Canada to Increase Defence Spending by 73% Over Next Decade
Canada has announced it will increase its defense budget by 73 percent over the next decade, raising its budget to US$24.2 billion. It comes after US President Donald Trump challenged NATO countries to meet the bloc’s defense spending target.
Details of the plan were announced by defense minister Harjit Sajjan and transport minister Marc Garneau during a Wednesday news conference in Ottawa.
According to Sajjan, Canada's overall defense budget will jump by almost three-quarters over the next 10 years, reaching $24.2 billion in 2026/27 – a significant increase from $13.9 billion in 2016/2017.
He said the boost will bring total defense spending to 1.4 percent of GDP by 2024/25, up from 1.2 percent currently.
"If we are serious about Canada's role in the world, then we have to be serious about funding our military," Sajjan said, as quoted by CBC. "And we are."
He said Canada will hold an open competition to buy 88 advanced fighter jets to replace its aging fleet of 77 CF-18 planes.
The government also intends to fund the construction of 15 advanced warships which will eventually replace existing vessels.
In addition, the air force will receive new armed drones for surveillance and combat, as well as replacements for its CP-140 Aurora surveillance planes which are nearly four decades old.
The military will also get more cyber operators who, under government supervision, will have the authority to conduct online disruption operations against potential threats.
The plan also envisages a small increase in the size of the military, both regular and reserve forces. There will also be a slight increase in the size of the special forces.