New report recommends review, reconsideration of Canada’s military colleges

Click to play video: 'New report recommends review of Canada’s military colleges' New report recommends review of Canada’s military colleges
Following a scathing new report by former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour, dozens of recommendations to reform the military and its training schools are being made – Jun 1, 2022

In a highly-anticipated report released Monday, former Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour recommends that the Canadian Armed Forces reconsider whether to continue educating cadets at its royal military colleges in Ontario and Quebec, namely RMC Kingston and RMC Saint-Jean.

“I am very concerned about the future of the two military colleges as undergraduate institutions,” Arbour says.

Read more: Reforming Canada’s military colleges will be a ‘Herculean task,’ experts say

She cites the pattern of sexualized misbehaviour in the schools.

“The continued prevalence of sexual misconduct at the military colleges is well documented, and I think it’s harder to address these issues there than in a civilian environment,” continues Arbour.

Her report recommends a review of the benefits, disadvantages and costs of the military colleges.

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It also suggests there should be a consideration of different models to deliver university-level and military leadership training to officer cadets.

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Kingston Deputy Mayor Wayne Hill says RMC Kingston is one of the institutions that makes the city a centre of higher learning, so any impact on its continued existence is concerning. However, he says the cultural issues that Arbour cites are also something that affects the city.

“It’s important too that we recognize that the cadets that come to Kingston are residents of Kingston,” Hill says. “And we want to make sure, like all residents, that they’re safe and looked after and they don’t have to worry about their safety while they’re here. So whatever we can do to support the university and whatever we can do to support the military community to ensure that people are safe, we’re going to help them.”

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A statement from the department of national defense (DND) says, “There has been progress towards meaningful cultural change made at RMC over the past few years, however, it is clear that, just as within the rest of the CAF, more work and change is needed.”

It goes on to say that some of Arbour’s recommendations, like asking cadets about their experiences with sexual misconduct or discrimination in their exit interviews, will be adopted quickly, while the other recommendations will be taken into consideration.

The DND says it will inform Parliament, no later than the end of this year, of any of Arbour’s recommendations that the government does not intend to implement.


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