|My thoughts on the matter:
For starters, Chretien is out. Phase one completed.
I think the first think that needs to be done, is an across the board pay raise for people in our military. I am a fourth year university student in a profession that the CF literally cannot get enough of (and will never, at this rate). I would join but I make more money in 4 hours than I would in a couple of days as a recruit. (Or even a cpl for that matter.) I am not the only one in this boat, I would join but I honestly cannot afford to, the military pays less than minimum wage for new recruits. Raising pay would attract more, and better people that our military needs. Also, there needs to be legislation passed that guarantees our soldiers will have their day-jobs guaranteed if they are called away for their military duties. (Another must if I personally were to join.)
Secondly, more care needs to be given to soldiers suffering from psychological fatigue from being away from their homes and families serving our country. Education programs in the military itself would help. (To those who are not aware of what I specifically am referring to, see post traumatic stress in canada's military on the net.)
Third, increase the training budget. Our soldiers are some of if not the best trained in the world, increase the gap.
Fourth, purchase modern state of the art equipment to furnish our military, not refurbished junk cast-off from some other cuontry. I agree with the policy that anything used by the canadian military must be built in Canada (or as it stands, refurbished.. stupid subs).
Fifth, while furnishing our troops with state of the art equipment for when they need it, continue to train them with a minimal of equipment and force them to scrounge. (Of course, while maintaining their familiarity with the new stuff.) This is -definately- a good thing for any military, as in times of war the ability to make do with what you have can be the difference between victory and annihilation. This is something we are masters at already with our tanks, sea kings, and other assorted flotsam, (see Boeing buying old canadian military planes to research how the CF managed to keep them operating for far past their projected lifetimes.), and losing this edge would be a shame.
Sixth: Legislate a pile of roadblocks that must be passed in order for any new ruling party to reduce CF funding. This will help keep any ruling party from unilaterally decided to chop the military to give more money to chretiens golfcourse or whatnot.
Seventh, make sure that any purchases made (ie: strykers) do not affect the capability of our forces UNLESS sufficient research and thought has gone into it. It pisses me off to no end that we are buying 66 strykers with armour incapable of defeating even the most basic weaponry that can be scrounged up by any half competant terrorist or militant, to replace 100 some odd tanks. WITHOUT any sort of policy review!!! GRRRRR
Thoughts welcome! Please post!