OTTAWA — The Canadian Joint Operations Command had an exceptionally busy year in 2023, evacuating Canadians from two countries and deploying troops to areas devastated by wildfires, floods and disasters.
CJOC commander Vice-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie says there’s increasing pressure on the Armed Forces to respond to crises in Canada and around the world.
In 2023, the Armed Forces helped fight wildfires across the country for more than four months.
In a year-end interview, Auchterlonie said there will have to be tradeoffs as Canada sends more troops abroad and climate change continues to cause extreme weather at home.
At the same time, he says he thinks Canadians are “overly comfortable” about their safety in a rapidly changing world.
He says it’s becoming difficult to be a middle power as competition increases between major global players like the U.S., China and Russia.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 31, 2023.
The Canadian Press