2017 Canadian Armed Forces Outlooks

The Navy Outlook

Welcome Remarks

April 13th, 08:15, Ottawa, Ontario

Check Against Delivery

Welcome to the Navy Outlook on this our final day of the CAF Outlooks. I will even venture to let my bias shine through a little today and say we saved the best for last.

Regardless of what uniform you wear, it is always an honour for CADSI to welcome you to the CAF Outlooks and this year is no different.

Before I get things started, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Louise Mercier, our Navy Outlook Chair, and our DND Navy liaison Lieutenant Commander Gregory Bono. It was all hands on deck from these two individuals in ensuring the Navy Outlook support the Canadian Armed Forces and Canada’s defence industrial community. Their dedication is reflected in every wave of success today.

Même après presque 20 ans, la série Outlooks demeure plus d’actualité et plus important que jamais. C’est le deuxième événement en importance derrière CANSEC pour notre industrie. Vous remarquerez que cela se voit dans notre nouvelle image de marque. La série Outlooks continue d’offrir une tribune d’abord aux hauts dirigeants des Forces armées canadiennes pour approfondir notre compréhension collective de ce qui est requis, puis à l’industrie pour montrer ce qui est possible de faire en matière de prestation des nouvelles capacités en défense.

From industry’s perspective, we are providing a venue to gain important insight into capabilities updates around future purchase plans directly from the Forces. And for those of you in the Forces, we are providing a venue to better understand our industry and our innovations which will help you carry out your duties in Canada and abroad. Not to mention today’s activities provide invaluable networking opportunity to build and nurture relationships. I cannot stress enough how critical I believe a strong relationship between industry, government and the military is to the ability to deliver the quality products and services that the Forces need.

These relationships will be even more critical over the coming years if we are to maintain our position as a world leader in several key existing capabilities we are known for, and to position ourselves as innovators of the emerging capabilities of tomorrow.

Last year at this time, we were just wading into the waters of a new government and the launch of an ambitious Defence Policy Review. Now, one year later, the Government of Canada has completed several significant policy reviews. Of particular significance to us are the Defence Policy Review—whose results are imminent—and the Innovation Agenda.

As was recently indicated in Budget 2017, the Defence Policy Review results will include a rigorous costing of the capabilities and kit required to deliver on the government’s defence objectives, and the missions and tasks of the CAF. Budget 2017 also said that it is the government’s intent to provide the military with stable and predictable budgets to enable effective long-term planning.

I took note of the CDS’s recent comments on the need for DND to spend the monies appropriated to it. Understanding and addressing the factors that contribute to this outcome will be essential to achieving the intent of the budget’s language.

Budget 2017 also saw the government make significant commitments to new innovation initiatives, notably the Innovation Solutions Canada program, a new procurement program modelled on the Small Business Innovation and Research Program in the U.S. Under this program, a portion of funding from federal departments and agencies will be allocated towards early-stage research and development, late-stage prototypes and other goods and services from Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs.

This promising Budget initiative could accelerate the introduction of many emerging technologies and capabilities in our industry. In the Navy’s case, you could say you have been riding the innovation wave for some time with the X-ship program. The HMCS Montreal is a floating “lab” advancing leading-edge naval concepts in the fields of warship deployment, crewing and sustainment. As you can only imagine, us crafty industry-type folk hope that one day the experimentation will extend to leading-edge technologies and innovation.

I have said this before and I will say it again, innovation is and will continue to be paramount to the success of both the CAF and Canadian industry.

Jetons maintenant un œil à notre programme. Aujourd’hui vous entendrez les hauts dirigeants de la Marine donner directement leur point de vue honnête sur leurs besoins à court et à moyen terme. L’information qu’ils partageront donnera à l’industrie la possibilité de faire connaître, de planifier et de mettre en priorité les nouvelles technologies, les approches et les partenariats.

More specifically, our conversation will be around maritime force development, engineering and support as well as the status on major shipbuilding projects. I’m sure the Canadian Surface Combatant, the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ship Project, Joint Support Ships, as well as the interim AOR will come up in more than one discussion today and I give you my word that no one will do the thing that we know we all shouldn’t do.

For the success of these projects it is more important than ever for the government and industry to work together to keep projects on time and on budget.

Before I leave you today, I would like to call everyone’s attention to a CADSI initiative that I think is reflective of what we are aiming to achieve here today: collaboration and cooperation for maximum success. The Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award, now in its second year, commemorates a remarkable member of the Royal Canadian Air Force family for his mentorship of younger officers and his contributions to our country, both in uniform and in Canadian industry.

With CANSEC once again just around the corner, the call for nomination for the Paddy O’Donnell Mentorship Award is now open. If you know of a mentor in the Canadian defence or security business who has provided valuable advice and support to the next generation of industry leaders, please come forward. We have a page on the CANSEC website dedicated to the award with all the nomination details. As was the case last year, this year’s honouree will be announced at CANSEC.

And, speaking of CANSEC, I would be remiss if I did not remind everyone one final time that registration is now officially open.

Thank you for your attention this morning and, well, to steal from the U.S. Naval Academy fight song, anchors aweigh!