The Liberal Government and Canadian Defence Policy:

Andrew Richter

Abstract


The Liberal government of Justin Trudeau has been in office for almost three years, and thus enough time has passed to reach some early observations on its defence record.  This paper looks at 3 critical issues – the government’s approach to defence spending, its recent defence White Paper, and its actions regarding the CF-18 replacement project – and concludes that while there have been some positive developments, defence is clearly not a priority of the government.  Moreover, its tendency to politicize the defence file and to issue misleading policy pronouncements on matters related to it do not inspire much confidence. Thus, barring an unexpected increase in spending, Canada’s defence prognosis is poor and the Canadian Armed Forces will likely see their capabilities erode further over the near-to-medium term.


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JMSS is a publication of the Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary.

JMSS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.