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Here Are Some Take-Aways from Budget 2023 – from a Defence Perspective

As a member of the G7, G20, the Commonwealth, and La Francophonie, an important contributor to NATO, and a global supporter of democracy, equality, and human rights, Canada is a steadfast defender of the rules-based international order in an increasingly dangerous and competitive world.

Russia’s illegal and barbaric invasion of Ukraine is the most significant threat to the rules-based international order since its creation following the Second World War. Thousands of Ukrainians have been murdered, and many millions more have been displaced. The conflict has accelerated longstanding issues of poverty, income inequality, and food insecurity in the Global South.

Budget 2023 reinforces the government’s commitment to keeping Canadians safe, defending the rules-based international order and contributing to global security, supporting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, and standing up for Canadian values around the world.


5.1 Defending Canada

Whether defending Canada from global threats or working with our allies around the world, the Canadian Armed Forces play an essential role in keeping Canadians safe and supporting global security.

To ensure those who serve our country in uniform continue to have the resources they need, Budget 2022 took significant action to reinforce the Canadian Armed Forces. Budget 2023 lays out the next steps to invest in and strengthen the Canadian Armed Forces.

  • Budget 2023 also takes decisive action to defend Canada and our public institutions from foreign threats and interference.
  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $40.4 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, with $0.3 million in remaining amortization and $7 million ongoing, to Global Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence to establish the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence.
  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $48.9 million over three years on a cash basis, starting in 2023-24, to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to protect Canadians from harassment and intimidation, increase its investigative capacity, and more proactively engage with communities at greater risk of being targeted.
  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $13.5 million over five years, starting in 2023-24, and $3.1 million ongoing to Public Safety Canada to establish a National Counter-Foreign Interference Office.

Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, committed to ensuring the Department of National Defence (DND) has stable, predictable funding. The government has delivered on this commitment. As a result of Strong, Secure, Engaged and subsequent funding increases, including funding for NORAD modernization and continental defence announced in June 2022, DND’s annual budget is expected to more than double over ten years, from $18.6 billion in 2016-17 to $39.7 billion in 2026-27 on a cash basis.


5.2 Supporting Ukraine

Financial Assistance to Ukraine in 2023

Canada’s financial support for Ukraine has helped its government continue to operate in the face of Russia’s illegal invasion, including by paying pensions and delivering essential government services to Ukrainians, purchasing fuel to get through the winter, and restoring damaged energy infrastructure.

  • Budget 2023 provides Ukraine with an additional loan of $2.4 billion for 2023, which will be provided via the IMF Administered Account for Ukraine.
  • Budget 2023 proposes to provide $200 million in 2022-23 to the Department of National Defence for donations of existing Canadian Armed Forces military equipment to Ukraine, including eight previously announced Leopard 2 main battle tanks.
  • Budget 2023 announces that $84.8 million in 2023-24 will be allocated by Global Affairs Canada to provide targeted support to Ukraine for humanitarian assistance, mental health support, demining, agriculture, and other priority areas. All funds would be sourced from existing departmental resources.
  • Budget 2023 proposes to amend the Customs Tariff to indefinitely extend the withdrawal of Most-Favoured-Nation preferential tariff treatment for Russian and Belarusian imports.


5.3 Standing Up for Canadian Values

With human rights and the rule of law under threat from authoritarian regimes around the world, Canada has an important role to play in fighting for the values we cherish. Indeed, as a democracy, Canada has an obligation to take steps to protect the most vulnerable and help to build a safer and more prosperous world for people everywhere.

Canada is committed to improving the lives of women, girls, and vulnerable populations around the world, and to increasing international development assistance every year towards 2030. Through our Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada has delivered high levels of international assistance.

Building on this progress, Budget 2023 continues to take action to stand up for Canadian values around the world.

  • Budget 2023 proposes to update and renew the General Preferential Tariff and the Least Developed Country Tariff until 2034, and create a new General Preferential Tariff Plus. This new program will build on Canada’s progressive trade agenda and incentivize countries to adhere to international standards on human rights, labour conditions, gender equality, and climate change.
  • Budget 2023 announces the federal government’s intention to introduce legislation by 2024 to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains to strengthen the import ban on goods produced using forced labour. The government will also work to ensure existing legislation fits within the government’s overall framework to safeguard our supply chains.


The full 2023 Federal Budget can be viewed here:

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