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Canada to increase defence budget
Canada Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan

The photo shows the Canada Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan.

Canada on Wednesday revealed plan to increase defence budget by 73%, one of the biggest hikes in military spending less than two weeks after United States President, Donald Trump called for NATO members to increase expenditures on defence.

 

The Canada’s Defence Minister, Harjit Sajjan had revealed a new 20 year defence policy and added that the country’s overall defence budget will be increased to $24.2 billion by 2026/27 from the current budget of $14 billion.

 

The plan was revealed a day after the Canada’s Foreign Minister, Chrystia Freeland stated that Canada would need to set their very own clear and sovereign course as US becomes more isolated under Trump’s America First rule.

 

Sajjan stated that they are serious about their role in the world hence, they are serious in funding their military.

 

The increase in the budget would place Canada defence expenditure at 1.4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2024/25 compared to the 1.2% now. They will be nearer to the 2% goal set for each North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) members.  Trump in a NATO meeting last month insisted members to be more committed to defence.

 

The Secretary General of NATO, General Jens Stoltenberg said Canada’s plan would ensure that they have the armed forces and key capabilities that is needed by the Alliance.

 

Sajjan had stated that the policy is meant for Canada and their responsibility to the world when he was asked whether Trump would be satisfied with their plan.

 

Ottawa will buy 88 advanced fighters to replace the fleet of 77 CF-18 planes which is more than the 65 new jets that the previous Conservative government had planned to get. The plan also include buying 15 new warships and recruiting 5,000 new troops.

 

According to a study by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, Canada is the 6th highest spender in NATO and placed 16th in the world. The country contributes frequently to overseas coalitions which include the war in Afghanistan and UN peacekeeping missions.

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