Canada pledges big boost to defense spending amid criticism

  |   World News

Canada has pledged to increase defense spending by over 70% in a move praised by senior US and NATO officials. Canada's defense minister Harjit Sajjan said the increase followed "years of underinvestment," and would boost annual defense spending from $18.9 billion in Canadian dollars in 2016-2017 to $37.2 billion in 2026.

In a statement, Canada's chief of the defense staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, said the funding boost "represents a significant investment in our future," and said it would allow the Canadian military to "remain a flexible, responsive, combat-capable force that is prepared to deploy anywhere in the world."

US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said the US welcomed "Canada's marked increase in investment in their military," adding: "In light of today's security challenges around the world, it's critical for Canada's moral voice to be supported by the hard power of a strong military."

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