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Election 2006 Defence

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 10 months ago


Election 2006 - Defence Platforms


Thanks to Google, the party web pages and keen researchers posting to, here's some information on what the parties are promising when it comes to the Canadian Forces. As usual, comments, and other links, appreciated - Don't forget to check out my election links page here. I've also included one editorialist's opinion at the bottom. Enjoy!




Conservative Party of Canada, news release, 13 Dec 05: "Harper outlined several pieces of the Conservative “Canada First” defence plan designed to improve the effectiveness and deployability of the Canadian Forces, using CFB Trenton as a hub for aerial deployment. Measures will include:

  • Acquisition of a fleet of at least three strategic lift aircraft, based at CFB Trenton, and continued replacement of Canada’s tactical airlift fleet of C-130 Hercules aircraft and fixed wing search-and-rescue aircraft at CFB Trenton and elsewhere.
  • Creation of a 650 strong airborne battalion, to be stationed at CFB Trenton, available for rapid or difficult deployments for emergency, humanitarian, or military operations.
  • Doubling the size and capacity of the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) based at CFB Kingston, to enhance international disaster relief capability."


Liberal Party Response to Conservative platform, 13 Dec 05: "Mr. Harper also announced his new plan would also include increasing heavy air lift capacity by buying larger aircraft. Heavy airlift capacity has one purpose: the deployment of a quick response – for military or humanitarian reasons. It is worth noting, Stephen Harper was committed to sending Canadian troops to Iraq in March of 2003 to remove Saddam Hussein’s regime by force. As he told the Wall Street Journal in March, 2003: "Today, the world is at war. A coalition of countries under the leadership of the U.K. and the U.S. is leading a military intervention to disarm Saddam Hussein. Yet Prime Minister Jean Chretien has left Canada outside this multilateral coalition of nations. This is a serious mistake. [...] The Canadian Alliance -- the official opposition in parliament -- supports the American and British position." Mr. Harper’s should come clean and explain why he believes Canada needs this kind of airlift capacity: is it for military or humanitarian purposes?"

Ottawa Citizen, 31 Dec 05 - "A significant increase in the number of troops in the Canadian Forces is expected to play a major role in a Conservative government's overhaul of the military, according to the party's defence critic and security analysts."

CBC News, 3 Jan 06: "The Conservatives revealed more details about their defence policy on Monday as Stephen Harper said a government led by him would establish an army unit at the Canadian Forces Base in Bagotville, Que."

Edmonton Journal, 12 Jan 06: "The big federal election issues -- health, education and day care -- are primarily the purview of the provinces, but on the one major federal government responsibility -- defence and foreign affairs -- the four main parties have differing views."

Toronto Star, 13 Jan 06: "Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says he's ready to reopen the debate over Canadian participation in the American missile defence system."

Herald News Daily, 16 Jan 06: "The man likely to be elected the new Canadian prime minister in a week‘s time, Conservative leader Stephen Harper, said on Monday he wants to boost defense spending enough for the world to take notice."

Reuters, 17 Jan 06: "The man likely to be elected the new Canadian prime minister in a week’s time, Conservative leader Stephen Harper, pictured, said on Monday he wants to boost defense spending enough for the world to take notice."

Toronto Star, 17 Jan 06: "Despite its willingness to discuss ballistic missile defence with Washington, a Conservative government would do a better job of "standing up to the Americans" than the Liberals, says foreign affairs critic Stockwell Day ... Day claimed Conservatives would be "far more aggressive with concrete action in terms of our sovereignty" on such things as American nuclear submarine incursions in the Arctic. With Conservatives in power, he said Canada's fleet would have three icebreakers and a deep water port at Iqualit and play a stronger national defence role from Goose Bay to Yellowknife, with more search and rescue capability."




Liberal Party of Canada: "Defence and Peacekeeping - The Paul Martin Liberal government made the difficult decision of saying no to Canadian participation in a continental ballistic missile defence system. But withdrawing from missile defence does not mean we are withdrawing from the defence of our continent or our country. In its last budget, the Liberal government committed nearly $13 billion in new money for defence – the largest single increase in the last 20 years. This includes funding for some 8,000 extra Canadian Forces personnel, operational stainability, and the purchase of new equipment, such as helicopters, ships and unmanned aerial vehicles. We will also create a Special Operations Group, which will include enhancements to Joint Task Force 2, and a Standing Contingency Task Force, which will be available to confront crises at home and abroad. Since 2000, the Liberal government has committed $380 million to help in the troubled Darfur region of Sudan. This includes military support to assist with providing equipment, peacekeeping, technical and planning expertise, and humanitarian efforts. We have also provided military support to help re-establish peace and security in Afghanistan, Haiti and Bosnia. To improve pay and benefits for our soldiers, we also exempted them from income tax earned while serving on high-risk international missions. Canadians are sharing their expertise in democracy, human rights and the rule of law with the world. Our newly-created Canada Corps will bring new focus and energy to what is already being done, and more effectively match the skills and talents of Canadians to help nurture democracy and the rule of law in fragile states. Sixteen development projects by civil society organizations were selected to receive funding through Canada Corps in 2005, many of which involve Canadian youth and reciprocal professional exchanges between the host countries and Canada."



New Democrats


Search of NDP site for \"defense platform\"

Search for \"defence platform\":  hits from 2004's election campaign

NDP Bill Blaikie site search for \"national defence\"

NDP Candidate Bill Blaikie's \"An Alternative Defence Policy\", 17 Mar 05: The costs of interoperability will only increase as the US military continues to acquire new and more expensive technology. Staying interoperable could, for instance, require Canada to eventually replace its current destroyers with Aegis-class destroyers, as Japan is doing at the cost of nearly US $1 billion per vessel. It could also require the eventual replacement of the CF-18s with the stealth F-35 joint strike fighter, something the Canadian government has already indicated is likely. These kinds of expenses make it increasingly improbable that Canada will be able to maintain a capability to deploy forces for operations, such as UN peacekeeping missions, that do not involve the United States. In other words, current Canadian defence policy commits us to acting solely as an auxiliary force for the United States, participating in US-led operations only....


"2. Recommendations


a. Modestly increase defence spending ($2-3B/year)

b. Take measures to improve the morale, recruitment, training and retention of Canadian Forces personnel, including by raising salaries

c. Accelerate the already announced creation of a new 5000 person peacekeeping brigade, and ensure that it is combat capable

d. Accept equipment procurement decisions already made

e. Properly support the Canadian Forces Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART)

f. Address glaring equipment needs: heavy-lift aircraft, Arctic icebreakers

g. Strengthen defence capabilities in coastal waters, including by placing armed Canadian Forces personnel on some Coastguard vessels

h. Keep Canada out of the US missile defence system

i. Maintain Canadian participation in the North Atlantic Aerospace Defence Command but do not give NORAD maritime or land responsibilities"



Penticton Western News, 21 Dec 05: "Whichever party wins on Jan. 23, the Canadian forces should be given the means to operate independently and reliably again."

Sudbury Star, 18 Jan 06: "To be sure, the Liberal record on military spending has been spotty at best. The Liberals wasted hundreds of millions of dollars on helicopters and diesel submarines that have proven useless. Its plans for the future, however, are balanced and responsible and offer the most promise for building a Canadian Armed Forces that can again take on a leadership role in UN and NATO operations."

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