MND Message : Upcoming appointment of the new Chief of the Defence Staff

December 29, 2020 – Defence Stories

Message from the Minister of National Defence

To All Staff,

As the Defence Team prepares for a holiday season that is bound to look quite different than those in years past, I would like to extend my best wishes to everyone who has helped our organization through these unprecedented times.

This has been a tough year, and whether you are a member of our Canadian Armed Forces or a public service employee, you have been asked to show resilience and a level of service to Canadians that has been felt across the country and around the world. You have my sincere thanks and utmost respect for all that you do.

Today, Prime Minister Trudeau announced the appointment of Vice-Admiral Art McDonald as Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff. I want to extend my congratulations to Vice-Admiral McDonald for his appointment during this critical time. Over the coming days and weeks, General Vance and Vice-Admiral McDonald will begin their transition with the Change of Command taking place the week of January 11th.

I also would like to take a moment to thank General Vance for his dedication and service to Canada. Over the past five years, General Vance has served with distinction as the Chief of the Defence Staff. Under his leadership, the Canadian Armed Forces were always well-prepared to respond to disasters like floods and forest fires, security challenges around the world, and, most recently, a health pandemic. His sense of duty was always driven towards looking after the members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families.

Vice-Admiral McDonald will continue the work started by General Vance, continuing the transformative culture change to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces will have zero tolerance for sexual misconduct and harassment while eliminating hateful conduct and systemic racism from the organization.

He will also continue with our significant investments as outlined in the Defence Policy Strong, Secure, Engaged. This fully funded 20-year road map makes sure that our military can meet the challenges of the evolving security environment. For Canada to continue to be a reliable partner, we needed this plan that allows Canada to be agile and adaptable in the face of new and emerging threats. By continuing these investments, we will strengthen the Canadian Armed Forces and will support our members in the hard work we ask of them, both at home and abroad.

We know that investing in defence will be critical to the post-COVID economy. It is why our government increased the spending for national defence by $8.9 billion in the Fall Economic Statement, giving us the flexibility needed to make the investments necessary to support the Canadian Armed Forces through the pandemic and beyond. We also will continue to work with our American partner and ally to modernize NORAD to support continental defence so it is able to face the challenges of the 21st century. All of these important investments support Canada’s contribution to North American defence, and global peace and stability.

The entire Defence Team will work to ensure that we remain ready to help Canadians as we get through this pandemic and all other security challenges that Canada may face. Again, let me congratulate Vice-Admiral McDonald on his appointment and thank General Vance for his decades of dedicated service.

Every year, many members the Defence Team sacrifice time with their loved ones to uphold their roles in service to Canada. This year, an even greater number of you will be spending the holiday season apart. We continue to make these changes to keep our families and our neighbours safe, but that doesn’t mean we cannot connect via phone, video calls, or email to help keep a sense of community.

On behalf of all Canadians, I extend my deepest thanks for all you do each and every day.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and all the best throughout the season.

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of National Defence

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