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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.
 
Any other business would come back to the Board with a list of options for 'saving money', for Board approval, while continuing to meet the demands of their customers... or the CEO would get the boot.

I don't have any idea what's going on behind the scenes, of course, but the CAF just seems to whine alot - with no consequences ;)
Businesses wouldn't give people Lada funding then demand Lambourghini performance (without quickly failing as a business).

🤷‍♂️

When you have $300M+ of work for a refit of known work, and get a lot less then that, you can't expect no operational impact. That's per ship btw (which is insane, but happens when you consistently underfund dockings for 30 years).

For context, they are doing about 4-5 times as much known work compared to the 280s at end of life at 40ish years at the 25-30 year mark, and get much more arising work, on a strictly hourly work LOE basis (which is about the best apples to apples comparison you can make).

The GoC wants us to do all these deployments, then give us the money (and time) to build up to that. Or don't massively ratchet up RCN ops tempo (when it was already unsustainable). Can't do both.
 
Except the RCN cannot and knows they cannot employ a dozen FFH in the lead up to CSC. A rational organization would move to 8-9 platforms and divest the rest, saving hundreds of millions along the way.
 
Businesses wouldn't give people Lada funding then demand Lambourghini performance (without quickly failing as a business).

🤷‍♂️

When you have $300M+ of work for a refit of known work, and get a lot less then that, you can't expect no operational impact. That's per ship btw (which is insane, but happens when you consistently underfund dockings for 30 years).

For context, they are doing about 4-5 times as much known work compared to the 280s at end of life at 40ish years at the 25-30 year mark, and get much more arising work, on a strictly hourly work LOE basis (which is about the best apples to apples comparison you can make).

The GoC wants us to do all these deployments, then give us the money (and time) to build up to that. Or don't massively ratchet up RCN ops tempo (when it was already unsustainable). Can't do both.
Suck/Blow principle- often forgotten or never learned by highers
 
Except the RCN cannot and knows they cannot employ a dozen FFH in the lead up to CSC. A rational organization would move to 8-9 platforms and divest the rest, saving hundreds of millions along the way.
According to the CDS we can't even continue to maintain the 3 ships on the pacific we have. Media should be making a bigger deal of that, we can't up OP tempo, turn Latvia into a brigade, and cut budget without effecting everything
 
Except the RCN cannot and knows they cannot employ a dozen FFH in the lead up to CSC. A rational organization would move to 8-9 platforms and divest the rest, saving hundreds of millions along the way.
If you don't plan for the ships now, when the time comes that you need them, you won't have them. We should have learned that lesson in WWI and WWII, but Canada is a slow learner.
 
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According to the CDS we can't even continue to maintain the 3 ships on the pacific we have. Media should be making a bigger deal of that, we can't up OP tempo, turn Latvia into a brigade, and cut budget without effecting everything
So, Privateering and Letters of Marque then? :ROFLMAO:
 
If you don't plan for the ships now, when the time comes that you need them, you won't have them. We should have learned that lesson in WWI and WWII, but Canada is a slow learner.
I am not saying to shrink the CSC buy; I am saying that the RCN will not be in a position to crew and operate sufficient FFH to need a dozen hulls between now and when CSC #1 hits the water.
 
I am not saying to shrink the CSC buy; I am saying that the RCN will not be in a position to crew and operate sufficient FFH to need a dozen hulls between now and when CSC #1 hits the water.

Understood.

Divesting a few of the most worn out CPFs makes too much sense.

And won't the RCN have 15 years or more to rebuild its man-power? It is going to take that long to get all the CSCs into the fleet.
 
And won't the RCN have 15 years or more to rebuild its man-power? It is going to take that long to get all the CSCs into the fleet.
Given that we continue to lose people faster then we can recruit them, and then can't train/retain enough, and have been trending that way for 20 years, is that reasonable?

We also need to totally overhaul our combat operator/CSE tech trades to operate AEGIS, and we haven't started that yet either. It has taken 4 years now to figure out that we need HTs back and still in the task analysis phase of things. We'll have lost effectively a generation of HTs before any forecasted training starts there, and that's from something where we should just be dusting off some QSPs.

Training and personnel things take a really long time, especially when you prioritize it after most other things. You can't 'reconstitute' when you are overextending the RCN resources to just keep up with ops, and this with some creative accounting like sending MCDVs on a NATO commitment, sending east coast ships to the Pacific deployments, and looking at AOPs for a mediterranean tour.
 
I am not saying to shrink the CSC buy; I am saying that the RCN will not be in a position to crew and operate sufficient FFH to need a dozen hulls between now and when CSC #1 hits the water.
Fortunately that decision will be taken out of RCN hands when ships start to self-retire in the next 5-10 years or so. I don't think a lot of them will make it to the first CSC being delivered, let alone last until the 15th.
 
If you don't plan for the ships now, when the time comes that you need them, you won't have them. We should have learned that lesson in WWI and WWII, but Canada is a slow learner.
"You go to war with the army you have ..."

The big difference is that in WW2 one could crank out a ship pretty quickly compared to today. On the other hand WW2 was over in a short six years. The Cold War is now in its 8th decade and heating up again.

It's the lulls in between - those periods when everyone calls for a peace dividend - that throws everything out of whack.

That and having playboy leaders and their imbecile advisors who haven't a clue as to how the world really functions and only concern themselves with the next election and not what's best for the country's security and prosperity.

🍻
 
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