For the first time since the pandemic, the Royal Canadian Navy has been able to host its Defence on the Dock event.
Since 2017, the annual event is meant to show the general public an insight into how the navy operates, and potentially recruit new people to join.
Capt (N) Jeff Hutchinson, CFB Esquimalt base commander, says the Canadian Naval Forces are in need of workers and hopes to have actual officers show their talents to the public will help solve that problem.
“Not dissimilar to the rest of our economy, we are challenged on all fronts in order to recruit people both into the public service and into the Canadian Armed Forces and into the Royal Canadian Navy,” said Hutchinson. “There is no better ambassador for what we do than the people that actually do it.”
The event featured officers showing how they navigate through smoke, climb through sea containers, and operate bomb disposal robots. During the opening ceremonies, it was highlighted just how much of an impact the navy has on the economy.
Bruce Williams, CEO of the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, says the Royal Canadian Navy is the third-largest employer in the capital region among other things.
“Six-thousand-five-hundred employees work on the base, the payroll is about $440 million. That’s a lot of money being injected into our economy,” said Williams.
Williams added the navy is also a big volunteer driver in the community, with every single volunteer averaging 125 hours a year.