The Canadian Forces Today -- Post Afghanistan
The recently released Strategic Profile consolidates important demographic, economic and military data into a concise document that allows for a quick yet detailed overview of where Canada stands in terms of defence and development. The work was completed by the Strategic Studies Working Group (SSWG), a partnership between the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute (CDFAI) and the Canadian International Council (CIC).
The data compiled by the 2013 Strategic Profile identifies some notable changes and trends. First, on an economic level, there is a steady westward shift of wealth in the country. Between 2011 and 2012, Alberta’s GDP per capita rose from $70,826 to $78,155, an increase of 10%. Even more impressive was the growth experience by Saskatchewan, rising from $60,877 to $70,654, an increase of 16% over the same period.
Population growth also continues its gradual westward march, though not as striking as GDP numbers, as Western Provinces continue to see the strongest population growth, Ontario and Quebec grew at slower paces, with population growth in the Atlantic Provinces remaining fairly static.
The total number of Canadian Forces numbers remained stable from 2011 to 2012, increasing by 1,500 to a total of 67,205 in 2012. While the number of Canadian Forces personnel increased, the defence budget decreased from $21.8 Billion to $20.1 Billion as a result of government wide budget cuts. Afghanistan continues to be the largest theatre of operation for the Canadian Forces with 950 CF personnel; though troop numbers are much lower than during Canada’s combat mandate.
Along with data on a variety of topics, the Strategic Profile also ranks Canada with other OECD member states to provide a comparison of where Canada stands with other industrialized economies. Canada’s GDP per capita was ranked 7th in 2012, while its GDP growth for the same year was ranked 4th. Canada has the 5th largest Primary Energy Supply in the OECD and is the 4th highest producer of Carbon Dioxide emissions percapita.
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