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View Sven Spengemann Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, gentlemen, for being with us.
Mr. Fadden, it's particularly good to have you here. In terms of your former role as national security adviser, I think you have a unique perspective on how this connects to the Department of National Defence and questions of national defence. I want to start by asking you about that.
Where are the intersections, the grey zones, between what we look at as Public Safety questions and National Defence questions? These two committees have their own mandates. In that way, we're stovepiped, and perhaps there should be a joint study between the two of them.
Can you make some general comments on how much of the national defence component plays a role in good cybersecurity and how much lies on the public safety side?
Richard Fadden
View Richard Fadden Profile
Richard Fadden
2019-04-10 15:53
Well, I tend to agree with you that drawing distinctions in this area is a little bit artificial and that one of the things that should be avoided to the extent possible is the development of these silos. We have quite enough of them as we are, and we don't need any more.
I think National Defence's main contribution is through the Communications Security Establishment and, insofar as the private sector is concerned, the Centre for Cyber Security. They tend to operate quite co-operatively with other parts of the national security environment in Canada. I would argue, in part on the basis of what I knew when I was working, but in part because I now operate a little bit in the private sector, that they certainly were a welcome development, but they have not solved all the problems of cyber-attacks here or anywhere else.
I think one of the big problems they have, and this is a Defence issue, in the sense that the defence minister is responsible, is that we talk about these things, but we talk about them less and share far less with the private sector than a variety of other countries do. I don't blame any particular government or any particular official. There's something in the Canadian DNA in that we think that national security should be dealt with and not talked about, but I would argue that in many cases we're far better off if we talk about them a little bit, without going into operational detail. It raises awareness. It allows both government and corporations to talk and to share more information than is otherwise the request, but I think the main contributor is CSE.
View Glen Motz Profile
CPC (AB)
Can you explain the difference, if there is any, between cybersecurity in the defence sector and cybersecurity in the IT sector? Is there even a difference?
Steve Drennan
View Steve Drennan Profile
Steve Drennan
2019-04-10 17:01
I can think of a few key differences. One of them is that it's like a dam bursting. In cybersecurity in Defence, they are just waiting to move from what's called “defence” to “active defence” to “cyber-offence” as the legislation gets moved forward, because it's a critical enabler. Cyber is now seen as a whole new area; just like having naval or air force, cyber is its own theatre of combat. It's pretty critical that we move that legislation forward so that National Defence can do more on the cyber landscape. As they deploy troops and as they're in theatres of operation, they can now win and lose battles based on cyber. That's one difference. They're held back a little bit. They also have a whole bunch of classified networks and other elements that all have to be brought forward. That has to do with funding and large changes that are being looked at right now.
In the private sector, there aren't as many rules. We talked about cyber-threat intelligence earlier. You will see the large vendors being able to gather that data across the world from the nodes they have in different countries, because it's less restrictive on how they operate. That's actually very positive, because then they're able to share that data with government and industry.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
Thank you very much.
It came up during the opening remarks, but I just wonder if you could elaborate on the significance of an increasing potential NATO involvement in the Arctic. I'm trying to remember who brought it up. We talked about that question a little bit from the China side. Could you explain how other players may see an increased involvement of NATO in the Arctic?
Stephanie Pezard
View Stephanie Pezard Profile
Stephanie Pezard
2018-11-26 16:33
An increased involvement of NATO has been happening, but at a very slow pace. There is a keen understanding from NATO members that it's not an area of the utmost importance for NATO. It is becoming increasingly important as NATO members realize that they may have lost the type of cold weather war-fighting knowledge that they had during the Cold War. They have turned to more expeditionary style of war-fighting and there are simply some capabilities that need to be rebuilt—sort of how Russia is rebuilding, frankly. For that specific reason, Norway has always pushed for stronger involvement of NATO, but other members have not seen it as urgent, simply because the threat has not been as close.
I would say that this closer involvement of NATO in the Arctic is not necessarily about the Arctic per se. It is very much focused on the North Atlantic. In a way, the Arctic is seen as a conduit to the North Atlantic.
There is also worry of keeping a good balance between deterrence and the risk of...not provoking Russia but creating a sense of threat in Russia. Since two-thirds of its strategic deterrent is in the Kola Peninsula, they are very keen on protecting the industry infrastructure they have around the northern sea route. They are very sensitive about the Arctic. It's an area of extreme importance to them. NATO needs to show its presence and its ability to come to Norway's rescue, as a member, if needed, without creating a false sense of alarm or any sense of alarm on the part of Russia. That's a tight balance.
Abbie Tingstad
View Abbie Tingstad Profile
Abbie Tingstad
2018-11-26 16:35
It would also be important for NATO, in terms of crafting the message, signalling how the presence is distributed and how it's being used.
Thank you.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
What should Canada be asking of NATO? How should Canada be helping to try to guide NATO to do that in the right way? What position can we adopt to help our NATO allies make sure we have the capabilities we need in the area, if it comes to that, without provoking Russia in the Arctic while we develop or rebuild those capabilities?
Stephanie Pezard
View Stephanie Pezard Profile
Stephanie Pezard
2018-11-26 16:36
That's not a question that we've addressed directly in our research. It's an ongoing dialogue between Canada and its NATO allies, frankly.
The current state of an increased pace of exercises, especially cold weather exercises, deployments—again through exercises in Europe and the Arctic—seem to be something that has been satisfactory so far.
Are there additional needs or requests to Canada? I could not discuss that. That would come from NATO members.
Ilkka Kanerva
View Ilkka Kanerva Profile
Ilkka Kanerva
2018-11-26 17:05
Just to add a few words to my what my colleagues have said, it's good to remember that we have three fundamental elements in our politics today that concern our military capabilities.
The first is absolutely huge investments. We are just now going through this period. Throughout our history, Finland has never made these kinds of huge investments, especially for the navy, and for fighters as well. It's around 10 billion euros. At the same time, we are making remarkable investments in our ground troops. It means that Finland will reach the level of 2% of GDP. You know what that means for us. These are huge investments.
Second, Finland is increasing very rapidly our international military networks, mainly with Sweden and Norway, as well as under NORDEFCO. The second element in this sector is that Finland's bilateral relations with the U.S. have been increasing also very rapidly, and on a tripartite level, there's co-operation with Finland, Sweden and the U.S. at the same time.
We are also co-operating with the U.K., within the framework of JEF activities, especially given the Brexit situation. Then there's Germany, as well, and also France, with the idea of intervention troops being suggested by President Macron. We also have a lot of bilateral relationships with different European countries, especially around the Baltic Sea area.
The third basic element of the investments and international co-operation is, of course, our legislation reforms. We realized after 2014 that it is necessary to do these kinds of reforms, and it has made a huge difference in our military capacity in terms of our readiness to react to threats to Finland in various ways.
These three elements mean that we are also paying a lot of attention to these activities, and what is interesting is that in our case, almost all the political parties are on board, so our national consensus is very strong concerning our foreign security and military defence activities.
Thank you.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
Good afternoon, and a very warm welcome to all of you.
I wanted to pick up on this point, because it is a hot topic and I think it's very important. I want you to give me an understanding of the region, especially with what has transpired over the last two days in terms of the Kerch Strait, the Azov sea and Ukraine.
I have observed over the last few years that there have been many more military exercises than in the past. The Russians have done a huge military exercise with operation ZAPAD in 2017. The Swedes did Exercise Aurora in 2017. You have indicated that you would like to do your own military exercise in conjunction with NATO, probably by 2020.
Given the Russian influence that's there, especially in Belarus and in the Kaliningrad oblast, the imposition of missiles there, what is the feeling in the Nordic countries in terms of their own security?
Pertti Salolainen
View Pertti Salolainen Profile
Pertti Salolainen
2018-11-26 17:10
I think it's important that we also do exercises. We are having a lot of exercises with NATO troops. I can tell you that the number of exercises where we are participating—mainly NATO, Nordic and the Baltic Sea area exercises—is about 40 per year, if not more. It's more than some NATO countries have.
That shows that we are very active. We are willing in terms of preparedness to give and receive military help. This is the legislation that we changed just some time ago—that we must be ready to receive and give assistance. This is a fundamental change in the thinking.
I would also like to add that we are also fully following to the letter the sanctions of the west towards Russia. This is also a very important aspect that is not generally that well known.
View Raj Saini Profile
Lib. (ON)
I have one final question. I want to ask a pragmatic question, in a way.
In 2017 you celebrated your 100th anniversary of independence. You've had this amazing ability, over the course of 100 years, to maintain your strength and also your neutrality. Another time we can get into how you were able to do that, but seeing what recently happened in Ukraine, looking at the Russian militarization or the Russian advancement of its interests in the former republics, looking at its control of the Baltic Sea, especially with Kaliningrad right there, philosophically....
I know that in 1995 Finland tilted toward the west by joining the EU, but you have not fully joined NATO. The last country to join NATO was Montenegro. Outside of that, going forward for the next 100 years, when you see the geopolitical landscape changing in such a dramatic manner, do you think Finland is thinking differently, in terms of the next 100 years, on whether it should either join NATO as a full partner or maintain its element of neutrality, as it is now? And is that the right course of action for your country?
Pertti Salolainen
View Pertti Salolainen Profile
Pertti Salolainen
2018-11-26 17:17
One point is this: We are not alone in this position. You know that Sweden is also in the same situation as we are. We think there is a kind of balance there now. If Sweden or Finland joined alone, that would break the balance there, the very delicate balance. We have many times thought that if we one day joined NATO, we would do it together with the Swedes—if that day came. It's not there yet.
I would like to tell you that this is not a big issue at the moment. We are not debating this issue every day. One could say that we are now as close to NATO as you can be without being a member.
Simon Elo
View Simon Elo Profile
Simon Elo
2018-11-26 17:18
If I may, Chair, it's important to note that Finland is not neutral. We are members of the European Union. We are in an enhanced partnership with NATO. Russia doesn't see us as neutral. They certainly see us as part of the west. Of course, the difference with some other countries is the membership in NATO. We are not full members, as you said, so article 5 doesn't apply to us.
I also want to add that after 2014, the perception changed a bit. People feel that being a member of the EU is even more important than it used to be. When we joined in 1995, as you mentioned, security was a big reason why we joined. Now it's even more important. If you think about Ukraine, it's a neighbouring country to Russia, without EU or NATO membership. We don't necessarily ever want to be like Ukraine. It's a neighbouring country to Russia and it's not a member of the EU or NATO. Finns know pretty well what our geopolitical standpoint is right now.
Pertti Salolainen
View Pertti Salolainen Profile
Pertti Salolainen
2018-11-26 17:19
I have one point. The Lisbon treaty of the EU is even tougher than article 5 of NATO, because it says that if one is being attacked, we all must assist and defend with all possible means the one who has been attacked. Of course, we have no troops, but neither has NATO any troops. NATO has only national troops.
Maarit Feldt-Ranta
View Maarit Feldt-Ranta Profile
Maarit Feldt-Ranta
2018-11-26 17:20
Mr. Chair, may I perhaps balance it out a little bit?
The Chair: Please.
Ms. Maarit Feldt-Ranta: We have been talking quite a lot about military expressions, but I would say that diplomacy has been the best tool for Finland in creating this balance over those 100 years. I think Finns and also Swedes, our neighbours, think this will be our way over the next 100 years. Public opinion also supports that very strongly.
Paavo Arhinmäki
View Paavo Arhinmäki Profile
Paavo Arhinmäki
2018-11-26 17:21
The issue is that when you ask us a question, you'll get from every party a different kind of answer.
The only thing I want to add is that a wide majority of Finnish people are against NATO membership. You could say that the strange thing is that even what happened in Ukraine didn't have any effect. The figures stay almost the same all the time, with 50% to 60% against it and 25% for it.
This is probably the idea, as well, that a better way to keep the peace in Finland, people think, is not through a military alliance. It's more through having a good relationship with their neighbour. People don't see the Finnish situation as being the same as Ukraine. Everybody can see there's such a different history behind it.
View Cheryl Hardcastle Profile
NDP (ON)
Thank you very much, gentlemen.
I am going to be asking you both about the reform of defence authorities and what you think should happen.
I will start with Mr. Niyongere, please.
Pacifique Nininahazwe
View Pacifique Nininahazwe Profile
Pacifique Nininahazwe
2018-11-06 13:45
I'll answer in Mr. Niyongere's place.
The Arusha accord provided for the creation of defence and security forces [Technical difficulty—Editor]. Some of those security and defence forces are being ethnically radicalized, particularly the national intelligence service, which is the primary force used in the repression and is made up almost entirely of Hutus.
There are also concerns as far as the army and police go. The Arusha accord established the ethnic makeup of the two security forces, but we worry that it isn't being adhered to, especially since many members of the military and police who belonged to the former, predominantly Tutsi, army have disappeared or been murdered. A number of them have fled.
The reform of defence forces in Burundi should still be consistent with the Arusha accord. We'll have to see to what extent exiled military members are accepted back into Burundi's security forces, in order to break the cycle of violence. That's what will happen if they remain out there and are not integrated into the defence and security forces.
View Cheryl Hardcastle Profile
NDP (ON)
Yes. I wanted to hear about some of the ways that Burundi could reform its authorities, its defence authorities in particular.
Armel Niyongere
View Armel Niyongere Profile
Armel Niyongere
2018-11-06 13:47
When it comes to the defence reform, I think it is much more a matter of the army and other security services.
First, the authorities must align themselves with what was set out in the Arusha agreement in order to reassure all Burundians, given that those security forces have always been used to murder part of the Burundian population.
Second, it should be pointed out that many military members and police officers are currently in exile. Rebel movements are starting to form, but they're not even invited to participate in the dialogue on the Arusha agreement. It is important for the defence reform to integrate those elements that are now outside the country and will continue to disrupt Burundi's security if they are not integrated.
Third, training must be organized to have a professional army and police force that truly serve Burundians.
View Francis Drouin Profile
Lib. (ON)
Regarding capital investments in support of “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, you have a number here of $282.2 million. What's that for?
Brian Pagan
View Brian Pagan Profile
Brian Pagan
2018-11-01 17:13
This is an assortment of what we call minor capital in smaller projects. Typically, anything over $100 million is classified as a major capital project, such as ships, planes and major weapon systems. Those will have their own profile in the estimates.
Underneath that is just a wide assortment of requirements for the department related to base infrastructure, labs, barracks and minor vehicles to taxi troops back and forth. There's a significant expenditure, as well, related to the upgrade of the new headquarters—the former Nortel building. They're finalizing the retrofit of that, and the staff have already begun to move in. There are elements related to the upgrade of that new headquarters.
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
We've heard a lot about the infrastructure gap. Both of you are clearly making the argument that we should be investing in military infrastructure, but I have a question here. Say there are limited resources, and we can invest a lot in the military or we can invest a lot in, like you mentioned, civilian housing, nutrition and all kinds of things like that. What would be the priority?
Given you want to do everything, and we're not doing anything but we want to do something, what would be the priority?
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 16:58
For me, taking a defence approach, it should be placed more on the defence infrastructure. There's been a lot of focus in recent years on some of that other socio-economic development. I would fundamentally agree there's a need for it, but I think there hasn't been enough attention on the more specific defence applications.
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
You would put defence above roads, housing....
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 16:58
At the present time, yes.
Andrea Charron
View Andrea Charron Profile
Andrea Charron
2018-10-24 16:58
That's a tough one. I'm not so sure. That's the wicked problem that you have, as members of Parliament. You have all these competing needs and you need to prioritize them.
I like to look at Canada's national interest, though, as a guide. If we don't have the national interests protected, then we're talking about a very different Canada. Consistently, our national interests have been the economic success of Canada, the defence of Canada—and with that North America—and then preserving this liberal world order that we seem to be losing, in which case economic success can also be helped by an Arctic that can contribute more to our GDP. It's going to be a tough call, though.
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
In the movie business, if you show a gun in the first act, you have to use it in the third act. We buy all this weaponry. We could play a stunt like what happened with Russia in Turkey, where they kept quietly invading their airspace, and suddenly the president decided to shoot down a plane and all hell broke loose.
Would we, as Canadians, be ready for that eventuality? Let's say we bought that type of plane, and we had these encroachments occurring. Would we be ready to do that, or would we spend this money and not actually use it? What are your thoughts on that?
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:00
The ultimate goal would be to spend the money and never have to use it. That would be the ultimate example of deterrents working. You spend that money and you don't ever have to actually employ it in an operational sense. To me, that would actually be a very good outcome of doing this.
To circle back to something Dr. Charron said, I would fundamentally agree with the idea that we should be looking for opportunities for co-operation. That's absolutely the case. I just don't see those as being antithetical to making stronger investments in our defence. You can do both things at the same time.
Andrea Charron
View Andrea Charron Profile
Andrea Charron
2018-10-24 17:00
I think one of the things that successive governments have been able to do well is to leverage spending on defence to also benefit the Arctic. Something we may need to consider is that maybe we can achieve both via spending on defence. I'm thinking of things like the Canadian Rangers program.
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
What is the ranger program? Can you expand on the ranger program a bit?
Andrea Charron
View Andrea Charron Profile
Andrea Charron
2018-10-24 17:01
Dr. Whitney Lackenbauer is the expert on the ranger program.
They're not reserves but they are an arm of the army that is located in remote communities and in the Arctic. They're the eyes and ears of the Arctic. They are not combat-capable, but they certainly can report things they see. They're often the first on the scene to provide information.
Certainly when the Canadian Armed Forces operate in the Arctic, they are there with the local knowledge that one needs to operate successfully in these areas.
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
Dr. Perry, you made an interesting point that we spend an awful lot of money on the east side of Greenland and nothing on the west side.
In a world where there are competing interests, would you see us reorienting our commitments and our commitments to NATO, going out there and all of those exercises, and saying, you know what, we're not going to participate in those, because we're busy, and our soldiers, planes and boats are back doing exercises in our waters? Would you see a rebalancing of exactly the same resources?
I know everybody's going to say give us more and more resources, but assuming there are only the same resources, would you rebalance those?
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:02
I would say as a preface to the rest of the response that the existing defence policy that was published in June 2017 would provide more resources to do the types of things that I'm talking about, once they're actually acquired and delivered.
There's already a plan in the works, although parts of it, the upgrades to some of the North American defence assets specifically that Dr. Charron mentioned, haven't yet been funded. The policy commitment is to be able to do exactly what I'm talking about. I think the overall policy direction should be more balanced to have the same type of approach we're currently employing in Europe also take place at home.
We've done a lot of exercises in our north—
View Frank Baylis Profile
Lib. (QC)
Would you like to see NATO exercises on this side of Greenland, not just Canadian exercises but actually talk to NATO and say, “Why don't you swing around this way?"
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:02
I think that would be a very good idea, yes.
Andrea Charron
View Andrea Charron Profile
Andrea Charron
2018-10-24 17:03
I swing back and forth on that. I think where NATO and NORAD work best is in covering those seams and gaps.
I think North America is well served by NORAD. I think the preference of both the U.S. and Canadian governments has been that NORAD is North America. We always have article 5, if push comes to shove, but because we have limited resources, I would like to see more strategic exercising of the seams and gaps, especially between USNORTHCOM and EUCOM and where NORAD is operating versus NATO.
I think the test is going to be in this new position that NATO has created. We used to have what was called the SACLANT position, which will be back in U.S. Fleet Forces Command. We're not quite sure what the role is going to be, but presumably that's going to help to provide the strategic oversight to make sure that those seams and gaps are better managed.
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:08
I would add that, if we're looking at addressing some of our core defence considerations, then we should actually try to address the core defence considerations in doing so. If you can get socio-economic spinoff as a result, that's fantastic. However, I think there are actual, clear, strategic imperatives that we need to address. If there's a potential to do that in a complementary fashion that benefits northern communities, that's great, but that shouldn't be the fundamental objective.
Some of the existing programs, like the Canadian Rangers, do a lot of good things. I think they will do very little to address any of the issues that I'm talking about. Some things, like improving Arctic infrastructure—providing more capable runways or more logistical operations, for example—can have alternate uses. With regard to things like sensors or various radars that are designed to detect cruise missiles, I don't know that there's a lot of extra socio-economic implication for that. I think that we very much need to address some of those issues as the priority, not the wider set of issues, which I would agree are important but should be addressed through means that are appropriate to address those specifically.
View Daniel Blaikie Profile
NDP (MB)
One of the infrastructure needs we heard about when we were travelling up north, both for the people who are living in communities in the north and for the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, was fibre optic cable in order to get better Internet access. Do you see military applications for that? We had heard that in some other cases where there are underwater loops, a lot of sensors can be attached to those loops, which provide information. I think in the context we were talking about, it was more marine life monitoring and environmental-oriented monitoring.
Are there military applications to having fibre optic under the water through the Northwest Passage?
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:10
Briefly, I would say that having more communications is better. Both the civilian economy and the military would use those communications devices, but the military needs specific encrypted, secure communications that in some instances are separate from those that could be used more broadly.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, both. I think in assuring sovereignty there are two strategies that always come to mind, an infrastructure development strategy and a defence infrastructure strategy. On both sides, we do have a close neighbour and our enemies are a bit far away, but nowadays, with technologies and what they have, they can reach us from deep down in their lands, especially in Russia or even China.
I cannot envision moving forward on the Arctic without talking about the United States. Do you have any idea what's in the minds of the Americans at this point in time, whether on infrastructure development or on defence, and how we move forward from that? I think that's the question we have to ask ourselves, keeping in mind that we talk about the Chinese and we talk about the Russians but I think we also have to think about the Americans, our closest allies and neighbours.
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:19
I can start.
I would totally agree with that. I think what Dr. Charron was talking about was part of the evolution of North American defence and modernization efforts that are happening with NORAD. The imperative is on us to work very closely with the Americans. We provide a small portion of the defence of North America. Some of that has been, in the past, strategically important in the Canadian Arctic. What I'm trying to lay out is that I think the importance of that has returned in a way that had, perhaps, gone away for a period of time. Certainly all of the modernization efforts to counter Russian activity and, potentially, Chinese activity we'd have to take in close co-operation with the United States. In the past, almost all of the facilities that were actually built in Canada were built under a joint funding model whereby the Americans paid the majority share. I'm not totally confident that, during the current administration down south, that potential deal would be on offer. If that's the case, then there will be a significantly larger tab for Canada to pick up in doing some of this.
Fundamentally, we can't defend Canada alone. We have to do it with the United States, so we have to take the American position on all of this very seriously, even if we don't agree fundamentally with everything. That's why, I think, one of the strongest things that we need to do with a lot of these measures in the new defence policy is to make sure that Canada maintains full interoperability with the United States government with everything that it's doing, because we can't do anything on our own.
Andrea Charron
View Andrea Charron Profile
Andrea Charron
2018-10-24 17:20
I agree with Dr. Perry. NORAD has been looking at this for a number of years. We've had a number of initiatives. It started with NORAD Next. We now have EVONAD. They're considering the defence of North America in the six domains, including domains we have yet to consider, and looking far out to the future.
It's not just about infrastructure. The north warning system is something that both the United States and Canada need, and we're wondering what sort of system of systems will be in place. It's also about considering even how we structure command and control to make sure that it is as efficient as possible, and how we can allow the commander of NORAD to think strategically and up and out and not be bogged down by the minutia of their tasking orders, and allow the NORAD personnel to make that happen.
NORAD is something that sort of just happens. It is so fundamental to how we defend North America. I would urge all MPs to ask more questions, learn about how NORAD operates and ask them about what they're thinking in terms of the future. I think the language they're starting to use about going after the archers instead of arrows would shock many Canadians, but that's how concerned they are about future threats, not just by Russia, but by non-state actors and others. That's what I would encourage.
Also, there are things like the permanent joint board on defence, which is supposed to be the guide for how we defend North America. It seems to need life support. I would encourage Canada to make sure that the permanent joint board is operating as it should and that we have the top people there to help direct the defence of North America.
View Ziad Aboultaif Profile
CPC (AB)
We are in a race against time with two realities. One of them is on the defence side, and one of them is on the development side. China is coming on in both. I hear from Dr. Perry to put defence as the first priority and then talk about development. We need to develop a defence strategy in order to be able to protect that development.
To me, the low-hanging fruit is just to start development as soon as possible and start working our way through. I think that is for us the most reachable goal at the moment. Then, probably within the NATO agreement and what we have among our allies, we already do have that protection of our position, so I think we may have to speed up the process of getting some infrastructure into that region. What do you think of that?
David Perry
View David Perry Profile
David Perry
2018-10-24 17:23
I would just reiterate the idea that we should be addressing our defence problems with the goal of addressing our defence problems. If there's good complementarity, we can have a way of having wider development benefits, but if there are programs that can't be addressed in an efficient way in a development sense by using a defence program, we shouldn't do it.
View Borys Wrzesnewskyj Profile
Lib. (ON)
Last summer, President Putin directed his generals to prioritize “defence of interests in the Arctic”. That was soon followed up by a submarine-launched ICBM. I understand there have been two launched across the Arctic. In many ways, this is probably the beginning of a very significant militarization of the Arctic.
When you look at the investments, the numbers are showing potentially about $35 trillion of natural resources that will open up should the ice be opened up. Russia has a capability that no other countries have, not just in numbers of icebreakers but their icebreakers, because of their design, are able to go places where none of ours can, hence the question that Mr. O'Toole has posed.
Are we working on some type of doctrine to counter that? Are we working to find ways that we can counter this very heavy militarization of the Arctic that's taking place on our longest undefended border? There are other countries in the Arctic with big, very important stakes in this, but we perhaps have the biggest stake.
Could you comment on that?
Alison LeClaire
View Alison LeClaire Profile
Alison LeClaire
2018-06-14 16:28
Yes. I'll comment, if I may, in two ways.
First, I would say, in specific answer to your question about a doctrine, there is policy work under way right now, the Arctic policy framework. Of course, that builds on the oceans protection plan that builds on the defence policy review. Of course, I can't speak to what the Arctic policy framework will end up looking like, but issues around security and defence are certainly part of the work that is under way now.
I would at the same time just go back to my introductory comments in recognizing that Russia is modernizing its military after a period of considerable shrinkage. I had a conversation with a think tank some months ago that referred to Russia's inability to know what's going on at their own northern coast as part of their rationale. That's not to say it isn't something on which we should be vigilant. Of course we should, but we recognize as well that Russia does have these economic interests it wants to protect. Part of protecting those economic interests is ensuring that, in their rhetoric but we all agree on it, the Arctic should remain a zone of peace and co-operation. For them to threaten our space undermines what they're trying to do in their own Arctic in protecting those economic interests.
That's not to say that is a reason to be complacent. I need to reiterate that vigilance is key, but it is part of the geopolitical analysis.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, and again, I'm glad to be able to ask questions.
I want to welcome Rear-Admiral Hawco to the firing line. I know you've been on the job as vice-chief for not even 24 hours, so it's good to see you here. We're looking forward to seeing you here many times, as we go forward.
I want to get down to last year's budget. From what was promised to what was actually spent, it was about $2 billion short of what was in the departmental plan, what was able to go forward. The minister talked a bit about that in his opening comments. We see what's in the estimates today. We see what the departmental plan was for national defence down the road. In 2021, there's a $4-billion shortfall that is different than what is in “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. If the defence policy is saying one thing and departmental plans are saying something completely different, which document is correct?
Jody Thomas
View Jody Thomas Profile
Jody Thomas
2018-05-29 10:14
“Strong, Secure, Engaged” did lay out a spending plan. When we dove into each project, we realized that some of the spending plans may not be completely aligned with “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. What we are trying to do is preserve space and funding for the projects going forward. Therefore, we are only bringing into the main estimates the money we know we need. We'll use supplementaries (A) and (B) to bring in more if projects advance or if we require more money.
We are also looking really hard at why money isn't spent, and the minister outlined some of that. Ten per cent of why we did not bring in some of the $2 billion last year was that we were more effective and more efficient. We spent less money on a project that was finished—
Jody Thomas
View Jody Thomas Profile
Jody Thomas
2018-05-29 10:15
Of the other 90%, 25% of it was set aside for intellectual property. That money wasn't required because we didn't have to spend it to buy intellectual property in that year. It's still there and available. We may never need it, but we always have it fenced and available.
Some of it, as we said, is that industry was not quite ready. Industry couldn't deliver—
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
That's where the real problem is. If we're falling behind on the procurement, on the capital expenditures.... We were $2 billion short last year. In 2021, based upon the departmental plan itself, it's looking like it's going to be $4 billion short.
David Perry analyzed the numbers and looked at it. I know that there's an announcement coming out in the next day or two from the minister about how we actually resource this, but just to catch up from what was originally in SSE to where we need to go and re-equip our Canadian Armed Forces is going to require an increase of 315% in capital expenditures. That's spending that we haven't seen since the Korean War. A lot of people are saying that procurement is broken. How can you spend the money in that volume, when already, through our short two and a half years of Liberal government, they are showing that they lapse funding every year?
Patrick Finn
View Patrick Finn Profile
Patrick Finn
2018-05-29 10:16
Very quickly, sir, knowing what your time is, I think there are a few projects there that are massive. We have seen this in the past when we built the Canadian patrol frigates. We're about to enter an era where we're starting to build the Canadian surface combatants, as we talked about here, which is a project of $56 billion to $60 billion, and again, there are the fighters, which are the better part of another $20 billion.
What is going to happen in a few years as we enter implementation on a number of very large projects, without investing a lot more people, is that our spend will ramp up quite significantly. The deputy talked about, in this past year, the $2 billion in intellectual property, and the non-performance of vendors around equipment, which they stepped forward and addressed and now is in delivery: our standard military pattern vehicles, our recce versions of the LAVs. We're not going to accept equipment into the military that's not fully combat-capable and ready and have people deployed with it. We make that point to industry, and they step up, sir.
View Jean Rioux Profile
Lib. (QC)
View Jean Rioux Profile
2018-05-29 10:38
Thank you.
My thanks to the witnesses for being here.
A link has been established with the business community, which will also result in the army's needs being met. This is the IDEaS program. DND's first objective is to make sure that all our people have the equipment they need. For the business community, this program is also a unique opportunity to create goods and services for the future.
Can you tell us about the program?
Jody Thomas
View Jody Thomas Profile
Jody Thomas
2018-05-29 10:39
I'm very happy to speak about that program. IDEaS is one of the initiatives out of SSE that we are the most proud of. We are taking the way we solve problems and, in some cases, how we do procurement and work with the academic environment and businesses to change it completely.
Rather than competing for solutions to “we need new boots for the army”, we are competing the problem, “our boots get too wet”. I'm being very simplistic. I understand that, but that's what we're doing. We're going out and saying that we have a problem. We don't know how to solve it. What are your solutions? We're inviting people to compete.
In some cases, that competition may end up in a procurement, depending on how it goes and what we find out. We're using it for procurement. We're also using it for research into personnel. We're using it for artificial intelligence. It is modernizing how we do the business of defence significantly and it is engaging Canadians, Canadian industry, and academia in solving problems for the Canadian Armed Forces.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Minister.
According to the departmental plan for National Defence, your government is actually spending significantly less than what was promised. Can you explain the discrepancy?
Michael Vandergrift
View Michael Vandergrift Profile
Michael Vandergrift
2018-05-10 11:42
It would really be for the Department of National Defence to reply on the status of their expenditures year over year. The government has committed to significant investments in defence through the “strong, secure, engaged” policy, and those investments are rolling over in the next several years.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
I'm sorry, but that's a little disappointing as an answer, because the Minister of Defence repeatedly defers to you when asked the same question. It's not acceptable to have two ministers passing the ball back and forth. The minister was asked on multiple occasions, including at committee of the whole, who is responsible for getting the money out so that important projects can be undertaken to supply our troops.
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
It might be helpful for you to give me a specific example as far as the way we work with client departments, most closely with defence, for obvious reasons. Defence identifies a need and our department works the process through. If it's a process question you have, if there are concerns about how long it's taking on a specific acquisition, we can certainly answer that question.
If they haven't made their request, or if they haven't identified the need, then we don't dictate that. We don't tell them they said they were going to ask us to do these things and they haven't. It's really their ball to carry and I think that's fair.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
There are a number of significant needs that have been readily identified. Our air force needs new fighter jets. Our navy needs new ships. Our army needs new vehicles and ammunition. These are well-known needs that have been discussed ad nauseam and it is frustrating to seemingly see no action on these important things. Here we are again at another meeting being told that you don't know, that you're waiting for somebody else to tell us.
View Carla Qualtrough Profile
Lib. (BC)
With respect, I'm not saying that. I gave you an update on the ships and the fighter jets. We are making progress on both those files— and significant progress, I would say.
Michael, I don't know if you want to add anything, but we are moving forward with these acquisitions.
Michael Vandergrift
View Michael Vandergrift Profile
Michael Vandergrift
2018-05-10 11:45
We are making progress on those major acquisitions. We've also taken steps to try to streamline defence procurements in certain areas. For example, we are giving increased authorities to National Defence to run its own lower-value procurements, so that PSPC can concentrate on the higher-value ones and DND can do more throughput on lower-value ones to help increase the—
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
Well, we'll see if we can get through this in one minute.
I want to know about the carbon tax. “Strong, Secure, Engaged” is a 20-year plan. How does your planning include the full costing of the carbon tax to your military suppliers? This is a new cost that will change the cost of many products and services and goods. Have you accounted for that in—
Michael Vandergrift
View Michael Vandergrift Profile
Michael Vandergrift
2018-05-10 12:55
The Department of National Defence does all the costing in “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. They're responsible for doing the full life-cycle costing of those. I'm not sure if they've included it in that or not. That's in the Department of National Defence.
View Pat Kelly Profile
CPC (AB)
Michael Vandergrift
View Michael Vandergrift Profile
Michael Vandergrift
2018-05-10 12:55
They do the full costing of those projects, including the life-cycle cost. That would be more in the realm of when you start operating and maintaining a piece of equipment, which is their responsibility.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
I'm going to have to just jump in there. I'm sorry, but I have only about a minute left.
Mr. Bouchard, you said in your opening comments that NATO is the “cornerstone” of Canadian defence policy. What do you mean by that?
Charles Bouchard
View Charles Bouchard Profile
Charles Bouchard
2018-03-27 9:54
When we look at defending this country, we look at having a force that's strong at home and in North America. But really the true defence of this country is also about not waiting until it gets to our border. It's forward defence, as far forward as possible. NATO offers us this vehicle to do that through an international force that not only acts on article 5, but also—
Charles Bouchard
View Charles Bouchard Profile
Charles Bouchard
2018-03-27 9:54
No, I think it's a team effort. It's to know that we work together.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Would you say the United States or the United Kingdom would say that NATO is a cornerstone of their defence policy?
Charles Bouchard
View Charles Bouchard Profile
Charles Bouchard
2018-03-27 9:54
It's difficult for me to talk on behalf of another country as they see it, but I can tell you from my experience that the U.K. would certainly say so, yes, and the United States would say so as well. It's part of this insurance policy that comes with having 28 partners.
View David Yurdiga Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I'd like to welcome our special guests here today.
We hear a lot about Russia, the invasion of Ukraine and all the shenanigans they are playing with fake news and cyber-attacks, but we hear very little about North Korea and Iran. I'm concerned about North Korea. They're always testing their ballistic missiles.
Are we spending any time looking at the what-if scenario, if North Korea does do something we do not want them to do? Can you just comment on a general basis?
Raymond Henault
View Raymond Henault Profile
Raymond Henault
2018-03-27 10:01
Perhaps I can just say a couple of words.
I would say that you're correct. I mean, there is an issue with countries that have a capability, or at least a perceived capability, like North Korea, or Iran for that matter. The very reason the NATO missile defence shield was established, was recommended or at least offered by the U.S. and now established with the onshore capability, Aegis capability, in Romania, as I recall, was to protect against a rogue missile launch, whether it was from Iran or from North Korea. So there is a recognition of the threat, and there have been at least steps taken to try to counter that, if required.
I don't know what the internal workings of NATO are at the moment, or what the internal threat analyses are, but certainly that has to be part of their consideration on a daily basis as well.
Kevin would probably know better. Charlie may also have a view on that.
Charles Bouchard
View Charles Bouchard Profile
Charles Bouchard
2018-03-27 10:02
When I look at North Korea, in answer to your question, does one look at it as a threat to North America or is it a threat to Europe? I'll focus on North America.
This is where NORAD steps in. NORAD has a mission of identifying any attack, and one of the tasks I had, and our current deputy commander out there has, is the integrated tactical warning and attack assessment. Within seconds anywhere on earth, somebody can pick up the launch of a missile, and within a certain period of time it must be assessed as to whether it's an attack or not. That's the first part of it. That's the attack part of it.
The second part of it, of course, is the ballistic missile defence for North America, which is in the hands of the U.S., and that's being dealt with. Of course, there is always the third portion of it, which is what retaliation would the U.S. take, which is strictly a sovereign decision by the United States.
I hope I have provided a little bit of an answer to this.
View Michel Picard Profile
Lib. (QC)
You talk about the CSE's support for the various operations, which are not military only. This support is necessary because of the disadvantage of being unable to respond quickly enough to an attack, thereby having to wait for the attack to take place before it can react. This new capacity will support various operations.
Will this support become a new instrument for conducting military operations around the world? Asking the question is sort of answering it.
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
Especially when it comes to our Canadian Armed Forces, this finally gives CSE the ability to assist our Canadian Armed Forces more correctly in this way. It puts us in line also with our Five Eyes partners. It was either overlooked in the past in previous legislation.... I actually found it quite surprising that CSE didn't have the legislative ability to assist the Canadian Armed Forces in this manner. Now with this bill the Canadian Armed Forces will be allowed to leverage the technical expertise of CSE.
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Members of the standing committee, it's great to see all of you again. Bonjour.
Today I'm pleased to be here to discuss the supplementary estimates (C) for 2017-18 and the interim estimates for 2018-19 for the Department of National Defence and the Communications Security Establishment.
Here with me, as always, is my deputy minister, Jody Thomas; Lieutenant-General Parent, Acting Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff; the Chief of the Communications Security Establishment, Greta Bossenmaier; and key senior members of the defence team.
Before getting to the main subject of today's gathering, let me say a few words about my recent announcement of our government's decision to deploy Canadian personnel to Mali in support of the United Nations mission in Mali.
In response to a formal request from the United Nations, Canada will deploy an aviation task force of medium-utility and armed helicopters for up to a 12-month period.
This contribution is aligned with the government's renewed commitment to the United Nations peace operations and “smart pledge” approach, and it will address a critical capability requirement for effective stabilization of Mali and the wider Sahel.
The Canadian Armed Forces have been instructed to begin their planning for this.
Turning now to the supplementary estimates (C), the department has requested approximately $780 million to cover costs to be incurred during the remainder of the current fiscal year. Some of that funding will contribute directly to our people, and that is how I would like to begin my remarks today.
We call upon Canadian Armed Forces personnel for some of the most difficult tasks needed to keep Canada and Canadians safe and secure. We ask them to deploy for very long periods of time, to leave their families and the comforts of home. Every day, we rely on their loyalty, their strength, their courage. They know that they may face unique stressors during and after their military careers, but they don the uniform to keep Canada safe and contribute to a more peaceful world. They are steadfast in their service to Canadians, and so must we be in supporting them. That is why caring for the women and men of our armed forces is the primary focus of our new defence policy—“Strong, Secure, Engaged”, SSE—and a part of these supplementary estimates as well.
As part of these estimates, we are requesting $17.5 million for the DND/CAF for the total health and wellness strategy. This initiative will give Canadian Armed Forces members access to a comprehensive, first-rate health care system. The strategy addresses both physical and mental well-being, and it focuses on promoting healthy behaviours both in the workplace and at home.
We are also ensuring our people work in healthy environments, free of harassment. You are well aware of Operation Honour, the Canadian Armed Forces mission to eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour in the military. National Defence is also doing its best to ensure members of the armed forces and their families live in a healthy environment as well. That is why we are seeking $800,000 to increase support to family crisis teams and to members of the Canadian Armed Forces and their families affected by domestic violence.
As you may recall, the government has also announced its joint CAF/Veterans Affairs suicide prevention strategy, as well as our intention to introduce a pension for life.
Only by providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the utmost care and treatment can we expect them to continue doing the invaluable work they are doing. They deserve our unwavering support.
Turning now to SSE, in supplementary estimates (C), we are requesting $435.4 million in additional funding to continue implementing the defence policy. Of that amount, $417.8 million will go to support SSE's overall program activities. These are activities like operations and readiness training, CAF recruitment and retention programs, and cybersecurity initiatives. These are baseline activities and requirements—things our department and armed forces need to do day to day.
The $100,000 we are requesting for the defence engagement program is an important step toward meeting our policy commitment to bolster academic outreach. Through conferences, round tables, and workshops the DEP will inform and challenge the policy assumptions and thinking of the department and the Canadian Armed Forces. It will do this while fostering the next generation of Canadian security and defence scholars in the process.
Moving beyond SSE, we are requesting $277.6 million for CAF international operations. As I believe everyone here understands, our safety at home requires our engagement in the world. More than 1,800 Canadian military personnel are deployed on 16 operations worldwide. These include Latvia, where the Canadian Armed Forces are leading a battle group as part of NATO's enhanced forward presence; Iraq, where the Canadian Armed Forces are contributing to the global coalition to counter Daesh; and Ukraine, where the Canadian Armed Forces have trained over 6,200 Ukrainian soldiers. New funding in these estimates for operations Reassurance, Impact, Unifier, and Artemis will ensure Canada maintains its commitment to international stability and security.
In terms of other line items, National Defence is carrying forward $12.2 million from the last fiscal year as contributions toward Canada's share of the NATO military budget. NATO is a cornerstone of our national security. In funding it, we are bolstering the stability of the transatlantic region to which Canada belongs. NATO offers us more than security. It gives us access to military equipment and infrastructure. It gives us an additional source of strategic information and analysis. It gives us an equal voice in important decisions that affect security and stability in North America, Europe, and regions beyond.
Our commitment to NATO remains ironclad. The recently released NATO annual report for 2017 shows that Canada has increased its defence spending by almost 5%. We continue to make investments in Canadian security, and to work with our allies to support a peaceful and prosperous world.
Essential to our stability and security is ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces have modern facilities and equipment. We have been criticized in the past for how quickly we are, or are not, spending money on these projects, but major acquisitions are complex, and they take time.
Criticisms notwithstanding, the department is making progress on a number of major purchases. Notably, we are making the most significant investment in decades in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The $5.9 million we are requesting in capital funding will go toward both running the competition for 88 advanced fighter aircraft to replace the current fleet, and toward purchasing fighter aircraft and parts from Australia as an interim measure.
Let me also touch briefly on a few of the smaller line items.
More than half of our current infrastructure is more than 50 years old, which is why we are seeking $6.2 million for 10 construction and repair projects on CAF bases and other defence properties.
As announced in our defence policy, we are also requesting $6.2 million to launch IDEaS, “innovation for defence excellence and security”. The program will encourage private sector innovators, big and small, to try their hand at providing the armed forces with solutions to complex defence challenges.
These estimates also include $9.7 million for National Defence's role in Canada's hosting of the G7 summit, where the armed forces will deploy more than 2,000 personnel in support of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Finally, I would like to say a few words about the transfers in these estimates. National Defence will be receiving $3.9 million in transfers from other departments, and transferring $8.5 million to other departments. One notable example is the transfer of $5.8 million to Global Affairs in support of the counterterrorism and capacity-building program. This program provides countries, such as Lebanon and Jordan, with the tools, technology, and equipment for confronting terrorism, as well as training programs for their personnel and support in building much needed infrastructure.
On a closing note, I will address the interim estimates. The interim estimates are part of the government's commitment to provide more coherent information to Parliament. They enhance the transparency of the review process, and align the federal budget and estimates.
CSE requires $147 million to cover costs related to program expenditures for the first three months of the 2018-19 fiscal year. With these funds, CSE will continue to conduct its critical foreign intelligence and cybersecurity activities.
DND requires $4.8 billion for the same period. These funds will allow us to cover the day-to-day operating costs—salaries, utilities, and maintenance—while continuing to implement the major initiatives I have mentioned. This $4.8 billion represents one quarter of the total main estimates that will be finalized and tabled by mid-April.
The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces are committed to ensuring that the money we manage has a positive impact on our most important asset, the women and men in uniform. I am very proud of the historic investments we are delivering through our defence policy. We will continue building on both the government's priorities and those of the Canadian Armed Forces through smart investments. I just want to say that we are just getting started.
Thank you very much. I'm open to questions.
View Sven Spengemann Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Minister.
Through “Strong, Secure, Engaged”, the government has committed to leveraging innovators to encourage innovation and accelerate the adoption of new ideas in the defence community.
I understand that the innovation for defence excellence and security initiative, better known as IDEaS, will do this by introducing flexible new approaches to stimulate innovation through a range of activities. These include competitions, contests, networks, and sandboxes to test field concepts.
I'm wondering if you could outline for the committee how this initiative is going to support the Canadian Armed Forces.
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
This is one thing I'm extremely excited about. This is where we listen to industry on how they fit into this, but more importantly, this is about setting up the Canadian Armed Forces and looking into the future, 20 years from now. It's making sure that the Canadian Armed Forces have the necessary tools to be relevant. This is about anticipating challenges and looking at problems and having them solved. Rather than us trying to solve the problem, we want to throw problems out to industry and compete the problem itself and look at new ideas. This is about spawning brand new innovation.
As you know, defence innovation is unique. We have some unique challenges. We're confident that this program will not only be able to help solve some of our problems into the future but also help industry as well, to potentially look at new products being developed. This is going to be launched shortly. It is going to fit very well into the wider innovation agenda that our government has announced.
View Sven Spengemann Profile
Lib. (ON)
In a similar vein, the defence engagement program is requesting $600,000, I think, under the revised estimates. I'm wondering if you could share with the committee why this program is important and how it will connect with the other initiative you just mentioned and help to advance the work of the Canadian Forces.
View Harjit S. Sajjan Profile
Lib. (BC)
I'm equally excited about this program. This program was cut in the past, during the various reductions that were made before our time. This is making sure that we're reaching out to experts, being able to commission reports, getting them to challenge our views and assumptions, and making sure that we have the best research ideas in defence. More importantly, how do we look at developing new talent in the defence and security field? Mr. Bezan talked about Dave Perry. He's actually a product of this program. This is what we need. We need people who have the right expertise to be able to challenge us and make sure we're moving in the right direction. This new investment will do just that.
Claude Rochette
View Claude Rochette Profile
Claude Rochette
2018-03-20 10:13
It depends on what components we are looking at. We translate based on Gantt reports; it trends between 4% and 6%.
View Scott Brison Profile
Lib. (NS)
Over the last hour, I know that our officials have been with you discussing the highlights of supplementary estimates (C) and the interim estimates 2018-19.
Madam Chair, with these supplementary estimates, the government is asking Parliament to approve funding for issues that are important to Canadians. This is why we are trying to obtain, as you have heard, $4 billion in additional expenditures for 48 organizations.
These include $177 million to support veterans and their families, $435.4 million in support of Canada's defence policy, $202.5 million towards international assistance, and $277.6 million for Canada's military contributions to international missions. We're seeking Parliament's approval to create more opportunities for indigenous peoples, attract talents, strengthen university research, build strong indigenous communities, and innovate to solve Canada's big challenges.
We're happy to take your questions on both supplementary estimates (C) and also the interim estimates for 2018-19.
I would like to briefly discuss our broader agenda to reform the estimates process and to improve its alignment with the budget.
As Mr. Pagan said, the main estimates will be brought down on April 16 at the latest, for the duration of this Parliament. I know that Mr. Pagan and Ms. Lafontaine are as excited as I am with the idea that this year's main estimates will reflect the budget, thanks to this change of date.
One consequence of that change is that we have tabled interim estimates. This is the first time that the government has provided Parliament with a document showing the specific amounts that we proposed in an interim supply bill, for each vote of each department with an appropriation. The purpose of the interim estimates and the interim supply is to provide the government with sufficient cash and authority to start the fiscal year, until we request the full authority for the full supply of the main estimates.
To better support this purpose, you will notice an important change in the way that voted authorities are presented in the proposed schedule to the appropriation bill. Now, we show both the amount of cash that the department requires for the first three months of the fiscal year and the total authority, which is the value of contracts, grants, and contribution agreements, for example, that they can commit against the vote for the year beginning on April 1.
If you had followed the progress of the second budget implementation act last fall, you'd recall that we saw an amendment to the Financial Administration Act to enable this change. This simple change to vote wording provides greater clarity for departments, which then work, and must work, within the authorities approved by Parliament.
This is another example of our commitment towards improving the clarity and transparency of the process of determining budgetary forecasts and authorities.
With this change, we are improving the clarity and transparency of the estimates and the supply process. As important as these interim estimates are, they're really just the teaser for the main event and that's the next budget and the main estimates.
As the Minister of Finance has announced, the next budget will be tabled on February 27, and by delaying the tabling of the main estimates, we will be able to include new spending measures, from the budget, in the main estimates, and to get those funds working for Canadians as soon as possible after they're announced in the budget. It really does make the estimates process more meaningful.
In the past, we would have the main estimates before the budget. We would debate the main estimates and then the budget would come along, rendering much of what we talked about in the main estimates irrelevant. I value your time as committee members, and I hope that this enables you to play an even greater role in terms of not just holding our government to account but future governments to account.
As Brian and Renée explained, we're continuing to work on the other pillars of estimates reform. There's the option of changing the nature of the vote to reflect the purpose, the why, rather than just the nature of the how, the expenditure. We're also committed to having the 2018-19 departmental plans tabled at the same time, or very soon after the main estimates.
That concludes my opening remarks. I'm looking forward to having a discussion. I always enjoy this committee.
View Leona Alleslev Profile
CPC (ON)
Ainars Latkovskis
View Ainars Latkovskis Profile
Hon. Ainars Latkovskis
2018-02-13 9:42
They can send only me here. I'm not studying very much abroad.
What I like to do—and I try to engage the whole committee—is to go and visit our troops outside. We go to training grounds. We see training. We talk to the people. When new equipment is bought, we go out and talk to those who use this equipment. We sometimes even try that equipment. This is really good. We changed to new automatic weapons in Latvia. I come from the times when we were trained with AK-47s.
View Mark Gerretsen Profile
Lib. (ON)
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
Thank you to the three of you for being here today.
It's always tough when I'm trying to make a decision as to whether to just focus my questions on one person or all three, because really I have questions and I could spend the whole time with any one of you. I apologize in advance if I'm short.
I'll start with Mr. Ferguson. The U.S. recently released a national defence strategy in which they said powers like China and Russia are a greater threat than terrorism. I'm wondering what you see that Canada can do, as a NATO member, to address these increasingly assertive countries.
James Fergusson
View James Fergusson Profile
James Fergusson
2018-02-08 9:18
Given a lot of factors, not least of all capability issues on the part of the Canadian Forces and investments in defence, I think the most important thing Canada can do is to be a loyal ally, both in the context of NATO, meeting its NATO commitments, and in the context of our close defence and vital defence relationship and broader relationship with the United States, but also in the case of China and issues in east Asia, in which Canada is noticeable by its absence in the defence and security realm.
I think it's an important question for the government. This is not just about North Korea—there are bigger issues involved here—and the government has to come to some sort of position on where it stands on these issues, outside of typical, Canadian, nice rhetoric about how we want dialogue, and co-operation, etc., etc. That's fine when you're not saying these things that have no real impact because you're not participating out there. This becomes a resource issue for the Government of Canada, and I can understand why the government is reluctant to start moving, because it simply doesn't have the resources. Let me qualify that: it doesn't wish to invest the resources into these areas. For the government right now, east Asia is economic, and I can understand that entirely, but if Canada wants to have an impact, it needs to in fact commit itself and do much more, do something in terms of that part of the world.
Kerry Buck
View Kerry Buck Profile
H.E. Kerry Buck
2018-02-06 9:19
NATO's prime focus has to be to respond to any threat from any direction at any time. I'll argue that NATO has the capabilities to do so; but NATO, as with any organization, is an organization that adapts, and NATO is also adapting to those threats.
Let me back up a minute. After the end of the Cold War, NATO's focus, as General Hainse said, had shifted very much to out-of-area crisis management operations. There was a certain peace dividend in Euro-Atlantic space and there was less focus on collective defence. With 2014—and you mentioned the illegal annexation of Crimea—it was clear that NATO had to return to collective defence, so it did so. It tripled the size of the NATO response force. It installed a number of smaller headquarters throughout not just the eastern flank, but also the eastern and southeastern flanks, to connect national forces to NATO forces. It constructed the VJTF, the very high-readiness joint task force, a kind of spearhead force; and it put the four new battle groups into the eastern flank—Poland and the Baltics—where Canada is a framework nation, as I mentioned.
NATO has done a lot on collective defence. Many of those decisions, for example, the battle groups in the east, were taken at the Warsaw summit. As we head into the summit this summer, we will be doing what I call “consolidating” those elements and ensuring that there are adequate follow-on forces, reinforcements, and military mobility to strengthen that presence. But can it do the job? Yes, it can.
As NATO focused again on collective defence, it was still very much engaged in out-of-area activity, but there has been a shift there. NATO is still engaged in Afghanistan; its longest running mission. At the same time, there was a recognition that NATO and its allies could do more to project stability outside of NATO's periphery, using some other means than large-scale operations, through a combination of defence capacity building, what we call “projecting stability”. As a result, there's been much more done, for instance, in Ukraine, in Georgia, in Jordan, and around NATO's periphery to help project that stability.
You asked what the prime focus was, and NATO has to do it all. As I said, there's been a real sea change since 2014, and NATO has adapted to meet that change in the security environment. There's also consolidation. At the forthcoming summit, we expect there will likely be an adaptation of the NATO command structure, more on projecting stability, more on defence capacity building, including in places such as Iraq, and more consolidation of NATO's deterrence posture on the eastern flank, and in the southeast as well, with Romania and Bulgaria
Thank you.
View James Bezan Profile
CPC (MB)
Thank you.
I want to follow up a bit more about China's near-Arctic policy and development of the polar Silk Road, and the impact that it could have not just on North Atlantic security, but Arctic security.
We have a particular capability in Canada, with Arctic expertise. Maybe it's a niche where Canada could be offering to do more training and interoperations with NATO members.
Have there been any thoughts of setting up a centre of excellence? I know right now the Canadian Armed Forces are getting ready for Operation Nunalivut, which is taking place in Resolute and in Cambridge Bay. Should we possibly be doing more training with NATO members and making use of our resources in the Arctic to get them better prepared to deal with potential Arctic threats from Russia and others?
Kerry Buck
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H.E. Kerry Buck
2018-02-06 9:56
On Arctic training—or I'll call it “North Atlantic training”, because we really are focusing on the North Atlantic here—yes, we do have specific capabilities. So do Norway, for instance, and close NATO partners Finland and Sweden. We, NATO, have been ramping up our exercising and we've included North Atlantic partners as well.
As I said earlier, we're also focusing on more maritime, and so on, and more situational awareness around the North Atlantic.
Regarding China, there has been a lot of discussion at the North Atlantic Council about the security environment in Asia, and by “Asia” I mean all of Asia. We've had a lot of discussion, obviously, about North Korea.
When we talk about situational awareness and Russia, we will also inevitably talk about China and we have been doing more outreach to Asian partners to increase our situational awareness. However, the focus has not been on China in the Arctic, by any stretch. We've been focusing on [Inaudible--Editor], and more about China's role vis-à-vis North Korea.
View David Yurdiga Profile
CPC (AB)
How does Canada differ in its defence procurement procedures when compared to other NATO countries? It's very important to see how we compare, where we're at.
Patrick Finn
View Patrick Finn Profile
Patrick Finn
2018-02-01 9:01
Thank you for the question.
As indicated, I sit at the Conference of National Armaments Directors, where I have engagement a number of times a year with my colleagues, both in plenary and in bilateral engagements. We have other bilateral engagements and we speak a fair bit in a Five Eyes context.
In the broad approach of how we typically do major procurements, government establishes policy and makes those decisions. We then have a project or program approach that speaks to two gates entering definition, and then implementation is pretty standard among all our large allies.
We may be structured differently. In Canada, we have a separation between what my organization does and what Public Services and Procurement Canada does and what Industry, Science and Economic Development does, but almost all of our peer nations, I would say, have a similar breakout. It may be within their department of defence, but nevertheless they break it out that way.
I would say that in the context of all the things we need to do, ensuring we are gaining value for taxpayers' money is pretty common across the broad allies. I have not come across the silver bullet that we would adopt from somebody else's system, where they've kind of cracked it. We're pretty similar that way, in authorities and how we do things. Timelines can ebb and flow, but there are a lot of parallels and similarities between us and our allies in terms of large military procurement.
View David Yurdiga Profile
CPC (AB)
Thank you.
The basics of the procurement process start when the Canadian Forces identifies the capability deficiency. Is this always the case?
Patrick Finn
View Patrick Finn Profile
Patrick Finn
2018-02-01 9:03
For capability acquisition, sir, yes, it is. It's very regimented. Not only is it establishing the capability, but there is never an infinite amount of money, so there are cost-capability trade-offs. I would say capability comes even a step before that, in the context of the capability development process. We have a very detailed process that starts with determining the future security environment. In other words, the capabilities, the needs of the Canadian Armed Forces, are looked at in terms of what we anticipate the threats and the situation will be in three, five, 10 years from now, which could cause us to even change direction in a previous procurement we're working on and change some requirements.
It then flows into, as you indicate, the definition of high-level mandatory requirements. We have internal governance that looks at cost and capability. For us now that is all enshrined in our new defence policy of “Strong, Secure, Engaged”. Then it would flow into the follow-on steps of actual procurement.
Where it would not necessarily be capability-based is that there's a degree of procurement or contracting for equipment that is in service. These are in-service support contracts. Clearly, if the decision has been made to acquire a new ship or aircraft, in so doing we've also made a decision to support it. We don't go back and re-establish the requirements to establish in-service support for a ship or an aircraft or an armoured vehicle.
View David Yurdiga Profile
CPC (AB)
Excellent.
Can you explain some of the benefits that foreign comparative testing has for Canada and our national defence?
Patrick Finn
View Patrick Finn Profile
Patrick Finn
2018-02-01 9:05
In the context of procurement and value for money, we're trying to do a lot more work on how we test, and test early. We've had some really good outcomes from this approach. What we can't do is establish all of the test facilities and test ranges, duplicating what all of our allies are doing, so we have reached out and established some relationships.
A couple come to mind immediately. One is the U.S., and testing around vehicles. We use U.S. ranges for missiles and torpedoes and things of that nature. We have some ranges of our own that we also share. This enables us to share not only facilities, but also data and outcomes. It could be early on in research and development around better armour. We've used it to great effect. For example, when our tactical armoured patrol vehicle came to production, early on we put it through very detailed and rigorous testing and had some pretty significant failures. We refused to accept any vehicles. After two years of redesign work, we had a much better outcome, and now we've taken possession of 80% of those vehicles.
It is sharing of facilities, but it's also sharing data and information without each of us having to duplicate it.
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