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Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Canada says it will look at increasing its defence spending and tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever growing sanctions list.

By Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau
Mon., March 7, 2022

Riga, LATVIA—On the 13th day of the brutal Russian bid to claim Ukraine as its own, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing up at the Latvian battle group led by Canadian soldiers, waving the Maple Leaf and a vague hint at more money for the military.

Canada has been waving the NATO flag for nearly seven years in Latvia as a bulwark against Russia’s further incursions in Eastern Europe.

Canada stepped up to lead one of NATO’s four battle groups in 2015 — part of the defensive alliance’s display of strength and solidarity with weaker member states after Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Trudeau arrived in the Latvian capital late Monday after meetings in the U.K. with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Earlier Monday, faced with a seemingly unstoppable war in Ukraine, Trudeau said he will look at increasing Canada’s defence spending. Given world events, he said there are “certainly reflections to have.”

And Canada tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever-growing sanctions list.

The latest round of sanctions includes names Trudeau said were identified by jailed Russian opposition leader and Putin nemesis Alexei Navalny.

However, on a day when Trudeau cited the new sanctions, and Johnson touted new measures meant to expose Russian property owners in his country, Rutte admitted sanctions are not working.

Yet they all called for more concerted international efforts over the long haul, including more economic measures and more humanitarian aid, with Johnson and Rutte divided over how quickly countries need to get off Russian oil and gas.

The 10 latest names on Canada’s target list do not include Roman Abramovich — a Russian billionaire Navalny has been flagging to Canada since at least 2017. Canada appears to have sanctioned about 20 of the 35 names on Navalny’s list.

The Conservative opposition says the Liberal government is not yet exerting maximum pressure on Putin, and should do more to bolster Canadian Forces, including by finally approving the purchase of fighter jets.

Foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said in an interview that Ottawa must still sanction “additional oligarchs close to President Putin who have significant assets in Canada.”

Abramovich owns more than a quarter of the public shares in steelmaking giant Evraz, which has operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and has supplied most of the steel for the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Evraz’s board of directors also includes two more Russians the U.S. government identified as “oligarchs” in 2019 — Aleksandr Abramov and Aleksandr Frolov — and its Canadian operations have received significant support from the federal government.

That includes at least $27 million in emergency wage subsidies during the pandemic, as well as $7 million through a fund meant to help heavy-polluters reduce emissions that cause climate change, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

In addition to upping defence spending, the Conservatives want NORAD’s early warning system upgraded, naval shipbuilding ramped up and Arctic security bolstered.

In London, Johnson sat down with Trudeau and Rutte at the Northolt airbase. Their morning meetings had a rushed feel, with Johnson starting to usher press out before Trudeau spoke. His office said later that the British PM couldn’t squeeze the full meeting in at 10 Downing Street because Johnson’s “diary” was so busy that day. The three leaders held an afternoon news conference at 10 Downing.

But before that Trudeau met with the Queen, saying she was “insightful” and they had a “useful, for me anyway, conversation about global affairs.”

Trudeau meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday in Latvia.

The prime minister will also meet with three Baltic leaders, the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The Liberals announced they would increase the 500 Canadian Forces in Latvia by another 460 troops. The Canadians are leading a multinational battle group, one of four that are part of NATO’s deployments in the region.

Another 3,400 Canadians could be deployed to the region in the months to come, on standby for NATO orders.

But Canada’s shipments of lethal aid to Ukraine were slow to come in the view of the Conservatives, and the Ukrainian Canadian community.

And suddenly Western allies are eyeing each other’s defence commitments.

At the Downing Street news conference, Rutte noted the Netherlands will increase its defence budget to close to two per cent of GDP. Germany has led the G7, and doubled its defence budget in the face of Putin’s invasion and threats. Johnson said the U.K. defence spending is about 2.4 per cent and declined to comment on Canada’s defence spending which is 1.4 per cent of GDP.

But Johnson didn’t hold back.

“What we can’t do, post the invasion of Ukraine is assume that we go back to a kind of status quo ante, a kind of new normalization in the way that we did after the … seizure of Crimea and the Donbas area,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to recognize that things have changed and that we need a new focus on security and I think that that is kind of increasingly understood by everybody.”

Trudeau stood by his British and Dutch counterparts and pledged Canada would do more.

He defended his government’s record, saying Ottawa is gradually increasing spending over the next decade by 70 per cent. Then Trudeau admitted more might be necessary.

“We also recognize that context is changing rapidly around the world and we need to make sure that women and men have certainty and our forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly as we always have. As members of NATO. We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

The three leaders — Johnson, a conservative and Trudeau and Rutte, progressive liberals — in a joint statement said they “will continue to impose severe costs on Russia.”

Arriving for the news conference from Windsor Castle, Trudeau had to detour to enter Downing Street as loud so-called Freedom Convoy protesters bellowed from outside the gate. They carried signs marked “Tuck Frudeau” and “Free Tamara” (Lich).

Protester Jeff Wyatt who said he has no Canadian ties told the Star he came to stand up for Lich and others who were leading a “peaceful protest” worldwide against government “lies” about COVID-19 and what he called Trudeau’s “tyranny.”

Elsewhere in London, outside the Russian embassy, other protesters and passersby reflected on what they said was real tyranny — the Russian attack on Ukraine. “I think we should be as tough as possible to get this stopped, as tough as possible,” said protester Clive Martinez.
 

childs56

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Survivorship bias on your part; you only see individuals after selection; you don't see the population that's selected out. That is in fact the point of selection - to increase potential for success by not offering marginal performers employment. Letting in anyone and their dog is neither effective nor efficient use of limited resources.

And there's ample evidence that a degree, in and of itself, is not strongly correlated with some necessary abilities.
I have been involved in Recruiting at the Unit level. We lost many a good Soldier due to "marginal performers" on the recruiting process. I have seen some awfully smart people who shouldn't be near, in charge of or working alongside anything Military.

Honestly the Recruiting Process needs a major overhaul. Taking more then 6 months to Join the Military is to long. Hiring for Basic Training should be straight forward, simple. Application filled out. 5 year work history, any past charges, have you resided elsewhere then Canada, are you willing to fight in Defense of Canada?
Get hired go to basic training, security check on going. End of basic check completed. Preferred Trades training, if back ground check prohibits that then suitable job relating to security clearance.
As for Officer selection, I disagree with the Education Requirements, if we look at the interesting show over the past couple decades we can see a us verses them mentality. It has led us down a bad path of Elites and servants. This is not the right way. 5 years service in the Junior Ranks Commission. Specialties such as Pilots, Engineers etc will be made. Officer corps should serve time in the ranks and with the ranks.

As A Friend with the Royal Marines Said, the difference between their Officers before Iraq and Afghanistan and after the Wars was night and day difference in how they interacted and treated their Royal Marines. Much better after they craped in the same toilet, ate the same food, took the same risks day in and day out and interacted with the Marines on a personal level. We need this in our Officer Corps. We got a bit of in in the past. But to many of those high and mightiness are in HQ groups and run the show.
 

Brad Sallows

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to defend and secure its air and sea approaches

Land-based air will do. An enemy large enough to mount a serious threat to our turf is large enough to turn one carrier group into a long list of names in Canadian newspapers if the group ventures out from under land-based air cover.
 

dapaterson

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So, people without aptitude to pass a single, simple test are "good soldiers"? That's not intuitive - good soldiers are able to grasp concepts, able to figure things out, able to work under pressure. If a single test can defeat them...

You appear to be from an Army Reserve unit. I'll respectfully suggest that if there's an "us vs them" or "elites and servants" mentality that that is a problem of your unit culture., and not of the CAF, CFAT or recruiting system.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Survivorship bias on your part; you only see individuals after selection; you don't see the population that's selected out. That is in fact the point of selection - to increase potential for success by not offering marginal performers employment. Letting in anyone and their dog is neither effective nor efficient use of limited resources.

And there's ample evidence that a degree, in and of itself, is not strongly correlated with some necessary abilities.
Fair. I can admit that I haven't seen how the sausage gets made outside of my own experience.

If you're agreeing that a degree isn't an indicator of ability, why put such weight on a CFAT as well? Seems like a weird bar to set comparatively
Is that because they've disproven the method, or they just don't like the results?
A little of both . Aptitude testing is limited in assessing retention, practical learning, and emotional intelligence. All are factors required for success in academia and the work place

In the end, like childs65 stated above, we don't see the fruits of someone's potential until long after they walk in the door of a CFRC.
 

GK .Dundas

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Land-based air will do. An enemy large enough to mount a serious threat to our turf is large enough to turn one carrier group into a long list of names in Canadian newspapers if the group ventures out from under land-based air cover.
Really?
You do know that carriers provide their own air defence and strike capability ?
And historically relying on land based aircover has at best been farcical and it's worst suicidal .
Kuwait 1958 , Suez '56 Malaysia /Singapore post 73.. And that's only a small sample and only the British examples.
By the way staying with the Brits sometime in 73 - 74 the Brits started an ex to prove to the world that the RAF and the Army could reinforce Singapore by Air. At one point it was realised that there was no RAF fighters that would be available on the ground.
And the transport aircraft were sitting ducks as they approached Singapore.
The RAN was able.. barely able to provide HMAS Melbourne and limited air cover with her A 4 skyhawks.
Since the British government of the day was trying to get rid of it's carrier fleet the exercise was'nt mentioned too much.
 
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Remius

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I have been involved in Recruiting at the Unit level. We lost many a good Soldier due to "marginal performers" on the recruiting process. I have seen some awfully smart people who shouldn't be near, in charge of or working alongside anything Military.

Honestly the Recruiting Process needs a major overhaul. Taking more then 6 months to Join the Military is to long. Hiring for Basic Training should be straight forward, simple. Application filled out. 5 year work history, any past charges, have you resided elsewhere then Canada, are you willing to fight in Defense of Canada?
Get hired go to basic training, security check on going. End of basic check completed. Preferred Trades training, if back ground check prohibits that then suitable job relating to security clearance.
As for Officer selection, I disagree with the Education Requirements, if we look at the interesting show over the past couple decades we can see a us verses them mentality. It has led us down a bad path of Elites and servants. This is not the right way. 5 years service in the Junior Ranks Commission. Specialties such as Pilots, Engineers etc will be made. Officer corps should serve time in the ranks and with the ranks.

As A Friend with the Royal Marines Said, the difference between their Officers before Iraq and Afghanistan and after the Wars was night and day difference in how they interacted and treated their Royal Marines. Much better after they craped in the same toilet, ate the same food, took the same risks day in and day out and interacted with the Marines on a personal level. We need this in our Officer Corps. We got a bit of in in the past. But to many of those high and mightiness are in HQ groups and run the show.
No one gets a gun until they tell us their names.
 

GK .Dundas

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I think the starting point for any decision on defence spending has to begin (and end?) with the informal bargain that was struck with the US at the start of WW2: (I am paraphrasing) By the US: We will not tolerate any invasion of the Canadian territory; By Canada: we will do all that is in our capacity so that Canadian terrritory will never be used to attack the US.

Basically, Canada needs to defend and secure its air and sea approaches to fulfill its end of the bargain.

To me, this means that we have to put defence money immediately here (and almost in that order):

(1) fighter replacement - NOW!
(2) North warning system upgrade - with extensions to both other coasts;
(3) Ballistic missile defence;
(4) Nuclear attack submarines (entering the USAUS deal);
(5) Aircraft carriers (one per coast - West first, then East) Queen Elizabeth class;
(6) build the escorts required for the Carrier Battle Group.

Most this should be done in a hurry and nearly simultaneously.

Then, and only then, if there is room left in the 2%, a sea deployable capability to move Army equipemnt, strategic capability to move troops in large number and high end deployable equipement for the Army so we can quickly deploy battle groups in support of friendly countries up to and inclusive of a full brigade on short notice, ramping up to a full division in six months.

This also means: (1) a rapid increase of full time personnel, probably to around 110k tarined pers; (2) a lowering of ops tempo and operations in the short term to provide for, (3) increased training capability to train up the various trades.

Sorry Army, but you come last in the shoping list.

P.S. With a quick calculation, all of this is feasible on 2% GDP.
you're looking at a navy of roughly 15,000 people .
Oh and as for carrier's go for COTL ,V/STOLhas too many issues not least of which involves capability
The other thing currently there are at least two ctol strike fighters being built and only one vstol and it's seems to be " up in the air "courtesy of American politicians.
Yes it is the one A/C the Canadian government has been trying avoid buying or least in it's ctol version the F 35.
 

TacticalTea

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Self-defence is our reason for being now. We are "conveners".
I know, and it makes very little sense to me. Scratch that. It makes sense from a partisan political perspective.

But we could do so much more with just a bit more spending and if we (the government) straightened up.

I get where you're coming from and in broad a broad sense agree with you, but where I disagree is with your apparent narrow focus on of defence of North America to the (more or less) complete exclusion of expeditionary land capability.

What good does it do us if we draw back into a North American island and let the broader "West" fend for themselves? If we are to truly prosper as a nation we need to engage with the rest of the world in not only the exchange of goods, but the exchange of people and ideas. We are lessened as a society if we become insular and strictly inward looking and let out overseas friends and allies be threatened by forces opposed to our basic principles. And sometimes that means we will need to stand side by side (literally) with our allies on the battlefield and pay the price in blood to defend our collective interests.

I am in total agreement with you that as essentially an island nation the bulk of our defense dollars and effort should be in the air and sea realms but I do think that an expeditionary land force is a vital political element of our defence strategy. What form that takes an whether our current Army is fit for task is another story all together.
This is pretty much my view as well. My procurement priorities: build up our strategic air and sealift, and ensure our Army is capable of fighting on a modern battlefield (SPGs, CAS, Tactical drones, GBAD, proper comms and logistical support).
 

Underway

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Not so fast says Comrade Singh…..

NDP against Canada increasing defence spending to hit 'arbitrary' NATO target​



Wouldn’t want the NDP to go against the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics now would we.
I know what you're getting at but you can't be using the word "Socialist" as a defining characteristic. National Socialists are significantly different political philosophy from Socialist Republics. And communists sure as hell aren't actually socialists either.

That's like saying everyone who called themselves a Peoples Democracy is actually a Democracy...
 

GR66

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[snip]
To me, this means that we have to put defence money immediately here (and almost in that order):

(1) fighter replacement - NOW!
(2) North warning system upgrade - with extensions to both other coasts;
(3) Ballistic missile defence;
(4) Nuclear attack submarines (entering the USAUS deal);
(5) Aircraft carriers (one per coast - West first, then East) Queen Elizabeth class;
(6) build the escorts required for the Carrier Battle Group.
[snip]
(1), (2) & (3) Agree 100% (and more fighters would be nice in my opinion in order to both maintain NORAD coverage as well as greater expeditionary capabilities.

(4) Agree as well but accept that it would be a VERY tough sell politically. 8-10 AIP subs might have to be a compromise. Capability-wise 8-10 non-nuclear subs might be better than 4 nuclear subs if that were the choice (due to the extensive extra infrastructure and support costs of adding a nuclear fleet). We should also look at XLUUVs as part of our subsurface fleet.

(5) A nice-to-have but very expensive capability. Not sure the opportunity cost would be worth the other items on the list you may have to give up. Possibly a better solution would be something more like a Mistral or Juan Carlos-type amphibious assault ship. With Maritime Helicopters embarked could be an ASW task-force flagship. Can be used to force project ground troops. Useful in humanitarian missions. If equipped with a ski-jump could embark RAF/US Marine F-35B's even if we don't have our own VTOL/STOL fighters.

(6) More hulls are definitely needed to patrol a coastline the size of ours, to escort US forces deploying to Europe/Asia in case of a major conflict or to provide escorts for a Canadian/Allied task force. Due to manning issues we should look various platform options beyond the CSC (Corvette-type vessels, USV's, arsenal ships, etc.)

Other important capabilities to be added/expanded in my mind (in no particular order) would be:
  • More airborne ISR capabilites (MPAs, UAVs, AEW&C, etc.)
  • Expanded MH fleet (to go along with the expanded surface fleet) - again look at UAVs as part of the mix.
  • More airlift and AAR assets (A330 MRTT as a solution for both?)
  • GBAD for both domestic defence and expeditionary use
  • Multiple enablers to make our expeditionary land forces survivable and useful in a peer conflict (GBAD, Anti-armour weapons, night vision gear, SP artillery, UAV's/loitering munitions, long-range precision fires, etc.)
 

MilEME09

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(1), (2) & (3) Agree 100% (and more fighters would be nice in my opinion in order to both maintain NORAD coverage as well as greater expeditionary capabilities.

(4) Agree as well but accept that it would be a VERY tough sell politically. 8-10 AIP subs might have to be a compromise. Capability-wise 8-10 non-nuclear subs might be better than 4 nuclear subs if that were the choice (due to the extensive extra infrastructure and support costs of adding a nuclear fleet). We should also look at XLUUVs as part of our subsurface fleet.

(5) A nice-to-have but very expensive capability. Not sure the opportunity cost would be worth the other items on the list you may have to give up. Possibly a better solution would be something more like a Mistral or Juan Carlos-type amphibious assault ship. With Maritime Helicopters embarked could be an ASW task-force flagship. Can be used to force project ground troops. Useful in humanitarian missions. If equipped with a ski-jump could embark RAF/US Marine F-35B's even if we don't have our own VTOL/STOL fighters.

(6) More hulls are definitely needed to patrol a coastline the size of ours, to escort US forces deploying to Europe/Asia in case of a major conflict or to provide escorts for a Canadian/Allied task force. Due to manning issues we should look various platform options beyond the CSC (Corvette-type vessels, USV's, arsenal ships, etc.)

Other important capabilities to be added/expanded in my mind (in no particular order) would be:
  • More airborne ISR capabilites (MPAs, UAVs, AEW&C, etc.)
  • Expanded MH fleet (to go along with the expanded surface fleet) - again look at UAVs as part of the mix.
  • More airlift and AAR assets (A330 MRTT as a solution for both?)
  • GBAD for both domestic defence and expeditionary use
  • Multiple enablers to make our expeditionary land forces survivable and useful in a peer conflict (GBAD, Anti-armour weapons, night vision gear, SP artillery, UAV's/loitering munitions, long-range precision fires, etc.)
Agreed, we don't have the navy for a full carrier, but a assault ship is doable, but would also require expansion of the navy. Personally I think our navy and airforce should double, and the army should have its authorized strength increase so that all existing units can be fully manned without the need for Class Bs, or other creative PY math.
 

The Bread Guy

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TacticalTea

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(1), (2) & (3) Agree 100% (and more fighters would be nice in my opinion in order to both maintain NORAD coverage as well as greater expeditionary capabilities.

(4) Agree as well but accept that it would be a VERY tough sell politically. 8-10 AIP subs might have to be a compromise. Capability-wise 8-10 non-nuclear subs might be better than 4 nuclear subs if that were the choice (due to the extensive extra infrastructure and support costs of adding a nuclear fleet). We should also look at XLUUVs as part of our subsurface fleet.

(5) A nice-to-have but very expensive capability. Not sure the opportunity cost would be worth the other items on the list you may have to give up. Possibly a better solution would be something more like a Mistral or Juan Carlos-type amphibious assault ship. With Maritime Helicopters embarked could be an ASW task-force flagship. Can be used to force project ground troops. Useful in humanitarian missions. If equipped with a ski-jump could embark RAF/US Marine F-35B's even if we don't have our own VTOL/STOL fighters.

(6) More hulls are definitely needed to patrol a coastline the size of ours, to escort US forces deploying to Europe/Asia in case of a major conflict or to provide escorts for a Canadian/Allied task force. Due to manning issues we should look various platform options beyond the CSC (Corvette-type vessels, USV's, arsenal ships, etc.)

Other important capabilities to be added/expanded in my mind (in no particular order) would be:
  • More airborne ISR capabilites (MPAs, UAVs, AEW&C, etc.)
  • Expanded MH fleet (to go along with the expanded surface fleet) - again look at UAVs as part of the mix.
  • More airlift and AAR assets (A330 MRTT as a solution for both?)
  • GBAD for both domestic defence and expeditionary use
  • Multiple enablers to make our expeditionary land forces survivable and useful in a peer conflict (GBAD, Anti-armour weapons, night vision gear, SP artillery, UAV's/loitering munitions, long-range precision fires, etc.)
Yeah, I'd rather get something like a few Mistrals, Americas or Canberras than SSNs. AIPs can do the job.
 

Underway

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I thinks it's ok to specialize in one deployment method.

I think personally (hard for a navy guy to say) but air expeditionary would be better. Number of reasons for this:

  • Air expeditionary is much better for the double hat requirements in domestic response scenarios.
  • We have no strategic need for naval expeditionary land forces in non-arctic environs. We have no pacific islands to invade/protect on our own nor Caribean assets.
  • We already have lots of experience with Air Ex and expanding that capacity would be much easier than standing up a 10-year process to create a navalized infantry situation. It too the Aussies 10 years to get sorted out. It would take us at least as long.
  • We don't go to war alone, so we can slot into NATO as the reinforcements that come by air from across the ocean. Perhaps with a similar situation to the US
Of course, I could be convinced of an LHD sort of situation, where we don't bother with a well-deck and just deploy troops from ships using helicopters. When its not being used for LHD missions it's used to provide ASW and UAV AEW for the naval fleet.
 

quadrapiper

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We should be looking at divesting ourselves of as many buildings as possible. We shouldn’t be in the real estate business. Maintain what’s essential, sell off the rest, lease as required.
Buildings maybe. Land, never, not for any price, cause, or group, unless someone's offering a better-for-CAF-purposes patch as a straight, unencumbered trade and is game to pay for relocating/rebuilding. You'll never get it back, whether you need it for NRDs/armouries/Air Reserve, civil defence contingency storage, warehousing, training space, batteries or arrays of the next greatest thing, mobilization, whatever. Eat the PILT as an investment in long-term resilience.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Buildings maybe. Land, never, not for any price, cause, or group, unless someone's offering a better-for-CAF-purposes patch as a straight, unencumbered trade and is game to pay for relocating/rebuilding. You'll never get it back, whether you need it for NRDs/armouries/Air Reserve, civil defence contingency storage, warehousing, training space, batteries or arrays of the next greatest thing, mobilization, whatever. Eat the PILT as an investment in long-term resilience.
Agreed. Losing Kapyong, Currie, Griesbach, and Wosley were a small, short term profit with long term consequences for the CAF.
 

Humphrey Bogart

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So, people without aptitude to pass a single, simple test are "good soldiers"? That's not intuitive - good soldiers are able to grasp concepts, able to figure things out, able to work under pressure. If a single test can defeat them...

You appear to be from an Army Reserve unit. I'll respectfully suggest that if there's an "us vs them" or "elites and servants" mentality that that is a problem of your unit culture., and not of the CAF, CFAT or recruiting system.
The aptitude test is one of the few things the CAF does that actually makes sense LOL.

Fair. I can admit that I haven't seen how the sausage gets made outside of my own experience.

If you're agreeing that a degree isn't an indicator of ability, why put such weight on a CFAT as well? Seems like a weird bar to set comparatively

A little of both . Aptitude testing is limited in assessing retention, practical learning, and emotional intelligence. All are factors required for success in academia and the work place

In the end, like childs65 stated above, we don't see the fruits of someone's potential until long after they walk in the door of a CFRC.
I had to do an Aptitude Test for my new job. It was based on the Wonderlic Test.

The hiring process was fairly straight forward:

1. Submit Resume/Cover Letter
2. Get Selected, do Aptitude Test
3. If successful, get contacted for interview.
4. Do interview, if successful get contacted for background check + medical screening.
5. Complete background check, medical screening, drug + alcohol testing, sign agreements.
6. Receive offer

Entire process took me 4 weeks. Super easy and entirely transparent throughout.
 
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