Canada’s top soldier issues a warning against working with other militaries – National |

Canada’s top soldier and a deputy minister are warning members of the Canadian Forces against working and sharing information with militaries “whose interests diverge from our own.”

In a statement posted Thursday, Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and Deputy Minister Bill Matthews warn that recent reports have raised concerns about former Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilots possibly sharing their knowledge and expertise with armed forces of other nations.

“(O)ur adversaries and competitors actively and aggressively strive to enhance their own capabilities, knowledge, and expertise by harnessing Canada’s experiences and those of our allies,” the statement says.

“All Defence Team members, civilian and military, serving and retired, must be alive to this stark reality. This is real.”

The statement comes three weeks after the RCMP announced it is investigating former RCAF training Chinese fighter pilots – which also follows a report from last year that Beijing was looking to recruit pilots from NATO countries.

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Canada, Australia blast ‘irresponsible’ Chinese pilots, Beijing issues warning

Thursday’s statement from Eyre and Matthews, the military’s top soldier and the top bureaucrat responsible for the defence department, said the reports serve as a sober reminder for CAF members to protect the information and skills members gain throughout their careers.

“Safeguarding this information is a cornerstone of our ability to conduct activities and operations, both at home and abroad with our allies and partners. Sensitive information and knowledge must be appropriately protected from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, transmission, disposal, or destruction,” they write.

They go on to say that it’s crucial current and former CAF members understand that even unclassified information can be sensitive and disclosing it could harm the interests of Canada and its partners.

“Unauthorized disclosure or misuse of information can have severe consequences for Canada’s national security.”

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The message says the CAF and the Department of National Defence are improving their internal processes so employees have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities after leaving either organization.

— with a file from Global’s Aaron D’Andrea

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