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Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Justin Trudeau hints at boosting Canada’s military spending

Canada says it will look at increasing its defence spending and tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever growing sanctions list.

By Tonda MacCharles
Ottawa Bureau
Mon., March 7, 2022

Riga, LATVIA—On the 13th day of the brutal Russian bid to claim Ukraine as its own, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is showing up at the Latvian battle group led by Canadian soldiers, waving the Maple Leaf and a vague hint at more money for the military.

Canada has been waving the NATO flag for nearly seven years in Latvia as a bulwark against Russia’s further incursions in Eastern Europe.

Canada stepped up to lead one of NATO’s four battle groups in 2015 — part of the defensive alliance’s display of strength and solidarity with weaker member states after Russia invaded Ukraine and seized the Crimean peninsula in 2014. Trudeau arrived in the Latvian capital late Monday after meetings in the U.K. with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Earlier Monday, faced with a seemingly unstoppable war in Ukraine, Trudeau said he will look at increasing Canada’s defence spending. Given world events, he said there are “certainly reflections to have.”

And Canada tacked on 10 more Russian names to an ever-growing sanctions list.

The latest round of sanctions includes names Trudeau said were identified by jailed Russian opposition leader and Putin nemesis Alexei Navalny.

However, on a day when Trudeau cited the new sanctions, and Johnson touted new measures meant to expose Russian property owners in his country, Rutte admitted sanctions are not working.

Yet they all called for more concerted international efforts over the long haul, including more economic measures and more humanitarian aid, with Johnson and Rutte divided over how quickly countries need to get off Russian oil and gas.

The 10 latest names on Canada’s target list do not include Roman Abramovich — a Russian billionaire Navalny has been flagging to Canada since at least 2017. Canada appears to have sanctioned about 20 of the 35 names on Navalny’s list.

The Conservative opposition says the Liberal government is not yet exerting maximum pressure on Putin, and should do more to bolster Canadian Forces, including by finally approving the purchase of fighter jets.

Foreign affairs critic Michael Chong said in an interview that Ottawa must still sanction “additional oligarchs close to President Putin who have significant assets in Canada.”

Abramovich owns more than a quarter of the public shares in steelmaking giant Evraz, which has operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan and has supplied most of the steel for the government-owned Trans Mountain pipeline project.

Evraz’s board of directors also includes two more Russians the U.S. government identified as “oligarchs” in 2019 — Aleksandr Abramov and Aleksandr Frolov — and its Canadian operations have received significant support from the federal government.

That includes at least $27 million in emergency wage subsidies during the pandemic, as well as $7 million through a fund meant to help heavy-polluters reduce emissions that cause climate change, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

In addition to upping defence spending, the Conservatives want NORAD’s early warning system upgraded, naval shipbuilding ramped up and Arctic security bolstered.

In London, Johnson sat down with Trudeau and Rutte at the Northolt airbase. Their morning meetings had a rushed feel, with Johnson starting to usher press out before Trudeau spoke. His office said later that the British PM couldn’t squeeze the full meeting in at 10 Downing Street because Johnson’s “diary” was so busy that day. The three leaders held an afternoon news conference at 10 Downing.

But before that Trudeau met with the Queen, saying she was “insightful” and they had a “useful, for me anyway, conversation about global affairs.”

Trudeau meets with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Tuesday in Latvia.

The prime minister will also meet with three Baltic leaders, the prime ministers of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, in the Latvian capital of Riga.

The Liberals announced they would increase the 500 Canadian Forces in Latvia by another 460 troops. The Canadians are leading a multinational battle group, one of four that are part of NATO’s deployments in the region.

Another 3,400 Canadians could be deployed to the region in the months to come, on standby for NATO orders.

But Canada’s shipments of lethal aid to Ukraine were slow to come in the view of the Conservatives, and the Ukrainian Canadian community.

And suddenly Western allies are eyeing each other’s defence commitments.

At the Downing Street news conference, Rutte noted the Netherlands will increase its defence budget to close to two per cent of GDP. Germany has led the G7, and doubled its defence budget in the face of Putin’s invasion and threats. Johnson said the U.K. defence spending is about 2.4 per cent and declined to comment on Canada’s defence spending which is 1.4 per cent of GDP.

But Johnson didn’t hold back.

“What we can’t do, post the invasion of Ukraine is assume that we go back to a kind of status quo ante, a kind of new normalization in the way that we did after the … seizure of Crimea and the Donbas area,” Johnson said. “We’ve got to recognize that things have changed and that we need a new focus on security and I think that that is kind of increasingly understood by everybody.”

Trudeau stood by his British and Dutch counterparts and pledged Canada would do more.

He defended his government’s record, saying Ottawa is gradually increasing spending over the next decade by 70 per cent. Then Trudeau admitted more might be necessary.

“We also recognize that context is changing rapidly around the world and we need to make sure that women and men have certainty and our forces have all the equipment necessary to be able to stand strongly as we always have. As members of NATO. We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

The three leaders — Johnson, a conservative and Trudeau and Rutte, progressive liberals — in a joint statement said they “will continue to impose severe costs on Russia.”

Arriving for the news conference from Windsor Castle, Trudeau had to detour to enter Downing Street as loud so-called Freedom Convoy protesters bellowed from outside the gate. They carried signs marked “Tuck Frudeau” and “Free Tamara” (Lich).

Protester Jeff Wyatt who said he has no Canadian ties told the Star he came to stand up for Lich and others who were leading a “peaceful protest” worldwide against government “lies” about COVID-19 and what he called Trudeau’s “tyranny.”

Elsewhere in London, outside the Russian embassy, other protesters and passersby reflected on what they said was real tyranny — the Russian attack on Ukraine. “I think we should be as tough as possible to get this stopped, as tough as possible,” said protester Clive Martinez.
Thinking about this....

One might be excused from thinking somebody is actively engaged in upsetting apple carts.

The US apple cart is going through its regularly scheduled upset - Jacksonians seem to be trending upwards
The UK apple cart is experiencing some uncharacteristic turbulence - Hanseatic Brexiteers and Roman Remainers are engaged in a grudge match
The French apple cart is experiencing its usual instability - Yet another government threatening strike (Ho Hum)
The Italian apple cart has been upset by its new nationalist PM - who seems to be actually quite steady
The German apple cart is being upset - the Pro Russian factions in the government, security services, business and economic departments are threatened with a repeat of the 1945 deNazification policies

And the EU in Brussels - is trying to pretend that it is still in control of the situation

My money is on Poland and the Easterners - once they get Hungary sorted.

Is this another "spontaneous" eruption - like 1848 or 1968? Or is it something other?
Canada: "Wait, you guys have an apple cart!"
More apples spilling

Wow. France upset about Germany need weapons now and not paying for a French make work program. LOL....but that's the deal we do the project and you pay for it!
More apples spilling

I don't think there is anything wrong about get the UK and US ducks in a line. I think the UK Def Min needs to see from their mouths how far they are going to go and/or push it. I would think that can't done over zoom.
I have zero faith that this government could fiscally run a lemonade stand, so this does not surprise me.
First you would have to obtain a license from the municipality to run said lemonade stand. Then the province would inspect said stand for hygiene, etc and all requirements therein. Then the Feds would want to do a Gender Base analysis plus and LGBTQ2S ++ survey to ensure your hiring practices are diverse enough. In about three years you can open said lemonade stand....and not everyone likes lemonade so you need to allow for that.

There you go ;)
First you would have to obtain a license from the municipality to run said lemonade stand. Then the province would inspect said stand for hygiene, etc and all requirements therein. Then the Feds would want to do a Gender Base analysis plus and LGBTQ2S ++ survey to ensure your hiring practices are diverse enough. In about three years you can open said lemonade stand....and not everyone likes lemonade so you need to allow for that.

There you go ;)
You forgot first nations consultation….

….and official languages.

Call it…10 years?
And here ends any thoughts of an increased budget.

Dentalcare? or Anti-tank Missiles?.......You already know the answer.

Oooooooooooo I can't wait for the next budget!

shaquille oneal GIF
I have zero faith that this government could fiscally run a lemonade stand, so this does not surprise me.
Well we have a Finance Minister who had to have her Parents co-sign a house her and her husband bought in her constituency not too long ago.

Then there is the fact that her sole claim to fame in the business World was running her department at Reuters in to the ground, financially. 🤣

I enjoy this quote:

"When you are building something to become the tip of the spear of the company, you need to know how the company operates," the Reuters employee said. But Freeland "doesn't do the thing where you talk to the rest of the people in the company," said the first former Reuters employee, "She just steamrolls in."

So yes, you're right, they couldn't run a lemonade stand. Freeland and Co are really good at lighting money on fire though!

I fear for our future 😂
Foreign affairs can sometimes be used to deflect attention away from domestic affairs, which are pretty crappy (economic) right now. Everyone's looking for scapegoats.
If you have a decently organized & robust enough defence industry, its a great way to spur that economy up again too.

“We get to bomb baddies AND unemployment goes down!? Sounds like a good deal!”
Ain’t that the truth.

In an alternative dimension somewhere, Canada looks much different.

- stupid people who introduce stupid policies are not allowed in positions of authority

- common sense reigns supreme. (Need the ability to manufacture your own small arms & ammo without it being a hassle? No problem!)

But our souls ended up in THIS dimension, subjected to becoming ever dumber anytime our ‘leader’ speaks. It’s like a mirror universe damnit…

Let me get this straight, you want to replace 1400 old trucks with 1400 new trucks? I don’t understand, can 950 trucks give you the same capability as 1400 trucks could?

^tell me aren’t living in the simpsons of realities…
Excellent paper at Macdonald-Laurier Institute by the very knowledgeable Prof. James Fergusson (U. of Manitoba):

North American defence modernization in an age of uncertainty​

This commentary by James Fergusson looks at the future of NORAD modernization and the threat posed by new military technologies.

First formally identified as a priority in the 2017 defence white paper, Strong, Secure and Engaged, and three years after NORAD modernization was identified in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s mandate letter to Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, the Trudeau government has finally earmarked funds for North American defence modernization. In the 2021 federal budget, the government did commit by defence standards, a paltry $252 million to “lay the groundwork for North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) modernization and sustain existing continental and Arctic defence capabilities” (Canada 2021). Yet no spending details were provided.

Subsequently, in January 2022, the government awarded a $592 million contract for in-service support of the North Warning System (NWS).[1] In the recent 2022 budget, $6.1 billion over five years was added to the defence budget (Canada 2022b), although the amount committed to NORAD modernization was left unspecified. In June, Defence Minister Anand announced $4.9 billion over six years, and $40 billion over 20 years for modernization with some additional details.[2] A month later on July 21, the Department of National Defence (DND) provided further details on its fact sheet, though this still lacked specificity.

The announcement and subsequent July DND fact sheet raise two areas for evaluation. The first concerns the funding commitments relative to the reality of defence spending in Canada and infrastructure construction in the Canadian Arctic. The second relates to the underlying policy implications, which have not been acknowledged or presented [emphasis added]...

Read on.