Former researcher for the International Peace Bureau in Geneva Tamara Lorincz has compiled the following data from the government budget. For a nation for whom war is unlikely in its known form, the Federal government has committed to spending $533 billion on the Canadian military over the next 20 years. The money was proposed under Canada’s 2017 defence policy, Strong Secure Engaged. According to Ms. Lorincz, “The Canadian military will be recruiting more soldiers and buying more weapons to maintain high-end warfighting.”
Her search of the records reveals that last year, the Canadian military received $32 billion according to the Public Accounts of Canada. Canada, perhaps surprisingly for most Canadians, was ranked 14th highest in the world for military spending according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Canada’s military consumes the largest part of Canada’s budget, by far, and when ranked economically against our provinces would constitute Canada’s 4th largest province.
While this may consume funding necessary to mobilize a Green New Deal, Ms. Lorincz notes that the military is the federal agency that consumes the most fossil fuels, and is one of the biggest producers of hazardous waste in Canada, and is also the agency with the most contaminated sites across the country. Lorincz flags that the carbon emissions from military vehicles and operations are exempted from national greenhouse gas reporting and reduction targets in Canada.
The following chart, compiled by T. Lorincz, provides a view over time of how spending in Canada on the military has been climbing while spending on the environment is basically flat lining. [Chart copyright T. Lorincz 2019, used with permission]