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Canada Unveils “Our North, Strong and Free” Defence Policy Update

Trudeau Government Announces Major Investments to Assert Sovereignty and Strengthen Armed Forces

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Defence Minister Bill Blair revealed a comprehensive update to Canada’s defence policy today, titled “Our North, Strong and Free,” emphasizing the urgent need to assert sovereignty in the Arctic and northern regions amidst shifting global landscapes.

The policy, which builds upon the 2017 “Strong, Secure, Engaged” defence policy, outlines a series of strategic investments aimed at bolstering Canada’s Armed Forces (CAF) and acquiring new capabilities to address emerging threats. Among the key objectives are strengthening the foundations of the CAF and enhancing its ability to defend Canadians in an increasingly unpredictable world.

A significant aspect of the policy is the commitment to invest $8.1 billion over the next five years and $73 billion over the next two decades in Canada’s national defence, with the aim of increasing the defence spending-to-GDP ratio to 1.76% by 2029-30. These investments are expected to exceed NATO’s target of 20% for major equipment expenditures.

The policy places a strong emphasis on supporting CAF personnel and their families, with initiatives such as a housing strategy, electronic health record platform development, and improved childcare access. Investments will also be made in maintaining and renewing national defence infrastructure, increasing civilian capacity, and sustaining military equipment.

Furthermore, the policy addresses the need to defend Canada’s interests both domestically and internationally. Investments will cover a wide range of areas including specialized maritime sensors, satellite ground stations, tactical helicopters, cyber operations capabilities, and potential renewal and expansion of the submarine fleet.

In a statement, Prime Minister Trudeau emphasized the importance of Canada’s role in the global community, stating, “Members of our Armed Forces serve our country with unwavering dedication. With today’s announcement, we’re strengthening the Canadian Armed Forces with transformative investments in equipment, capabilities, and talent. As we tackle the evolving challenges ahead, including protecting and defending the Arctic, these investments will keep Canada safe, secure, and prosperous.”

Reaction to the policy has been mixed, with some praising the government’s commitment to strengthening Canada’s defence capabilities, while others raise concerns about the level of investment and the potential impact on other areas of government spending.


The unveiling of “Our North, Strong and Free” represents a significant milestone in Canada’s defence strategy, particularly in light of growing geopolitical tensions and the changing Arctic landscape. The investments outlined in the policy signal a clear commitment to assert Canada’s sovereignty and ensure the safety and security of Canadians both at home and abroad.

However, questions remain about the feasibility of achieving the ambitious targets set forth in the policy, particularly in terms of funding and resource allocation. As with any major policy initiative, it will be essential for the government to carefully monitor the implementation of these investments and ensure accountability and transparency in the process.

Overall, “Our North, Strong and Free” underscores the importance of a strong and well-equipped military in safeguarding Canada’s interests in an increasingly complex global environment. It is a step towards ensuring that Canada remains a reliable and capable partner in addressing the challenges of the 21st century.

Alwin Marshall-Squire

Alwin Marshall-Squire is the Editor-in-Chief of GTA Today and serves as the Parliament Hill Reporter covering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet. With a commitment to accurate and timely news coverage, Marshall-Squire brings depth and insight to the forefront of Canadian journalism. For feedback, reach out at

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