Canada's NDP

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April 8th, 2024

The people who serve must be at the forefront of Canada's Defence policy: NDP

NDP critic for National Defence MP Lindsay Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe) made the following statement:

“All women and men who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and risk their lives for our country deserve to have the equipment and support they need to do their jobs properly and safely.

Unfortunately, due to successive Liberal and Conservative governments, big procurement contracts to their ultra-rich CEO friends have come before supporting CAF members. As a result, thousands of military families don’t have the equipment they need do to their jobs and don’t have affordable housing or childcare. Over 4,000 CAF members are on a waitlist for affordable housing, and it will take another two years for the announced funding for military housing to take effect. This won't tackle the urgent housing crisis our armed forces are facing.

While the Liberals’ announcement falls short of putting our CAF personnel first, in December, Pierre Poilievre’s Conservatives voted against a raise for CAF personnel as some have resorted to food banks because of sky-high grocery prices. As well, while Poilievre was in Cabinet, he helped shut down nine Veteran Affairs offices, denying veterans who sacrificed a great deal for Canada the federal services they rely on.

While the NDP welcomes the government taking steps to protect Canada’s arctic in collaboration with Indigenous communities, as well as the funding to fix aging infrastructure, more needs to be done to support our CAF. With climate change as a real threat to global security, the government needs to keep improving our natural disaster response capabilities as well as keep up Canada’s role in peacekeeping.

After years of Liberal and Conservative neglect in supporting the CAF, necessary government investments must be made. For recruitment and retention of CAF personnel, New Democrats will keep fighting for renewed and ambitious investments in proper equipment, working conditions, housing and childcare so our CAF members have the support they deserve."