Canada Defence and Security Report Q2 2010

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The 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver in February 2010 put Canada under the world's sporting and security spotlight ' setting standards for a several sporting events, most notably the FIFA World Cup Finals being held in South Africa. More than 100 Canadian government agencies were involved in border security and measures to protect the events from terrorism, including nonconventional attacks. The Olympics cost the government CAD900mn (US$720mn) and was the country's biggest ever and most expensive security operation. Meanwhile, in March, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a five-year package of spending cuts amounting to CAD17.6bn, which will mean reduced expenditure on defence, international aid and government operations. The cuts are designed to make Canada the first G7 country to wipe out its deficit resulting from the global financial crisis. Defence and foreign aid spending cuts will make up at least a third of the savings, which are to last until 2015, but military spending cuts will not kick in until after the withdrawal of Canadians from Afghanistan in 2011. In effect, defence spending will increase but, as finance minister Jim Flaherty succinctly put: 'More slowly.' However, the spending cuts are likely to endanger expenditure plans for several programmes ' including offshore patrol vessels and aircraft and the replacement of aged naval destroyers, supply ships and fighter aircraft. According to Vice Chief of Defence Staff, Vice-Admiral Denis Rouleau, the military is working on a 'mitigating strategy' to take the slowdown into account but could not confirm planned capital investments, such as replacement of CF-18 fighters ' expected to cost many billions of dollars ' will be affected. The reduction in spending coincided with the publication of a report on Military Procurement published in March 2010 by the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), which outlined recommendations for improvements to military procurement to enable effective spending on defence during the current difficult economic period. In industry news, General Dynamics Land Systems-Canada continues to supply vehicles for the allimportant MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) programme for the Afghan theatre. In February 2010, a CAD227.4mn contract was awarded from US Marine Corps Systems Command (MCSC) to supply 250 RG-31 Mk5E vehicles, while a USD$29.2mn contract was also granted from the MCSC to supply 127 TAK-4 independent suspension kits for RG-31Mk5EMs already delivered.

Published in: Business, News & Politics
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