Trudeau Chooses Top Military Man From the Navy
In Canadian history, a naval captain has rarely held the helm. However, after almost two decades, PM Justin Trudeau has taken an unprecedented move as he appoints Vice Admiral Art McDonald as the new chief of the defence staff (CDS), formally replacing the retiring General Jonathan Vance.
VA McDonald now becomes the first naval officer to hold the defence chief’s post after a brief stint that Vice-Admiral Larry Murray had when he was appointed on an acting basis amid the fallout of the Somalia scandal in the mid-1990s.The new appointment has a heavy responsibility of overseeing the rollout of the pandemic vaccine programme. The Canadian military has continued to play a major role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Their work has entailed stepping in as the virus ravaged long-term care homes in the spring to supporting the logistical rollout and distribution of highly coveted and limited vaccines supplies.
Making a formal announcement to the media, Mr. Trudeau said, “In his new role as Chief, Vice-Adm. McDonald will oversee the work of the Canadian Armed Forces, including on vaccine rollout through Operation Vector. I know that Vice-Adm. McDonald’s leadership and expertise will be invaluable as the Armed Forces continue to work around the clock to keep Canadians safe.” Defense experts have reasons to believe that indeed VA McDonald’s appointment is a strategic move, showing Canada’s commitment towards to the Navy and the procurement of frigates in the near future. VA McDonald’s will be overseeing the purchase, a military investment that Canada is keen to make.
Further, he will be needed to tackle a number of tough files, including the military’s ongoing efforts to stamp out sexual misconduct within the ranks, as well as a rising campaign to deal with extremism among military members.Geopolitics has become unavoidable worldwide. VA McDonald also brings with a great advantage of a different geo-political perspective to the table because of his time as Pacific fleet commander.