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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.
 

Good2Golf

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Is that the kids table at NATO and G7 meetings ?
Hopefully….I fear we may get turfed from the ‘G6’, in which case, it would be a kids table at the G20 meeting… 😢
 

Spencer100

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Wow, the Kiwi's bought some P-8's. Do they let US nuclear vessels into their waters yet? There are plenty of Kiwi and US friction points. Particularly the one where the contribute zero info the the Five Eyes.


Massive as in criminal, legal, trade and NORAD. What about ELINT which is huge, full cooperation between CSIS, CSE and military INT. When Canada goes onto a mission whatever we learn is fed directly to the US analyists. Which is more then NATO does.

We see what we want to see in these relationships often. The classic Canadian view is complete ignorance of the entire situation. I'm not so nieve that the US isn't entering a period of "America First" and isn't willing to bully us around. We saw it with the renegotiation that was USMCA where they basically forced us to cave on almost every single point. Canada is a competator to the US now, no longer a market or a partner in many ways.

I would caution that its more likely the US is able to leverage Canada into doing what it wants using the bilats as a lever, then getting what they want by cutting ties. They also are smart enough to know that a single election cycle can change things for them and for us.
The thing being in the USMCA the US points were much better for the average Canadian. Not so much the Liberal party and their gang.
 

Czech_pivo

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I'm calling BS on eviction from 5 Eyes and G7+1 (EU is the +1). They can't even kick the Russians out of the G20, and as far as Five Eyes are concerned the Kiwi's are probably first on the chopping block.

The G7 has Canada in it because the US wants another diplomatic foil against Europe. Five Eyes contributions from Canada also include massive bilateral deals with the US that go further than Five Eyes. US can't afford to cut those cords for their own security.

I'm not saying things were not said by the US, nor frustration being show, but there are threats and there are threats you can actually deliver on. But we'll see how things go with the new Defence Policy (expected in the New Year) and how that impacts the Fed budget in Feb.
Fine, they won't cut us or the Kiwi's from 5 Eyes - but who's to say that the existing 5 Eyes remains and a new 3 Eyes is created? The existing 5 Eyes becomes watered down, less 'in the know' and more 'need to know'? The new 3 Eyes becomes the dominant group. Geographically NA, Europe and SE Asia are still covered off and less meddling by small bit players in terms of Canada/NZ that look to be increasingly under subversive attacks (influence?) by China.
Same goes with the G7 - quite easy to make a new, inner group called the G5 (US, UK, France, Germany and Japan), again cutting out the small bit players that are Canada/Italy. I mean that G7 is really the G8 with the European Union rep always sulking about.
 

Czech_pivo

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My guess, and it's a guess based on one rumour, is that neither the Conservative nor Liberal parties is terribly upset by the message that may have been delivered three weeks ago by Secretary of State Blinken. Both major parties know that the USA is p!ssed at us for being strategic shirkers but the overarching political objective to is to put loyal Liberal (or loyal Conservative) bums in the seats of (not really luxurious) ministerial limos in Ottawa. That means not annoying the Canadian populace.

I think that Justin Trudeau really, honestly believes that climate change is the battle of the century - the only war that really matters to the modern world. It doesn't matter why he thinks that, it also doesn't matter if you and I agree or not. The fact - and I assert it is a fact - is that at least a very, very large minority, likely a majority of Canadians agrees with him. Within that large group are many, many well educated "opinion leaders" including many, many high-school teachers and university professors (including from science and engineering) ands many, many senior civil servants.

I believe that there remains, as there was in the 1960s and '70s, a broad consensus, in the "chattering classes" that:

  • Unfettered American capitalism - red in tooth and claw - is a greater threat to the world than are Chinese or Russian autocracies;
  • Military spending is wasteful and unnecessary; and
  • Canada is a "nice" nation and people should listen to our preaching, pretentious though it may be.

Canada will "bat" for Team America because we have no choice, but our political leaders, Conservative and Liberal alike, will do the bare minimum that can be found acceptable - that's the Canadian way.
A simple reality on a go forward basis is this; as an ever greater % of the CDN population hails from non-European countries, for example, China, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, the ever greater 'rift' there will be between how Canadian's view the US and its approach/objectives. The majority of these countries hail from countries that are historically part of the 'Non-aligned Movement' (think India) or quasi-adversaries in terms of China/Iran. They are NOT 'buddy-buddy' places with the US (maybe the Philippines as an exception).

None of those countries are in NATO, none of those countries are in 5 Eyes, none of those countries are in the EU, none of them are in the G7, none of those countries are defined as 'stable, open' democracies (India would be the closest), all of those countries are considered to be 'developing', none of those countries are known for 'open media', all of them would be considered to be 'corrupt' countries by Canadian standards in terms of business/political practises.

The future for Canada is not an ever closer relationship with the US, the future is a strained relationship, a separating/decoupling relationship, one where Canada is on the losing side, where our standard of living falls significantly, along with our presence on the world stage.

As an aside, here's an example of how things are changing here in Canada. I've been working in the banking sector in Canada for the last 22yrs since leaving the same industry in the US back in 2000. What I have started to see in the bathrooms (pre-pandemic and post) at work is instructions on how to properly maintain the bathroom - instructions to flush the toilet after every use, instructions to lift the toilet seat if not using it, instructions on how to keep it clean, instructions on how to wash your hands after every use, with soap and for how long. These things didn't exist in the bathrooms 10-15yrs ago and I can say for a fact that they bathrooms were much cleaner throughout the day. The examples that I'm giving are in professional settings, Bay St office towers where people with salaries well well north of 100-150k work on a daily basis.
Say what you will about the above, but prior accepted social standards are no longer the case.
 

Kirkhill

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A simple reality on a go forward basis is this; as an ever greater % of the CDN population hails from non-European countries, for example, China, India, the Philippines, Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, the ever greater 'rift' there will be between how Canadian's view the US and its approach/objectives. The majority of these countries hail from countries that are historically part of the 'Non-aligned Movement' (think India) or quasi-adversaries in terms of China/Iran. They are NOT 'buddy-buddy' places with the US (maybe the Philippines as an exception).

None of those countries are in NATO, none of those countries are in 5 Eyes, none of those countries are in the EU, none of them are in the G7, none of those countries are defined as 'stable, open' democracies (India would be the closest), all of those countries are considered to be 'developing', none of those countries are known for 'open media', all of them would be considered to be 'corrupt' countries by Canadian standards in terms of business/political practises.

The future for Canada is not an ever closer relationship with the US, the future is a strained relationship, a separating/decoupling relationship, one where Canada is on the losing side, where our standard of living falls significantly, along with our presence on the world stage.

As an aside, here's an example of how things are changing here in Canada. I've been working in the banking sector in Canada for the last 22yrs since leaving the same industry in the US back in 2000. What I have started to see in the bathrooms (pre-pandemic and post) at work is instructions on how to properly maintain the bathroom - instructions to flush the toilet after every use, instructions to lift the toilet seat if not using it, instructions on how to keep it clean, instructions on how to wash your hands after every use, with soap and for how long. These things didn't exist in the bathrooms 10-15yrs ago and I can say for a fact that they bathrooms were much cleaner throughout the day. The examples that I'm giving are in professional settings, Bay St office towers where people with salaries well well north of 100-150k work on a daily basis.
Say what you will about the above, but prior accepted social standards are no longer the case.

One of the things the food industry has had to deal with, especially when importing workers for seasonal "camps" as in Alaska has been to change the assumptions associated with training people in personal hygiene requirements. Flush toilets and toilet paper are not a universal solution to personal waste management. People trying to squat on the rims of toilet bowls, injuring themselves when they lose their balance, disposing of used toilet paper in the garbage bucket are not uncommon problems.

Pivo's very right. Cultural assumptions are very different. My generation of immigrants referenced their experience around the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth and then the Boeing 707. And everybody understood Brown Sauce.

1668618055263.png1668618088099.png1668618149382.png

None of those mean much to my kids, much less the kids I work with.
 

YZT580

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One of the things the food industry has had to deal with, especially when importing workers for seasonal "camps" as in Alaska has been to change the assumptions associated with training people in personal hygiene requirements. Flush toilets and toilet paper are not a universal solution to personal waste management. People trying to squat on the rims of toilet bowls, injuring themselves when they lose their balance, disposing of used toilet paper in the garbage bucket are not uncommon problems.

Pivo's very right. Cultural assumptions are very different. My generation of immigrants referenced their experience around the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth and then the Boeing 707. And everybody understood Brown Sauce.

View attachment 74924View attachment 74925View attachment 74926

None of those mean much to my kids, much less the kids I work with.
Been an intentional shift in attitude from Ottawa to ensure a steady stream of votes for the liberal party. Theoretically all are treated equally but the unite the family policy ensures that the predominant flow is from the east where there are larger families
 

Brad Sallows

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I miss the Canada I grew up in (which of course is an idealization of what it was), and I still like the Canada I live in, but I can conceive I might live long enough to change my mind. It won't be because I have changed; what I am is pretty much locked in. Previous iterations of Canadian culture got us to where we are. There's no natural law which requires successive iterations to be monotonically increasing improvements. Without a strong assimilation story arc for the country, immigrants become most but not all of what we are, but we become a little bit of what they were.
 

Kirkhill

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But Team Trudeau's decision publicize the brief chat has, now, further annoyed Xi Jinping ... le Dauphin cannot seem to figure out this diplomacy stuff, can he?

"Chinese leader Xi Jinping angrily confronted Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the sidelines of the G20 meeting Wednesday, complaining Mr. Trudeau’s office had published details of an earlier conversation between them ... [saying] ... “Everything we said has been leaked to the papers, that’s not appropriate, that’s not the way the conversation was conducted ...[and] ... “If you are sincere, we should communicate with each other in a respectful manner, otherwise it will be hard to say what the result will be like.”"


Schooling.
 

Good2Golf

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Schooling.
Yup. Claiming that’s anything other than a dismissive spanking is farcical. Father would be ashamed.

Most of us are simply embarrassed at the naive approach by Jr. to pretend there was any diplomacy going on, instead of a pathetic attempt to push for a photo op above anything else.
 

Grimey

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None of those mean much to my kids, much less the kids I work with
Spending my first 10 years in Yorkshire, I made HP sandwiches with Hovis bread an early staple. I'd still crawl over broken glass for it, as would my son. The wife thinks we're nuts......

There's a scene in Tomorrow Never Dies were the badies sink an RN Type 23. As HMS Somethingshire heels over, the bottles of HP in the mess go flying. The wife nudges me and says, "ok I get it now....kinda".
 

daftandbarmy

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Spending my first 10 years in Yorkshire, I made HP sandwiches with Hovis bread an early staple. I'd still crawl over broken glass for it, as would my son. The wife thinks we're nuts......

There's a scene in Tomorrow Never Dies were the badies sink an RN Type 23. As HMS Somethingshire heels over, the bottles of HP in the mess go flying. The wife nudges me and says, "ok I get it now....kinda".

HP 'Bold', I would hope ;)
 

suffolkowner

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I think I read that there is supposed to be a big announcement on Friday in Halifax, I wont hold my breath.

As far as China goes I wouldnt believe or lose a minutes sleep over what they think or say
 

OldSolduer

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Yup. Claiming that’s anything other than a dismissive spanking is farcical. Father would be ashamed.

Most of us are simply embarrassed at the naive approach by Jr. to pretend there was any diplomacy going on, instead of a pathetic attempt to push for a photo op above anything else.
I really wish some high ranking diplomat (Brit or French or German) would publicly scold Canada for its lax attitude towards security. AND to add its not entirely the fault of the LPC.
 
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