The Canadian military budget could be deprived of a billion dollars in 2024.

In 2023, the budget of the Canadian armies amounted to C$26,4 billion (€18,3 billion), representing a defense effort of only 1,3% of GDP. Within NATO, Ottawa finds itself at the back of the pack, yielding only to Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg, in terms of defense effort.

And things could well get worse in 2024. Indeed, far from following the general upward trend in 2024, with an average defense effort which will then reach 2,58%, the Canadian armies could, on the contrary, see their budget cut by a billion Canadian dollars, a decrease of 3,3%.

This reduction is part of an overall budgetary effort undertaken by the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau, to save $15 billion in the Canadian federal budget by next year.

A billion less for the budget of the Canadian armed forces in 2024

As is most often the case when exposed to this type of arbitration, the Canadian Minister of Defense, Bill Blair, assures that this drop will not have repercussions on the operational capabilities of the armies, and in particular on the operational units. .

In addition, he argues that since the Liberal Party came to power in 2015, Canadian defense spending has continued to grow, while the country's defense effort was below 1% of GDP.

budget of the Canadian armies replacement CF-18 Hornet
In January 2023, Ottawa announced the order for 88 F-35As to replace its CF-18 Hornets for an amount of $19 billion. Without an increase in the budget, the financing of this program will capture all of the investment and modernization capabilities of the Canadian armies for the next 10 years.

However, the international situation has also evolved considerably since 2015, which has led a number of countries which also spent less than 1% of national wealth at that time to exceed 2% now. This is particularly the case for Sweden, the Netherlands, and most Eastern European countries.

Finally, even if positioned on the American continent, Canada is no less exposed to new Russian and Chinese threats, due to its Arctic border leading to numerous frictions with Moscow, its peaceful façade and its obvious proximity to the States. -united, against Beijing.

Outcry from the chief of staff and opposition parliamentarians

As one could expect, the announcement made by Bill Blair, and the growing hypothesis of seeing the budget of the Canadian armies cut by a billion $, is not to the taste of everyone in the country, and all firstly from the soldiers themselves.

Questioned on the subject by Parliament, the Canadian Chief of Staff, General Wayne Eyre, was most concerned about the consequences of such a budget cut on the operational potential of the country's forces.

“There's no way you can take almost a billion dollars out of the defense budget and not have an impact, so that's something we're struggling with now”, he declared to the deputies, directly contradicting the remarks made by his supervisory minister.

justin trudeau canadian army
Justin Trudeau is one of the last survivors in power from the period who still believed in the benefits of peace.

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