Medium Term Planning Narrative

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You take the helm of the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF) at a time of significant global upheaval. With allies and adversaries alike preparing themselves for this new era of instability and conflict, the Government’s commitments to building a more inclusive CAF and stamping out sexual misconduct, enhancing the defence of the continent while supporting northern communities and Arctic development, and working with allies and partners to address threats ranging from climate change to cyber-attacks, will all serve as the blueprint for protecting Canada and Canadians in the years ahead.

World affairs are at a pivotal moment, and difficult choices lie ahead as the Government seeks to navigate the deep structural changes reshaping the world, while staying true to Canada’s longstanding values, its aspirations for the future, and its fiscal realities. As we bring forward our best advice on implementing the Government’s vision for Defence, we will be guided by the knowledge that as the Minister of National Defence, you hold a unique responsibility in carrying out the highest duty of government – the defence of the nation.

National Defence in a Time of Global Reordering

The world is changing and Canada, like its allies, is challenged by global volatility. Great Power rivalry is now the defining feature of the global security environment; the post-war order is being eroded; and states are deploying all elements of national power to achieve hostile aims. [REDACTED]

Like the generational challenge posed by [REDACTED] the climate crisis presents an equally serious existential threat. The Canadian reality is acute - the Arctic is warming at three times the global average and Canadians experience increasingly severe climate disasters, from floods to forest fires. The climate-caused “opening” of the Arctic is also driving interest and activity in the region from Arctic and non-Arctic actors alike, [REDACTED] Internationally, climate pressures are similarly exacerbating conflict stressors by driving competitions for scarce resources, creating mass migrations of climate refugees, and causing already weak governments to fail. These realities are generating new demands for military interventions and creating new operational requirements – [REDACTED]

The COVID-19 pandemic has added yet more instability to the already volatile security environment. It has caused countries to turn inwards to protect themselves from the virus and the global disruption it causes, [REDACTED]

From the Security Environment to the Fiscal Environment:


While DND/CAF has been resolute in making every dollar count by improving the “business of defence”, unforeseen global crises and unprecedented demands for domestic response operations are together diverting limited resources [REDACTED]

Measured against its 2017 origins, this approach to the SSE has been a strong success. [REDACTED] The dominant forces that now define the global security environment were only just emerging at the time of SSE – [REDACTED]

Culture Change:


[REDACTED] Rebuilding DND/CAF culture is essential to building workspaces free from harassment, discrimination, and inappropriate sexual behaviour; attracting and retaining the best and brightest; and unlocking support from Canadians to retool the CAF into the force of the future. [REDACTED]

Bringing forward proposals to build on DND/CAF’s interim action plan on culture change, Pathways to Progress, is a top priority for the Defence Team. [REDACTED]

Continental Defence: Protecting the Homeland

DND/CAF must overcome the challenges in its security, fiscal and cultural environments for one singular reason above all others – it falls to the CAF to defend Canada. [REDACTED]

Understanding the stakes posed by the worsening global environment and the growing demand for domestic operations, DND/CAF is developing a Continental Defence plan to: 1) modernize NORAD; 2) strengthen CAF capabilities to detect, deter, and defeat threats to Canada; and 3) contribute to broader national resilience, including by effectively supporting civilian authorities within Canada (e.g. disaster response). This program is deliberately designed to strengthen DND/CAF’s presence and ability to operate in the Arctic, address a range of [REDACTED] and contribute to a host of other priorities (e.g., innovation, northern development, support for Indigenous peoples, diversity and inclusion, support to industry and economic growth).   

The Critical Enablers: People, Infrastructure, Procurement

While advancing the culture change agenda and Continental Defence program will be critical priorities for DND/CAF during your tenure, reforming the people, infrastructure (including IM/IT), and procurement programs that underpin CAF capability and operations will also be essential. [REDACTED]


As you lead the effort to prepare Defence for an increasingly volatile and complex world, you will do so in a context where post-COVID economic recovery, climate change and national resilience are uppermost priorities. With a nation-wide presence in communities from coast-to-coast-to-coast, a broad network of civil society partners, advanced scientific knowledge and unique access to exclusive allied networks, Defence is uniquely placed to develop a program of work that brings together your government’s security, economic and social priorities.

The Defence Team is ready to support you in the work that lies ahead.

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