you can put the money as far as I am concerned, for example, into education and a proper military.

I would also like to see the reserve force get its own budget so that it is not compelled to react to the regular force budget day by day.

Dr. Frederick W. Fairman, As an individual: I am Emeritus Professor of Feedback Control Systems at Queen's University.

I will make a short statement that I do not think will take three minutes.

The proposal to have Canada join the U.S. in the missile shield, which is Star Wars all over again, should be rejected. My first point is that if we were to sign on to this U.S. program, Canada's reputation as a peacemaker would be put in jeopardy and we would be seen as a contributor to a new arms race. Instead, we should beef up our border activity to ensure that terrorists and the materiel of terrorism are not able to enter this country.

My second point is that the U.S. has been working on a missile shield for years and respected experts still insist that it can never be made to work. In addition, any power sophisticated enough to be able to launch a ballistic missile at the U.S. would be capable of employing countermeasures to render the shield ineffective.

My third point is why waste taxpayers' money on this silly idea when there is so much needing to be done to improve the lives of the average person in this country.

Finally, if democracy is a virtue, then fast-tracking legislation is a sin. There must be a full debate, with a vote in the House, to decide if and under what conditions Canada should enter into discussions with the U.S. over this issue.

Senator Forrestall: Doctor, I do not know how to put this. It had to do with the missile defence system and the funds that will be appropriated with respect to it. If we had choices in this matter, and thank God we are still a free country and do, and other costs came to light, would you be prepared for us to bear other costs with respect to national defence expenditures — I am thinking of more troops, more reserves and more at-home activity — do you have any views on that?

Dr. Fairman: My view is that Canada should look carefully at exactly what this committee is looking at, that is, what our needs are, and then make a decision based on that. It seems to me that what we need is the capability to at least maintain surveillance of all our coastlines and to make sure that weapons are not entering the country through the ports.

That is my only concern.

Mr. Bill Grayden, As an individual: I own a small family business here, Bioped Footwear and Orthotics. About 10 per cent to 15 per cent of my business comes from the military community, so it has a direct effect on me. An even greater effect would come from the security aspects, particularly now after 9/11. Terrorism or any disaster is bad for business.

I want to comment on the marvellous job done by the militia during such things as the ice storm and the Manitoba floods, and in combat with the Second Battalion PPCLI, Medak Pocket. The military is rising in prominence in the media these days and I think now is the time to strike, while the iron is hot.

Armies exist to serve the state. My concern is our capacity to do that. Given that the application of force will no doubt make it easier to prevent violence and other disasters, as Tom Axworthy said yesterday morning, in Canada we talk the talk, but we are not walking the walk. We have already inexpensive means to correct some of this and that is the community militia. I think that the government needs to recognize their value and to require the forces to comply with their direction.

I would be interested in any comments or questions that you have.

Senator Day: Mr. Grayden, thank you for being here. Could you tell me if you see a role for the militia that is different from that of the regular force or a supplement to it? You talked about independent operations they had, but you also talked about filling in on a regular force mission. Can the militia do both or should they have their own mandate?

Mr. Grayden: The militia can do both and you can divide units and/or parts of units so that those people who have the time and the energy can become special service forces in the militia. You can have one platoon of a particular unit off doing that job while the others are learning other trades.

Fundamentally, they still must learn those basic military skills that hold everybody in good stead. Those who have the time and inclination can go on to become soldiers who will supplement the regular force and take part in special roles, et cetera. Others will not have the time; they probably own their own businesses. I remember the ice storm, when a young kid was acting as a taxi driver. He gave his business to his parents to run, and for the two or three weeks of the ice storm, he was off all over Lanark-Renfrew County doing that. He took the time to do that. Could he go on a six-month tour? Probably not, but others can.

The militia is there to be recognized. It is a community symbol. There is a lot of recruiting going on out there. We have had 100 people lined up trying to get into the militia units, and they are being told, wait three more months, three more months. This is a tragedy, when you have a number of people like that, lined up, trying to get in to do their service to their country, and they are beaten down like that.

Ms. Nancy Fairman, As an individual: Good evening, senators. I am a retired library assistant at Queen's University.

I am speaking this afternoon to urge you not to recommend that Canada join the U.S. in the missile defence treaty. I have read that, (1) it can never be made to work; (2) huge amounts of public money will be required; (3) it would lead to a new global arms race; and (4) only Canada's defence contractors will benefit.

This issue is too important for the government to decide on its own. Only debate and a vote in Parliament will suffice.

Senator Cordy: Thank you for coming to speak with us tonight. I think forums such as this are important in gathering public opinion on such matters as ballistic missile defence. Certainly, we are getting public opinion on it this evening.

Whether we Canadians like it or not, the Americans are likely to go ahead with ballistic missile defence. It certainly appears that this is one of the issues that George Bush will be pursuing. Canadians have always worked with the Americans on air defence through NORAD. In fact, what a lot of people do not know is that the officer in charge at NORAD on 9/11 was a Canadian.

As Canadians, we have to make choices. Fortunately, we do not always go along with the Americans, and certainly, on the invasion of Iraq, I was delighted that our Prime Minister at the time decided that Canadians would not follow the Americans. The choice that we have to make as Canadians — and one that I would ask you about — would be: If in fact we choose not to join with the Americans on missile defence, are we willing to give up our role in NORAD? I am not saying that will happen, but it is a possibility. I am wondering how you would feel about that.

Ms Fairman: Was NORAD set up to defend the north from incoming missiles or whatever it was? It was set up quite a while ago. I still think that the Canadian military — perhaps more the reserves — should be set up, and probably with more forces, to defend our actual borders, and not get involved with defence missiles that you can carry in your handbag and be locked up over. Everybody can get into that.

Perhaps NORAD should be strengthened, but not in terms of missile defence.

Mr. Wyn van der Selee, As an individual: Good evening, senators. I have recently moved to Kingston from Calgary so I have a slightly different perspective.

I am a graduate of RMC who served for 11 years afterwards in the regular army and then for about 25 years as a civil servant in the City of Calgary, so I have a civilian and a military perspective. I have also served in the reserves.

My comment is that Canada is vulnerable to terrorism, either directly or from terrorists using Canada as a base to attack the United States. The militia, located as it is in at least 125 different Canadian communities, seems well suited to play a major role in the prevention and aftermath of any attack, and in fact, in a lot of communities, is the only effective backup to the first responders, the police and the fire department.

However, it is so small, at 15,000 notionally, that it is difficult to try to plan any role or task. My point is that it should be greatly enlarged, probably to about 45,000 to 50,000. I will reveal my true colours here. I am a member of Reserves 2000, which is advocating numbers of that magnitude.

In addition, we have to remove the legislative and bureaucratic roadblocks to employing the militia in that role. As it stands now, if there is a disaster in lower Moose Pasture, Saskatchewan, where there is no regular force, the militia needs to go through the provincial and federal governments to get authority to save its own community. That is ridiculous.

We need a system whereby a commanding officer can make a decision in conjunction with a mayor to provide assistance to that civil authority.

Senator Meighen: I also reveal my true colours, I agree with you. It is probably fair to say, in terms of the role of the reserves, that a few years ago, the animosity, if I can use that word, between the regular force and the reserves force was at a reasonably high level, the regulars thinking that the reserves were just a bunch of amateurs. However, since recent operations overseas, where the regulars have had to be supplemented by reserves and they have seen what the reserves could accomplish, that has diminished quite considerably.

You outline a role for the reserves that, I think, is a legitimate one. What about overseas? With modern-day peace enforcing and peace creating becoming highly technical, can the reserves, in your view, be adequately trained in the time available so that they can fulfil the same roles as the regulars, whether on land, sea or air?

Mr. van der Selee: There are several dimensions to that question, sir. One is that we should not underestimate the capability of the average reservist. I think in a lot of cases, the average reservist brings experience to the military job that is not found in the regular force.

Also, you can do both, as one of my predecessors at this microphone said. They can supplement and complement the regular force.

Mr. Blair MacLean, As an individual: I was the Conservative candidate in the last election.

Thank you, senators, for offering citizens an opportunity to be heard. I thank you for coming to Kingston and express a welcome to you.

I must say that as I have grown older, I have come to place increasing importance on Canada having a strong and capable military. Canada's greatest vulnerability is in punching below its weight on the international stage. Many have said that Canada is less important on the world stage than it used to be. In the two world wars, Canadians were recognized by the world as important. After the last war, our diplomacy led the world — including the formation of the United Nations and Lester Pearson's work to peaceably resolve the Suez Crisis. Canada was admired and respected around the world.

I suggest our international standing has fallen in tandem with the decline of federal government attention to our military. Yet we clearly need the military to protect our shores from the terrorism that has struck many of our allies, from Spain to Australia to, of course, the United States. We would like to think it cannot happen here, but the sad truth is that it can. Canada must be prepared.

When the lights went out in Ontario a year and a half ago, the federal government's central command post was inoperable. The electricity went out. Canada must do better than this for the sake of our national security.

The current approach fails to learn from history, including very recent history. We succumbed to the lazy thinking that military spending could be chopped in a post-Cold War setting. Even 9/11 has done little to change the prevailing thinking of the federal government. They talked the talk, certainly in the last campaign, but do not walk the walk.

Our government has shopped on the cheap. Necessary purchases of helicopters are postponed, with taxpayer money poured down the drain on cancellation fees. Thirty hours of maintenance, as I am sure you know, are required for every hour our pitiful Sea Kings are in the air. We all know about the tragic ramifications surrounding the government's decision to purchase used submarines from the British. In order to move our troops and supplies, Canada needs to rent foreign aircraft.

Two items from this morning's newspapers tell the tale. Our own Whig Standard published comments by former Prime Minister Trudeau's chief of staff, Tom Axworthy, who said, "Canada's vulnerability has increased not because of an independent stance on critical issues, but because we no longer have the capacity to be effective or make a difference."

Military Ombudsman André Marin says in today's Toronto Star: "The human effects among Canadian troops in Afghanistan are the federal government's disregard of our military." He said, "In the short period I was there, I saw them very focused, motivated to do their job, but they are just plain exhausted and overrun by the burden."

Senator Banks: Thank you, Mr. MacLean. You are a Conservative, I am a Liberal, and in essence, we agree on principle. As the chair has said, our reports have gone very much in the direction that you are talking about.

However, from the standpoint of the government, this is a question of spending priorities. We have found — this is merely anecdotal — that when we ask people what their priorities are, in the sense of asking, "Do you think we ought to have a stronger military?" everybody says, "Absolutely."

The earlier question was asked: "Are you then prepared to pay more taxes in order to bring that about?" or failing that, "From what existing government program should we take the money to do that?" knowing that government consists of collecting money and deciding where to spend it.

What is your view of where the money would come from, given that there is a stated priority on the part of this government that when money is left over at the end of the budget year, it goes to reduce our $500 billion long-term debt?

Mr. MacLean: It is a question of the day, is it not, senator. My view is that the government has to make a case. It has a responsibility to make a case to the Canadian people and it has failed to do so. National security is important to every one of us, regardless of whether we recognize it or not. It is up to government to lead the way.

The questions, though, are not as hard as you have suggested, given that we have been running surpluses year after year for a good many years now — four or five anyway — so the money has been there. It is just the desire and the leadership on the part of the federal government that has been lacking.

Ms. Nicole Dunn, As an individual: I am a Queen's University student studying in the Masters in Public Administration program and the defence management specialization.

I am here today to talk to you a little about the research that I have done. Specifically, I wish to identify four of the main crises that I see in the Canadian Forces and give some brief recommendations.

As I said, the Canadian Forces are in a state of crisis. The main problem from which this crisis stems is inadequate funding.

There are other crises that flow from this initial problem. The four I wish to identify are: the crises between the present force and the future force, a human resource crisis, a capital rust-out crisis and a plummeting international reputation crisis. Ultimately, if Canada does not address these crises in the Canadian Forces, there will be a question of sustainability and we could face a loss of sovereignty.

On the present force versus the future force, basically, the present force crisis and the future force crisis are enemies, both taking attention and funding away from each other. In the end, that could result in both of them disintegrating.

On the human resource crisis, many members are expected to retire within the next decade and we do not seem to be able to fill those positions as quickly as people are leaving, and specifically with trained and experienced personnel. The rapid rate at which skilled and experienced leaders are leaving is truly worrisome.

The capital rust-out crisis has been in the media frequently. Senator Kenny has written about it specifically with respect to strategic airlift. Yet as each day passes without decisions to act on our capital rust-out, the span widens and the crisis deepens.

The last crisis I would like to talk about is the plummeting international reputation. The majority of Canadians view themselves and take pride in identifying themselves as peacekeepers. However, as our military disintegrates and our capabilities diminish, we face the threat of losing our international reputation, position and influence.

Moving on to my recommendations, my first is before we write a new policy, we have to decide what our defence priorities should be — what, where, when, why, how we want to engage our Armed Forces.

The second recommendation is I feel it is imperative to establish a sense of urgency in the Canadian government as well as the Canadian public. There is a need for a complementary relationship between foreign policy and defence policy. One should not be created without consideration of the other.

Another recommendation is the Defence budget should plainly be increased. Given that there is a surplus of $9 billion, there is no reason why the government cannot increase defence spending, especially since we want to be an international player.

Lastly, a problem with writing policies in general is that they are rather like computers. You write one and the next day, it is obsolete. When reviewing the old defence policy and making recommendations for a new one, I think we should keep in mind the adaptability of the policy. We need one that reflects the current reality, but can prepare for the realities of tomorrow.

Senator Cordy: Mr. Chair, could she also give us her paper?

Senator Day: We spent the whole day and could never have summarized all of that as well as you have done in three minutes. If you had another minute and a half, would you be able to give us a few more insights from your work?

Ms. Dunn: One of my recommendations would be to hire me to help fix all the problems. I am looking for a job after this degree is finished.

Senator Day: I am wondering if you have thought about how the defence policy fits in with the broader security policy and foreign policy. Can we deal with defence policy in a little silo by itself?

Ms. Dunn: No, I do not think we can. Defence policy, foreign policy, security and everything that you just mentioned are all kind of in the same pot. We can separate them to an extent, but you need to consider one in order to deal with the other.

I think it is important to deal with both. A lot of defence policy is domestic and a lot of it is international. Both need to be taken into consideration when writing and reviewing policy.

The Chairman: Thank you. Leave your résumé with the clerk.

Mr. Michael Carter, As an individual: I am also a graduate student at Queen's University.

Much of the debate surrounding defence policy, both this evening and in general, concerns a need for greater resources and the question of where those resources will come from.

I submit to you that the greatest failure of Canadian defence policy in recent history has not come from a lack of resources, but rather the appallingly poor organization and allocation of those resources. In health care policy, which of course receives more attention in Canadian politics than does defence, considerable discourse is devoted to the concept of upstream versus downstream policy-making. You can spend the resources now or you can spend them after crises occur.

I suggest that a more standard, consistent and strong parliamentary overview of the policies being developed could assure better allocation of the resources that do exist, rather than expanding the present tax base. Or at least it would mitigate the amount of the expansion as well as save us from international diplomatic embarrassment through poor allocation decisions, poor procurement decisions and poor deployment decisions. That would save that sort of diplomatic capital, and most of all, could save the lives of our Canadian Forces personnel, rather than deploying them on dangerous and unnecessary assignments worldwide.

It puzzles me as to why the area of Canadian policy-making that has the direst of consequences for Canadian citizens' lives and Canadian Forces members' lives does not benefit from this type of permanent, consistent parliamentary overview.

Senator Munson: Could you expand a little on the parliamentary overview? What I have learned after 35 years as a journalist and two years working for Jean Chrétien is that the decisions are made at the centre, the "centre" meaning three or four men or women are making those decisions and walking into this parliamentary setting.

After hearing your views, I would be curious to know how much power you would see in the parliamentary overview and the time constraints on that.

Mr. Carter: Defence policy decisions are obviously made from the centre, as you say, by the executive. Since, by definition, defence policy does serve political interests, there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. The problem comes from the executive being poorly informed and lacking expertise in the area of defence policy.

The first step towards enlightening the executive is a committee not unlike your own. However, it must go further than just producing reports that are read, hopefully, and then filed away in the parliamentary library. There has to be a more active advisory role in place, either through a Senate committee or a joint committee that would allow the executive to be informed in times of crisis, as well as regularly throughout the year, as to the types of decisions, the dilemmas facing the executive and the information needed to better address them.

The Chairman: I would mention in passing that parliamentary oversight is something that is very much on our minds.

One of the things we are doing to address it is a review of the recommendations the committee has put out to date, and that report should be made public within the next 10 days. We have essentially scored the government on how well they have managed in terms of agreeing with us. If they agreed with us, they have done very well, and if they did not agree with us, they have not done quite so well. That report will be publicly available shortly.

We are with you.

Mr. Harvey Rosen, As an individual: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I am the Mayor of Kingston. Having seen the mandate of this committee, I felt it incumbent upon me to appear before you to indicate that I certainly cannot overstate the importance of CFB Kingston to this community.

The military has had a long and distinguished history in this community. Kingston is more tied to the military, I think, than any other community in this country in terms of its being established as a military installation in 1673 — it was a fort built by the Comte de Frontenac originally — and it has had a military presence since that date. Halifax has a naval history, but we have the HMCS Gananoque and HMCS Kingston as well. We have had a much more concentrated military presence over a shorter period. It has only been 331 years.

Truly, the military is an important and vital part of this community. There was a time when there was a danger of the base being closed. The community pulled together and formed a committee to try to convince the federal government, the Department of National Defence, of the wisdom of keeping this base active. The community made some significant contributions to the base's operation in terms of making it more economic to stay here. It was a success. The base now is larger than it was at that time and continues to see some significant growth.

I am certainly not an expert, nor have I been engaged in study with respect to defence matters, although I majored in history in my undergraduate years, which were some time ago, but if Canada wishes to occupy a position of some prominence and authority internationally, it must have a strong and vital defence force.

I cannot see us being taken very seriously. Notwithstanding that the advice of Canada in international circles might be well founded and judicious, it will not carry the weight that it could if we had a force that is able to implement any such policies that we might wish to propose or advance.

The Chairman: Thank you, Your Worship.

Senator Cordy: You have a Haligonian here. Coming from Halifax, certainly I would join with you in saying how important the military is for the people who live in a community such as Kingston or Halifax.

Yet, to get back to what was mentioned previously, even in Halifax, unless something like the downsizing at Shearwater is happening, the public thinks that the military is always there.

You have talked about how important the military is. We have travelled from coast to coast visiting bases and the Canadian Forces personnel, and they are doing such a wonderful job. However, how do we engage the public? This is the first time, last night and tonight, that we have held public forums. It was a suggestion that we decided to try and I think it is a wonderful opportunity for us to dialogue with Canadians about military, defence and security issues.

Do you have suggestions on how we can engage the Canadian public? You are from Kingston. I am from Halifax. They should be areas where the public is very much engaged in the dialogue.

Mr. Rosen: I do not know whether it is a coincidence or the result of efforts by one side or the other, but in Kingston the military have been engaged in a strong campaign of outreach to the community and the municipal government has been involved in a strong program engaging the military.

I have been involved in many of the military ceremonies and changes of command as a representative of city council. I do not know that those had been that well attended by municipal politicians in the past. However, I certainly make it my business to be active and a part of any of the significant military changes of command or ceremonies on the base.

I know the base is involved in fundraising in the community. I was just at a safety program that was put on at the drill hall at the base for the area schoolchildren, showing the various "be safe" campaigns on drugs, in traffic, et cetera. It had all sorts of interactive displays so that the area children would become more aware of safety issues. This was done with the cooperation of the base commander and staff.

We are attempting to keep the military involved in the community on a daily basis and the military have been attempting equally to be involved in the community and have the community involved in base functions.

I think it is a matter of goodwill and good communication.

The Chairman: Thank you very much, sir.

Mr. Gary Coulter, As an individual: Madam, gentlemen, welcome to Kingston.

I will come at this from a different angle. It is one thing to have an effective foreign policy and it is another to have a defence policy that dovetails with that and a good, well-funded military that is able to carry out its missions effectively. I can assure you from my exposure to the military here, they are very good at what they do. They have to be protected.

The different angle I want to talk about is that it is one thing to have all that, but quite another to have an immigration policy that is a total shambles. It is up to parliamentarians to address this. The Immigration Act is not a good act. We have too many people coming here. We do not know who they are. They come here with false documentation. It is true that for the most part, they are economic refugees. They are harmless. However, there are a lot we do not know about.

I am concerned about that. I would like to leave that with you. That is another angle of security and defence.

Senator Meighen: Human beings are only one aspect of non-military security. You talk about people who are here without proper authorization. In the course of our studies, we have been concerned about the security at airports and port facilities in terms of what comes in without our knowledge, whether it is drugs or things far worse than that. We have been urging a greater vigilance. I think there has been some improvement, but certainly, in terms of the ports and the airports, there is a great deal that goes through without being checked — not human cargo, but other cargo.

This is a problem. Are you seeking an improvement in, perhaps, our intelligence capabilities or more in our processing abilities at the Department of Immigration level?

Mr. Coulter: I think we have seen ample evidence in the newspapers recently about problems with our immigration policies. The idea that a person can jump over the system on the basis of a piece of paper is wrong, in my view.

Senator Meighen: I am not sure it poses a national security threat.

Mr. Coulter: No, but there are times when that has happened. I would take you back to the case of the family where the father was killed in Afghanistan, Khadr. That is a good example. Prime Minister Chrétien went to bat for him in Pakistan on somebody's say-so. That was a political decision.

There has to be a process for this. People want to come to Canada because it is a great place to live. Fine, let them come. Let them apply, let them go through the process and become eligible. However, I do not think it is professional to have a refugee determination program where political appointees are on the monitoring body that makes these decisions.

Senator Meighen: No, but does it pose a security risk?

Mr. Coulter: It can. I have seen it. I will leave that with you.

Mr. Kevin Connolly, As an individual: Gentlemen, senators, I am a retired probation and parole officer for the Province of Ontario.

I have a short message.

We seem to be operating on the Chicken Little way of thinking, that the sky is falling in. The sky is not falling. People around the world are becoming poorer and poorer. No one knows how many billions are spent on military supplies for warring on other people. If half of that money were spent on building schools and educating these impoverished people, we would have little to fear from terrorism. Terrorism exists because people are oppressed and abused by big powers trying to amass greater and greater fortunes.

The missile defence system is a disaster looking for somewhere to happen. It has never worked. The tests have failed. The ones that did succeed were fixed.

In its foreign policy, Canada has to be wise enough to see this as a step into an endless military escalation throughout the world. In our foreign policy, let Canada have the sense to persuade our brothers and sisters to the south to spend their billions to alleviate hunger and misery.

Senator Munson: I am the leftist on this committee. I am the new kid on the block here and I have a lot of empathy for what you just said. I sense your sincerity from the way you are talking. As a reporter, I covered a lot of different issues, whether overseas, such as orphans in Cambodia, or at home, such as children in Davis Inlet. I have seen some awful misery.

You talked about the wasting of millions of dollars in terms of our Armed Forces. What do you see happening with our Armed Forces? Do you see us withdrawing? Do you see us keeping the status quo? Are we back to the days of being a country of peacekeepers, as opposed to being assertive and, as some military people have said, "robust" in areas like Afghanistan?

Mr. Connolly: I am not suggesting that Canada dispense with its military. In fact, Canada does not spend a lot of its budget on the military. What I am talking about is the foreign powers. Foreign Affairs suggest that many military complexes are spending billions of dollars. Nobody has to ask how many billions of dollars are spent, for example, in Iraq. This is an atrocious setup.

We need to have an army. We need the military to defend our borders in the event that something happens. However, if we help people to grow and to develop in their own country, we will not have a problem like the previous speaker talked about, of people trying to get out of their country because of oppression, poor circumstances and lack of development. We would have a hard time getting immigrants into Canada.

We would not need to be worried about terrorism. We have created terrorism with our crazy world, a world where instead of helping people to discover how to put a phone system together, we rush a bunch of people down there, put it in, charge the hell out of them and then make them pay for it for the next 20 years. This is what has been happening in our world.

Lieutenant-Colonel (Ret'd) John Selkirk, As an individual: I served in the reserves when I was very young, then 20 years in the regular forces, and then I served in the reserves for a number of years thereafter.

You have asked how Canadians would perhaps like to see the Armed Forces organized differently. The point I would like to make is that we should spend more money on reserves, and I think we should do more with reserves. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which is that reserves are a cost-effective way to provide a certain portion of the defence capabilities that Canada needs. A reservist, for example, will cost approximately one-fifth of the amount needed to keep a full-time soldier around.

I think your committee has done an excellent job of pointing out the problems of prevention of terrorism in Canada, but what happens after a terrorist act occurs? We will need a lot of people to control the situation, to mop up. We do not have those soldiers. We do not have those people in Canada.

Therefore, I want to advocate tonight that the size of Canada's reserves, particularly the militia, be increased, as the former speaker said, at least threefold. I think that would be very good for Canada. It is very cost-effective.

In addition to that, as we all aware, when young Canadians join the militia they receive training that benefits Canada well beyond just what goes on in the military. They learn basic life skills. They are good leadership skills, good teamwork skills. It is a national unifier. Canadians come together from across the nation to work together to achieve common goals.

The $500 million that is spent on the Canadian militia for 15,000 soldiers is, I think, one heck of a deal. I believe that we should be doing more with that.

In my remaining minute, I would like to change the topic.

We have had a number of people here say that we should not join the missile defence program. I want to stand up here and say we should. One of the reasons against it, as has been mentioned, is that it will cost too much. I suspect that our fathers, back when we first got into NORAD, said the same thing, but we did not go broke at that time and I think NORAD has been very good for Canada.

Secondly, there is a great deal of talk about how we will somehow be less of a sovereign nation if we participate with the Americans in this project. I would say it is exactly the opposite, because if we do not participate, then the Americans will the job for us, and I do not think that is indicative of sovereignty at all.

I want to go on record as saying Canada should join the missile defence program. I am not saying we have to give away anything, I just think that we would be very much in a position to gain from that.

Senator Forrestall: We have thousands of miles of coastland, rivers and lakes, including the vast rivers going into the North, that are unprotected, unpoliced. Who better to patrol, and who more realistically could patrol, and defend that coastline, defend the shores of the lakes that are within Canadian jurisdiction? Who better to do it than a reactivated, revitalized reserve force with increased funding, properly trained and with adequate transportation — because we are talking about water and coastal defence?

Would you see a useful role for the reserves in the defence of Canada's borders, defence of the water?

Mr. Selkirk: Senator Forrestall, of course. I think that is a natural role for reservists, and as you are well aware, we already have a very efficient cost-effective reserve force in the North doing this job, the Canadian Rangers. I would hope that we would strengthen the Canadian Rangers as well as the primary reserve to do this job better.

Mr. Randy Cleary, As an individual: I come from the world of investment and business development and growth and, hence, that is the approach I will take here.

I would like to suggest that perhaps it is time to stop operating in silos in the military. I will use two examples.

It would seem that there is a wonderful opportunity overseas, if we are already there, to develop relationships that could lead to future business development. If you are already there, and you want to make a great first impression on the leadership of a country, is there a better way to expand on that?

You can use the same line of thinking locally, and somebody mentioned that the two groups, the base and the city, have come together. That is true. However, we could do a lot better than that.

We have a group called KEDCO here in town. Everybody in the room will know it. It is the Kingston Economic Development Corporation. We have six advisory groups within that. One of them is on manufacturing. We have identified a sector known as "security." Nobody seems to know what that is. We wrestle with it. We cannot get our arms around it.

Everybody thinks Corrections, for example, is four walls with bad guys inside. However, think outside the box of both Corrections and the military. Think technology. Think manufacturing. Think training. Think growth. I believe there is much more room in all of those areas to develop linkages and build on.

Mr. John Russell, As an individual: I recently retired as a military officer after 34 years of service. In my last command, in January to July 2003, I was a task force commander of a small group of Canadians, military observers, in Sierra Leone. I saw there the positive effects of our country not going into Iraq. I was also very proud when we went to Afghanistan.

My comment here today is that I support joining the North American missile defence system. I am the son of Hong Kong vet, and if it had not been for the Americans dropping the atomic bomb, I would not be here standing in front of you today, enjoying my country.

I am a good friend of the United States and I am prepared to forgive them for a lot of things. However, I work on two principles: Who you know and who you owe. We know the United States of America is friendly to us. That gives us the opportunity to go offshore. We owe the United States of America because we sleep at night, many of us hypocrites, in our soft little beds, thinking that 34 capital ships, 122 F-18s and a small divisional-size army organization protects us on land, sea and air.

The people of Canada need to know how small we are and how much we need the Armed Forces and an alliance so that we can go and do other things around the world. We are not surrounded by mortal enemies, like many other countries. We enjoy a good quality of life here, but we have not earned much of it. We are not pulling our weight.

During the Cold War, when I was in Germany, we used to be worried about the nuclear exchange. Of course, in North America, we were worried about the missiles intercepting over Canada. Many of us called Canada a nuclear-free zone, but we were fooling ourselves, because we were certainly not a nuclear-fallout-free zone. We were right in the middle of it.

We need good cousins to the south and we need a bigger military. We need to do our job and to accept our responsibilities as a country working in the international milieu.

Senator Day: Mr. Russell, thank you very much for your comments. Rather than dwell on the issue of missile defence per se, I would like to tie that into NORAD. NORAD has been in existence since the 1950s and has served us very well. There are many who will argue that this is a natural extension. This is not Ronald Reagan's Star Wars, but a natural extension of NORAD.

Have you done any thinking about the extension of NORAD in other areas, such as naval coastal defence, so that we could cooperate with our neighbours to the south on North American defence in a realm other than or in addition to air defence?

Mr. Russell: Senator Day, I believe that we need to work with the Americans on a system of defence of North America, which is to our benefit, too. We need different mechanisms to cooperate and share information so that if there are enemies of our country, foreign or domestic, they are likely to be enemies of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and so on.

I think that we should cooperate and develop whatever it is we need to develop so that we are carrying our weight as valuable partners in an alliance.

Mr. Anthony Shields, As an individual: I would like to raise three points that I believe are important considerations that must be taken into account as Canada looks towards the future and what we want the Canadian Forces to do.

The three points are: first, force projection; second, supplementing the regular force; and third, the cost of doing business.

Before I begin, I would like to state my personal bias before the Senate committee. That is that I believe that Canadians and the Canadian military have a role to play on the international stage. That is what I will base my opinion on. I believe that we, as Canadians, have democratic values, Canadian values, Canadian interests and a general goodwill that we have to project onto the world stage.

There is a cost associated with that, a cost of doing business, and we have to pay in order to have the capability to do this.

First, I think that the Canadian Forces should be viewed as a way of projecting power onto the world stage. We can project people, soldiers, into a location. If you take this assumption for granted, it means that Canadians need a generic, intrinsic transport capability to allow us to go to these locations. The Senate committee has to look at that. Do Canadians want the Canadian Forces to stay in Canada or go outside the country?

The next issue is the reserve force and supplementing the regular force.

Reserve force members cannot go overseas for six months at a time because they do not have their jobs guaranteed for when they come back. If my wife was going on maternity leave, she would be guaranteed her job when she came back after nine months. Reserve force members going out to serve our country are not guaranteed that same right of getting their job back when they return.

The third issue I would like to bring up is the cost of doing business. Ultimately, it is a question of how much we, the taxpayers, are wishing to pay and willing to pay. However, sometimes, we are not well educated on these issues, and sometimes, we need to be shown this. It is a question of getting the message out to the public that if you want this capability, it will cost you this amount of dollars.

Given these three points, I will finish with my vote for the greatest Canadian. The greatest Canadian was Sir Robert Borden. You might be thinking, "Why him? He did not even make the top 50." He was the one who got us recognized on the world stage. He put the money where his mouth was. He was recognized in 1919 at the Treaty of Paris, which first got Canadians recognized as a world power. This is something I think we need to take into account.

Senator Banks: I am presuming that you have heard about the ships that Canada now proposes to build that will provide capacity to move the force outside Canada. I would like to hear what you think about that.

Second, I would like you to tell us what you think the criteria are, if you have thought about it, which would determine when, where and why Canadian Forces ought to be projected abroad.

Mr. Shields: First, I believe that Canadian soldiers are instruments of the state. I believe that the political will determines where we go, and then we will go and do the job that you ask us to do.

I have heard about the ships. I believe the current plan is for two. I have heard the admiral say he wants three or four. I think you have to look at how much capacity you want to send to a location. That is a question of cost that has to be raised with the public. If you want to send a battalion overseas and it takes two ships to do that, then you have to make sure that you have two ships on either coast. Therefore, you need four ships.

I believe that there is also a need for quick reaction, and that might require us to look at purchasing aircraft to give us long-range strategic airlift. It is a question of cost and what Canadians want to afford.

The Chairman: Senator Meighen has a supplementary question. We are bending the rules a little, but you raised another point.

Senator Meighen: This is an age-old question. The Americans do have a law saying that you cannot put a reservist's job in jeopardy if he or she is called up to serve. We do not have that in Canada. There are a lot of people who think we should not have that. Why? Because if we had that law, they say, then reservists will never get hired in the first place.

Have you thought about that and have you decided that the lesser of two evils, or the better way to go, is to have such a law?

Mr. Shields: I think that has a lot to do with public information. I have two brothers in the reserve force right now. There is a county where, if they were teachers, which they hope to become eventually, they would be guaranteed not only that the job will be there when they get back, but that their income will be supplemented so that they do not lose any money when they go to represent the country.

I think it would be a shame, an outrage, if somebody did not hire certain individuals because of their service and the duty they felt they had to perform for the country.

Senator Meighen: I agree with you, but would you ever know that in advance?

Mr. Shields: I would give them the benefit of the doubt, saying that I have faith in the employers of Canada not to look down upon this, but rather to look upon the cross-training that is available in the military as valuable.

Brigadier-General (Ret'd) Christopher Kirby, As an individual: My name is Kirby and I am a retired soldier. I would like to personally thank the committee members for what you are doing and what you have done in the past.

It is my firm opinion that Canadian defence policy is already based on neutralism and pacifism, and clearly, not only in favour of Quebec.

I think that for us, neutralism is very close to self-immolation; slow self-immolation is already quite apparent. I think that pacifism is idealism run rampant. It is against our tradition and against our common sense.

Some aspects of policy should be bound by responsibility and not entirely a reflection of public opinion. National defence policy is clearly in this bracket.

I would end by saying that stasis is the most irresponsible of all attitudes.

Senator Cordy: Thank you very much. Your comment about pacifism being idealism being run rampant reminds me of a poem that I cannot remember exactly, but it went something like, "If you are marching, thank a soldier. If you can read an article in the paper, do not thank the author, thank the soldier for all the freedoms that we have," which is something that I think we tend to forget.

In terms of your last comment, about attitudes, this is certainly something that we have come across in looking at increased military spending; that is, are Canadians willing to spend the money to have a strong military presence? I am wondering how we encourage Canadians to become better informed about what our military needs are in order to defend and protect our country.

Mr. Kirby: I do not think it is a matter of encouragement with this kind of policy. I think it is a matter of explanation. Governments, as I say, have certain responsibilities that they have to act on. If they do not, they are being irresponsible.

I do not think "encouragement" is the right word. I think that "explanation" is the better word in this case.

Senator Cordy: Therefore, the government should take the lead in this and not wait to hear from the general public.

Mr. Kirby: Exactly. I do not think that the government is necessarily leading. I think the government is doing what it is required to do.

Mr. Torben Schau, As an individual: I am a member of the Defence Management Program at Queen's University.

I will keep my comments as brief as possible.

I think the question of what does Canada want its defence policy to do is strongly linked to the larger question of Canadian foreign policy. What do we want Canada to do? We cannot just act as if defence policy exists without any kind of link to foreign policy.

To borrow from the Australians when they were trying to define what their military was, they said that the military reflects the kind of country we are, the role we seek to play and the way that we see ourselves. The lack of strategic direction that has been evident recently really undermines our entire effort to act on the world stage. If we do not have a military that can act in concert with Canadian foreign policy, then we cannot do much of anything. When Paul Martin was talking about the responsibility to protect, there were not a lot of people in the UN. This is a problem.

If we want to act — and I think that we do, Canadians are not willing to give up their humanitarian missions — then we need a military that can act in concert with that.

What I am trying to get at is that it is more important to come up with an answer. There has often been this trend in Canada to defer an answer when we cannot really come up with something with which we are happy. However, I think it is more important to come up with an answer than to just sit back and say, "Well, we are not quite sure what we want to do, so we will not answer that question."

Senator Forrestall: This is an observation, not so much a question, but you can certainly comment on it.

We are today, as we did 10, 12 years ago, pursuing the views of Canadians with respect to a white paper, a policy paper on national defence. At the same time, the government was dragging its feet on the foreign policy position. At the same time, the government itself was writing its own defence policy. Indeed, some of you will recall that it was published two or three days after we finished the work on the white paper in 1994. That is my comment.

The observation I wish to make is that it is rather interesting that we are doing the same thing today. We have been told that there will be a position paper on foreign policy. Incidentally, I accept your point; I do not know how in hell you can have a defence policy unless you know what its purpose is.

In any event, it is interesting that it is happening. We will hear it. The government has the advantage of knowing exactly what you people have to say tonight. It is one of the reasons why we support a town hall exposé, so that the government, as it writes its own paper, will have the same visions of and clues to what Canadians want that we have.

I thank you for your comments and observations.

The Chairman: You are entitled to 90 seconds to say whatever you like right now.

Mr. Schau: Honestly, I think I have already made my point.

Colonel Harry Aitken, As an individual: Good evening, senators. I am a base commander here in Kingston. It is my privilege to be here to speak with you tonight. Thank you very much for taking the opportunity to host an open house.

I have four short points to make and an invitation to follow.

The first point I want to underscore is the economic impact that a large base has on the community life of Kingston, similar to Halifax, We put over $200 million net income into the city. We are the single largest economic engine in the city, which is not well understood, and we are striving to overcome that communications obstacle so people understand the value of the military and the opportunities that a federal agency/federal department, working with the province and the city, can actually provide; and we work well in that regard. Certainly, with regards to emergency planning and response, we do work extremely well together.

Kingston has its own set of challenges. Canadian Forces Base Kingston is a strange dichotomy. We are an example of modernization, where we have the world leader in army experimentation centres, where soldiers and leaders can actually engage in mock combat in a synthetic environment. I would propose to you that at your convenience, you visit Kingston, and I can show you these facilities so you can get a good understanding of what we are currently doing. At the same time, juxtapose that with the state of our infrastructure, which dates back many years.

The problem with transformation and modernization is that it takes more money than just continuing the status quo. As we try to transform the forces, we need more money and more brains to actually get the job done. That is the strange fix I think we find ourselves in right now.

One of the great advantages Canada has demonstrated in the past is our capacity for research and development. We can certainly harness this better than we have in the past. The spinoffs from NRC in Ottawa, including Mitel and Nortel, are examples of how this can be done. If Canada wants to play a role in foreign policy, the military can develop a niche capability, leveraging our domestic abilities to actually get something done, something we do not tend to lean towards.

I would like to close by repeating my invitation to you to come visit CFB Kingston, where I get to show you just what we have, including the problems, but also the good examples of success that we have achieved in the last little while.

The Chairman: Thank you, Colonel. I should tell you we visited the base before you became commander, but we would be delighted to come back.

Senator Day: We did have one visit to the base. Primarily, we talked to the electronic warfare people and saw the communications training that is going on. We saw some of your infrastructure challenges. We were marched into a basement that floods every spring where some of the soldiers were doing their training.

I am taking the reference to the state of the infrastructure as a comment that you do need further funding to maintain this base.

Mr. Aitken: Simple problems can be fixed with money. I only have simple problems.

Senator Day: We understand that. This is a comment to you so you are aware of it. We know that it is your budget that controls or contributes to the infrastructure at the Royal Military College, and we heard some comments there too in regard to their infrastructure and operating budget.

I think we should have another talk in due course. We appreciate you coming here. Thank you, Colonel.

Mr. Aitken: I look forward to that. Thank you.

Mr. Richard Moller, As an individual: Good evening, senators. I am an entrepreneur in Kingston, and for 20 years, I have been a member of the naval reserve unit in town.

Senators, you pose the question, "What vulnerabilities does Canada face?" My answer to you is direct. Our greatest vulnerability is our complacency. We are a secular, liberal democratic state in the Western tradition, and as such, we stand for everything that groups like al-Qaeda hate. We are part of a particular civilization and tradition that is in the gunsights of a very determined group of very angry people. However, even these people are not the greatest threat to our sovereignty. Again, it is our complacency, especially with respect to defence matters.

Whether we like it or not, the rent for space on the world stage is the ability to act credibly and independently on the international battle scene. We have become too used to binding heavy burdens and placing them on the backs of our allies. Canadians and our government seem to aspire to a global role, but we also seem steadfastly unwilling to pay for it. This lack of will has left the door open to our allies to start taking advantage of us.

Both the United States and Denmark are openly and loudly challenging our sovereignty along our northern border. We stand by complacently, filing diplomatic protests as warships sail unopposed to the Northwest Passage and troops raise foreign flags on our territory.

Those who wish to distance Canada from its closest neighbour and largest trading partner make the mistake of believing the best way to do this is to adopt the contrarian's attitude to the United States. We will maintain our independence not by opposing everything American, but by maintaining our ability to exercise our sovereignty when and where we want to.

Adequate security and defence are not ends in themselves. They are what is required if a state wishes to remain sovereign. They are what is required if we, as Canadians, wish to demonstrate not only domestic political supremacy, but also actual independence from outside authority when venturing abroad in pursuit of our foreign policy goals.

As a trading nation, it is these foreign policy goals that will impact, either positively or negatively, on our economy and, therefore, the daily life, standard of living and employment of all Canadians.

As the Canadian military continues to lose its ability to act alone in operations, Canada loses its ability to speak alone on the world stage. This directly impacts our ability to positively affect and leverage our trading partners. Since the Canadian economy is so heavily reliant on trade, a weakening of these relationships will have a dramatic and negative impact on that economy. With a declining economy come declining tax revenues and a loss of the ability to pay for social programs like health care and education that we cherish so highly as part of our national identity.

Equally strong in the Canadian identity is our dedication to humanitarian support. I see I am running out of time. The hemorrhaging of Canada's defence capabilities will lead directly to the bleeding out of our health care, education and cultural support systems. In short, without a vibrant, credible and viable defence capability, Canada will not have a viable, vibrant culture, economy and society.

Senator Meighen: I think you make a very powerful and persuasive argument. What would be your guidance in terms of persuading the public to be less complacent? You can blame the politicians, and that is fair game and probably pretty accurate, because politicians, in my opinion, are there to lead, not necessarily just to follow.

However, we have not done a very good job of explaining the sort of tradeoffs that you have just mentioned. Other than getting politicians up and speaking and showing leadership, are there ways that you think we can do it?

I have had a hobby horse of my own ever since I heard when we went to Bosnia in 1994 on a joint committee that soldiers leaving the theatre were ordered to take off their uniforms because there was a fear they might disgrace that uniform in a bar in an airport in Canada. That just blew my mind. I was so pleased to see the colonel here in uniform.

Wander around Canada, wander around the airports, and except in certain cities, you do not see a military presence because they are all hived off in Borden or Petawawa or somewhere. We do not see them. That is just a superficial example and I do not suggest for a moment that it would have a profound impact in changing attitudes.

Maybe you have some thoughts; I would love to hear them.

Mr. Moller: First of all, I will not blame politicians, partly because I am a politician myself, having run for mayor of Kingston. I will just remind him, if he is still here, Point Frederick was a navy base long before it was an army base.

As Tip O'Neil is famous for saying, "All politics are local." Therefore, talking to Canadians who are preoccupied with health care, education and municipal infrastructure about amorphous global threats is not likely to capture their imagination and interest. Even the feel-good role of peacekeeping has lost the lustre it had in the early days.

If we are to save our country, we must talk to Canadians about the link between the world economy and our local economy, the impact our defence forces, or the lack thereof, will have on both. We must eliminate the false dichotomy of asking if we should spend money on health care or defence and recognize that we must spend money on both.

Earlier, I was jotting down some notes when the question was asked, "Where should the money come from?" Well, no, not from health care, no, not from education, but yes, perhaps from advertising campaigns in Quebec, perhaps from a gun registry and yes, perhaps from the National Gallery, which wants to spend another $300,000 on an eight-by-eight canvass painted flat black.

Ms. Alice Aiken, As an individual: I have a quick point to make. It is clear from the comments here today that coastal defence is a priority. I think we have to consider enveloping the Coast Guard in National Defence and establishing a strong Coast Guard and Coast Guard reserve, along with the navy and navy reserve, for coastal defence.

Senator Banks: You have been reading our reports.

Ms. Aiken: All of them, yes.

Senator Banks: There are difficulties with respect to what you propose. We have considered some of them. I would like to hear your views on them.

The present role of the Canadian Coast Guard is aid to navigation, safety and search and rescue, at which they are very good. Our view was that they have a considerable number of fairly good ships, all of which have to be replaced fairly soon. However, the fact is that in international waters and those approaching our coasts, if a bad guy transporting something bad sees a white ship with an orange stripe on it, he runs like hell, because it is the American Coast Guard and they have some clout. If he sees an orange ship with a white stripe on it, he says, "Ah ha, I have this deck loaded up with bales marked `heroin' and there is nothing those guys can do about it."

How far do you think it should go? Should the Coast Guard be given, as we have suggested, at least a constabulary capacity, so that it could actually stop a ship until somebody else gets there, or should it be militarized to the extent of the United States Coast Guard, which is the fourth or fifth largest navy in the world?

Ms. Aiken: I am more in favour of it being militarized, similar to the American model, and having a full Coast Guard reserve as well.

Senator Banks: Should that function then simply be given to the navy, and they can do that part of it, and we leave the search and rescue, aid to navigation part with a civilian coast guard?

Ms. Aiken: No. I think combining all the functions in a military unit is probably the better way to go. You get more ships, more trained personnel, and you can quite easily retrofit ships with arms, as we saw in the Canadian navy, for years and years.

Ms. Lisa Salley, As an individual: Thank you for providing this opportunity for the Kingston community to come forward and voice our concerns, issues and questions.

I am the executive director of the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre. I am also a military spouse.

The mandate of our centre is to enhance the resiliency of military families to deal with unique stressors associated with the military lifestyle. I will share a story with you.

A young corporal and his wife, who was eight months pregnant, moved to Kingston. They already had one three-year-old son who has various health issues that need to be monitored every six months. They have moved three times in the past eight years. The wife had never been able to secure a position until she became pregnant with her second child.

They had to find a house. PMQ is not an option, as the child is allergic to mildew and mould. They had six days to find a house and the wife was unable to go on a house-hunting trip because she experienced some minor complications and the physician did not want her to fly. The wife was unable to secure work because she was eight months pregnant when she moved here.

Much has been done for military families. We recognize that. Military families are fairly resilient. We see it every day as they come through our doors into the centre. However, when you are told when you move here to Kingston — and this is happening throughout Canada and we are hearing more and more about it — that there is a two-year waiting list to see a physician, that is a scary situation for military families moving from place to place. We have had families whose children have not seen a physician in eight years. They have gone to walk-in clinics.

A whole host of issues and concerns arise from that, because if you have a child with some kind of developmental issue and that child is seeing a different physician every time, even a great physician will not necessarily pick up those problems. Therefore problems start to build on one another. We have sometimes seen people for whom, had they been caught much sooner, the issue might have been rectified. The cost is so much greater when it is not caught quickly.

What have we done here in Kingston? We have opened a clinic. It is the first of its kind in Canada for military families. We are very proud of it. It was a partnership between the base and the Kingston Military Family Resource Centre, with wonderful support from the board of governors as well.

We already have a waiting list of 300 military families for our clinic. You see all these issues in the newspaper about there not being enough physicians. What will we do? If we cannot make sure that our families are safe and secure here at home, how will members of the military feel when they are deployed or on exercise?

Senator Munson: I am new on this committee and probably the other members know this, but is it a similar story across the country at military bases?

Ms. Salley: Yes, it is.

Senator Munson: How bad is it? It is the same story?

Ms. Salley: It is the same story. Military families are very excited when they come to Kingston because they know that we have the clinic. It is sad to have to say that we have 300 families on our waiting list, but we are expanding. However, we hear it from families everywhere. We have people coming from Trenton and Ottawa to access our medical centre because they cannot find physicians. It is happening in the Maritimes. I am potentially moving to the Maritimes next year or the year after. If you go to a rural area of Nova Scotia there is not a hope of finding a physician. We do not have the clinics in the rural areas but not all of our bases are located in major centres.

Senator Munson: How does that play in this community? How do military families feel when they see civilians going off to a physician any time they want? It must break your heart.

Ms. Salley: We are very fortunate because our medical centre is meant for the military families. We have dealt with that issue. It is not to say that there is no lack of physicians and people in the community do not have a hard time finding them as well. Anyone who moves to Kingston, whether in the military or not, has difficulty finding a physician.

We put a measure in place to deal with that for our military families, because the other issue that compounds the problem for us is we are moved every two to three years. Therefore, if there is a waiting list of two years, they do not even take your name. You ask, "How am I supposed to get on this magical list?" It does become very difficult and stressful for the military families.

Senator Cordy: I am also on the Senate committee that has been studying the health care system so I understand what you are saying. There are not just doctor shortages, but shortages of all medical personnel all over the country.

I am curious, when you opened the clinic, was it with a military doctor and nurses, or did the military go out to get a doctor? How has it worked?

Ms. Salley: It was set up in partnership, as I said, with CFB Kingston. The physicians are on contract with the base commander. The military family resource centre manages the clinic and it is meant to be, just like any other business, on a cost-recovery basis within three to five years, so that we are no longer losing money. We hope to break even. We do not want to make money. That is not our aim. Our aim is to break even and be able to continue the clinic.

Senator Cordy: How many doctors do you have?

Ms. Salley: We have three part-time who equal one full-time equivalent.

Senator Cordy: Do you pay them a salary or do you pay them a fee for service?

Ms. Salley: It is a split based on the overall billings.

Senator Cordy: Thank you.

The Chairman: They are civilians?

Ms. Salley: Yes, they are.

Major-General (Ret'd) Frank J. Norman, As an individual: I am a retired soldier. I would like to make a couple of points, if I may, and I think the story we just heard illustrates one of them well. It goes back, Senator Meighen, to your question, "Are people not being seen?" That argument was fought through in the 1950s. It was insisted at that stage of the game that the military be put in the public eye in the cities of Canada — Calgary, London, Halifax, Kingston and others.

That has broadly changed. As you know, we are now mostly out of the public eye, which brings us, if I may, Senator Cordy, to your question, "How do we engage with the public?" Well, you certainly began properly. I hope that you continue.

However, if I may, I will tell you another short story. When Perrin Beatty became the Minister of Defence — although it was many years ago, Senator Forrestall, 1985 — at his first meeting to address the Defence Council, he said he wanted the military out there to sell the policy. The question was asked by the then Vice-Chief — and it caused a frisson of excitement in the room — when would the minister tell us what the policy was. Here we are again, because that was the genesis of the 1985 white paper. We have seen 1994.

We still have the problem of who sells it; who shows the leadership. I would suggest to you — and this is not going after the politicians — it is the role, as Gen. Kirby said, of the government to show that leadership. We really do need to go out there in order to deal with the communities across this country.

Since my retirement, I have been involved in the governance of health care. I know the arguments about health care spending versus military spending. However, I am a contrarian by nature, and I would suggest to you that there is in fact enough money to pay for what we need in order to make this work.

When I look at the fact that the budget for the Canadian military is one third of that for health care in the Province of Ontario, I find it somewhat fascinating that we cannot determine we could find a little more. I do not think we have to raise taxes in order to get there.

May I suggest that we look at what Tom Axworthy is reported to have said in today's newspaper. I look around the room and I see few members of the press present. In order to show how the military makes an impact in this town, Tom said it quite simply: "Diplomacy, defence, development." Those are the three that need to be integrated for us to go forward.

Senator Banks: I think we all agree with you, Mr. Norman. I think we all agree that money could be found, and as you may know, our committee has in fact recommended that money be found.

Mr. Norman: Thank you for it.

Senator Banks: We have occasionally had the effect of changing public policy incrementally. The ship does not turn on a dime, but we have had some effect and we are hopeful that will continue.

Do you think though that in the main, when it comes to those questions, that the government must simply bite the bullet, make the move and undertake whatever they decide to undertake on the basis of recommendations, including ours, which they will get, and then go out and sell the policy, or is it simply prudent to ask people what they think about it?

Mr. Norman: I think both elements need to be part of the picture as it develops. However, what worries me is that as we ask a public whose information is spotty — I am not saying it is inadequate, I am merely saying it is spotty — and whose information on other topics appears to be much better, eventually, one gets to the point where one does need to take that leadership role.

In the situation that affects the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in this province, neither the ministry nor the leadership of the doctors went out to sell that policy.

Senator Banks: The problem that you talk about, of public awareness of what is going on, is not unique either to this time or to Canada. I am remembering what Kipling said: "It is Tommy this and it is Tommy that and toss him out, the brute, but it is the saviour of his country when the guns begin to shoot."

Mr. Norman: With regret, senator, written after his son had been killed.

Senator Banks: Yes, it was.

Ms. Kimberly St-Louis, As an individual: I had not planned to speak this evening. I am speaking to you as the spouse of a military member and I am also an immigrant.

My husband returned from Afghanistan less than a month ago. I do not sit at home and think about foreign policy and all these issues. I think about, as Ms. Salley said, health care for my children, education and employment for me because I move around so much. I just want to ask everyone here to remember that for every CF member who goes away, there is a family left behind. No matter what you feel about policy, remember that the CF is people, not policy.

I am a spouse. I have children. I am very proud of what my husband did. Someone said that we need to improve the average person's life. I am the average person. I am a full-time mother. I have children. These missions are dangerous and necessary. They are very necessary. I wish my husband could be here to speak to you and tell you the things that he saw while he was in Afghanistan and how necessary it is, what he was doing over there. I am very proud.

Again, remember that the CF is people and families. Remember that. That is all I have to say. Thank you.

The Chairman: Thank you very much.

If you were giving us guidance on the most important thing we could do to assist families of members of the CF, particularly those who are serving overseas, what would you pick?

Ms. St-Louis: Of course, I am an advocate for the military family resource centre. I work there. I am very grateful for the centre, not just because I am employed, but because I am a spouse. I think that the things they are doing are wonderful, especially the medical centre that we finally have here. That is a great load off of spouses like me.

You have asked, "How do we make people more aware of what the military needs?" Come to the base. People have this misconception that we are over there. Visit us. Come to see us. Come to see what we do for families. Participate. Get involved. Volunteer.

I do not know. That is a very hard question to answer. I think we need to be supportive. The community needs to be supportive. Kingston is a very supportive community for families, but there is this misconception that we are over the hill. Come over. Visit us. Come to see us. Find out what we do.

The Chairman: I do not want to be defensive, but we do actually come to see you.

Ms. St-Louis: I am talking about the community.

The Chairman: These people here, okay. It would be hard to find a base we have not been to and we do visit the family support centres. You are right. That is where we learn the most. We do not learn a great deal from witnesses in Ottawa. We learn much more when we come out here and get the straight goods.

Senator Munson: Just a small point, because I used to be in the media. I think the shame of this evening is that there is a mood, there is emotion here, and I am hearing all kinds of different testimony I never thought I would hear, and yet I do not think there is anybody from the media here.

It is Monday night in Kingston. A photographer came in a while ago, took a picture and left. If you had gone down to stand in front of city hall and talked about this publicly and made a big commotion, the media would be there. If people jumped up and down in favour of missile defence in front of the base, saying, "We want missile defence," the media would be there.

I think this was a very useful discussion and there is a message that I have learned that I can try to bring away from it, and that is, talk to other media. I did it for the former Prime Minister. I did it for a living. I have learned a lot tonight.

I want to tell you that as a former member of the media, I am still a media person in my heart, and that I very much appreciate what you said.

The Chairman: Thank you.

We have come to the conclusion of a very instructive evening for us. I think some of you coming to the microphones might have felt a little nervous. I promise you none of you were as nervous as we were. This was the first time that we have conducted a public meeting and we did not know what to expect. I think the outcome is very positive. I suspect that when we do a debriefing with the committee, we will be very pleased that we tried the experiment.

It is a different sort of input than we normally get. The committee gave me instructions early on not to just meet with the usual suspects. I assure you you are not the usual suspects. We got a cross-section of views, which the committee values and will reflect on. We are fortunate that we have your names and can come back to you if there are points that we need to clarify.

I want to thank you very much. It is a Monday night and you have taken time away from your families. You taken time away from your homes to come and share your views with us. We are grateful for it. You have given us, as a committee, the confidence to go on and conduct town hall meetings in other communities across the country. We are off tomorrow to Windsor, and then, two days after that, we are in Toronto. We have a schedule plotted out through to the middle of June.

We are very grateful to all of you for coming and having the courage to come to the microphone and give us your views. We hope you will continue to give us your views.

Before I close, I want to thank our moderator, Dr. Haglund. You did not have to say much, but you did a good job. We did manage to keep to our schedule. We have had a remarkable number of people up to the microphone, speaking to us.

I also have to thank Dr. Douglas Bland and Dr. Kim Nossal, who were instrumental in helping us organize this meeting and arrange for a number of other witnesses that we have heard during the course of the day. Thank you to both of you for helping make this visit to Kingston such a success.

If you have questions or comments, we do have a website. Somebody said it was down today, but I suspect if it was, it will be back up. It is www.sen-sec.ca. I know nobody was able to write that down quickly enough, but we have a couple of clerks here who, if they raise their hands, you could identify them and they will give you the website address if you want to reach it.

We also have a 1-800 number at which people can contact the clerk. It is 1-800-267-7362. That is how you can get information about the committee hearings. You will find that all of our hearings are posted regularly on the website. All of our transcripts are posted on the website. Unfortunately, when we are on the road, we do not get CPAC coverage, but all of our hearings in Ottawa are broadcast for people to see. We can make arrangements to ensure that you are aware of when they are being broadcast.

On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank you all very much for coming to spend time with us. I know the committee, once we adjourn the meeting, has a few minutes and we would love to say hello to some of you in person. We will do that. Thank you for coming out and have a good evening.

The committee adjourned.