House to debate ending conscription today
Legislation designed to end conscription into the island’s military is to be debated in the House of Assembly today.
The Defence Amendment Act 2018, tabled by Wayne Caines, the Minister of National Security, was drawn up to fulfil a General Election promise last year.
Mr Caines, a former Royal Bermuda Regiment officer, said the end of compulsory service is “a critical step in the modernisation of the organisation and transforming it into a broader career choice for Bermudians”.
But a group of former commanding officers predicted the end of conscription would be the “death knell” for the defence force. The Nine Colonels, who fought a rearguard action to block the plan to end conscription, said a volunteer-only service would not attract enough volunteers.
The One Bermuda Alliance administration ended annual conscription in 2015, but left it on the law books as a “last resort”. The RBR has run several volunteer-only recruit camps since then.
The House of Assembly is also expected to have a take-note debate on the 2016 Housing and Population Census Report.
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