Fonds 88/85 - J.E. Vance fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

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J.E. Vance fonds

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  • Textual record

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Reference code

CA ON00093 88/85

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  • 1933- (Creation)
    Vance, J.E.

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Physical description

1 m of textual records

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Lt.Gen John Elwood Vance was born in 1933 at Tweed, Ontario. He began his military career in 1952 as an officer cadet at Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario. He was commissioned in the Royal Canadian Infantry Corps in 1956. He then served with 2 Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment (2 RCR) at London, Ontario. In 1965 he served as a company commander at Soest, Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), and in 1971he assumed command of 3 Mechanized Commando at Baden-Soellingen, FRG. From 1973 to 1975 Vance served as Director of Individual Training at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ). In 1975 he was named Director General, Recruiting, Education and Training for the Canadian Forces. In 1976 he assumed command of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, with headquarters at Lahr, FRG. In 1980 he was promoted to Major-general and named Chief of Personnel Careers and Senior Appointments and NDHQ in Ottawa. Promoted to Lieutenant-General in 1983 he assumed the duties of Assistant Deputy Minister (Personnel) until his appointment to Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in June 1985. He retired in August of 1988.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the office papers of Lt-Gen J.E. Vance used in the preparation and implementation of the 1987 White Paper. There are documents regarding a review of Canada’s defence policy, the White Paper process and implementation, the implementation of the new defence policy and the documentation of the White Paper. Includes a wide variety of documents, including memoranda, notes, correspondence, briefings, drafts, working papers, essays and minutes to meetings. There is a very detailed inventory of the contents for each of the fourteen folders at the beginning of the fonds and at the beginning of each folder.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Fonds received 3 August 1988 from Lt-Gen J.E. Vance of the Office of the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff in Ottawa, ON.


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  • English

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    Finding aids

    Copies of the finding aid are located in the first file of the fonds and in the Reading Room at the Directorate of History and Heritage. Electronic copies are also available.

    Associated materials

    The following related material can be found in the Archives:
    An uncatalogued biographical file of J.E. Vance.

    Related materials


    No further accruals are expedted.

    General note

    The White Paper of 1987 was designed to put a Conservative stamp on Canadian defence policies which had been drifting since the early 1970s. It listed the following priorities in order: deterrence of a nuclear attack on North America, non-nuclear defence of western Europe, protection of Canadian sovereignty, peacekeeping and arms control. Its most radical suggestion was for the purchase of 10 to 12 nuclear-powered submarines to operate in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. Although the White Paper stressed the failure of previous governments to close the gap between Canada’s commitments and its capabilities, it too was effectively shelved in the face of a mounting economic crisis.

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