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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.
 

Czech_pivo

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I'm pretty sure that the Poles and Ukrainians can equally rely on support from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. And the Turkish association looks to be interesting too, if they can sort out the Kurdish situation.
I'd throw in the the Slovaks into that mix and quite possibly the Czechs. The Slovaks are still leary of the Hungarians and Hungary is not making many friends within NATO or regionally right now.
For certain the mini Baltic states will hitch their wagon to Poland (without ticking off the US of course) as well.
Poland and the Czechs (and on a smaller scale the Slovaks) still have a decent of amount of heavy industry available, along with solid engineering companies/skills (think Skoda) and a growing, maturing tech sector. There is alot that they can build/grow regionally for their military needs. Add into that mix the Swedes and the Finns and voila, a fairly self-sufficient regional block in terms of military hardware.
 

daftandbarmy

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Which appears to be exactly what Xi Jinping did:

"After more than two years without leaving his country, Chinese President Xi Jinping isn’t missing the chance for in-person diplomacy as he joins other world leaders at the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, this week ... [and]... Mr. Xi had a highly anticipated meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday, and will meet with the leaders of Australia and Japan, as well as Indonesian President Joko Widodo ... [but] ... Not on the list, however, is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau."

Meanwhile....

1669835793006.png
 

Eye In The Sky

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simon cowell facepalm GIF
 

suffolkowner

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going over what the Poles have been doing I found this article that had some good info
Honestly I doubt theres a country that could take Poland right now nevermind in 2 years. What Poland has ordered in the time that we actually reduced our defence spending by 14%

250 M1A2 v3
28 M1A2 v2 already in place
116 M1A1

180 K2's of which they have or are about to receive 10
820 K2PL

122 Krab 155mm of which 64 in service

212 K9 of which 24 already delivered
460 K9PL

122 120mm mortar on KTO Rosomak almost completed

288 K239 MLRS
220 M142 HIMARS (of 500?)

23 batteries of Sky Sabre on 400 trucks including 1000 CAMM missiles plus an interim UOR system

96 Apache
32 AW-149
48 FA-50 to add/complement the 48 F-16
32 F-35

6 more Patriot batteries to add to the 2 existing

Im sure Ive missed some in the flury of announcements. My perspective is probably skewed to our own environment where fighter jets probably provide a decent force due to the limited exposure to land forces
 

Kirkhill

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I'd throw in the the Slovaks into that mix and quite possibly the Czechs. The Slovaks are still leary of the Hungarians and Hungary is not making many friends within NATO or regionally right now.
For certain the mini Baltic states will hitch their wagon to Poland (without ticking off the US of course) as well.
Poland and the Czechs (and on a smaller scale the Slovaks) still have a decent of amount of heavy industry available, along with solid engineering companies/skills (think Skoda) and a growing, maturing tech sector. There is alot that they can build/grow regionally for their military needs. Add into that mix the Swedes and the Finns and voila, a fairly self-sufficient regional block in terms of military hardware.

You're right enough. The Czechs and the Slovakians have both been solid in their support.

What is your take on the Romanians?
 

CBH99

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I'm pretty sure that the Poles and Ukrainians can equally rely on support from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. And the Turkish association looks to be interesting too, if they can sort out the Kurdish situation.
I agree with almost everything you said here…just not sure how much firepower Iceland will bring to the fight 😉

When Turkey was more of a genuine ally compared to the current ‘guy we don’t want but can’t get rid of’ ally we have now (don’t even think that word can accurately describe Turkey now?) - then yes, perhaps.

But the modern day Turkey? I doubt they’ll sort the Kurd situation out anytime soon, unless the solution is to wipe them out entirely.

(This is the same country who’s president carried out a false flag coupe to declare himself president for life, that openly bought oil from ISIS as a extremely thin disguise at openly finding them, hired proxies to fight ISIS along its border…kinda/sorta…had its warships lock weapons on a French warship when the French wanted to board a suspected smuggling vessel, conducts air strikes within its own borders on its own towns, against its own citizens, floods Europe with refugees if it doesn’t get what it wants, is pretty cosy with the Russians these days, etc etc)


But all of the other countries listed, absolutely. Fantastic allies to have!

(Poland has been the next-door neighbour anybody could ask for in this current situation.)
 
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Kirkhill

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I agree with almost everything you said here…just not sure how much firepower Iceland will bring to the fight 😉

When Turkey was more of a genuine ally compared to the current ‘guy we don’t want but can’t get rid of’ ally we have now (don’t even think that word can accurately describe Turkey now?) - then yes, perhaps.

But the modern day Turkey? I doubt they’ll sort the Kurd situation out anytime soon, unless the solution is to wipe them out entirely.

(This is the same country who’s president carried out a false flag coupe to declare himself president for life, that openly bought oil from ISIS as a extremely thin disguise at openly finding them, hired proxies to fight ISIS along its border…kinda/sorta…had its warships lock weapons on a French warship when the French wanted to board a suspected smuggling vessel, conducts air strikes within its own borders on its own towns, against its own citizens, floods Europe with refugees if it doesn’t get what it wants, is pretty cosy with the Russians these days, etc etc)


But all of the other countries listed, absolutely. Fantastic allies to have!

(Poland has been the next-door neighbour anybody could ask for in this current situation.)

I guess I am looking at Turkish-Ukrainian relations. The Ukrainians seem to have a better sense of the Turks?
 

Czech_pivo

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You're right enough. The Czechs and the Slovakians have both been solid in their support.

What is your take on the Romanians?
That's a good question.
Quiet, that's the first thing that comes to my mind.
Quiet because of a number of factors - proximity to Russia (across the Black Sea), Orthodox, their Church hasn't split from Mother Russia like the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has, border with Moldova (Transnistria), large border with Serbia, large border with Hungary.

The Czechs/Slovaks geographically are almost wrapped in a warm embrace by both Germany, Poland and each other, they live in a less dangerous neighbourhood. The Romanians are not really in the best neighbourhood, almost as bad as the Baltics.

Hungary would love to have back Transylvania and all those orphaned Hungarians living in Romanian. Serbia/Romania have had a long, solid relationship for the most part but now are on opposite sides of friendship with Russia. Moldova and Romania are close, with the former concerned about their intentions.
 

Kirkhill

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That's a good question.
Quiet, that's the first thing that comes to my mind.
Quiet because of a number of factors - proximity to Russia (across the Black Sea), Orthodox, their Church hasn't split from Mother Russia like the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has, border with Moldova (Transnistria), large border with Serbia, large border with Hungary.

The Czechs/Slovaks geographically are almost wrapped in a warm embrace by both Germany, Poland and each other, they live in a less dangerous neighbourhood. The Romanians are not really in the best neighbourhood, almost as bad as the Baltics.

Hungary would love to have back Transylvania and all those orphaned Hungarians living in Romanian. Serbia/Romania have had a long, solid relationship for the most part but now are on opposite sides of friendship with Russia. Moldova and Romania are close, with the former concerned about their intentions.
Thanks for that.

I don't feel that the Balkans and the South generally have moved much from 1913 and the Austro-Hungarian positions. Fractious and unstable?
 

Edward Campbell

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"Canada, a country with a long history of involvement in Haiti, is the top candidate and favored by the United States, but Ottawa is weighing the operational risks of fighting an enemy embedded in civilian communities, as well as the challenges of doing so in a fraught political environment."

So says Foreign Affairs, this week.

In fact t, I'm told by a source I consider reliable, that was one of the specific messages Secretary of State Blinken delivered to Prime Minister Trudeau when he visited Ottawa in October.

I heard (less reliable source) that message was delivered to the CDS in September and that was, in some part, responsible for the Reconstitution thing. The CDS, I heard (same less than 90% reliable source) knows that the mission requires a larger force than Canada could muster, even if we pulled out of Latvia, and there is no way, none at all, that he could build such a force in less than several years and with less than several billions of dollars of new funding - year-after-year-after-decade.

The result is:
trudeau-kids-table.jpeg
 

daftandbarmy

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"Canada, a country with a long history of involvement in Haiti, is the top candidate and favored by the United States, but Ottawa is weighing the operational risks of fighting an enemy embedded in civilian communities, as well as the challenges of doing so in a fraught political environment."

So says Foreign Affairs, this week.

In fact t, I'm told by a source I consider reliable, that was one of the specific messages Secretary of State Blinken delivered to Prime Minister Trudeau when he visited Ottawa in October.

I heard (less reliable source) that message was delivered to the CDS in September and that was, in some part, responsible for the Reconstitution thing. The CDS, I heard (same less than 90% reliable source) knows that the mission requires a larger force than Canada could muster, even if we pulled out of Latvia, and there is no way, none at all, that he could build such a force in less than several years and with less than several billions of dollars of new funding - year-after-year-after-decade.

The result is:
View attachment 75231

Northern Ireland would probably look easy compared to Haiti.

Except the added dimension of of rich white first world colonialists, from another country, shooting Haitians on international TV would add a bit of spice to the whole thing. ;)
 

OldSolduer

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Northern Ireland would probably look easy compared to Haiti.

Except the added dimension of of rich white first world colonialists, from another country, shooting Haitians on international TV would add a bit of spice to the whole thing. ;)

A terrible fit. Avoid it. If you go in bring a battalions worth of lawyers and PR types.
 

Edward Campbell

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Northern Ireland would probably look easy compared to Haiti.

Except the added dimension of of rich white first world colonialists, from another country, shooting Haitians on international TV would add a bit of spice to the whole thing. ;)
A few, actually quite a few, years ago an acquaintance, a former very senior official, who was well paid (by governments (not just ours) and foundations) to think both this sort of thing, said that Haiti would need three generations of colonial rule - trusteeship, he said - to be ready to assume a productive place in the world:
  • In the first generation the mandatory power (his words again, shades of the League of Nations) would restore impose law and order and establish trust in the motives of the mandate;
  • Two generations would be required, overlapping the first and third, to build institutions in which the people had trust and confidence; and
  • The third generation would see the rise of a legitimate independence movement which would, eventually, form a home-grown government.
It would be, he said, the work of a century, and no responsible "white" nation would ever want to touch the problem ... and any one that did couldn't be trusted to do the job properly.

His candidate was India.
 

Czech_pivo

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A few, actually quite a few, years ago an acquaintance, a former very senior official, who was well paid (by governments (not just ours) and foundations) to think both this sort of thing, said that Haiti would need three generations of colonial rule - trusteeship, he said - to be ready to assume a productive place in the world:
  • In the first generation the mandatory power (his words again, shades of the League of Nations) would restore impose law and order and establish trust in the motives of the mandate;
  • Two generations would be required, overlapping the first and third, to build institutions in which the people had trust and confidence; and
  • The third generation would see the rise of a legitimate independence movement which would, eventually, form a home-grown government.
It would be, he said, the work of a century, and no responsible "white" nation would ever want to touch the problem ... and any one that did couldn't be trusted to do the job properly.

His candidate was India.
100% spot on -
 

daftandbarmy

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