Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said earlier today that the Canadian Armed Forces is in the position it is currently because of years of underfunding by the previous governments.
“I’ll say up front that successive governments contributed to the current state of affairs,” Minister Sajjan said in a short speech delivered at the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.
To get out of this position and before building “anything new” we must “first get us out of the hole that we’re starting in,” he went on to add. He proposed that the way to build, equip and support the CAF is through the new defence policy.
In 2015, the Liberal government set out to have a comprehensive review of Canada’s defence policy by seeking input from Parliamentarians and Canadians to get a “thorough understanding of how every facet of our defence policy would impact our own people.”
The new defence policy will be released “very soon” according to the minister and will “need to focus on emerging domains, like space and cyber.”
“It will be a plan to get out of the hole we are starting in, and it will be a plan to build an even stronger military,” the minister stressed, without going into further details as to plan. He said that this plan will ensure that realistic funding will be allocated to “keep our military running efficiently and effectively for years to come.”
The Canadian defence policy will be more aligned to a realistic cost method. A blame that he placed on the previous government for not earmarking enough funds to “even cover the 65 jets they proposed.” Late last year, the Liberal government announced plans to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornets in the interim as it looks to have an open five-year competition to replace the ageing CF-18s.
To ensure that unrealistic costing is not a problem going forward the government has been working with global costing experts from Deloitte and five other major accounting firms in Canada to examine the methodology.