(OTTAWA) National Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Thursday that Ottawa will accelerate the purchase of anti-tank, anti-aircraft and anti-drone weapons for the Canadian military, using a mechanism last seen in of the war in Afghanistan.
Mme Anand said these new weapons are now needed for Canadian troops stationed in Latvia and other parts of Europe.
“Canada’s largest foreign military deployment […] is on NATO’s eastern flank, in Latvia, she said. And our troops there must have the equipment they need to protect themselves and do their jobs, especially at this crucial time. »
In a speech in Ottawa to the Institute of the Conference of Defense Associations, one of the largest conferences of its kind in Canada, the Minister also stressed the need to update Canada’s long-term plan to the Armed Forces.
The minister has already launched public consultations to advise the government as it reviews its previous strategy, released in 2017. The Liberal government then promised billions of dollars in new investments to better equip the Canadian military to deal with threats then and tomorrow, after the war in Afghanistan.
But Minister Anand said the policy needs to be updated because a lot has changed since then, including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, rising tensions with China and more natural disasters requiring military support. in the country.
“It is extremely important that we get it right, which is why we have engaged stakeholders across Canada, as well as our allies and partners, to inform the way forward,” said Mr.me Anand.
The review will focus on five critical areas, including how to address the shortage of military personnel, modernize its Arctic defenses and determine exactly what equipment and capabilities are needed for modern conflict.
The minister did not say whether the costs will figure into the government’s thinking as critical military procurement projects continue to experience delays and cost overruns.
The Liberals also face new cost pressures on a variety of non-military files, as voices rise for more fiscal discipline in Ottawa after years of deficits even before the COVID-19 pandemic.