Canada Needs a Defence Industrial Policy

By Stone, Craig | International Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Canada Needs a Defence Industrial Policy


Stone, Craig, International Journal


In June 2006, the government announced $15 billion of military equipment purchases that included ships, trucks, helicopters, and transport planes. One might observe that the week of 26 June was a very good week for both the Canadian military and Canadian defence industries. The last time such an ambitious equipment acquisition plan was undertaken was in the late 1970s and early 1980s when new fighter aircraft, ships, maritime patrol aircraft, and an air defence weapon system were purchased. This is not to imply that no equipment purchases have been made since the 1980s, but only to highlight the size and scope of the more recent announcements.

However, the June 2006 announcements have not been without controversy. Opposition party members and industry lobbyists accused the government of giving up Canadian sovereignty and not providing a competitive process.1 Then Liberal party opposition defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh indicated that "the purchase would be a blow to Canadian sovereignty because the planes would be manufactured and repaired in the United States" rather than in Canada.2 Controversy such as this is fairly typical in Canada.

The controversy continued periodically throughout the fall of 2006 and into the early months of 2007, as the government moved closer to announcing who would actually win the contracts to provide the new equipment. In particular, the issue of industrial regional benefits and where the benefits should go became politically charged when the Québec aerospace industry argued that most of the benefits should go to Québec since most of Canada's aerospace industry was located there.3

One of the reasons controversies like this surround large military equipment purchases is the lack of a clearly articulated defence industrial policy or strategy by the government.4 If a policy existed it would be easier for the government to justify decisions by arguing that the decision was in line with the stated policy. Arguably, there has not been a need for such a policy because there has not been sufficient spending on defence equipment to justify the time and effort required to develop such a policy within the Canadian political system. That might have been true in the past, but this article will argue that future capital equipment purchases for the CF should be made within the context of a defence industrial strategy.

The future is the important context for this issue because the $15 billion in procurement projects that have already been announced include agreedupon industrial regional benefits. Therefore, the development of a defence industrial strategy in 2007 will not have any impact on how these procurement projects play out. Since the CF has significant additional capital investment requirements (equipment and infrastructure), a defence industrial strategy can help reduce the amount of controversy that has been associated with the 2006-07 procurement projects.5 As a minimum, the government should provide a strategy that articulates a set of principles in order to provide industry with some sort of basic policy intent.

In order to provide a context for the argument, the paper will first discuss Canadian defence industrial policy in the past, examine the approach of other nations' existing defence industrial policy and then identify some of the key areas that a Canadian defence industrial policy needs to address.

INDUSTRIAL POLICY IN THE PAST

In theory, any defence industrial policy should be developed and implemented within the context of an overall industrial policy for the nation. A defence industrial policy should not be working at cross purposes to the national industrial policy and the industrial policy should, in an ideal world, be based on an overarching set of long-term strategic objectives established by the government. Canadian politicians have not really engaged in a debate about a strategic industrial policy since the 1982 royal commission on the economic union and development prospects for Canada, otherwise known as the Macdonald commission. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Canada Needs a Defence Industrial Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.