Cdn defence plan to cost $50-billion over 20 years
There's been some confusion this week over the estimated cost of Canada's defence plan, but apparently the correct estimate is $50 billion over 20 years. It's a lot of money for things that go bang.
OTTAWA -- Canada's new defence strategy will cost up to $50-billion over two decades - $20-billion more than the Harper government announced earlier this week - one of the country's top generals said yesterday as the military scrambled to quell criticism that the plan lacks sufficient detail.
Lieutenant-General Walter Natynczyk, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, said the military would spend between $45-billion and $50-billion on planes, combat vehicles, ships and fighters under the Canada First Defence Strategy, the Conservative government's plan for the military that was originally released Monday without comprehensive details.
But senior military officers were constrained from talking openly as they tried to further flesh out the strategy yesterday.
The Canada First Defence Strategy's shopping list includes many items the Tories have already talked about buying, including: 17 fixed wing search and rescue aircraft to enter service by 2015; up to 12 maritime patrol aircraft by 2020 and 65 fighters by 2017.
The military tried to clear up confusion about how much equipment it is buying. Mr. Harper on Monday said the total bill for the defence strategy was $30-billion, but a senior officer said that figure is actually the annual budget for the Department of National Defence two decades from now.
"The 30 [billion dollars] that you saw there is the value the DND budget will be 20 years from now," a senior military official said. "What we're going to invest between now and then, and further on beyond that, is that $45-billion to $50-billion. These are two different numbers. They mean two different things."