Red Cross calls for civilian force, less reliance on military for disaster response

OTTAWA — The head of the Canadian Red Cross says the country needs to better prepare for natural disasters and reduce its reliance on the Canadian Armed Forces.

Conrad Sauvé says natural disasters are becoming more common and more severe placing incredible strain on governments and organizations such as the military.

He says it has highlighted a lack of proper planning and preparation for such emergencies.

Sauvé believes Canada needs to rely less on the military and instead build a civilian force to respond as once-in-a-century storms and disasters become annual events.

Sauvé was testifying at the House of Commons defence committee which is studying how often the military is being deployed within Canada following a major weather event.

But his comments also come as hundreds of Canadian soldiers and Red Cross volunteers are helping Atlantic Canadians pickup the pieces following Hurricane Fiona.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press