Canada’s military spending exceeds Cold War peak —study

October 22, 2007

OTTAWA—Canada is spending more public money on its military today than it has since the Second World War, says a study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

According to the study, by Steven Staples, Director of the Rideau Institute and CCPA Research Associate, and Bill Robinson, Senior Advisor with the Rideau Institute, Canada’s military spending will reach $18.24 billion in 2007-08—an increase of 9% over 2006-07—and will continue to rise to $19.418 billion by 2009-10.

“Military spending is higher now than it was in the peak of the Cold War, when Canada was at war in Korea,” says Staples.

Internationally, Canada is the 13th highest military spender in the world this year, up from 16th. Within the 26-member NATO alliance, Canada has moved from 7th to 6th highest military spender, dollar for dollar.

“One of the public’s greatest misperceptions is about how much Canada now spends on its military,” Staples says. “Canada’s military spending is so substantial that it outspends the lowest 12 NATO members combined.”

Since September 11, 2001, Canada’s military spending has increased by 27%, and after the next two years of planned increases, will be 37% higher than 2000-01.

By the end of this fiscal year, Canada will have spent $7.2 billion on the full cost of military missions in or related to Afghanistan, or $3.3 billion on incremental costs which exclude fixed costs such as salaries, equipment depreciation and attrition.


More Than The Cold War: Canada’s military spending 2007-08 is available on the CCPA web site at

For more information please contact Kerri-Anne Finn, CCPA Communications Officer, at 613-563-1341 x306.