Defence cuts hurt Canadian Forces, insider says

A frozen CFB Kingston plays the role of a Caribbean island in a major Canadian Forces training...

A frozen CFB Kingston plays the role of a Caribbean island in a major Canadian Forces training exercise. (Elliot Ferguson/QMI Agency)

Daniel Proussalidis, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 10:45 AM ET

OTTAWA - The federal government is slashing next year's defence spending by 13% compared to what was spent in 2012-13, leaving one defence insider worried about the future.

"You're going to have soldiers that train less and ships that sail for fewer days ... and airplanes that fly for fewer hours," the insider told QMI Agency, warning that reduced operations are already happening.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay insists things are still better than they used to be.

"The Conservative government has seen increases of roughly 34% in the defence budget since 2005-06," MacKay said when Liberal MP John McKay challenged him in question period Tuesday. "Let us roll the clock back when this member was part of the government that presided over a decade of darkness that saw the Canadian Forces rusted out."

The 2013 federal budget may yet change the numbers, but government estimates released Monday show the National Defence budget will drop to around $18 billion next year from $20.7 billion.


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