Here is an important update from the Formation Commander, BGen Cochrane, regarding training in September:
Despite Canadian society’s ability to mitigate the health risks posted by COVID-19 through public health measures, testing and contact tracing, it remains unknown when, and how, the situation in Canada may support a full return to normalcy.
COVID-19 will remain a threat to the Canadian public for the foreseeable future. It will require increased vigilance, and deliberate planning as we prepare to safely resume limited in-person activities.
The conditions forced upon us by this pandemic have provided us with a unique opportunity to determine how we can deliver our programs in a safe and effective manner, despite the challenges of social isolation and physical distancing.
The Cadet Program has built a reputation for providing youth with experiences they can’t get anywhere else, and 2020 will be no exception. Although the safety and security of all who participate in our programs will remain my top priority, I have directed my staff to begin exploring the conditions upon which limited in-person activities may resume. These conditions will not only ensure our safety, but the safety of the communities we serve. I am committed to ensuring that the Cadet and Junior Canadian Rangers (JCR) programs do not become a vector for transmission of this virus.
To this end, I have issued a Tasking Order to augment our Campaign Plan, outlining the move to Phase 3 within a COVID environment for the 2020-2021 training year.
I recognize that the rules on public health measures issued by the Government of Canada, provinces, territories, regions, cities and municipalities may vary widely from location to location. However, the resumption of in-person cadet activities must adhere to the most restrictive guidelines provided by all levels of government. Activities will not be permitted to resume prior to the completion of the COVID-19 Awareness Course by all adult staff, and the issuing of non-medical masks from the organization.
Additional details of this plan are available from your respective chains of command. Some key points I would like to underscore include:
- No in-person activities will resume prior to 1 September 2020;
- Any mitigation efforts are to avoid solutions that incur costs to our League partners and sponsoring committees.
- There shall be no overnight component to any training activities or programs until further notice.
- Cadets and JCRs will not be disadvantaged for not completing aspects of the program due to physical distancing or public health measures.
- International travel will not be authorized, including travel to the United States prior to 31 August 2021, to include exchanges and recreational trips.
- An insurance waiver may need to be signed by all participants of the Cadet Program.
- No in-person fundraising activities involving cadets or adult staff will be authorized.
Although these directives may seem restrictive, I am happy to announce that I have also directed each region to trial the one-week General Training (GT) day course during the 2021 March Break, with intent to implement this initiative on a larger scale for the 2021 summer training period, circumstances permitting.
This information is not exhaustive. Corps and Squadron Commanding Officers are encouraged to consult the detailed tasking order that has been sent to them via email to ensure they are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and security of all who are involved in the Cadet Program.
As we move forward into the unknown, I am confident that the many Cadet Instructor Cadre officers, members of Cadet Organization Administration and Training Service, civilian volunteers, instructors and most importantly cadets and Junior Canadian Rangers, will continue to display the courage and determination that has become a hallmark of the Cadet and JCR programs.