Steven Staples of the Rideau Institute testified before the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence on Thursday, 9 February 2012 on the subject of Canadian defence policy and military spending.
Representatives from the DND-funded Conference of Defence Associations and David Macdonald of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives also testified (“MPs consider readiness of Canadian Forces,” iPolitics, 9 February 2012):
Lt.-Gen. Evraire of the Conference of Defence Associations testified that either the government must ensure that the reductions in defence spending allow the CF to continue to follow the [Harper government’s “Canada First Defence Strategy”], or the government must re-evaluate the CFDS as needed.
Col. MacDonald, (Ret.) also of the Conference of Defence Associations (CDA) testified that defence spending would need to rise by 5.3 to 7 per cent annually in order to maintain the current level of capital renewal, but the government has called for cuts of 5 to 10 per cent across the government of Canada. Adding that the CFDS did not account properly for capital renewal, nor these proposed budgetary cuts.
Mr. Staples of the Rideau Institute suggested that over five years, the government should return defence spending to pre-9/11 levels, and a 7 to 15 per cent reduction in spending this year. Over five years, the defence budget should be reduced to $15 billion annually through the elimination of the four submarines, the shelving of the F-35s, the re-evaluation of the recent naval procurement, reduction in troop levels, and a review of the CFDS.
You can listen to an audio recording of the testimony here.