On October 25th, 2002, the Minister of National Defence articulated his
priorities in a speech before the Toronto Board of Trade. The Minister's
- People - Over the past decade, the Government has been calling
on the Canadian Forces more frequently. At the same time, the number
of CF members has declined substantially. Clearly, this is not sustainable.
It translates into too much time away from home for too many of our
people, with negative implications for morale, family life, and general
well-being. It also translates into personnel retention problems. It
is wrong to continue overstretching our personnel and their families
and we must find a way to address this.
- Increase to Defence Spending - Through Budgets 1999, 2000 and
2001, the Government has authorized increases in defence spending commencing
in fiscal year 2001-02 that will total more than $5 billion by the end
of fiscal year 2006-07. Nevertheless, we should be spending more than
is currently planned, now and in the future.
- Ensuring Good Value for Money for the Canadian Taxpayers -
Just as universities, banks and government departments have a responsibility
to students, shareholders and taxpayers, we must ensure good value for
money for the Canadian taxpayer.
The Department has successfully embraced change to make improvements
over the years and many elements of the organization have already successfully
implemented new processes and ideas to significant advantage in doing
work faster, better and cheaper.
As part of this continuing responsibility, the Honourable John McCallum,
Minister of National Defence, announced on January 30, 2003, the appointment
of an Advisory Committee on Administrative Efficiency. The Committee's
mandate is to study and provide advice in two general areas:
- any issue(s) of administrative efficiency, broadly defined, within
the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces that
the Committee chooses to investigate; and
- the material acquisition and procurement process within the Department
of National Defence.
On the issues of materiel acquisition and the procurement process within
the Department of National Defence, the Committee will work in partnership
with the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada.
The Committee will report its findings and recommendations to the Minister
of National Defence within six months. The Committee may also bring
forward recommendations on an interim basis and will be disbanded after
- Defending Canadian Sovereignty and Contributing to the Defence
of North America - Safety and security is a core function of government
and we must be prepared to defend our citizens, our economy, our infrastructure,
our economic systems, and even our way of life. We must also do our
part in defending North America, particularly from asymmetric threats.
Currently, we are in the final stages of negotiating the formation of
a joint bi-national planning group with the United States. This planning
group will allow Canada and the United States to share intelligence
and contingency plans, and clearly identify how to access the resources
necessary to respond quickly to crisis. Far from ceding our sovereignty,
as some critics have suggested, this initiative is an expression of
our sovereignty and our efforts to work together to protect Canadian
and American lives.
A complete version of the MND's speech can be found at:
In addition, Defence Priorities are articulated on an annual basis in
the Departmental Report on Plans and Priorities. Departmental Priorities
for April 2002-2003 are:
Put our people first by strengthening recruiting and retention, learning
and professional development.
Respond to the new security environment through our contributions to
the international coalition against terrorism.
Optimize Canada's Defence and security capabilities by updating Canada's
Maximize management effectiveness by implementing a new information management
Enhance our defence relationships by strengthening defence and security
arrangements in North America.