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Military's diversity, inclusion efforts plagued by shortcomings: internal review

Brad Sallows

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There may be urban areas in Canada still suitable for nearby bases, but the BC lower mainland is not one. It is basically good agricultural land hemmed in by ocean, mountains, and a border. All of that land is too valuable for other uses. If a base were introduced in BC, it would be better to pick one of the southern interior communities, excluding Kelowna.
 

Good2Golf

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Perhaps in some areas but around the GTA, housing and land prices were high before and off the dial during Covid. I imagine Lower Mainland BC is the same. The further you go out to find cheaper land, perhaps provincial Crown land, you tend to negate the advantage - being close to an urban area - you were trying to solve.

As for small businesses, how many bases have anything other than a Tim's or Subway? Borden used to have a MacDonald's that closed (I don't know why). I would imagine having the federal government as a landlord plus all the restrictions of operating on a military establishment isn't all that much fun. You are essentially building a restrictive government 'company town'.
It was in some degree the public clamoring unfair’ to military subsidized housing that saw all the Qs in Downsview torn down and lands transferred to to Canada Lands Company in 1995.

Honestly, the Government doesn’t want diversity so badly that it’s anywhere close
To recreating subsidized military housing to attract/retain new, diverse CAF members close to major urban centres. It’s easier to Chuck crap at a department saying it’s not doing enough, than it is to seriously address the issue.

Diversity and recruiting and retention of minorities won’t be solved any time soon (if ever), there are just so many other issues the government (of the day) is inteterested with that CAF/DND sustainability/mirroring Canadian society is way down the list.

The current government is happy enough that no one’s asking about replacements for the Governor General and what happens when the PM gets his next (4th) not-Strike for breaching ethics policies, etc...

Regards
G2G
 

dimsum

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Can you imagine the outcry if DND tried to build accommodation that underpriced the local civilian market. I seem to recall that there was firm direction that this was not allowed, and that the PMQ rents were tied to the local prevailing rates. When the annual (always upwards) adjustments were made, the local rents in the civilian economy increased accordingly. The rationale was that the married patch was large enough to trigger an increase in the rents charged for other properties in the local economy.

And the long term goal, as stated by the central agencies in the Federal Government was to get out of the providing accommodation business. Now, this was decades ago, but I suspect any attempt to provide "subsidized" housing to our members would run afoul of one or more of the above arguments, led by the local MPs.
In that case, can members refuse to get posted, or VR immediately (not 6 months afterwards, when they've already moved)?

We can't increase PLD (or an equivalent cost-of-living adjustment) because it's not our money, we can't make cheaper housing, and we won't move the bases. So what can we do if a member knows they're going to a place they can't afford?
 

Kilted

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In that case, can members refuse to get posted, or VR immediately (not 6 months afterwards, when they've already moved)?

We can't increase PLD (or an equivalent cost-of-living adjustment) because it's not our money, we can't make cheaper housing, and we won't move the bases. So what can we do if a member knows they're going to a place they can't afford?
Live in the shacks and not bring their family with them I guess.
 

Jarnhamar

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There may be urban areas in Canada still suitable for nearby bases, but the BC lower mainland is not one. It is basically good agricultural land hemmed in by ocean, mountains, and a border. All of that land is too valuable for other uses. If a base were introduced in BC, it would be better to pick one of the southern interior communities, excluding Kelowna.
We could probably get some good deals on cruise ships.

Make a floating base.

Could even use houseboats for PMQs. Throw some tankers in, clear off the top for some helicopter landing pads.

You can up and move your base; worked for the Terran Confederacy.





COZUMEL-MEXICO-DJI-1030x773.jpg
 

Colin Parkinson

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Subsidized housing is fairly common in most militaries around the world, generally private married soldiers get to live in a apartment block and officers detached or semi-detached housing.
 

FJAG

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Can you imagine the outcry if DND tried to build accommodation that underpriced the local civilian market. I seem to recall that there was firm direction that this was not allowed, and that the PMQ rents were tied to the local prevailing rates. When the annual (always upwards) adjustments were made, the local rents in the civilian economy increased accordingly. The rationale was that the married patch was large enough to trigger an increase in the rents charged for other properties in the local economy.
There's a simple slight of hand. Charge market rates and then provide a housing/accommodation allowance. This is a concept used around the world and even in Ontario there is a program called the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit to assist low income families with rent in high-rent areas.

There are dozen's of ways to skin the cat if one makes up one's mind that the cat needs skinning.
And the long term goal, as stated by the central agencies in the Federal Government was to get out of the providing accommodation business. Now, this was decades ago, but I suspect any attempt to provide "subsidized" housing to our members would run afoul of one or more of the above arguments, led by the local MPs.
Just like the Federal government to divest itself of any kind of a program that can pay for itself and even make a profit. I seriously doubt any local MP would take a negative approach to the military building a large housing subdivision/base within his local area providing jobs and economic benefits for his whole riding just because of how the rents are controlled.

I have now utterly wasted the entire day on this website. :cautious:

🍻
 

mariomike

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I have now utterly wasted the entire day on this website. :cautious:

🍻
But, it's time - well - wasted. :)
19 pages.
 

daftandbarmy

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There may be urban areas in Canada still suitable for nearby bases, but the BC lower mainland is not one. It is basically good agricultural land hemmed in by ocean, mountains, and a border. All of that land is too valuable for other uses. If a base were introduced in BC, it would be better to pick one of the southern interior communities, excluding Kelowna.

There are already thousands of troops based in the Lower Mainland: reservists.

Edmonton, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax etc etc.... all examples of heavily urbanized locations with thousands of reservists.

If we can run Class A regiments from Vancouver/Lower Mainland, why not Reg Force?
 

FSTO

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You may be on to something there.

5 pages.

Also, from the National Post back in 2009,

"Who fights for Canada? Young white men, that's who fights," says Douglas Bland, chairman of Queen's University's defence studies program.



Graeme Hamilton, National Post
Published: Saturday, November 07, 2009
2197536.bin

Chris Schwarz, Canwest News Service

"Who fights for Canada? Young white men, that's who fights," says Douglas Bland, chairman of Queen's University's defence studies program.

For decades, Remembrance Day was about honouring the ever more distant memory of Canadians killed in the two world wars and in Korea. Then in 2002 in Afghanistan, the country suffered its first combat casualties in nearly half a century, the beginning of a mounting toll that reached 133 last week. Canada has evolved considerably since the Korean armistice of 1953, becoming an overwhelmingly urban and increasingly multicultural society. But while the face of Canada has changed, the faces of its war dead largely have not.
The names, photos and hometowns of those who have died in Afghanistan provide a portrait of the Canadian solider of the 21st century, and in some ways he is not all that different from his 20th-century predecessor. "Who fights for Canada? Young white men, that's who fights," Douglas Bland, chairman of Queen's University's defence studies program, puts it bluntly. There are obviously exceptions to his generalization: three women are among the Canadian dead, as are six members of visible minority groups. But the great majority of casualties are white men between the ages of 20 and 39. They are more likely to have grown up in small towns than in major cities. And relative to its population, Atlantic Canada has suffered the heaviest losses.

The numbers suggest that significant pockets of the country are content to leave military service -- and the danger it entails -- to others. They also raise questions about the Canadian Forces' ability to confront demographic change that is draining its traditional recruitment pool. With each census, Canada's population becomes more concentrated in its major metropolises. In 2006, the six metropolitan areas with populations of over one million people -- Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa-Gatineau, Calgary and Edmonton -- accounted for 45% of the total population. But of the 133 Afghanistan dead, 26 -- or 20% --come from those cities.
The metro Toronto census area, which encompasses surrounding suburbs and makes up nearly one-sixth of the Canadian population, has lost four soldiers, 3% of total casualties. Truro, N.S., with a population of 12,000, has lost as many of its men. Metropolitan Montreal and Calgary have seen eight and six soldiers killed, respectively, while just one has come from the Vancouver area.
The four Atlantic provinces, with 7% of the national population, account for 23% of the dead. Saskatchewan's eight fallen soldiers represent double its share of the population.

"The casualties do tell us something important about the composition of our force," says Christian Leuprecht, a professor at the Royal Military College who is currently a visiting professor of Canadian Studies at Yale University. "There is a considerable over-representation from rural areas, and there has traditionally been over-representation from Atlantic Canada. That's partially a function of how virtually all militaries recruit. They tend to recruit from lower socio-economic strata ... and from areas that economically don't do as well. In those areas the military is an attractive employer and, interestingly, an institution for social mobility within a society." Figures provided by the Department of National Defence show that, with a few exceptions, a province's share of the Afghanistan fatalities reflects its share of overall enrolment in the regular forces.
In the post-Charter of Rights era, the army has increased efforts to recruit visible minorities, aboriginals and women. But a 2006 report by Canada's auditor-general found that recruitment among the three groups had fallen well below National Defence targets. According to the latest numbers from the army, 17% of Canadian Forces personnel are women. Visible minorities make up 3.4% of the Forces, compared with 16% of the overall population, and aboriginals are 2.6%, compared with 3.8% of the population. One area where the Forces are becoming more representative of the general population is age, a fact reflected in the Afghanistan casualties.


"The army's at war," he says, "and Canada's at peace."
Not many cries for diversity when the soldiers getting killed were overwhelmingly white and rural.
I'm especially annoyed today for some reason..........
 

mariomike

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Not many cries for diversity when the soldiers getting killed were overwhelmingly white and rural.
I'm especially annoyed today for some reason..........
I wasn't the Original Poster...........

Reads like the same discussion, different year.

The OP had this to say,

I have had some unfortunate experiences with recruits out of the Toronto area (although judging from their dress, attitude etc., I think they would have done poorly in any structured environment), this article suggests differences may be very environmental in nature.

 

FSTO

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I wasn't the Original Poster.

The OP had this to say,



Reads like the same discussion, different year..........

I wasn't flinging shade at you. It was just an observation in general that the chattering classes scream diversity when convenient and then shut up when the ramp ceremonies commence.

I'll shut up now cause I'll only get myself in trouble.
 

Kilted

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I know it might not be politically correct to say this, but should we not be more concerned with the number of people in uniform then what colour they are. I know it might not make the government look very good, but if say 70% of our military is going to continue to be white and male, does that actually effect our operational capabilities? While the European demographic by percentage may become smaller, are we actually expecting it to shrink in size? I know the idea is that we want to be able to draw on as much of our population as possible, resistance to military service by new immigrants and their children has been mentioned. Will this not become less of an issue each generation the longer that they have been in Canada?
 

dimsum

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Will this not become less of an issue each generation the longer that they have been in Canada?
I can't find the article, but it's been mentioned that by the 3rd generation (if you're counting 1st as the ones who emigrated from their home country), this sort of thing usually evens out.
 

mariomike

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Nice to be able to pick and choose employment. But, during hard times, Civil Service jobs provide the only secure means of making a living. Same could be said of the military.

Whatever ones ethnicity, the economy effects us all.
 

daftandbarmy

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The CAF can't compete with medical school, which is what alot of immigrants want for their kids and why they come here. If we want more immigrants in the CAF we might consider making it a good choice as a path to citizenship, like in the US military:


A profile of the Canadian Forces​


A very small proportion of CF personnel were members of visible minorities—only 6% of all CF members (5% of regular forces and 11% of reservists) were visible minorities compared with 17% of the civilian working population. This is much lower than the U.S. military’s rate of 33% (Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Personnel and Readiness 2006). Only 3% of officers in the regular forces were members of visible minorities.

Similarly, a very small portion were immigrants (6% compared with 21%). The low rates of visible minority and immigrant members may be related to the citizenship requirement for joining the CF. Currently, only Canadian citizens can join the regular forces (DND 2008e).10

However, even after excluding recent immigrants (in Canada less than 10 years) and adjusting for age, significant differences in visible minority and immigrant representation remain between the CF and the civilian working population (data not shown). The under-representation of visible minorities in the CF can be explained by many factors (Jung 2007): the importance of education, family, and ethnic identity;11 a relatively low ranking of military service as a career, combined with the negative image provided by their own native militaries; and insufficient numbers in senior ranks to provide the necessary positive role models. However, visible minority representation in the CF is important because they are the fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, particularly in the traditional recruitment target age group of 17 to 24 (Rueben 2004).

 

mariomike

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If we want more immigrants in the CAF we might consider making it a good choice as a path to citizenship, like in the US military:


And if that doesn't do the trick, they can go back to the way things were until 1973: The Draft.

Even now, they have the Selective Service System.

If Uncle Sam wants you, he's gonna get you. Same way the Army got Elvis.
 

daftandbarmy

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And if that doesn't do the trick, they can go back to the way things were until 1973: The Draft.

Even now, they have the Selective Service System.

If Uncle Sam wants you, he's gonna get you. Same way the Army got Elvis.

They don't need the draft to ensure integration of diverse groups into the military, they're smarter than that now :)

I know a guy who was a tank commander, a Lt, in the USMC. He nicknamed his tank the 'United Nations' because he was the only white guy (from New York) in the vehicle. All the others were from Costa Rica, Honduras etc, all working to get their citizenship.

He said that, without exception, they were all excellent troops.
 
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