For South Surrey-White Rock MP Kerry-Lynne Findlay, being named Conservative Shadow Minister for National Defence puts her in familiar territory.
Findlay, who was appointed to the post Nov. 9 by Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, noted that she was formerly Associate Minister of Defence in the Stephen Harper government, before becoming Minister of National Revenue.
In a media release following her appointment, Findlay said she was looking forward to “working with Leader Erin O’Toole and my Conservative colleagues to keep the Trudeau Liberal government to account on all defence-related matters.”
Findlay told Peace Arch News she feels strongly that all arms of the Canadian armed forces have been neglected by the Liberal government over the past six years.
“It’s certainly important that our serving men and women and veterans feel respected, and that they can serve without harassment of any kind,” she said.
“(Investigation) of sexual harassment in the military is an important file,” she added, noting that both women and men have reported being victimized by sexual harassment and that the issue “touches some of the highest levels of command.”
“I don’t believe the Liberals have taken it seriously enough,” she added. “It’s not good enough – they have to show leadership.”
Another key issue, Findlay said, is neglect of providing equipment to those in service.
She said that she has heard from current serving members of the armed forces that they are having to purchase such basic items of equipment like back packs and sleeping bags because they are not being supplied.
These are necessary items, Findlay said, that “men and women in uniform require to fill their missions.”
National security is also a concern, she said, noting that maintaining partnerships such as NATO, NORAD and the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance (between the U.S., Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) is vital to the defence of Canada.
“Recently, the U.S., Britain and Australia announced a new defence pact (the ‘Indo-Pacific Defense partnership’) and we were left out of it,” she said. “We have to make sure that that kind of thing doesn’t happen in the future.”
In her media release Findlay noted that she has an extended an offer of collaboration to Liberal Defence Minister Anita Anand to “ensure all serving women and men in Canada’s military are treated with respect and to ensure that Canadians are kept safe in an uncertain world.”