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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.
 
Ever government, of every stripe, has promised Defence that "The Good Times are five years away." Conveniently, it's always after the next election, at which point "Things have changed."

Jam tomorrow.
 
Ever government, of every stripe, has promised Defence that "The Good Times are five years away." Conveniently, it's always after the next election, at which point "Things have changed."

Charlie Brown Football GIF
 
Ever government, of every stripe, has promised Defence that "The Good Times are five years away." Conveniently, it's always after the next election, at which point "Things have changed."
And the minister will be changed by then too.

So they’re going to invest in housing on bases?
That wouldn't be a bad thing either. Not enough to address all CAF needs, but still not a bad thing.
 
And the minister will be changed by then too.


That wouldn't be a bad thing either. Not enough to address all CAF needs, but still not a bad thing.

And so will every serving officer and bureaucrat involved in the files.

Lucy doesn't have to try hard. The institutions turn out proper Charlies for her to play with.
 
“We have brought forward a plan that’s very much in discussion right now within our government about making significant new investments,” Blair said.

M’kay

“We’re going to do more. But there’s also some context in the doing that more because there is a fiscal situation in Canada that the current government has created with fucktarded spending and irresponsibility with taxpayers money I have to be realistic about.”

There, that’s better…
 
I swear, if they announce an increase by using the funds they just cut...

We return roughly a billion dollars a year to the treasury, bur they decided to cut PLD to save a whopping $30M? (Last year we returned close to 2 billion, no?)


Housing on bases I would be extremely happy about.

The Navy has the AOPS coming online with the CSC start coming down the pipe fairly soon...

The RCAF is having Christmas already. 16 new Kingfishers, 16 new P-8A, 9 MRTT, and the 88 F-35's, with high end UAV's being sorted out now...

The Army? Are there any projects you guys expect might be announced fairly soon? Maybe an AD project, re Latvia eFP maybe? Replacement of the Carl G with...new and more Carl G's? 🤨
 
I swear, if they announce an increase by using the funds they just cut...
Creative accounting ;)

We return roughly a billion dollars a year to the treasury
That is generally a CAF program failure, albeit some of those monies are allocated for future year programs.

, bur they decided to cut PLD to save a whopping $30M? (Last year we returned close to 2 billion, no?)
PLD wasn’t just ‘decided to be cut’, it was not being implemented correctly as the CAF had exceeded TB rulings for years on it.



Housing on bases I would be extremely happy about.
Dependent upon what bases, I don’t think a bunch of new homes in Cold Lake, Wainwright or Dundurn will do much, as opposed to Victoria, Vancouver and Halifax.
The Navy has the AOPS coming online with the CSC start coming down the pipe fairly soon...

The RCAF is having Christmas already. 16 new Kingfishers, 16 new P-8A, 9 MRTT, and the 88 F-35's, with high end UAV's being sorted out now...

The Army? Are there any projects you guys expect might be announced fairly soon? Maybe an AD project, re Latvia eFP maybe? Replacement of the Carl G with...new and more Carl G's? 🤨
Army has GBAD but honestly if you see here the priorities

One wonders WTF the Army is actually doing.
 
I swear, if they announce an increase by using the funds they just cut...

We return roughly a billion dollars a year to the treasury, bur they decided to cut PLD to save a whopping $30M? (Last year we returned close to 2 billion, no?)


Housing on bases I would be extremely happy about.

The Navy has the AOPS coming online with the CSC start coming down the pipe fairly soon...

The RCAF is having Christmas already. 16 new Kingfishers, 16 new P-8A, 9 MRTT, and the 88 F-35's, with high end UAV's being sorted out now...

The Army? Are there any projects you guys expect might be announced fairly soon? Maybe an AD project, re Latvia eFP maybe? Replacement of the Carl G with...new and more Carl G's? 🤨

The Army is arguably better and equipped with more modern stuff than the RCAF and RCN. Honestly they should stay on the back burner until the other two services can be brought up to speed.
 
The Army is arguably better and equipped with more modern stuff than the RCAF and RCN. Honestly they should stay on the back burner until the other two services can be brought up to speed.
While I prefer to see the airforce and Navy get up to speed before the army, in that I agree, the army is NOT better equipped at all. If it is I’d love to hear it.
 
The Army is arguably better and equipped with more modern stuff than the RCAF and RCN. Honestly they should stay on the back burner until the other two services can be brought up to speed.
That really depends on what you want an Army to do. The CA is missing major pieces of equipment to be an actual combat component.

The RCN and RCAF have equipment albeit old with no glaring gaps (other than age and serviceable rates). They also have replacements scheduled, and while long overdue, are actually on the horizon.

Sure the city class frigates may snap in half in the Atlantic - but they have missiles and radar, the CF-18’s could fall right out of the sky, but until they do they have missiles and radar, and ground attack precision bomb capability.

The Army doesn’t. It has a bunch of LAV’s, some tanks, and a few howitzers. That doesn’t make an Army.
 
That really depends on what you want an Army to do. The CA is missing major pieces of equipment to be an actual combat component.

The RCN and RCAF have equipment albeit old with no glaring gaps (other than age and serviceable rates). They also have replacements scheduled, and while long overdue, are actually on the horizon.

Sure the city class frigates may snap in half in the Atlantic - but they have missiles and radar, the CF-18’s could fall right out of the sky, but until they do they have missiles and radar, and ground attack precision bomb capability.

The Army doesn’t. It has a bunch of LAV’s, some tanks, and a few howitzers. That doesn’t make an Army.

What the Army has is all newer than what the other two have.

I think the idea that Russia will move on the Baltic states or Europe has subsided. They've been soundly ground down in Ukraine and don't seem capable of a two front war now. So keep the presence in Latvia sure. But we should be pivoting to the Pacific.

And that Pacific theater probably won't involve the Army. Even the RCN and RCAF will probably only be single ship or small task groups tacked on to allied strike/carrier groups and small numbers of planes seeing involvement.
 
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That really depends on what you want an Army to do. The CA is missing major pieces of equipment to be an actual combat component.

The Army doesn’t. It has a bunch of LAV’s, some tanks, and a few howitzers. That doesn’t make an Army.

Oh yeah!? Well 1100+ new C6's and our fancy new pistol say otherwise! 😤

It's been a while since I've been in - what are the major pieces of equipment we're missing to be an actual combat component? (Other than more LAV's, tanks, or artillery tubes?)


(ATGM & GBAD projects not withstanding, ofcourse...)
 
Oh yeah!? Well 1100+ new C6's and our fancy new pistol say otherwise! 😤

It's been a while since I've been in - what are the major pieces of equipment we're missing to be an actual combat component? (Other than more LAV's, tanks, or artillery tubes?)


(ATGM & GBAD projects not withstanding, ofcourse...)
Comms, STANO, ammo, troop lift, drones to name a few.
 
Oh yeah!? Well 1100+ new C6's and our fancy new pistol say otherwise! 😤

It's been a while since I've been in - what are the major pieces of equipment we're missing to be an actual combat component? (Other than more LAV's, tanks, or artillery tubes?)


(ATGM & GBAD projects not withstanding, ofcourse...)
Logistics vehicles of all types.

Fires.

Communications systems.
 
Oh yeah!? Well 1100+ new C6's and our fancy new pistol say otherwise! 😤

It's been a while since I've been in - what are the major pieces of equipment we're missing to be an actual combat component? (Other than more LAV's, tanks, or artillery tubes?)


(ATGM & GBAD projects not withstanding, ofcourse...)

Half of the posts on this forum must be about Army deficiencies in equipment.... and then there's the leadership ;)
 
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