HALIFAX – A Liberal government will take immediate action to ensure that Canada’s Armed Forces have the equipment they need – and the support they require – to protect Canada and its sovereignty, while also growing local economies and creating jobs, said the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today.
“After the Harper decade, the Canadian military is in a state of stagnation. Procurement has become paralyzed, training and readiness have been reduced, and $10 billion of allocated funding lapsed and went unspent,” said Mr. Trudeau. “Canada’s Armed Forces are tasked with doing three things: keep Canada safe, keep North America safe, and be a meaningful international partner in missions abroad. Only a Liberal government will ensure the Armed Forces are capable of all three, while growing local economies in the process.”
Our military is too important for Harper’s record of failure to continue. A Liberal government will:
- Fast track and expand the capital renewal of the Royal Canadian Navy.
- Launch enhanced icebreakers and new surface combatants for the navy.
- Maintain current National Defence spending levels, including current planned increases.
- Immediately begin an open and transparent review process to create a new Defence White Paper that will replace Harper’s failed Canada First Defence Strategy.
- Launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18s. We will not purchase the F-35 stealth fighter-bomber.
Prioritize the acquisition of cost-effective search and rescue aircraft.
- Implement the recommendations made in the Canadian Forces’ Report on Transformation so that our Forces will be leaner, more agile, and better-equipped – with “more teeth and less tail.”
- End Canada’s combat mission in Iraq. We will re-focus Canada’s military contribution in the region on the training of local forces, while providing more humanitarian support and immediately welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada.
Make new and significant investments to meet the sacred obligation that we have to our veterans.
“Our commitments will, among other things, ensure that the Royal Canadian Navy is able to operate as a blue water fleet well into the future. By choosing to replace the existing CF-18s with a more affordable aircraft than the F-35s, we will be able to guarantee the delivery of current procurements for the navy,” said Mr. Trudeau. “The Canadian military has a proud history of meaningful and exemplary contribution. From combat missions, to peace operations, to disaster relief, Canada has always been there. And under a Liberal government, it will continue to be.”