Happenings: Cadets Visit Parliament and More…

RMC Trip to Parliament 2018

Article by 28098 OCdt (III) Hannah Hollander

A group of 26 RMC Naval and Officer Cadets studying Canadian political institutions had the privilege to tour Parliament Hill for the day on 8 November 2018. The Cadets were accompanied by their professor who organized the trip, Dr. Stephanie Chouinard, two exchange cadets from West Point and the Helmut-Schmidt University in Germany, as well as Mme Chayer, the Commandant’s wife. The trip helped students connect the theory of their studies to the practical applications in the federal government. The trip is a longstanding annual tradition supported by H7543 Senator Joseph Day, a former RMC cadet.

The students started their morning off in the Privy Council Office (PCO) with a meeting with Mr. John Hannaford, the Foreign and Defence Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. Mr. Hannaford talked about the role of the non-partisan public service, and how he has worked as an advisor for both Stephen Harper and Justin Trudeau.

Following the PCO, the students were given a tour of the Senate Chamber by Senator Day, where they learned of its history. They then had lunch with Senator Day and Senator Jane Cordy to discuss NATO and Canada’s defence policy. In the middle of enjoying their sandwiches, the Minister of National Defense, Harjit Sajjan, stopped by for a surprise visit to say hello before catching his flight to Romania. The students also met with Mr. James Bezan, the co-Vice-Chair of the Standing Commission on National Defence. After an exciting lunch, the students proceeded to take in the entertainment of Question Period in the House of Commons. Everyone had a good laugh at the theatrics of the Opposition, and the repetitive answers from the Government.

The students then had the honour of meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for a candid conversation open to lots of questions about Canadian policies and managing foreign relations.

Next, the students met with Mr. Randall Garrison, the co-Vice-Chair of the Standing Commission on National Defence, and representative for LGBTQ+ Canadians. Bringing everything a bit closer to home, the students then met with Mr. Mark Gerretsen, the Member of Parliament for the Kingston-and-the-Islands region, and Mr. Stephen Fuhr Chair of the Standing Commission on National Defence, and retired military pilot. Throughout the trip, the students were reminded of the important democratic role the Opposition plays in challenging the House to make the best decisions for Canadians, while remaining respectful and professional.

To conclude the exciting, educational, and busy day, the students had dinner at the Parliamentary restaurant with LCol Ryan Smith who is currently working in the PCO. Before succumbing to their exhaustion on the bus back to Kingston, the students all recounted their favourite parts of the day. All agreed that the trip has been one of their greatest highlights while attending RMC, and they wish to thank the RMC Foundation for making this trip possible once again this year.

Voyage du CMR au Parlement du Canada 2018

Par 28098 Elof (III) Hannah Hollander 

Un groupe de 26 élèves-officiers et aspirants de marine du CMR du cours Institutions politiques canadiennes ont eu le privilège de visiter la Colline parlement le 8 novembre 2018. Les cadets étaient accompagnés de la professeure ayant organisé le voyage, Dr. Stéphanie Chouinard, deux élèves-officiers de West Point et de l’Université Helmut-Schmidt en échange au CMR, ainsi que Mme Karine Chayer, la femme du Commandant. Le voyage a permis aux étudiants de faire des liens entre les théories apprises durant leurs études et leurs applications plus pratiques au sein du gouvernement fédéral. Ce voyage est une longue tradition du département de Science politique et est soutenue par H7543 le Sénateur Joseph Day, un ancien Élof du CMR.

Les étudiants ont entamé leur journée au Bureau du conseil privé (BCP) avec une rencontre avec M. John Hannaford, le conseiller en matière de politique étrangère et de défense auprès du premier ministre. M. Hannaford a discuté du rôle non partisan de la fonction publique, en donnant des exemples de son travail avec Stephen Harper et Justin Trudeau.

Ensuite, les étudiants ont eu droit à une visite de la Chambre du Sénat par le Sénateur Day, où ils ont appris l’histoire de cette institution. Ils ont ensuite dîné avec le Sénateur Day et la Sénatrice Jane Cordy pour discuter de l’OTAN et de la politique de défense canadienne. Pendant le lunch, le Ministre de la défense nationale, Harjit Sajjan, est venu leur faire une visite surprise pour les saluer avant de prendre un vol vers la Roumanie. Les Élofs ont aussi rencontré M. James Bezan, le co-vice-président de la Commission permanente sur la Défense nationale. Après le dîner, les étudiants ont pu profiter de la période des questions à la Chambre des Communes. Tout le monde a eu du plaisir à observer le théâtre qui se jouaient entre membres de l’opposition et du gouvernement.

Les étudiants ont ensuite eu l’honneur de rencontrer le Premier ministre, Justin Trudeau, pour une conversation candide ouverte à plusieurs questions sur les politiques du gouvernement et sur la gestion des relations étrangères. Ils ont aussi rencontré M. Randall Garrison, le co-vice-président de la Commission permanente de la Défense nationale et représentant des Canadiens LGBTQ+. Ils ont aussi pu discuter d’enjeux plus rapprochés avec M. Mark Gerretsen, le député pour la circonscription de Kingston-les-îles, et avec M. Stephen Fuhr, le président du Comité permanent à la Défense nationale et pilote militaire à la retraite. Pendant la journée, les étudiants se sont fait rappeler l’importance du rôle démocratique que joue l’Opposition dans la Chambre des communes afin de prendre les meilleures décisions pour les Canadiens, tout en demeurant respectueux et professionnel.

Pour conclure cette journée excitante, formatrice, et bien remplie, les étudiants ont soupé au Restaurant Parlementaire en compagnie du LCol Ryan Smith, qui travaille présentement pour le Bureau du Conseil privé. Avant de succomber à la fatigue dans l’autobus sur la route du retour vers Kingston, les Élofs se sont racontés leurs parties préférées de la journée. Tous ont convenu que ce voyage a été l’un des meilleurs moments de leur séjour au CMR et ils souhaitent remercier la Fondation des CMR d’avoir rendu ce voyage possible une fois de plus cette année.


Professional Development – First Years


This week’s PD discussed the resources and the support that the military provides for its member. A Div. received a brief by from the health promotion staff, which is a branch of the PSP (Personal Support Programs). They presented a vast amount of information to the Div. Information retaining to the amount of substance the one should intake on an hourly basis, such as cannabis and alcohol.

The staff indicated that one should indulge these substances to a degree in order to remain coherent and prevent poor decision to occur. They reminded us the policies that are in place to keep Canadian Armed Force Members operationally ready. These substances like cannabis and alcohol, affect a member’s ability to train in an operational environment.

The presenters also discussed the side effects and various ways to consume cannabis. They presented this to us because they encourage us to consume this substance as safe as possible.

The Health Promotion staff also reminded us the legality of consuming cannabis and that driving under the influence is not tolerated. While on cannabis, some experience this drug differently. Some get anxious, fatigue and mood swings. They then discussed the statistics of the number of Canadians that have consumes cannabis and the number of young Canadians that are consuming it as well. The PD concluded with staff providing A Div with resources and programs that they offer. They encouraged the Div to remain mindful and to indulge to a safe degree with these substances.


Second Years

The second-year PD of November 14th consisted a one-hour AAR on the recent sexual harassment small group engagements, fallowed by one hour of academic time. The results of the AAR were as follows. Cadets liked that fourth-year cadets lead the small group engagements, while still allowing for an engaging conversation for all involved.

The choice to separate males from females was also discussed and it was explained that mixed sex small group engagements will be happening in the future. The importance of talking about sexual harassment and consent was reaffirmed.

Surprisingly the hour of academic time was very well received by all involved.


Third Years – Interview techniques from different sides of the desk

Whether RMC’s third years will be interviewers or interviewees, they will know how to prepare for and act during any type of interview.

In small groups, lead by their squadron commanders, the third years were presented with essential interview techniques and examples of different interviews that they will encounter as junior officers.

Whether it be interviewing each of their troops for the first time, or conducting an initial counseling interview, the cadets will know how to engage the interviewee and ask the right questions. Not to mention, that it is equally important to know how to act professionally and have confidence while being the interviewee.

Overall, this week’s PD session taught a valuable skill, and one that is very applicable to being an officer in the CAF.

Fourth Years – No report this week




One Comment

  • 7440 DB Struthers

    November 19, 2018 at 7:17 pm

    Ladies . Gentlemen. Does anyone else “ fallow “ that this has not been edited by anyone who actually writes English ? I mean really . The very first line- “..the support the military provides for its member. “ Really ?
    Perhaps some professional development.