It happened following the 1995 budget, when substantial cuts were made. In a spirit of fairness, the government decided to shut down the Royal Roads Military College and the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean.
However, the closing of the Collège militaire has had a long-term impact because the college played a special role. First of all, the student officers at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston often spent a year or a semester in Saint-Jean taking French courses. Closing down Saint-Jean had an effect on the francophone recruitment effort and on the long-term linguistic capacity of the Canadian Forces, since the officers emerging from Kingston did not have the same learning opportunities as the senior officers.
In the early 1990s, a number of books claimed that the Canadian Forces had really turned a corner on bilingualism, that there had been some achievements and that they were on the right track. The closing of the college was a setback. It was harder for the Canadian Forces. Several generations of officers have not had the same learning opportunities as those who received their entire training at the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean or who spent a year or a semester there.
That wasn't intentional. There was no intention to reduce the linguistic capacity of the Canadian Forces. The decision was made in good faith, in a spirit of fairness. In fact, if cuts were made in Victoria, they should also be made in Saint-Jean. However, there has been a considerable long-term effect and we still see it today.
When Mr. O'Connor was minister of National Defence, he decided to restore the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, but to make it a CEGEP. They intended to restore Saint-Jean and make it a university, but they haven't reached that point yet.