New Canadian submarines are ‘inevitable,’ says Blair. Acquiring them will be anything but – by John Ivison (National Post – May 15, 2024)

The question remains whether the prime minister and the cabinet are serious about defence and meeting their spending targets

Bill Blair, the federal defence minister, made a rare admission of Liberal fallibility in Washington on Monday when he said he regrets using the word “explore” when talking about renewing Canada’s submarine fleet. ttawa’s recent defence policy update said the government will “explore options for renewing and expanding the submarine fleet,” a form of words that was criticized for lacking urgency.

“It’s certainly not my intention to be wishy-washy. What I’ve tried to articulate very, very clearly and strongly in the document is, we know we have to replace our submarine fleet, and we’re going to do that,” Blair said.

Replacing the four Victoria-class subs is necessary, he said. “It is, I might suggest, inevitable.” That is absolutely the case, if Canada is committed to maintaining its submarine capability. The Victoria-class subs date back to the late 1980s and are due to be taken out of service at the end of the 2030s.

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