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CIC Victoria: Canada’s Defence Policy Update…too little, too late?

May 29 @ 11:30 am - 1:30 pm PDT

When: Wednesday, 29 May
Where: The Union Club, 805 Gordon Street
Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm (registration desk opens at 11:30 am)
Our Speaker: Dr. Jim Boutilier

Last month, Defence Minister Bill Blair revealed a long-awaited update to Canada’s defence policy, titled “Our North, Strong and Free.” Particular focus was placed on asserting Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic and northern regions, where the changing physical and geopolitical landscapes have created new threats and vulnerabilities for Canada and Canadians.

Nevertheless, the government’s defence policy update, a full two years in the works, left major questions unanswered about what Canada’s military, which is saddled with critical staffing shortages and aging equipment, will look like in the coming years. Canada’s planned spending on defence also fell far short of the NATO 2% commitment that Canada had agreed to at the NATO Vilnius Summit in 2023.

In this thought-provoking discussion, Dr. Jim Boutilier will examine the current state of the Canadian Armed Forces, the lack of “urgency” in Canada’s recent defence policy update, given current conflicts, and what more needs to be done to ensure that Canada is well prepared for future threats.

Our speaker

Dr. James Boutilier was the former Special Advisor (Policy) at Canada’s Maritime Forces Pacific Headquarters in Esquimalt, British Columbia. He retired in 2020. He was responsible for advising the Commander of Maritime Forces Pacific on matters of defence and foreign policy and maritime security in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to his appointment at MARPAC, Dr. Boutilier spent twenty-four years on staff at Royal Roads Military College in Victoria as Head of the History Department and then as Dean of Arts. Dr. Boutilier’s field of expertise is Asia-Pacific defence and security. Some of his recent lectures have focused on the Canadian Navy’s role in the Asia-Pacific, the new Asian security architecture, Northeast Asian security issues, and the new naval order in Asia. Dr. Boutilier lectures frequently at the NATO Defense College in Rome, the Canadian Forces College, the Australian Defence College, and the National Defense University of the Philippines.

The cost to attend is $40 for CIC members, $45 for guests of CIC members, $50 for non-members, $30 for CIC young professional members and non-member students and $20 for CIC student members.

To register, please email Jennifer Button at no later than noon on Wednesday, 22 May with your name, the names of any guests and any specific dietary restrictions.

Once we have heard from you, confirmation of your registration and eTransfer payment instructions will be provided. Please do not send e-transfers until you hear from us.

Payment by eTransfer is strongly encouraged (please, no cash at the door, but cheques can be accepted). Unfortunately, as meals must be pre-ordered and paid for, no refunds are possible after noon on Wednesday, 22 May unless we have a waiting list.


May 29
11:30 am - 1:30 pm PDT