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Canada's military spending will be on NATO target by 2029, says Bill Blair

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Bill Blair, here left at CANSEC, said he expects Canada's defense spending to reach at least 1.75% of GDP by 2029, but that other investments would likely push this figure beyond the recommended 2%.

The Canadian Press in Ottawa

Published yesterday at 1:50 p.m.

  • Canada

Canada appears on track to meet NATO military spending guidelines by the end of the decade, Defense Minister Bill Blair said Friday, in part because of increased investment in military spending. 'Arctic, near its shared border with Russia, as the region rapidly warms due to climate change.

After Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in 2014, NATO allies agreed to end budget cuts and devote 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) to defense within ten years.

Canada devoted barely 1% of its GDP to it at the time. According to the most recent NATO data, it would allocate 1.33% of its GDP to its military budget.

Bill Blair said he expects Canada's defense spending to reach at least 1.75% of GDP by 2029, but other investments, including replacing the aging submarine fleet of the country or the purchase of integrated air defense and missile systems, would likely push this figure beyond the recommended 2%.

Furthermore, Mr Blair claimed that in close coordination with allies, a Canadian-led battle group in Latvia is being expanded to brigade size.

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“I think that inevitably takes us to over 2% of defense spending. But I have work to do to be able to express that both to my own country and to our allies,” he said.

Canada plans also to purchase surveillance planes and helicopters, as well as replenish its ammunition reserves.

“We must be ready”

“Our country is at a pivotal moment. Our sovereignty and our security are no longer guaranteed by our geographic location,” argued Bill Blair. Canada is surrounded by three oceans and neighbors NATO's largest ally, the United States.

“But the new threat environment, the most high accessibility of our Arctic, new technologies and the actions of our adversaries have taught us that we must be ready,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels , in Belgium.

On the social network 62~NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he expects about two-thirds of the alliance's 32 member countries to spend 2 percent of their GDP on their defense budgets this year, compared to only three countries ten years ago.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116