Parliament and Defence Policy: Preparedness or Procrastination?


156 pages
ISBN 0-919769-12-8




Edited by Brian MacDonald

Jean-Guy Quenneville is an associate professor of political studies at
the University of Saskatchewan.


The serious thoughts and deliberations of two dozen prominent Canadians, well versed on our defence policy, are presented to us in this small book. These men (no women are included) — university professors, politicians, journalists and high-ranking former military notables — try to demonstrate that several problem areas persist in Canada’s defence policy. The proceedings of their deliberations are clearly and avowedly published in the hope of interesting the public in this serious matter.

Proceedings of the Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies are arguably not the most appropriate medium for preventing a “crise de conscience” in the general public. Nevertheless, the proceedings make the case that an increased priority should be given to defence, using references to hearings and reports of the Senate sub-committee on national defence and the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on External Affairs and National Defence. The call for a further Green Paper to launch the discussion in public, in addition to the preparation of annual reports, is recognized as a necessary further development in the process of public education in matters of national defence.

The debate over the testing of cruise missiles in Canada’s northlands has, however, created the “crise de conscience” desired by the specialists. The on-going “public” debate on defence is, however, a far cry from what was contemplated by the participants at the Spring 1982 CLSS General Seminar.


“Parliament and Defence Policy: Preparedness or Procrastination?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 30, 2024,