December 3, 2020
Today, retired Canadian Forces Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie, affirmed his opposition to privatization of services at the Department of National Defence. He supports the recommendations contained in the report In the interest of safety and security: The case for ending the privatization of Department of National Defence services. Leslie served as Chief of the Land Staff/Army Commander for four years at the height of the latest Afghan War.
“I have read the report and I agree with its conclusions,” said General Leslie. “In my experience, in the long term, contracting out invariably costs more and provides poorer quality service. I encourage the Minister of National Defence to act on these recommendations.”
Released in late October, the report demonstrates that the privatization of civilian work at the Department of National Defence (DND) is not a cost-saving solution and is counter-productive to our military’s need to be mission-ready at all times.
“In the field, during the Afghan War, we relied on teams of public servants to keep our equipment operational. Armoured vehicles during final training exercises would see 18 hours of tough use every day, and required heavy maintenance each and every night. Top-notch, qualified, experienced civilian public service workers did this month after month, year after year at the same costs and with an unquestioned commitment to operational success. Good luck trying to do this with private contractors while the company is pocketing an ever-increasing profit, especially if the emergency continues for years,” said General Leslie.
“Public sector workers and Canada’s men and women in uniform know each other and work well side by side. Let’s keep it that way.”
PSAC National President, Chris Aylward, and UNDE National President, June Winger, welcome General Andrew Leslie’s support of the report.
“It’s clear that years of contracting out this important work has left our Armed Forces vulnerable. The government should move quickly to implement the recommendations of this report,” said Chris Aylward.
“General Leslie’s support demonstrates how important it is to have public service workers do the critical civilian work on our military bases, and the need to keep up the pressure on our government to make sure these changes happen,” said June Winger.