Canada's top soldier says defence industry needs to ramp up production to 'wartime footing'

·2 min read

Canada's top soldier says Russia's invasion of Ukraine has created an unstable global environment and military supply chains need to accelerate significantly to respond to the crisis.

"Given the deteriorating world situation, we need the defence industry to go onto a wartime footing and increase their production lines to be able to support the requirements that are out there, whether its ammunition, artillery, rockets, you name it," Gen. Wayne Eyre told CBC News Network's Power & Politics.

Eyre said "there's a huge demand out there" for military supplies and while Canada is currently able to meet its NATO commitments, the Canadian Forces need to be fully prepared for future demands while still supplying weapons to Ukraine.

Eyre said Canada is working out how it will supply more weapons to Ukraine by determining what Canada can spare from its own stockpiles, what Canadian forces need for their own purposes and what can be purchased.

"I'm always worried about it," he told host Vassy Kapelos. "The world, as of the Russian invasion, became much more dangerous. We're facing a security situation in the world that is as dangerous, or more dangerous, than the end of the Cold War.

"Canada is not nearly as secure as it once was, so yeah, I'm worried. We need to rapidly invest in our Canadian Forces because the demand is going to increase and our nation is going to need us more than ever."

Eyre said his current priority is recruitment.

"We have shrunk over the course of the pandemic so we need to rapidly reconstitute the Canadian Armed Forces, bring more Canadians into our ranks," he said.

Eyre also said the Canadian military must be able to respond to cyber threats while ensuring it has the technical support, replacement parts and technicians it needs to keep functioning.