A long running cadet training program in Kingston has once again been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosted at the Royal Military College, HMCS Ontario is among an entire slate of in-person overnight cadet programs being cancelled this summer.
The announcement was first made in a Canadian Cadet General Order to Cadet Instructor Cadre Officers on March 25th. On the following day, commodore Josee Kurtz, Commander of Cadets and Junior Rangers released a video to cadets explaining their rationale to cadets.
“The safety and security of the youth who participate in our programs is always my top priority,” commodore Kurtz said in the video release.
“This, combined with our commitment to developing in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, makes it clear to me that Canada’s cadet program could not in good faith carry on with our planned overnight summer activities this year,” Kurtz added.
In 2020, Plans were under way to create a hybrid model of in-person and online training summer, which would allow certain types of training to go forward. However, commodore Kurts explained that this was dependent on the current COVID-19 climate.
Instead, the cadet program will be seeking to facilitate a combination of localized training courses and virtual courses. “The localized courses that are being planned include a small engine repair course, a drone operators course, an aircraft maintenance course and a marine maintenance course,” said colonel Adam Carlson in a video release. The programs will be offered where health measures allow.
HMCS Ontario has been in operation as a Royal Canadian Sea Cadet summer training centre since 1977. The training centre annually hosts over 800 cadets from across Canada and is known for their advanced sailing courses, where they participate in Kingston’s CORK.
Those who have been offered employment at the camp will be given alternate employment opportunities this summer.