Staples: Canada overspending on defence

In a recent op-ed article in Embassy magazine, Steven Staples, president of the Rideau Institute, argues that Canada’s military spending needs to be curbed:

In 2010-11, Department of National Defence spending is estimated to reach $22.2 billion, its highest level since Canada was in Europe fighting Hitler. That level is 12 per cent higher than it was before the beginning of the global recession, 19 per cent higher than during the last days of the Cold War, and 40 per cent higher than immediately before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

National Defence has spent an extra $45.5 billion over the years since 2001, but it’s not the only department seeing a 9/11 bump in its budget. The terrorist attacks on the United States had an impact on national security spending levels that extended far beyond DND—$46.5 billion has also been spent to augment the rest of Canada’s national security establishment. In particular, expenditures at Canada’s spy agency and Public Safety Canada have tripled and quintupled respectively since 2000-01.

As the article points out, this spending is taking place at a time when other government departments are facing major cutbacks.

The article also outlines the Rideau Institute’s recommendations to the government for the next budget, which include a reduction in national defence spending and a review of, and greater oversight over, future equipment spending.

The full article can be read at the Rideau Institute website.

See also the Rideau Institute’s report on security spending since 2001: The Cost of 9/11: Tracking the Creation of a National Security Establishment.

Tags: Canadian military spending, Canadian security spending, Defence policy, Embassy Magazine, Rideau Institute, Steven Staples