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Climate disasters will be part of defence update as strains grow, minister says

daftandbarmy

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Less money, more pressure to respond to climate change emergencies. The government's long term plan for DND is coming together nicely, it seems ;)


Climate disasters will be part of defence update as strains grow, minister says​



Defence Minister Bill Blair affirmed Thursday that weather-related disasters will be a large part of the renewed vision set to be laid out for the Canadian Armed Forces in a promised defence policy update.


At the same time, the country’s defence chief says the military needs to be the “force of last resort” and called for more response resources to be handled municipally and provincially.

Blair was asked by NDP MP Lindsay Mathyssen, “Can you confirm that whenever we do see the defence update, whenever that may be, will a large part of that deal with the existential crisis that we are seeing in terms of climate change?”

“I can confirm that,” Blair said. “I think we’ve all learned a great deal from our experiences in the last three years. The last year being the most intense, extraordinary and unprecedented — I get tired of using that word unprecedented, but there’s no comparison.”

Mathyssen had pointed out the last update in 2017 did not include any measures on how the military responds to climate change beyond mentions of it being an issue.

Blair said that this year saw the longest continuous deployment of military resources assisting in natural disaster response, with 130 consecutive days spent assisting with wildfires that gripped the country.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre stressed that calling on military assistance in dealing with climate-related disasters should be a measure of last resort, but it is becoming increasingly common.

“The demand is going up. We’ve seen a doubling every five years over the last decade and a half for assistance for response to natural disasters,” Eyre told the committee.

“What is missing is capacity. I believe the Canadian Armed Forces will continue to be called upon, but what we truly need to be is that force of last resort. What we need is that intermediate capacity at the municipal and provincial levels to be drawn upon first.”

 
So basically, we'll buy specialized equipment and train like crazy to "master" disaster relief for five years, won't be called upon to actually do it so people will forget about it, then the equipment will fall into disrepair and be left aside and we'll all go back to actual military work ... like we did with "aid to civil powers" in the 70's.
 
Most disaster relief equipment is not single purpose. Dumps and dozers; trucks; recovery; all those things that pointy headed pointy end folks ignore and don't see as a priority but are critical enablers for combat forces.
 
Most disaster relief equipment is not single purpose. Dumps and dozers; trucks; recovery; all those things that pointy headed pointy end folks ignore and don't see as a priority but are critical enablers for combat forces.

Bump up the Sigs, Engineers, Service Battalions and Field Ambulances as well as the RCAF rotary wing and transport fleets. Maybe even add a couple of Disaster Relief flat decks for the RCNR.

PS - and lots of green pickups.
 
I can guess that the more "capability" DND has, the more provinces will be inclined to draw upon it, particularly if the costs are not passed along. And if the "capability" is constantly in use for assistance, it's not available for training or operations.

Regardless if the public service is supplied municipally, provincially or federally, or even by a private contractor paid by one of those governments you are going to pay for it.

I like the idea of ever-expanding scale. The individual does what they can. The municipality does more. The province and then the country.

The country should have a pool that it can draw on to back stop all other efforts.

Just as the police need support to deal with lethal force threats - either employing it or countering it - the other emergency services also require support. Coincidentally the deployment of lethal force also demands a logistics effort the duplicates all those other emergency services and their support.

I am not opposed to DND being subordinated to Public Safety. Nor am I opposed to Public Safety having its own logistics organization which can supplement the tactical logistics efforts of DND with a broader framework that supplements and supports both DND and the civic organizations covering federal territories, provinces and municipalities.

I am not saying that I support the concept but I am not opposed to it.

The reason for my ambivalence is that it all depends on the governments of the day, federal and provincial, and their intentions and actions.

I would be opposed if the effort were to be funded by reducing the funding to combat capabilities to buy, for example, more fire fighting capabilities or more hospital ships.

On the other hand, if new funding were being made available for the new logistical support organizations and capabilities that freed up existing funding for more F-Echelon capabilities then I would be highly supportive. I would be especially supportive if a lot of these new logistics capabilities that are to be used only in emergencies were to be largely Reserve capabilities.

Those capabilities that are employed seasonally, or are needed to deploy Canadian efforts overseas, cannot be considered emergencies. If you know that every Victoria Day the forests somewhere will be alight until Remembrance Day then that is a scheduled event and not an emergency.
Just like snow management.

Edit to add - if you know that in order to deploy an armed contingent or a disaster relief team to Canada's North or Overseas then that too is not an emergency. That requirement is the result of a considered decision taken by the federal government and failure to make adequate provision for those deployments would represent planning failures. Those failures might create emergencies but they shouldn't.
 
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I heard a rumour on Friday that the Mayor of Toronto wants to use all DND properties in the GTA for homeless and refugee housing, and that DND would still pay all the costs to maintain those properties. Any truth to that?
 
I heard a rumour on Friday that the Mayor of Toronto wants to use all DND properties in the GTA for homeless and refugee housing, and that DND would still pay all the costs to maintain those properties. Any truth to that?

I’ve seen mention of potentially using armouries, but that could just be a municipal trial balloon that hasn’t been staff checked.

I mean, housing the homeless in Moss Park Armoury would certainly be a reversal of what we’ve seen historically…
 
I heard a rumour on Friday that the Mayor of Toronto wants to use all DND properties in the GTA for homeless and refugee housing, and that DND would still pay all the costs to maintain those properties. Any truth to that?
This from various media ....
Slightly different versions ...

Screenshot 2023-11-26 112408.jpg
Screenshot 2023-11-26 112324.jpg
Apparently this isn't a new problem -- THIS from 2017 #EverythingOldIsNewAgain
 
This from various media ....
Slightly different versions ...

View attachment 81423
View attachment 81424
Apparently this isn't a new problem -- THIS from 2017 #EverythingOldIsNewAgain

She's copying a plan Tony Blair tried to implement when he first came to office in the UK.

That didn't work either ;)
 
How many city run arenas are in Toronto? If they think armouries are appropriate then arenas should be as well. Or how many empty schools are there?

The city should exhaust its own options before trying to use federal infrastructure.
 
FWIW, I enjoyed this interview.

Climate change activism = Infantilism with an apocalyptic world view. Quite funny really, describing climate activists/ extremists as acting like toddlers with addictions.


 
I’ve seen mention of potentially using armouries, but that could just be a municipal trial balloon that hasn’t been staff checked.

I mean, housing the homeless in Moss Park Armoury would certainly be a reversal of what we’ve seen historically…
There was a plan to use our hall for the homeless/drug addicts. When they came to tour the place, we asked so who will be sweeping the place for needles and sanitizing the place prior to the Cadets coming in? Plus will they be willing to be the spokesperson when a Cadet gets an infectious disease or poked by a hidden needle. It slowly dawned on them that mixing young Cadets and drug addicts was a bad idea.
 
There was a plan to use our hall for the homeless/drug addicts. When they came to tour the place, we asked so who will be sweeping the place for needles and sanitizing the place prior to the Cadets coming in? Plus will they be willing to be the spokesperson when a Cadet gets an infectious disease or poked by a hidden needle. It slowly dawned on them that mixing young Cadets and drug addicts was a bad idea.
Slowly dawned on them?
 
How many city run arenas are in Toronto? If they think armouries are appropriate then arenas should be as well. Or how many empty schools are there?

The city should exhaust its own options before trying to use federal infrastructure.
Bill Blair has a vested interest in having his ministry help Toronto, which includes his riding, to deal with this. Chow knows this and also knows that Blair won't turn her down.

And with a $1B cut to Defence, there won't be much Reserve unit parading going on, I'll bet, unless you're tasking is as a caretaker for the homeless.
 
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