A dumb decision

If this report, from TVA Nouvelles, is correct ~ “The Minister of National Defence Harjit 141106-cmrsj-entreeSingh Sajjan will announce Tuesday that his government will restore the Royal Military College Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to the status of a degree granting university … to mark the 350th anniversary of the city” ~ then the government will be wasting millions and millions of dollars, because that’s what it is going to cost, on an institution that should not  exist even as a glorified CEGEP (Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel) ~ which, in their turn, exist only because Quebec recognizes that its high schools are not preparing students well enough for university.

Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu was closed, along with Royal Roads, in British Columbia, in aerial-19851995, when the defence budget was under stress, because it was finally agreed that Canada did not need and could and should not afford to operate three military universities just to graduate a few hundred new officers each year. It was decided, correctly, that if Canada needed any military university at all ~ a topic for a separate debate ~ it only needed one and it should be at the venerable Kingston campus of the Royal Military College of Canada.

That decision, to close CMR St Jean and Royal Roads, in BC, was never popular with many, especially alumni (many of whom rose to high ranks in the Canadian Armed Forces) and, in the case of CMR, with many Quebecers, including many in national and provincial governments, and in the military, who lamented the loss of a French language institution. It now appears to me as if the whiners and complainers have won and instead of fixing a broken procurement system that cannot even issue boots to soldiers the Trudeau regime will waste scarce defence budget money on the politics of language.

My guess is that this was promised, relatively quietly, in the 2015 campaign because the Trudeau campaign desperately needed to rebuild its Quebec base (from 7 seats in 2011 to 40 in 2015).

Political rational aside, as a policy decision: This is just plain dumb.

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