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Chapter 7:
Protecting Canadians and Defending Democracy

For years, Canada has benefitted from the rules-based international order we helped to create. Given the good fortune of our history and our geography, it would be easy to turn away from the world and leave foreign problems for others to resolve.

Canadians understand this would be a mistake. Whether it is climate change leading to lower crop yields, which drive up the price of groceries, or political instability causing mass migration, which drives people to Canada in search of refuge, or Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, which undermines the security of all countries, Canadians know that we cannot stand aside in isolation from the world.

Canada needs to do its part—and we have been. Rooted in a belief that the dignity of people matters, we have made historic contributions to support the health and rights of women, including pre- and post-abortion care through the Feminist International Assistance Policy, and led the way with a feminist foreign policy. Canada has also doubled our international contributions to fight climate change, welcomed people fleeing violence and discrimination, and stood up for our values around the world.

We took these actions because they are right—and also because a more peaceful, prosperous world is in Canada's national interest. We must do our part in a world that is growing more challenging, more uncertain, and more complex. We must make investments to make sure that future generations can benefit from the same peace and prosperity that generations of Canadians have enjoyed. We have to be prepared to face these challenges, and Canada must have the tools to work with partners and allies. Doing this gives Canada greater credibility, and helps build stronger societies, allies, and partnerships.

Climate change is reshaping our North, presenting new threats to our sovereignty as the polar sea ice retreats, and opening up the Arctic to economic and geopolitical competition. Canada must assert our sovereignty over our Arctic territory. Economic security is becoming a central consideration in foreign policy as disruptive state and non-state actors attempt to reshape the global economy to their advantage. The rules-based order itself is under threat.

Russia has, since 2014, waged an illegal and unjustifiable war against Ukraine—killing tens of thousands of innocent civilians—and tried to undermine democracies around the world. Putin's full-scale invasion launched in February 2022 has threatened Ukraine's sovereignty and territory. Vladimir Putin is seeking to undermine the very idea of freedom itself. China has become increasingly disruptive, and is seeking to capitalize on this moment of global uncertainty to advance its own goals.

In the face of these challenges, and this suffering, many across Canada and around the world are left to worry about what future their children and grandchildren will inherit. Protecting Canada's national interests and promoting Canada's values in this more challenging world requires proactive engagement with the world.

Budget 2024 invests in strengthening the full range of tools at Canada's disposal. We are investing in our defence to protect Canada and our allies in a more insecure world; in preserving and promoting free and open trade and deepening our economic partnerships with emerging and developing economies; and in strengthening Canada's contributions to ending the conflicts and humanitarian crises that undermine stability.

7.1 Protecting Canadians, at Home and Abroad

The world is at an inflection point. Transnational forces—climate change, strategic competition, and technological advancement—are testing our way of life, and threatening our security. Climate change is opening our Arctic to foreign competitors who are pursuing their own economic opportunities, and potentially seeking to do us or our Allies harm. Authoritarian leaders are trying to destroy the rules-based international order, and replace it with a world where might makes right. New weapon systems and emerging technologies are changing the nature of conflict.

In response to these challenges, we must make sure the Canadian Armed Forces, and all the women and men who serve, have what they need to keep Canada safe, no matter what.

Alongside our NATO Allies, we have reinforced our defence and deterrence capabilities and readiness, including by committing to expand Canada's troop deployment in Latvia, where the Canadian Armed Forces already lead a NATO battlegroup. We have welcomed Finland and Sweden into the alliance, bolstered our support for members in Eastern Europe, and made the investments necessary to uphold our unique role in protecting NATO's Northern and Western Flank—our Arctic.

In 2014, Canada was spending barely 1 per cent of GDP on defence. Now, compared to 2016-17, the total Department of National Defence budget is on track to more than double by 2025-26. These steady and responsible investments are making sure Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces are ready for whatever challenges they will face.

Chart 7.1
Department of National Defence Spending, 2009-10 to 2029-30
(Cash Basis)
Chart 7.1: Department of National Defence Spending, 2009-10 to 2029-30 (Cash Basis)

Sources: Public Accounts of Canada, Department of National Defence 2024-25 Departmental Plan, and the Department of National Defence.

Notes: The forecasted spending reflects adjustments related to the Budget 2023 Refocusing Government Spending exercise and incremental funding in Budget 2024. Forecasted amounts are subject to change as initiatives progress through implementation.

Text version
Department of National Defence Spending
Actual Spending (Public Accounts) 19.9 20.3 20.2 20.0 18.8 18.5 18.7 18.6 22.9 21.6 22.8 26.8 24.1 26.9
Forecasted Spending 29.9 33.8 44.2 44.6 45.0 46.0 49.5

We are also seeing transnational groups—terrorist organizations, organized crime, and other disruptive non-state actors—become emboldened by growing instability. They are exploiting loopholes in financial systems around the world. This is also a tool of those seeking to avoid sanctions. We must make sure to strengthen our financial system and deny bad actors the opportunity to benefit from their crimes.

The actions of Russia, and others, are making the world less secure. It is more important than ever that the government renew its investments in defence, in the Canadian Armed Forces, and in defending Canadian values around the world.

Key Ongoing Actions

  • Around $38 billion over 20 years in the largest upgrade to NORAD in a generation, which will strengthen the defence of North America, reinforce Canada's support of our continental security alongside our closest ally, the United States, and protect our sovereignty in the North.
  • $11.5 billion over 20 years for Canada's contribution to increasing NATO's common budget and to establish a new regional office in Halifax for NATO's Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic.
  • $4.4 billion over 20 years to enhance Canada's cyber security by expanding our cyber operations capability and shoring up critical infrastructure to fend off cyber attacks.
  • $3.8 billion over 20 years to acquire new critical weapons systems, replenish stocks of ammunition, and improve the Canadian Armed Forces' digital systems.
  • $3.5 billion to renew and expand Operation REASSURANCE, the Canadian Armed Forces' largest overseas mission, through which it contributes to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Over $14 billion in total support for Ukraine, including $7.4 billion  for immediate financial support and $4 billion for military assistance.
  • $910 million to support military operations in Ukraine, the Middle East, and the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Restoring an industrial defence capacity, including adding Chantier Davie of Lévis, Quebec as the third strategic partner under the National Shipbuilding Strategy, which is renewing Canada's fleet and protecting our Arctic sovereignty.
  • Nearly $1 billion over 20 years to support culture change and wellness in the Canadian Armed Forces, and introducing amendments to the National Defence Act to deliver key recommendations to advance culture change.
  • More than $11 billion since 2015 to enhance benefits for veterans, including improvements to education, employment, and caregiver supports as well as the introduction of Pension for Life.
Protecting Canada and Defending North America

In recent months, the government has announced significant acquisitions to enhance the defence of Canada and North America, including:

  • $3.6 billion for nine new CC-330 Husky aircraft to enhance Canada's strategic transport and air-to-air refueling capability. The first aircraft was delivered in August 2023, with additional aircraft to follow over the coming years;
  • $10.4 billion for up to 16 new P-8A Poseidon aircraft, including for the associated infrastructure and training to strengthen Canada's maritime surveillance capability and contribute to NORAD's maritime warning mission. The first delivery is anticipated in 2026; and,
  • $2.5 billion for a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the capability to remotely engage targets in complex environments. The first delivery is anticipated in 2028.

In addition, in June 2022, the government made a landmark commitment to invest in continental defence and modernize NORAD. The government is advancing several major projects to protect Canada's sovereignty in the Arctic, including:

  • $6.9 billion to modernize Canada's surveillance systems, including new Arctic and Polar Over the Horizon Radar systems and enhanced space-based surveillance systems to expand situational awareness of Canadian territory and air and maritime approaches. The first of these systems is expected to be online in 2028;
  • $6.4 billion for new long-range and additional short- and medium-range air-to-air weapons systems to maintain the operational advantage of Canadian fighter aircraft against new and evolving air-based threats;
  • $4.1 billion for new command and control capabilities, including a modernized aerospace operations centre and enhanced Polar communications satellites; and,
  • $15.7 billion for infrastructure and support capabilities, including upgrades to NORAD Forward Operating Locations across Canada's North, including in Inuvik, Yellowknife, and Goose Bay, and new infrastructure for the CC-330 and F-35 aircraft.
Operation REASSURANCE: Canadian Armed Forces Defending NATO's Eastern Flank

In July 2023, the Prime Minister announced that Canada would be scaling the Canadian-led Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia to a Brigade as part of Operation REASSURANCE, Canada's contribution to NATO's assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe. To deliver on this commitment, Canada is scaling our presence in Latvia to up to 2,200 Canadian Armed Forces personnel and acquiring new critical capabilities on an urgent basis, including:

  • Portable anti-tank missile systems;
  • Counter uncrewed aircraft systems; and,
  • Soldier-portable air defence systems.

Funding of $1.4 billion for these new critical capabilities was first provided in 2022, with additional funding from the $3.5 billion envelope announced in 2023 for the expansion of Operation REASSURANCE. Deliveries will be starting this year.

The following capabilities will also be supplied to Canada's mission in Europe in the coming months as part of the expansion of Operation REASSURANCE:  

  • Over 100 light tactical vehicles;
  • At least 49 Armoured Heavy Support Vehicles;
  • Personnel defence precision munitions; and,
  • Improved communications and surveillance infrastructure.

Stronger National Defence

As the world becomes increasingly unstable, as climate change increases the severity and frequency of natural disasters, and as the risk of conflict grows, Canada is asking more of our military. Whether it is deploying to Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE, or Nova Scotia as part of Operation LENTUS, those who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces have answered the call whenever they are needed, to keep Canadians safe.

On April 8, in response to the rapidly changing security environment, the government announced an update to its defence policy: Our North, Strong and Free. In this updated policy, the government laid out its vision for Canada's national defence, which will ensure the safety of Canadians, our allies, and our partners by equipping our soldiers with the cutting-edge tools and advanced capabilities they need to keep Canadians safe in a changing world.

  • Budget 2024 proposes foundational investments of $8.1 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, and $73.0 billion over 20 years to the Department of National Defence (DND), the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to ensure Canada is ready to respond to global threats and to protect the well-being of Canadian Armed Forces members. Canada's defence spending-to-GDP ratio is expected to reach 1.76 per cent by 2029-30.  These include:
    • $549.4 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $267.8 billion in future years, for DND to replace Canada's worldwide satellite communications equipment; for new tactical helicopters, long-range missile capabilities for the Army, and airborne early warning aircraft; and for other investments to defend Canada's sovereignty;
    • $1.9 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $8.2 billion in future years, for DND to extend the useful life of the Halifax-class frigates and extend the service contract of the auxiliary oiler replenishment vessel, while Canada awaits delivery of next generation naval vessels;
    • $1.4 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $8.2 billion in future years, for DND to replenish its supplies of military equipment;
    • $1.8 billion over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $7.7 billion in future years, for DND to build a strategic reserve of ammunition and scale up the production of made-in-Canada artillery ammunition. Private sector beneficiaries are expected to contribute to infrastructure and retooling costs;
    • $941.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $16.2 billion in future years, for DND to ensure that military infrastructure can support modern equipment and operations;
    • $917.4 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $10.9 billion in future years and $145.8 million per year ongoing, for CSE and GAC to enhance their intelligence and cyber operations programs to protect Canada's economic security and respond to evolving national security threats;
    • $281.3 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $216 million in future years, for DND for a new electronic health record platform for military health care;
    • $6.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $1.4 billion in future years, for DND to build up to 1,400 new homes and renovate an additional 2,500 existing units for Canadian Armed Forces personnel on bases across Canada (see Chapter 1);
    • $100 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to DND for child care services for Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families (see Chapter 2);
    • $149.9 million over four years, starting in 2025-26, with $1.8 billion in future years, for DND to increase the number of civilian specialists in priority areas; and,
    • $52.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $54.8 million in future years, to DND to support start-up firms developing dual-use technologies critical to our defence via the NATO Innovation Fund.

To support Our North, Strong and Free, $156.7 million over three years, starting in 2026-27, and $537.7 million in future years would be allocated from funding previously committed to Canada's 2017 Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

  • Budget 2024 also proposes additional measures to strengthen Canada's national defence:
    • $1.2 billion over 20 years, starting in 2024-25, to support the ongoing procurement of critical capabilities, military equipment, and infrastructure through DND's Capital Investment Fund; and,
    • $66.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $7.4 billion in future years to DND for the Future Aircrew Training program to develop the next generation of Royal Canadian Air Force personnel. Of this amount, $66.5 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, would be sourced from existing DND resources.
  • Budget 2024 also announces reforms to Canadian defence policy and its review processes:
    • Committing Canada to undertake a Defence Policy Review every four years, as part of a cohesive review of the National Security Strategy; and,
    • Undertaking a review of Canada's defence procurement system.

With this proposed funding, since 2022, the government has committed more than $125 billion over 20 years in incremental funding to strengthen national defence and help keep Canadians and our democracy safe in an increasingly unpredictable world—today and for generations. Since 2015, this adds up to over $175 billion in incremental funding for national defence.

Enhancing CSIS Intelligence Capabilities

As an advanced economy and an open and free democracy, Canada continues to be targeted by hostile actors, which threaten our democratic institutions, diaspora communities, and economic prosperity. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) protects Canadians from threats, such as violent extremism and foreign interference, through its intelligence operations in Canada and around the world.

To equip CSIS to combat emerging global threats and keep pace with technological developments, further investments in intelligence capabilities and infrastructure are needed. These will ensure CSIS can continue to protect Canadians.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $655.7 million over eight years, starting in 2024-25, with $191.1 million in remaining amortization, and $114.7 million ongoing to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to enhance its intelligence capabilities, and its presence in Toronto.

Maintaining a Robust Arctic Presence

The Canadian Arctic is warming four times faster than the world average, as a result of climate change. It is also where we share a border with today's most hostile nuclear power—Russia. The shared imperatives of researching climate change where its impacts are most severe, and maintaining an ongoing presence in the Arctic enable Canada to advance this important scientific work and assert our sovereignty.

Maintaining a robust research presence supports Canada's Arctic sovereignty. Scientific and research operations in the Arctic advance our understanding of how climate change is affecting people, the economy, and the environment in the region. This is an important competitive advantage, as economic competition increases in the region. 

To support research operations in Canada's North, Budget 2024 proposes:

  • $46.9 million over five years starting in 2024-25, with $8.5 million in remaining amortization and $11.1 million ongoing, to Natural Resources Canada to renew the Polar Continental Shelf Program to continue supporting northern research logistics, such as lodging and flights for scientists; and,
  • $3.5 million in 2024-25 to Polar Knowledge Canada to support its activities, including the operation of the Canadian High Arctic Research Station.
Figure 7.1
Canada's Northern Frontier: Select Research Sites and Mining Activity
Figure 7.1: Canada's Northern  Frontier: Select Research Sites and Mining Activity

Source: Natural Resources Canada

Text version
Arctic Map of Research Stations
Mine name Primary commodity Development stage Territory
Back River   Construction Started Nunavut
Meliadine Gold Operating Nunavut
Mary River Iron Ore Operating Nunavut
Meadowbank Gold Operating Nunavut
Amaruq Gold Satellite mine of Meadowbank Nunavut
Ekati Diamonds Operating Northwest Territories
Gahcho Kué Diamonds Operating Northwest Territories
Diavik Diamonds Operating Northwest Territories
Eagle (Dublin Gulch) Gold Operating Yukon
Keno Hill Silver Operating Yukon

Unwavering Support for Ukraine

Since Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Canada has stood with the brave people of Ukraine as they defend their families, their sovereignty, and their democracy itself.

Canada's financial support has helped the government of Ukraine to continue to operate, including by delivering essential government services and pensions to Ukrainians, and restoring damaged infrastructure, such as the civilian electrical grid, which was targeted by Russian missiles in late 2022, in a brutal attempt to break Ukrainian resistance.

  • Budget 2024 announces that Canada intends to provide Ukraine with $2.4 billion in loans for 2024, of which $2 billion was provided on March 20, 2024, through the International Monetary Fund Administered Account for Ukraine to ensure the government of Ukraine can continue to deliver for its citizens. To enable the full extent of this support, the government intends to propose amendments to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act.

Canada remains steadfast in its support for Ukraine's brave fight against Russia. As the conflict enters into its third year, Canada is unwavering in our support of the Ukrainian fight for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and democracy.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $1.6 billion over five years, starting in 2024–25, to the Department of National Defence for the provision of lethal and non-lethal military aid to Ukraine.

This multi-year commitment will provide predictability to Ukraine as well as to Canada's defence industry.

Since the beginning of the conflict, Canada has committed more than $4 billion in military aid for Ukraine, as part of over $14 billion in total support to Ukraine since February 2022.

Reconstruction and Development Support for Ukraine

Beyond direct support for its fight against Russia's full-scale invasion, Ukraine needs help to rebuild its economy and infrastructure from the damage of Putin's ongoing war. Canada and our allies are working to support Ukraine's reconstruction to ensure after victory comes a brighter future.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is a long-standing development partner in Ukraine. In December 2023, EBRD Governors approved a €4 billion (approximately $6.3 billion) general capital increase to support reconstruction efforts in Ukraine.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide an estimated $216.7 million (€137.2 million) over five years, starting in 2025-26, for Canada's share of the EBRD's general capital increase for Ukraine's reconstruction.

Using Russian Assets to Rebuild Ukraine

Canada is working with G7 allies to make sure that Russia is held to account for the destruction caused by its illegal and unjustified full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia must pay for the significant reconstruction costs facing Ukraine. In concert with other G7 countries, Canada is actively working on finding ways to use immobilized Russian assets to contribute to the reconstruction of Ukraine, the restoration of peace and security, and the compensation of victims of the conflict.

Russia's illegal war against Ukraine has destroyed schools, homes, power generators, theatres, hospitals, and much more. Russia should pay for the damage it has done. At the beginning of the war, Canada and our allies took the unprecedented step of immobilizing close to US$280 billion in Russian sovereign assets, removing them from Putin's war chest.

We recognize and support the significant work many of our allies have already done on this issue.

Within the G7, all countries have agreed that Russia's sovereign assets will remain immobilized until Russia pays for the damage it caused to Ukraine. Canada believes that now is the time to use these resources actively to support Ukraine in its existential fight. It is Canada's position that these assets can be redirected to benefit Ukraine, consistent with international law.

This should not be a controversial statement. The UN General Assembly has called on Russia to cease its hostilities and pay for the damage it has done. There are prominent international law specialists, from countries around the world, who have concluded that in the circumstances, there is a lawful basis to repurpose these assets.

At the same time, the government recognizes the importance of working with our partners to find a mutually acceptable solution. The unity of the G7 has been critical to maintaining support for Ukraine against Vladimir Putin, and any action must be taken in concert with others. This is how we can maximize effectiveness.

The European Union's Windfall Profits mechanism represents the kind of innovative approach to this issue that is required to meet this moment, and it presents a strong foundation to build on with further solutions.

Canada is committed to work with allies to explore all possible legal mechanisms to make full use of the assets currently immobilized in our jurisdictions, including for the purpose of increasing support for Ukraine in the short term. This includes exploring ideas that have been advanced by experts such as the creation of a Special Purpose Vehicle to leverage immobilized assets, and the possible expansion of the Windfall Profits mechanism to advance the payments from future years under this system to Ukraine.

  • Budget 2024 announces the government's intention to advance engagement with international partners, particularly the G7, to identify additional avenues to hold Russia to account for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. These discussions, and any consensus achieved, will be used to advance necessary amendments to Canada's sanctions regime.

Protecting Canadians from Financial Crimes

Financial crimes are serious threats to public safety, national security, and Canada's financial system. They can range from terrorist financing, corruption, and the evasion of sanctions, to money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion. These crimes have real world implications, often enabling other criminal behaviour. Financial crime also undermines the fairness and transparency that are so essential to our economy.

Since 2017, the government has undertaken significant work to crack down on financial crime:

  • Investing close to $320 million since 2019 to strengthen compliance, financial intelligence, information sharing, and investigative capacity to support money laundering investigations;
  • Creating new Integrated Money Laundering Investigative Teams in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec, which convene experts to advance investigations into money laundering, supported by dedicated forensic accounting experts;
  • Launching a publicly accessible beneficial ownership registry for federal corporations on January 22, 2024. The government continues to call upon provinces and territories to advance a pan-Canadian approach to beneficial ownership transparency;
  • Modernizing Canada's anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing framework to adapt to emerging technologies; vulnerable sectors; and growing risks such as sanctions evasion; and,
  • Establishing public-private partnerships with the financial sector, that are improving the detection and disruption of profit-oriented crimes, including human trafficking, online child sexual exploitation, and fentanyl trafficking.

Budget 2024 takes further action to protect Canadians from financial crimes.

Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing

Criminal and terrorist organizations continually look for new ways to perpetrate illicit activities. Canada needs a robust legal framework that keeps pace with evolving financial crimes threats.

To combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion, Budget 2024 announces:

  • The government intends to introduce legislative amendments to the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA), the Criminal Code the Income Tax Act, and the Excise Tax Act.
    • Proposed amendments to the PCMLTFA would:
      • Enhance the ability of reporting entities under the PCMLTFA to share information with each other to detect and deter money laundering, terrorist financing, and sanctions evasion, while maintaining privacy protections for personal information, including an oversight role for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner under regulations;
      • Permit the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to disclose financial intelligence to provincial and territorial civil forfeiture offices to support efforts to seize property linked to unlawful activity; and, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to strengthen the integrity of Canada's citizenship process;
      • Enable anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulatory obligations to cover factoring companies, cheque cashing businesses, and leasing and finance companies to close a loophole and level the playing field across businesses providing financial services;
      • Allow FINTRAC to publicize more information around violations of obligations under the PCMLTFA when issuing administrative monetary penalties to strengthen transparency and compliance; and,
      • Make technical amendments to close loopholes and correct inconsistencies.
    • Proposed amendments to the Criminal Code would:
      • Allow courts to issue an order to require a financial institution to keep an account open to assist in the investigation of a suspected criminal offence; and,
      • Allow courts to issue a repeating production order to authorize law enforcement to obtain ongoing, specified information on activity in an account or multiple accounts connected to a person of interest in a criminal investigation.
    • Proposed amendments to the Income Tax Act and Excise Tax Act would:
      • Ensure Canada Revenue Agency officials who carry out criminal investigations are authorized to seek general warrants through court applications, thereby modernizing and simplifying evidence gathering processes and helping to fight tax evasion and other financial crimes.

Canada Financial Crimes Agency

As announced in Budget 2023, the Canada Financial Crimes Agency (CFCA) will become Canada's lead enforcement agency against financial crime. It will bring together expertise necessary to increase money laundering charges, prosecutions, and convictions, and the seizure of criminal assets.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $1.7 million over two years, starting in 2024-25, to the Department of Finance to finalize the design and legal framework for the CFCA.

Fighting Trade-Based Fraud and Money Laundering

  • Trade-based financial crime is one of the most pervasive means of laundering money; it's estimated that this is how hundreds of millions of dollars are laundered each year. To strengthen efforts to fight trade fraud and money laundering, the 2023 Fall Economic Statement announced enhancements to the Canada Border Services Agency's authorities under the PCMLTFA to combat trade-based financial crime and the intent to create a Trade Transparency Unit.
  • Budget 2024 builds on this work by proposing to provide $29.9 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $5.1 million in remaining amortization and $4.2 million ongoing, for the Canada Border Services Agency to support the implementation of its new authorities under the PCMLTFA to combat financial crime and strengthen efforts to combat international financial crime with our allies.

Supporting Veterans' Well-Being

After their service and their sacrifice, veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces deserve our full support. Veterans' organizations are often best placed to understand the needs of veterans and to develop programming that improves their quality of life. In 2018, the federal government launched the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund, which provides funding to public, private, and academic organizations, to advance research projects and innovative approaches to deliver services to veterans and their families.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide an additional $6 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada for the Veteran and Family Well-Being Fund. A portion of the funding will focus on projects for Indigenous, women, and 2SLGBTQI+ veterans.

Telemedicine Services for Veterans and Their Families

After serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, many veterans who previously received their health care from the Forces need to find a family doctor in the provincial system, which makes their transition to civilian life more stressful, especially if they need health care for service-related injuries.

To ensure veterans and their families have access to the care they deserve after their service to Canada:

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $9.3 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada to extend and expand the Veteran Family Telemedicine Service pilot for another three years. This initiative will provide up to two years of telemedicine services to recent veterans and their families.

Commemorating Canada's Veterans

Every day, women and men from across our country proudly and bravely put on the uniform with the maple leaf. We must honour the contributions and sacrifices of Canadian veterans. From the World Wars, to the Suez Canal, Korea, Congo, Cyprus, the First Gulf War, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and many other places, Canadian soldiers have stepped up and answered the call.

To commemorate those who stepped up to serve our country:

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $3.8 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, to Veterans Affairs Canada to help the Juno Beach Centre preserve the legacy of all Canadians who served during the Second World War.
  • Budget 2024 also proposes to provide $4 million in 2024-25 to Veterans Affairs Canada to commemorate significant Canadian military milestones, including the 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy, and the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the Canadian peacekeeping mission in Cyprus.

7.2 Economic Security for Canada and Our Allies

The system of rules and institutions that were established in the wake of the Second World War unleashed an era of prosperity unprecedented in human history. This era generated a massive expansion of global trade, and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. As a trading nation with privileged access to more than two-thirds of the global economy, Canada has benefitted enormously from the stability and certainty that this system provided.

Supply chain disruptions and rising protectionism threaten this Canadian advantage that has been enjoyed for generations. Canada is taking action to make sure we preserve the rules-based international order. We are strengthening our trade relationships and making sure they reflect our values. We are ensuring our economy is resilient and secure, protecting Canadians and Canada from economic pressure from authoritarian regimes, and defending Canada's economic interests.

Budget 2024 makes investments to ensure the opportunities and prosperity of trade, enjoyed by generations of Canadians, continue to be there for every generation.

Key Ongoing Actions

  • Launching in 2017 Strong, Secure, Engaged, to maintain the Canadian Armed Forces as an agile, multi-purpose, combat-ready force, ensuring Canada is strong domestically, an active partner in North America, and engaged internationally.
  • Upholding Canada's 15 free trade agreements with 51 countries. Canada is the only G7 country with comprehensive trade and investment agreements with all other G7 members.
  • Implementing the modernized Canada-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement and the United Kingdom's accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Establishing a new Canada-Taiwan foreign investment promotion and protection arrangement in December 2023.
  • Launching Canada's Indo-Pacific Strategy in November 2022, committing almost $2.3 billion to strengthen Canada's role as a strong partner in the region. The strategy included:
    • $492.9 million over five years to reinforce Canada's Indo-Pacific naval presence and increase Canadian Armed Forces participation in regional military exercises.
    • $227.8 million over five years to increase Canada's work with partners in the region on national security, cyber security, and responses to crime, terrorism, and threats from weapons proliferation.
    • Canada is negotiating free trade agreements with Indonesia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to provide additional trade and investment opportunities in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • To further reinforce Canada's role as a trusted supply chain partner, and its commitment to cooperate with like-minded partners in meeting emerging global challenges, including the economic resilience of the world's democracies, Canada undertook the following actions:
    • Joined with the U.S. in the Energy Transformation Task Force to accelerate cooperation on critical clean energy opportunities and to strengthen integrated Canada-U.S. supply chains, which as announced in Chapter 4, has been extended for another year.
    • Canada signed a new agreement in May 2023 with South Korea for cooperation on critical mineral supply chains, clean energy transition, and energy security.
    • Canada endorsed the Joint Declaration Against Trade-Related Economic Coercion and Non-Market Policies and Practices with Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the U.K., and the U.S. in June 2023.

Protecting Canadian Businesses from Unfair Foreign Competition

Canadian companies and workers are able to do business around the world, selling their goods and expertise, because the government has delivered free trade agreements that cover 61 per cent of the world's GDP and 1.5 billion consumers. This means Canadians can do business in Japan and Malaysia with the CPTPP; in Europe with CETA; in the United States and Mexico with the new NAFTA; and in Ukraine with a modernized CUFTA. These agreements mean good jobs and good salaries for people across the country.

However, this is only true when Canadian workers and businesses are competing on an even playing field, and countries respect agreed trade rules.

That is why the government has taken steps to ensure that Canada's trade remedy and import monitoring systems have the tools needed to defend Canadian workers and businesses from unfair practices of foreign competitors. For instance, earlier this year, Canada introduced a system to track the countries steel imports are initially melted and poured in, to increase supply chain transparency and support effective enforcement of Canada's trade laws.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $10.5 million over three years, starting in 2024-25, for the Canada Border Services Agency to create a dedicated Market Watch Unit to monitor and update trade remedy measures annually, to protect Canadian workers and businesses from unfair trade practices, and ensure greater transparency and market predictability.

Ensuring Reciprocal Treatment for Canadian Businesses Abroad

Canada is taking action to protect Canadian businesses and workers from additional global economic and trade challenges. These challenges include protectionist and non-market policies and practices implemented by our trading partners. When Canada opens its markets to goods and services from other countries, we expect those countries to equally grant Canadian businesses the access that we provide their companies.

As detailed in the Policy Statement on Ensuring Reciprocal Treatment for Canadian Businesses Abroad, published alongside the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, Canada will consider reciprocity as a key design element for new policies going forward. This approach builds on Canada's commitment to implement reciprocal procurement policies, including for infrastructure and sub-national infrastructure spending, in the near term. A reciprocal lens will also be applied to a range of new measures including, but not limited to, investment tax incentives, grants and contributions, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, investment restrictions, and intellectual property requirements.

In pursuing reciprocity, Canada will continue working with its allies to introduce incentives for businesses to reorient supply chains to trusted, reliable partners, and will ensure that any new measures do not unnecessarily harm trading partners who do not discriminate against Canadian goods and suppliers.  

Protecting Critical Supply Chains

Recent events around the world, from the pandemic to Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, have exposed strategic vulnerabilities in critical supply chains, to which Canada and countries around the world are responding by derisking, or friendshoring, their supply chains. Canada is actively working with its allies to strengthen shared supply chains and deepen our economic ties with trusted partners, including in the context of accelerating the transition to a net-zero economy.

Ongoing efforts to build our critical supply chains through democracies like our own represent a significant economic opportunity for Canadian businesses and workers, and the government will continue to design domestic policies and programs with friendshoring as a top-of-mind objective.

To reinforce Canada's role as a trusted supply chain partner for our allies, Budget 2023 took action to mobilize private investment and grow Canada's economy towards net-zero. These investments are growing Canada's economic capacity in industries across the economy, while simultaneously reducing Canada's emissions and strengthening our essential trading relationships.

Eradicating Forced Labour from Canadian Supply Chains

Canada is gravely concerned by the ongoing human rights violations against Uyghurs and Muslim minorities in China, as well as by the use of forced labour around the world. 

  • Budget 2024 reaffirms the federal government's commitment to introduce legislation in 2024 to eradicate forced labour from Canadian supply chains and to strengthen the import ban on goods produced with forced labour. The government will also work to ensure existing legislation fits within the overall framework to safeguard our supply chains.

This will build on funding committed in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement that, starting January 1, 2024, supports the requirement for annual reporting from public and private entities to demonstrate measures they have taken to prevent and reduce the risk that forced labour is used in their supply chains.

7.3 Upholding Canadian Values Around the World

In a more dangerous, uncertain world, the government is standing up for Canada's interests and values. This starts with our work to preserve the set of rules and institutions that have served us well over the past 80 years. At home, this system has provided Canadians with extraordinary peace and stability, allowing us to build a more just and affluent society. Around the world, it has delivered an unprecedented period of global prosperity, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.

However, a series of cascading global crises are putting pressure on this system. Climate change, debt, pandemics, and conflicts are all serving to test the ability of the global system to respond, and deliver on the promise of prosperity to the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. These compounding crises are having an impact on the poorest and most vulnerable, including on the health and rights of women and girls. No country can respond to these challenges alone. Collectively, the international community must work together better to address them. In part, this means developing new tools, and taking new approaches to enduring problems.

Canada is at the forefront of this work. With our partners at the Multilateral Development Banks, we are pushing to make more money available to developing countries so that they can make the critical investments they need to support their people. We are also working to adapt our support of economic development to respond to the new economic reality with new tools to engage the private sector to put its resources to work addressing these issues, and create economic opportunities for people around the world. We recognize that any international aid or assistance has the most impact when it addresses crises at their source.

Consistent with the commitment to increase international assistance every year out to 2030, through Budget 2024, Canada is making the investments that preserve our ability to shape a world that reflects our values—from our Feminist International Assistance Policy that seeks to uplift and uphold the rights of women and girls around the world, to our work to support vulnerable countries affected by climate change, to our work to lift up developing economies.

Key Ongoing Actions

  • Continued prioritization of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, including investments of $1.4 billion per year in global health— half of which is dedicated to sexual and reproductive health and rights— every year until 2030.
  • An additional 700 million Special Drawing Rights (around $1.3 billion) to the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust to help meet the financing needs of the world's poorest countries. This brings Canada's commitment to channel IMF Special Drawing Rights to low-income and vulnerable countries to around 60 per cent, among the highest of any country.
  • More than $400 million in security, humanitarian, and development assistance in response to the crisis in Haiti since 2022, including to enhance policing support and equipment for the Haitian National Police, and bolster Haitian-led solutions to the crisis.
  • $350 million to support developing countries—home to the vast majority of the world's biodiversity—to advance conservation efforts and implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework.
  • $16 million towards the start-up cost of a global fund to address loss and damage due to climate change, part of Canada's $5.3 billion international climate finance commitment. Canada was one of the first contributors to the fund and will play a leadership role on its Board.

International Humanitarian Assistance

As a result of the worsening climate crisis, violent conflict, and economic shocks, more people around the world are in urgent need of help than ever before.

Canada has a long history of taking action to support humanitarian efforts around the world. Our government is committed to helping lift up the most vulnerable, preventing overlapping crises from worsening, and promoting a more inclusive future for everyone. The stability of Canada's democracy, and democracy around the world, depends upon it.

  • To respond to increasing international humanitarian assistance needs, Budget 2024 proposes to provide an additional $350 million over two years, beginning in 2024-25, to Global Affairs Canada to enhance Canada's ability to respond to large-scale and deteriorating humanitarian crises around the world.
Figure 7.2
Spotlight: Canada's International Humanitarian Assistance to Africa and the Middle East, in 2021-22 and 2022-23 (cash basis)
Figure 7.2: Spotlight: Canada's International Humanitarian Assistance to Africa and the Middle East, in 2021-22 and 2022-23 (cash basis)

Notes: These figures represent humanitarian assistance as defined by the OECD-DAC sector codes and thus, the totals may vary from and extend beyond what is normally budgeted as humanitarian assistance in Canada's International Assistance reporting.

Text version
Canada International Humanitarian Assistance – Africa and Middle East
Continent Sub-Continent 2021/2022 Total  2022/2023 Preliminary Total  Grand Total 
Africa North Africa 7.16 2.48 9.65
  Sub-Saharan Africa 455.71 406.28 861.99
Africa Total   462.88 408.76 871.64
Middle East   165.31 306.05 471.37

Global Affairs Canada Transformation

In order to protect and promote Canada's interests around the world, Canada must have a foreign service that is modern and fit for purpose in a changing world. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is facing an increasingly complex global environment. To meet this moment, GAC has begun a multi-year organizational transformation to make sure it stays fit for purpose and can advance Canadian foreign policy priorities, and serve Canadians abroad.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide $159.1 million over five years, starting in 2024-25, with $5.9 million in remaining amortization, to support GAC's transformation, including:
    • $61.4 million over five years to strengthen recruitment and training for Canada's foreign service;
    • $47.6 million over five years to support competitive compensation for locally engaged staff at Canada's missions abroad;
    • $32.1 million over five years, with $5.9 million in remaining amortization, to strengthen GAC's information management and technology (IM/IT) systems; and,
    • $18 million over five years to bolster Canada's presence at our mission to the United Nations in New York.

Modernizing International Financial Institutions

International financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, are an essential forum for multilateral work to lift up the world's poorest and most vulnerable people by providing support to low- and middle-income countries. Canada and its international partners have called for significant reforms to international financial institutions to make them more efficient and responsive to emerging global threats. These reforms would enable these institutions to significantly scale up development support while minimizing the fiscal impact on donors.

To advance Canada's development priorities, centred on the dignity of people, and support international financial institution reform:

  • Budget 2024 announces the government's intention to propose legislative amendments to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Agreement Act and the International Development (Financial Institutions) Assistance Act to enable the use of innovative financial instruments, such as the purchase of hybrid capital, to bolster multilateral development banks' ability to support borrowing countries, so developing countries can better support people in greatest need.
  • Budget 2024 also announces the government's intention to increase by 50 per cent the amount that Canada is permitted to pay the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for quota subscriptions. This is in line with the recent conclusion of the 16th General Review of Quotas for all IMF member countries to do so and will enhance the IMF's capacity to support global financial stability. The government intends to propose legislative amendments to the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act to increase Canada's IMF quota subscriptions.
Fostering Innovative Approaches to International Assistance

Introduced in Budget 2018 as a pilot project, the International Assistance Innovation Program is intended to complement Canada's core international assistance activities, from emergency humanitarian aid to economic empowerment programs, with innovative financing arrangements and partnerships.

The program seeks to better catalyze other non-governmental sources of financing—including private sector and philanthropic financing—to deliver international assistance to the poorest and most vulnerable around the world. Since its inception, the program has provided more than $800 million in support for developing countries. These projects are expected to reach 1.68 million people and abate 27 million tons of greenhouse gases.

As part of this focus on mobilizing new, additional resources, FinDev, Canada's development finance institution, was launched in 2018 to provide the government with another way to engage the private sector. Since then, FinDev has programmed $75.9 million in concessional financing under the GAC-funded 2X Canada facility and committed close to $1.3 billion of its own resources on commercial terms, with 45 private sector clients.

To further enable Canada's efforts to engage the private sector on development goals, a new phase of the International Assistance Innovation Program will focus on small, high impact transactions supporting businesses and entrepreneurs. The government will also seek to leverage FinDev's global mandate and expertise to mobilize private investment in projects that cannot attain commercial viability on their own.

The government intends to introduce legislative measures that would build on these tools and provide additional flexibilities to the program. Further details will be announced at a later date.

Sustainable Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean

Attracting private capital is essential to sustainable economic growth in developing countries, the kind of growth that creates good jobs, supports communities, and fosters greater stability. IDB Invest is the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank and it is a leader in fostering economic growth and social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In March 2024, IDB Invest Governors approved a US$3.5 billion general capital increase to mobilize greater volumes of private capital towards tackling climate change and reducing poverty and inequality.

  • Budget 2024 proposes to provide up to an estimated $146.3 million (US$106.8 million) over five years to Global Affairs Canada, starting in 2027-28, to purchase Canada's allocated shares in IDB Invest, which will catalyze private sector financing to support clean economic growth and create economic opportunities for women in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Leadership on Women's Rights and Gender Equality

As part of its Feminist International Assistance Policy, Canada made a ten-year commitment to advance the health and rights of women and girls around the world. The Ten-Year Commitment to Health and Rights (2020-2030) is a bold and ambitious commitment to increase Canada's global health and rights funding to $1.4 billion per year, beginning in 2023. Half of this funding is dedicated to sexual and reproductive health and rights. This commitment drives progress to address critical, unmet needs to improve global health and strengthen human rights. Projects supported by this funding include:

  • Nutrition International, which enabled teachers to deliver weekly iron and folic acid supplements to over 2 million adolescent girls, averting thousands of cases of anemia and helping girls to stay in school.
  • Profamilia, which delivered a comprehensive sexuality education model to over 10,300 adolescents in eight municipalities of Colombia.

In March 2023, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ranked Canada as the top donor by share of assistance supporting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls for 2022. This was Canada's fourth consecutive year at the top of the rankings.

Standing Up for LGBTQI+ Rights Around the World

Canada was one of the first countries in the world to legalize same-sex marriage, and we continue to make progress in advancing the rights and protections of our vibrant 2SLGBTQI+ communities here at home. But, these same rights and freedoms are not enjoyed by people in other countries.

Since 2015, Canada has been at the forefront of defending LGBTQI+ rights around the world. Today, 65 international jurisdictions still criminalize same-sex sexual activity, including 11 jurisdictions where the death penalty can be applied, fuelling anti-LGBTQI+ hate, persecution, discrimination, and violence. Canada stands up for, protects, and promotes the human rights of LGBTQI+ people at home and around the world.

In February 2019, Canada announced its new LGBTQI+ International Assistance Program to advance human rights and improve socio-economic outcomes for LGBTQI+ people in developing countries. Through this program, the government is providing $30 million in dedicated funding over five years, and $10 million every year thereafter.

In 2021-22 and 2022-23, the LGBTQI+ International Assistance Program funded six projects that helped support human rights in 33 countries:

  • $3.5 million to Oikos to support five human rights organizations to advance the economic, political, and social empowerment of LGBTQI+ communities in Central America; 
  • $2.4 million to the APCOM Foundation to help local LGBTQI+ organizations throughout Southeast Asia to improve their organizational capacity and support for local LGBTQI+ people;
  • $1.6 million to the World Bank to support their work on LGBTQI+ inclusion;
  • $1.1 million to ILGA World to advance their research and capacity building work in support of global LGBTQI+ movements;
  • $450,000 for Égides to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and rights for LGBTQI+ women and girls in West Africa; and,
  • $1 million to other organizations to support advocacy and capacities to advance the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons and provide emergency support for LGBTQI+ communities facing discrimination and violence.

At a time of rising anti-LGBTQI+ hate around the world, these investments enable Canadian LGBTQI+ organizations to collaborate with partners in developing countries, support local organizations and equality movements, and invest in multilateral initiatives that contribute to policy, advocacy, and research efforts. Canada will continue to play a leading role in standing up for a brighter, more inclusive future for LGBTQI+ people at home and around the world.

Chapter 7
Protecting Canadians and Defending Democracy
millions of dollars
2023-2024 2024-2025 2025-2026 2026-2027 2027-2028 2028-2029 Total
7.1. Protecting Canadians, at Home and Abroad 0 548 2,123 2,419 2,613 2,271 9,975
Stronger National Defence - Replacing and Acquiring New Military Capabilities 0 0 23 109 178 239 549
Stronger National Defence - Sustaining Naval Vessels 0 293 376 436 446 376 1,926
Stronger National Defence - Sustaining Military Equipment 0 202 256 312 325 346 1,441
Stronger National Defence - Investing in Ammunition Supply and Production 0 15 137 308 566 735 1,762
Stronger National Defence - Maintaining and Renewing National Defence Infrastructure 0 0 103 206 308 324 942
Stronger National Defence - Enhancing Canada's Intelligence and Cyber Operations 0 73 115 186 244 299 917
Stronger National Defence - Acquiring a New Electronic Health Record Platform for Military Personnel 0 7 59 60 77 80 281
Stronger National Defence - Building Homes for Canadian Armed Forces Personnel 0 0 0 1 2 4 7
Stronger National Defence - Improving Child Care for Canadian Armed Forces Personnel 0 13 18 21 23 25 100
Stronger National Defence - Augmenting Civilian Capacity 0 0 19 37 46 48 150
Stronger National Defence - Contributing to the NATO Innovation Fund 0 10 11 11 11 11 53
Stronger National Defence - Less: Funding Reallocated from Strong, Secure, Engaged 2017 0 0 0 -50 -52 -55 -157
Stronger National Defence - Supporting Ongoing Defence Procurements and Capital Projects 0 -436 508 313 60 -658 -213
Stronger National Defence - Investing in Future Aircrew Training 0 -2 93 37 -93 32 66
Less: Funds Sourced from Existing Departmental Resources
0 0 -22 -22 0 -22 -66
Enhancing CSIS Intelligence Capabilities 0 30 41 71 91 106 339
Maintaining a Robust Arctic Presence - Polar Continental Shelf Program 0 9 9 9 9 9 47
Maintaining a Robust Arctic Presence - Polar Knowledge Canada 0 4 0 0 0 0 4
Unwavering Support for Ukraine – Military Aid 0 320 320 320 320 320 1,600
Reconstruction and Development Support for Ukraine 0 0 43 43 43 43 173
Protecting Canadians from Financial Crimes 0 4 8 7 7 7 32
Supporting Veterans' Well-Being 0 2 2 2 0 0 6
Telemedicine Services for Veterans and Their Families 0 1 2 3 2 2 9
Commemorating Canada's Veterans 0 5 1 1 1 1 8
7.2. Economic Security for Canada and Our Allies 0 3 4 4 0 0 11
Protecting Canadian Businesses from Unfair Foreign Competition 0 3 4 4 0 0 11
7.3. Upholding Canadian Values Around the World 0 169 228 33 102 61 593
International Humanitarian Assistance 0 150 200 0 0 0 350
Global Affairs Canada Transformation 0 19 28 33 40 40 159
Sustainable Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean 0 0 0 0 63 21 84
Additional Investments – Protecting Canadians and Defending Democracy 32 81 2 2 2 2 119
Preparing for G7 Presidency 0 81 2 2 2 2 87
Funding proposed for multiple departments for the government to begin preparing for Canada's 2025 G7 Presidency.
Ensuring Secure International Events 23 0 0 0 0 0 23
Funding proposed for the RCMP to cover security costs for the President of Ukraine's visit and the CARICOM Summit in Ottawa.
Crisis Evacuations 9 0 0 0 0 0 9
Funding proposed for GAC for the recent emergency evacuations of Canadians from crisis situations abroad.
Chapter 7 - Net Fiscal Impact 32 800 2,357 2,458 2,717 2,333 10,698
Note: Numbers may not add due to rounding. A glossary of abbreviations used in this table can be found at the end of Annex 1.

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