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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.
 

WLSC

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There’s a lot of « senior leaders » in the forces that never really tried to understand Duty with honour or just don’t care. They do not see the positive impact on the daily operations. I often heard something like « L0/L1 pay lip service to it because it please the GC but it is not really for application » and other variations of that in the last 10 years. Those comment where mostly done from people from the Colleges of influence by them. When you come to believe that you are bigger than the institution you serve/command, it’s only trouble in the making.

Talib, Viêt-cong and all the like believes in their cause and they are successful. If we do not take the time to make sure our troupe believe and live in a professional institution, we are doom to see that « culture change » again and again.
 

Navy_Pete

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I personally think a lot of the personal ethics gets locked in a lot earlier than joining, so you will get the normal cross section of beliefs when people join. People that already have a strong ethical belief can adapt to the CAF application fairly easily (and will probably do it regardless of what CAF culture is), so it's really more of having guidelines for the majority of 'goodish' people that need some direction/support, and strong, consistently applied penalties to deter the sociopaths or generally greasy characters.

Similarly, I tend to think in terms of "I'm responsible for x number of people" vice 'x number of people work for me', and that was something I learned from my dad early on. Probably contributes to a lot of sleepless nights, but that really influences a lot of things I do as it creates a lot of internal personal accountability. I'm not really sure how you would train something like that institutionally, but try and pass that on to trainees when I can.

I think the days of believing in the institution are probably waning (thanks to the behaviour of the institution) but the idea of serving others (ie being responsible for subordinates) is probably something people can still support, and frankly looking out for other sailors/soldiers/aviators is probably the thing keeping a lot of people from going elsewhere.
 

WLSC

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I personally think a lot of the personal ethics gets locked in a lot earlier than joining, so you will get the normal cross section of beliefs when people join. People that already have a strong ethical belief can adapt to the CAF application fairly easily (and will probably do it regardless of what CAF culture is), so it's really more of having guidelines for the majority of 'goodish' people that need some direction/support, and strong, consistently applied penalties to deter the sociopaths or generally greasy characters.

Similarly, I tend to think in terms of "I'm responsible for x number of people" vice 'x number of people work for me', and that was something I learned from my dad early on. Probably contributes to a lot of sleepless nights, but that really influences a lot of things I do as it creates a lot of internal personal accountability. I'm not really sure how you would train something like that institutionally, but try and pass that on to trainees when I can.

I think the days of believing in the institution are probably waning (thanks to the behaviour of the institution) but the idea of serving others (ie being responsible for subordinates) is probably something people can still support, and frankly looking out for other sailors/soldiers/aviators is probably the thing keeping a lot of people from going elsewhere.
One values are shown and explained, it can take up to 8 years to becomes yours (internalised). Better tout unit is applying those values, faster and deapper internalisation is done. 8 years is sgt/mcpl and Capt/lt.

This is why the colleges have some rethinking to do about our leadership values.
 

Brad Sallows

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Unmoderated teenage boys and young men can be prone to cruelty, indifference, acting out, recklessness, purposeless violence, self-indulgence etc. In some frames, they can also be prone to group loyalty, self-sacrifice, and other cohesive behaviours.

Groups left to their own will form their own values; under stress, their values will evolve to favour their own interests no matter what has been taught, unless someone is present exerting positive control to maintain institutional values.

Age < 25 or so is the window of opportunity to iron things out.

Credentialism is a lamentable consequence of the unreliability of subjective assessment, unless assessments are strictly controlled and normalized and the sample size of assessments for each individual is large and is recorded.
 

Czech_pivo

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Canada's top soldier says the military is on the 'cusp' of rapid change​


Question - can the words 'rapid' and 'change' be in the same sentence together when talking about the CAF in its present form?

In a speech delivered to one of Ottawa's "Mayor's Breakfast" networking events, Eyre said the military will need to adapt swiftly to changes in technology, geopolitics and culture to be effective.
"We are on the cusp of so much change that has to come."
Eyre said the military needs to focus on improving its capabilities in new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing and hypersonic weapons.
He said the "skyrocketing" cost of housing is affecting the military and the armed forces is short of between 4,000 and 6,000 housing units on bases across the country.
Eyre said the armed forces faces a recruiting shortfall as well. The pandemic has undermined the CAF's ability to recruit and train, he said. "Our numbers are not where we'd like them to be, and they've gone down since the pandemic began," he said. we're going to become irrelevant as an institution." The military recently reported that it's around 7,600 members short of full strength. Currently, the CAF has roughly 65,000 regular members.


 

Underway

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Unmoderated teenage boys and young men can be prone to cruelty, indifference, acting out, recklessness, purposeless violence, self-indulgence etc. In some frames, they can also be prone to group loyalty, self-sacrifice, and other cohesive behaviours.

Groups left to their own will form their own values; under stress, their values will evolve to favour their own interests no matter what has been taught, unless someone is present exerting positive control to maintain institutional values.

Age < 25 or so is the window of opportunity to iron things out.

Credentialism is a lamentable consequence of the unreliability of subjective assessment, unless assessments are strictly controlled and normalized and the sample size of assessments for each individual is large and is recorded.

Moral courage is lacking across the CAF. It's not rewarded because it points out problems. But then again it's not rewarded anywhere that I can think of.
 

daftandbarmy

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Canada's top soldier says the military is on the 'cusp' of rapid change​


Question - can the words 'rapid' and 'change' be in the same sentence together when talking about the CAF in its present form?

In a speech delivered to one of Ottawa's "Mayor's Breakfast" networking events, Eyre said the military will need to adapt swiftly to changes in technology, geopolitics and culture to be effective.
"We are on the cusp of so much change that has to come."
Eyre said the military needs to focus on improving its capabilities in new technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing and hypersonic weapons.
He said the "skyrocketing" cost of housing is affecting the military and the armed forces is short of between 4,000 and 6,000 housing units on bases across the country.
Eyre said the armed forces faces a recruiting shortfall as well. The pandemic has undermined the CAF's ability to recruit and train, he said. "Our numbers are not where we'd like them to be, and they've gone down since the pandemic began," he said. we're going to become irrelevant as an institution." The military recently reported that it's around 7,600 members short of full strength. Currently, the CAF has roughly 65,000 regular members.



That's a dinner bell for all the big consulting firms.


Just sayin' ;)
 

Czech_pivo

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That's a dinner bell for all the big consulting firms.


Just sayin' ;)
And then out comes the 'blame the Consultants' chant when it all turns into ash.

EDIT: As someone who's been a Consultant in the banking/insurance sector for the last 16.5yrs, I'm well aware of this mantra and have the wounds to prove it.
 

MilEME09

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What does that say about yesterday's leadership?

:unsure:
That they were unimaginative? Follow tradition of having us ready for yesterday's war tomorrow? Concerned about the status quo?

They don't have crystal balls, but we have been hemorrhaging people since before covid started, and the only major announcement I have seen is the new dress regs. Our leaders need to start solving the CAFs problems while we still have an organization to save.
 

Brad Sallows

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What does that say about yesterday's leadership?

That they were creatures of their time. Most of my working life has been made more difficult by people carrying some variation of the "embrace change" flag.
 

WLSC

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The numbers I've heard of people enrolled per month vs people leaving per month is pretty staggering.

Collapse would be an appropriate word.
The attraction part is good and enough to compensate. Then, there a little thing call enrolment process. How long it is now from on line application to BMQ? This is where it hurts and again, we are asking the problem to fix itself…
 

WLSC

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That they were unimaginative? Follow tradition of having us ready for yesterday's war tomorrow? Concerned about the status quo?

They don't have crystal balls, but we have been hemorrhaging people since before covid started, and the only major announcement I have seen is the new dress regs. Our leaders need to start solving the CAFs problems while we still have an organization to save.
To busy doing their 3rd Master degree. They don’t have the time to take care of the house.
 
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