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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.
 

The Bread Guy

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They did what they had to do to get us through Kandahar (and that spending trend actually started under Martin) and, as soon as they announced CAF was leaving the province, they dialed CAF right back to the level of investment as where they had inherited it. Don’t give too much credit there.
View attachment 72440
So, like VAC pensions, all teams had a chance at bat and didn't do as well as they could have :(
 

FJAG

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Hmmm, why should we encourage the living in unsustainable in inhospitable regions. The ability to move water and introduction of A/C to the desert allowed the cities of Vegas, Phoenix, and LA to flourish. Why should we reward bad behavior by draining rivers and aquafers?

It's this sort of thinking that got us in this pickle in the first place.
Well ... there's financial gain for one.

But, the Earth has limited areas where agriculture can happen naturally without any assistance and our population has, to a large extent, outstripped that. There are still massive regions of arable land where, with a bit of a boost, you can produce crops (which coincidentally create oxygen and burn up carbon dioxide) Moving fresh water to those regions when all it would otherwise do is flow to the sea and turn into salty water is a win-win situation. The same for many fertilizer products which can be produced by mining rather than gas conversion.

I don't think that the people who started up Vegas, Phoenix or even LA ever really envisioned the extent to which these centres would grow. Each has a very different origin and reason why it grew into what it is. The problem (feature?) about humans is that we tend to operate in an unstructured manner. You can only plan for so much. All too often serendipity plays a role. Then you react the best way that you can.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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Hmmm, why should we encourage the living in unsustainable in inhospitable regions. The ability to move water and introduction of A/C to the desert allowed the cities of Vegas, Phoenix, and LA to flourish. Why should we reward bad behavior by draining rivers and aquafers?

It's this sort of thinking that got us in this pickle in the first place.

Glaciers melt and the rivers they create carry water to the oceans.

We adapt - until the rivers dry up and then we adapt again.

Riverm3/secOutflow
Mississippi
18,434​
Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean
Saint Lawrence
16,800​
Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Atlantic Ocean
Mackenzie
10,338​
Beaufort Sea, Arctic Ocean
Columbia
7,504​
Pacific Ocean
Yukon
6,428​
Bering Sea, Pacific Ocean
Fraser
3,475​
Pacific Ocean
Koksoak
2,800​
Ungava Bay, Arctic Ocean
Nelson
2,370​
Hudson Bay, Arctic Ocean

Of those rivers only the MacKenzie and the Yukon have reliable Glacier Systems.

All of the others are heavily reliant on seasonal snow fall and archaic waters like the Great Lakes.
 

Spencer100

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Hmmm, why should we encourage the living in unsustainable in inhospitable regions. The ability to move water and introduction of A/C to the desert allowed the cities of Vegas, Phoenix, and LA to flourish. Why should we reward bad behavior by draining rivers and aquafers?

It's this sort of thinking that got us in this pickle in the first place.
I say SELL IT! We are really moving away from make anything in this country now so we have to have something to sell. Manufacturing costs have skyrocketed.

And yes people will move where they do. Plus don't forget we buy a ton of that water back. It's call fresh produce in the winter. You would be surprised the amount of water in produce and the amount we buy.
 

Spencer100

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Before we can figure out what the military needs, there has to be a clear, everyone-on-board vision on what it's supposed to do.

Anyone have a decent summary of any recent government that's come up with such a thing?

And how many such documents have been generated only to become dust collectors when the "new & improved" team comes in?

Yeah, weak DefMins play a role, but usually as part of an overall weak process of defining Canada's goals in a clear, concise and agreed-to way.
I have see that sentiment on these boards for years. And I agree with it. But I am at the point that maybe screw the doctrine, policy, mission statement, the endless papers and studies. Just put it out there we will take anything that min works ok and can be delivered in a shorter time window. I think any kit acquired at this point will be used and used hard. I understand not the proper way but what has that gotten over the last decade? Plus I bet the green world can use anything (little better than RCAF and Navy) New trucks just get something that moves, AA anything better than nothing, Anti Tank etc. I would at this point just tell PSPC anything would be great. Thanks. I know that not how it works. but....
 

The Bread Guy

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I say SELL IT! We are really moving away from make anything in this country now so we have to have something to sell ...
Ask Canadian lumber manufacturers how well selling to the U.S. is going ...
 

Spencer100

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Ask Canadian lumber manufacturers how well selling to the U.S. is going ...
At the moment very well. In the past not so well

But the funny part is the problem in the eyes of the Americans is the Gov does not charge enough for stumpage fees. So in their eyes we are giving away our resources....LOL I have always found this to be an interesting case. For the hewn and cry from some corners about selling Canadian resources but then upset because the US is mad we sell too cheap into the US market. Then when the US puts a tariff on the wood they get the revenue. urgh....Everyone in this country wants it both ways.....and then most of time because of that attitude we get nothing.
 

The Bread Guy

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At the moment very well. In the past not so well
That narrative doesn't fly well in towns that saw sawmills close under previous Team Red & Team Blue governments who couldn't do enough to get REAL "free trade" on lumber.
... the funny part is the problem in the eyes of the Americans is the Gov does not charge enough for stumpage fees. So in their eyes we are giving away our resources....LOL I have always found this to be an interesting case. For the hewn and cry from some corners about selling Canadian resources but then upset because the US is mad we sell too cheap into the US market. Then when the US puts a tariff on the wood they get the revenue. urgh....Everyone in this country wants it both ways.....and then most of time because of that attitude we get nothing.
Bang on re: the dynamic. That said, though, people who say we should be hewers of wood and (in this case, drawers of water) can't also say, "hey, we should sell natural resources to the U.S." while ignoring the U.S. wants it both ways, too. I suspect if the U.S. really wanted to buy Canadian water en masse, they would get away with getting a lot better deal than the sellers - sound familiar? Then again, a big buyer can always hose a (relatively) small supplier, no matter what the thing or service being sold is.
 

FJAG

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That narrative doesn't fly well in towns that saw sawmills close under previous Team Red & Team Blue governments who couldn't do enough to get REAL "free trade" on lumber.

Bang on re: the dynamic. That said, though, people who say we should be hewers of wood and (in this case, drawers of water) can't also say, "hey, we should sell natural resources to the U.S." while ignoring the U.S. wants it both ways, too. I suspect if the U.S. really wanted to buy Canadian water en masse, they would get away with getting a lot better deal than the sellers - sound familiar? Then again, a big buyer can always hose a (relatively) small supplier, no matter what the thing or service being sold is.
So make deals with individual states and generate some competition. This is a commodity for which demand will grow. Just don't do something stupid like the wind farm power deals.

🍻
 

The Bread Guy

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So make deals with individual states and generate some competition. This is a commodity for which demand will grow. Just don't do something stupid like the wind farm power deals.

🍻
Someone should email that idea to Doug Ford - here's what his team had to say earlier this month ....
... Ontario supports the U.S. Department of Commerce’s recent decision to lower the unfair duty rates on Canadian softwood lumber exports – however, the Ontario government maintains that all duty rates should be removed immediately ... At a time when we are taking action to provide cost-of-living relief, softwood lumber duties punish consumers and businesses on both sides of the border – and impose added hardship on the workers, families and communities that depend on Ontario’s forest sector. As this trade dispute continues, we will continue to seek fair treatment of our forest sector and fair outcomes for the public and industry alike.
Together with provincial governments, the federal government and industry leaders across the country, Ontario stands united in support for the Canadian forest industry and free trade.”
 

Edward Campbell

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This, from Jack Granatstein, is on point: "And what are the chances of the Canadian military getting this new weaponry—or even replacing its obsolescent equipment that it dispatched to Ukraine? In most countries, replacing donated weapons would be a no-brainer. In this nation, however, the defence procurement system is completely broken, and there is no indication that the government will provide the necessary funds ... [and] ... the military has been stripped even of much of the obsolete gear it had. It is essential that replacements—or preferably more modern weaponry—be acquired. The world is a dangerous place right now with Russia, China, North Korea, and other states making threats. We might hope we can continue to be sheltered by the oceans and protected by the Americans. But we cannot count on that."
 

MilEME09

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This, from Jack Granatstein, is on point: "And what are the chances of the Canadian military getting this new weaponry—or even replacing its obsolescent equipment that it dispatched to Ukraine? In most countries, replacing donated weapons would be a no-brainer. In this nation, however, the defence procurement system is completely broken, and there is no indication that the government will provide the necessary funds ... [and] ... the military has been stripped even of much of the obsolete gear it had. It is essential that replacements—or preferably more modern weaponry—be acquired. The world is a dangerous place right now with Russia, China, North Korea, and other states making threats. We might hope we can continue to be sheltered by the oceans and protected by the Americans. But we cannot count on that."
I was chatting to a guy the other day and summed up the Canadian and US systems pretty well. Neither the system nor the companies actually want to produce results. Companies are after the massive R&D funding the government provides but spends little on actual output. The government in turn needs to create studies, reviews, and processes for bureaucrats to stay employed. Thus results in a system that is entirely broken. The solution he had? Take a design that we have that belongs to the government (more so for the US) go to the south Koreans and tell them build this. Cause they will do it, and faster then any domestic manufacturers. Which will scare every domestic manufacturer
 

rmc_wannabe

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This, from Jack Granatstein, is on point: "And what are the chances of the Canadian military getting this new weaponry—or even replacing its obsolescent equipment that it dispatched to Ukraine? In most countries, replacing donated weapons would be a no-brainer. In this nation, however, the defence procurement system is completely broken, and there is no indication that the government will provide the necessary funds ... [and] ... the military has been stripped even of much of the obsolete gear it had. It is essential that replacements—or preferably more modern weaponry—be acquired. The world is a dangerous place right now with Russia, China, North Korea, and other states making threats. We might hope we can continue to be sheltered by the oceans and protected by the Americans. But we cannot count on that."
Granatstein hits the nail on the head.

We have too few strategic thinkers and too many reactionary political thinkers leading our defense and foreign policy; but also mainly our procurement processes.

What's needed is a leader with vision past the next election cycle. I think that might be too big an ask for the current ruling party, but sadly I don't see any other political party in this country stepping up to the plate either.
 

DBNSG

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Granatstein hits the nail on the head.

We have too few strategic thinkers and too many reactionary political thinkers leading our defense and foreign policy; but also mainly our procurement processes.

What's needed is a leader with vision past the next election cycle. I think that might be too big an ask for the current ruling party, but sadly I don't see any other political party in this country stepping up to the plate either.
The National Shipbuilding program I thought was an attempt to do just that and much to my surprise the Trudeau NDP coalition Government have not killed it. Is it too expensive , yes, taking too long , yes but it IS producing. It is a truly National commitment to build a combined 65-70 Ship National fleet when adding the Navy and Coast Guard. The PSAC owns the Navy and Coast Guard now and I would venture that no Canadian politician will mess with it as the pressure from our Allies is steady and growing and after a 30 minute brief even a Canadian politician could be educated on how big our Coastlines are and how much capability we need.

In Time the program will probably strive for a 90 SHIP combined fleet just to keep the lines going.
 

rmc_wannabe

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The National Shipbuilding program I thought was an attempt to do just that and much to my surprise the Trudeau NDP coalition Government have not killed it. Is it too expensive , yes, taking too long , yes but it IS producing. It is a truly National commitment to build a combined 65-70 Ship National fleet when adding the Navy and Coast Guard. The PSAC owns the Navy and Coast Guard now and I would venture that no Canadian politician will mess with it as the pressure from our Allies is steady and growing and after a 30 minute brief even a Canadian politician could be educated on how big our Coastlines are and how much capability we need.

In Time the program will probably strive for a 90 SHIP combined fleet just to keep the lines going.
So.... what you're saying is in order to get the AD, ATGM, Tac2IS, and other effects we need for the Army we need to become part of a Public Service union that governments fear pissing off?

Seems like a bit of ass pain, but if that's what it takes....
 

MilEME09

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The National Shipbuilding program I thought was an attempt to do just that and much to my surprise the Trudeau NDP coalition Government have not killed it. Is it too expensive , yes, taking too long , yes but it IS producing. It is a truly National commitment to build a combined 65-70 Ship National fleet when adding the Navy and Coast Guard. The PSAC owns the Navy and Coast Guard now and I would venture that no Canadian politician will mess with it as the pressure from our Allies is steady and growing and after a 30 minute brief even a Canadian politician could be educated on how big our Coastlines are and how much capability we need.

In Time the program will probably strive for a 90 SHIP combined fleet just to keep the lines going.
And that's great and all, but the canadization of designs and the R&D involved in that is what's killing the budget and time on all these projects. Like I said above companies care more about the R&D more then delivery
 

Kirkhill

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So.... what you're saying is in order to get the AD, ATGM, Tac2IS, and other effects we need for the Army we need to become part of a Public Service union that governments fear pissing off?

Seems like a bit of ass pain, but if that's what it takes....
Jobs at GDOTSC and Rheinmetall in Quebec, at GDLSC in Ontario, and dare I suggest BAE in Winnipeg, L3Harris and Foremost in Calgary, Viking in BC.

We have a firm skeleton on which to build. What we don't have is a government that is morally assured of the need for violence.
 

rmc_wannabe

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They'll find out one of two ways:

-Our allies make support in other areas contingent on Canada developing that capability

Or

-They find out the hard way when the first salvos land and we have nothing to counter with.

In either case, it will be on someone else's terms that we rise to the occasion.
 

suffolkowner

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This, from Jack Granatstein, is on point: "And what are the chances of the Canadian military getting this new weaponry—or even replacing its obsolescent equipment that it dispatched to Ukraine? In most countries, replacing donated weapons would be a no-brainer. In this nation, however, the defence procurement system is completely broken, and there is no indication that the government will provide the necessary funds ... [and] ... the military has been stripped even of much of the obsolete gear it had. It is essential that replacements—or preferably more modern weaponry—be acquired. The world is a dangerous place right now with Russia, China, North Korea, and other states making threats. We might hope we can continue to be sheltered by the oceans and protected by the Americans. But we cannot count on that."
Good to see Jack's still at it. I've always enjoyed his opinions
 

DBNSG

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So.... what you're saying is in order to get the AD, ATGM, Tac2IS, and other effects we need for the Army we need to become part of a Public Service union that governments fear pissing off?

Seems like a bit of ass pain, but if that's what it takes....
Most governments will see the AD, ATGM and other Army gear as inside Army baseball if you will. They know enough that they DON'T know what any of those acronym's are and would wave their arms at NDHQ and say "what is this ?" Why should I care?".

The Field Army's greatest obstacle is the Office Army in Ottawa. How much relevant modern gear and in what quantities could the Army buy if we had a U.S MARINE CORPS Ratio of Officers to enlisted? But Shhhh that's one of Canada's quiet secrets and the Ottawa Office Army know that the civil service and our politicians are too ignorant to ask that tough question.

There are folks far more educated on those facts than me and I would suspect some share this forum.
 
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