Okanagan MP trumpets Liberal military announcement

New plan will help Canada meet its obligations around the world, says Kelowna Lake Country MP

Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr says the federal government’s new defence policy will mean there will be more Canadian reservists and they will be treated more fairly when they do the same work as their full-time military colleagues.

Fuhr presented the “Strong, Secure, Engaged,” policy to local armed forces personnel and retired soldiers in Kelowna earlier this week, following its release in Ottawa last week.

While the policy is wide-ranging, Fuhr kept his remarks mainly to the role of reserve military personnel during his speech at the armoury in Kelowna.

A former Royal Canadian Air Force fighter pilot, Fuhr said he was pleased to see that the number of reservists in the country will rise by 1,500 to 30,000 and they will be paid the same as their full-time colleagues if they do the same work in similar locations.

He said the new defence policy has been fully costed out and while he agreed some of the big-ticket items the military needs, such as new planes and ships, wont be coming for a while, he said he is confident the money will be there.

Critical of how previous governments—Conservative and Liberal—funded the military, Fuhr said the investments proposed in the new defence policy will strengthen Canada’s reserves as well as its full-time military and help it meet its obligations around the world.

In addition to more reservists and equal pay, the local MP, who is also the head of the parliamentary defence committee, said full-time summer employment will be offered to reservists during their first four years with the reserves, starting in 2018.