Ukraine shows need to hike Canadian defence budget, says parliamentary secretary

The parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says Canada has to ramp up its defence budget in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

OTTAWA — The parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Rob Nicholson says Canada has to ramp up its defence budget in the face of Russian aggression in Ukraine.

James Bezan says military spending should rise to 1.7 per cent of GDP.

Current defence spending stands at one per cent of GDP, a decline from 1.2 per cent during the Afghan war.

Bezan made the comment to an audience of diplomats, bureaucrats and military brass at a security symposium sponsored by the European Union.

NATO would like its 28 member countries to spend two per cent of GDP on defence.

Earlier this week, U.S. Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO’s operational commander in Europe, said on a visit to Ottawa that only five NATO nations have achieved that goal, but the crisis in Eastern Europe has prompted three other countries to promise higher military spending.

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