We know that some 7,000 Canadians served in the South African War, approximately 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders enlisted during the First World War, more than one million served in the Second World War, more than 26,000 served in the Korean War, and several hundred thousand have served in the Canadian Armed Forces since then.
But knowing how many veterans Canada has today is critical to knowing whether “they’re asking for more than we are able to give right now,” as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so inelegantly put it during a town hall meeting in February 2018. To be fair, he also said “I will continue to pledge that I will do right by you.”
One way the federal government can do right by our veterans is to know how many there are.
It has been almost a half century since the 19...