Do the Canadian Armed Forces have a place in schools?
The Canadian Armed Forces was working to recruit high school students at the annual English Montreal School Board career fair this week, prompting complaints from a Quebec coalition of major teacher and student unions.
The fair featured kiosks with specialty schools, cegeps, universities, private firms - as well as the Royal Military College, the Naval reserves, and the 34 Canadian Brigade Group.
"I'm a recruiter just like any other HR recruiter in any other company. But, for me and my directive, we provide information," said Sgt. Paul Dube.
Dube told students RMC offers a fully-subsidized education, including a cegep diploma, a university degree, and jobs in more than 100 fields when they're finished.
Some students were enthusiastic about the idea of joining the forces.
"Army recruiting... It's not bad, man. I mean, you know, serve the country, that kind of stuff. Rock on Canada!" said one male student.
Responding to complaints about the military's presence from teachers unions, Lew Lewis, director of student services at the EMSB assured teachers the kiosks are not meant to recruit students. There were no application forms on hand; merely information.
"This is information. We're not advocating Afghanistan and sending troops to Afghanistan. It's just one of the options that students should be aware of in terms of vocational choice down the road," said Lewis, adding that he's never received complaints from parents or students regarding the military presence.
"This is really inspiring. I really like the job. I mean, first I thought it would be really scary but then after, when I talked to the officers, they explained how you could take part-time jobs. It's really beneficial," said one student after speaking with officers.