Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science


Kim Richard Nossal




The central purpose of the thesis is to explain that in Canada military procurement really maketh defence policy. The procurement of the CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol Aircraft and the Leopard I Main Battle Tank--employed in the thesis as a case study of two particular procurement decisions--signalled the re-emergence of NATO as Canada's first defence priority.

The paper suggests that Pierre Trudeau was committed to a rationalist approach to governmental decision-making in which government goals (policies) would be clearly defined and programs would be created to ensure that policies would be implemented. This led to an examination of the three-way relationship between policy, program, and procurement. The thesis contends that only policy, Defence in the 70s, was designed in a constraint free setting while both program and procurement--the second and third stages of the relationship-were largely determined by the setting within which Canadian defence policymakers must operate. The Canadian setting includes: the omnipresent position of the United States vis-a-vis Canada; alliance commitments (particularly NATO) and; economic constraints.

The case study shows that these three factors which are beyond specific Canadian military requirements determined the procurement choices of the Trudeau government. As a result it is maintained that the procurement of the Aurora and Leopard had the effect of ultimately changing the face of Canadian defence policy. This, it is concluded in the thesis, is not a situation particular to the" Trudeau government but a situation which would happen to any Canadian government.

McMaster University Library

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."