Minister Sajjan Launches Public Consultations on Defence Policy Review

News Release

April 6, 2016 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan today announced the launch of public consultations as part of an open and transparent dialogue with Canadians and key stakeholders to inform the development of a new defence policy for Canada.

This marks the first public consultation of this magnitude on Canadian defence policy in over 20 years.

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has the tools it needs to defend Canada and North America, and to contribute to a wide spectrum of operations globally. The review will help set future direction and priorities so that our military is equipped, trained, and prepared to confront new threats and challenges in the years ahead.

Over the coming months, Canadians, academic experts, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, international Allies and partners, and Parliamentarians will have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion in a number of ways:

  • Feedback can be submitted online at until July 31, 2016, and will inform a new policy to be released in early 2017.
  • Six cross-country roundtable meetings will be held with a range of stakeholders in Toronto, Vancouver, Yellowknife, Edmonton, Montreal, and Halifax, ending in July 2016.  Minister Sajjan will host the first roundtable meeting in Vancouver, on April 27, 2016. We will also be soliciting papers from a number of experts to inform this important discussion.
  • We have invited the Senate and House Committees on National Defence to study issues of relevance to the policy review, and we will ask Parliamentarians to encourage their constituents to submit feedback.
  • International Allies and partners, including the United States, will be engaged during bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Discussions will be centered on three fundamental areas of inquiry: the main challenges to Canada’s security, the role of the CAF in addressing current threats and challenges, and resource and capability requirements to carry out the CAF mandate. A public consultation paper has been developed to help guide this discussion.

A Ministerial advisory panel has also been created. Over the next year, four eminent Canadians with expertise in defence, security, foreign affairs, and legal matters will support and advise the Minister of National Defence during the policy review process. The members of the Advisory Panel are:

  • The Honourable Louise Arbour, former Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and a member of the Advisory Board of The Coalition for the International Criminal Court
  • The Honourable Bill Graham, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and former Minister of National Defence
  • General (Ret’d) Raymond R. Henault, former Chief of the Defence Staff, and past Chairman of the NATO Military Committee (CMC)
  • Margaret Purdy, former Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (Security and Intelligence) in the Privy Council Office, and former Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence.


“The strategic security environment in which the Canadian Armed Forces operates has changed significantly. I look forward to hearing from Canadians, from coast to coast to coast, as they help inform the development of a modern defence policy that will support the CAF to effectively respond to a full spectrum of challenges – now, and into the future.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

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Jordan Owens
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Office of the Minister of National Defence

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