As City Council debates the Shelter Crisis and whether to open the armouries, we have heard from the Federal Government confirming and clarifying that if City Council formally requests and submits a proposal to the Canadian Armed Forces and Department of Defence, they will consider the request, in consideration of their role to support civilian authorities during any crisis in Canada. Clearly, the federal government is ready to act, will the Mayor and City Council?
The following information is the official position of the Minister of Defense:
On the Armouries:
• The Canadian Armed Forces stand ready to offer assistance in support of civilian authorities during any crisis in Canada, including the use of our armouries as shelters for the homeless, wherever and whenever required.
• If called upon by the Government, the Canadian Armed Forces complements and enhances provincial and local resources with unique capabilities, including military personnel and equipment.
• The Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have significant infrastructure across Canada, including buildings and armouries that allow us to rapidly respond to the needs of Canadians. Should the request be made to use our armouries to shelter vulnerable Canadians, each request will be looked at and determined based on each specific situation.
• Commanders at every level within the CAF build and maintain relationships with their respective municipal and provincial partners so that they understand how their military serve Canadians at home and abroad.
• Strong relationships with our provincial partners are what enable the CAF to rapidly respond to provincial requests for assistance to situations such as the Northern Ontario Kashechewan (Kah-sheh-sha-wan) First Nation flood, the British Columbia forest fires, or the ice storm in New Brunswick. All of which, and more, happened in 2017 alone.
• The DND/CAF cherish the relationships that we have built with our community partners. They give us a place to call home and they enable everything we do.