Canadian military budget set to increase by $8 billion this year to $32.3 billion
Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland.
The CBC reports: “The federal budget is expected to pour up to $8 billion in new money into the Department of National Defence.”
With $24.3 billion already budgeted for the military in 2021-22, this could push spending to $32.3 billion this year and if maintained $40.7 billion in 2026-27.
The article adds: “A senior government source, speaking on background, said that the budget’s billions of dollars in new defence spending will be over and above the increases the Liberal government committed to in its 2017 defence policy.”
In 2017, the government committed to increase annual military spending from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion in 2026-27.
Over a 20 year period, it has said it will spend $553 billion on a cash basis.
The CBC adds: “The source said the budget measures to be announced [April 7] are expected to bring Canada’s defence budget to 1.5 per cent of GDP and are intended to demonstrate ‘a real effort’ toward hitting the long-established two per cent target.”
NATO calculates that Canada spends 1.36 per cent of its GDP on the military.
David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute says Canada would have to spend an additional $17-billion annually to reach its 2-per-cent commitment.
That would bring it to $41.3 billion this year.
The Business Council of Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives) has also called on Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to increase military spending to 2 per cent in this upcoming federal budget.
On March 28, Defence Minister Anita Anand and Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi announced the government would begin final negotiations with Lockheed Martin to purchase 88 F-35 stealth fighter jets.
The purchase price is expected to be $19 billion but their cost over a 30 year period have been estimated to be $76.8 billion.
It is believed the negotiations could take seven months and that a contract could be signed with Lockheed Martin by November.
In its recent statement on the war in Ukraine, Peace Brigades International highlighted: “Billions more spent on weapons will not make the world safer.”