JOIN US

Copeland: What will be the impact of the $1.1 billion cut to National Defence?

By: /
2 April, 2012

Canadian defense spending has been ramped up substantially in recent years, and the reductions announced in the recent budget must be evaluated in that context. Moreover, DND is a program-rich department, and as a result these cuts can be absorbed relatively easily, for example by trimming or extending procurement projects such as the (dubiously chosen) F-35 fighter aircraft.

DFAIT, by way of comparison, has been suffering budgetary shrinkage for years, and the additional $314.5 million to be cut by 2014-15 announced in the budget will hurt. In a department already slashed to the bone, this enormous 8.9% reduction will come mainly out of operating funds and will mean amputating body parts – missions abroad, properties, membership in international organizations, travel and representation.

Details have yet to be released, but jobs will be lost, and the diplomatic footprint reduced significantly.

For a foreign ministry intent on providing a credible alternative to the use of armed force as an international policy instrument, this amounts to a further diminished capacity to advance Canadian policies and interests.

Especially when considered in tandem with the reductions of $377 million being imposed upon CIDA, the budget represents a disaster for Canadian internationalism.

In all, more very bad news for a country whose role and place in the world is already in precipitous decline.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 

Open Canada is published by the Canadian International Council, but that’s only the beginning of what the CIC does. Through its research and live events hosted by its 18 branches across the country, the CIC is dedicated to engaging Canadians from all walks of life in an ongoing conversation about Canada’s place in the world.

By becoming a member, you’ll be joining a community of Canadians who seek to shape Canada’s role in the world, and you’ll help Open Canada continue to publish thoughtful and provocative reporting and analysis.

Join us