Trudeau appointed Anita Anand the new minister of Defense. That could be a good thing. She’s reportedly smart and dedicated (although the report came from her). And, I suppose, a non-military person can do the job (altho she is a fresh 2019 inductee to parliament and a lawyer – that makes her a rookie at the very least). And I have no problem that Anita is female. War and danger affects both genders even if the men are way more likely to be in the actual fight and end up wounded or dead.
But I do have a small problem with what she said was her first priority. “My top priority is to make sure that everyone in the Armed Forces feels safe and protected and that they have the support that they need when they need it and the structures in places to ensure that justice is served,”
“I am thorough, I am determined, I am dogged, and I am results-oriented. I will be dedicating all of my energies towards this task.”
Ms Anand, of course, is referring to the problem of sexual harassment in the military.
I do not want to suggest that men and women in the military SHOULD be harassed in any way, shape or form. Nor do I think sexual harassment in the Canadian Forces can continue to be trivialized as various reports have indicated. It is just that…..well.….is Ms Anand putting priority on military sexual harassment when, in fact, the harassers and the victims are the ones we send out to fight and die in a war? That seems wrong-headed. Is she saying, “You can go to Afghanistan and shoot your way around the country and maybe get shot or killed but I am focusing all our resources on keeping you sexually safe from harassment when you are in camp”?
I’ll answer my own rhetorical question: Yes. That is exactly what she is saying.
Put bluntly, Moira, isn’t the problem of sexual harassment NOT really the first priority of our Armed Forces? Bum-pinching is really bad but is it as bad as a violent death on foreign soil? I mean, shouldn’t our desire for their safety be more inclined to the actual theater of war than on the gender conflict?
Our first priority is to defend the country and fulfill our international obligations. If Ms Anand and Justin think the first priority of the Defense Minister is to keep armed soldiers safe from unwanted sexual solicitation, bum pinching and even sexual manipulation, they are wrong and Ms Anand has proven her inadequacy from the beginning. (Justin’s inadequacy has long been established). Is sexual harassment really as bad as those same soldiers getting their heads blown off by an IED (improvised explosive device) or AK47?
If you have a personal agenda and it gets you into parliament and you are picked to be a minister, that is basically a good thing about Democracy. Ms Anand is on a mission and that is why she ran. Good on her. But when you are picked to be the Minister of Defense, your mission becomes a much larger one than your own personal agenda. If Ms Anand wants to champion sexual victims, that is great. And she should. That is what she wants to do.
‘You go girl!’
But that is NOT priority #1. It is NOT even in the top three.
Equip the soldiers. Train the soldiers. Deploy the soldiers. Do our national and international duty. Get our soldiers back intact. And then…..and only then..…IF THEY ARE STILL ALIVE….worry about who pinched whose bum.
God post. I agree completely. the same could be said about Mr, Sox pick for environment minister. He is and always was anti energy/fossil fuel nutbar.
Nice to see you, JS. Mind you, you and I agreeing kinda freaks me out. Still, anyone can see the madness in that woman’s first words. Oddly, I am kind of in agreement regarding the minister of the Environment, too. I mean, I am a tree-hugging, whale-loving, anti-fossil fuel, Greenie nutbar, too, but appointing someone like him is a smidge inflammatory for you ‘Bertans. Maybe we need that. We sure do need something. But it does seem like an appointment that will enrage rather than fix. I hope I am wrong.
Another politically correct appointment to appease the “Woke” crowd.
A donkey pawing a list of applicants on the ground could do a better job.
Canada is rapidly becoming the laughing stock of the planet….
As China pumps billions into upgrading it’s 3,000,000 strong military
Trudeau, Butts and all their merry band of fiscally incompetent, appeasement utopians need to bevoted out out out before they destroy this country
Now, now, Non-con, when I am not napping (getting more frequent) I have a foot (maybe only a few toes) in the WOKE crowd. I mean, I am a Greenie and semi-socialist after all. But I am NOT stupid! I am not politically correct (maybe a bit) and I know what priority and focused means. I know that when you have a job to do, you should first focus on the job. I don’t think the WOKE crowd is all bad but the STUPID crowd is and I admit that it is getting harder and harder to tell the difference.
Interesting post and point of view. Provocative. Could it not be seen as ‘both and’ instead of ‘either or”. Military effectiveness seems to depend on morale. Enmity between genders does nothing for solidarity or fight readiness don’t you think? In war people die for their friends readily….. I imagine not so much for those who pinched their bum in a gratuitous way.
Of course, FK. It is not that doing it all right all the time is not the goal. It is just that her priorities are wrong. First, do the main job so that you get a grade A as Minister of Defense. Then throw in your social-justice agenda and get an A+. Main job first, personal vendetta fifth. And, let us be honest – if some soldier or even an officer pinches a bum or even forces an unwanted kiss – would that act alone be enough that you would not fight for your life and his (or hers, I suppose) in a war situation? Would your sensitivities as a soldier mess with your morale to the point that you can’t be a tough guy/gal? I don’t think so. There are a couple of guys out here that I dismiss as worthy people but, if their boat was sinking, I’d be there faster than the Coast Guard. Why? Petty differences are not a priority over a life being saved. But I have to confess to a bias. A beautiful woman I knew back in the 80’s saw me on a main street walking ahead with some big Cheese and her sense of humour prompter her to run up behind me (in high heels no less) and grab me quite convincingly under and behind me. I was in her grip for a half second but it was enough for me to let out an involuntary ‘whoop’ and jump in the air. She was amused. The Cheese was amused and well, to this day, I kinda miss the attention……in other words, stick, stones and IEDs may break my bones but a goose in the caboose doesn’t really hurt me.
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Thank you. The sexual misconduct events/allegations we read about in the Canadian military involve degradation and the abuse of power/rank. There are degrees of misconduct to be sure — but the consequences borne by subordinates often women- can lead to adverse psychological harms- Morale is easily undermined and once the chain of command becomes cloudy the ‘fight’ and ‘discipline- and all else becomes half hearted. Readiness in the military is complex and our forces need to be optimal in my opinion. And that dynamic is felt by police and military particularly thus I’m glad Anita Arnand is there – and will makes the leadership of the military front and center in the effort to uphold morale, discipline and the safety of those who serve. And as you point out mission focus leads the way. My point is that unless and until sexual misconduct is no longer part of the culture of the military- Canada’s mission is undermined -perhaps seriously. I don’t believe you can turn this around in a few years or that one minister will finish the job.
We’re saying the same thing. I acknowledge it is a problem and much worse when it comes from the top. Command has to be respected before ot can function well. I am just saying that sexual transgression is NOT job one. Her speech would NOT be the first speech I gave had I been her. To many, it looks like a misplaced emphasis in a field of endeavour that includes bullets, IEDs and cruise missile attacks. I do not think we disagree…..maybe a smidge….
I always admired Canada and the Canadians. I always thought (still do) that you have a good system and more then decent people. But it seems dumb politicians is a global problem these days. And if we don’t get our act together in the “West”, we will soon be overrun by the Chinese. They are ramping up their show of force for sure in their own region (Taiwan,Japan,Australia). They have always worried me, but in my opinion it is getting worse and worse. And since they are driven by a government with virtually unlimited resources, we should be scared as hell (seen the hypersonic missile test this week???)
But pinching bums of your collegues is not the best way to create team spirit or “I have your back” might get a different connotation
China seems to be flexing what muscles they have and, tho we disagree with them, they have always claimed Taiwan as their own. This is not a dispute that will ever go away unless nation-states go away. And I would blame China less and Xi more. This new aggression is Xi.
As for us getting our act together….? That ain’t gonna happen either. The west just has too many corrupt and anti-social acts going on. We are a DIVIDED west.
If we are so stupid that climate change has to first set the world on fire after having killed off 50% of it’s wildlife and polluted another huge amount of ground soil and the river systems, we’ll never get it together. It seems that even a major threat that is unstoppable (Nature) isn’t enough to get us all on the same page. China is NOT top priority….it’s moving up the charts but climate is JOB #1.