Policy alert

Jack Layton promises new national defence priorities.

The New Democrats said they would keep defence spending at $21-billion annually, a number set by the Conservatives in the budget that was rejected in the week before the government fell … Mr. Layton said it is time to go back to “square one” on the F-35s and none of the aircraft should be purchased without first assessing the defence priorities of Canadians. He said an NDP government would produce a white paper on defence in his first year in office, one that would “refocus” the Canadian Forces on defending Canada and Canadians, assisting in times of disaster and supporting peacekeeping efforts around the world. And he is more interested in replacing two supply ships than in buying planes.

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