Federal Budget 2024 – Defence Highlights

Ongoing Defence Initiatives

Climate change is opening our Arctic to foreign competitors who are pursuing their own economic opportunities. Authoritarian leaders are trying to destroy the rules-based international order, and emerging technologies are changing the nature of conflict. In response to these challenges, we must make sure the Canadian Armed Forces have what they need to keep Canada safe.

Some ongoing and long-term initiatives which Budget 2024 continues are:

  • Around $38 billion over 20 years to upgrade NORAD, which will strengthen the defence of North America, reinforce Canada’s support of our continental security, and protect our sovereignty in the North.
  • $11.5 billion over 20 years for Canada’s contribution to increasing NATO’s common budget and establishing a new regional office in Halifax for NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic.
  • $4.4 billion over 20 years to enhance Canada’s cyber security by expanding our cyber operations capability and shoring up critical infrastructure to fend off cyber-attacks.
  • $3.8 billion over 20 years to acquire new critical weapons systems, replenish stocks of ammunition, and improve the Canadian Armed Forces’ digital systems.
  • $3.5 billion to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces’ largest overseas mission, through which it contributes to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • $910 million to support military operations in Ukraine, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Restoring an industrial defence capacity, including adding Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec as the third strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is renewing Canada’s fleet and protecting our Arctic sovereignty.
  • Nearly $1 billion over 20 years to support culture change and wellness in the Canadian Armed Forces and introduce amendments to the National Defence Act to deliver key recommendations to advance culture change.
  • More than $11 billion since 2015 to enhance benefits for veterans, including improvements to education, employment, and caregiver support as well as the introduction of Pension for Life.

Defending Canada and North America

In recent months, the government has announced significant acquisitions to enhance the defence of Canada and North America. These acquisitions will be established and deployed largely in Canada. They include:

Arsenal and Equipment

  • $3.6 billion for nine new CC-330 Husky aircraft to enhance Canada’s strategic transport and air-to-air refuelling capability. The first aircraft was delivered in August 2023, with additional aircraft to follow over the coming years;
  • $10.4 billion for up to 16 new P-8A Poseidon aircraft, including for the associated infrastructure and training to strengthen Canada’s maritime surveillance capability and contribute to NORAD’s maritime warning mission. The first delivery is anticipated in 2026; and,
  • $2.5 billion for a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the capability to remotely engage targets in complex environments. The first delivery is anticipated in 2028.
  • $6.9 billion to modernize Canada’s surveillance systems, including new Arctic and Polar Over the Horizon Radar systems and enhanced space-based surveillance systems to expand situational awareness of Canadian territory and air and maritime approaches. The first of these systems is expected to be online in 2028;
  • $6.4 billion for new long-range and additional short- and medium-range air-to-air weapons systems to maintain the operational advantage of Canadian fighter aircraft against new and evolving air-based threats;
  • $4.1 billion for new command and control capabilities, including a modernized aerospace operations centre and enhanced Polar communications satellites; and,
  • $15.7 billion for infrastructure and support capabilities, including upgrades to NORAD Forward Operating Locations across Canada’s North, including in Inuvik, Yellowknife, and Goose Bay, and new infrastructure for the CC-330 and F-35 aircraft.

Operation Reassurance

Canada will be scaling up the Canadian-led Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia to a Brigade as part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s contribution to NATO’s assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. To deliver on this commitment, Canada is scaling our presence in Latvia to up to 2,200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and acquiring new critical capabilities on an urgent basis, including:

  • Portable anti-tank missile systems;
  • Counter uncrewed aircraft systems; and,
  • Soldier-portable air defence systems.
  • Over 100 light tactical vehicles;
  • At least 49 Armoured Heavy Support Vehicles;
  • Personnel defence precision munitions; and,
  • Improved communications and surveillance infrastructure.

Stronger National Defence

In this updated policy, the government will ensure the safety of Canadians, our allies, and our partners by equipping our soldiers with the cutting-edge tools and advanced capabilities they need to keep Canadians safe in a changing world.

As part of this, Budget 2024 proposes foundational investments of $8.1 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, and $73.0 billion over 20 years to the Department of National Defence (DND), the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to ensure Canada is ready to respond to global threats and to protect the well-being of Canadian Armed Forces members. Canada’s defence spending-to-GDP ratio is expected to reach 1.76 per cent by 2029-30. These include:

Resources and Production

  • $549.4 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $267.8 billion in future years, for DND to replace Canada’s worldwide satellite communications equipment; for new tactical helicopters, long-range missile capabilities for the Army, and airborne early warning aircraft; and for other investments to defend Canada’s sovereignty;
  • $1.9 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $8.2 billion in future years, for DND to extend the useful life of the Halifax-class frigates and extend the service contract of the auxiliary oiler replenishment vessel, while Canada awaits delivery of next generation naval vessels;
  • $1.4 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $8.2 billion in future years, for DND to replenish its supplies of military equipment;
  • $1.8 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $7.7 billion in future years, for DND to build a strategic reserve of ammunition and scale up the production of made-in-Canada artillery ammunition. Private sector beneficiaries are expected to contribute to infrastructure and retooling costs;
  • $941.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $16.2 billion in future years, for DND to ensure that military infrastructure can support modern equipment and operations;
  • $917.4 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $10.9 billion in future years and $145.8 million per year ongoing, for CSE and GAC to enhance their intelligence and cyber operations programs to protect Canada’s economic security and respond to evolving national security threats;

 

CAF/DND Personnel

  • $281.3 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $216 million in future years, for DND for a new electronic health record platform for military health care;
  • $6.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $1.4 billion in future years, for DND to build up to 1,400 new homes and renovate an additional 2,500 existing units for Canadian Armed Forces personnel on bases across Canada (see Chapter 1);
  • $100 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to DND for childcare services for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families (see Chapter 2);
  • $149.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $1.8 billion in future years, for DND to increase the number of civilian specialists in priority areas; and,
  • $52.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $54.8 million in future years, to DND to support start-up firms developing dual-use technologies critical to our defence via the NATO Innovation Fund.
    Veterans Affairs
  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $9.3 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada to extend and expand the Veteran Family Telemedicine Service pilot for another three years. This initiative will provide up to two years of telemedicine services to recent veterans and their families.
  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide an additional $6 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada for the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. A portion of the funding will focus on projects for Indigenous, women, and 2SLGBTQI+ veterans.
  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $3.8 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada to help the Juno Beach Centre preserve the legacy of all Canadians who served during the Second World War.
  • Budget 2024 also proposes to provide $4 million in 2024-25 to Veterans Affairs Canada to commemorate significant Canadian military milestones, including the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Canadian peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.

 

Procurement and Financing

  • $1.2 billion over 20 years, starting in 2024-25, to support the ongoing procurement of critical capabilities, military equipment, and infrastructure through DND’s Capital Investment Fund; and,
  • $66.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $7.4 billion in future years to DND for the Future Aircrew Training program to develop the next generation of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. Of this amount, $66.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, would be sourced from existing DND resources.
  • Committing Canada to undertake a Defence Policy Review every four years, as part of a cohesive review of the National Security Strategy; and,
  • Undertaking a review of Canada’s defence procurement system.

Intelligence Capabilities

To equip CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) to combat emerging global threats and keep pace with technological developments, further investments in intelligence capabilities and infrastructure are needed. These will ensure CSIS can continue to protect Canadians.

Budget 2024 proposes to provide $655.7 million over eight years, starting in 2024-25, with $191.1 million in remaining amortization, and $114.7 million ongoing to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to enhance its intelligence capabilities, and its presence in Toronto.

Arctic Presence

The Canadian Arctic is warming four times faster than the world average, because of climate change. The shared imperatives of researching climate change where its impacts are most severe and maintaining an ongoing presence in the Arctic enable Canada to advance this important scientific work and assert our sovereignty. To support research operations in Canada’s North, Budget 2024 proposes:

  • $46.9 million over five years starting in 2024-25, with $8.5 million in remaining amortization and $11.1 million ongoing, to Natural Resources Canada to renew the Polar Continental Shelf Program to continue supporting northern research logistics, such as lodging and flights for scientists; and,
  • $3.5 million in 2024-25 to Polar Knowledge Canada to support its activities, including the operation of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station.

Support for Ukraine

Canada remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine’s fight against Russia. As the conflict enters its third year, Canada is unwavering in our support of the Ukrainian fight for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy. Such support includes:

  • Budget 2024 announces that Canada intends to provide Ukraine with $2.4 billion in loans for 2024. To enable the full extent of this support, the government intends to propose amendments to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act.
  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $1.6 billion over the next five years to the Department of National Defence for the provision of lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine.
  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide an estimated $216.7 million (€137.2 million) over five years, starting in 2025-26, for Canada’s share of the EBRD’s general capital increase for Ukraine’s reconstruction.
  • Budget 2024 announces the government’s intention to advance engagement with international partners, particularly the G7, to identify additional avenues to hold Russia to account for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These discussions, and any consensus achieved, will be used to advance necessary amendments to Canada’s sanctions regime.

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