Backgrounder: Modernizing the Business of Defence

Canada’s defence policy – Strong, Secure, Engaged – will mark real progress toward streamlining defence procurement, improving the timely acquisition of much needed military capabilities, and increasing economic benefits and creating jobs for Canadians. It will also encourage modernized management of lands and buildings, support infrastructure renewal, and help meet greening targets for government.

Improving Defence Procurement

Effective and timely defence procurement is vital to ensuring the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is well-equipped to deliver on important missions assigned by Government.

Military procurement can be a highly complex undertaking involving many approvals across multiple departments – including the Department of National Defence, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Public Services and Procurement Canada – but it doesn’t need to be in every case.

This defence policy will increase transparency and streamline Defence procurement by simplifying the process, reducing approvals, and investing in our procurement professionals. Providing our professionals with the knowledge, tools and authority to drive low complexity projects will accelerate approvals and delivery.

We will:

Modernizing Defence Infrastructure

Defence manages the largest infrastructure portfolio in the federal government. With assets worth roughly $26 billion, this includes more than 20,000 buildings, 5,500 kilometers of roads, 3,000 kilometers of water works, and over 2.2 million hectares of land (almost four times the landmass of Prince Edward Island).

Infrastructure is an absolute necessity for all CAF activities – whether it be the bases and installations where the military train and prepare for their missions, the support network required to maintain and operate equipment, or housing and infrastructure needed to ensure CAF members and their families are well-supported.

Canada’s defence policy commits us to improving management practices to achieve an affordable, sustainable infrastructure portfolio.

We will work with the private sector, other levels of government and our allies to explore best practices and achieve better infrastructure management for Defence.

We will:

We will take concrete steps to improve efficiency, preserve the environment, and support military personnel. We will analyse industry-leading best practices and look at innovative methods to enhance the delivery of infrastructure services which enable every aspect of defence, including technological innovation, improved housing and facilities for personnel, and the conduct of military operations.

Greening Defence

Defence is one of Canada’s largest employers and maintainers of equipment and infrastructure and the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the Federal Government, representing more than half of the Government of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions. So it is crucial that we move aggressively to improve the efficiency of our infrastructure, and work diligently towards sound, continuous caretaking of the environment. This means using less energy, moving to cleaner energy sources, reducing the impact of our infrastructure, and improving measurement and reporting results.

Canada’s defence policy supports our plan to achieve a low-carbon government. Defence is committed to meeting or exceeding the federal target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent from the 2005 levels by 2030 (excluding military fleets). This includes seeking out opportunities to purchase clean power such as in Alberta where, as of January 2017, 90 percent of electricity supplying our installations now comes from renewable sources. We are also investing in Energy Performance Contracts, which enable the department to make use of private sector innovation and capital by allowing energy service providers to identify and implement energy efficiencies and get paid back through energy savings. 

We are committed to operating in ways that:

We recognize the need to minimize environmental impacts of operations and activities conducted in Canada and internationally.

We will:

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