Message from the Chief of Defence Staff

Ladies and Gentlemen,

By now many of you will be aware of the incident today in which Corporal Nathan Cirillo was shot, and later died of his wounds. Corporal Cirillo fell while standing guard over Canada’s National War Memorial. This cowardly attack on our member, and on our institution – will not shake our resolve. It will in fact strengthen it.

 We will take appropriate precautionary measures as we move forward to reduce unnecessary risks, and we will continue our efforts to defend Canadians and Canadian interests, both at home and abroad, with steadfast resolve. We will not be deterred.

 On my order, the Commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command has issued direction for bases across Canada to increase local Force Protection measures as appropriate. In the National Capital Region, this resulted in the lock-down of all Canadian Armed Forces facilities. While this lock-down has since been lifted, beginning tomorrow members in the NCR have been instructed to not wear their uniforms when travelling to and from their places of work. This is to be a temporary measure.  The intent will be to resume wearing uniforms when transiting to and from our place of duty as soon as practicable.

 This order was not given lightly. As Canadian Armed Forces members, we wear our uniforms with pride and we will continue to do so. However, with the recent attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in which we lost Warrant Officer Vincent, and with the shooting in Ottawa today, this is viewed as an appropriate and measured response.

  I have further instructed the CJOC Commander to develop and issue updated Force Protection instructions CAF-wide to include restricting access to DND bases and facilities. Additional information on this will be forthcoming. These orders build on other measures that have been implemented in recent days to increase security.

 In the days to come we will continue to monitor this space, and may take further action. The safety and security of our members, our families, and our civilian partners depend on this diligence.

I am proud of the work that you do, of the operational excellence that you demonstrate in service to our country, and of all that we are able to accomplish together. You, and your families, should be proud too.

TJ Lawson
Chief of Defence