Strong, Secure, Engaged, Canada’s new defence policy, recognizes that the long-term success of Canada’s military depends on the women and men who make up the Canadian Armed Forces. Our people, across all ranks, and from all walks of life, are our most important asset, and they are at the core of our new policy.
Today, on behalf of Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, Sherry Romanado, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, met with military families at the Military Family Resource Centre in Edmonton, to highlight new initiatives that will improve the support and care that Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and their families can expect as a result of the new policy.
The new policy is an ambitious yet realistic plan that outlines the Government’s defence priorities over the next 20 years, and provides stable, predictable, and long-term funding. This includes:
- Developing a Comprehensive Military Family Plan to help stabilize family life for CAF members and their families who frequently have to relocate;
- Investing $144.8 million to support Military Family Resource Centres;
- Growing the Regular Force by 3500 (to 71,500) and the Reserve Force by 1,500 (30,000), improving recruitment practices and retention strategies, and providing competitive career-long training that meets or exceeds industry standards;
- Ensuring all CAF members have access to a comprehensive first-rate health care system that addresses not only a members’ physical ailments, but also supports their mental well-being; and
- Committing to a streamlined and fully-supported transition process back into civilian life at the end of a career in uniform.
Additionally, as Minister Sajjan announced in May, the government will provide federal tax relief on the military salaries, up to the salary level of Lieutenant-Colonel, to all CAF personnel deployed on named international operations as designated by the Chief of the Defence Staff.
These initiatives, along with other commitments made under Canada’s new defence policy, will deliver the support and capabilities our women and men in uniform need and deserve, as they work to make Canada strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged in the world.
“The women and men who serve are the Canadian Armed Forces’ most important capability. By taking care of our peoplewe are building a stronger, more agile military that will be better positioned to protect Canada and its citizens at home and abroad.”
Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan
“Canada’s women and men in uniform have made an unwavering commitment to defend Canada and Canadians, and they deserve the same solid support from their government. Canada’s new defence policy provides the resources and capabilities our members need to succeed in their missions both at home and abroad.”
Parliamentary Secretary Sherry Romanado
- Through Canada’s Defence Policy, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will take care of the women and men in uniform, and their families, by:
- Investing $198.2 million over the course of the policy to implement a new Total Health and Wellness Strategy that will expand wellness beyond the traditional healthcare model to include promotion, prevention, treatment, and support, and provide a greater range of health and wellness services and programs.
- Augmenting the CAF’s medical services branch by 200 additional personnel to meet the increased level of care that will be part of the new Total Health and Wellness Strategy.
- Increasing the proportion of women in the military by 1 percentage point annually, to achieve 25 percent representation by 2026, to our operational advantage.
- Continuing the implementation of the 10 recommendations of the Deschamps Report as part of Operation HONOUR.
- Transforming the transition process to better support CAF members and their families by establishing a 1,200-person CAF Transition Group. The creation of this new group means our women and men will be taken care of from the moment they join the military, throughout their careers, and as they transition out of the CAF.
- Establishing up to 120 new military intelligence positions, some of which will be filled by Reservists, and add up to 180 new civilian intelligence personnel.
- Creating new occupations including a new CAF Cyber Operator occupation to attract Canada’s best and brightest talent.
- The launch of Strong, Secure, Engaged concludes the most comprehensive review process in Canadian defence and security history – a year-long review process that included open and transparent consultations with Canadians, parliamentarians, defence experts, allies, and partners.