Defence Minister Anita Anand speaks to military personnel after getting a tour of the CC 177 Globemaster aircraft at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in Trenton, Ont., Thursday, April 14, 2022. The parliamentary budget officer says the federal government would need to spend an additional $75.3 billion on defence over the next five years for Canada to reach NATO’s target of two per cent of GDP. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov

Canada would need to spend $75.3B more to reach NATO defence spending target: PBO

OTTAWA — The parliamentary budget officer says the federal government would need to spend an additional $75.3 billion on defence over the next five years for Canada to reach NATO’s target of two per cent of GDP.

Yves Giroux released an independent forecast today of the military expenditures needed for Canada to meet the target, agreed to by NATO members in 2006.

Based on government figures, Giroux forecasts that Canada’s total military spending will increase from $36.3 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year to approximately $51 billion in 2026-27.

Canada has faced growing calls to boost its defence spending to meet the NATO target in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Liberal government spent an estimated 1.36 per cent of Canada’s GDP on the military last year, with only four other NATO members having spent less: Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain.

Giroux says in a statement that the target of two per cent of GDP remains out of reach over the medium term, but the gap between Canada’s spending and the benchmark is projected to decrease over the next five years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2022.

The Canadian Press