Conservatives Promise to 'Protect' Defence Spending from Deficit Battle (excerpt)
(Source: CBC News; posted Oct 17, 2019)
By Murray Brewster
The Conservatives have pledged to "protect" the budget of the Department of National Defence even as they work to eliminate the federal deficit.

In their election platform, the Tories said they would find $5 billion in savings by cutting operational expenses, but were not clear on precisely what that meant, other than to say it would not affect services to Canadians.

The Liberals, through their two-year-old defence policy, committed to increase defence spending by 70 per cent to $32 billion annually by 2024-25 — a program that would unfold at precisely the same time a potential Conservative government intends to cut expenditures.

The Liberals have also set in motion plans to buy two of the military's biggest-ticket items — new fighter jets and navy frigates.

Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said Wednesday his party would stick with those purchases, but would be more efficient.

"We are committed to the funding allocated to the Department of National Defence," he said during a campaign stop in in southwestern Ontario. "We will not do what the Liberals did, which is waste hundreds of millions of dollars stopping and starting the procurement process."

The Conservatives have pledged to depoliticize the process of buying military equipment and have complained about the Liberal government's delivery timelines and decisions, including the plan to purchase used Australian F-18s to supplement the existing fighter jet force until a decision is made on brand-new warplanes. (end of excerpt)


Click here for the full story, on the CBC website.

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