Chapter 6 - Canada in the World


This Government is committed to strengthening Canada’s place in the world. In order to rebuild our international influence and have an impact, Canada will re-energize and reinforce our efforts to support multilateralism. The Government will ensure the Canadian Armed Forces are equipped to protect Canadians and contribute to international peace and security, including peace-keeping. The Government will adopt a proactive approach and a positive tone to its engagement, and will emphasize Canada’s interests and values. The Government will back its words with actions.

The Government has already made several decisions resulting in more than $5 billion on a cash basis being invested in activities that will allow Canada to make a real and valuable contribution to a more peaceful and prosperous world, including:

Through Budget 2016, the Government is making additional targeted investments to renew Canadian leadership on the world stage. The Government is also committed to restoring Canada’s reputation as an active and constructive member of the international community, including through our engagement with the United Nations and other multilateral financial institutions.

Active engagement in the world is not without risks. The international security environment is more complex and challenging, exposing our personnel abroad to increased threat and risk. The Government is committed to the duty of care of its employees and will continue to invest in cost-effective measures that allow our international network to deliver services to Canadians and advance Canadian interests.

Restoring and Renewing International Assistance

In strengthening Canada’s place in the world, the Government is committed to refocusing its international assistance on the poorest and most vulnerable. This means assessing Canada’s development, humanitarian and peace and security programming to ensure that Canada’s international assistance priorities are focused on poverty reduction.

Over the next year, the Government will conduct a review of Canada’s international assistance policy framework. This review will include consultations with Canadians and international aid organizations to ensure that all perspectives are heard. The outcomes of the review will inform Budget 2017, and will take into account the Government’s international priorities as well as domestic considerations.

Increasing the International Assistance Envelope

In the short term, the Government will provide immediate funding to Canada’s International Assistance Envelope (IAE).

IAE resources have declined overall in recent years. Budget 2016 proposes to allocate new funding to the IAE, including $256 million over two years
(2016–17 to 2017–18) in new resources, that will increase Canada’s ability to respond to emerging international assistance priorities.

Increasing the International Assistance Envelope
Chart 6.1
Canada’s International Assistance Levels
Chart 6.1 - Canada’s International Assistance Levels. For details, see the previous paragraphs.
Note: Figures are provided on a cash basis.
Source: Department of Finance.

Promoting International Peace and Security

Greater international peace and security helps the millions of people affected by conflicts and living in fragile states, and supports a more peaceful world. A safer world is also a more prosperous world for Canada. Budget 2016 proposes to allocate up to $586.5 million over three years, starting in 2016–17, from unallocated International Assistance Envelope resources for the renewal of key peace and security programs. This includes up to:

In addition, on February 8, 2016, the Government committed more than $1.6 billion over three years, starting in 2016–17, to respond to the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria, and its impact on the region. This includes more than $1.2 billion to support development, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance efforts in the region.

This significant funding will support Canada’s leadership role in effectively responding to international peace and security challenges and crises, including peacekeeping.

Canada’s Approach in Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon

On February 8, 2016, the Government announced a new approach to respond to the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria, and its impact on the region. The Government has committed more than $1.6 billion over three years, starting in 2016–17, towards security, stabilization, humanitarian and development assistance for Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, including:

  • $306 million in 2016–17 to refocus Canada’s military mission on training and advising local security forces to take their fight directly to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Recognizing the complexity of the challenging security environment, the Government will assess at a later date whether the mission should be extended beyond March 31, 2017;
  • $840 million over three years for humanitarian aid programs designed to provide
    life-saving assistance;
  • $270 million over three years in resilience and development programming, including building local capacity to provide basic social services; and
  • $145 million over three years towards counter-terrorism, stabilization and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security programming.
This approach will allow Canada to increase its presence and make a meaningful contribution to the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, while strengthening the ability of regional governments and local authorities to defend themselves, and rebuild over the long term.

Expanding Immigration

Canada’s history has been shaped by immigration. Immigrants bring unique cultures and perspectives, and make distinctive contributions to Canadian society and the economy. Our immigration system works best when it strikes a balance between Canada’s economic needs and Canadians’ core values of compassion and opportunity for all. That is why the Government recently announced a target of 300,000 for permanent resident admissions in 2016, representing a 7-per-cent increase over the 2015 target level. With this new target level, Canada will reunite families, offer a place of refuge to those fleeing persecution and support Canada’s long-term economic prosperity. Budget 2016 builds on this commitment by demonstrating continued leadership with respect to the Syrian refugee crisis and by making family reunification a priority under Canada’s immigration policy.

Expanding Canada’s Intake of Syrian Refugees

Canadians have been deeply affected by the refugee crisis in Syria and the surrounding region, and have expressed the desire to help. In November 2015, the Government showed leadership by committing $678 million over six years, starting in 2015–16, to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees by February 29, 2016, and by committing to resettle an additional 10,000 government-assisted Syrian refugees over the course of 2016. Budget 2016 proposes to provide $245 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, for the identification, overseas processing, transportation and resettlement of the additional 10,000 Syrian refugees.

Resettling 25,000 Syrian Refugees

On November 24, 2015, the Government announced that it would take immediate action to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February 2016, and the Government has fulfilled this commitment. The Government has worked with communities across Canada to provide the necessary support to help these refugees begin their new life in Canada.

Reducing Application Processing Times

Family reunification is a key objective of immigration in Canada but too often it takes too long for family sponsorship decisions to be taken, leaving families separated for prolonged periods. To address this, Budget 2016 proposes to provide $25 million in 2016–17 to support faster and more predictable processing times for family sponsorship. The new funding will be used to target specific applications backlogs in Canada and overseas, and to reduce processing times on sponsorship decisions. Through this investment, application backlogs will be reduced and wait times will be significantly shortened.

We…call on our government to promote an immigration and refugee system that respects basic rights by favouring the speedy reunification of families in the interests of the healthy, humane, respectful and productive integration of newcomers.

Canadian Council for Refugees

Achieving Higher Permanent Resident Admissions

Canadians welcome those who want to come to Canada and contribute to our country’s success. That is why the Government recently announced an increase in the overall target level for permanent resident admissions for 2016. To support higher admissions levels and to help newcomers fully integrate into Canadian life and contribute to our economic growth, Budget 2016 proposes to provide $56 million over three years, starting in 2016–17. New funding would support the processing of new permanent residents and increased settlement programming. Settlement programs provide immigrants with critical assistance such as language courses and skills training to facilitate their transition into the Canadian economy and society.

Improving Export Verifications

Canada needs to ensure that its exports do not pose health, safety or security threats to Canadians and its allies and that Canada continues to respect international commitments. The Canada Border Services Agency’s export verifications support this objective by preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the export of goods that have been obtained illegally. Budget 2016 proposes to provide $13.9 million over five years, starting in 2016–17, to improve export verifications by enabling the Agency to enhance identification processes and increase examination rates of high-risk shipments.

Defending Canada

The Government is steadfast in its commitment to providing greater security for Canadians. This includes ensuring that the Canadian Armed Forces have the equipment and personnel required to protect Canadian sovereignty, defend North America, provide disaster relief, conduct search and rescue, support United Nations peace operations, and contribute to the security of our allies and to coalition operations abroad.

The Canadian Armed Forces will continue to play an important role in the coalition fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) assurance measures in Central and Eastern Europe. Budget 2016 also reaffirms Canada’s contribution to support Ukrainian forces through military training and capacity-building in 2016–17, in coordination with other countries providing similar training assistance.

The Government will conduct an open and transparent process to create a new defence strategy that will deliver a modern, more agile and better-equipped military. A new defence strategy will include improved processes to ensure more accurate costing for major defence procurements and to provide Canadians with regular updates on project costs and timelines. Over the course of 2016, the Government will seek the input of Canadians, experts, allies and partners, and Parliament on the strategic environment for the Canadian Armed Forces, the roles for the Canadian Armed Forces, and the Canadian Armed Forces size, structure and capabilities.

Renewing Major Equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces

A modern, well-equipped Canadian Armed Forces is needed to support missions at home and abroad. The Department of National Defence is in the process of renewing its major equipment, including Canada’s aging fleets of CF-18 fighter aircraft and maritime warships.

For the purposes of fiscal planning, funding to support large-scale capital projects for defence, including the associated operating and sustainment costs, is set aside in the fiscal framework and managed on an accrual basis. In this context, the cost of a given capital project is amortized over the useful life of the asset; for example, a $1-billion capital project with a 25-year useful life would typically have an amortized expense profile of $40 million per year over 25 years. The amortized costs of all projects cannot exceed the total funds available for large-scale capital projects in a given year. Cash appropriations for projects are sought as required by National Defence and are reflected in the department’s Estimates.

Total funding available to National Defence for large-scale capital projects is $84.3 billion over 30 years out to 2044–45, and $2.8 billion per year ongoing starting in 2045–46, on an accrual basis. To ensure that funding is available when key capital acquisitions will be made, funding that is not yet allocated to specific projects, or that cannot be spent due to unforeseen delays in planned projects, can be moved forward into future years when it will be needed.

Budget 2016 proposes to reallocate funding of $3.716 billion for large-scale capital projects from the 2015–16 to 2020–21 period to future years. This is not a reduction in National Defence’s budget. This will ensure that funding is available for large-scale capital projects when it is needed. Funding is being shifted into future years to align with the current timing of National Defence’s major equipment acquisitions. Chart 6.2 shows funding for large-scale capital projects available to National Defence prior to Budget 2016 and following Budget 2016, reflecting the shifting of funding into future years.

Chart 6.2
Funding for National Defence Large-Scale Capital Projects
Chart 2 - Funding for National Defence Large-Scale Capital Projects. For details, see the previous paragraphs.

Notes: The annual profile of this funding may be subject to change depending on project schedules.
Figures do not include ongoing core funding in National Defence’s annual budget for smaller capital projects and one-time funding for other capital (e.g. Budget 2016 federal infrastructure initiative).
Funding for large-scale capital acquisitions is reflected in National Defence’s Estimates when authority is sought to appropriate cash for a given purchase.
Source: Department of National Defence with Department of Finance calculations.

Addressing the Infrastructure Needs of the Canadian Armed Forces

The Government is committed to ensuring that Canadian Armed Forces personnel and their families have the support they need, including safe and modern facilities in which to live, work and train. As part of the federal infrastructure initiative in Chapter 2—Growth for the Middle Class, Budget 2016 proposes to provide $200.5 million over two years on a cash basis, starting in 2016–17, to National Defence to undertake infrastructure projects at Canadian Forces Bases and other defence properties across Canada.

Investments will include:

  • $77.1 million on projects to support readiness for Canadian Armed Forces military operations, including investments to repair and construct live-fire ranges, airfields and hangars and naval jetties across Canada;
  • $67.4 million on projects to support the Reserve Force, including investments to repair and maintain armouries in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia;
  • $50.0 million on projects to support military personnel and their families, including investments to upgrade and construct military housing across Canada; and
  • $6.0 million on projects to support northern operations, including investments in airfield ramp reconstruction that is critical to northern search and rescue and upgrades to fire suppression systems that directly support the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Table 6.1
Canada in the World
millions of dollars
2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 Total
Restoring and Renewing International Assistance
Increasing the International Assistance Envelope 128 128 256
Promoting International Peace and Security 196 196 391
Subtotal—Restoring and Renewing International Assistance 324 324 647
Expanding Immigration
Expanding Canada's Intake of Syrian Refugees 204 36 240
Reducing Application Processing Times 25 25
Achieving Higher Permanent Resident Admissions 20 18 38
Subtotal—Expanding Immigration 249 54 303
Improving Export Verifications 1 2 3
Defending Canada
Renewing Major Equipment for the Canadian Armed Forces -205 -90 -1,319 -1,614
Subtotal—Defending Canada -205 -90 -1,319 -1,614
Total -205 483 -939 -661
Less funds existing in the fiscal framework 0 -196 -196 -391
Net Fiscal Cost -205 288 -1,135 -1,052
Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.
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