MP Report: Canada’s National Security is Under Threat

With the world becoming more dangerous, Canada’s lack of military capability is a growing problem.

After years of neglect and underfunding, the Liberal government simply isn’t credible when it comes to supporting the Canadian Armed Forces. They have abrogated their defense obligations. Canada’s military is so under-staffed under Trudeau’s leadership that 10,000 positions are currently unfilled. Gen. Wayne Eyre, Commander of the Canadian Army and Chief of Defence Staff, believes that it is “not just about getting new people into the Forces, but also ensuring current soldiers stay”. “I am concerned that as the threats to the world’s security situation increase, the threats at home increase, our readiness is going down,” he said.

Since the end of the Second World War, Canada has been a steadfast defender of the rules-based international order. Today, it is widely acknowledged that this order and its institutions are in crisis. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it urgent for the government to meet its commitment to spend 2% of Canada’s GDP on our military. The world has changed, but the Liberal government has been slow to react.

At the time when Russia is at war with the West, when our allies are under pressure, the Liberals have not made the Canadian Forces a priority. As such our Canadian Armed Forces are admitting that they will not be prepared to face challenges and threats from autocratic regimes, regimes that continuously undermine democratic institutions and countries.  According to the most recent Public Accounts, there is a lapse of $1.2 billion in defense spending in 2021 alone. A PBO report released this year shows that from 2017-18 to 2020-21, there was a cumulative shortfall of almost $10 billion between what DND spent on capital and what was originally planned.

Furthermore, we are rightly supplying the Ukrainians with equipment, but we do nothing to replace the equipment we have expended. While our soldiers are not fighting in Ukraine, we have used up any “excess’ equipment we could spare. Canada started doing this in April. It is now October, and Ukraine is asking us for more. Where is the plan to replace what we sent to Ukraine? Where is the plan to restock the shelves?

This is always a constant issue with Liberal governments, but Trudeau seems to be particularly incompetent when it comes to national security, so much so that they do not recognize that their decisions for the past 7 years have seriously undermined Canada’s ability to defend itself. Major increases to our deterrence and defense require major investments. Unfortunately, so far it is something that the current government has failed to do. Some security experts suggest that Trudeau is literally purging Canada’s Armed Forces.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has served as an evident reminder that the possibility of another World War is neither a thing of the past, nor confined to distant parts of the world that can be easily ignored. The previous Conservative government delivered on promises to provide the women and men in the CAF with the equipment they needed. This includes procuring 5 C-17 Globemaster and 17 C-130J Hercules transport planes, 15 Chinook helicopters, Leopard II tanks, modernizing our CP-140 Aurora surveillance aircraft and the Halifax-class frigate; launching the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which has seen the delivery of three Canadian Coast Guard Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels, and two Navy Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships. But these investments occurred years ago, and in absence of constant procurement, aggressors may view our nation as a soft target.

One thing is clear as never before, Canada’s military has been undermined under Trudeau, with scandals, woke policies and procurement fiascoes, where there is procurement at all. His government is putting soldiers at risk, and putting Canada at risk. The only major military procurement the Liberals have accomplished was to purchase a handful of used 40-year-old F-18 Hornets from Australia to replace our used 40-year-old fighter jets. This is a national embarrassment, Canadians, and our men and women in the Canadian Forces, deserve so much better.