May 26th, 2024

Blair says he couldn’t sell cabinet on meeting ‘magical threshold’ of NATO target

By The Canadian Press on May 1, 2024.

OTTAWA – Defence Minister Bill Blair says he couldn’t convince the Liberal cabinet that Canada’s government needed to meet NATO’s spending target in its recent defence policy update.

All NATO allies, including Canada, have agreed to spend at least two per cent of GDP on defence.

Canada spends about 1.33 per cent, according to NATO estimates, which amounted to $26.9 billion dollars last year.

The new defence policy Blair introduced last month aims to reach 1.76 per cent of GDP by 2030 – or $49.5 billion.

Blair says he couldn’t make an argument to cabinet that the policy had to reach the “magical threshold” of two per cent.

He says Canadians are concerned about affordability issues.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 1, 2024.

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