While Air Cadets in Canada were actually started in British Columbia circa 1938, the Air Cadet League of Canada was not chartered until April 1941. Following that process the provinces were then signed up. Nova Scotia joined the national effort on 03 May 1943.
The Charter members were Senator The Honourable W. Mcl. Robertson, (pictured) Chairman, W.E Donovan, Vice Chairman, W.T. White, Treasurer, and Directors Messers C.W. Stairs and C.F. Fraser. Please click here for a list of Past Chairmen.
There are now twelve Provincial and Territorial Committees providing direction, guidance and support to the Air Cadet movement in Canada for over 72 years.
The Air Cadet program is open to the youth of Canada who are between the ages of 12 and 18 years. Administered jointly by the Department of National Defence and the air Cadet League of Canada, the program offers a wide variety of training and exciting challenges and rewards to those young people who have chosen to take part in this program. There are no fees or costs to youth or their families to join Air Cadets and uniforms are supplied free of charge. While the program is military based, there is no obligation for a cadet to join the Canadian Armed Forces when he or she finishes their cadet career. However, those cadets who choose to pursue a career in the Canadian Military certainly have an advantage and insight as to what to expect in their chosen career.
The Air Cadet League today is comprised of three levels throughout the country; The National Organization, the Provincial/Territorial Committees, and the Squadron Sponsoring Committees.
The air Cadet League is a very large organization which assists the Department of National Defence in administering Air Cadet training on all three levels through the country. The Air Cadet League provides a voice in Canada for the Air Cadet movement as a whole, so that the Canadian public is kept aware of the accomplishments and capabilities of the movement and of its ability to fulfill its aims.
The Nova Scotia Provincial Committee comprises approximately 70 unpaid volunteers who administer in excess of 30 Sponsoring Committees from the provincial office which is located in Halifax. The main areas of responsibility of the Nova Scotia Provincial Committee include:
- Formation of new Squadrons.
Assisting with the recruitment of officers and cadets into the program.
Maintaining our fleet of tow planes, gliders, launch vehicles and hanger which has been valued in excess of $850,000.
The administration, guidance and support of Sponsoring Committees in the province of Nova Scotia.
One of the requirements in forming a Squadron is that a proposed unit has a Sponsor who in turn will appoint a Sponsoring Committee. The main areas of responsibility for the Sponsoring Committee are:
- Finding and maintaining suitable quarters to house the Squadron.
Financing and raising funds to pay all the costs of squadron operations which are not
covered by the Department of National Defence.
Recruiting of officers and cadets.
Organizing social events.
On a national basis, individual Sponsoring Committees generate in excess of $6.5 million annually in supporting their units, while provincial committees raise in excess of $1 million. Quite apart from the financial considerations, however, are the efforts of the thousands of Air Cadet League personnel across the country in assisting Squadrons and Sponsoring Committees in meeting their objectives.