Dealing with want to chop some spending, defence minister says extra have to be spent on ‘proper issues’

With the Canadian navy already staring down hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in cuts, Defence Minister Invoice Blair says Canada nonetheless must spend extra on key areas to spice up navy readiness and capability.

In an interview on Rosemary Barton Stay airing Sunday, Blair mentioned the federal authorities would focus any price range cuts away from areas like ammunition and gear, weapons platforms and coaching.

“We have to spend extra on the suitable issues,” Blair advised CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton.

Canadians will obtain an up to date have a look at Canada’s funds — and the federal government’s plan on the best way to spend tax {dollars} — throughout a fall financial assertion to be tabled this week. However a federal spending overview launched earlier this month already confirmed the federal government plans to chop about $210 million from the Division of Nationwide Defence’s price range.

Blair mentioned the federal government would proceed to help the navy with investments wanted to fulfill its commitments, similar to to NATO and NORAD.

“On the identical time, we’re spending public {dollars}, so it is incumbent on us to guarantee that our processes our environment friendly. So we’re cash spent on consulting, cash spent on skilled companies — a few of that are important however not all of that are — and even on things like government journey,” he mentioned.

The defence minister spoke to Barton from the sidelines of the Halifax Worldwide Safety Discussion board, the place representatives from world wide have gathered to speak about essentially the most urgent defence and safety threats. Blair additionally took the chance to announce a brand new $188-million coaching facility for CFB Halifax.

“With the altering risk surroundings … it’s apparent that we have to do extra,” Blair mentioned, citing new threats similar to cybersecurity and house defence.

WATCH | Potential affect of cuts to navy spending:

Canada must spend extra on the suitable issues in the case of defence, minister says

Featured VideoRosemary Barton speaks with Minister of Defence Invoice Blair from the Halifax Worldwide Safety Discussion board in regards to the preparedness of Canada’s Armed Forces amid international battle and whether or not he anticipates cuts to the Division of Nationwide Defence within the upcoming fall financial assertion.

Army faces main readiness issues

Canada’s prime soldier, Gen. Wayne Eyre, has regularly expressed his issues in regards to the nation’s degree of navy preparedness, and he has advocated for extra sources.

“We see the challenges which are on the market, we see them coming, we now have to be prepared. We have now to make sure that we are able to reply to this very unsure and insecure world,” he advised CBC Information on Remembrance Day.

Eyre additionally mentioned that a lot of Canada’s navy historical past may very well be seen as a “research in unpreparedness.”

In a Division of Nationwide Defence report on the state of the navy, the division mentioned it was presently unable to conduct a number of operations at one time.

Conservative defence critic James Bezan has demanded assurances that the spending cuts will not affect navy capabilities.

“We’re actually challenged in assembly a few of these defence necessities on this nation. One of many challenges is that the common forces are quick 9,000 individuals. The reserves are considerably in need of personnel as nicely,” he mentioned, including that most of the ships and planes operated by the navy are reaching the tip of their lifespans.

“We might not have the ability to go as quick as we would have hoped, however we do need to proceed to go ahead,” Bezan mentioned.

Blair mentioned a future defence coverage replace would want to replicate the fiscal challenges Canada faces.

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