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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.
 

CypressSplit

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Parliament’s fiscal watchdog is raising concerns about nearly $15-billion of unexplained military spending buried in the 2022 federal budget – money in excess of what’s spelled out in the Department of National Defence’s spending plan released earlier this year.
Mr. Drummond said it’s possible some of the $15-billion is money being set aside to pay for extra spending pending the outcome of this defence review. It could also reflect increased cost projections for existing hardware purchases owing to inflation, he said.
 

Good2Golf

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Some may call it a ‘steaming turd false flag’ operation. I’ll be totally not shocked if the GoC ‘adjusts’ the budget forwards to address PBO’s perspective…well-played, Team Red, well-played!
 

daftandbarmy

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Go North, young people...


The DEW Line at 65: Future unclear for the North's aging radar sites​

'The fact of the matter is that we have not modernized it or done anything with it since 1985'​


Heubert agrees that NORAD needs a major update, and the North Warning System is no longer adequate.

"Just looking across the northern coastline doesn't cut it. You need to be able to look right across the entire entity of North America," Huebert said.

Lajeunesse also refers to a "broader set of dangers" and says a string of radar stations in the Arctic may no longer be top priority.

"The next NORAD isn't just going to be a big building with a dome. It's going to be a very complex set of sensors tied into a broader network to watch everything from hypersonic cruise missiles to Chinese fishing fleets," Lejeunesse said.

"The future of the North Warning System can be very different from the past of the North Warning System."

 

Good2Golf

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The fact that they never replaced the PIN-3/Lady Franklin Point radar after the Russians disembarked from an SSN and set it on fire it caught fire and burned to the ground should tell you something…
 

daftandbarmy

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The fact that they never replaced the PIN-3/Lady Franklin Point radar after the Russians disembarked from an SSN and set it on fire it caught fire and burned to the ground should tell you something…

I had to look that up. Fascinating Site: PIN-3 | The DEWLine

When I was up there a few years ago I met quite a few people, mainly Newfies, who were working hard to decommission some of the old DEW line sites. They were basically stripping out all the 'valuables' and then burying everything in place in large, plastic barrier lined, pits. So the PCBs wouldn't leak into the eco-system (yeah, right ;)).

I wondered if that was 'evironmentally correct' and they said that the costs of extracting everything from the North would be astronomical.
 

MilEME09

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Some may call it a ‘steaming turd false flag’ operation. I’ll be totally not shocked if the GoC ‘adjusts’ the budget forwards to address PBO’s perspective…well-played, Team Red, well-played!
Creative accounting is all, if procurement was working well we wouldn't need it
 

Underway

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I had to look that up. Fascinating Site: PIN-3 | The DEWLine

When I was up there a few years ago I met quite a few people, mainly Newfies, who were working hard to decommission some of the old DEW line sites. They were basically stripping out all the 'valuables' and then burying everything in place in large, plastic barrier lined, pits. So the PCBs wouldn't leak into the eco-system (yeah, right ;)).

I wondered if that was 'evironmentally correct' and they said that the costs of extracting everything from the North would be astronomical.
My brother-in-law worked on the project as an environmental engineer. All of these sites were already terribly contaminated. Oil barrels were just thrown into ditches, PCB and heavy metals soil contamination etc... Decades of no environmental rules and oblivious operating staff. They just dump crap anywhere it made sense at the time, as we all did in the 1950-80's.

The clean-up crews applied best practices as best they could but those old sites would need all the soil stripped down to the permafrost and deeper in some cases, shipping tonnes of soil out to a disposal facility in Ontario somewhere likely. Then mitigation measures put in place. It was just to much work overall. So bury it all was the best option.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Go North, young people...


The DEW Line at 65: Future unclear for the North's aging radar sites​

'The fact of the matter is that we have not modernized it or done anything with it since 1985'​


Heubert agrees that NORAD needs a major update, and the North Warning System is no longer adequate.

"Just looking across the northern coastline doesn't cut it. You need to be able to look right across the entire entity of North America," Huebert said.

Lajeunesse also refers to a "broader set of dangers" and says a string of radar stations in the Arctic may no longer be top priority.

"The next NORAD isn't just going to be a big building with a dome. It's going to be a very complex set of sensors tied into a broader network to watch everything from hypersonic cruise missiles to Chinese fishing fleets," Lejeunesse said.

"The future of the North Warning System can be very different from the past of the North Warning System."

That sound like a long term study to ensure we buy the right thing eventually, perhaps in a decade or so.
 

Good2Golf

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Then mitigation measures put in place. It was just to much work overall. So bury it all was the best option.
Other than some suggestions to blend the PCB’s into the generators’ diesel fuel and presto, but maybe buried ‘safely forever’ briefed better? 😉
 
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Other than some suggestions to blend the PCB’s into the generators’ diesel fuel and presto, but maybe buried ‘safely forever’ briefed better? 😉
Burning at low temps produces carcinogens. it has to be incinerated at 870 C to 1200 C to transform the chemicals to something non toxic. More Cliff Clavin info ...
 

Good2Golf

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Burning at low temps produces carcinogens. it has to be incinerated at 870 C to 1200 C to transform the chemicals to something non toxic. More Cliff Clavin info ...
Which is a good point, I crossed up my °Cs and °Fs and figured running them through a large diesel generator with the DPF on permanent regen (1000-1100°F…yeah, only 600-650°C).

Interestingly, I read a report years ago that Ontario Hydro was experimenting in the late-70s/early-80s with portable high-temp combustion of PCBs using a hydrogen and/or NG-powered MHD electric generator, and feeding in the PCBs at a fairly decent rate (above 1000ppm IIRC). The peak temp was 3200°C for Hydrogen-Oxygen and as low as 2500°C for NG-O2. There was no trace of any PCB left after combustion.
 
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There was (still is?) a process in which the PCBs were separated from the oil and then sent to a disposal facility in Alberta to be incinerated. The refined oil would then be good to be reused as needed. Solid objects such as poles, soil, concrete, shingles, etc were buried in lined pits which had a drain to recover any leaching. Suspected and known health effects are another subject which is available online and they tend to get off the rails when discussed so I will not. 🙄
 

GK .Dundas

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Germany looks at the realities of increasing its defence budget to 2%



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At a certain point the question becomes not should you increase defence spending but can you?
With Canada I suspect that if we were to go to a 2% or 2%+ GDP the very bureaucratic machinery that handles the financial side of DND might very well collapse.
Remind me again didn't we fight two World Wars ?......somehow.
 

Edward Campbell

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At a certain point the question becomes not should you increase defence spending but can you?
With Canada I suspect that if we were to go to a 2% or 2%+ GDP the very bureaucratic machinery that handles the financial side of DND might very well collapse.
Remind me again didn't we fight two World Wars ?......somehow.
We did ... but we fought them, at the national level, quite differently.

In 1914-18 Canada was, for the most part, "all in" ... until 1917 when the first Conscription Crisis emerged.

In 1939-45 Canada, it has always seemed to me, feared Churchill more than Hitler. Mackenzie King was and arch-appeaser in the 1930s and he was terrified of Churchill's vision of a total war that could end only when Germany was defeated. He, King, feared that Churchill would provoke another, even worse Conscription Crisis. King knew - his own cabinet told him - that Québec, under the influence of scholar-politicians like l'Abbé Lionel Groulx (who wielded a HUGE influence over a young Pierre Trudeau) very much favoured Vichy France and opposed the war against Hitler - some calling it England's war for les sales juifs.

King mindful of 1917, wanted to minimize the army's role and emphasize those of the RCN and the RCAF. He didn't understand, at first, that air crew casualty rates were going to be very, very high but even punishably high Bomber Command casualties were far preferable to being forced to conscript unwilling Québécois. King was, I have read, furious when Vincent Massey and Georges Vanier, both diplomats in London, actively lobbied his own ministers to send the 1st Canadian Decision to Sicily in 1943; King favoured General Andrew McNaughton's plan for keeping the Canadians together, in Britain, under his command, until the invasion of France was ready.

King's concerns about national unity were not unique. When Louis St Laurent (in 1947, in his Gray Lecture to the University of Toronto to) proposed the only clear, coherent, productive grand strategy that Canada has ever had,* he made the preservation. of national unity his first priority for Canada's engagement as a leading, global, missile power. What was different was that St Laurent believed that he could lead the nation on a productive path wheel King feared that Québec could not be led, only appeased.

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* I would argue that Pierre Trudeau had a grand strategy but I believe that it was unclear (because he feared a cabinet revolt, for worse), incoherent (because it ignored reality) and counter-productive in the extreme.
 

rmc_wannabe

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The problem I have seen with our defense and foreign policy over our 155 year history is that the world (Britain, the Allies, the U.S., The U.N., NATO) has expected Canada to step up at times of crisis; and we usually do, but not without a lot of kicking and screaming coming from la Belle Provence.

Our contributions to these world crises, from the Boer War to Afghanistan, have seen more political consideration about "what will Quebec think?" rather than that of our allies and enemies alike.

I often wonder if we ever move away from FPTP to a more proportional model how much of that influence will disappear. If minority governments become the norm, and one doesn't need to win Quebec or Ontario, how much will their isolationist voice matter in foreign or defence matters?
 

The Bread Guy

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... I often wonder if we ever move away from FPTP to a more proportional model how much of that influence will disappear. If minority governments become the norm, and one doesn't need to win Quebec or Ontario, how much will their isolationist voice matter in foreign or defence matters?
I wouldn't mind more of a proportional model myself, but there's also risks there, too.

Look at coalition governments around the world to see how often you get governments doing pretty extreme things (based on the ruling party's platform) to appease small, even 2-4 member parties, just to keep them onside and the ringleaders in government.

Where "Quebec", read "whatever group we can pull in to keep us in power."
 

rmc_wannabe

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I wouldn't mind more of a proportional model myself, but there's also risks there, too.

Look at coalition governments around the world to see how often you get governments doing pretty extreme things (based on the ruling party's platform) to appease small, even 2-4 member parties, just to keep them onside and the ringleaders in government.

Where "Quebec", read "whatever group we can pull in to keep us in power."
That's always the risk. At least in the latter case, there will be other voices heard with different view points.

The status quo has seen Energy East and other national initiatives go dead in the water because of "regional pressures." If those regional pressures were coming g from Alberta or Saskatchewan, under our current system, no one cares; if they became the linchpin to maintaining power, how quickly would you see a pipeline spanning the country within 2 years?

As for defence, unless you're directly involved in the Defence Industry or DND, your average Canadian doesn't care. If under PR a party was able to make it a wedge issue or a stipulation for support.. perhaps we wouldn't see the same kind of apathy from governments, politicians parties, and voters alike.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Germany looks at the realities of increasing its defence budget to 2%



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On another forum, a couple of Germans were saying the SPD is full of Russian sympathisers and pacifist who will say all the right things in public and do nothing where it counts
 
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