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Military and Veterans


Since December, I’ve knocked on well over 20,000 doors with our Green canvassing teams in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke. We’ve listened to the concerns of hundreds of veterans and serving members of the Canadian Forces. Retired soldiers and naval officers have taken the time to sit down with me over cups of coffee (and Scotch) to share their ideas on changes that need to be made in government policies and programs relating to Canada’s military and veterans.


Generally, people we’ve spoken with want to know that the Green Party understands the needs of all members of the Canadian military, in particular the urgent need for proper equipment and training. They all want military spending ‘’depoliticized’’ so that it doesn’t become a huge political football that’s kicked around at election time. Over and over, I’ve heard that the old line parties have proven to be unreliable, saying one thing before the election then not delivering after the election. People want to elect a Member of Parliament they can trust. They want a representative who listens and works hard for them, not for party bosses in Ottawa.


Specifically, the people I’ve spoken with agree with the following points.


  • The Chief of Defence Staff is right when he says that the Canadian military must be properly trained and equipped to address the climate emergency. The headlines this summer included stories of military personnel rescuing First Nations communities in the path of massive forest fires in Ontario, as well as helping people in Quebec and Ontario to safety in the face of massive flooding. Canada’s military should lead the way globally in showing how militaries must shift priorities to meet this major threat to global security. From strategy to operations, that shift will require fundamentally new ways of thinking and the science says we don’t have time to waste.


  • The Chief of Defence Staff is wrong to be spending more and more on admirals and generals, together with their support staff, offices, and other related costs. Canada already has more admirals and generals than tanks and blue water ships. The spending on senior personnel in Ottawa should stop.


  • We need a military that is able to protect Canadians and Canada’s borders, particularly the emerging challenges in Canada’s north and the Pacific. That means we do need new fighter jets, but the F-35 is the wrong fighter jet. It’s way too expensive and we should stop spending millions of dollars on it.


  • We must start treating military personnel with PTSD as highly valued human beings and colleagues whose health must be restored in service, rather than as liabilities who are to be marginalized then removed.


  • Canada must return to the time when veterans were treated fairly and respectfully. In particular, we must restore periodic payments to veterans at pre-2006 levels. We must provide fully-integrated services to veterans, including health and mental health service, counselling, and family supports

  • Launch a national re-examination of veterans’ issues in December 2019 based on good-faith engagement with military families and veterans, including issues relating to pensions and benefits. The goal is to identify necessary reforms and changes to programs to better meet veterans’ needs.


  • As the MP for Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke, I plan to pull together a team of volunteers who are experienced in helping veterans and dealing with Veterans Affairs. The plan is for our team to set up regular clinic hours to help veterans who are having trouble dealing with Veterans Affairs. 

  • CFB Esquimalt is at the heart of our community and economy. The base employs approximately 4,000 military personnel and 2,000 civilians. It contributes half a billion dollars to our local economy. I've been asked if the Green Party platform includes budget cuts for CFB Esquimalt, Royal Canadian Navy, or any part of the Canadian military and the answer is "No, but we do believe resources need to be shifted within our military by, for example, investing more in our capacity to deal with the climate emergency.”

Click here for more information on the Green Party’s
platform to honour veterans.
Click here for more information on the Green Party’s platform on international relations and defense

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