Defence Investment Plan made public for the first time

The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, at the CANSEC conference in Ottawa. Photo: DND

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Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the first ever public release of the Defence Investment Plan during his speech to the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CANSEC) conference on May 30 in Ottawa. The Investment Plan sets out the key equipment, infrastructure, and goods and services funding needed to carry out the initiatives in Canada’s defence policy Strong, Secure, Engaged.

In releasing the plan, the Defence Minister emphasized that Canadians will now be able to see how the public funds backing the defence policy are being managed and spent. “This Investment Plan is an important part of our Government’s commitment to openness, accountability, and transparency,” said Minister Sajjan. “It will give you, and all Canadians, vital information about how we are investing public funds.”

The defence policy, which has a 20-year timeframe, outlines long-term investments in the equipment the military need to carry out operations now and in the future. The Investment Plan includes all funded capital projects over $5 million, services contracts over $20 million, and infrastructure projects.

The plan also includes an online database of over 200 projects called the Defence Capabilities Blueprint. This online tool lets users search for investments by key word, by service – such as Army, Navy or Air Force – and by other search features. This means the defence industry will be able to understand what the department and the Armed Forces are planning. In turn, businesses can then make informed decisions about strategic partnerships and investments in research and development.

When the defence policy was released, Minister Sajjan stated that five external accounting firms reviewed the credibility of the cost forecasts in it. “The [investment] plan you see now reflects the most current information available,” said Minister Sajjan at the 2018 CANSEC conference. “It will also be refreshed every year, and approved by Treasury Board every three years to ensure our Defence priorities continue to be reflected.”

Future updates to the Investment Plan will reflect the fact that there are always unknowns in a policy that spans two decades, and that flexibility is needed to adjust to changes in major projects. Defence adjusts cost forecasts when needed and over time through the investment planning process.

To read the Defence Investment Plan in its entirety, visit: Canada.ca/Defence-Investment-Plan


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