Other Priority Issues Quick Hits

Culture Change

Key Messages

  • My top priority as Minister is to build a Defence Team where all members feel protected and respected by their colleagues and superiors.
  • National Defence has accepted all of former Supreme Court Justice Arbour's recommendations on culture reform and is working to develop a path forward on implementation.
  • Current culture initiatives include the improvement of character-based leadership assessments, the development of a public-facing dashboard, a ten-year talent spotting plan for women, and a response to calls for consultation and engagement.
  • We are also implementing systemic changes, including strengthening the promotion process for senior leaders to better assess talent, competence, and character.


Budget 2022

  • Allocated a total of $100.5M over six years, with $1.7M in remaining amortization, and $16.8M ongoing to strengthen leadership in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF); undertake engagement and consultation on culture evolution; and enhance restorative services, among other things (including military justice initiatives).

Independent External Comprehensive Review (IECR)

  • National Defence received the report on May 20, 2022, and publicly released it on May 30, 2022. The report provides 48 recommendations that fall within 11 areas of focus, including definitions of sexual misconduct and harassment, the military justice system, military colleges, and the role of the Sexual Misconduct Support and Resource Centre.

External Monitor

  • On October 24, 2022, Madame Jocelyne Therrien was appointed as External Monitor to provide advice to the Minister of National Defence in the oversight of the implementation of the recommendations of the IECR. Mme Therrien released her first report on May 2, 2023.

Key Dates

  • Chief Professional Conduct and Culture established in spring 2021.
  • Modernized military ranks in French in February 2022.
  • Trusted to Serve (updated CAF ethos) published in June 2022.
  • Updated CAF dress instructions were announced in July 2022 and took effect in September 2022.

Reconstitution, Recruitment and Retention

Key Messages

  • We are improving the recruiting experience by digitizing, streamlining and redesigning the recruitment process; prioritizing the recognition of past experience; and conducting focused engagements with communities across Canada.
  • In October 2022, National Defence launched a new retention strategy to better support our members by responding to their emerging and changing needs.
  • Also in October 2022, we released the Canadian Armed Forces Reconstitution Directive that is focused on rebuilding the strength and number of our members, and the structures necessary to defend and protect Canadians.


  • We have implemented screening measures during the pre- and post-recruitment phases, such as new and refined screening and interview questions, tattoo screening, and the use of enrolment release processes.
  • Permanent residents are also now welcome to apply to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) as they represent an important, skilled, and diverse workforce in Canada.
  • We are improving our talent management efforts to better place members in occupations that match their interests, skills, abilities, and experience.
  • We are enhancing CAF branding and conducting targeted advertising to convey to Canadians the value of a military career. In March 2023, the CAF launched its new general awareness campaign, entitled 'This is For You'.
  • Further, the Royal Canadian Navy has launched a new recruitment initiative, the Naval Experience Program, which provides Canadians the opportunity to experience the Navy as a sailor for a one-year contract.
  • In addition, we are reviewing the training programs at every level, including basic training, to ensure we remain prepared to excel in operations at home and abroad while building a more inclusive team.
  • The CAF Reconstitution Directive will help ensure the long-term viability of the CAF through an in-depth analysis and prioritization of all tasks, operations, plans, and activities. It focuses on two priority areas: people and operations.

Canadian Forces Housing Differential

  • The Canadian Forces Housing Differential policy took effect on July 1, 2023. It is designed to be equitable and assist members with housing costs when they are relocated within Canada. It is estimated that about 28,000 CAF members qualify for the housing benefit.

SSE Implementation

Key Messages

  • Our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE) is the foundation for how the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is supported and equipped, ensuring that we are strong at home, secure in North America, and engaged globally.
  • Since 2017, National Defence has made significant progress in advancing initiatives in SSE.
  • This is why 78% of the policy's projects are in the implementation phase, near completion, or completed.

Defence Policy Update

  • New and emerging threats require us to conduct a defence policy update and meet today's security challenges.
  • This update will set out a clear plan of action to ensure that the CAF has the necessary direction, resources, and future-ready capabilities to adapt to a dynamic and complex global operating environment.
  • I look forward to receiving updates from the Defence team on this initiative.


  • Through Strong, Secure, Engaged (SSE),National Defence committed to increasing defence spending by 70% over ten years (2016-17 to 2026-27).
  • 78% of SSE projects are currently in the implementation/close out phase.
  • In Budget 2022 the Government of Canada committed to conduct a review of our defence policy in order to update it for a world that has become less secure and less predictable.
  • As part of the review process, National Defence has engaged with partners and Allies, parliament, defence experts, Indigenous partners, and other key stakeholders.
  • From March 9 to April 30, 2023, National Defence launched a web portal to collect the general public's ideas for the review.

NORAD Modernization Implementation

Key Messages

  • Canada is investing $38.6 billion over twenty years in NORAD modernization, the most significant upgrade to Canada's NORAD capabilities in nearly four decades.
  • This includes investments in five key areas: enhanced surveillance and threat detection; improved command, control, and communications; modernized air weapons systems; infrastructure and support, and; research and development.
  • As reaffirmed by the Prime Minister and President Biden in March 2023, we are undertaking these modernization efforts in collaboration with our American partners so that we adapt to evolving security challenges together.


  • "Strong, Secure, Engaged: Canada's Defence Policy" outlined the vision for Canada's continued cooperation with the U.S. to meet emerging threats and perils to North America through the modernization of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and continental defence efforts.
  • On June 20, 2022, National Defence announced $3 billion over six years. This is part of $38.6 billion investment over 20 years for new capabilities.
  • Specific investments will include, among other initiatives, new Over the Horizon radar systems, command and control upgrades, additional air-to-air refueling aircraft, advanced air-to-air missiles for fighter jets, and additional funding to complete and augment key space projects, including:
    1. Bolstering our ability to detect threats earlier and more by modernizing surveillance systems ($6.96B);
    2. Improving our ability to understand and communicate threats to decision-makers in a timely manner through upgrades to command, control, and communications systems ($4.13B);
    3. Strengthening our ability to deter and defeat aerospace threats by modernizing air weapons systems ($6.38B);
    4. Ensuring our Canadian Armed Forces can launch and sustain a strong military presence across the country, including in Canada's North, through investments in new infrastructure and support capabilities ($15.68B);
    5. Future-proofing our capabilities to defend North America through investments in science and technology ($4.23B).

Indo-Pacific Strategy Implementation

Key Messages

  • 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 will allow us to maintain and increase our naval presence in the region; increase our participation in joint exercises with regional partners and allies; launch a new military capacity building program.

If pressed on contributing to AUKUS:

  • Canada remains actively engaged with Australia, the UK, and the US on emerging technology issues related to cyber security, space operations, and intelligence.
  • Canada will continue to work with NATO and Five Eyes partners, including AUKUS partners, in key research areas of artificial intelligence, quantum, electronic warfare, counter-hypersonics, and undersea capabilities.


  • AUKUS is a trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, intended to strengthen the ability of each government to support security and defence interests and to bolster security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • 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 the cyber initiative of the Indo-Pacific Strategy (to the tune of $2.6M) by bolstering military-to-military cyber cooperation and providing capacity development to select partners in the region.

Operation REASSURANCE Buildup

Key Messages

  • We have approximately 1,100 Canadian Armed Forces personnel serving on Operation REASSURANCE, our largest international operation.
  • In July 2023, we established a joint Roadmap with Latvia – Scaling the EFP Latvia Battle Group to Brigade – outlining our three-phased approach to establishing a multi-national combat capable brigade.
  • We are in now in the second phase – build phase – and aims to be completed in 2025 with a significant increase in Canadian and multinational Armed Forces soldiers persistently deployed on the ground in Latvia.
  • By 2026, we anticipate the full implementation of persistently deployed Brigade capabilities to Latvia


  • Operation REASSURANCE is Canada's contribution to NATO's deterrence and defence efforts. 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.
  • July 10, 2023: Prime Minister Trudeau announced $2.6 billion in funding to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE for three years. This includes:
    • Increasing the persistent number of deployed CAF personnel up to 2200 as well as capabilities in Latvia;
    • Deploying additional surge personnel for allied crisis response, cooperative security, and collective defence;
    • Procuring critical weapon systems, supplies, and support intelligence to fulfill pledges made under the Canada-Latvia Joint Declaration in 2022; and
    • Ensuring enhanced Forward Presence infrastructure is in place.
  • Enhanced Forward Presence (EFP) NATO Battle Group Latvia: Canada's contribution to the battle group is comprised of a mechanized infantry company, an artillery battery, a combat support company, and a combat service support company.
  • Roadmap to Brigade: In July 2023, the Latvian Minister of Defence and the Canadian Minister of National Defence signed a three-phase Roadmap for scaling the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group to a Brigade.
    • Canada will notably bolster its presence in Latvia by deploying a Canadian Army Tank Squadron of 15 Leopard 2 battle tanks and personnel by the end of 2023.
    • Brigade build-up aims to be completed in 2025 with a significant increase in Canadian and multinational Armed Forces soldiers persistently deployed on the ground in Latvia. By 2026, Canada will complete the full implementation of persistently deployed Brigade capabilities to Latvia.


Key Messages

  • Streamlined and flexible procurement is necessary for the successful and timely delivery of the modern capabilities required to ensure the Canadian Armed Forces is ready and equipped to conduct operations.
  • Defence procurement is a whole-of-government effort.
  • That is why we are working with our key partners at PSPC, ISED, Defence Construction Canada, and Shared Services Canada to improve the speed at which we deliver capabilities and to consider more innovative approaches to procurement.
  • The Defence Policy Update will seek to build upon ongoing initiatives to enhance and modernize the defence procurement process.

Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft

  • The Government has determined that the P-8A Poseidon is the only currently available aircraft that meets all operational requirements, namely anti-submarine warfare and C4ISR (command, control, communication, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance).
  • The P-8A is a proven capability that is operated by several of Canada's key allies, including the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
  • Canada submitted a Letter of Request through the United States government's Foreign Military Sales program outlining Canada's Multi-Mission Aircraft requirements and requesting an offer.
  • The issuance of a Letter of Request does not commit Canada to purchasing the P-8A.
  • The final decision will be based on the capability offered, availability, pricing and benefits to Canadian industry.

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