Planned results: Program 4.0: Defence Capability Element Production

Program 4.0: Defence Capability Element Production


The Defence Capability Element Production Program aims to sustain Defence by producing and maintaining portfolios of the fundamental Defence capability elements so that they are continuously available in the appropriate quantity, combination and condition to sustain the chain of programs delivered by Defence, from the Defence Capability Development and Research Program through to the Defence Ready Force Elements Production Program.

These programs collectively give Defence the ability to conduct Defence Combat and Support Operations as well as deliver Defence Services and Contributions to Government.

The primary elements of Defence capability are military personnel, materiel and information systems, information, and real property. A fundamental focus of the Defence Capability Elements Production Program is to provide an adequate and sustained supply of individual military personnel and materiel in the near-term and over long-term time horizons so that they can be integrated to produce force elements within the Defence Ready Force Element Production Program.

Results are achieved through subordinate programs, each of which focuses on a separate portfolio: military personnel and organization; materiel; real property; or information systems. A lifecycle approach is used to manage each portfolio. The essential aspects of the lifecycle approach are sub-sub-programs that provide the principle lifecycle functions: introduction into service; maintenance, upgrade and supply; release from service; portfolio management; and overarching co-ordination and control. The character of activity that occurs within each of these primary functions depends on the portfolio of entities being produced and therefore the desegregation of the lifecycle functions into sub-sub-programs is unique to each portfolio.

The authority for this Program is derived from the National Defence Act.

Planning highlights

The Defence Team is the backbone of our defence capability and our greatest asset. The success of any mission is dependent on having healthy, well-trained, and motivated personnel.

We will continue to work to ensure that Canada's sons and daughters belong to an organization that offers a safe workplace that is free from harassment and discrimination, and is an organization that provides them with necessary care and support both during and after their time of service.

We have an absolute commitment not only to our members, but to their families as well. Our men and women serve in complex environments which can pose a high threat level. We will continue to deliver essential programs and services to give our troops comfort knowing their families are being looked after.

Improve military recruitment, training and retention

Military recruiting and retention are top priorities for the CAF and the Government of Canada. To continue to effectively meet CAF operational requirements, we require not only an appropriate level of personnel, but individuals who are well trained, who possess the requisite skills and want to remain with the CAF.

We are committed to ensuring the CAF has the right mix of people, equipment and resources, and the requisite training in place to meet the tasks assigned by the Government of Canada. Recruitment and retention strategies factor greatly in efforts to maintain required CAF posture and Defence readiness.

The CAF is focused on attracting quality recruits from across Canada who represent our country’s diverse population. One of our main recruiting objectives is to work towards achieving established employment equity goals. Better targeting our recruitment efforts will be key, as well as putting in place policies, measures and practices to ensure that we maintain an environment that promotes inclusiveness and fosters both personal and professional growth.

This year, we will advance several initiatives aimed at improving military recruitment, training and retention.

  • We will continue to put in place measures to improve our recruiting efforts, ensuring adjustments can be made to requirements by occupation, when necessary.
  • We will develop new recruiting advertising and marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the over 100 jobs and career choices within the CAF and in support of key recruitment priorities - women, diversity, priority occupations and the Reserve Force.
  • We will advance our extensive review of the entire recruiting process to ensure that it is more timely and efficient while better serving the needs of potential recruits. We intend to streamline the intake process to reduce processing times, from the first online contact through enrolment.
  • We will adopt an active recruiting campaign showing women in all CAF roles with the aim of attracting more women to a career in the CAF, particularly in the combat arms. Those who meet the required entry standards, including those applying to our military colleges, will be given priority and essentially moved to the front of the line. We recognize we have some work to do in terms of increasing the number of women in uniform and know there are challenges but we will work hard to overcome them. We want all women to look at the CAF as a profession, while at the same time not to feel that they have to choose between a family and a career.
  • We will take the necessary steps to ensure Royal Military College of Canada remains an elite institution that is an educator of choice for university-bound Canadians, including reviewing all aspects of the climate, training environment, culture, and program construct at the Canadian Defence Academy.
  • We will transform the Individual Training and Education (IT&E) system under the IT&E Modernization campaign to address the personnel generation demands of the future security environment. We will develop a pan-CAF IT&E architecture with a view of creating efficiencies and enhancing effectiveness of IT&E delivery. IT&E Modernization is meant to initiate a culture of continuous improvement and deliberate coordinated analysis to ensure the sustained effectiveness and efficiency of the military personnel generation system. This system is important to identifying new competencies for the personnel of tomorrow and the creation of new occupations.
  • We will develop and implement a CAF Retention Strategy to ensure our members remain qualified, competent and motivated. How we manage and treat our people contributes to decisions on whether they choose to leave or stay and whether or not we are perceived as an employer of choice. We will review a wide array of areas and include these as part of our effort to build viable retention initiatives.
  • We will focus on issues where troops have demanded improvement such as career management, family support, mental health and wellness support, and diversity while considering transactional factors in the areas of compensation and benefits. To accomplish this, we will need to challenge policies, programs, and activities that impact the real needs of our members and their families. The Retention Strategy will identify tangible goals, be supported by benchmarking with our allies and other government organizations, and will use a performance measurement framework to report and monitor our progress. Professional research will underpin and legitimize our initiatives.
  • We will continue to support military spouse career development through the Military Family Services Program and explore the expansion of national spousal employment initiatives. Ensuring spouses have adequate resources and support to sustain ongoing careers will increase retention of our members by reducing the financial burden created by a one-income household. It will also help both adult family members to maximize their potential and accomplish professional growth.

Foster an inclusive and respectful workplace

The Department and the CAF share a commitment to the health and well-being of all Defence Team members and to creating and maintaining a safe and supportive work environment for our personnel that is founded on inclusivity and respect. Key initiatives underway to further cultivate these values within our organization include the CAF Diversity Strategy, the numerous projects being advanced as part of Operation HONOUR 32 and the development of a Health and Wellness Strategy for Defence.

Implement the CAF diversity strategy

We are fortunate to have an inclusive CAF. However, we recognize there is a lack of diversity in our demographic makeup. Diversity is not to be confused with our legal obligations under the Employment Equity Act and our Employment Equity Plan that establishes the long-term employment representation goal for women, Indigenous Peoples and visible minorities. Although the legal objectives of employment equity will complement and be embedded within our Diversity Strategy, we must adopt a broader, more holistic approach that applies strategic goals and institutional effects that can be sustained over time.

The implementation of the CAF Diversity Strategy comes with an action plan detailing activities to accomplish the strategic goals. This action plan will be reviewed on an annual basis in order to ensure that it is integrated with other CAF priorities with regards to diversity. Research on attitudes towards LGBTQ2S issues, diversity climate, ethnic tolerance/intolerance and cross-cultural competence is also planned going forward to support the CAF Diversity Strategy and action plan.

Address and eliminate harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour

Operation HONOUR is the overarching Canadian Armed Forces endeavour aimed at eliminating harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour within the institution and ensuring a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. A focal point of Operation HONOUR is the implementation of all 10 of the recommendations in Madame Deschamps' report, though the efforts are not limited to those. The objective is clear: every member of the CAF, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, is to be treated with due dignity and respect.

We are encouraged by the progress achieved to date, but we are not completely satisfied. Much work remains, and despite the early progress and changes within our institution, incidents of harmful sexual behaviour and sexual offences continue to occur as illustrated in the results of a recent Statistics Canada Survey on sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces. This is why Operation HONOUR remains a top priority across the CAF.

Delivering more effective support to victims remains paramount and victim support has been enhanced through the Sexual Misconduct Response Centre, specialized teams of investigators within the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, and prioritization of cases related to sexual offences by the Director of Military Prosecutions. Some of the projects that are ongoing through the next phases of Operation HONOUR include the following:

  • We are expanding and enhancing victim support through the introduction of new programs including peer support, facilitating reporting of incidents, improving victim care and providing more tools to members of the CAF to understand the important roles they can play in supporting and assisting victims.
  • We have developed a unified policy approach to address harmful and inappropriate sexual behaviour and conduct in the workplace that will align with Government of Canada initiatives and policy reviews regarding workplace violence and harassment. This unified policy approach provides an overarching single policy on conduct with subordinate policies or instructions for both military and civilian personnel in contrast to the scattered directives and policies that currently exist. This will translate into detailed specific policies, covering reporting, resolution, training, and support to finalize the policy modernization.
  • Education and training is an integral part of culture change and early products have been developed and implemented for awareness and understanding as well as Bystander Intervention. Over the next year, we will be focused on implementing changes across existing training to ensure that topics related to Operation HONOUR are integrated into leadership, ethics and resilience programs. Beginning early in 2017, we will also implement new workshops including “Respect in the CAF”, a mobile application to support both victims and the chain of command to deal with incidents, E-learning courses to support individual training and education delivery and refresher training, and supporting the end-to-end review of the CAF Professional Development Program. We continue to build upon and enhance programs that have been developed for Bystander Intervention, Commanding Officers, Harassment Advisors, recruit training, and social and cultural programs.
  • With the receipt of the survey results from Statistics Canada, we will review our programs and plans to ensure identified problematic areas are appropriately addressed. These results will be used as a baseline to compare with follow-on internal research projects like the Your Say Survey and other relevant surveys that will allow us to assess the effectiveness of these programs. These will be followed up with a re-administration of the Statistics Canada survey in 2018.
  • We continue to develop performance metrics through a comprehensive research program that includes assessing the effectiveness of Operation HONOUR, the prevalence of inappropriate behaviours in the workplace, social and cultural issues that contribute to a sexualized culture, and leadership issues, to name a few. To further advance information program development, a comprehensive research plan is progressing that will enable greater insight and a clear understanding of these issues to inform program development and initiatives. We have implemented a monthly reporting system that provides tracking data on reported incidents. This system will be linked with other data to ensure consistent reporting, minimize duplications and enable us to collect reliable and verifiable information to increase our ability to properly deal with such behaviour.

Discriminatory policy based on sexual orientation has been eliminated across the CAF and Canada as a whole. Current policy includes a commitment to champion the rights of the LGBTQ2S community. However, it is recognized that former members of the CAF and of the public service were adversely affected because of their sexual orientation. We will participate in the whole-of-government approach to make amends to those who were dismissed or forced out of the military due to sexual orientation.

Support health and wellness

The health and wellness of Defence Team members is a priority and requires a holistic approach that takes into account the physical, intellectual, emotional, social, familial and spiritual factors impacting their health and well-being. Notwithstanding the excellence of health care and services that exist in the CAF, there remain significant health issues affecting our personnel that will be addressed as part of health and wellness initiatives. The concept of health and wellness has been implicitly recognized within the CAF to improve support to ill and injured, and many other initiatives. These include the development of CAF physical fitness and mental health strategies, the Surgeon General’s Integrated Health Strategy, enhance the CAF case management capacity and the plan to introduce occupational therapy to assist with return to work and transition to civilian life which contribute to the overall well-being of military members.

Develop a suicide prevention strategy

Suicide is a tragedy and an important public health concern. Significant investment and commitment has been made to ensure the CAF has the health, education, and awareness programs required to help identify people at risk for mental health problems and to provide them with assistance.

Recognizing the importance of mental health care, a suicide prevention strategy is being developed in partnership with Veterans Affairs Canada. The strategy will aim to leverage existing government-wide initiatives and increase CAF leadership involvement in existing programs in order to reduce suicides, suicide attempts and thoughts.

For more information, see “Suicide and suicide prevention in the Canadian Armed Forces 33”.

Improve the transition to civilian life - working with Veterans Affairs Canada

We will continue to improve the support given to all CAF members and Veterans as they transition from military to civilian life, and in tackling mental health issues. This is a shared responsibility between our Department and Veterans Affairs Canada. That is why the Associate Minister of National Defence is also the Minister of Veterans Affairs.

We will continue to strengthen the relationship between our two departments. Our focus will be on reducing complexity, improving information sharing and overhauling service delivery, and streamlining and simplifying wherever feasible. As part of this effort, we will also review our income support and rehabilitation programs to eliminate gaps and duplication. Together, we will also continue to seek ways to ensure a more seamless transition of our members through the Joint Personnel Support Units to ensure each individual is provided with a customized transition plan that either gets them well and back to duty, or successfully transitions them out of the military.

Through to 2019, we will work with Veteran Affairs Canada to complete the implementation of a new transition model. In this regard, seven task forces were established with a focus on the following areas: Income Support and Rehabilitation Program Review; Service Excellence; Financial Benefit Program Re-Design; Commemoration; Career Transition and Employment; Seamless Transition; and Mental Health and Veterans in Crisis. The Seamless Transition and the Career Transition and Employment task forces are both co-led by CAF and Veteran Affairs Canada representatives. We will continue to coordinate our efforts to ‘close the seam’ for releasing members of the CAF and their families.

Guided by the principles of care, compassion and respect, transitioning CAF members, Veterans and their families will be the primary focus of our efforts. The CAF and Veterans Affairs Canada will work, and will be seen to be working, shoulder to shoulder in guiding CAF members, Veterans and their families as they transition from military to civilian life. Together we will demonstrate that there is no ‘wrong door’, that all can count on accessible, integrated and consistent service. We will aim to continue to better anticipate and meet their current and future needs to ensure they receive timely access to benefits, certainty about care, and seamless access to those programs and services so important to their successful re-establishment in civilian life.

Ensure Canada’s military is well-equipped

The Government recognizes the importance of a well-equipped military with a range of capabilities. The new defence policy will define the future requirements of the CAF over the long term.

In the short-term, and in accordance with the Minister’s mandate letter, we will ensure Canada’s military is equipped and prepared to protect and defend Canadian sovereignty, North America, and our allies through the following initiatives:

  • The National Shipbuilding Strategy 34 will continue to be a cornerstone of our acquisition program. This year, our focus will be the continued construction of the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessels; the design and production engineering of the Joint Support Ship; and progressing definition phase activities of the Canadian Surface Combatant Project.
  • The Minister of National Defence will continue to work closely with the Minister of Public Services and Procurement to launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft, focusing on options that match Canada’s defence needs. In the interim, we will explore the acquisition of 18 new Super Hornet aircraft to supplement the fleet of CF-18 fighter aircraft until the permanent replacement arrives.

To bolster our continual effort to improve defence procurement, we will seek to advance costing capability and capacity, which was significantly expanded and implemented in 2016-17. This will further provide more comprehensive forecasting for future projects in order to ensure valid lifecycle cost estimates and that procurement is completed in accordance with Treasury Board guidelines. In 2017-18, the Centre for Costing in Defence will strive to professionalize the costing specialization, by having practitioners complete the International Cost Estimating and Analysis Association’s Certified Cost Estimator/Analyst program.

Our Sustainment Initiative will continue to provide innovative solutions to the in-service support of equipment fleets. It will leverage early inter-departmental and Industry engagement to strike an appropriate balance between the equipment support principles of equipment performance, flexibility, value-for-money and economic benefits. This will be achieved through the identification and implementation of sustainment best practices that leverage the capabilities of the Government of Canada and Industry. During this period, we will continue the establishment of strong joint governance with Public Services and Procurement Canada, Innovation Science and Economic Development Canada, and Canadian industry.

For detailed information on transformational and major capital projects, see Supplementary Information – Status report on transformational and major crown projects 35.

Deliver real property programs and services

On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Defence Team is proud to administer the largest Real Property portfolio in the federal government to support the CAF. We will continue to enable effective and efficient portfolio management and the delivery of services through centralization, modernization, and transformation.

Optimize portfolio usage and assets

As part of delivering on the Minister’s mandate letter, we will bring forward a proposal to rationalize defence infrastructure in Canada. We are focused on maximizing portfolio usage and making sure the portfolio has the right assets. Part of the plan to deliver on this commitment includes lowering energy costs through the use of performance contracts, reducing the total cost of ownership through the use of public/private partnership arrangements, and realizing a right-size infrastructure portfolio by producing a comprehensive and integrated national real property plan.

We will enable the operational success of the CAF through the delivery of Real Property programs and projects by continuing to transform Real Property management. This will enable our regional Real Property operations units to deliver effective services, including the maintenance of Defence infrastructure, the provision of architecture and engineering and project management support, portfolio planning and management as well as procurement services to Defence buildings, property and other real property holdings across Canada. This will provide a consistent level of service across the country and optimize resources.

In response to the internal Audit on Municipal Works of 2016, we will also refresh our performance measurement framework to better track and demonstrate results. Initiatives such as the Infrastructure and Environment Business Modernization program will provide relevant and timely information on the Defence Real Property portfolio to enable informed and timely decisions.

Renew nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples

To deliver on the Government of Canada’s and the Minister’s mandate letter commitment of renewing nation-to-nation relationships with Indigenous peoples, we will coordinate Indigenous issues through an Indigenous Affairs Secretariat. The Secretariat’s primary role is to review modern treaties as they are being negotiated by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to ensure that Defence interests are respected and to ensure that treaty implementation obligations relating to military operations, contracting, and land use planning are met. We will also provide strategic oversight and leadership on Indigenous issues to ensure that we meet our obligations by effectively implementing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous peoples (adopted by the UN General Assembly 12 September 2007). Our aim is to achieve a relationship with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation, and partnership.

Exercise guidance and leadership over environmental commitments

We will provide oversight and guidance to meet our environmental obligations as outlined in the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. We will exercise leadership over the environmental function to ensure that environmental considerations are incorporated into decisions on Defence activities and that our commitments and targets articulated in the Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy are met. In support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, we will contribute to a cleaner, more innovative economy that reduces emissions and protects the environment.

Improve service delivery for Canadian Armed Forces housing

Chapter 5 of the Auditor General’s 2015 Fall Report examined the management of CAF housing. The report found that while the Department had a military housing policy that was consistent with government policy and systems for managing the housing portfolio, there was a requirement to improve the ability to respond more effectively to the housing needs of current and future CAF members.

We are committed to implementing the recommended changes that will improve delivery of the military housing program. In September 2015, we began a review of our military housing needs and will present revised operational requirements for military housing by 30 June 2017 and a revised accommodation policy by 31 December 2018 to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. This updated policy will enable the development of a long-term, predictable plan that clearly reflects the work needed to meet our military housing requirements, which will be provided to the Committee by 31 December 2019.

Budget 2016 identified a $2.1 billion investment for repairs and retrofits to properties and buildings, and the greening of government operations, including focused investment to improve military housing. As part of this funding allocation, $50 million will be invested in the military housing portfolio.

Ensure Canada’s military is well supported by information systems

Our Information Management / Information Technology (IM/IT) capabilities and services are critical to the effective and efficient administration of the entire organization, and are an important enabler to defence functions including CAF operations. This year, our focus will be on maintaining our core operational and enterprise IM/IT capabilities. At the same time, we will design and implement new capabilities to address emergent opportunities and threats, to enable CAF success in operations, and to secure the information management and technology capabilities that enable our military operations and departmental programs.

To enable CAF operations, we will plan, develop, deliver and support innovative IM/IT capabilities. This will be achieved by exploiting a wide range of technologies to deliver seamless and timely access to trusted information, intelligence, and technology in a secure environment within Defence, across the whole-of-government and with our allies.

To enable our planning and decision making functions, we will further develop our Business Intelligence/Analytics capabilities to deliver a foundational infrastructure and specific capabilities that will support departmental priorities and make information available to decision makers.

To enabling Defence management functions, we will continue with the rationalization of our IM/IT Program to deliver consolidated, operationally focused, responsive, and efficient IM/IT. This approach supports our change agenda priorities and further aligns with Government of Canada IM/IT enterprise priorities to standardize and consolidate IM/IT services across the federal government.

Ensure defence safety, protection and security

Through the coordinated delivery of a wide array of programs and services, we will continue to make every effort to ensure our activities are conducted safely and that the organization is protected and secure from internal and external threats. Within this context, we will advance several initiatives this year.

Nuclear safety

To provide safety and protection to our Defence Team members, we will seek to increase our capacity to conduct compliance inspections and assessments of our nuclear holdings and practices; facilitate radioactive waste disposal and site decommissioning; oversee the safe conduct of foreign nuclear vessel visits to authorized ports; complete radon gas testing of our buildings; and ensure compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty aimed at limiting the spread of nuclear weapons.

Improvised explosive device disposal

We will continue to work with the United Nations Mine Action Service as co-chairs in the development of Improvised Explosive Device handbooks. These manuals detail what should be done in an explosive threat environment, how to train and validate headquarters to function in that environment, and the skills and validation of Improvised Explosive Device Disposal operators. The first two manuals are scheduled for United Nations review in spring 2017 and the third is to be completed in July.

1974 Valcartier cadets grenade incident

On 30 July 1974, at a summer camp for army cadets held at the Canadian Forces Base Valcartier, a live grenade exploded during a course on ordnance safety, killing six young cadets and injuring dozens more. Also present and impacted by this tragedy were Regular Force instructors and Reservists who received immediate and long-term assistance through their status as members of the CAF. With the exception of the immediate medical care received at the time of the incident, the cadets were not assisted or compensated under any National Defence policy or regulation in effect at the time.

The Office of the National Defence and Canadian Forces Ombudsman conducted a formal inquiry into the incident and released the results of its investigation in June 2015. At the time, the Minister directed the Department to offer assessments to all those who have been affected by this incident to determine the physical and psychological care they require and to ensure that the affected individuals have access to health care and compensation based on these assessments where appropriate. The CAF have taken action on those elements that lie within the Minister’s authority. Survivors are now receiving medical assessments and, if needed, are being provided with critical care.

In the coming year, we will review proposals to provide compensation, peer support and resiliency training for each of the victims of the 1974 Valcartier cadets grenade incident. Our ultimate goal is to ensure all individuals affected receive the necessary and fair treatments that are due to them.

Planned results

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013-14
Suitable Defence capability elements are available in a mix and condition that enables Defence to be prepared for and execute operations. Percentage of Defence Capability Elements that are suitable to Defence needs. 90 - 100% March 2018 N/A* 87% 83%

*Note: A new Program Alignment Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework were introduced in fiscal year 2014-15. Results for 2013-14 are not available. For more information on previous year results, see the applicable Departmental Performance Report available on our Reports and Publications 36 web page.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
12,805,778,437 12,826,660,194* 14,191,763,214 13,374,702,491

*The largest year-to-year variance in total planned spending occurs from 2017-18 to 2018-19 totalling $1.5 billion. Of this total, $1.3 billion is attributable to Program 4.0: Defence Capability Element Production. The increase in planned spending under this program is largely due to adjustments to the spending profile of major capital equipment and infrastructure projects to align financial resources with project acquisition timelines.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Military – Regular Force 32,134 32,630 32, 688
Civilian 15,919 15,919 15,919
TOTAL 48,053 48,549 48,607

Recruitment and Retention

There is a broad range of career opportunities 37 in the CAF. The CAF offers more than 100 jobs and career choices.

A Canadian Armed Forces nurse prepares medical equipment at the Role 2 medical facility

Photo: Canadian Forces Combat Camera, DND

A Canadian Armed Forces nurse prepares medical equipment at the Role 2 medical facility during Operation IMPACT in Northern Iraq on 21 November 2016.

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