Why military funding in Canada is in such a lousy state - 2017-05-04
That state of affairs is lousy—"in some ways, worse than realized by most observers"—and Sajjan is careful to refer to governments in plural, and to timelines going back before 2006, as he diagnoses the problem. "Canada's naval capabilities are at a 40-year low." "In over 25 years as a Reservist, I saw firsthand the ways that Canada's government [singular, sic] have [plural, sic] failed to properly equip our Reserve force."
My point here is not to exculpate the Harper government. Almost the opposite: Stephen Harper, whose political brand was a lot closer to the Armed Forces than Justin Trudeau's, once planned to reverse the long-term trend of status-quo defence spending against mounting operational challenges. His preferred instrument was the Canada First Defence Strategy, an ambitious plan laid out in 2008, with 20-year spending provisions and specific procurement objectives, for building up a strong Canadian military.
The Harper government came nowhere close to fulfilling its plan. It's important to note that it wasn't the first government to sour on defence spending, but Harper was unusual in that he eventually walked away from his own long-term plan. And it's also important to ask why this government should expect to behave any differently over the long term.