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As foreshadowed during the CDA / CDA Institute 2018 Ottawa Conference on Defence and Security, the Canadian Government 2018 Federal Budget does not contain much for the CAF or for defence in general as a national capability. This is consistent with the messaging from the previous year that DND and the CAF have received what they need and implicitly puts the emphasis for achieving the results outlined in “Strong, Secure, Engaged” on the teams led by the DM and CDS in support of the MND.
There are several initiatives and investments for the care and support provided by VAC to veterans (with additional support to RCMP members); several initiatives in the wider security sector, focused mainly on cyber with the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security; and additional funding to assure the operations of the Communications Security Establishment.
More careful review does however point to some areas of deepening Government activity, particularly in gender issues, as well as industry and research, that are likely to have an impact on the CAF and National Defence into the future.
Overall, the Budget has a strong orientation towards social equity issues with the designation of explicit targets for changing activities and outcomes in keeping with this orientation. This will influence DND and CAF activities and operations over time as the Government looks for progress in these areas as part of the pan-Governmental effort, in addition to the specific outcomes required for “Strong, Secure, Engaged”.BGen (Ret'd) Matthew Overton