OTTAWA—Twelve years of budget increases have left Canadian military spending higher than at any time since the end of the Second World War, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).
According to the study, by Bill Robinson, Senior Advisor with the Rideau Institute, Canada will spend at least $22.3 billion on its military forces in 2010-11—an increase of 54% since 9/11.
“Canada is the 13th largest military spender in the world and the 6th largest within the 26-member NATO alliance,” says Robinson.
Canada’s mission in Afghanistan has absorbed a significant part of the recent increases in Canadian military spending but this has come at the cost of Canada’s ability to contribute to UN peacekeeping operations and its ability to fund non-military contributions to global security and humanitarian action. Canada currently contributes just 56 military personnel to UN peacekeeping operations, making Canada 60th on the list of 102 contributing countries.
If the extra $90 billion to $110 billion that Canada has committed itself to spend over the next 17 years on its post–Cold War military budget build-up were spent instead on aid, it would be enable us to meet the 0.7% Official Development Assistance target and to provide additional resources for climate change aid.
“Canada could make a much greater contribution to global security and humanitarian action by shifting resources to non-military security efforts and to peacekeeping operations,” Robinson says. “Such a shift would make Canada truly a great power in the world of development assistance and humanitarian aid. This is an arena in which Canada could ‘punch above its weight’ on an issue crucial to human welfare and global security.”
For more information contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Senior Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.