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Defence minister says plan in talks for ‘vital’ navy investments – Nationwide | Globalnews.ca Categorical Occasions

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Defence Minister Invoice Blair says he’s dedicated to pushing for elevated funding within the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) after two prime commanders sounded the alarm not too long ago on operational readiness.

“Colleagues and shipmates, the [Royal Canadian Navy] (RCN) faces some very severe challenges proper now that would imply we fail to fulfill our power posture readiness commitments in 2024 and past,” Vice-Adm. Angus Topshe, commander of the navy, mentioned in a YouTube video posted earlier this week.

Final week, Chief of the Defence Workers Gen. Wayne Eyre mentioned navy assets are strained amid elevated requires help in pure disasters and recruiting challenges.

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On The West Block, Blair informed host Mercedes Stephenson that how the federal government addresses these challenges is a part of an ongoing dialogue.

“We now have introduced ahead a plan that’s very a lot in dialogue proper now inside our authorities about making vital new investments,” Blair mentioned.

“We’re going to do extra. However there’s additionally some context within the doing that extra as a result of there’s a fiscal scenario in Canada that I’ve to be practical about.”

On the Home of Commons defence committee final week, Blair mentioned that the long-promised defence coverage replace is tied in with broader budgetary conversations taking place with the Prime Minister’s Workplace.

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Blair mentioned a part of his job is targeted on serving to clear up points in navy procurement — a longstanding problem in the case of sourcing much-needed gear.

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Earlier this week, he together with Innovation Minister Francois-Phillipe Champagne and Procurement Minister Jean-Yves Duclos introduced Canada has chosen Boeing for a soul-source $8-billion deal on new surveillance plane to exchange the Auroras.

“I don’t wish to form of relitigate the previous, however I feel for a really very long time, we didn’t make the required investments within the platforms,” Blair mentioned.

“What’s additionally grow to be obvious is that the world is changing into an more and more harmful place. Our tasks are well-known to us and vital.”

Stephenson pressed Blair on Canada’s navy readiness, mentioning that sources say Canada now has a three-day ammunition provide and never 30 days as mandated by NATO commitments.

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“We’ve been engaged on what have been challenges in buying the ammunition. And a few of it’s assets, however an terrible lot of it’s this course of. So, making that course of work extra successfully is a vital a part of what we now have to do,” Blair mentioned.

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As a part of broader budgetary deliberations, Blair has been tasked with shaving $1 billion off defence expenditures. Blair beforehand mentioned they’re searching for efficiencies in areas like consulting and administration, however he says points with procurement are extra course of than budget-related.

“Final yr, the Canadian Armed Forces was unable to spend over $2 billion of their finances. And it’s as a result of the processes of procurement aren’t as environment friendly as they should be,” Blair mentioned.

“It’s a matter of constructing positive that these processes work for them in order that they’re in a position to try this upkeep, they’re capable of purchase that ammunition, they’re capable of make the investments that they should make.”

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