A Podcast Called INTREPID

Discussing and debating Canadian national security law and politics

Ep 47 Calling in the Big Guns

The Canadian Armed Forces is off to Mali on a peace-making mission. And with forest fire season in full swing, it may be that the CAF will be called out to assist in disaster relief sometime in the next weeks. So, in this podcast, Stephanie and Craig invited Major General (ret) Blaise Cathcart, Canada’s former Judge Advocate General, to walk us through how CAF deployments work. We focus first on the international dimension, examining: how the Prime Minister and Cabinet can authorize an international deployment; the means of civilian control over the military; the scope of the “crown/royal prerogative” over defence, and its broader significance; and whether international deployment standards should be legislated. We then pivot to domestic deployments, ranging from assistance to law enforcement at major international conferences such as the G7 through to public service in respect to assisting in disaster relief. On this topic, we examine the assortment of rules that govern how these deployments are made and the powers and responsibilities that the CAF has in them. When the military turns out, there is a whole machinery that has been kicked into motion. Listen in if you want to understand all the moving gears.