NDP proposes new offices to tighten civilian control over the military

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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OTTAWA - The NDP is urging new measures to put a tighter civilian rein on the military.
They're calling for the creation of a civilian inspector general's office and for the appointment of a civilian as judge advocate general, the top military legal officer.
Party defence critic Jack Harris says there aren't enough mechanisms to ensure the military is fully accountable.
An inspector general with the power to look at procurement, conduct audits, investigate complaints and report directly to Parliament would help close that gap, he says.
The Somalia inquiry called for the appointment of a civilian inspector general back in the 1990s, but that was ignored by subsequent governments, both Liberal and Conservative.
Paul Dewar, the NDP foreign affairs critic, says a civilian judge advocate general would increase public confidence in military justice.
Harris said the appointments would reinforce civilian control.
"What we need is a stronger civilian oversight to ensure accountability to all Canadians," said Harris.
"Creating this position of the inspector general would boost the integrity and efficiency of the Canadian Forces and boost confidence inside and outside the military."
Dewar and Harris admit it will be an uphill climb to get these reforms in place.

Organizations: NDP, Canadian Forces

Geographic location: OTTAWA, Somalia

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