Flaherty to Delay $3.1B in Military Procurement for Few Years

Although the delays in buying new military ships, aircraft and vehicles has left the Canadian Forces to survive on ancient equipment, it will help the federal Conservative government to achieve their target of balancing the books sooner than their anticipation. In an announcement made on Tuesday, the federal budget revealed its plan of postponing $3.1 billion in military procurement spending over the next few years, and relocating that money back into the main treasury to help overcome the deficit problem.

The delay in payment is prompted by numerous project delays, prominently including armed Arctic vessels and resupply ships for the navy, ship-borne helicopters and search-and-rescue airplanes for the air force, and army trucks. In addition to that, there is an increasing amount of uncertainty around the controversial F-35 stealth fighter project or plans to purchase new warships for the navy, which are pegged to cost at least $26 billion and be one of the largest and most complex project in Canadian history.

While making the announcement, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty alleged that the decision to defer the spending should not be interpreted as a cut to the military budget or a change in the government’s plans to purchase the equipment it has promised. He explained “but there’s no point in having money sitting there when they can’t spend it this year.” He elucidated that “so we’re pushing it forward, not taking it back, just pushing it forward so they can use the money when it’s useable.”

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