Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on
National Security and Defence
Issue 2 - Evidence - Meeting of October 17, 2011
OTTAWA, Monday, October 17, 2011
The Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence met this
day at 4:04 p.m. to examine and report on Canada's national security and
defence policies, practices, circumstances and capabilities (topic:
transformation report 2011).
Senator Pamela Wallin (Chair) in the chair.
The Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this meeting of the
Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence.
We have a very busy and full agenda today. We will look at several
issues, including transformation, and separately look at the question of
reserves and at a program that was long in existence in Canada and is trying
to be revived, the Canadian National Leadership Program. You will remember
it as the old officer training program at universities.
We are pleased to have some very senior people with us today to help us
work through these complicated issues. We all know that we are in a time of
restraint. All government departments are tightening their belts, including
the Department of National Defence. Of course, that impacts the Canadian
We have senior officials on the military side and on the department side
today to talk about adapting in a time of restraint and, in particular,
about the recent report on transformation by now-retired Lieutenant-General
Andrew Leslie, to find out whether and what parts of this will be
implemented. General Leslie was here two weeks ago at our last session,
outlining his ideas on how both DND and CF can save money while maintaining
and even improving operational effectiveness. We want to know how that is
being received and what the plans are inside.
Our first panel includes Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice-Chief of the
Defence Staff. We are pleased to have him here. Matthew King is also with
us. He is the Associate Deputy Minister of Defence. We have with us Kevin
Lindsey, Assistant Deputy Minister of Defence and the Chief Financial
Officer of DND, of a $21-billion budget. These are big figures that we are
here to talk about today. We will try to keep our other questions on the
issue of reserves for our second panel, and the vice-admiral has agreed to
stay with us for that.
I will ask my colleagues to ensure that their questions are pointed,
short, sharp and direct, and that they go with their most important question
first because there may not be time for a second round.
I welcome first Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson. I gather you have some
Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff,
National Defence: Thank you, Madam Chair. Let me begin by thanking you
for the opportunity to appear today on the topic of Canadian Forces
transformation. It is nice to be back in the company of this committee, and
also to thank the committee on behalf of the Canadian Forces for its
continued interest in important defence issues and its ongoing support for
our men and women in uniform.
In the interest of time and efficiency, I will be providing an opening
statement on behalf our defence team this afternoon, after which we will be
happy to answer your questions individually as best we can.
Madam Chair, we live in a world that is rapidly changing, where threats
and security challenges are becoming increasingly complex and uncertain. As
we have learned — particularly over the past year — we cannot predict where
the next crisis or natural disaster will occur. In this context, the
Government of Canada recognizes the importance of maintaining a modern,
capable and responsive military to help protect the safety and interests of
Over the past decade, the government has made a strategic investment in
the Canadian Forces through the Canada First Defence Strategy, which
has helped to develop a flexible, agile and resilient force that is both
highly regarded by our allies and an enduring source of pride for Canadians.
Our operations in Afghanistan have been by far the largest, most intense and
most visible single commitment during this time. However, at the same time,
the Canadian Forces have supported numerous other operations both at home
and abroad. In fact, of the six core missions laid out in the Canada
First Defence Strategy, the Canadian Forces were carrying out five
simultaneously at one point in 2010. We were conducting active combat
operations in Afghanistan while also responding to a sudden major
humanitarian crisis in Haiti, while also supporting security for the Olympic
Games in Vancouver, which out of necessity included being prepared to
respond to a terrorist attack, had there been one, and all the while we are
continuing with our daily provision of maritime and aerial surveillance as
well as search and rescue capabilities.
This year has been extremely busy for us as well. In Afghanistan, we have
carried out three major operations simultaneously: completing our combat
operations without any loss in focus or intensity, while planning and
executing a major logistical effort to draw down our footprint in Kandahar,
and also standing up our major new training operation based in Kabul.
In addition to these three lines of operation, we also, as you know, took
on a major role alongside our allies in enforcing the UN Security Council
resolutions aimed at protecting the civilian population in Libya and
responded to floods and other emergencies here at home.
Taken together, this sustained level of activity has put tremendous and
often unpredictable demands on our personnel, equipment, logistics
capabilities and support services. The tightly integrated defence team has
worked tirelessly throughout this period to ensure the Canadian Forces have
the tools and support they need to deliver operational success. Civilians
have been working side by side with their military colleagues performing
critical roles in every area, procuring much- needed equipment, preparing
and maintaining equipment fleets, developing cutting-edge technologies,
providing critical care and support services to Canadian Forces members and
their families, and fulfilling a host of other responsibilities.
Another key to our success in this challenging period has been the
valuable contribution of our reserve force. Reservists volunteer to serve
full time both on active operations and by backfilling important support
roles so that regular force members could deploy and our force could grow
quickly and respond to emerging needs relating to caring for our wounded and
their families. Reservists have been instrumental in keeping the Canadian
Forces operational and successful in recent years. Not surprisingly then,
the number of reservists working full-time has grown significantly over this
time frame, as has the number of civilian public servants working in the
department, and so too has our personnel budget. Added to this has been an
increased reliance on contracted services that delivered value for money in
this time of intense activity. Simply put, we needed more people to support
the complex procurement initiatives and critical operations that were
necessary to deliver on our mandate.
But, Madam Chair, as logical and foreseeable as the short-term
requirement for more personnel may have been, so too was the requirement to
readjust our personnel levels — and our resource requirements more broadly —
when our operational tempo eventually declined again.
Although the CF are still conducting operations in Afghanistan, Libya and
elsewhere — we recognize that the end of combat operations in Kandahar has
resulted in an overall lower level of demand for urgent acquisitions and
enhanced mission support functions. Our challenge has changed from one of
fulfilling immediate operational demand — a challenge that we met with
success — to one of adapting our structures and processes to a new strategic
Obviously, the economic realities facing Canada are a major consideration
in this new context, but they are only part of a bigger picture. In dealing
with new fiscal pressures, we must also continue delivering a future force
through the fulfillment of the Canada First Defence Strategy that
will meet the needs of Canadians in the years to come. This requires us to
institutionalize and adapt to the operational lessons we have learned in
Afghanistan and on other recent operations, as well as to anticipate and
pursue the capabilities that will be required to meet future challenges in
emerging domains such as space and cyber. These are very challenging
priorities to balance, but the civilian and military leaders of the defence
team have been anticipating them for some time and we have undertaken
several measures to carefully consider the next steps to position ourselves
for the future.
This process began with a strategic review of 2009-10 in which we sought
to identify and eliminate our lowest priority and lowest performing programs
to respond to Budget 2010. We have also been looking at ways to
significantly reduce the number of full-time reservists and looking at ways
of reinvigorating the part-time reserve force in support of the Canadian
Forces' core mission, particularly in the domestic context, and I look
forward to continuing that discussion in the next session, Madam Chair.
We put in place a strategy to reduce the size of the civilian workforce
to levels that are sustainable over the long term. With this significant
amount of work already under way, the deputy minister and the Chief of the
Defence Staff created the Canadian Forces transformation team in the spring
of 2010 to help maintain our momentum and focus on improving efficiency.
This was an internal process that brought together civilian and military
members from across the defence portfolio, freed from the day-to-day
business of defence administration, and gave them a clear mandate: to bring
all of the different threads of transformation together, to ask the hard
questions and examine new and innovative approaches to doing business, and
to help us identify opportunities to increase our organizational
effectiveness and efficiency so as to reinvest in the future force.
In this respect, the work of our transformation team has been hugely
successful. It has delivered exactly the kind of provocative and informative
recommendations we were looking for, some of which validate the path that we
are already on, some of which make good sense and which we are proposing to
implement, and others which, as we expected, are quite ambitious and require
further study before we can determine whether or not they are in our overall
Drawing on the contributions of the transformation team, as well as the
wide range of other analysis from across the department, we have developed a
number of options to best position the Canadian Forces for the next decade
As these options are currently being considered by the government, Mr.
King and I are limited in what we can say about the way forward at this
However, what I can say is that the work of the Canadian Forces
transformation team has been immensely valuable as we continue to adjust to
the changing strategic climate.
I will conclude by emphasizing that all of us here today and, indeed,
everyone on the defence team, military and civilian alike, take our job of
managing and accounting for public resources very seriously. Please let me
assure you we fully understand that we have a responsibility to support the
government in protecting not just the physical security of our citizens but
economic security as well. Together, we are working to ensure that the
Canadian Forces continue to deliver the same level of operational excellence
in the future as they have over the past decade within an affordable and
sustainable force structure.
I have every confidence in the dedication and expertise of both the
military and civilian members of the defence team, and I consider it a
privilege to lead such an incredible group of consummate professionals.
I thank you for inviting us to meet with you and would be pleased to
answer your questions at this time.
The Chair: Thank you. Let me summarize, if I can, because I know
this is complicated out there.
The transformation process is under way and there are feeding into that
reports like General Leslie's as well as others. You have the strategic
review, which was aimed in 2009-10. Are those about to be implemented now?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Yes, we are in the process now of
synchronizing the implementation of the divestments identified there, but we
are not at liberty yet to speak specifically about them.
The Chair: Right. Then separately you have the DRAP, the deficit
reduction action plan, which the entire government is undergoing right now,
and then there is an administrative review, as I understand it. These four
things are feeding in simultaneously under the heading of
"transformation." Is that a fair way to put it?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I would say that none of them can be
understood in isolation. When we talk about transformation, what we are
really talking about, at least within DND and the Canadian Forces, is
continuing the journey of reorienting the Canadian Forces and the department
that supports it to the requirements of the future.
This kind of rounded transformation was commenced under General Hillier
some time ago and really started with operational effect. We started there
because looking ahead, we knew we were getting ourselves into a particularly
busy phase of the Canadian Forces and a high-risk period for the Government
of Canada, 2009 to 2011. We wanted to ensure we were optimally positioned to
support operational effect and the conduct of operations for the Canadian
Forces, so we stood up the operational commands.
You have heard General Hillier talk about how and why he did so. It was
always intended to have subsequent rounds of transformation so we could do
things like look at how force generation and the development of future
forces aligned with that new model of employment and how the Department of
National Defence would align with that new model of employment. I would hate
to say we are taking advantage of that because it sounds awkward, but we are
being encouraged to continue that now as we come to grips with some of these
tough problems that a change in budget line affords us.
We have to figure out how to afford the force of the future, how to
orient the force of the future with what we have learned from operations and
the new domains like space and cyber that we are working towards, and how to
ensure that every dollar we spend is being spent in the way the government
needs us to spend it.
The Chair: We will try to come back to that issue of how to plan
for transformation. Currently, you are unsure of what the mission will be
and you are going from Afghanistan to Libya.
Senator Dallaire: Welcome, gentlemen. I am going to try and focus
as much as possible on the strategic level of force generation in terms of
procurement and support, and the strategic nature of your roles in the
transformation of the armed forces.
I have not been able to specifically find the role of Mr. King as the ADM
without portfolio and exactly what you do now in this exercise.
Mr. Lindsey — CFO, ADM, whatever we call it — are you into the management
of the financial resources, accountability for that as well as management of
the program? Or is that still in other places, of which you respond as part
of the matrix?
Matthew King, Associate Deputy Minister, National Defence: I am
the associate deputy minister, which means I am an order-in-council
appointment as well. This is an organizational construct that has become
prevalent over the last six or seven years. We do have a deputy minister of
national defence, Robert Fonberg, and I basically function as his second in
command. Every deputy and every associate has their own method of working
together. Mr. Fonberg and I, even though I have only been on the job for a
year yesterday, are gravitating towards a two-in-a-box construct where we
basically spell each other off. We tend to pay an equal amount of attention
to issues. There may be one or two major procurements, for example, that I
would put more of my time into than he would, but by and large, we try to
operate as a two-in-a-box construct.
In this case, the vice-chief and I, just to give you one concrete
example, were asked to lead the process over the past summer on DRAP. The
vice-chief and I put together a team and we looked at all kinds of
information, including what came out of the transformation report, and we
began to put forward a proposal for ministers' consideration about what a 5
per cent or a 10 per cent reduction in our budget would look like. I hope
that helps a little bit.
Kevin Lindsey, Assistant Deputy Minister and Chief Financial Officer,
National Defence: I will deal with the second part of the question
With respect to program management, it is very much the vice-chief's role
in his capacity responsible for the delivery of the defence program. He does
that through a number of levers, I would say principally through the program
management board, which he chairs. I attend that committee and my staff
support that committee, but the responsibility for the defence services
program is very much in the vice-chief's swim lane.
With respect to financial management, I have responsibilities for overall
financial management in the department; however, when it comes to the
allocation of resources to support the defence services program and business
planning, the vice-chief and I, through the chief of program, are very much
joined up; we do not act in isolation.
Senator Dallaire: The reason my question addresses transformation
and some of the objectives that were articulated and some of the
recommendations that have significant impact on your roles, and as you just
described recent work on transformation where you and the vice-chief are
sort of off each other, to me, the vice-chief was always sort of the chief
of staff who chaired all components of the integrated Canadian Forces
National Defence Department since 1972.
Has your role changed inasmuch as you are not sort of prima facie in that
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: The Federal Accountability Act has
required us to clarify how it is we manage issues for which the deputy
minister is accountable. We have taken a few steps to ensure that we have
clarified that as we have had to. The Government of Canada accepted the CFO
model some time ago, and it is a different way of running the department
from how we traditionally did. Therefore, we have taken some measures to
clarify lines of accountability but retained the overall program
coordination and a chief-of-staff-like function of the vice-chief. I would
say it is an area where we are reviewing ourselves as we go through this
bound of transformation.
As we align the department around a realigned Canadian Forces, these are
the types of questions we need to ask ourselves and clarify.
Senator Dallaire: That is why I would like to stay at the
strategic level. General Leslie has raised, with his transformation
recommendations, that that area is not overtly evident as perhaps
historically because of accountability that has brought in some changes that
leaves those in force generation and force employment maybe more confused
than in the past.
Transformation is arguing that we can be more effective and efficient and
so on, and has a series of recommendations. Using just an example from last
year, how, under the old regime without this transformation — and will
transformation change this — does the department slip something like $1.5
billion? How close is that figure? I am not counting the 3 per cent
carryover. How would that be possible in a business plan, to have that
percentage and capability and not transform?
We know there is no more transfer from vote 5 to vote 1, which is
completely different from what was done historically. Where has the process
of the matrix now shifted the ability to produce the results that those who
are generating forces, and using them, need in a more timely fashion, and
all the resources that are given to them?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Well, senator, it is a complicated
question, but let me try to give a quick answer to it.
First, I would say that you characterize force generation and force
employers as being more confused in this environment. I do not believe they
are. I think they have clear direction and know what they have to do in
terms of delivering effects and generating forces. On that side of things
there is no confusion.
I would say I think your comments are motivated by General Leslie's
characterization of how the department has been run and money that has
lapsed. I say respectfully that I think General Leslie's interpretation and
the public record may differ. If we actually look at the history of the
department in the period that he is referring to, we may differ on what we
mean by lapsing money. I think that the record is good. I will leave it to
my colleagues to elaborate, if you are interested.
I would say, however, that we do face a challenge. We face capacity
challenges as we move forward. I think it is important to accept that with
the huge increase in budget over the last number of years — and we have had
an equal increase in the need to deliver on the defence services program —
there have been big-ticket items in that. There also has been a huge amount
of reinvestment in national procurement and other necessary deliverables
that has put a huge pressure on the organization. Transforming, moving
forward, we have to look at our capacity and how we are delivering on that
capacity in the future. I hope that addresses your question.
Mr. Lindsey: I might just reinforce the vice's assertion that the
department actually has a remarkable record in not lapsing money. That
assertion is borne out in the financial data in one of the appendices to
General Leslie's report.
The public accounts will be tabled next week, and we need to respect that
tabling date. I would say, with some confidence, that the figure of $1.5
billion attributed to the last fiscal year is orders of magnitude
Senator Nolin: Thank you, admiral, for accepting our invitation. I
will try to keep my question short.
What are the main challenges that DND and the CF have over the next
decade and how will the report just released by General Leslie help? How
will those recommendations help to overcome those challenges?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I think the biggest challenge we have,
moving forward, is to deliver an affordable, capable future force,
particularly with some of the major equipment programs that we still have
underway. We need to orient ourselves to delivering the force of the future,
and we need to make sure that we are spending the money we have been given
in a way that best contributes to realizing that force of the future.
At the same time, as the Chief of the Defence Staff is quick to point
out, we have two other priorities. The first is to maintain excellence
today. As we demonstrated in Libya, we have to react fairly quickly, and
sometimes in areas where we have not performed in for up to a decade. That
is not an excuse for not reacting. We have to be ready to react and do what
Canadians need the Canadian Forces to do.
We also have to look after our people, particularly our wounded, ill and
injured and the families of our fallen. The journey through the combat
mission in Afghanistan is not over, and this will continue for potentially
decades to come. We need to make sure we are investing in those three key
We characterize General Leslie's report as a report because we asked him
for a snapshot in time for the process of transformation that continues and
will continue for a number of years. However, he identified a number of
areas, as we asked him to, where we could reinvest ourselves in order to be
successful at delivering that future force. He offered some perspectives on
how we could reorganize so as to bring more coherence to delivering the
force of today and operational effects today, and generating the forces that
we need to continue that.
I would also say that, as I said in my opening remarks, we asked General
Leslie to think outside the box. We asked him to take a sheet of paper and
say if you could do anything you wanted, how would you reorient things so as
to give us options for delivering on the future? They did a great job. His
team has disbursed, but they are back in my organization implementing an
awful lot of what is in the report.
They are also taking all the ideas that generated that, those models, and
they are applying them as we go along so we do not lose any of the genius
that supported the types of organizational constructs that General Leslie
put forward in his report.
I think it has been very helpful and has helped us orient our force
development team. We continue to look at Canadian Forces command and control
structure and transformation moving ahead. We continue to talk about a
departmental structure to support that. We continue to talk about the shape
a National Defence headquarters should have, moving in the future. We
continue to talk about other options for creating investment space for the
future force moving forward.
This is all wrapped up in considerations for the deficit reduction action
plan. There is only so much today, in terms of detail, which we can go into,
because a lot of it has been put forward to cabinet for decision.
Senator Nolin: There is an important component in relation to the
reserves in the report, which we will address in the second hour of our
I presume that you do not agree with General Hillier's comment in
September. He is quoted as saying that, if implemented as is, it could
destroy the military. Do you agree with that?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: First, I would say I know General Hillier
and have worked for him very closely. I have huge respect for General
Hillier and huge respect for General Leslie. I know the two of them have
disagreed, or appeared to disagree on this issue. I would say they are
pretty categorical folk, the two of them, who have found themselves on
either side of an issue. I would hazard to say that the transformation
report was never intended to be implemented exactly the way it was. That is
not what we asked for. We asked for ideas.
General Leslie accepts that there are some ideas in there that have to be
studied carefully. They go not just to feasibility but to the culture of the
forces, the future makeup of the force and the delivery of a strong army,
navy, and air force within a strong Canadian Forces, in terms of the
I think General Hillier probably saw it in that light, that if we just
took the whole thing and implemented it, it would undercut many other
aspects that make us the Canadian Forces we are today.
Having said that, I think General Leslie's view was that he had no
intention of undercutting the Canadian Forces, but he was looking for
transformative ways to move the Canadian Forces into the future, and
everything requires an evolution. I see both sides of that coin, and I do
not particularly find it helpful to take one side or the other.
I will say that there are some ideas in the transformation report that
are oriented the way we asked the team to orient themselves, and that is:
How would you do this for less? How would you free up people and resources
to invest in ourselves? We told them to take that as their highest priority.
Some may feel that in looking at Parliament, you could reorganize
Parliament to be more efficient and cost- effective.
The Chair: When you have done DND, you can come and do the Senate.
We are in the middle of that.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: My point is that Parliament is structured
in ways that go beyond efficiency and cost- effectiveness, and go into what
it is that we are trying to create. It is in reconciling that with General
Leslie's team's orientation that we have to be careful to ensure that we
understand some of the other effects that some of the transformative
measures would have.
At present, we have implemented about a third of the recommendations in
the report; we are working on another third of those recommendations or have
actively put them on the table; and we are studying the other third. That is
where we are with the report.
Senator Lang: I would like to pursue a little further, in a
general sense, the force of the future. We have talked about transformation
and about a reduction in financing to the military to meet their new role as
we see it, because we are removing ourselves from both theatres eventually.
I would like to hear from you in terms of how you see the future force.
Do you see it in the same light as it is being operated now or will we see
significant differences within the reorganization in terms of how it will be
operating in the next three or four years, as we face different threats,
different technology, and all the responsibilities that go along with that?
That is where we have to be agile, I think is the right word, in order to
be able to meet these new and unintended forces that might come our way.
Perhaps that is part of the discussion that should be taking place. It is
not transformation but what we will look like when this is all done.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Thank you for the question. First, in
talking about a reduction in resources, we are pretty well off. What we have
been asked to do is grow at a slower rate than we were expecting. Because we
deliver year by year in terms of a defence budget, that has brought about a
lot of thought as to how we will deal with the financial pressures that
having less in the future pose, even though it is much more than we had
Therefore, when we talk about money coming out of defence, I am careful
around my predecessors, as vice-chief, because if I complain about money,
they hit me with something. It is a question of making the best use of the
money we have, ensuring that internally we are spending it on the things
that are priorities, and that we keep in mind the delivery of the future
force and we do not mortgage the future force by the day-to-day spending
decisions within the force. Essentially, we need to get our priorities
In terms of the next three to four years, I would say we will look very
much the same. There are no dramatic changes coming to the Canadian Forces
in terms of how we operate.
I am proud of the agility we have today. When we were preparing for the
Olympics and fighting in Afghanistan, we had set the Canadian Forces up to
be able to deal with a period where the majority of our people were engaged
in something, all at the same time, which related to operational output,
either preparing to go into Afghanistan — and we had a large team deployed
to California — in Afghanistan, supporting the mission to Afghanistan, just
having rotated back; or amassing for security support to the Olympics on the
West Coast of Canada, in numbers of about 4,000; or reorienting our ready
forces in case something else happened during that time frame. That was an
incredibly challenging period for us to be ready for all that was on our
Haiti happened. Within two days, we had turned around a force that
numbered 2,000, with two ships, because that is where the need was. We
generated, oriented and launched that, so as to bring support to that
nation. That is agility.
We were able to respond to Libya, notwithstanding the continuation of
combat operations in Afghanistan, and the preparation for the largest
redeployment of the Canadian Forces — Canadian Army, mostly — back to Canada
since the end of the Korean War. It happened, and we responded. We were
there, not just with aircraft but with ships, command and control, and with
everything the government asked us to provide.
In the next three to four years, I do not see that changing. I am very
proud of the agility we have today.
Moving forward, life gets expensive 20 or 30 years from now. The cost of
maintaining equipment and the cost of procuring, in a defence industry with
an inflation rate of about 7 per cent, becomes a challenge about 10 and 15
years from now.
Therefore, we need to ensure that we have selected, oriented and prepared
a Canadian force that has the agility that we possess today but that is also
of a size that does not over-invest at the expense of delivering the force
of tomorrow. That is the type of transformative work we are looking at right
now, with all this other stuff that is going on.
Does that answer your question, sir?
Senator Lang: It does to some degree. It is hard to look into the
future with a crystal ball and see where we will go, in concert with our
allies, to meet our needs 10 years from now, especially in the area of
technology, the cost of technology, and whether we will have the financial
capability to meet those obligations.
I would like to move on to the transformation report you referred to
earlier. You had mentioned that a third of the recommendations were
implemented; another third are being considered for implementation; and
another third are under consideration.
I had understood that that particular document, or that blueprint, would
have to go to cabinet for approval and then be implemented. Obviously, I
have the process somewhat confused here. What exactly goes to cabinet versus
the actual report, the transformation report?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: The transformation team was an internal
team looking internally at ways to create flexibility, reinvest in ourselves
and reorient ourselves. A number of the measures in that report require
decisions by our minister; a number of them may require us to go to cabinet;
a number of them represent savings that we can put on the table as options
within the deficit reduction action plan decision space. That obviously must
go to cabinet and will be considered.
Some of these are well within departmental authorities. I do not want to
wait a year to do things that we should be doing. Some of the work of the
transformation team encompassed work under way before the transformation
team was stood up, but where it made sense for me to assign to the
transformation team that work so we had a coherent approach to all the
change we were suggesting moving forward. A couple of areas, we are already
The Chair: We have to be quick here because we have a long list of
Senator Lang: Could you indicate to us the timeline in respect to
the final decisions being made on that report or on other reports that will
be adjunct to that?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Again, in terms of final decisions on the
report, it was never intended to be decided upon as a report. There is a
series of recommendations and those decisions on the recommendations will
vary in terms of time. The ones that relate to options for the deficit
reduction action plan will be decided by cabinet and announced in the next
Senator Plett: I have three short questions and I will ask all
three before you answer.
General Leslie stated that there has been significant increase in the
number of executive staff, ADMs, DGs, EX-3s, EX-4s and EX-5s at the National
Defence Headquarters from 2004 to 2010. What would be the rationale or the
reasoning behind this growth? For example, what area saw the greatest amount
of growth and why? Can you explain generally what has driven civilian
Lastly, in General Leslie's Senate testimony, he testified that:
. . . we believe that the number of headquarters should be reduced
fairly dramatically to free up those incredibly valuable personnel —
regular force and public servants —
If the department were to act on General Leslie's recommendation, what
role do you foresee for these public servants in the future?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: General Leslie has colourful language. May
I defer to my colleague, Mr. King?
Mr. King: I will start with civilian growth and then work from
there to executive growth.
First, I think Vice-Admiral Donaldson has noted from the period of time
2004 to 2010, the years examined by General Leslie and his team, there was
civilian growth in DND and CF of about 30 per cent. I think General Leslie
used the number 8,000 people; it is likely a little less, but not far enough
off to quibble, so I will use that in the short term.
By way of background, of the 28,000 public servants who work in this
institution, 64 per cent do work under military command; 70 per cent of that
number work outside of Ottawa on the wings and the bases. These are folks
that are involved in either providing direct support to our forces or
involved in many of the readiness activities that take place every day
across the country. Since 2004 that ratio has held, so of the 8,000 new
public servants that joined the department over that nine-year period, I
believe it is, 70 per cent would have gone to the regions and 30 per cent
would have been here in NHQ.
I could give couple of quick reasons to account for this level of growth.
A budget increase over that period of 51 per cent implies to me that there
would be some requirement for additional people to manage that. We have had
high and sustained operational tempo over that period of time. I think the
number we use is that 50,000 regular CF troops were either in Afghanistan,
coming home, getting ready to go or getting ready to go back in. With that
concentration of effort, public servants were often called upon to backfill
jobs that were in a lower tempo environment done by regular CF forces.
Full-time reservists were used to backfill, as well as accommodating
contractors, who were doing important work for us. Over that time period,
the CF restructured in a fundamental way, begun under General Hillier, and
created four more commands. That took a fair number of public servants as
All of this is to say that, as we built up particularly since 2006, it
was always understood that when tempo would reduce, so, too, would be the
resources dedicated to tasks in support of deployed efforts. That is clearly
the period we are in now. I offer that as a few points on the nature of the
In terms of the EX growth from 2004 to 2010, as General Leslie stated in
his report, we went from 101 EXs up to 160 EXs in 2010. EXs, in the civilian
context, begin at the director level and progress from there to director
generals and assistant deputy minister and upwards from there. I would offer
some of the same factors that I went through just now in terms of
underpinning the growth in civilians, namely, the budget increase, the
backfilling efforts that we made and that sort of thing.
A couple of factors are important when you look at the overall EX
complement in DND. We increased by whatever that was, 40 or 51 per cent,
from 2004. Even with that increase, our ratio of EXs to non-EX staff in the
department was 1 to 195. If you add lieutenant colonels and colonels into
the mix, who, depending on your calculation, could be EX-1s or EX minus 1s,
that reduces the ratio to 1 to 150. If you look at the broader core public
administration — that is, the average across departments — that ratio is 1
to 39. Even though we added quite a few over that 10-year period — again,
partially related to the increase in operation tempo, partially related to
the significant increase in budget — we are comfortable in that we still
place ourselves far down the ratio that is held in the public sector as a
whole. I hope that helps a little.
Senator Plett: That answers the question, yes.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: You asked about the hypothetical reduction
in headquarters and the use of the people. Depending upon the headquarters
reduced, we are not talking about a huge number of people. However, we have
a number of future positions that we know we will have to fill in the
Canadian Forces that come to us with new equipment and with new
organization. My team tries to figure out where those people will come from.
They come from stopping stuff that other people are doing. With the
reduction in headquarters, the reduction in the number of people dedicated
to headquarters, although they are not directly translatable, would come the
flexibility to invest people in those areas that we have not yet allocated
people for, for example, equipment like UAVs in the future; medium lift
helicopters, when they come on line. A number of other new capabilities that
we are getting require people; those people come from stuff that we used to
do that we do not do anymore because we are moving into the future. This
would fall into that category in terms of the reallocation of people. Does
that answer your question?
Senator Plett: Yes, it does, thank you.
The Chair: We have three more questioners and about six minutes.
Senator Segal: I think it was Mr. Lindsey who was kind enough to
make reference to the terms of reference and the appendices for the actual
study done by General Leslie. These are not available to us. It is difficult
for us to look at General Leslie's report, which I am sure was done in the
best of faith, where he says: "Guided by the intent of the Minister of
National Defence (Annex A, Appendix 1) . . ." We do not have access to
those appendices. We have no idea what the intent of the minister was. I
wish to make the case that the jobs of us all are made easier when we can
look at those documents. This may be the longest translation in the history
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: We take the point. We had hoped to have
them released by now, but we have little influence over the timing of a
process and we can submit them in no other form than translated.
Senator Segal: On page 4 of the Vice-Admiral's statement to the
committee, he said:
Our challenge has changed from one of fulfilling immediate
operational demand, a challenge that we met with success —
And I think Canadians would agree with that.
— to one of adapting our structures and processes to a new strategic
I think you would agree that whether it is Afghanistan 1 or Afghanistan
2, Libya or Haiti, stuff happens while you are making plans; stuff happens
while you are defining new contexts. What is the new context? When does
someone share the new context with us, or is it the Canada First
Defence Strategy until revised?
It strikes me that on a host of fronts, Canadians would look across the
globe and see some jarring new contexts that may affect the Straits of
Hormuz and potentially failed states in the Caribbean that have a direct
national security implication for us. The committee as a whole, and I as a
citizen, would be interested in understanding how that is defined and
whether you share that with anyone so that Canadians can understand the
context within which you seek to make the difficult decisions you have to
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: That is a great question. It goes to the
heart of what is next. However, I would say that it is a bigger question
than the Canadian Forces or the Department of National Defence. It really is
a strategic context within which our country is operating, and I would not
want to get ahead of government policy in that respect.
The strategic context to which I was referring was the context within
which we were delivering defence today. There are four elements to that
which I want to highlight.
We must be mindful that, as we plan, real stuff happens, but also that we
have given the Canadian Forces agility, the confidence and the capability
today to be able to react to that as we move into the future.
First, the financial context has changed. This is not to say that there
is no money, but it is to say that the amount of money and when it is being
delivered has changed, so we have to replan to that new baseline. It is for
reasons I completely understand and support, but we have to replan to that
baseline and we have to ensure that we are making best use of the money we
are spending to preserve that capability to react, to preserve our
capability to look after our people, but also to be able to reinvest in the
force of the future.
The other element that has changed is what we have learned. We need to
internalize things like all-source intelligence centres that we figured out
in Afghanistan through some trial and error. We got it right. There is a
very good construct there that does not exist in our force structure. We
need it to exist in our force structure.
We turned into an air mobile army in some respects in Afghanistan. We are
not structured as an air mobile army and we have to get smart about how we
implement that capability into the Canadian Forces moving forward.
There are a number of other examples I can offer that have caused us to
reflect on how we wish to adjust to what we have learned.
We have to deliver the Canada First Defence Strategy, the force of
the future, in a way that gives us that agility and that capability. I
believe that the CFDS construct remains valid in terms of what it lays out
for the future of the Canadian Forces; we just have to get on with it and
deliver it. We have been focused on mission success in Afghanistan and much
of our energy has been directed towards that. We now must have a longer-term
view and direct energy towards delivering that force of the future.
Finally, we need to look at how the Canadian Forces fit into new domains
like cyber. We had not considered cyber- security and where it is today back
in 2008-09 when we did CFDS. We had a glowing success in Afghanistan for our
reserve force. We need to reflect that in moving into the future. We have a
space domain that has evolved since we first considered this. We need to
consider some of these elements as well.
In talking about a strategic context, it was not so much the global
strategic context, although I am mindful that that changes as well, it is
that context within which we are trying to implement defence priorities as
we move forward.
I hope that answers your question.
Senator Day: This has been an interesting and helpful discussion
for us all.
I am wondering whether we are not causing some confusion in relation to
the use of the word "transformation" and how that was sold by General
Hillier when he was talking about restructuring for a more effective Armed
Forces, not so much driven by trying to save 5 per cent one year and 5 or 10
per cent the next year. I would like to go back to that point.
With your new team that you set up, are you reviewing the various
elements of the Armed Forces and saying that we could have a much better
Armed Forces to meet the Canada First policies but then saying that
you cannot do that because you have to reduce by 5 and 10 per cent? What is
driving what is happening now? I ask that about both the military side and
the civilian side.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: You have pretty much summarized my life.
It is being driven by just about everything that you have said.
We need to look at the size of the ready force that gives us the agility,
flexibility and capability that we need but that does not over-invest in
certain capabilities at the expense of investing in the force of the future.
We have to find the balance between doing our business today and how we will
be investing our money in 10 and 15 years in order to be able to deliver
that equipment and make it work for us.
That touches on all those domains because there is a change in terms of
the finances available to deliver defence. We need to adjust to that. There
are some uncertainty related to that, but we have to know how we are going
to adjust to that and tell the government how we will adjust to that. For
the deficit reduction action plan proposals of 5 and 10 per cent of
operating, we have to put on the table what we could do differently and the
risks that that would entail in terms of delivering the force of the future,
being effective and responsive today and looking after our men and women.
My orientation is not on saving money. My reality is on saving money, but
our orientation in the CF and the departmental side remains the
effectiveness of the Canadian Forces today and the effectiveness of the
Canadian Forces in the future.
It is difficult to say what the driving force is because there are so
many driving forces right now in reshaping defence for the future.
That is probably not a very good answer to your question.
Senator Day: A number of recommendations were made by General
Leslie, and I am wondering if you can even consider some of them. The
purpose of the group that you set up in the spring when you arrived in your
current position, the Canadian Forces transformation team, which is made up
of both civilians and military personnel, is to bring together all the
threads of transformation. Are you talking about the low-hanging fruit? Are
you talking about finance, saving dollars now, to meet your 5 and 10 per
cent savings, or are you talking about some of these suggestions that were
made by General Leslie to recapitalize the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff
as the force manager — this is a different role that he is recommending —
and designate you and your position as the readiness authority? They are
different roles than managing for the purposes of finding 5 per cent or 10
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: That is, and the transformation team was
given a fairly broad mandate with some specific areas of concentration. One
of them was to find areas where we could save money to reinvest in
ourselves. Another one was to look at how we can operate more efficiently
and thereby require fewer people to do it. Another was, forget efficiency
and costs; is there a way of doing things more effectively? In the
transformation team's report, representing as it does a kind of a snapshot,
where they were in this journey, as that team came to an end it all folded
back into the headquarters, because, as I say, the work continues and the
people go back to their jobs.
Senator Day: That is General Leslie's team.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: That is General Leslie's team. The
recommendations encompass all of these different areas, and it is confusing.
It is very confusing to an outsider, but it was not really designed to be
understood and appreciated in and of itself by the outside world. It has
been given a profile that it was not intended to have, which is fine. The
only thing, as Oscar Wilde said, worse than being talked about is not being
talked about. It does not represent a Lord Levene-like end state where it
has been studied, agreed and set up and this is where we are going. It
represents a number of different ideas that can then be picked up or further
studied or can inform further work on the subject.
The idea of when we will implement the transformation report is a
difficult question to answer because it was never intended to be implemented
as a report per se. It was intended to give us a series of recommendations
that would inform activity now, work so that we could create activity in the
near term or stuff that would inform the deliberations that are going on
into the future.
Senator Day: Maybe we could hear from the civilian side on that
question, because I was left with the impression last day that the
recommendations by General Leslie that impacted on the civilian side of
Department of National Defence were put aside and they would be dealt with
by a different group at a different time. If that is the case, this
transformation team that is being created has both civilian and military in
it. Are you bringing it back together or was I misinformed previously?
Mr. King: In this instance, General Leslie was referring to work
that the military civilian team had undertaken in a fairly preliminary
sense, to begin to provide recommendations or ideas even on how to
restructure the department in accordance with what the CF once restructured
might look like. I know at the time — I was part of the decision- making
process — the deputy minister and I believed that the better course of
action was to focus on putting innovative ideas on how the CF might be
restructured at some point in the future with the view that the department
would align to that restructured CF. We thought that by trying to do them in
parallel that it would be inefficient and ultimately it would be a bit of a
guessing game or mug's game even because, while we publicly many times
indicated that we will align the public service side of the department to
whatever restructuring occurs on the CF side, we just did not see the value
of doing it in tandem. We thought we had to have one to see what it looked
like and then we would fall in behind it.
That is the first part of my answer, senator. I did like the first part
of your question on the drivers and the efficiency. The vice-admiral has
indicated it is confusing and in particular the use of the world
"transformation" has become a challenge to keep forward.
The way I try to keep it straight in my head is the following: Strategic
review was all about identifying direct program spending. Here, departments
were asked to look at 5 per cent of their lowest performing, least important
programs. That made sense; that was really good. It was not easy, but one
considers that it would be done on a cyclical basis. It is an interesting
construct. The DRAP is more about looking at how we do it, and I think this
has the potential in the DND and CF case to be really important as we move
forward. We have the largest budget by far in government, the largest direct
program spending by far in government. It stands to reason that we would
have the most elaborate and most time-consuming processes in government. I
would point to procurement, and we have all kinds of metrics that would
indicate we need to do a better job at accelerating the decision-making
From that narrower perspective, DRAP provides a real opportunity for us
to put a premium on how we actually do the work. As the vice-admiral said
earlier, a lot of these initiatives, including General Leslie's report, were
initiated long before we knew there would ever be a DRAP. As we understood
that operational tempo would drop down, we have begun to put in place the
foundations of efforts that would let us become more efficient. The value
part is straightforward. It is to ensure that a dollar reduction in input
does not necessarily result in a dollar reduction in output or strategic
effect, and that is what will guide us.
Senator Munson: I am not making light of anything. Remember the
old cartoon, Transformers; there is more than meets the eye. General Leslie
still has a genuine concern about the amount of military in the bureaucracy
here in Ottawa. He said it over and over again. I would like to know how you
view the bureaucracy. Is it too big in Ottawa? Can that money be used in a
better place, in a battlefield, rather than in the battlefield of Ottawa?
You have been looking at ways to reduce the number of full-time
reservists. What kinds of ways?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: We will have to study that one, senator —
I am kidding.
In some areas there is a lot of bureaucracy in Ottawa. The challenge is
that I am not sure it is as easy to identify what does not need to be done,
as was suggested in the transformation report, so the process reforms that
we are looking at and the process work that we are looking at that is
associated with the deficit reduction action plan, and in fact that will
follow on from that, because, as I say, we cannot afford not to continue to
find ways to reinvest in ourselves, I think will tell us where we are doing
stuff that we really do not have to do. Much of what we do is driven by
Government of Canada requirements. Much of what we do is driven by a need
for precision in cost, in options analysis, in phasing, so it is difficult
to say how much is enough.
We have committed to reduce the size of our headquarters and we have work
going on now to try to give that more specificity, some of it related to the
5 and 10 per cent options of government, other related to the continuing
look at the size of the National Defence headquarters, the Canadian Forces
size and how the civilian side may respond to that.
That would be my reaction to the size of the bureaucracy in Ottawa. I
agree we need to reduce it. It is just very difficult sometimes to know what
it is that can be reduced.
In terms of number of reservists, we have had the Primary Reserve
Employment Capacity Study under way for the last year to inform me and us as
to the areas within which full-time reserves support our institution best
and areas where we should transition from full-time reserves being in
certain types of employment to someone else doing that employment or not
doing that employment in favour of supporting healthy reserves. We have some
time to discuss that in the next session.
Senator Munson: I realize that. I just made mention of it because
it was in your speech.
The Chair: As a final point, when you answered Senator Segal's
question about figuring out the role and what the future will be — we do not
have a crystal ball — are we actually in any active discussion with our
allies, either through NATO or other means, to say, "We are thinking about
doing this; what are you going to do?" Is this happening in that context at
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Yes. We speak of our allies all the time.
In fact, General Leslie spent a lot of time doing comparisons with allies
for us. I think he briefed you on it, and I think that is very important.
It is also important to recognize that some of the contexts are
different. We in the Canadian Forces underwent a lot of transformation about
15 years ago; that is to say, significant budget reductions that our allies
are going through now. We have adjusted to those.
We have evolved differently than they have. Our transformation is as much
about celebrating success today but not at the expense of success tomorrow.
We are making sure we are positioned to be able to take advantage of a
wonderful opportunity to recapitalize the Canadian Forces and make best use
of it going forward.
The Chair: Thank you all very much for this. It has been very
helpful. It is how I envision this committee working, and I hope to invite
you in the future again so we can keep tabs on how this is progressing and
how the transformation is taking shape.
Thank you very much to Mr. King and Mr. Lindsey, and we are asking
Vice-Admiral Donaldson to stay for the next panel, where we will focus on
transformation in the reserves.
We will carry on now, with our focus generally on transformation but also
on the overall question of reserves in the future. As a committee, we are
specifically studying that issue. We will probably complete a report we hope
sooner as opposed to later on that matter. That is why we wanted to separate
this one off and ask Vice-Admiral Donaldson to stay with us. He is
Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. He is joined
by the new Chief of Reserves and Cadets, Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett; and
Scott Stevenson, Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and Environment).
That is DND-wide, but you can focus in on questions.
As we said in our earlier panel, we are in a time of restraint, and much
of the change that people are thinking about is driven by those needs.
However, there is also a recalibration as we change our operations in
Afghanistan to operations in Libya or maybe closer to home.
I want to hear from you all on this. As General Leslie very generally
talked about this issue, in the future as we go down this road of
transformation, we should be thinking about the regular force as external
operations such as missions in Libya, Haiti and Afghanistan; and when we
talk about the reserves, we should be thinking about more domestic
operations, although they will always cross over. Is that a reasonable
starting place? I would like to hear from you all on that.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I know that we are pressed for time. It
may not be acceptable, but perhaps you would agree to take my opening
statement as read into the record.
The Chair: We absolutely will do that. Thank you for that.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: That would free up more time for
At one point in the not-too-distant past, we had 15,000 of our 27,000
primary reservists on full-time service. When I say "full-time service,"
it encompasses the full range of activity, both in support of operations and
in support of our institution.
I would also say that I joined the Canadian Forces as a naval reservist,
and I am fiercely proud of that association. I take personally the
requirement to have a healthy, capable reserve force for Canada moving into
the future. We talked about moving into the future in the last session. I
cannot imagine the Canadian Forces moving into the future without a strong
reserve force, just as I cannot imagine a Canadian Forces without a strong
army, navy and air force, moving into the future.
These are complicated issues. As with General Leslie's transformation
context, there are some confusing aspects to it. My colleagues and I stand
ready, along with General O'Brien and General Reid from the land reserves
and air reserves, Commodore Craig from the naval reserve, and Colonel
Stevens from the health services reserve, should we have questions of detail
that they can help with. We stand ready to answer your questions, Madam
The Chair: There are others in the audience that we can refer to,
if need be.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I hate to put them on the spot, but I
brought the A team with me.
Senator Dallaire: The reserves have been mobilized over the last
five years. When you use the figures you have articulated, there are some
who want to go to a mobilization context and others to a more
responsive-need context of reinforcing the forces. Some are talking about
individual augmentations, others subunit, platoon capabilities. On top of
that, all three services have a different scenario. The air force is
integrated with a lot of ex-military in it and technical. The navy has gone
with the MCDVs and Scud and expanding it. The army is a whole different
exercise, however, in how it sees itself.
Do you have a conceptual framework to what level of operational
capability you want to keep the reservists, particularly the veterans now
with that high level, in order to establish how much you want to use them
into the future for operations? Is there a guiding framework that will give
you the ability to say, if we keep them at this level it will cost us this
much and so on?
Part of that is, are the numbers right? Is it 27,000, 30,000 or 33,000?
What sort of number reference can you articulate for us, from a programming
side, that should meet whatever that requirement is?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Great questions, senator; let me take a
stab at it and then I will turn it over to Rear- Admiral Bennett. The term
"mobilize" is a confusing one in and of itself. I would say the Canadian
Forces have been mobilized over the last number of years. I say that because
it is not just the reserve force that has been feeding into the road to war
to support operations in Afghanistan, feeding into the operational support
mission and stepping up in other ways like Haiti and internally with flood
response, et cetera.
Within the Canadian Forces force structure we have been taking people out
of headquarters and instructors out of schools and preparing them to deploy.
In that context, the reserves have been helping not just to deploy on
operations but helping to train new recruits and to conduct needed staff
work and analysis in the headquarters, back-filling positions that existed
but did not have people for them.
They also represent new capability for the Canadian Forces. Our joint
personnel support units, for example, are populated mostly by reservists
right now because we needed to get them up and running now. What does that
mean? The people that were available were reservists who could step up and
fill that need.
In a sense, the whole idea of mobilized is a confusing one, and the
concept of mobilization that existed back in the Cold War and before has
been overtaken by events. We need a different concept.
My conceptual framework, moving forward, is that there is a level of
readiness that we expect every reservists in Canada to maintain in terms of
their ability to step up, when called upon, at short notice, to respond to
the needs of Canada. There is also a group that needs to be at a higher
level of readiness that can feed into a force package that is available for
deployment. I think the army is looking at a model along those lines.
We also need to allow reservists to plan to support operations that are
ongoing as a first and second rotation when it is clear what we are doing
and how they can feed into it. The training mission in Afghanistan is a
great example of that.
There are a number of different ways in which we need the reserves to be
positioned to support the Canadian Forces in the future. We have conducted a
Primary Reserve Employment Capacity Study to try, first and foremost, to
look at, in terms of full-time reservists, how many we need to support our
institution, support the reserve institution and to make sure reserve force
generation is re-energized. It is also to say how much we have to invest in
readiness for part- time reserves so they are ready to do the things I have
The army, navy and air force have different views of how to structure the
reserves in order to create that, but there is a Canadian Forces framework
within which that has to take place. Those are the things we have looked at
in the course of the study. Also, what are the other impediments to
successfully employing reserves as we move forward? What type of
professional development do we expect reserve officers to have, for example.
I think you would agree that some programmed terms of full-time service for
senior officers in things like headquarters are important so they have the
skill set we expect them to have. We are looking at these types of things as
As we reduce the number of full-time reservists from the functions we ask
them to step up and perform, in a time when we needed them to do that, we
are actually reinvesting in the type of ready reserve that will serve our
interests moving into the future: available for operations; available to
support the institution in times of need; flexible and responsive in their
communities, so if something goes wrong they are healthy, fit, well trained,
well oriented and ready to respond. That is the type of reserve we need
across the country.
Rear-Admiral Jennifer Bennett, Chief of Reserves and Cadets,
Department of National Defence: If I could add a couple of other words
that we need to look at. Canada is not the only nation; a number of allies
are looking at the difference between a strategic and operational reserve
and the balance between them. The United States, in particular, having moved
to a predominately operational reserve, found that the sustainability of
that was their greatest challenge.
One could argue that, for us, more a question of readiness is the
question of sustainability and being able to sustain reservists who are
traditionally drawn from the part-time community, to be able to sustain a
higher level of readiness. At the same time as examining the level of
readiness that is appropriate for the reserve force, we also need to look at
reserve-specific tasks, roles and missions, our ability to sustain and
generate those to a level of readiness, the advantage of assigning reserve
specific missions versus integrated effects or augmentation. Again, aligned
with the study that the vice-chief was mentioning, each of the environments
in turn is reviewing their reserve force because we have evolved quite
dramatically, not only over the last decade, as we have been at war, but
over the past 20 years. It is looking at reserve readiness applicable to
each of the environments, the sustainability of an operational or strategic
reserve and what the balance of that should be in each of the environments.
Senator Dallaire: We are moving beyond total force of the old
1970s philosophy. It is a far more sophisticated instrument now, be it
specific tasks and capabilities that we are looking at. All of that has a
dollar sign associated with it, particularly in the reserves where you pay
them by the day and their pay is out of the O&M fund and not out of a
permanent fund that we can sort of establish a certain level of guarantee of
employment, as we do with the regular force. Furthermore, the infrastructure
to meet this new generation of reservists, who are veterans and prepared to
serve and have served and have a high level of capability that we may want
to sustain, or we may want to drop and lose them all — the infrastructure of
the reserves, particularly in the army, is désuet. Pedagogically, a lot of
those armies are ineffective. They have a big cost on the patrimonial side,
and so on.
Is there a more structured philosophy coming forward in the whole
resource basing and stability of resource basing for the reserves? I will
use one example to throw it out there. Is there a reserve force
infrastructure plan, as there is for PSP and for others, or are they just
thrown in with the rest of them and end up at the bottom of the list?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Perhaps I will start, then see if
Rear-Admiral Bennett has anything to add, and then turn it over to Mr.
Stevenson on the infrastructure side.
Senator, you have made a couple of points. First, you asked about
numbers, and whether 27,000 was the right number. I would say that 27,000
reserves is what we have, moving to 30,000. I would say that 68,000 regular,
moving to 70,000, is what we have. We need to structure ourselves with that
now, and then we will see if it works better with some other numbers.
However, that is the framework that is given to us, and we are working from
that. It does not mean that as we move forward we cannot consider other
mixes. However, for now, I think that gives us a robust force that has stood
us in fairly good stead.
In terms of capturing pay and that type of thing, I am making everyone's
lives miserable. As we reinvest in the ready reserve and reduce the number
of full-time Class B reservists, it is not to reduce the number of people in
operations but to reduce the number of full-time in our establishment.
At the same time, I want to identify, for the rest of our 27,000 primary
reservists, the number of days per year that they need to be ready, the
qualifications we need them to have, what that takes in terms of an
investment of time on their part, and what that means in terms of the
availability of money for that.
We will capture that and plan for it. It will not be discretionary space
moving forward. The army is already moving in this direction, but I want to
be able to capture all of that. Also, I want to establish measurable
readiness benchmarks and I want to start seeing that we are achieving the
readiness we want from the reserves, and measuring and adjusting, so that we
do the best we can with the money we are capturing.
We are trying to be more programmed in our use of the ready reserve,
rather like we are for everything else that is important to us in the
delivery of the defence services program.
In terms of veterans' skill sets, the best place for that is on the
armoury floor. You have identified some of the challenges with some of the
armouries across the country, but we need a challenging, part-time readiness
program that inspires our veterans to take their skill sets back into their
units, to make their units better at what they do and ready for what is
next; and what is next is not just in case there is a flood in the next
community but in case there is another Libya, Afghanistan, or Haiti.
In my opinion, folks have to have the view that they are not being set
aside for domestic tasks when in fact the skill set they have brought back
is as good as any regular force skill set in the business.
We have also offered those veteran reservists from Afghanistan who would
like to go into full-time service to be priority candidates for transfer
into the regular force. We have a challenge.
Senator Dallaire: Making it easier?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: It is as easy as pie, except that there
are only so many that we need these days, because it turns out that folks do
not want to leave. Managing that on a priority basis is important to us as
well going forward.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: If I could add to the last point. We also
need the veterans to help force generate the next generation. We need them
to return as instructors. Anyone with full-time experience, in particular
combat experience, will be a huge asset back on the armoury floor and back
in the units, and we would like to see more of that.
In terms of the stability of reserve funding, budgeting and pay, part of
the follow-on implementation after the Primary Reserve Employment Capacity
Study is to look further at that issue to establish, as the vice-chief has
mentioned, the funding lines within the budget to better capture those costs
and to better fence that money.
Scott Stevenson, Assistant Deputy Minister (Infrastructure and
Environment), National Defence: The question on the state of reserve
infrastructure, and principally for the army — I would set aside the Naval
Reserve and the Air Reserve because the condition of their facilities is
generally different — the Army Reserve's infrastructure is what we would
categorize as being in a fair condition, which means that it is not at the
top. It means the major systems of each of those facilities work, or there
is a low likelihood of failure. It basically means that there has been a
minimal level of investment. The Canada First Defence Strategy
recognizes that for many years, our level of investment was insufficient to
maintain them at a desired state or condition. It has declined over the last
10 years or more.
The department does not set aside reserve infrastructure as separate from
regular force infrastructure, but we aim to increase our investment in
maintenance and repair in a progressive way to the investment target that is
budgeted for in the Canada First Defence Strategy. That investment is
then prioritized, based on the condition of the asset. Those that are the
worst should get the funding for their maintenance and repair first, and the
reserve infrastructure would not necessarily be pushed to the lower part of
that priority setting for access to money.
Senator Nolin: Most of my questions have already been answered
through the questions of Senator Dallaire.
I want to hear from both of you on the implication of the reserves in the
communities. It is a key element of our history and our military history,
and it is not known. Can we use our reserve to be part of that reconnection
with our different communities?
This could be challenging. For Montreal, it would be a great challenge,
but there is definitely a role for the reserve to be used there. I want to
hear whether you have any thoughts on that.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Reserves in communities serve three
purposes, from my perspective. The first is operational. That is, they are
trained and ready to respond in a case where disaster strikes within the
community. They are not first responders, but quite often our force of last
resort is called upon minutes after a first response is needed.
We have organized ourselves operationally in Canada, through Canada
Command and the Regional Joint Task Forces, to be able to mobilize reserves
quickly in their communities and to have the relationships in place before a
crisis, in order to enable the reserves to react effectively in a crisis.
The next role, I would say, is in representing the Canadian Forces and
representing their own regiment within the communities. The individual
commanding officers and the services do a good job of local outreach and
having a presence. Obviously, this varies from community to community.
We also have relationships with some of our units that are not located in
the named community. Some of our maritime coastal defence vessels, for
example, are named after Canadian communities and they have a relationship
with those communities.
We try to take seriously the relationship with the community and the
important historical ties, but also the current representation that we
expect the Canadian Forces to have in communities across the country. I
think they do a pretty good job of this in most cases. As you say, in some
communities this is more challenging than in others. In some communities we
have to suggest that perhaps a little less community liaison might be good.
The last thing I would say is that I think the reserves provide a great
example for youth, but also of citizenship, leadership, and commitment to
country. They bring something to their communities that few other
organizations do. We are proud to have reserves located throughout
communities in this country to serve as that positive example.
Senator Nolin: Bringing back home the Afghanistan experience will
be more interesting for many Canadians to hear about.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Senator, I agree with you. It is a
double-edged sword. Our reservists will be bringing home experiences from
Afghanistan that will inform their communities, but there are communities
that will have to reach out and help. There are some who have had difficult
experiences in Afghanistan. We need to be mindful of that. I think
communities are hugely supportive of that. We work as closely as we can with
communities to provide the type of care, monitoring and options for our
folks who come back from Afghanistan or from other difficult operations,
where they are not necessarily in garrison with all the folks they deployed
with. We need to keep an extra close eye on them.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: I see our role in connecting in communities
as twofold — not only the people as representatives of that community and
the citizens but also the platforms that are available, for example,
inviting the community into the buildings for events such as citizenship
ceremonies. The reserve can play an important role in welcoming new
Canadians and in serving as examples of Canadian service by inviting people
into the units. We can consider the asset of the people who belong to the
reserve units. Also, the units themselves could be used or factored into
other plans and developments to welcome the community in.
I think, as well, it is important that reservists play that role as
citizens and as members of our community. We do a lot of community outreach
not necessarily connected with our Canadian Forces training, but it allows
us a presence in our communities to give a face and a greater understanding
of the Canadian Forces. Engagement with our communities is twofold, both
through the people and through the units themselves.
Senator Nolin: Thank you very much.
Senator Segal: I have two questions. I will ask them both and then
allow our guests to address them.
I noticed a reference in Vice-Admiral Donaldson's statement that is now
part of the record, namely that this change in tempo allows the reserve
forces to regenerate, to sustain it and to focus on the needs of the unit
and of the individuals that give it strength.
The question is a touch rhetorical. If you reduce training days and
budgets for them so that local commanding officers do not have the capacity
they did, that may sound like regeneration, but it is not really
regeneration at the local level. I would be interested in your perspective
within the financial context of how you manage that. I would make reference
to Mr. Stevenson, who was good enough to say — and I think I have the quote
correctly — that "reserve infrastructure would not necessarily be pushed to
the bottom." That is not, if I may say so, a driving statement to inspire
reservists about their infrastructure. You may have meant to say it another
way. I am not trying to be unfair, except that we remember the days when
reservists did not get paid on time; when friends and family had to sustain
people between paycheques. We know the shift that has transpired in terms of
so many of our reservists having served as part of the regular force and
having come back, et cetera, has changed the dynamics. People are working
diligently on that, but I would be interested in your perspective.
I want to make a reference to three Chiefs of the Defence Staff who I
thought were all of singular importance because they redefined the
relationship between you folks in uniform and the politicians who are part
of the duly elected government. General Baril deserves credit for having
said, with respect to an Ethiopian-Eritrea initiative where Canada was
called to be a border observer team, "We can do this for so many months
only, our capacity." I think it was six months. "We have to be out on that
date." It was clear and defined in public for the first time — not the
traditional military, "Can do, yes, sir, whatever you say, off we go,"
but, "Yes, but there are limits based on our present resource base."
I think it is fair to say that General Henault did the same thing with
respect to one or two other operations, where he said we can do this but we
have a limit and the limit is this time frame for this kind of deployment,
and got, I think, some political buy-in to manage affairs to respect his
operational realities based on his resources.
I think it is fair to say of General Hillier that what he said was that
if you want us to do that, we need this — "this" being the equipment, the
aircraft, whatever it happened to be.
We now face the end of the formal combat operations in Afghanistan. We
have, therefore, a realignment of priority, a change in tempo. When does the
senior leadership, either of the reserves or of the force overall, get to
say — or do they get to say in any frank fashion, not to us but in private
to the political duly elected people — "Actually, the amount of people we
have in the regular force and the reserve force is insufficient for the
missions. Probably, if we were realistic about the new robust foreign policy
being talked about, a full-time resource of 100,000 regular and 50,000
reserves is where we should be moving over time." I am not suggesting that
is the right answer; it is not for me to say.
When does that discussion take place? It might take place in the debate
in the House of Commons, or in front of this committee, or in the media, but
I think Canadians would want to know that uniformed members of the senior
military leadership, who respect the role of the duly elected government and
civil authority — that is not the issue — do actually get to tell the frank
and real truth about the match between a foreign, defence, strategic and
security policy, which changes daily, and your actual resource base. I think
that relates directly to the reserves and the kind of approach you take.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: If we had a weekend to discuss that second
question, I think we would still be discussing it.
Let me address the two questions quickly, if I may, not to diminish the
importance of them.
You referred to the challenge in funding, of having to squeeze numbers of
training days and so forth. That is the last thing I will squeeze. My
intention is to enhance the number of training days for reserves as we move
out. We need to create flexibility. We do not have the money to pay a whole
bunch of additional full-time people. We do have the money to pay to create
a ready reserve. That is what we are identifying and ensuring that we have
examined appropriately the number of days because I think it was
insufficient. We are looking at the number of days that we require to pay a
class A, on a per person basis, to create the readiness that we want at the
different echelons of rank moving forward.
I completely understand your concern with that and I can tell you that
that is crystal clear in my mind. The worst we can do is to try to achieve
efficiencies at the expense of readiness in terms of our reserve force.
Having said that, we have to decide on the readiness we need and we have
to fund it. We are happily producing more readiness than we need in key
areas. That is at the expense of some of the other things we have to do. It
is the last thing that will go, but we need to have a mind of what is the
readiness that we have to create, make sure we protect that and fund it but
that we are making the most out of anything additional to that in terms of
what we are spending money on if it comes at the expense of being able to
recapitalize the force for the future.
When we look at what we are doing in terms of investment planning, force
modelling and that type of thing, this is some of the work we are doing.
I would respectfully submit that General Baril and General Henault were
in different circumstances. When forces were committed, I think they felt
compelled to be clear about the limitations of the Canadian Forces in
undertaking some of those dangerous missions. I would say that General
Hillier had a special way of articulating his needs and the needs of the
Canadian Forces. In terms of our dialogue with government, I would
characterize it as being more mature. It is still a question of discussing
how much is enough and these are difficult questions, but I am confident
that our voices are heard moving forward as to what is required through
I hope that answers your question.
Senator Munson: Is the pay scale good enough for the reservists?
What are they getting paid? I ask that in light of the current economic
situation of this country.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I can give you a strategic answer, and
then I will turn to my colleagues.
Senator Munson: What is their pay scale? Is the current pay scale
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I will give you my perspective. The
current pay scale is adequate. If it were not, people would vote with their
feet. Is it fair? I think it has been fair over time, but we need to revisit
whether it is as fair as we wish it to be.
We need to clarify many aspects of reserve pay, many aspects of reserve
benefits, many aspects of regular force benefits, and we need to bring it
into a far more coherent package. That is what I will say at a strategic
Rear-Admiral Bennett: Our pay system is cumbersome, but I think
that most reservists would argue that the pay is very good, in particular
for a part-time job, when you consider the benefits that are available for
what is considered a casual job.
Pay is, of course, tied to rank, and that is based on promotions. There
are some folks who may stagnate at a certain level, and there is no other
way to increase their pay. However, for the most part in terms of the
part-time organization the pay is very fair.
Where we run into challenges, as the vice-chief just mentioned, is in the
comparability between full-time jobs or between like work. We have done a
number of reviews in the past of reserve pay to bring it up to its current
scale. Reservists are paid at 85 per cent of regular force pay for that
rank. There are a number of incentives at each rank, with the exception of
Class C, which is on operations. Those reservists are paid 100 per cent of
regular force pay and have a more comprehensive range of benefits.
As part of our employment capacity study we will look at pay and
compensation as it relates to the current terms and conditions of service.
I hope that answers your question.
Senator Munson: Vice-Admiral Donaldson, you talked earlier in your
testimony about ways to significantly reduce the number of full-time
reservists. I think everyone in this country is proud of our reservists and
what they have done. If there will be cutbacks, how will you continue to
attract people to the reserves?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I think that many reservists are being
employed on things that they did not join to do. They are prepared to step
up and do them. They have skills that they can bring to our institution, but
we did not intend that much of this work be done by reservists. We are now
in a position to decide where we do want to invest, and we want to invest in
a ready, part-time reserve with a component of full-time service that is
within the institution and the option for full-time service in support of
operations. That is what we have it for and that is what we need to orient
for in the future.
We need to figure out what is the right number of full-time reservists to
support the reserve institution on the armoury floor where you need
full-time folks to support our Canadian Forces institution and to support
operations not deployed but at home. Additionally, what type of full-time
service is appropriate for professional development for reserves beyond the
type of Class B training that occurs in the summer?
Some of these are comparable, but there is a number, and we are arriving
pretty much at where we think that number is. I could see it evolving over
time, as we get more experience, rather the same way as confirming 70,000.
Thirty thousand may potentially be something we want to confirm moving
forward. It is, however, a number that we have and are working with and that
we will tool our institution to and ensure that it can deliver the way we
want it to.
As to the characterization of cutbacks, yes, we are going to spend less
money on full-time reserves, but we did not have that money in the first
place. That money is being channelled from other areas. We need to put that
money back where it needs to be spent and we need to ensure that our
investments in reserves are focused on creating the ready, capable,
professional force for the future that exists on the armoury floors and in
units across the country.
Senator Plett: Most of my questions have been answered. I will,
however, ask about something that Senator Munson was asking about, but I
will ask it a little differently. I hope to get a straight yes or no answer.
General Leslie's recommendation to cut back on the number of reserves and
civilian staff seems to contradict the testimony that we had from David
Pratt who claimed that there should be a bigger role for reserves with a
stronger presence on the university and community college campuses.
Yes, no, or maybe: Would the cuts proposed by General Leslie hinder the
ability of the reserves to reflect the changing face of Canada?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: No, I do not believe so. Reserves on
university campuses and in communities can be done on a part-time basis. It
can be done as part of creating that ready reserve that I am talking about
in communities across Canada. It is not necessarily a full-time service that
creates that reflection of the face of Canada. In fact, it can detract from
it. It can take reservists who would otherwise be keen to be doing a whole
series of things and put them in a job in National Defence Headquarters
doing the type of thing that we had groomed someone in the regular force to
do but because we did not have anybody conveniently at hand we hired a
reservist to do that work.
That is not what we need reserves to do on an ongoing basis. It sure was
what we needed reserves to do over the last five years. We needed a lot of
stuff done quickly. We up-armoured vehicles. We studied how to win the fight
against improvised explosive devices, IEDs. We brought in about 10,000 folks
and had to train them, but all the trainers were in Afghanistan, so we
needed folks to train new recruits. We needed to plus-up in areas like
professional development for the force. We needed to figure out a whole
series of initiatives that came at us at the same time during a period of
operational imperative. Many of the joint task forces across the country,
for example, are staffed by reservists. That could well be entirely
appropriate, but we stood them up with reservists before we knew that that
was the right thing to do.
We have called on reserves to step up and do a whole bunch of things. I
am saying that we need to be clear about what we want reserves to be doing.
Making an adjustment to what reserves do on a full-time basis and what they
do on a part-time basis, and the flexibility that is available for them to
pursue these things on a part-time basis, will actually create a better,
more capable reserve. We will be able to invest some of this money in other
areas where we need it and were not putting it before, and some of this
money in enhancing the ready reserve that we create for the future. I do not
agree with the view that it will somehow detract from the mission of the
reserves. I think it will enhance it.
Senator Plett: Thank you very much for that great answer, and keep
up the good work. We appreciate it.
Senator Lang: We are all encouraged by your commitment to the
reserves and what you just said about looking ahead to the future and how
you can shape the reserves to meet what we need for Canada and for the Armed
Forces. There was a concern here that it could well be decimated as the
various bureaucracies within the department fought over how they would
realign finances within the Armed Forces.
You referred several times to, I believe, a capacity study for reserves.
I believe that is the way you put it.
The Chair: He said Primary Reserve Employment Capacity Study.
Senator Lang: Is that available, or when will it be completed?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Senator, it is being completed for me and
I have not seen it yet. What I would say about the study is that it has
forced the resolution of some extremely challenging questions. It has forced
a consideration of where our priorities really are and how we would adjust
Like any other challenging study, there are dissenting voices. My view is
that this represents a way ahead into the future, so we had better make sure
everyone is pulling on the same end of rope.
I expect in the next couple of weeks — Rear-Admiral Bennett probably
knows the answer to the question — I will get a chance to look at this
report. It is not something I would want to make public, at least until we
had briefed the chief, worked it through the department and briefed the
minister. Some of the recommendations probably touch on DRAP options, so we
would be unlikely just to release the report as is, but it is the type of
thing I would be proud to speak to you about when it is actually done. It
will raise probably as many questions as it answers, but it represents the
first step, a strategic step in moving forward into the future with the
The Chair: Could I have Rear-Admiral Bennett describe how she sees
this? Is this your transformation project? How would you describe PRECS, the
Primary Reserve Employment Capacity Study?
Rear-Admiral Bennett: It is not my project. It was a project that
was set up by the Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff. I was one of the
co-project leaders on it, but it has involved Chief of Force Development,
Chief of Programme, Chief of Military Personnel and myself as well as all of
the force generators of reservists. We are in the process now of the final
report and recommendations to be forwarded to the vice-chief.
To add another point, it is not about cutting the reserve; it is about
rebalancing the reserve. The strength of the reserve force is not being cut,
but rebalanced to focus greater on the part-time aspect of the reserve
force. This study has allowed us to look at what is the reasonable number of
full-time positions aligned with priorities against the reserve force, our
current tasks, roles and missions, and what might be appropriate into the
Senator Dallaire: May I have a supplemental?
The Chair: Senator Lang is in the middle of a question.
Senator Dallaire: He has not started it yet.
The Chair: I actually have asked a question. Is this specifically
on this question?
Senator Dallaire: Yes.
The Chair: Go ahead, briefly.
Senator Dallaire: The Chief of Military Personnel came before us
not too many months ago and told us he is doing a significant review of the
whole personnel, administration side of the house. We had him here for the
reserve problem. He said he needed three years to bring this about. Is he
linked into this and will he produce that sooner? Much of what we talked
about is very much into it.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: As I say, the report will actually raise
as many questions as it answers — we need to fix this; this does not make
sense; we need to update these regulations, and this type of thing. That is
very much aligned with what the Chief of Military Personnel is doing.
Senator Lang: I want to follow up on one of the recommendations of
Lieutenant-General Leslie. It had to do with the full-time reservists, that
they should either be a reservist part-time or a member of the force.
Perhaps you could comment on that recommendation.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: I am not sure he got there. I think he
said we should reduce to around 4,500 full-time reservists, not counting
those on operations. I hate to use the acronym; frankly, it was not a great
choice of acronyms, from my perspective, but the Primary Reserve Employment
Capacity Study was folded under the work of the transformation team for the
year that they were under way to make sure that it was aligned with the work
of that team.
There were a number of other initiatives, as I said in the last session,
that we folded under General Leslie during that time period, although they
would have continued independent to make sure that what came out of the work
of the transformation team was actually aligned across the department and
across the Canadian Forces.
I agree with General Leslie's perspective on this, although I would go
beyond it to say that there are a number of functions for members of the
reserve force to perform full-time that are extremely valuable and should be
performed by reservists full-time within our institution. The number is
significantly lower than it is today, and is significantly lower than it was
two years ago.
Does that answer your question, senator?
The Chair: Yes, I think the suggestion was that when people have
gone and been involved in operational activity, to Afghanistan or wherever
it is, they are excited by that; they were reservists; they want to stay as
full-time reservists, but actually the decision has to be made some other
way: Either go back to part-time or join the regular force.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Absolutely, Madam Chair. Those skill sets
need to come back into their units; those are reserve units. There are
opportunities for continuing to serve in the regular force full-time. There
are other opportunities to serve on other operations or to serve in the
training system full-time, but I would not see that as a career path per se.
The reserve is a part-time force and the regular force is a full-time force.
The Chair: Thank you for that clarity.
Senator Day: One of the things that we learned from Afghanistan is
the importance of the military-civilian connection and the important
complementary role that reservists were playing in provincial reconstruction
units. When we visited Afghanistan, I recall one soldier from Moncton who
was a university student was quite excited about the role he had to play in
helping to build a road — a non-traditional type hard-core military activity
but very important in our mission there.
I know that you know, vice-admiral, and I hope all of you know how
supportive of the reservists this committee has been and continues to be. We
receive contacts from personnel across the country, retired military
personnel, sometimes reservists but more often other observers in the
communities, and they have pointed out a number of things to us. I will
mention them to you and you can tell me that these are under control now.
One of them was that during the Afghanistan mission a lot of the
up-to-date equipment was being transferred out to Wainwright to do
battle-group training there, so they had no equipment left at the armoury to
train on. That reduces the interest of those who were remaining as
reservists in the units.
We also heard that although there is an authorized strength for a reserve
unit, the major or the colonel in charge of that unit did not get enough
money transferred to pay that authorized strength. What happens is that they
do not hire up to the authorized strength, they stop recruiting, and there
are fewer training days. Some of the university students, and they are very
important reservists, rely on their reserve time to help pay their
university tuition, and they are finding they are not getting the funds they
had anticipated looking historically.
Have you got those items under control now? Are you working on them? The
reservists seem to have been treated a little bit less than equally during
this last major surge period.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Thank you for those great questions and
again, thank you to this committee for the interest you continue to show in
the reservists and the Canadian Forces, valuable institutions for Canada.
Any time you travel to the armoury floor you will hear stuff that
surprises a guy like a vice-chief, so I encourage you to keep doing that and
let me know about areas where we can improve.
In the areas that you have outlined here, I will start with the positive
one. I believe you spoke to someone in the PRT who is probably a civil
military specialist. That is a specialization that the army has given to the
reserve force and that I believe will continue as an area of specialization,
not to diminish from war fighting skills. My guess is if you tossed a rifle
at that soldier under fire, they would be able to fight with the best of
them. However, as an area of focus, it is a role that has proven to be a
very good one to assign to reserve units. They have been doing that in
Afghanistan for some time now, as well as a number of other roles.
On the other side of the ledger, I think the army was challenged in
Afghanistan with making sure that a limited supply of equipment was in the
right place to support the road to war, which was really quite a challenge.
I think it had an effect on the armoury floor. Coming out of that, the army
commander is reloading and reorienting the army, and part of that is
ensuring armouries have what they need. It is an area that we will monitor
and make sure is being addressed.
In terms of unit strength and pay, when I say I want to determine the
requirement to create a ready reserve person by person and then the amount
of money we need to invest in that, that is exactly what I am getting at. I
know the army commander and the navy and air force commanders are on this
already, making sure they understand what money they need to commit so we
can create the reserve we need for the future. That will evolve, I expect in
a number of days. We may have to constrain it, as a matter of fact. The
number of days folks will want to work and the types of skill sets we will
want them to have will require a continued investment as we move forward.
The ability of unit commanding officers to anticipate how to make their
units ready, what their budget will look like and this type of thing I agree
is very important. There is only so much visibility I have into that, but I
believe that is a priority now moving forward. I do not know if Rear-Admiral
Bennett would have another perspective on that.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: One of the challenges at the unit level is
percentage of attendance and that units are not funded for 100 per cent
attendance. It will fluctuate during times of the year with university
school schedules and interest.
Again, some of the examples you have heard may be specific to one area
and certainly were not nationally from the research we conducted. It is a
concern. The predictability of pay is a concern for reservists. Again, with
a temporary force and attendance fluctuations, there are sometimes more
cushions in some units than others to allow them to be able to surge or add
to training. It is something that with a new funding model that looks at how
reserve funding is tracked, it will help to provide more predictability
within a certain parameter. As I say, attendance is always a variable and it
is difficult to anticipate from year to year.
Senator Day: Yes, but if you are telling your reservists not to
bother to come out because you do not have the money to pay them, that is
reflected as an attendance issue.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: Exactly.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: That is the problem we are trying to
Senator Day: Let me pay a compliment, as a supplement to this. We
have been told that the navy, once they have fixed the budget for the year,
allowed the reserve unit to operate that budget; whereas the other two
forces did not leave it exclusively in the hands of the air force or the
army and, therefore, during the year if money was needed, some of that money
was taken away from the reservists. I hope you will be looking into that to
ensure that once it is fixed and once the commander of the unit knows what
he or she will have for the year, you will let them manage their own budget.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: As a point of clarification, the Air Reserve
is funded differently from the army reserve because they do not have the
reserve-specific units per se. The naval reserve does have a national
structure through the business planning process that allocates funding to
commanding officers who have greater control. We will certainly be looking
at two aspects in the future — how the army reserve funding model occurs and
how funding is tracked along reserve lines — to be able to give greater
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: We also need to manage money beyond the
unit level to ensure we are getting the greatest effect from it. I would
hate to see one reserve division — we will call it a naval reserve division
because you say they are able to manage their own budgets — be able to make
hay while the sun is shining because in a particular year they end up with a
bit of a surplus and another one with a deficit, unable to complete training
because the budgets were fixed.
In our budgeting process, we have quarterly reviews to determine areas
that need more money and areas that can give up money. A strong hand guiding
that will ensure the level of readiness is even across all units.
The Chair: I have a couple of points for the record here. In the
way that doctors or lawyers, for example, are brought into the reserves, it
is a different approach; they might come in for a year and be attached to
Special Forces or whatever it is. Is that actually a model that you are
considering? You are looking for a broader range of skills, civilian skills
in particular, as you think about cyberspace or whatever it may be. Is that
a model that might be more appealing to people, to say you can come in and
do this on a certain basis, or we will take you for this because we need you
to look at this issue and then say "thank you very much" and let them have
a different relationship? Is that a possibility?
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: Generally, it is an appealing model to me.
However, the vision I have of a future force is a full-time and a part-time
force, a relationship with Canadians that encourage them to spend some time
in a part-time force with skill sets that we find very difficult to recruit
and retain in our full-time force while at the same time committing to
periods of full-time service over the course of a 20- to 25-year career.
That is challenging to manage. I am not sure we have the tools yet to manage
that type of approach.
In certain specific areas and operations like Afghanistan, it is much
easier in that context to deal with, but I would like to see us move to a
different way of looking at service. I think we are going to have to wait a
couple of years. We have a pretty full change agenda at the moment, and we
will see if we get an opportunity in the future to look at that. I think
Rear-Admiral Bennett can respond to the specifics.
Rear-Admiral Bennett: Those programs are currently aligned with
similar programs in regular force attraction for very specific skill sets.
The reason it works at present with lawyers or with doctors is that we are
able to adapt the initial training and the way they are recruited because
they would predominantly be employed based on that civilian skill set; it
fits into the Canadian Forces model.
To expand on that, I agree with the vice-admiral in that it is certainly
worth looking at, but it is very complicated in that some of those skill
sets might need more intensive Canadian Forces or war fighting
operational-based training than others. It has certainly been successful in
the way we have attracted, trained and are holding those skills on special
reserves lists worthy of looking at in the future to expand. The reason it
currently works is because it is aligned with some of the larger programs
and is very specific to a skill set.
The Chair: As you know, our final panel for the day is on the
whole issue of what people will remember as the Canadian Officer Training
Corps and who are now the Canadian National Leadership Program.
Is there a mind set on the reserve side here as to whether or not that is
a good idea?
Rear-Admiral Bennett: I have been briefed by the group. There is
no question about the value of engaging Canadians in a leadership experience
expanding their leadership abilities. We currently do that through our two
youth programs, the cadets and the Junior Canadian Rangers, albeit to a much
younger audience. It was certainly successful in the past.
I would suggest that our greatest challenge remains personnel in order to
run or to add more people to our training system. No lack of enthusiasm for
the value of a program like that in engaging Canadians and providing them
with leadership experience. Again, it is how we fit it into our already
stretched personnel and training systems.
Vice-Admiral Donaldson: As the vice-chief, I always have to ask
the question: Who will pay for this? With everything else that you have
heard today, you would understand that we would be uncomfortable with a
system that was not resourced.
The Chair: All right, thank you all very much. This was a very
useful session for us as we prepare to put together a study. Mr. Stevenson,
we may be back to you for some questions on resources and the actual.
Thank you, gentlemen, for your patience and your willingness to do this.
We are now into the third part of our discussion today. We continue our
study of the Canadian Forces reserve, but with a particular view. From 1912
until 1968 we had a program on our university campuses called the Canadian
Officer Training Corps. Students who joined received basic military and
leadership training, which they then took on into their lives, whether in
the private or public sectors, by joining reserve units, by entering the
army, navy or air force.
Since 1968 our military and these leadership programs have essentially
disappeared from Canadian college and university campuses. There are many
who now want to change that again, including some vocal leaders in the
business community as well.
Joining us today to give testimony on this issue are two proponents of
what they would propose to be called the Canadian National Leadership
Program. Robert Roy is head of The 7 Year Project, which has been looking at
this issue and producing documentaries and information on it. With him is
John Richmond, former military, who is the director of community outreach
and doing some specific programs which we hope to hear about.
As you might have been able to tell from my introduction, I will declare
my personal interest in this matter. I think this is an important thing to
do, and I have been part of these discussions. I will try to keep my
comments and questions to a minimum, but we will just begin. Do either of
you have opening comments?
Robert Roy, Head, The 7 Year Project: I would like to thank the
Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence for inviting my
colleague and me to present to your important hearings on Canadian Forces
transformation and the future of Canada's reserve forces. In the back seat
we have Paul Chapin, who is also available to answer questions.
We represent the Breakout Educational Network, which is a unique public
policy organization and the only one of its kinds in Canada that works in
the audio-visual medium, in a way best described as "policy you can see."
This gives us a tremendous ability to reach a large audience of citizens
with information materials that appeal to both the heart and the mind.
Moreover, since we start with the average citizen as the primary audience
for our project and have built, through our production and broadcast
partners, Stornoway Productions and the ichannel, a production and
distribution model to deliver on our claims, we are actually bringing the
public into the discussion in a way that most people are comfortable with,
through film and TV. In short we work in culture, and this allows us to
bring something unique to the discussion on transformation and reserves
currently before your committee.
Through our research and development of numerous films, our work has led
us to the conclusion that the biggest problem facing the Canadian Forces was
its disconnection with the Canadian public. As students of strategy, we are
familiar with Clausewitz's observation that the remarkable trinity of the
people, the army and the government are the essential basis of military
operations and the nation's centre of gravity.
We have set out to rectify this disconnection, not as the government or
the army, but as the people seeking our own answers and our own interests.
For, as Dr. Douglas Bland of Queen's University described it to us in an
interview, the real responsibility for the defence of Canada lies with the
Hence, we launched The 7 Year Project of the Breakout Educational Network
in 2006, seeking to find ways to build or connect Canadians with their
military as a national institution. Our inaugural effort was to produce an
hour-long documentary entitled Citizen. Soldier., which I recommend
to you for its description of the contribution that the men and women of the
reserves make to their various services, their communities and their
employers, as well as to their own leadership and citizenship qualities.
Most importantly, for the direction of The 7 Year Project, the film
Citizen. Soldier. allowed us to identify two initiatives that we felt
would make excellent vehicles for building the connection between the
citizen the Canadian Forces.
Colonel Brian MacDonald pointed out to us that the generational
disconnection between the Canadian Forces could be traced back to 1968 when
two things occurred. First, the reserve forces were reduced and amalgamated,
shrinking the footprint of the military in Canadian communities. Secondly,
although perhaps more importantly, the Canadian Officer Training Corps for
university students was cancelled just as universities were expanding
exponentially with the arrival of the baby boom. At this crucial moment the
Canadian Forces chose to withdraw from the universities, and the result has
been an entire generation of upper- and middle-management Canadians who have
had no exposure to the military.
What were the COTC — Canadian Officers Training Corps — and its navy and
air force equivalents? We set out to find the answer. It turned out it was
not shrouded in the mists of time. A large number of prominent Canadians in
business, academia, politics, the arts, and even the military, could point
to their formative experiences with the COTC in university for their later
success in life and their contributions to Canada.
I have produced two documentaries on this issue: No Country for Young
Men, which traced the rise and fall of the COTC, a Canadian success
story that was thrown away, as the press trailer says; and we produced
For Queen and Country, filmed at Cambridge University in the U.K. This
followed students in an existing officer training corps, and spoke with
graduates, academics, employers, politicians and generals about the
continuing success of the program in the United Kingdom.
Both films have been a great success in generating attention to our
initiative: to return the COTC, in a contemporary fashion, to Canadian
universities. To distinguish it from the COTC, we have renamed it the
Canadian National Leadership Program, or CNLP. It is our role to keep the
pressure on those who can make this happen.
While the student and university connection is important for the future
of civil military relations, for more immediate impact we have developed
another successful initiative — which I hope you will ask my colleague, John
Richmond, about — the Garrison Community Council, or GCC, which deals in a
direct fashion with the grassroots, with those in the community who are
looking for ways to express their support and interest in the Canadian
Forces today. The growing GCC network provides us with an opportunity to
build national citizen-directed support at the community level for programs
such as the CNLP.
In launching the GCC and the CNLP, The 7 Year Project is seeking to bring
the citizen component into the civil military relationship in Canada. The
citizen is the necessary other half of that equation. You cannot have one
without the other. As a citizen-based and citizen-initiated project, we
bring the credibility and the connection to this essential national issue
that a government- or military-sponsored initiative cannot.
We look forward to your questions and comments.
The Chair: Thank you very much.
Perhaps, Mr. Richmond, you could give us a thumbnail of the Garrison
project, just so people know what you are referring to.
John Richmond, Director, Community Outreach, The 7 Year Project:
At the closing of the regular force base in London, Ontario, a group of
associates of the base were concerned with the apparent public apathy with
the removal of the regular force units from CFB London.
They basically put a study together to show what the community had lost,
not in dollars and cents, with salaries and infrastructure, but in the form
of services. It turned out that the people who wear our uniforms and make
commitments to the country in operations and training are also your Cub,
Scout and Girl Guides leaders, your minor sports team leaders, as well as
being your police officers and fire department representatives.
I heard the expression "first responder." First responders come in many
different forms, whether they are schoolteachers, nurses or doctors.
They put together a group, organized in 2004, called the Garrison
Community Council of the Greater London area. Through breakout work with the
production of Citizen. Soldier., Mr. Roy became aware of the
project, and it is documented in that film. We put together a model of what
they have done in London, and we have started to take this model elsewhere
and introduce it to Canadian communities across the country.
I live in Niagara, so of course the first choice was to introduce it
there. We now have the Garrison Community Council of Niagara, which is fully
registered in Ontario and in Canada as a not-for-profit. They told me at one
time that it would never work in Montreal or Quebec City.
Quebec is my wife's favourite province and mine too. We also have the
Amis des Forces canadiennes in Montreal. We have done some research in
Quebec City that led to the production of a documentary called Armée de
passion, showing the passion of the people in Quebec City for their
In addition to that, we have done liaison work with Pictou, Nova Scotia,
which has an amazing organization called the community advisory board, which
involves civilians who work with the military and organize projects
organized by the military and paid for by the civilians.
In addition to that, we are speaking with Mayor Brad Woodside in
Fredericton, New Brunswick. There are interests being expressed in Medicine
Hat. I spent many years out there myself. Victoria, as well as communities
in Southern Ontario, has definitely shown some interest.
The important thing to know about the Garrison Community Council is that
it is grassroots, it is citizens based, and it depends on the initiative and
leadership within the community to reach out to the military.
We believe that it is not necessarily the military's responsibility to
reach out to the community. However, as co- signees to every contract of
service, the Canadian citizen has an obligation to reach out to their
military to see what they need to do. Regina, in fact, is the fourth
officially sanctioned organization.
The Chair: That was very interesting, and I know there are other
questions for Mr. Roy about university interests.
Senator Dallaire: Madam Chair, I want to congratulate you for
being part of the advisory board for this outfit. I have previously been
extensively briefed by Senator Rompkey on this and have been very
There is an angle that I do not think has been covered and that I think
you might want to consider. That is why I am asking you the question.
There is a side of this that people do not want our recruiters on
university campuses or even in high schools. Do you have, from your GCC, an
angle in terms of how to convince some university campuses and student
bodies to let us back on and to be part of the normal employer days where
people go and sell their wares? There is that sort of residual, which is
Vietnam based, that got us off the campus. This is not prevalent, although
it is in certain areas. For example, in Quebec, in the high schools and
CEGEPs, it is difficult to get in, and maybe you want to consider looking at
The second part of that, though, is that there is nothing here that
indicates that the future recruiting base for the forces, or for people
interested in the forces, will be non-White. That is to say that there is
nothing that says that this process would do just like we did in history. I
was in a militia regiment that had Jean Lesage, who was the premier of the
province. He had done COTC. Minister Garon did COTC in Shilo and ended up a
separatist, but that is another story. Also Mr. L'Allier, who was mayor of
Quebec City. Many of these people did COTC, an extraordinary introduction.
We have been working on that side, but what about the whole new ethnic
makeup of Canada? Why is this thing not putting that right in the middle,
front and centre, as an introduction for many of these new immigrants into
this link with the forces?
Mr. Roy: Thank you, senator. You have hit on two interesting
points that we actually have been addressing in our thoughts about this
particular project. Let me answer the first one.
As the filmmaker in the project, I have recently been down in the United
States talking about how they are returning the ROTC project to Harvard,
Yale and Columbia. Of course, they had a huge discussion over this.
In fact, what I was intending to do was to look at the process,
specifically at Columbia, in terms of how their advocates to return the ROTC
had been working with the Senate, academic faculties and students to get
this program back, with the idea that I could take it back to Canada, having
learned something from the American experience.
When we produced these two films, the response from the academic
community in Canada was totally unexpected. We had screened it for several
members of the military in various places, and somehow or other the
University of Alberta got hold of this, called us out to Edmonton and said,
"We would like to run this project as a pilot project, starting right now.
Give us the keys to the model."
We had to say that, unfortunately, we have not yet had that discussion
with the military, but we are working on that. They were bullish on getting
this particular project, as a leadership project, into their school as an
At the same time, we made presentations to the Association of
Universities and Colleges of Canada and received the endorsement from their
president, and similarly with the Council of Ontario Universities.
The academic community in Canada does not seem to have a problem with
this particular project. I do understand that there will be some student
demonstration or opposition to this, but as in the United States, it is not
something for every school or every campus or every student.
Yes, I think that we would be able to answer the question about getting a
recruiting program back onto the campus about this particular thing, which
is quite interesting. The University of Alberta and the president of
Dalhousie told me that, as a club, this thing would not have a problem. That
was our experience in the U.K., where 1,200 people show up at the University
of London's recruiting booth and they take 200. It is oversubscribed in the
The Chair: Before you answer the second question, to be clear on
this: It is not a military recruiting tool. I think Senator Dallaire was
referring to the fact that there are those days on campus where you can be
recruited by Google or IBM or whatever. That is separate from that, because
this is about leadership skills.
Mr. Roy: This is about leadership skills, which is why the
universities are interested. They are interested in leveraging Canadian
Forces educational experience on leadership into their students. They are
facing demands from the business community; what are you actually doing with
regard to hands-on, tangible leadership training. They can point to a
psychology 101 course on leadership or an MBA course. There is not something
tangible. They see this and that is why they are interested in moving into
this particular program.
Your second point on multiculturalism is interesting. The reason the COTC
was led into its demise was because of the Suttie commission in 1964, the
military version of the Glasgow commission on efficiency in government. The
commission said that if there are not recruiting numbers shown by the
current COTC and in its navy and air force equivalents, the program should
be cut. One of the gentlemen on the Suttie commission was Brigadier-General
Bruce Legge, who passed away some years ago. He came out much later and said
that this would have been a fabulous program for introducing multicultural
Canadians on the campus to the Canadian Forces. If we have not put it front
and centre, I think we should be highlighting it. It is one of the
advantages that I see the COTC and the CNLP program contributing to the
forces in their future recruiting efforts. It may not be turning out
recruits directly but it would give an exposure of the military to the
Senator Dallaire: The aim is not a recruiting tool as much as the
education of the Canadian nation, its citizens and leadership. That brings
me to the militia units and how they are participating in this.
Have you had area commanders and militia units who have welcomed this
initiative in their town or municipality or campuses and have been doing
that off line because they are not funded to do that nor is it within their
terms of reference that even the vice-admiral was talking about but did not
Mr. Roy: We started this project in 2006. I have at least
introduced the concept to Rear-Admiral Bennett's predecessors, going back
three or four before her. Admittedly, our project has grown in
sophistication and our knowledge of what we are trying to do have improved.
When we recently briefed Rear-Admiral Bennett, I think she was impressed
with what we were conceiving and proposing.
We are not trying to design the nuts and bolts of this project. We
understand that is up for the military and negotiation with the
universities. Our role is keeping the public pressure on this particular
agenda so that the public will be asking the government to come up with the
funds, as Vice-Admiral Donaldson recommended. Where is the money going to
come from? It will come from the public demand that their children have an
opportunity to have this program.
Senator Dallaire: So you are an advocacy entity?
Mr. Roy: No.
Senator Dallaire: Say yes. That is the aim of exercise, to sell
Mr. Richmond: Anecdotally, when the recruiters were tried to be
kept off one of the Western Ontario University campuses a couple of years
ago, the student body rebelled against the student union and forced them to
allow the recruiters on campus. Within the youth, there is interest.
As one of the young people in one of Mr. Roy's documentaries stated, we
must have them on our campus. How can we address our fears if we do not
confront them? That person was definitely anti-military.
I do not believe that is the great issue. As far as addressing new
Canadians, if you look at the preponderance of new Canadians first and
second generation who are instilling in their children that they must attend
university, the only way to reach these people is to go to university to
reach out to them because they do not have the historic contact with the
Canadian military that would encourage them to reach out to us.
As citizens, we need to encourage anything that will expose new Canadians
to all of our aspects of our heritage and our culture, including the
infrastructure that has made this country what it is. One of those would be
the Canadian military. University campuses are the way to achieve that.
Senator Lang: Welcome. I would like to get down to the
costs of what we are dealing with here. I think it would be unanimous around
here that this program would be very good for the young people of Canada. I
have to say that I admire you for spending your time promoting this.
Obviously, you are being successful in the fact that you now have four
Mr. Roy: The University of Alberta committed itself to a
cost-sharing program should the government decide that this is a policy to
Senator Lang: That is where I wanted to narrow the discussion.
The University of Alberta said they would be prepared to cost share. What
kind of dollars are we speaking of for the University of Alberta to do a
program like that? I assume the cost sharing is in conjunction with the
military. Is that correct?
Mr. Roy: We produced a mock cabinet memo document that outlines
some of these costs that we are speculating about. We have only been able to
use our knowledge and publicly available information about what a student of
this particular nature would be paid. We based it on a basic reservist's pay
of about $12,000 a year. We had some discussion here today about whether or
not that fluctuates.
Specifically, we have estimated that in the realm of about $1.6 million
for a pilot project at the University of Alberta per year is about
essentially what we would be targeting.
The Chair: To be cost shared, or that would be their proportion?
Mr. Roy: That would be the total cost of the program and how it
gets cost shared in terms of the facilities and things that the university
would be able to put in vis-à-vis the other things, for example, costs for
the student, get up transportation, administration, pay for the cadre of
leaders who would be part of the deal. This all has to be worked into that
sort of $1.8 million.
Senator Dallaire: How many students?
Mr. Roy: We are targeting about 50 students for the first year.
The University of Alberta is looking at growing this over a four-year
period, so it would be 50 the first year, 50 the second. You would grow, but
it would fall off at the end.
Mr. Richmond: What is not costed in that because we do not have
access to the information is what it would cost the Department of National
Defence in training resources to run summer programs. The costs that we have
included would be salaries and basic training expenses, which would apply to
the cadre and take it through its first year. With a second intake in the
second year, your costs would go up.
However, the manpower issue was raised about training. I have had
personal experience in this, having had an injury that took me out of my
primary trade within the military. I was released in the 1990s still feeling
quite capable of contributing something. We have the ability here to take
some of our newest, youngest and brightest veterans, who may not be allowed
to continue on in their primary choice of trade, and use them to teach
leadership to people who will have a visible example in front of them of
what service is all about. When you think about it, this is about
introducing leadership as a form of service to the greater good, service to
As Mr. Roy pointed out, I looked at the material that they had produced,
which showed examples of who had gone through the old program — people like
Mr. Broadbent and John Wood, the artistic director at Stratford, who had
made no commitment after university to the Canadian Forces. What they had
learned, for example, if you look at parliamentarians in 1968, when the
program was cancelled, over 34 per cent of our parliamentarians had some
form of military experience even if it only included the university training
When Mr. Harper took over in 2006 with the Thirty-ninth Parliament, that
was down to 3.1 per cent. The total number was 13:5 senators and 8
parliamentarians. That is one of the reasons why a program such as this is
beneficial because it will raise the level of knowledge within our
parliamentarians, within our business community and within the local
community leadership of what the military really does for our country, and I
do not mean in the Armed Forces sense. It is beyond that and into the
international prestige that we carry.
Mr. Roy: On the costing, Mr. Richmond mentioned that in terms of
the training capability right now for a 50-plus group of students who will
be going through this program with regard to the University of Alberta. I
would think there is marginal surplus capacity within the training scope for
the summer periods and things like that for the Canadian Forces to be able
to absorb that smaller number. If you are talking 15 years down the road,
which is what we are targeting, growing this program nationally, where we
might end up with close to 3,000 or 4,000 kids in the program, then you
would have a problem immediately instituting 3,000 or 4,000 people through
your process, but maybe this can be worked into their transformation
What we have come up against is not so much that they do not think that
the program does not have some merit, it is just that we have not been able
to get in a discussion with them about what the nuts and bolts are, and my
great fear is that the universities seem to be very interested in this
project but we have not found a door to knock on when it comes to the
Senator Day: Mr. Roy, you talked about COTC, but that also
incorporates the concept of UNTD — University Naval Training Division — and
URTP — University Reserve Training Program — for the different forces and
programs that they had, which were very similar, but just for different
Because I am focusing on that, I am assuming that there would be some
summer training and it would be military training and then something during
the week, something very similar to the reserve units that we have been
talking about here.
Mr. Roy: I can certainly address that and answer part of an
earlier question, which is have we been in contact with the local command
structure. Yes, we have been in touch with Rear-Admiral Bennett and her
predecessors, but in the Toronto area I have also been in contact with the
brigade commander, and he has done some staffing work on how this particular
project might work with the battle school that they had stood up in the
brigade. The Toronto school is probably a little more sophisticated than
some other areas of the country, but, as he sees it, it could work through
his battle school with recruits from all three services. We are talking
about people who have not necessarily made a decision about whether they are
interested in joining the army, navy or air force, but the advantage is that
you would have a pool of these kids, from various schools perhaps, all
meeting in one place so that you would be able to apply a scale of resources
to their training from a basic level, which would occur during the week and
on a couple of weekends a month. They could certainly relate to their local
reserve unit, either army, navy or air force, should they wish to do so, but
they would go off to the service training for the summer, which would
provide the lion's share of their contribution to their schooling and to
their summer employment, but they would then be badged as army, navy or air
force depending on what they want to pursue.
As I said, this is the nuts and bolts that we have been sort of reticent
about getting involved with because we think it is up to the people who will
be organizing it to come up with that.
Senator Day: You are touching on whether there would be a
requirement for military service afterwards. There are many people, as
Senator Dallaire mentioned, who are in this just during attendance at
university to help them get through university, but are left with knowledge
of the Armed Forces.
Mr. Richmond: The program that we are proposing is not intended as
a recruiting tool for the Canadian Armed Forces, reserve or regular.
However, the indirect benefit to Canada in the long-term is there. The
short-term benefit is that it will provide, especially for the reserve
units, which is key, because with the closure of so many of our urban bases,
the only contact that Canadians have with the military. It will open up a
pool to the reserves of people who might otherwise never find out about
them. Those who do develop an interest in part-time service could be offered
an opportunity to join the local units.
The nice thing about it is that it gives the local units and the regular
force four years to look at prospective leaders before they have to commit
to offering contracts post-graduation. It also offers the individual the
opportunity to apply or to carry on with their civilian trade.
Senator Day: On the flip side of that, which is why you should be
in touch with Admiral Bennett, is that there are many university students
now who are commuting to reserve units in which they serve. If it were more
conveniently set up at a university campus, many more might be interested in
Mr. Richmond: One of the things we have both discovered in
conversation with university professors and presidents is that they have no
idea who, if anyone, on campus is associated with the Canadian Forces. They
have no concept of anybody that could be ROTP or a reserve officer who is
attending their university.
Senator Day: Mr. Roy, you were talking about leadership and then
we got off on the military side. Have you thought of other types of public
service such as CUSO or other current or past programs that involve
leadership, discipline and all of the things you are looking for but not in
uniform and working with the army in the summer?
Mr. Roy: I understand. There have been, in the past, bridges that
these organizations have built and tried, and I do not think they worked out
for both sides.
Our program is not for everyone. We understand that, and we are not
trying to put people in uniform. We understand that there are other models
of leadership training and this is just another way of getting to that.
What we have proposed, however, is that exposure to the military could be
very helpful for the whole-of- government approach because there are various
government departments, like CIDA, Foreign Affairs, Transport and others,
that would be interested, I would think, in hiring graduates who have had
some military experience and exposure.
That is what the project was initially set up for. Senator Wallin
mentioned that it was started in 1912 at McGill University. It was then
re-stood up following the Second World War with two primary objectives. One
was to contribute to the mobilization of a potential third world war, which
fortunately never occurred, and the other, which was sort of forgotten, was
to provide the military with a pool of advocates down the road who would be
in leadership positions and who knew about the military, having had exposure
to it. I know these people are good serving Canadians, and we anecdotes that
Senator Day: That is an important aspect.
When this was cancelled in 1968, was it part of the unification
reorganization that went on then, or was this an independent decision based
Mr. Roy: It was the recruiting bean counters saying that it was
not returning value for dollars in terms of recruits.
Of course, in Columbia, Yale and Harvard, the ROTC was kicked off because
of the Vietnam era, so there might have been some component of that.
However, these elite universities in the United States are returning it to
the campuses. They understand what the advantages are. It is not a silver
bullet for solving a military-civilian divide, but they do understand that
it addresses what one of my interview subjects called a corrosive civil
scandal that the graduates of the elite universities were not contributing
to the military service of the country. While we are not grappling with
that, it is a model we are looking at.
The Chair: I do not know whether committee members were given the
Mr. Roy: We would be happy to make them available to all the
The Chair: That would be good because you do hear from independent
business leaders, people who are not involved and do not intend to be
involved, about how it informs their leadership skills and how they look for
that in others when they are hiring in the business world. It does touch on
some of those points.
Is there a website or something?
Mr. Roy: There is a website: www.thesevenyearproject.com. We will
make sure that is available to you all.
Senator Dallaire: Suttie brought a massive reduction of the forces
in 1964, from the huge military structure we had of 150,000-odd. It was a
mixture of reduction but also a sign of the times about the military and on
campuses and so on, which was quite prevalent, if you will remember, with
the draft dodgers.
You are at a time that is meeting the requirement of, as you said, the
whole-of-government concept, the new concepts of use of military, which are
not necessarily kinetic. That angle has to be coming out more and more
deliberately, because it is the changing nature of conflict and our
engagement, which means we need people with not just experiential skills but
also intellectual skills from the campuses. Are you considering pushing that
a little stronger?
Mr. Roy: We certainly will be. It is quite interesting to note
that the recent defence strategic initiative going on in the United Kingdom
to basically radically reduce their defence budget left as sacrosanct their
officer training, maintaining the connection with the universities and the
army's connection with society. It was a very valuable connection that
needed to continue to be funded. It was left alone in terms of suffering
Mr. Richmond: On the whole-of-government aspect, if we are looking
at this project from the big picture, we are talking about Citizenship and
Immigration and Veterans Affairs and talking about the Department of
National Defence, of course, but virtually every key element, key department
within the government could have a role to play in making this a success —
ergo, could have a role to play in funding it. We have already taken the
opportunity to brief several members of Parliament and have received
incredibly strong support. It is now to take it to the next level.
The Chair: Gentlemen, thank you very much for your clear
description of all of this. It fits in very nicely with our look at the
reserves. It is the final words on that today. Thank you for your attendance
We will adjourn at this point. I will just have a few informal words.
(The committee adjourned.)