If you're a resident of Saskatoon or the surrounding area and are interested in joining the Canadian Forces the processs may soon get a bit more difficult. The Department of National Defence is considering closing 9 recruiting centres across Canada, including the one at the corner of 22nd Street and Forth Avenue in downtown Saskatoon, as a cost cutting measure. They're considering relying more on the Internet for initial recruitment in rural areas.
It could be argued that Saskatoon doesn't need a separate recruiting office. Recruiters could be stationed in Sgt. Hugh Cairns VC Armoury or HMCS Unicorn, the homes of Army and Navy Reserve activities in Saskatoon respectively. But it seems a bit ironic that recruiting activities are being considered for contraction in the middle of the F35 controversy. It might give some people the impression that fancy equipment is more important to the Forces than the people to actually use it. It also follows a report this week that the RCAF is trying to recruit former Royal Air Force pilots who are looking for work as a result of the UK's own controversial defense cuts.
And speaking of defense spending, I have to wonder how much last year's decision to revive the Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force designations is costing.(Before you ask, no, the Canadian Army was never the Royal Canadian Army.) The move was a rather meaningless PR act. It has no effect on operational effectiveness, and soaked up money that could be used on more meaningful projects. After all changing vehicle markings, uniform badges, paperwork etc. etc. actually does cost money to do.