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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.
 

Brad Sallows

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Sure. But better to anticipate how bullies think, and avoid war by not projecting what they might interpret as weakness. Avoid the unnecessary battle.
 

Spencer100

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No please, go on. Seriously.
I'm sure you have heard the "great reset" And You will own nothing and be happy.

I have for the last few years and especially the last two been trying to use Hanlon's Razor as the reason for things that are happening....it is becoming harder and harder all the time.

Question to ask yourself.
 

Spencer100

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Doubtful. People will vote for whoever promises to try to change that.
Will they? I have my doubts that they will.

Plus this more than just voting for red/blue team. Its mega corporations embracing ESB. Universities' speech codes. Hollywood pushing agendas in entertainment. CRT in schools. Climate Change emergency so stop whatever activity they deem bad. etc etc etc.....

I do believe we (meaning people who believe in western values) have lost....

All though I read your post script "Despair is a Sin".....I thought you're right...keep fighting.
 

Brad Sallows

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Its mega corporations embracing ESB.

Buying opportunities.

Universities' speech codes.

Real world fixes that.

Hollywood pushing agendas in entertainment.

Plenty of old movies you probably haven't watched.

CRT in schools.

Involved parents.

Climate Change emergency so stop whatever activity they deem bad

Take the long view. No-one is really acting like it's an emergency.
 

dimsum

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Hollywood pushing agendas in entertainment
When did Hollywood not push agendas via entertainment?

It's like people getting mad now that Star Trek [insert show] is being "too liberal". This is the same franchise that, in the 60s, had a multicultural crew with a Black woman in an important role, and had an episode deliberately and blatantly denouncing racism.
 

cyber_lass

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When did Hollywood not push agendas via entertainment?
No joke... Think of all the heteronormativity in Disney. Even child marriage is encouraged. To say Hollywood hasn't pushed an agenda, well you would have to be blind or someone who was apart of the agenda it was pushing, aka straight, and white.
It's like people getting mad now that Star Trek [insert show] is being "too liberal". This is the same franchise that, in the 60s, had a multicultural crew with a Black woman in an important role, and had an episode deliberately and blatantly denouncing racism.
Start trek and Mash as well.
 

KevinB

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When did Hollywood not push agendas via entertainment?

It's like people getting mad now that Star Trek [insert show] is being "too liberal". This is the same franchise that, in the 60s, had a multicultural crew with a Black woman in an important role, and had an episode deliberately and blatantly denouncing racism.
Yeah plus I mean Kirk will screw anything with two legs and a vagina - if that’s not diversity…

Oh wait I may have downplayed the rampant sexism.
 

Underway

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Meanwhile, NDP foreign affairs critic Heather McPherson said the issue of Canada’s declining military resourcing is both longstanding and nonpartisan.

“We have seen our military be decimated over [the] long-term. This is not something that has just happened. We have not provided the tools that our soldiers, our men and women in uniform, need to do the jobs that we're asking them to do safely,” she said.

This is not what I would have expected from the NDP:

Perhaps the NDP are reading their own socialist doctrine finally. "The first duty of the state is to protect the state".

That's like Socialism 101. Granted old school socialism but France still practices it.
 

daftandbarmy

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Hell, I felt uncomfortable watching Mad Men and there have been articles saying that it was downplayed from what it was like back then.

Dude, you don't get out much, do you? ;)

In various sectors of the civilian work world it's still 'Mad Men', on steroids in some cases. Such as:

WHY IS SILICON VALLEY SO AWFUL TO WOMEN?​

Tech companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to improve conditions for female employees. Here’s why not much has changed—and what might actually work.

Looking back, Wu is struck by “the countless times I’ve had to move a man’s hand from my thigh (or back or shoulder or hair or arm) during a meeting (or networking event or professional lunch or brainstorming session or pitch meeting) without seeming confrontational (or bitchy or rejecting or demanding or aggressive).” In a land of grand ideas and grander funding proposals, she found that the ability to neatly reject a man’s advances without injuring his ego is “a pretty important skill that I would bet most successful women in our industry have.”

 

Czech_pivo

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Perhaps the NDP are reading their own socialist doctrine finally. "The first duty of the state is to protect the state".

That's like Socialism 101. Granted old school socialism but France still practices it.
Not so fast says Comrade Singh…..

NDP against Canada increasing defence spending to hit 'arbitrary' NATO target​



Wouldn’t want the NDP to go against the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics now would we.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Not so fast says Comrade Singh…..

NDP against Canada increasing defence spending to hit 'arbitrary' NATO target​



Wouldn’t want the NDP to go against the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics now would we.
Cool... so what's their metric then? Seeing as we treaty bound to NATO and NORAD, I would love to see his indicators. More "punching above our weight" talk?
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Cool... so what's their metric then? Seeing as we treaty bound to NATO and NORAD, I would love to see his indicators. More "punching above our weight" talk?
My guess is PMJT has secured Singh's support for two critical files:

New Fighter Jet
CSC

To go along with that, NDP won't give the Govt grief over implementing SSE.

Like I have said many times though, I don't foresee major increase in Defence expenditures from this Govt.
 

Quirky

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I sort of agree with Comrade Singh. The CAF needs direction on what its purpose is, then we can figure out the budget. Dumping another $20b into the budget will just mean new office furniture every year rather than anything meaningful like new equipment.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I sort of agree with Comrade Singh. The CAF needs direction on what its purpose is, then we can figure out the budget. Dumping another $20b into the budget will just mean new office furniture every year rather than anything meaningful like new equipment.
I agree totally with those points, however, we need an alternative metric.

If 2% GDP isn't the metric wanted, what is the plan? What capabilities do they want added? What are the timelines?

SSE isn't worth the paper it's written on, so that can't possibly be a guide or point of reference
 
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