After the tragic deaths of two Canadian Armed Forces members in one week Canadians, including military families are left questioning their safety. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson today offered reassurances.
While the deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo are under investigation, the CAF will strengthen collaborative ties with Government of Canada partners including the Canadian Security and Intelligence Agency, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and local police forces across Canada to assess the current domestic security environment.
These security partners will continue to identify potential threats, then analyze and evaluate the need for additional security measures at CAF installations within the National Capital Region and elsewhere in Canada. Their objective to ensure the on-going safety of military members and the Defence Team, which includes military families.
“Make no mistake these men were killed in cold blood for no other reason than they were serving their country. Canadians can take tremendous heart knowing how quickly various agencies responded to the incident,” said Lawson. “Now we are working together to understand the threat better, to see if there is a trend to the phenomenon.”
As the CAF works with security partners Force Protection measures on and around bases and garrisons will be tightened. Force Protection may include infrastructure changes like guards at gates, and more security where members live. Force Protection allows members to come to work in uniform, and return home in their uniform, but orders them to minimize exposure in public by donning civilian dress before going to restaurants, or going shopping. Lawson has already ordered security at bases and military facilities be increased. “But let me be clear – we will not hide, be deterred or intimidated. The events of October 22 will not shake our resolve. Our deployments in support of the security forces in Iraq will continue unimpeded. Military members departed today and they will continue to deploy.” There will also be multiple classified Force Protection measures taking place.
“In light of recent events, I am proud and thankful that our Canadian Armed Forces men and women stand courageously for peace and stability. Their resilience demonstrates our values internationally,” said The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defence.
Protecting Canadians is the job of the CAF, however this new threat comes from within the Canadian public. These individual domestic attacks remind Canadians they are not immune to threats to safety and security, and that these threats require everyone to be vigilant.