The Department of National Defence (DND) plans on reducing spending over the next years, in line with the government’s overall move to reduce its spending to pre-pandemic levels.
In a recently released joint message, the Deputy Minister of Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff are currently in the early stages of developing spending reduction options. According to the message, the Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance is leading this initiative.
“We all have a role to play in finding ways to deliver the best results for Canadians. This will entail hard decisions. However, this is not about doing more with less or arbitrary cost-cutting.”
“Expenditure reviews are an essential part of responsible management, and we all have a role to play in finding ways to deliver the best results for Canadians. This will entail hard decisions. However, this is not about doing more with less or arbitrary cost-cutting.
“It is about ensuring the defence budget is directed toward top defence and government priorities; and in an increasingly dangerous world, ensuring this will not negatively impact the ability of the CAF to perform its functions — keeping Canadians safe and contributing to international security,” stated Bill Matthews, Deputy Minister, and Gen. Wayne Eyre, CDS.
What Will Be Cut
Although it is too early to know which areas of the military and defence spending will be cut, the message ensures that the cutbacks should not impact jobs.
“Reductions related to operating expenditures will be phased in over three years and are not expected to result in job losses outside of normal attrition, or reallocation, ensuring that our people’s work is focused on high-priority initiatives. Similarly, reductions identified related to professional services and travel will have no impact on employment levels. The extent of impact is yet to be confirmed,” noted the message.
Government-Wide Budget Cuts
In March, the government announced in Budget 2023 that it would cut down spending across all sectors. The government is expected to cut $15.4 billion in spending over the next five years. Departments have been given a deadline of Oct. 2, 2023, by the new Treasury Minister Anita Anand, to propose plans on how to make this cut possible.
As one of the largest departments in the government, the impact of financial cuts will be felt by the DND and the CAF.