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Canada Announces $73 Billion Defense Investment, Prioritizes Arctic Security

Arshad Khan

Canada Announces $73 Billion Defense Investment, Prioritizes Arctic Security

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled a $73 billion investment plan for the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) over the next 20 years. The new defense strategy, “Our North, Strong and Free”, emphasizes Arctic security, including strengthened sovereignty claims and enhanced cooperation with the US through NORAD upgrades. The strategy acknowledges potential threats posed by China and Russia.

The investment falls short of the 2% of GDP NATO spending target, with Canada projected to reach 1.76% by 2030. Trudeau cited significant defense spending increases since 2015 and potential future projects like submarine upgrades as factors.

Key budget allocations include:

  • Personnel Support: Housing strategy, electronic health platform, and childcare access for CAF members.
  • Infrastructure & Personnel: Military infrastructure upgrades and an increase in civilian specialists within the CAF.
  • Industrial Base: Equipment sustainment and substantial investment in ammunition production, in part to replenish supplies donated to Ukraine.
  • Domestic Defense: Specialized maritime sensors, tactical helicopters, cyber operations enhancements, and Arctic vehicles.
  • Fleet Upgrades: Naval fleet sustainment, potential upgrades/replacements for armored vehicles and tanks.

The plan also mentions drone acquisition and addressing CAF recruitment challenges, which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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