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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.
 

dimsum

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ballz

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I think it might be worth creating either a new trade for procurement or a sub occupation specialty in Supply; perhaps a duel stream for FSAs and MMTs ? The procurement world is big and complicated, we might do better with dedicated folks.

I can't speak to procurement itself but the FSAs should not be involved in the actual procurement process. FSAs are the CAF's accountants, whether anyone in the CAF realizes that or not. Accountants should not be involved in procurement, that's 100% a supply/warehouse function.

FSAs should be doing all of the Accounts Payable (A/P) for the procurement. Accounts payable is 100% a finance function, however, since they did away with the old Finance trade (who did the A/P) it left a vacuum and Supply ended up getting sucked into it.... now everyone is convinced it belongs to supply because "that's the way it's always been" as far as they can remember. If the finance trade had any cents (pun intended) they'd know 1) A/P is a finance function 2) poorly executed A/P leads to very poor fin mgmt, as seen every year in the CAF when we hold all the money back and then try to blow in the last 4 months of the year, after procurement deadlines have been passed, because we're not capable of tracking our expenses.


If finance got a grip on A/P, then we wouldn't need to wait 6 months after an exercise to know how much money we spent, we'd know as soon as the deployment was over how much it cost. Which means we would be able to actually provide proper financial information to Commanders, who can then properly manage their budget supported by useful information (not someone staring at "commitments" in DRMIS and trying to guess how much will slip) and we wouldn't end up in a situation where the department realizes it has too much money in November and finally starts giving it out.... after the procurement deadlines for anything over $25k have already been passed.

Furthermore, finance is supposed to be the experts on controls. So when the G4 types start telling Commanders they shouldn't delegate more contracting authority despite the obvious benefits* because of "contracting irregularities" being some big huge institution risk, a competent financial controller can put them in their place and articulate what the risk actually is. The actual risk is someone starts abusing their procurement authorities for personal gain, by say, awarding contracts to people/businesses they know, who might be taking them out to an Oilers game and a fancy dinner, or to themselves, etc. The contracting irregularity process is there to investigate that, to determine if it's just an honest mistake or if it's something nefarious. The wholly incompetent people I've seen "advising" on this treat both those instances the same because they think it's the contracting irregularity in and of itself that is the issue, and the Finance people who are supposed to know better simply don't.

A competent finance person might actually point out that the bigger risk of nefarious procurement activity like that is actually having one person in the same chair too long, and everyone becoming fully reliant on that person, i.e. the DND public servants who get hired on a base and become the only people allowed to contract anything over $5,000. This is not exactly a risk with a MM Tech Corporal who is only in the chair for 2 years! So here they are jumping up and down about the "risk" of having more contracting irregularities if Supply Techs are given more authority, and meanwhile creating an environment that introduces the real risk (which flies right over their head).

A competent finance officer might even realize that a many individual MM Techs currently have the ability to both procure and pay for a purchase order in DRMIS, which is a huge institutional risk and it's literally internal controls for dummies and yet that's exactly what the CAF has set up right now because those who are supposed to know how these systems work and when an internal control deficiency is occurring (finance) don't!

In short, Finance actually doing it's job and controlling A/P:
a) would allow us to track our expenses properly so we could stop being so shitty at financial management and give out the money for big expenditures in April so that it can actually be procured.
b) Frees up MM Techs/Public Servants who are supposed to be doing procurement so they can actually focus on that, expanding our procurement capabilities.
b) Reduces risk overall (final check and balance on the entire expenditure management process before any money goes out the door would be finance, the ones who on paper are the DND's SMEs on the expenditure management process), but in particular, reduces the risk of nefarious activity in procurement, which in turn further enables greater contracting authorities for those doing contracting, further maximizing capacity of our human resources that we spent so much money on but won't let them do their jobs.

An enthusiastic finance officer may have spent 4 years pestering every possible avenue (Command net, G4 net, G8 net, CDAO net, and even directly to ADM(Fin) who has an SOP that is supposed to be department wide that says Finance owns A/P) with countless briefing notes, hoping one of them would stick to the wall eventually so the CAF could stop being so shitty..... that person (me, if the reader hasn't figured it out) now works in the private sector for a very large accounting firm auditing very large private and publicly traded corporations and is much happier for it.
 
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ballz

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Does it start with the Bn Pay Clerk or the CQ? I think there is an argument that the CQ's shop is the one that should be taking the lead in "procurement". That job is to procure those things that the sub-unit needs to do its job. Does the CQ have a cash budget to make good shortfalls from the local economy if the official supply chain is found wanting?

Pay/Compensation/benefits is actually an HRA function... don't even get me started on that.

No, CQs don't have a budget... in two of three Reg Force Brigades I was in, I've never been able to find a unit that is willing to delegate any budget and requisite financial authorities

Many will say each sub-unit has a budget because they have a line on their budget that says "A Coy, $10,000," but no one even knows about it nor has a DOA to do anything with it if they did.... sorry buds but if you gotta go get the cash out of mommy and daddy's wallet, and their approval to buy what you wanna buy before you can have the cash, you don't actually have an allowance.

Which is exactly why some maintainer got POL in their eyes because the Maint Pl didn't have safety goggles "because there's no money" meanwhile their unit was swimming in cash, blowing it on a $600 Keurig for the CO's office and customized Xmas cards that he could send out to all his friends.

Anyway, I'm gonna go take a valium 😵‍💫
 
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Halifax Tar

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I can't speak to procurement itself but the FSAs should not be involved in the actual procurement process. FSAs are the CAF's accountants, whether anyone in the CAF realizes that or not. Accountants should not be involved in procurement, that's 100% a supply/warehouse function.

FSAs should be doing all of the Accounts Payable (A/P) for the procurement. Accounts payable is 100% a finance function, however, since they did away with the old Finance trade (who did the A/P) it left a vacuum and Supply ended up getting sucked into it.... now everyone is convinced it belongs to supply because "that's the way it's always been" as far as they can remember. If the finance trade had any cents (pun intended) they'd know 1) A/P is a finance function 2) poorly executed A/P leads to very poor fin mgmt, as seen every year in the CAF when we hold all the money back and then try to blow in the last 4 months of the year, after procurement deadlines have been passed, because we're not capable of tracking our expenses.


If finance got a grip on A/P, then we wouldn't need to wait 6 months after an exercise to know how much money we spent, we'd know as soon as the deployment was over how much it cost. Which means we would be able to actually provide proper financial information to Commanders, who can then properly manage their budget supported by useful information (not someone staring at "commitments" in DRMIS and trying to guess how much will slip) and we wouldn't end up in a situation where the department realizes it has too much money in November and finally starts giving it out.... after the procurement deadlines for anything over $25k have already been passed.

Furthermore, finance is supposed to be the experts on controls. So when the G4 types start telling Commanders they shouldn't delegate more contracting authority despite the obvious benefits* because of "contracting irregularities" being some big huge institution risk, a competent financial controller can put them in their place and articulate what the risk actually is. The actual risk is someone starts abusing their procurement authorities for personal gain, by say, awarding contracts to people/businesses they know, who might be taking them out to an Oilers game and a fancy dinner, or to themselves, etc. The contracting irregularity process is there to investigate that, to determine if it's just an honest mistake or if it's something nefarious. The wholly incompetent people I've seen "advising" on this treat both those instances the same because they think it's the contracting irregularity in and of itself that is the issue, and the Finance people who are supposed to know better simply don't.

A competent finance person might actually point out that the bigger risk of nefarious procurement activity like that is actually having one person in the same chair too long, and everyone becoming fully reliant on that person, i.e. the DND public servants who get hired on a base and become the only people allowed to contract anything over $5,000. This is not exactly a risk with a MM Tech Corporal who is only in the chair for 2 years! So here they are jumping up and down about the "risk" of having more contracting irregularities if Supply Techs are given more authority, and meanwhile creating an environment that introduces the real risk (which flies right over their head).

A competent finance officer might even realize that a many individual MM Techs currently have the ability to both procure and pay for a purchase order in DRMIS, which is a huge institutional risk and it's literally internal controls for dummies and yet that's exactly what the CAF has set up right now because those who are supposed to know how these systems work and when an internal control deficiency is occurring (finance) don't!

In short, Finance actually doing it's job and controlling A/P:
a) would allow us to track our expenses properly so we could stop being so shitty at financial management and give out the money for big expenditures in April so that it can actually be procured.
b) Frees up MM Techs/Public Servants who are supposed to be doing procurement so they can actually focus on that, expanding our procurement capabilities.
b) Reduces risk overall (final check and balance on the entire expenditure management process before any money goes out the door would be finance, the ones who on paper are the DND's SMEs on the expenditure management process), but in particular, reduces the risk of nefarious activity in procurement, which in turn further enables greater contracting authorities for those doing contracting, further maximizing capacity of our human resources that we spent so much money on but won't let them do their jobs.

An enthusiastic finance officer may have spent 4 years pestering every possible avenue (Command net, G4 net, G8 net, CDAO net, and even directly to ADM(Fin) who has an SOP that is supposed to be department wide that says Finance owns A/P) with countless briefing notes, hoping one of them would stick to the wall eventually so the CAF could stop being so shitty..... that person (me, if the reader hasn't figured it out) now works in the private sector for a very large accounting firm auditing very large private and publicly traded corporations and is much happier for it.

Fair enough. I am coming from a procurement background and figured they may have something to being too it, but I am no SME on the FSA world.
 

KevinB

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Procurement =/= Acquisition =/= Supply

Everything in the system for combat function should be under Supply with the various LCMM and G4 shops supplying those systems.
With BPA’s (blanket purchase agreements) in place to support and LPO authorization to get items that can’t be immediately delivered through the system. Obviously some items won’t be LPO’able and local spares on too of what is expected for PM need to be available.

Down here folks have 10k impac cards and the ‘rules’ for their usage.

We also have TLS Prime Vendors, DLA and GSA

That is just to support fielded systems (in theory no new items can be acquired, but folks get creative all the time).

It is horribly inefficient, and wasteful. But it does a good job of ensuring items are available (often too many and poor accounting etc - but it is what it is).
 

Humphrey Bogart

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I can't speak to procurement itself but the FSAs should not be involved in the actual procurement process. FSAs are the CAF's accountants, whether anyone in the CAF realizes that or not. Accountants should not be involved in procurement, that's 100% a supply/warehouse function.

FSAs should be doing all of the Accounts Payable (A/P) for the procurement. Accounts payable is 100% a finance function, however, since they did away with the old Finance trade (who did the A/P) it left a vacuum and Supply ended up getting sucked into it.... now everyone is convinced it belongs to supply because "that's the way it's always been" as far as they can remember. If the finance trade had any cents (pun intended) they'd know 1) A/P is a finance function 2) poorly executed A/P leads to very poor fin mgmt, as seen every year in the CAF when we hold all the money back and then try to blow in the last 4 months of the year, after procurement deadlines have been passed, because we're not capable of tracking our expenses.


If finance got a grip on A/P, then we wouldn't need to wait 6 months after an exercise to know how much money we spent, we'd know as soon as the deployment was over how much it cost. Which means we would be able to actually provide proper financial information to Commanders, who can then properly manage their budget supported by useful information (not someone staring at "commitments" in DRMIS and trying to guess how much will slip) and we wouldn't end up in a situation where the department realizes it has too much money in November and finally starts giving it out.... after the procurement deadlines for anything over $25k have already been passed.

Furthermore, finance is supposed to be the experts on controls. So when the G4 types start telling Commanders they shouldn't delegate more contracting authority despite the obvious benefits* because of "contracting irregularities" being some big huge institution risk, a competent financial controller can put them in their place and articulate what the risk actually is. The actual risk is someone starts abusing their procurement authorities for personal gain, by say, awarding contracts to people/businesses they know, who might be taking them out to an Oilers game and a fancy dinner, or to themselves, etc. The contracting irregularity process is there to investigate that, to determine if it's just an honest mistake or if it's something nefarious. The wholly incompetent people I've seen "advising" on this treat both those instances the same because they think it's the contracting irregularity in and of itself that is the issue, and the Finance people who are supposed to know better simply don't.

A competent finance person might actually point out that the bigger risk of nefarious procurement activity like that is actually having one person in the same chair too long, and everyone becoming fully reliant on that person, i.e. the DND public servants who get hired on a base and become the only people allowed to contract anything over $5,000. This is not exactly a risk with a MM Tech Corporal who is only in the chair for 2 years! So here they are jumping up and down about the "risk" of having more contracting irregularities if Supply Techs are given more authority, and meanwhile creating an environment that introduces the real risk (which flies right over their head).

A competent finance officer might even realize that a many individual MM Techs currently have the ability to both procure and pay for a purchase order in DRMIS, which is a huge institutional risk and it's literally internal controls for dummies and yet that's exactly what the CAF has set up right now because those who are supposed to know how these systems work and when an internal control deficiency is occurring (finance) don't!

In short, Finance actually doing it's job and controlling A/P:
a) would allow us to track our expenses properly so we could stop being so shitty at financial management and give out the money for big expenditures in April so that it can actually be procured.
b) Frees up MM Techs/Public Servants who are supposed to be doing procurement so they can actually focus on that, expanding our procurement capabilities.
b) Reduces risk overall (final check and balance on the entire expenditure management process before any money goes out the door would be finance, the ones who on paper are the DND's SMEs on the expenditure management process), but in particular, reduces the risk of nefarious activity in procurement, which in turn further enables greater contracting authorities for those doing contracting, further maximizing capacity of our human resources that we spent so much money on but won't let them do their jobs.

An enthusiastic finance officer may have spent 4 years pestering every possible avenue (Command net, G4 net, G8 net, CDAO net, and even directly to ADM(Fin) who has an SOP that is supposed to be department wide that says Finance owns A/P) with countless briefing notes, hoping one of them would stick to the wall eventually so the CAF could stop being so shitty..... that person (me, if the reader hasn't figured it out) now works in the private sector for a very large accounting firm auditing very large private and publicly traded corporations and is much happier for it.
It's almost like you're a chartered professional accountant or something 😁

I'm sure you can get hired for $200.00 an hour as a consultant to advise them on the way forward.

They won't take your advice and will discard the report as soon as it's produced. Such is life in the GoC 😁
 

CountDC

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some clump the finance, supply and contracting all together as they are close together in doing the same thing aren't they?!?!?

I remember when in AP my involvement with supply and contracts was making sure there was a valid contract and all the authorities were in place before paying the invoice. These days I may have to approve the purchase for the supply person that should be able to do it himself. Ballz has nailed it - FSA is still highly misunderstood and misused while supply is not given the room they should have.

but hey, anyone can do procurement - always go with the lowest bidder and ignore all the other points that are supposed to be considered. At least that is what I always see happening.
 

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Haggis

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I'm sure that some of you have already read this info


Canada’s defence spending ‘likely wasn’t enough’ for America’s liking​

Nobody in the US Government votes in Canadian elections, so does this matter to the Liberals? No.

Similarly, although Trudeau is still getting bashed in the EU following his speech last month, the Liberals don't care as no members of the EU parliament vote in Canadian elections, either.
 

OldSolduer

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Nobody in the US Government votes in Canadian elections, so does this matter to the Liberals? No.

Similarly, although Trudeau is still getting bashed in the EU following his speech last month, the Liberals don't care as no members of the EU parliament vote in Canadian elections, either.
We all know who he cares about - he cares about Trudeau.
 

rmc_wannabe

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Nobody in the US Government votes in Canadian elections, so does this matter to the Liberals? No.

Similarly, although Trudeau is still getting bashed in the EU following his speech last month, the Liberals don't care as no members of the EU parliament vote in Canadian elections, either.
Holding and maintaining power domestically at all costs is a bad look on the world stage....
 
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