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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.
I'll just leave this here :)

Lose Old School GIF by PlayStation
RMC has entered the chat.

Ya there was a caveat about a certain time when RMC is the right of the line. But I cant find it. Other than:

Note: The honour of "the right of the line" (precedence over other units), on an army parade, is held by the units of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) when on parade with their guns. On dismounted parades, RCHA units take precedence over all other land force units except formed bodies of officer cadets of the Royal Military College representing their college. Royal Canadian Artillery units parade to the left of units of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps.
Conclusion: Canadians are retarded.
Easy to not care about a military when you are next to the largest one and have never been threatened with an invasion or attack.
I hate to say it, but a majority of the current lot seem to be just that... they don't care about military matters all that much, nor military affairs in general.

Part of that is living right next door to the biggest, baddest dude in the entire neighborhood, aka earth. But part of that is sheer wilful ignorance that the government blissfully perpetuates.

We were in the sandbox for roughly a decade, fighting an organization which was absolutely brutal to those who lived under it.

(Not sure where in the Koran it says to beat people to death, or behead folks. Anybody else have a few heads of their local workers put in a box & delivered to their front gate as a message?)

We put out forest fires every year. Help with floods, disaster assistance missions around the world, etc.

We intercept huge narcotics shipments in the maritime environment, with the USCG tactical units using our ships to stage from.
Conduct counterterrorism ops around the world.

And our CF-18's are an important part of NORAD, and even covered for American F-15C's while they were grounded for a while.

Canadians also don't see the economic benefits that come with a stable defence industry.

It doesn't need to be huge, but if Canadians can build weapons, IFV's, warships, maybe patrol aircraft, etc - and do a low rate continuous build rather than the feast & famine we've done in the past, it would draw more people's attention to the military if only for economic reasons.

And recruiting, holy s**t can we get it together? The other day I saw a recruiting ad on YouTube... It showed a couple of people on a warship strapping on some helmets & a Cyclone flying over water while banking away from the camera.

Cool shot aside...it was 27 seconds long and told me jack about the CAF. If I was one of those people who didn't know anything about the military, that ad would not help.

Run recruit classes on a stable, regular basis. No more of this ad-hoc crap... recruit classes start on the same dates each year.

Coordinate qualification courses so people can go from course to course, and get qualified as soon as possible. Nobody joins up to not only have no operations they can contribute to, nor can they be happy they are still waiting to be trained in the job they signed up for.

Talk about the medak pocket. Talk about our operations in Afghanistan. Talk about our operations against ISIS. Eventually talk about the contribution we are making to Ukraine. Talk about missions the DART team has deployed for.

How Canadians can still be like "We should pull out of Iraq! Because, like, it isn't right..." blows my f****** mind...
Lack of clarity has become the key to success in politics, leadership, management, academia and just about every other endeavour, so I'm not surprised Galloway was surprised at the "blunt language" - he's not used to hearing it. Lack of clarity allows for wiggle room, so-called misinterpretations, and has less chance at offending anyone.

Anybody who doesn't know what the primary mandate of a military is - the 'A' in CAF in our case - should turn in any educational certificate they ever received. I would suggest they turn in their citizenship but I'm told they can't do that. Of course the military can do other things; firefighters get kittens out trees but nobody complains when they need a new million dollar aerial.
Firefighters are like the untouchable heroes of emergency services.

Police? Nobody wants the police around until something horrible happens, then the police can't get there fast enough.

(I personally love having the police around as a presence, It tells would be shitheads to go ply their craft somewhere else.)

EMS? It felt like we were the red headed stepchildren of the 3 services. People appreciated us, but not anywhere close to how much they loved the firefighters!

( I kept suggesting we should do a sexy calendar also, to boost our rep. I was blatantly told no, our job was to help people, not give them PTSD...)
Firefighters are like the untouchable heroes of emergency services.

Police? Nobody wants the police around until something horrible happens, then the police can't get there fast enough.

(I personally love having the police around as a presence, It tells would be shitheads to go ply their craft somewhere else.)

EMS? It felt like we were the red headed stepchildren of the 3 services. People appreciated us, but not anywhere close to how much they loved the firefighters!

( I kept suggesting we should do a sexy calendar also, to boost our rep. I was blatantly told no, our job was to help people, not give them PTSD...)

I'm with you ... I'm 80 now, I don't need to be hassled. I like to go for a walk every day, along some city streets and through some parks and so on. Having a cop on her or his "beat" is always a comforting thing because there are some odd people (not just me ;)) out there and some of them can be a bit of a bother.

A tip of the hat to all LEOs.
hat tip.gif
Firefighters are like the untouchable heroes of emergency services.

In our town, there were 790 paramedics, and >3200 firefighters.

We gave our taxpayers the best customer service we could. I am sure our firefighters , and police, did as well.
Now there's a statement that will get the public on your side. FFS.
The Canadian public only know what they're told. If you want them on your side then stop insulting them and start educating them.

I never understood the need to insult taxpayers. They are the people needed to vote for salary and benefits etc.
If you want them on your side then stop insulting them and start educating them.

Bullshit. Most of the opinions formed by Canadians are because of ignorance and laziness who vote for politicians based on the color of their socks and how pretty they are. Canadians are ultimately stupid and don't care, nor care to educate themselves, about things beyond their borders, or in this case, the state of their military. Ignorance is not an excuse.
Screaming at people and telling them that they're Morons at the top of your lungs. That should do the trick.
Sigh The charm school just took your money and ran. Didn't they ?
Personally I suspect educating the public might require a slightly different approach to.be successful.