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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.
 
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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.
The guy with the coloured socks and all his friends have done a much better job selling their kool-aid then you are.
You have a point that people don't care to educate themselves on the military but how many people have you won over by taking the tact you have? People only know what the media tells them unfortunately and if you're not getting your message to the media you're not going to educate people to why the CAF is necessary. All the armchair bitching and insulting will only alienate the public even more. I've mentioned before that every single time a CAF rep is in front of the camera no matter the rank the message should start and end with "our job is to kill people and break things". Hillier, with all his faults, was spot on with his message.
 
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mariomike

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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.
Right.

Deeds speak louder than words.
 

CBH99

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The guy with the coloured socks and all his friends have done a much better job selling their kool-aid then you are.
You have a point that people don't care to educate themselves on the military but how many people have you won over by taking the tact you have? People only know what the media tells them unfortunately and if you're not getting your message to the media you're not going to educate people to why the CAF is necessary. All the armchair bitching and insulting will only alienate the public even more. I've mentioned before that every single time a CAF rep is in front of the camera no matter the rank the message should start and end with "our job if to kill people and break things". Hillier, with all his faults, was spot on with his message.
Damnit PrairieCanuck… I both agree with part of what you said, and disagree with the other part. A very audible “eeeeehhhhh…” while flat hand waving from side to side, on this end.

On the one hand, I do happen to agree with
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.
Oh wow, here in Alberta we seem to have the opposite trend. Firefighters are the smallest of the services, with EMS having more units on the road.

(In an ambulance we run 2-person crews, but when a firetruck shows up it always seems to have 6 or 7 folks, so who knows. I could very well be wrong about the above.

But you are far more likely to see an ambulance than a fire truck, if you’re out driving around looking for emergency vehicles.
 

KevinB

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Damnit PrairieCanuck… I both agree with part of what you said, and disagree with the other part. A very audible “eeeeehhhhh…” while flat hand waving from side to side, on this end.

On the one hand, I do happen to agree with

Oh wow, here in Alberta we seem to have the opposite trend. Firefighters are the smallest of the services, with EMS having more units on the road.

(In an ambulance we run 2-person crews, but when a firetruck shows up it always seems to have 6 or 7 folks, so who knows. I could very well be wrong about the above.

But you are far more likely to see an ambulance than a fire truck, if you’re out driving around looking for emergency vehicles.
That’s because the firefighters are snoozing so they are well rested for their second job…
 

foresterab

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Damnit PrairieCanuck… I both agree with part of what you said, and disagree with the other part. A very audible “eeeeehhhhh…” while flat hand waving from side to side, on this end.

On the one hand, I do happen to agree with

Oh wow, here in Alberta we seem to have the opposite trend. Firefighters are the smallest of the services, with EMS having more units on the road.

(In an ambulance we run 2-person crews, but when a firetruck shows up it always seems to have 6 or 7 folks, so who knows. I could very well be wrong about the above.

But you are far more likely to see an ambulance than a fire truck, if you’re out driving around looking for emergency vehicles.
Part of this is I think tied back to how much time are units moving around (i.e. patient delivery) vs. surging to a response. I see lots of police and occasionally ambulances around...but the local fire department is double to triple their manpower and that's before the municipal guys are added in. But it's tough if you're only seeing volunteer firefighters vs. RCMP vs. EMS units who all operate different missions, have different areas to cover, and have different levels of back up. Locally the FD does a ton of EMS calls due to ambulance shortages but it's also a matter of the 911 dispatch as to how many other agencies drop and run for the incident.
 

CBH99

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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.
Oh wow.

Here in Alberta, we seem to have the opposite trend. I don’t have any data infront of me at the moment, but EMS is constantly hiring throughout the province.

Getting on as a firefighter? Your chances are slim…


A few ago I called Calgary Fire Department recruiting, and was told they weren’t hiring any that year, and were hiring maybe 3 to 5 the following year. (About 3000 applicants)
 

Furniture

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The guy with the coloured socks and all his friends have done a much better job selling their kool-aid then you are.
You have a point that people don't care to educate themselves on the military but how many people have you won over by taking the tact you have? People only know what the media tells them unfortunately and if you're not getting your message to the media you're not going to educate people to why the CAF is necessary. All the armchair bitching and insulting will only alienate the public even more. I've mentioned before that every single time a CAF rep is in front of the camera no matter the rank the message should start and end with "our job is to kill people and break things". Hillier, with all his faults, was spot on with his message.
The CAF puts out press releases, and operational updates all the time, the media doesn't cover them because the media doesn't care.

Until the media, and the politicians start acting like adults, and treating defence/security as a serious issue there is nothing the CAF can do to make a bigger splash.
 

CBH99

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The guy with the coloured socks and all his friends have done a much better job selling their kool-aid then you are.
You have a point that people don't care to educate themselves on the military but how many people have you won over by taking the tact you have? People only know what the media tells them unfortunately and if you're not getting your message to the media you're not going to educate people to why the CAF is necessary. All the armchair bitching and insulting will only alienate the public even more. I've mentioned before that every single time a CAF rep is in front of the camera no matter the rank the message should start and end with "our job is to kill people and break things". Hillier, with all his faults, was spot on with his message.
I both agree & disagree with you here PrairieCanuck…

On the one had, I agree with what you say near the end, re members making a point of reminding people of what an Army/Navy/Air Force traditionally does. The military needs to be blunt about its basic job - and that is to kill our enemies & break their stuff.

There is no reason one reporter should be blown away that the military’s basic function is combatting our enemies either in the offence or defence. Nor another reporter asking what a door gun is for…


Which leads me to the point I do respectfully disagree with you on…

If I had to lean towards either Canadians ARE retarded, or Canadians AREN’T retarded… when it comes to military matters in global affairs, I have to lean towards the retarded camp as well. Maybe even utterly retarded.

No telling them that win them over? Probably not.

Is this something they need to have brought to their attention from time to time when a situation demands it? I believe so, yes.


My original point is that in today’s age with smartphones & internet access, people do choose to be ignorant of these things. (In my opinion anyway)
 

mariomike

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Here in Alberta, we seem to have the opposite trend. I don’t have any data infront of me at the moment, but EMS is constantly hiring throughout the province.
Paramedicine is provincially regulated. Requirements and issue of a licence to practice are set by the individual regulators.
They say if you know one service, that's what you know. One service.
Other than what I read on here, I'm only familiar with emergecny operations in one province - and only 240 sq. miles within it.

I don't know what the qualifications to apply are in Alberta, but If you are interested in comparing them with Toronto.



That’s because the firefighters are snoozing so they are well rested for their second job…

Ours do 24-hour tours, so they have dormitories.
 

KevinB

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Paramedicine is provincially regulated. Requirements and issue of a licence to practice are set by the individual regulators.
They say if you know one service, that's what you know. One service.
Other than what I read on here, I'm only familiar with emergecny operations in one province - and only 240 sq. miles within it.

I don't know what the paramedic qualifications are in Alberta, but If you are interested in comparing them with Toronto.





Ours work 24-hour tours, so they have dormitories.
I think you missed the quotes on ‘work’ ;)
* I love to take the piss out of Firemen, because they have a job that has exceptionally intense periods with lots and lots of downtime when not on call.
 

Quirky

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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.

Who is screaming? Try this: next time you get pulled over for a traffic violation, tell the cop you didn't know of X rule, see if they'll redact the ticket because you were ignorant. When the next natural disaster or world conflict hits, the CAF needs to let the phone go to answering machine. Sorry, the cookie jar is empty.
 

kev994

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Who is screaming? Try this: next time you get pulled over for a traffic violation, tell the cop you didn't know of X rule, see if they'll redact the ticket because you were ignorant. When the next natural disaster or world conflict hits, the CAF needs to let the phone go to answering machine. Sorry, the cookie jar is empty.
I don’t think ‘not responding’ is going to improve public opinion. YMMV.
 

QV

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The guy with the coloured socks and all his friends have done a much better job selling their kool-aid then you are.
You have a point that people don't care to educate themselves on the military but how many people have you won over by taking the tact you have? People only know what the media tells them unfortunately and if you're not getting your message to the media you're not going to educate people to why the CAF is necessary. All the armchair bitching and insulting will only alienate the public even more. I've mentioned before that every single time a CAF rep is in front of the camera no matter the rank the message should start and end with "our job is to kill people and break things". Hillier, with all his faults, was spot on with his message.
Is it a coincidence the coloured sock guy‘s success has to do with having the country’s biggest PR firm and media in his pocket?
 

Edward Campbell

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A couple of points:

First: don't blame Justin Trudeau. He's just doing what most Canadians have wanted done for the past half century.

Political parties, Conservative, Liberal and NDP and all the others poll assiduously, and they ask good questions, too, because they really do want to know what Canadians think. Why do you think that Pierre Poilievre doesn't talk a lot about doubling the defence budget and getting serious abut global peace and security? The answer is because CPC pollsters have heard, loud and clear, from Canadians, that it is NOT an issue. Support for increased national defence is on about the same level as support for more symphony orchestras and ballet companies and increased MPs' pensions.​
It doesn't matter why Canadians think that way; the simple fact is that they do ... and they have done since before 1970.​
In the last 1940s Louis St Laurent gave a speech at the University of Toronto in which he laid out a plan for Canada to adopt a leadership role - politically, diplomatically, economically and militarily - in the world. It secured broad general public support for a number of reasons -​
1. We had just come out of a huge and costly war and most people understood that it could have been prevented by bold action;​
2. Canada was looking forward to a fairly bright economic future; and​
3. Although this was slightly after Kennan's 'long telegram,' St Laurent, himself, and many Canadian opinion makers - including the media - were now worried about Soviet aims and aggression.​
The Canadian Political Landscape was different in the late 1940s. Canadians had come out of the Great Depression and the Second World War is remarkably good form. The country was confident. Even though the Liberal Party was old and tired, St Laurent, who became prime minister in 1948, was popular with both the general public and the media and he seemed fresh and very, very able. That's all changed.​
It began to change in the mid 1960s. The welfare state was growing, world-wide. St Laurent had been a very cautious fiscal conservative and Canada was actually lagging behind many Western nations, including the USA and especially Scandinavia, in implementing a welfare state. Canadians wanted to spend less on defence and more own themselves.​
If you want to blame some it should be Pierre Trudeau, not his son, because he understood what Canadians wanted and he offered it to them, lock, stock and barrel.​

Second: don't blame the media. It, also, is just giving Canadians what they want.

The media is a consumer driven service. The media - print, TV, radio and the Internet - "sell" eyes and ears to advertisers. If the media doesn't give Canadians what they want to see, hear and read then they will look/listen elsewhere and advertisers will follow.​
Canadians are uninterested in defence, despite the War in Ukraine and despite the Rise of China and so on for a whole bunch of reasons that others have mentioned but, mainly, because they have been led to believe that they live under the American security umbrella, even though many experts have explained that isn't true.​

If you want to blame someone, it needs to be someone like your spouse or your parents or your siblings or your neighbours. They all expect to have an efficient and effective military force but they don't want to spend any more than they do now - and preferably less - to get it.
 

Brad Sallows

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Whatever support you think a person has for the CAF, it will likely diminish quickly as soon as he knows someone (with one or two degrees of separation) whose life is in jeopardy because timely medical care (mainly, diagnosis) was inaccessible.
 

btrudy

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The CAF puts out press releases, and operational updates all the time, the media doesn't cover them because the media doesn't care.

Until the media, and the politicians start acting like adults, and treating defence/security as a serious issue there is nothing the CAF can do to make a bigger splash.

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Does the public ignore military matters because the media doesn't cover it and politicians don't campaign on it, or do the media and the politicians not focus on it because the public doesn't care?

I would argue the latter. And honestly, I can't blame them. Canada is lucky, given that we're geographically removed from any reasonable threat; our only real neighbor (sorry Greenland, but you don't really count) is both our closest ally and the world's only remaining superpower.

Sure, on paper our priorities are the defence of the country first, and all the other stuff we do comes later. But in actuality, in terms of what we actually do? Foreign policy through adventures abroad and domestic disaster relief. Because we don't actually have any existential threats knocking on our door.

Unless the nukes start getting lobbed, in which case we don't really have anything to counter that anyways, so ... ¯\(ツ)

Canada doesn't focus on national defence because Canada doesn't really need to focus on national defence. We could almost entirely drop the ball, and still be safe. We just wouldn't be able to exert as much influence abroad as we currently do. Which is again also something that Canadians aren't all that interested in.
 
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I both agree & disagree with you here PrairieCanuck…

On the one had, I agree with what you say near the end, re members making a point of reminding people of what an Army/Navy/Air Force traditionally does. The military needs to be blunt about its basic job - and that is to kill our enemies & break their stuff.

There is no reason one reporter should be blown away that the military’s basic function is combatting our enemies either in the offence or defence. Nor another reporter asking what a door gun is for…


Which leads me to the point I do respectfully disagree with you on…

If I had to lean towards either Canadians ARE retarded, or Canadians AREN’T retarded… when it comes to military matters in global affairs, I have to lean towards the retarded camp as well. Maybe even utterly retarded.

No telling them that win them over? Probably not.

Is this something they need to have brought to their attention from time to time when a situation demands it? I believe so, yes.


My original point is that in today’s age with smartphones & internet access, people do choose to be ignorant of these things. (In my opinion anyway)
Regardless of whether we think the public is listening or not the message has to be repeated at every opportunity. "two all beef patties special..etc etc"
 

Blackadder1916

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There is no reason one reporter should be blown away that the military’s basic function is combatting our enemies either in the offence or defence. Nor another reporter asking what a door gun is for…

Not having seen the programs/reports that both these comments refer to, I don't know the level of naivety/stupidity that may have been evident, however I did have an experience with a reporter years ago that suggested there is sometimes a reason for the stupid question.

During the Gulf War (1991) my unit was deployed to Ramstein Air Base to support the Aeromedical Staging Facility (ASF) that was established there. On an occasion that a reporter was visiting, I was "elected" to show him around and explain what we were doing. While he was there, an evac flight from downrange had come in and he was able to observe the off-load out on the ramp. As this was going on he kept asking me questions about what the ASF crew (Americans and Canadians) were doing.

There aren't a lot of ways to describe carrying stretchers off a C-141, so I got a little short with him and said something to the effect of "you can see what they're doing, they lifting stretchers" insinuating that he was a bit thick. He paused the recorder that he was using, turned to me and said "I know it sounds like I'm stupid, but I do radio. If you want to tell the story, you have to paint the picture solely by your description. I could describe what I'm seeing, but you're the expert here. The audience could just as easily accept what I say at face value but you lend credence. It's proof that what's happening is actually happening and the details of what your soldiers are doing, what is happening to the patients, where they've been, what you'll do for them and where they go from here all adds weight of the story."

I got with the program. And on the few occasions since then that I've been interviewed (including once by Harry Belafonte, in Rwanda) I've used that lesson.
 
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