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Opinion

Canada has the worst military procurement system in the Western World

By Richard Shimooka      

If Canada is serious about improving its defence procurement system, it requires a comprehensive set of reforms that addresses multiple issues simultaneously. There is no silver bullet that will solve the majority of the problems.

Since 2012, Public Services and Procurement Canada, now headed by Public Services Minister Carla Qualtrough, has assumed responsibility for the overall control and management of major defence procurements. This has introduced a crushing burden of bureaucratic structures that added a superficial ability to provide knowledgeable project management decisions. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Canada has experienced a disappointing history with defence procurements, dating as far back as Confederation (and even before). Canadians may be inclined to take comfort that, while their country’s defence procurement history has been such a disappointment, it is unremarkable when compared to other western countries. However, a closer of examination of the history shows that Canada has an exceptionally ineffective system, especially for major capabilities purchases.

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