Defence Department Failed to Spend $1.2B in Approved Funding Last Year Due to Delays

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
February 10, 2022 Updated: February 10, 2022

OTTAWA—New figures show the Department of National Defence failed to spend more than $1.2 billion of its allotted budget last year, the majority due to delays in the purchase of new equipment for Canada’s military.

The figures recently tabled in the House of Commons come six years after the federal Liberals promised an end to such underspending, which had grown to epic proportions under Stephen Harper’s Conservative government.

While the lapsed funding might make bean counters happy given the size of the federal deficit since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one defence expert says there is real reason to worry.

David Perry, vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, says that is because $855 million of the $1.2 billion was supposed to be spent on new military equipment such as ships, armoured vehicles and aircraft.

Perry says the fact that money wasn’t spent means the military didn’t get the new equipment that it was expecting and needs.

And while the Defence Department says most of the unspent cash will available in future years, Perry says the pace of inflation means even more money will be needed whenever it actually buys the equipment.