Blog Nov 08, 2021

How the Minister of National Defence can defend Canada’s economic security


After over a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and sacrifice, Canadians are seeing the benefits of their efforts to stop COVID-19. The pandemic is not over, but we can now look beyond COVID to plan for our future. Now, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is writing “mandate letters” to members of the Cabinet with policy priorities that will support growth of the Canadian economy.

The national security and economic security of Canadians are inseparable. In addition to defending the economic security of Canadians at home and abroad, the Department of National Defence has a critical role in supporting the Canadian defence industrial base, which should be looked at from a continental perspective, given our cooperative structures with the United States.

The Minister of National Defence should:

  • Ensure Canada’s financial contribution to NORAD modernization utilizes relevant capabilities in the Canadian defence industry.  Include a public consultation component to NORAD modernization whereby Canadian industry can contribute its views and inform the government of its relevant capabilities. This work with the United States could include a binational NORAD technology road-mapping exercise to better position industry to meet the capability requirements of a modernized NORAD.
  • Negotiate a statement of strategic intent between Canada and the United States setting out a binational framework to ensure the continental defence industrial base is fit for the emerging international security environment. The Government of Canada should consult with Canadian industry to obtain its perspective and aid in delivering this modernized strategic framework. This should include reviewing the effectiveness of the Defence Production Sharing Agreement and the Defence Development Sharing Arrangement, with a view to strengthening these foundational Canada-U.S. agreements.
  • Work the Minister of Foreign Affairs to ensure Canada’s export permit system meets service standards.
  • Work with the Minister of Veterans Affairs to facilitate the integration of veterans into the civilian workforce.
  • The Government of Canada should adopt a common cybersecurity certification like the United States Department of Defense’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC). The government should also ensure Canadian cyber companies with leading edge technology are included in cyber security procurements. The cyber procurement rules and approaches will need to be modernized so that the Department of National Defence can acquire and deploy the capabilities it needs

To see all 21 of our mandate letters to ministers, click here.