International Security

NATO Funding (NATO Readiness Initiative)

  • Canada is unwavering in its commitment to the NATO Alliance, to the defence of Euro-Atlantic security, and to the rules-based international order.
  • In 2019, the Prime Minister announced that Canada would increase its commitment to the NATO Readiness Initiative, a plan launched to enhance the readiness of existing national forces and the Alliance’s rapid-response capabilities. 
  • In these Main Estimates, National Defence is requesting $108.8 million to support Canada’s contribution to the NATO Readiness Initiative, including the activities of one extra high-readiness frigate and six extra fighter aircraft committed in 2019.
  • These funds will be used to facilitate maintenance work, maintain a parts inventory, and support the fighting capabilities of the high-readiness frigate, as well as to procure pack-up kits and increase the fleet sustainment activities of the fighter jets. 
  • At the NATO Summit in June 2022, Canada announced that we will bolster our military deployment to Latvia and continue to lead NATO forces as a Framework Nation.
  • We also announced that we will establish a NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence, for which Canada will be the Framework Nation, in Montréal.
  • More recently, in November 2022, Halifax was proposed as the location for the North American Regional Office of NATO’s Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA).
  • Canada will continue to make important contributions to global peace and stability alongside our NATO Allies, as we are doing in Latvia, Ukraine, and the Middle East.

If pressed on whether Canada will commit to the NATO 2% target:

  • We remain committed to maintaining the defence budget increases that were set out in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.
  • These investments will increase the total Department of National Defence budget from $18.9 billion in 2016-17 to $32.7 billion by 2026-27, an increase of more than 70%.
  • We are making strategic investments in defence, so that together with our NATO Allies, we are agile in the face of evolving threats.
  • For example, we are investing $38.6 billion over twenty years to modernize our contribution to NORAD.
  • Canada is the 6th largest contributor to NATO’s commonly funded budget, which supports operating and maintenance costs for Allied military activities.
  • We also contribute funding to NATO’s National Security Investment Program, in addition to supporting several NATO operations, including Operation REASSURANCE.
  • Canada’s defence spending and procurement are based on threat analyses and assessments of our needs, as opposed to arbitrary spending targets.

Key Facts

Defence Spending

  • Fiscal Year 2021-22: Canada spent 1.28% of GDP on defence.
  • Canada is the 6th largest contributor to NATO’s common funded budget.
  • Canada spent 13.7% of defence spending on major equipment in 2021-22.
  • Fiscal Year 2022-23: Canada is forecasting to spend 1.29% of its GDP on defence and approximately 18.8% of its defence spending on major equipment.

Canadian Support to NATO Operations

  • Operation REASSURANCE: Approximately 1,200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel serve on Operation REASSURANCE, Canada’s largest international operation. Canada has also placed approximately 3,400 personnel at a higher state of readiness should these forces be required.
  • Operation IMPACT: Approximately 350 CAF personnel are deployed; 21 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to NATO Mission Iraq to support training and capacity building of the Iraqi military.
  • Operation KOBOLD: 5 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed to support NATO’s Kosovo Force, a NATO-led peace-support operation.

NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security

  • June 2022: Canada announced that Montréal will host the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence.

Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA)

  • November 2022: Canada announced its intention to host NATO’s North American Regional Office of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) in Halifax.


  • NATO Military Budget: A common-funded program that finances the operating and maintenance costs of the NATO military structure and activities, including deployed operations and missions.
    • It is distinct and separate from other designated NATO activities and ongoing operations.
  • Budget 2021: Through Budget 2021, the Government announced $847M over five years to maintain Canada’s military at a higher state of readiness under the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Readiness Initiative, and to increase Canada’s contributions to NATO’s common budget and military activities.
  • Budget 2022:
    • To reinforce Canada’s national defence, announcements in Budget 2022 provided a total of more than $8B (cash) in new funding over five years—on top of planned increases associated with Strong, Secure, Engaged, which will:
      • Strengthen Canada’s contributions to our core alliances;
      • Bolster the capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces;
      • Continue to support culture change and a safe and healthy working environment in the Canadian Armed Forces; and,
      • Reinforce Canada’s cyber security.
    • This includes $6.1B on an accrual basis ($7.4B cash) over five years, starting in 2022-23, with $1.3B in remaining amortization and $1.4B ongoing in order to meet our defence priorities, including:
      • Ensuring our continental defence through NORAD modernization;
      • Fulfilling commitments to our allies; and,
      • Investing in equipment and technology to immediately increase the capabilities of the Canadian Armed Forces.
  • NATO Security Investment Program: A common-funded program that finances the capital costs for communications and information systems, installations, and facilities to support the NATO military structure and activities, including deployed operations and missions.
    • It is distinct and separate from other designated NATO activities and on-going operations.
    • Canada’s share of NATO’s Security Investment Program (NSIP) remains unchanged at 6.9% in 2022.

NATO Centre of Excellence on Climate and Security

  • At the latest NATO Summit in Madrid in June 2022, Canada announced that Montréal will be the host city for the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence.
  • This Centre of Excellence will be a platform for both military and civilians to develop, enhance, and share knowledge on climate change security impacts. It will also allow them to work together to build required capabilities, develop best practices, and contribute to NATO’s goal of reducing the climate impact of military activities.

Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA)

  • At the latest NATO Summit in Madrid, in June 2022, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s intention to host NATO’s North American Regional Office of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). The proposed location of the Regional Office, in the Halifax area, was announced in November 2022. 
  • DIANA aims to facilitate cooperation between civilian innovators, government scientists, and military operators to accelerate, test, and evaluate early-stage technologies, while also protecting technological solutions against threat activity.
  • DIANA will concentrate on new emerging and disruptive technologies that NATO has identified as priorities including artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, novel materials, and space.

Support for Ukraine

  • Canada is working closely with our Allies and partners to help Ukraine protect its sovereignty and defend itself against Russia’s illegal war.
  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine.
  • This includes 208 commercial pattern armoured vehicles, a National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS), 39 armoured combat support vehicles, high-resolution cameras, artillery and small arms ammunition, winter clothing and other specialized equipment.
  • Recently, we announced a new donation of military aid, including 21,000 assault rifles, 38 machine guns, and over 2.4 million rounds of ammunition, all sourced from Colt Canada.
  • We are also contributing $34.6 million to the NATO Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund, to enable Ukraine to source fuel material, an improved ribbon bridge, and medical first aid kits.
  • In addition, this past February, we announced that Canada will donate eight Leopard 2 main battle tanks and one armoured recovery vehicle, including ammunition, spare parts, and dedicated training.
  • These eight tanks have already been delivered to Poland, where Canadian Armed Forces members are in place to train Ukrainian tank crews.
  • Since February 2022, Canada has committed over $1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, including funding for drone cameras, artillery and small arms ammunition, and other specialized equipment.
  • We continue to train Ukrainian forces in third country locations under Operation UNIFIER, through which we have trained over 36,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces since 2015.

If pressed on tracking military aid provided to Ukraine:

  • National Defence has signed agreements with Ukraine's Armed Forces that all weapons provided will not be transferred to any other entity.

If pressed on the provision of further military aid:

  • Canada stands with Ukraine, and we are exploring a variety of options to continue providing Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance.
  • To date, our Air Task Force in Prestwick, Scotland has delivered over 8 million pounds of cargo, largely consisting of military aid in support of Ukraine.
  • Given operational security concerns, we cannot discuss further specifics at this time.

If pressed on cyber threats:

  • The Communications Security Establishment has been tracking cyber threat activity and has been sharing cyber threat intelligence with key partners in Ukraine and continues to work with the CAF in support of Ukraine.

Key Facts

  • More than $1 billion in military aid committed to Ukraine, including all of the two $500 million envelopes for new purchases and over $193 million in donations from CAF inventory.
  • Military Aid committed since February 2022
    • 8 Leopard 2A4 Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) accompanied with related ammunition and spare parts;
    • 1 armoured recovery vehicle (ARV);
    • 1 National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) with related ammunition;
    • 208 commercial pattern armoured vehicles;
    • 39 armoured combat support vehicles (ACSVs) accompanied with C6 machine guns and ammunition;
    • M113 spare parts;
    • 4 155mm Howitzer systems, as well as replacement barrels and parts;
    • 40,000 155mm artillery rounds;
    • 76 high-resolution cameras;
    • 100 anti-tank weapons and over 7,000 anti-tank rockets;
    • Over 22,600 small arms;
    • Approximately 5 million rounds of small arms ammunition and training ammunition;
    • Grenade launchers and over 7,000 hand grenades;
    • Demining equipment;
    • Over 10,800 pieces of personal protective equipment;
    • Medical supplies and related equipment;
    • Over 390,000 Individual Meal Packs;
    • Over 500,000 pieces of winter clothing and gear;
    • Nuclear protective equipment;
    • Commercial satellite imagery;
    • 1,000 satellite phones and related accessories;
    • Satellite communications services and connections for the Ukrainian Government;
    • Funding for maintenance and sustainment; and
    • A contribution of €23.5 million to the NATO Ukraine Comprehensive Assistance Package Trust Fund to purchase fuel, an improved ribbon bridge, and medical first aid kits.
    • Military Equipment provided from 2015 to January 2022 includes body armour, mobile field hospital, communications gear, and explosive disposal equipment.


Report to Parliament on Actions Taken to Support Ukraine

  • National Defence continues to provide an updated list of Canadian military support to Ukraine on the National Defence website.

Purchase and Donation of Armoured Vehicles

  • The contracts for the purchase of the following vehicles for donation to Ukraine was done through the Canadian Commercial Corporation.
  • On April 26, 2022, Minister Anand announced that Canada finalized a contract for the purchase of eight Senator armoured personnel carriers manufactured by Roshel, Inc.
  • Additionally, in early August 2022, Canada finalized a procurement contract with General Dynamics Land Systems to supply Ukraine with 39 armoured combat support vehicles.
    • All of the vehicles have arrived in Ukraine, and related training was completed in February 2023.
    • The contract includes repairs and servicing.
  • On January 18, 2023, Minister Anand announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with a further 200 Roshel Senator commercial pattern armoured vehicles, valued at over $90 million.

Donation of Leopard 2 Tanks

  • On January 26, 2023, Minister Anand announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with four Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks from the CAF’s inventory.
    • The Minister also announced that Canada will provide ammunition and spare parts, and deploy CAF members to train Ukrainian soldiers on the use of these tanks in a third country. On February 24, 2023, Minister Anand announced that Canada would provide four additional Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks, for a total of eight, and one armoured recovery vehicle.
  • On February 14, 2023, the Minister announced that approximately 25 CAF members are in Poland to train Ukrainian crews on the fundamentals of Leopard 2 tanks.
  • On February 24, 2023, at the 1-year anniversary of the start of the Ukraine war, the Prime Minister announced that an additional donation of four Leopard 2 A4 main battle tanks from the CAF inventory – bringing Canada’s total donation so far to Ukraine of 8 Leopard tanks.

Purchase and Donation of an Air Defence System via U.S. Government

  • In December 2022, Minister Anand provided authorization to proceed with spending $406 million on a donation to Ukraine of the National Advanced Surface to Air Missile System (NASAMS) with additional missiles sourced from the US Government to help protect Ukraine against missile and drone attacks from Russia. The US will deliver the system on Canada’s behalf.
    • A further donation of 12 air defence missiles was sourced from CAF inventory. The 12 missiles are AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs).

NATO Comprehensive Assistance Package (CAP) Trust Fund Donation

  • On April 21, 2023, Minister Anand announced that Canada is providing a new military aid package to Ukraine, valued at approximately $39 million.
    • This includes a $34.6 million contribution to the NATO CAP Trust Fund, to enable Ukraine to source 3.3 million litres of fuel supplies, an Improved Ribbon Bridge to enable wet-gap and river crossing, and medical first aid kits.
  • This package also includes approximately $2.5 million for 40 .50 caliber sniper rifles and ammunition from Prairie Gun Works based in Winnipeg – including spare parts and accessories – and approximately $2 million for new radio sets installed on all 8 Leopard 2A4 tanks and the armoured recovery vehicle donated by Canada.

Operation UNIFIER (Ukraine)

  • Canada will continue to help empower Ukrainians with the skills they need to defend their nation’s freedom and independence.
  • That is why we deployed approximately 170 CAF personnel to the United Kingdom to train new Ukrainian military recruits under Operation UNIFIER, and in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Operation INTERFLEX.
  • The Canadian-led courses focus on weapons handling, battlefield first aid, fieldcraft, patrol tactics, and the Law of Armed Conflict.
  • We have also deployed approximately 40 combat engineers to Poland, who are training Ukrainian military personnel in a range of basic and advanced engineering skills, engineering reconnaissance, demolition work, and demining.
  • Additionally, approximately 25 CAF personnel are providing training on the operation of the eight Leopard 2 tanks that Canada has donated to Ukraine, and approximately seven CAF personnel are providing Combat Medic training.
  • Since the launch of Operation UNIFIER in 2015, CAF personnel have trained over 36,000 members of Ukraine’s security forces, through over 700 course serials.
  • Alongside our Allies, we will continue to provide high-quality training to Ukraine.

If pressed on reimbursing CAF soldiers in Poland for meals:

  • The CAF has been taking immediate steps to address the backlog of reimbursement claims.
  • Additional administrative staff were deployed in January 2023 to provide ongoing support to Operation UNIFIER members.
  • The deployment period for financial staff has also been extended, in order to increase the capacity to clear the backlog.
  • Through these actions, the CAF has meaningfully reduced the backlog of claims, and expects to have the monthly claims approval process back on track in the coming weeks.

Key Facts

  • Mandate for Operation UNIFIER extended to March 31, 2025.
  • On August 4, 2022 Canada announced resumption of large scale training through Operation UNIFIER.
    • Up to 225 Canadian Armed Forces personnel will deploy to the United Kingdom.
  • On October 11, 2022, the Minister of National Defence announced Canada’s plan to deploy approximately 40 combat engineers to Poland to further support the training of the Security Forces of Ukraine.
  • On November 16, 2022, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will extend its UNIFIER training efforts in the United Kingdom, where approximately 170 CAF members are providing recruit training, through the end of 2023.
  • On January 26, 2023, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada will supply Ukraine with Leopard 2 battle tanks, training, and sustainment.
  • On March 7, 2023, the Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence announced that Canada has deployed seven CAF medical personnel to Poland, where they will train members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine with the skills needed to save lives in combat situations.


  • In 2015, Canada launched Operation UNIFIER in response to requests from the government of Ukraine, with the intent to help Ukraine remain free, sovereign, secure, and stable.
  • The mission was renewed in 2017, 2019, and most recently in January 2022, through to March 2025.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces has been providing Ukrainian security forces with specialized training in order to support their professionalization, to help improve their capability and capacity, and to assist them in their efforts to align with NATO standards and practices.
  • Activities included advising and assisting with: unit- and brigade-level tactical training; combat engineer training such as improvised explosive device disposal and explosive ordnance disposal; sniper training; reconnaissance training; and medical training. Training activities also included Ukrainian junior officers and non-commissioned officer personnel development initiatives in various schools and academies.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces coordinates its efforts with the United States and other countries that support Ukraine in similar ways. The training mission harmonizes its efforts with other nations through a Multinational Joint Commission (MJC). The MJC includes Canada, Lithuania, Poland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Denmark, Slovakia and Sweden.
  • National Defence also provides institutional level support to help advance Ukraine’s defence reform process. Current support is focused on:
    • Defence governance, including command and control;
    • Professional development and professional military education reform;
    • Defence procurement; and
    • Defence policy.
  • All Canadian Armed Forces members who deploy on capacity building programs, including Operation UNIFIER, are trained to recognize symbols associated with right-wing extremism. If counterparts or trainees are suspected of holding racist views or belonging to right-wing extremist elements, they are removed immediately.
  • In 2021, Operation UNIFIER saw the first ever Canadian female-to-female transfer of command authority.
  • Aspects of the mission were temporarily paused following the February 2022 full-scale invasion of Ukraine, with a commitment to resume training when and where conditions permitted.
  • The Defence Team also coordinates Canada’s efforts, as well as contributes to, the coordination of efforts in support of Ukraine between Allies and partners at the Security Assistance Group-Ukraine (SAG-U).


  • Canada remains strongly committed to our partnership with NATO Allies and to reinforcing our support to NATO’s Eastern Flank.
  • Canada continues to lead NATO forces as the framework nation for Latvia.
  • We are working with our Allies to generate and stage forces in order to surge to a multi-national combat capable brigade in Latvia.
  • We have also made important naval contributions to NATO’s Standing Mine Countermeasures Groups and Standing Maritime Groups and supported air policing missions over Romania.
  • We have approximately 1,200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving on Operation REASSURANCE, our largest international operation.
  • We will continue to work with our NATO Allies to enhance collective security and to promote peace and stability around the world.

If pressed on when the Canadian-led brigade in Latvia will be created:

  • We have taken steps to augment the current enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group to brigade-size.
  • For example, this past January, the CAF deployed the Brigade Forward Coordination Element to begin conducting interoperability exercises with Allied forces and ensure seamless integration of command-and-control systems.
  • This Forward Coordination Element is a first step towards leading a brigade-level formation in Latvia.
  • Canada will continue to make important contributions to global peace and stability alongside our NATO Allies.

Key Facts

  • June 29, 2022: The Minister of National Defence signed a joint declaration with the Latvian Prime Minister and the Minister for Defence, to augment NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Latvia. Going forward, Canada will:
    • Continue to lead NATO forces as the Framework Nation of Latvia;
    • Work with Latvia and NATO Allies to generate and stage forces in order to surge to a combat capable brigade;
    • Establish and lead elements of a forward brigade command and control;
    • Be prepared to provide critical capabilities to operations, such as ammunition and explosives, air defence systems, and anti-tank weapons systems.
  • Enhanced Forward Presence Latvia: The battle group is comprised of a mechanized infantry company, an artillery battery, a combat support company, and a combat service support company.
  • Air Task Force Romania: From August to December 2022, the CAF deployed six CF-18s and approximately 170 personnel as part of NATO’s enhanced Air Policing mission in Romania. Two additional aircraft were temporarily deployed for concurrent NATO training activities.
  • Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group 1: Between June and November 2022, HMCS Kingston and HMCS Summerside were deployed in the Baltic Sea and North Atlantic region as part of Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group One.
  • Standing NATO Maritime Group Two: On January 22, 2023, HMCS Fredericton departed Halifax to join Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 in the Mediterranean Sea.


  • Following Russia’s invasion of Crimea, NATO Allies agreed at the 2016 Summit in Warsaw to establish an enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) in the eastern part of the Alliance in order to strengthen deterrence measures. These Battle Groups form part of the biggest reinforcement of NATO’s collective defence in a generation.
  • Operation REASSURANCE is Canada’s contribution to NATO’s deterrence and defence efforts, and it is Canada’s largest international military commitment, involving the deployment of land, sea, and air elements to Central and Eastern Europe in support of our Allies and the reinforcement of NATO’s Eastern Flank.
  • This forward presence was first deployed in 2017, with the creation of four multinational battalion-size battle groups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, led by the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and the United States respectively.
  • In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Allies reinforced the existing battle groups and agreed to establish four more multinational battle groups in Bulgaria (Italy), Hungary, Romania (France), and Slovakia (Czech Republic) to bolster the Eastern flank.
  • At the Madrid Summit in June 2022, NATO Leaders agreed to a new baseline for NATO’s Deterrence and Defence posture which included deploying additional robust in-place combat-ready forces on NATO’s Eastern Flank. These forces would be scaled up from the existing battle groups to brigade-size units – where and when required – and would be underpinned by credible and rapidly available reinforcements, prepositioned equipment, and enhanced command and control.

CAF Operations in the Indo-Pacific

  • Canada is committed to a meaningful and persistent military presence in the Indo-Pacific Region to promote peace and security.
  • That is why Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy is making several investments in defence over the next five years.
  • This includes $369.4 million to maintain and increase our naval presence in the region, building on our commitments through Operations NEON and PROJECTION.
  • We are also investing $48.7 million to increase Canadian Armed Forces participation in joint exercises with regional partners and allies.
  • Specifically, we are looking to expand beyond our current naval focus to include more opportunities for the Army, Air Force, Special Forces, and other Canadian Armed Forces elements to participate in regional exercises. 
  • Additionally, we are investing $68.2 million to launch a new Canadian-led military capacity building program, through which the Canadian Armed Forces will offer mentorship and expertise to partners in the Indo-Pacific Region.
  • We are also launching new initiatives to support regional and military partners seeking to bolster their cyber security and cyber capabilities.
  • The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has been provided new resources to help increase Canada’s ties with the Indo-Pacific region through augmented intelligence capacity, as well as cyber and diplomacy initiatives.
  • Canada will continue working with its allies and partners to help ensure regional stability and support the rules-based international order.

If pressed on deploying an additional frigate:

  • Canada will continue to meet its obligations and commitments to NATO.
  • National Defence’s plan to increase and enhance Canada’s defence presence in the Indo-Pacific was developed with our other key regional priorities in mind, as well as reconstitution.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces will bolster its maritime presence in the Indo-Pacific by sending a third frigate to the Indo-Pacific each year.
  • In fact, in March 2023, HMCS Montreal and MV Asterix departed Halifax under Operation PROJECTION to conduct forward naval presence operations in the region, as well as conduct cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations.
  • As with any operation, the deployment of assets is taken with resource considerations in mind, along with the need to meet operational objectives.

If pressed on joining other security partnerships (AUKUS):

  • As a Pacific nation, Canada will continue to play an active role in the region, and maintains a persistent presence to support peace, security, and Canadian interests in the region.
  • Canada maintains strong military relations and intelligence sharing agreements with the Five Eyes, which includes AUKUS partners.

If pressed on PLAAF buzzing RCAF aircraft:

  • The safety of Canadian Armed Forces members is of the highest priority in all operations.
  • Canada has been clear in its expectation that all intercepts should be conducted in a safe and professional manner and refrain from impeding lawful operations in international airspace.

Key Facts

Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy

  • Global Affairs Canada is the lead on Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, which was released on November 27, 2022. The Strategy will address five interconnected priorities for Canada:
    • Promote peace, resilience and security – National Defence focus;
    • Expand trade, investment and supply chain resilience;
    • Invest in and connect people;
    • Build a sustainable and green future; and
    • Ensure Canada is an active and engaged partner to the Indo-Pacific.

CAF Operations in the Indo-Pacific

  • HMCS Montreal and MV Asterix departed Halifax on March 26 under Operation PROJECTION to conduct forward naval presence operations in the region as well as conduct cooperative deployments and participate in international naval exercises with partner nations.
    • HMCS Montreal will also participate in Op NEON during this deployment. 
  • HMCS Winnipeg and Vancouver deployed to the Indo-Pacific region on Operation PROJECTION from August 4 to December 5, 2022.
    • While on Op PROJECTION, HMCS Vancouver also contributed to Operation NEON.
  • March 2023: The Government of Canada decided to renew Operation NEON, Canada’s contribution to the multinational surveillance initiative to monitor North Korea’s maritime sanctions evasion, until April 30, 2026.



Indo-Pacific Strategy

  • Global Affairs Canada is the lead on the Indo-Pacific Strategy, which was announced on November 27, 2022.
  • Through the Indo-Pacific Strategy, National Defence is investing in the following initiatives to support the defence and security in the region over the next five years, including:
    • $369.4 million dollars to enhance our naval presence in the region and increase the number of frigates deployed annually, from two to three;
    • $48.7 million dollars to increase the CAF’s participation in bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional allies and partners;
    • $68.2 million to launch a new Canadian-led military capacity-building program, offering mentorship and expertise to our partners by delivering training directly to partner forces in the region; and
    • $6.5M to establish four new full-time civilian positions across the region to support discussions with allies and partners.
  • Defence will also play a key role in a whole-of-government cyber initiative (of $2.6M) by providing military-to-military advice and lessons learned to countries that are developing and refining their cyber security strategies.


  • Strong, Secure, Engaged commits Canada to be a reliable player in the Indo-Pacific region through consistent engagement and strong partnerships.
  • Since 2017, the Royal Canadian Navy has achieved consistent presence in the Indo-Pacific under Op PROJECTION.
  • Canadian warships regularly deploy to work with our allies and like-minded partners, including by conducting joint transits and exercises under Op PROJECTION, as well as contributing to the multinational effort of monitoring UN Security Council sanctions against North Korea under Op NEON.


  • From June 29 to August 4, 2022, HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Vancouver, (each with embarked CH-148 Cyclone maritime helicopters), and two CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft, participated in RIMPAC, the world’s largest naval exercise.

Operation NEON

  • Launched in 2019, Op NEON is Canada’s contribution to a multinational effort to monitor UN Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea. These sanctions, imposed between 2006 and 2017, aim to pressure North Korea to abandon its weapons of mass destruction programs and respond to North Korean nuclear weapon tests and ballistic missile launches.
  • Under Op NEON, the CAF deploys warships, aircraft, and shore-based staff to conduct surveillance operations to identify suspected maritime sanctions evasion activities, in particular the ship-to-ship transfers of fuel and other commodities banned by the UNSC Resolutions. This contribution bolsters the integrity of the global sanctions regime against North Korea, enhances regional peace and stability, and supports the rules-based international order.
  • Authorities for Op NEON were set to expire at the end of April 2023. In March 2023, the Government of Canada announced the renewal of Op NEON until April 30, 2026, under the same authorities previously granted to the mission.

Interactions with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force Aircraft

  • On several occasions, interactions have occurred between a CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft and aircraft of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force.
  • These interactions occurred in international airspace during UN-sanctioned missions.

Recent Indo-Pacific Operational Highlights

  • HMCS Vancouver transited the Taiwan Strait northbound with the US Destroyer, USS Higgins, on September 20, 2022.
  • From August 4 to December 5, 2022, HMCS Winnipeg and HMCS Vancouver operated extensively throughout the Western pacific, including the South China Sea.

Military Support to Haiti

  • Canada is working closely with our Haitian and international partners to help restore security in Haiti.
  • The Government recently announced $100M in aid to Haiti, of which National Defence will contribute $5M from these Main Estimates - the remaining $95M will be funded by Global Affairs Canada.
  • This aid will help support the Haitian National Police, bolster Haitian-led solutions to this crisis and support peace and security.
  • National Defence continues to support the broader interdepartmental effort in Haiti. For example, we recently deployed two maritime coastal defence vessels to conduct presence patrols in and around Haitian waters.
  • This closely follows the recent deployment of a CP-140 Aurora to the region to provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.
  • These activities further complement previous efforts, such as our work with the U.S. to deliver vital security equipment purchased by the Haitian government.
  • In fact, we have delivered eight Haitian-purchased armoured vehicles to the Haitian National Police in the past six months.
  • We are committed to working with the international community to advance a Haitian-led solution and support Haitian institutions to restore stability in the country.

Key Facts

  • On March 29, 2023, a memorandum of understanding was signed between Canada and Haiti to strengthen the National Police Academy. A total of $10 million will be allocated for this project, which is expected to end in 2027.
  • On March 24, 2023, the Prime Minister announced that Canada will invest another $100 million to help the National Police. He indicated that this money will be used "to bolster Haitian-led solutions to the crisis and support peace and security”. 
  • On February 16, 2023, it was announced that two Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class ships will be deployed to the waters of Haiti to conduct presence patrols and deter criminal activity.
  • It was also announced that three Haitian-purchased Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armoured vehicles will be delivered to the Haitian National Police. This is the third such delivery in less than six months.
  • On 5 February 2023, it was announced that a Royal Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft was deployed to the region.
  • In a joint operation with the U.S. Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force helped deliver Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected (MRAP) and commercial pattern armoured vehicles to the Director General of the Haitian National Police.
  • From December 7 to December 9, 2022, Canada conducted a diplomatic mission in Haiti led by Bob Rae, Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations. Ambassador Rae met with political leaders and grassroots groups to build consensus on how to help the country.
  • Canada has set up an interdepartmental Haiti Task Force to provide the Government with strategic advice on the continually evolving situation.


Deployment of Maritime Coastal Vessels

  • Two Royal Canadian Navy Kingston-class ships (His Majesty’s Canadian Ships Glace Bay and Moncton), with over 90 Royal Canadian Navy sailors, conducted presence patrols in and around Haitian waters from 3-19 March 2023. These ships focused on the littoral waters in the vicinity of Port-au-Prince, with the intent to deter criminal activity.
  • HMCS Glace Bay and Moncton were deployed in mid-January on Operation PROJECTION in West Africa before being reassigned to the Haiti deployment under Operation GLOBE. They remained in Haitian waters for approximately three weeks during the month of March and recently returned to port in Halifax.

Delivery of Armoured Vehicles

  • Three Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armoured vehicles, purchased by the Haitian government, were delivered in March. These vehicles will support the Haitian National Police’s efforts to combat gang violence. This was the third such delivery in less than six months.
    • On 11 January 2023, Canada airlifted two Mine-Resistant, Ambush Protected vehicles, as well an additional vehicle, purchased by the Haitian government.
    • On 15 October, 2022, Canada and the United States facilitated the delivery of three Haitian-purchased Mine-Resistant, Ambush-Protected vehicles as well as three commercial patterns armoured vehicles.

Deployment of CP-140 Aurora

  • In February 2023, a CP-140 Aurora aircraft was deployed to support Canada’s efforts to disrupt the activities of gangs in Haiti and demonstrate Canada’s commitment to the Haitian people.
  • The Aurora can fulfill a wide variety of roles, including operations management, as well as maritime and overland intelligence.


  • On November 3, 2022, the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations entered into force, listing two individuals in the Schedule in the Regulations. These sanctions target the political and economic elite who provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs.
  • On November 10, 2022, the Regulations Implementing the United Nations Resolutions on Haiti came into force. These regulations will implement the decisions of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • On November 17, 2022, the Special Economic Measures (Haiti) Regulations were amended, listing six additional individuals in the Schedule in the Regulations.
    • The list was amended multiple times to include additional individuals who had engaged in significant acts of corruption:
    • Between December 2, 2022, and March 23, 2023, 11 individuals were added to this list.

Peacekeeping Commitments

Including Operation PRESENCE

  • Canada is proud to contribute to peace support operations around the world.
  • In fact, Canada is the world’s eighth-largest financial contributor to the UN’s peacekeeping budget (2022), covering 12 missions worldwide.
  • Canadian Armed Forces members are deployed to five UN missions.
  • National Defence also contributes specialized military capabilities to both UN and non-UN peace support operations, such as Op CALUMET in Egypt
  • Since 2019, our members have provided tactical airlift support to UN missions. In 2022 alone, they transported over 500 thousand pounds of cargo and over 800 passengers.
  • In March 2023, Canada announced the extension of Operation PRESENCE, Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Government of Canada’s peace operations strategy, until March 31, 2026.

If pressed on the security situation in Mali:

  • We are aware of the deteriorating security situation in Mali, as well as the recent withdrawal of several national contingents from MINUSMA.
  • We are equally concerned by the many restrictions that the Government of Mali continues to place on MINUSMA’s operations, significantly affecting troop rotations and the mission’s ability to operate and fulfil its mandate.
  • We also continue to condemn the deployment of Wagner mercenaries on Malian territory and remain concerned by the acute increase in civilian fatalities since Wagner's arrival.
  • Nonetheless, we continue to contribute to MINUSMA through Operation PRESENCE, providing both critical funding and personnel in key staff positions within the headquarters.

Key Facts

Current numbers

  • 28 military peacekeepers (25% women) deployed on 5 UN operations, including tothe Democratic Republic of Congo (Op CROCODILE), Middle East (Op JADE), Mali (Op PRESENCE), Republic of South Sudan (Op SOPRANO) and Cyprus (Op SNOWGOOSE).
  • Canada provides a proportionally similar number of troops to the UN (28 pers) as three of the Five Eye nations – US (33 pers), Australia (28 pers) and New Zealand (11 pers).

Operation PRESENCE

  • Operation PRESENCE has been extended for three years, to March 31, 2026.
  • Canada has 5 staff officers deployed in the MINUSMA mission in Mali. This authority was renewed until March 31, 2026.
  • In Fall 2021 and Spring 2022, Canada deployed nine trainers to Rwanda and Uganda to train Engagement Platoon trainers.
  • October 25, 2022: Canada announced the deployment of a new Canadian Training Development Assistance Team to Ghana as part of the Elsie initiative. This gender-balanced task force of four CAF members will contribute to Ghana’s ongoing efforts to develop training courseware that will increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in UN Peace Operations.
    • This initiative will continue seeing episodic deployment of CAF personnel under the renewed Op PRESENCE to maintain support to the Ghanaian Armed Forces’ objectives. 

2021 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial

  • Canada announced $85 million in new projects and contributions, as well as its renewed commitment to ongoing, multi-year support for UN peace operations and peacebuilding.


Operation PRESENCE

  • Operation PRESENCE is the Canadian Armed Forces’ contribution to the Government of Canada’s support to United Nations peace operations strategy.
  • This includes the commitment of high-value military capabilities to various United Nations peacekeeping missions.
    • Canada has 5 staff officers deployed on the MINUSMA mission in Mali.
    • Canadian Armed Forces tactical airlift support to UN missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan will continue as part of the renewed OP PRESENCE.  
  • Canada’s contribution of personnel, funds, and high value enablers is greatly valued by our partners. These contribute to filling capability gaps that are critical to sustaining peace operations, and increasing their effectiveness.

Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations

  • Canada launched the Elsie Initiative for Women in Peace Operations at the 2017 UN Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver. It is a multilateral pilot project to help overcome barriers and increase the meaningful participation of uniformed women in UN peace operations, with a focus on police and military roles.
  • On August 31, 2022, National Defence released the Elsie Initiative Barrier Assessment report, which identifies barriers and opportunities for improving women’s participation in UN peace operations. The report highlights three priority areas to be addressed:
    • Deployment Selection;
    • Peace Operations Infrastructure; and
    • Social Exclusion.
  • The CAF has already started to address barriers directly related to the deployment of women on operations in recent years, and is committed to doing more. It has implemented initiatives designed to recruit and retain women such as the expansion of parental leave, the creation of the Integrated Women’s Mentorship Network and Women in Force program, the modernization of dress instructions, and the introduction of an improved suite of operational clothing and equipment designed for diverse body types.
  • Canada joins a growing number of countries who have undergone this assessment, including Germany, Ghana, Senegal, Uruguay, and Zambia.

Engagement Platoon

  • The UN Engagement Platoon is a new capability in peacekeeping. The intent for these platoons is to be composed of 50% women, with an aim to leverage expertise and gender diversity to break down engagement barriers with local populations, identify vulnerable areas and at-risk populations, and provide enhanced situational awareness.
  • Canada has provided significant support to the development of the Engagement Platoon training materials. National Defence has provided expertise to the UN for these materials, and Global Affairs Canada has contributed around $450,000 to the effort as part of their support to innovative training for peacekeeping.

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