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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Eelction 2015: NDP Promise to Maintain Spending; Increase Peacekeeping

As the NDP continues to slide in the polls - they are releasing their partial Defence policy plan.

If elected on October 19th (which seems less and less likely, daily) the NDP promise to maintain stable defence spending (but provided no details on what that number is) and plan on returning Canada to the Peacekeeping table. The NDP eye to make Canada the top troop contributor among Western nations in a few years - all according to Murray Brewster of the Canadian Press.

I won't even go into the Peacekeeping aspect of the promise - as my regular readers know - Canada's Peacekeeping image is a Myth that has stood for too long. I am not against it, or the UN, but only in the right circumstances.

Also included in the NDPs Defence policy is a very pricey ($$$$) around the clock response time for Canada's Search and Rescue Squadrons. The problem with such a proposal - the RCAF has long said that such a plan is too costly and labour intensive - let alone the fact that the RCAF does not operate enough aircraft for such an endeavor in our vast landscape - especially in the North. The NDP claim that this would move Canada into the international standards with regards to SAR.

While Mulcair said earlier in September that the party would not kill the F-35; the party admits that the F-35 does not fit into the Defence strategy it sees for Canada; and such a review would discover the same thing.

The biggest issue is the "maintain" stable defence spending. The Parliamentary Budget Office says that the $20 Billion budget for the Department of National Defence needs to be increased to maintain current troop and equipment levels. The NDP have only said they would maintain a budget for our existing commitments - not new ones or possibly future ones.

To increase transparency throughout DND, the NDP have said they would also create an Inspector Generals Office.