OTTAWA — Canada's top military commander says he is starting to see "cracks" as the Canadian Armed Forces faces a confluence of challenges both at home and abroad.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, acting chief of the defence staff Lt.-Gen. Wayne Eyre says the military remains focused on its primary job: defending Canada from foreign and domestic threats and helping Canadians whenever and wherever needed.
Yet Eyre says he is worried about his troops as the military deals with sexual misconduct and hate in the ranks, personnel shortages, the COVID-19 pandemic and growing instability around the world.
Eyre says those stressors, many of which are unprecedented in recent memory, are burning out individual service members even as they force the military to make hard choices on where to put its focus.
He says many members have been working non-stop as the military continues conducting dozens of missions overseas while bolstering provincial health-care systems struggling with COVID-19 and helping with the vaccination campaign.
And while recent allegations of sexual misconduct have revealed the urgent need to reform the military’s culture, Eyre says other priorities have been put on the back burner as it deals with that immediate issue.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 3, 2021.
The Canadian Press