By Mike Blanchfield, Canwest News Service, May 27, 2009
OTTAWA — The global economic downturn won’t prevent the Canadian Forces from spending $60 billion on new equipment, Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the defence industry elite on Wednesday.
As he reiterated the Conservative government’s ambitious spending plans for new military hardware — planes, ships and armoured vehicles — MacKay touted military contracts as a major stimulus for jobs in Canadian communities during hard economic times.
MacKay said he brought Finance Minister Jim Flaherty to Afghanistan to underscore the need to keep to military spending commitments.
“The funding will be there, I assure you. It’s locked in,” MacKay told an audience of hundreds of industry and military representatives attending Canada’s largest security and defence trade show.