Meet NATO Defence Spending Target in Budget, Says Business Council of Canada

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One of Canada’s most influential business lobby groups is making an unprecedented request for increased defence spending in Thursday’s federal budget because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Business Council of Canada says it is time for Canada to commit to matching the NATO target on defence spending of two percent of gross domestic product.

Canada’s level currently stands at less than 1.4 percent but has been pressured for years by the United States and other NATO allies to boost spending to the two percent target.

In a March 15 letter to Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, the council says the Russian invasion is forcing the world to shift its focus from domestic priorities to defence and security.

The council, formerly known as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, is the advocacy group for the country’s top business leaders and has not traditionally pushed for defence spending during past budget cycles.

President Goldy Hyder says it is important for the budget to signal a commitment to NATO and to embrace a larger global economic plan to show how Canada can address the volatile international landscape spawned by the Russian war on Ukraine.

The Canadian Press

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