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Policy Briefing: Defence

Canada First Defence Strategy due for ‘renewal,’ says MacKay

Observers say procurement priorities need to be re-evaluated post-Afghanistan.
The initial government messaging on this scandal careened like an out-of-control stock car on a dirt track because the revelations of the payment from Wright to Duffy came out of the blue to most in Harper’s inner circle.
We continue to discuss defence without first posing some essential questions: will we be at war? With whom? And what are the real security threats to Canada?


The Defence Department is obligated to find $1.7-billion in savings in 2013-2014 alone due to cuts commitments in the 2010 and 2012 budgets. Next year it’s expected to find another $1.1-billion in ongoing savings.
Drones have a psychological impact on the countries that possess them and they tend to use them for targeted killings, says Rideau Institute’s Steven Staples.
Budget constraints will be a reality for the foreseeable future. Investment in R&D creates the means by which a military can do more with less. Canada would be better served by a minister who works more and says less.
But without a public statement of requirements for Canada’s next fighter jet, critics challenge claims of an ‘open and transparent’ process
To enable our Armed Forces personnel to carry out their important work, we must continue to invest in a strong, state-of-the-art and well-equipped force. After all, having the right equipment can mean the difference between life and death for our troops, and for those they are trying to assist.
Despite procurement challenges, DND restructuring, Peter MacKay tells The Hill Times that being defence minister is ‘the best job’ he’s ever had.

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