Diaspora

Is Canada really going to invade Haiti? – National Post

The entire Canadian Army could provide just 11,000 front-line soldiers, roughly the same amount of personnel as the Toronto Police
First Reading is a daily newsletter keeping you posted on the travails of Canadian politicos, all curated by the National Post’s own Tristin Hopper. To get an early version sent directly to your inbox every Monday to Thursday at 6:30 p.m. ET (and 9 a.m. on Saturdays), sign up here.

Sign up to receive the daily top stories from the National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc.
A welcome email is on its way. If you don’t see it, please check your junk folder.
The next issue of NP Posted will soon be in your inbox.
We encountered an issue signing you up. Please try again

With their country increasingly overrun by gangs, Haiti’s political leaders are now calling for a foreign military intervention to restore order in the Caribbean nation.

While it’s usually the United States that does these kinds of things, this time the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden suggested that Canada should do itan idea that wasn’t immediately dismissed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Canada is very open to playing an important role, but we must have a Haitian consensus,” he said at a summit of La Francophonie in Tunisia.

But with the Canadian military plagued by critical shortages of almost everything as well as one of the worst staffing crises in its history, there are almost no circumstances in which it would be even remotely possible to mount a friendly invasion of Haiti.

Just last month, chief of defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre ordered a halt to all non-essential activities within the Canadian Armed Forces in order to address a staffing shortage that senior officers are now referring to as a “crisis.”

And that’s in addition to Canada’s usual deficiencies in kit and logistics. For one, the Canadian military is unique among G7 nations for having no amphibious capability, which might be a factor in its ability to supply and equip an expeditionary force stationed on a Caribbean island.

It’s telling that as NATO scrambled forces into Eastern Europe over the summer in order to counter Russian moves on Ukraine, the Canadian contribution was on the smaller end.

Canada deployed 700 troops into Latvia to shore up NATO’s eastern flank, easily making it Canada’s largest international military operation. But as of now, Ottawa conspicuously has no air or naval assets in the region. 

After Hurricane Fiona struck the Atlantic Coast, the military was so strapped for manpower that it couldn’t deliver on a request for 1,000 troops from the province of Nova Scotia. They managed only 500, most of whom were already stationed in the province.

Right now, the Canadian Army has roughly 23,000 active-duty personnel – and fewer than half of those are front-line soldiers. So, even if Canada scrambled its entire army into the Caribbean, that’s going to work out to about 11,000 people with guns.

For context, Ontario has a population roughly equivalent to that of Haiti, and they have more than 28,000 sworn police officers. Toronto alone has 7,600 uniformed personnel in its police force, in addition to civilian staff and auxiliaries. And Ontario has nothing like the more than 200 paramilitary gangs currently operating in the Haitian capital alone.

In the 1990s it took a U.S. force of 25,000 to conduct Operation Uphold Democracy, a UN-sanctioned mission to reverse a military overthrow of Haiti’s elected government. 

Haiti is only five years removed from the last time that foreign boots were on its soil. From 2004 to 2017, the country was host to Operation MINUSTAH, a Brazilian-led UN peacekeeping mission that comprised roughly 5,000 soldiers and police, as well as civilian staff.

Notably, MINUSTAH was originally planned to last just six months, but ended up lasting for 13 years. It’s also remembered chiefly for the harms it inflicted on Haiti, including a deadly cholera outbreak and large numbers of illegitimate children left behind by deployed peacekeepers.

Canada has a long history of spearheading military operations within larger coalitional conflicts, most notably during the two world wars. More recently, Canadians led Operation Medusa, a successful 2006 mission to establish government control over a Taliban-dominated sector of Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province.

But it’s been more than a century since the Canadian Armed Forces have gone into combat on their own. Arguably the last time that Canada went to war without allies was in 1885, when 5,000 militia members were sent into Saskatchewan to crush the North-West Rebellion. 

Setting aside the simple logistics of whether Canada could feasibly do battle with Haitian gangs, there are those within diplomatic circles questioning whether it would even be worth the effort.

I don’t think it would be good or effective to send an international mission; you have a lot of issues that need to be fixed before you send a group like that.… You never know when it’s going to end,” Gilles Rivard, a former Canadian Ambassador to Haiti, recently told Global News.

But Rivard noted that Trudeau didn’t commit to any kind of military intervention until it could receive the unanimous support of Haiti’s political leadership – which the former ambassador hinted was extremely unlikely.

#Haiti is calling for international military intervention to combat rising gang violence. This as the country also deals with a cholera outbreak. Former Canadian Ambassador to Haiti Gilles Rivard joins @AntonyRobart to discuss the situation and what Canada could do to help. pic.twitter.com/zEob5l1HY0

The lawyer representing Freedom Convoy was thrown out of the Emergencies Act inquiry today. While the incident will almost inevitably be described as evidence of federal thuggery, it’s worth noting that the lawyer, Brendan Miller, was ejected after intemperately arguing with Commissioner Paul Rouleau. Doing that in any kind of Canadian courtroom setting is a surefire way to get kicked out.

We’ve got three more Senators! That makes 66 that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has appointed to the Red Chamber. Although the Liberals claim that all 66 are “independent” with no political affiliations whatsoever, they do coincidentally manage to provide reliable support for Liberal legislation. Anyways, the new Senators are a pediatrician, a newspaper columnist and a Rear-Admiral who was in change of “culture change” within the Canadian military.

Nili Kaplan-Myrth is a freshly elected trustee to the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board who has garnered a bit of a reputation for holding uncompromising views on masking. She recently called in to an Ottawa talk radio show hosted by Bill Carroll to explain her view that schools should return to forced masking. It … didn’t go well. She accused Carroll of peddling “misinformation” for saying that COVID risks had passed and repeatedly screamed “don’t interrupt me!” when Carroll tried to interject. The host hung up on her after roughly 60 seconds.

Get all of these insights and more into your inbox every weekday at 6 p.m. ET by signing up for the First Reading newsletter here.

Three new beauty products we’ve tried lately.
The wild and wonderful elements of Vancouver Island’s coast are the inspiration point for the designs created by small local jewelry brand Joie Designs.
It’s an ideal venue to enjoy the fresh air while learning about some of Quebec’s native animal species.
A half century later, Reid’s feel-good radio show about his own family Christmases never gets old with listeners.
Personable ideas that aren’t gift cards
Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.
365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4
© 2022 National Post, a division of Postmedia Network Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized distribution, transmission or republication strictly prohibited.
This website uses cookies to personalize your content (including ads), and allows us to analyze our traffic. Read more about cookies here. By continuing to use our site, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

source

What's your reaction?

Excited
0
Happy
0
In Love
0
Not Sure
0
Silly
0

You may also like

More in:Diaspora

Comments are closed.