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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.
 

Navy_Pete

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Yup, like LCMMs arguing that I need to keep burlap sacks in stock in 2 Gen Stores because the Navy may reinstall the glass and tin crushers someday...
On the flip side the RCN is still operating the Oriole and other ships past their EOL, so some of the ancient gear is still in use.

I did inherit a bit of a TA code of misfit toys though; I think it was a catchall for legacy NSNs that no one knows who they belonged to, so managed to find parts from the old chemox, some kind of air defence system from the 60s, and some other completely random items. At some point I had to go to ebay to figure out what it was, and got lucky the NSN was cross referenced.

@Halifax Tar, usually takes a week or two for the HPR to work it's way to us and then turn into an RFP. Once it's awarded delivery times can be anywhere from 6-12 weeks to 6 months+ (with a few now in years). Pretty nuts, but we did raise this as a significant risk years ago when they told us to not stockpile things, and trust the min/max to autofill (which they quickly turned off). A lot of the shortages probably date back to decisions made around a decade ago.

The fun bit about EOS/EOL is that it can take years to create an engineering change, and years to implement it, so for a lot of items we would almost need to start the process to replace it when we install it; our configuration managment system is way too labour intensive and time consuming, and requiring full on projects to replace a widget creates an unbelievable amount of extra overhead on the already short staff. We have a few ECs that we have stuck in the review process, but already have the spec and parts for, so we've been installing them 'at risk' using deviations in DRMIS. It's nuts.
 

Halifax Tar

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On the flip side the RCN is still operating the Oriole and other ships past their EOL, so some of the ancient gear is still in use.

I did inherit a bit of a TA code of misfit toys though; I think it was a catchall for legacy NSNs that no one knows who they belonged to, so managed to find parts from the old chemox, some kind of air defence system from the 60s, and some other completely random items. At some point I had to go to ebay to figure out what it was, and got lucky the NSN was cross referenced.

@Halifax Tar, usually takes a week or two for the HPR to work it's way to us and then turn into an RFP. Once it's awarded delivery times can be anywhere from 6-12 weeks to 6 months+ (with a few now in years). Pretty nuts, but we did raise this as a significant risk years ago when they told us to not stockpile things, and trust the min/max to autofill (which they quickly turned off). A lot of the shortages probably date back to decisions made around a decade ago.

The fun bit about EOS/EOL is that it can take years to create an engineering change, and years to implement it, so for a lot of items we would almost need to start the process to replace it when we install it; our configuration managment system is way too labour intensive and time consuming, and requiring full on projects to replace a widget creates an unbelievable amount of extra overhead on the already short staff. We have a few ECs that we have stuck in the review process, but already have the spec and parts for, so we've been installing them 'at risk' using deviations in DRMIS. It's nuts.

That's a false equivalency Oriole, no matter what you and I think of her place in service or value, is still in service. The tin and glass crushers are gone.

So when a ship submits an HPR, the HPR cell receives it and starts searching for stock. If its not local in one of the Naval depots they search nationally. If nothing is found their emails go right out to LCMMs and SMs. This is all done within an hour of the HPR being received by the DST or the HPR cell. Someone in Ottawa is either not checking their emails or forwarding them on in a timely fashion.

There is a massive disconnect, animosity even, between the ships and LCMMs/ADM(Mat). And the fault lays somewhere in-between.
 

Navy_Pete

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@Halifax Tar getting the HPR is quick; It's al the work to take that and turn it into an RFP that can take a few weeks. It gets worse when the RCN has massive activity spikes, like the big TG exercises. If I get a dozen HPRs in a single day, it might be a week before I even look at the last few.

That's actually an improvement; last year there was such a backlog of work took about a month (sometimes months) for an HPR to get to the top of the pile for a buy because there was such a shortage of SMs.

And once we get up to date on the HPRs, there is still the expediting list for FMF work, and then after all that we might get to routine buys.

All of this takes time we are supposed to be using to proactively manage the equipment to avoid all of this, so it's a bit of a vicious circle of reactive work creating more reactive work down the line, and we've got a few decades of that built up. Add to that lot of items on the CPF suddenly getting end of life failures (ie that sharp spike up in the bathtub curve), ships carrying a few thousand defects and running with half crews (so even critical maintenance doesn't always get done) and here we are.

I've got the pleasure of working with a great LCMM team and have a rockstar SM, but we're still triaging extensively with a growing list of known items we just can't get to. No animosity for the ships, and genuinely hate having to tell them the bins are empty, but it took us a few decades to get here, so won't fix it overnight, and we can only fix what we know about.

Unless the RCN parks some ships and focuses on properly maintaining the rest of them, I don't see us ever getting caught up, let alone getting ahead of things a bit, especially with all the process 'improvements' that just add more LOE and time onto each individual task. We might have a chance if the Navy started paying off some MCDVs/CPFs, but they are still beating them (and the crews) like rentals. But we got morale patches and some new bling so guess it balances out.
 

PPCLI Guy

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You don't get those two with IP/ITAR. A lot of it has to do with the fact that most technology we have today is designed to be a "run'er til she breaks, replace the unit or replace the whole damn thing."

The fact that most SLAs and Warranties now specify that any part level repair needs to be done by the vendor is a testament that. Right to Repair gets in the way of profits.

Even if we wanted to have parts on the shelf for certain kit, there may not be an incentive for vendors to provide it.
A UK Company is getting after this problem. Industry is not against Additive manufacturing - they just want to be able to monetize their IP. This approach (and there are others) solves that problem. You still pay for the part (by buying the code that you cannot see) and get to produce on item, at the edge...and they get paid.

We need to reimagine the ecosystem that delivers effects and secures profits....
 

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Good2Golf

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NATO officially calls us out



1661608534700.gif

…but…but…Because it’s 2015! Canada’s back! We’re taking care of the debt so you *don’t have to! We’re getting guns off the streets!
 
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rmc_wannabe

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View attachment 72787

…but…but…Because it’s 2015! Canada’s back! We’re taking care of the debt so you Dany have to! We’re getting guns off the streets!
My teenage daughter said it best:

"If you have to ask me if it's still "cool" or relevant, you already have your answer."

The Liberal Party hasn't budged an inch policy wise since 2015, because it was a winning formula for 2015.

Almost 10 years on, no one is doing the "Whip Nae Nae" or talking about Carpool Karaoke. Likewise, 2 and a half years of pandemic, economic recession, a land war in Europe, and many other current issues mean people don't care any more about what they did in 2015.

Until there is a policy shift to reflect current changes to the world picture, it's going to sound out of touch.
 

FJAG

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View attachment 72787

…but…but…Because it’s 2015! Canada’s back! We’re taking care of the debt so you *don’t have to! We’re getting guns off the streets!
Just reading about the Militia back in the 1890s.

Do you realize that there was a time when, under Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, the federal policy was to get rifles and free ammunition into the hands of a large part of the Canadian public so as to be able to form an enthusiastic semi skilled levée en masse for when the Americans invaded?

😁
 

Edward Campbell

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My teenage daughter said it best:

"If you have to ask me if it's still "cool" or relevant, you already have your answer."

The Liberal Party hasn't budged an inch policy wise since 2015, because it was a winning formula for 2015.

Almost 10 years on, no one is doing the "Whip Nae Nae" or talking about Carpool Karaoke. Likewise, 2 and a half years of pandemic, economic recession, a land war in Europe, and many other current issues mean people don't care any more about what they did in 2015.

Until there is a policy shift to reflect current changes to the world picture, it's going to sound out of touch.
The reason the Liberal Party hasn't budged an inch is the same reason you do not hear Pierre Poilievre shouting that he'll double the defence budget ... all parties poll assiduously and they all hear exactly the same thing from Canadians: we spend at least enough, maybe even too much one defence.

There will be no change in policy until Canadians are convinced that there is a real, credible threat to their pocketbooks.
 

Kirkhill

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Just reading about the Militia back in the 1890s.

Do you realize that there was a time when, under Liberal Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier, the federal policy was to get rifles and free ammunition into the hands of a large part of the Canadian public so as to be able to form an enthusiastic semi skilled levée en masse for when the Americans invaded?

😁

Laurier won by being more British than the Brits.... especially on French language instruction.
 

RangerRay

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The reason the Liberal Party hasn't budged an inch is the same reason you do not hear Pierre Poilievre shouting that he'll double the defence budget ... all parties poll assiduously and they all hear exactly the same thing from Canadians: we spend at least enough, maybe even too much one defence.

There will be no change in policy until Canadians are convinced that there is a real, credible threat to their pocketbooks.
I do not know how many times friends of mine tell me they think we spend the same obscene amount of money on defence as our Yank cousins do…
 

FSTO

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Watched the PM say unequivocally that the NW Passage is Canadian. Now that was an easy call when it was frozen most of the year and our allies would say “That’s nice Canada that you think that”. But now that it’s starting to melt we may have to actually do something about it.

While he said that, the Foreign Minister bobbled her head like it was on a spring. Could she look even more vacuous? Is that what the monkeys in cabinet are trained to do by media experts?
 

dimsum

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While he said that, the Foreign Minister bobbled her head like it was on a spring. Could she look even more vacuous? Is that what the monkeys in cabinet are trained to do by media experts?
I haven't seen the video and I'm not saying she's right or wrong, but I'm not sure anyone (Minister, random dude #8, whoever) could get away from criticism there.

Visibly agree? Vacuous.
Neutral face? Not listening (or implying she disagrees, which is worse)
Visibly disagree? Prob not having that job much longer.

Of those choices, I'd rather look vacuous.

Stephen Colbert Idk GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
 

FSTO

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^^
Nod a couple of times at the PM’s key inflection moments. Don’t bob your head up and down like an out of control bobble head!

Edit to add: to the PM, you’ve been in office since 2015, the time for blaming Harper or comparing yourself to Harper has long past!
 
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MilEME09

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^^
Nod a couple of times at the PM’s key inflection moments. Don’t bob your head up and down like an out of control bobble head!

Edit to add: to the PM, you’ve been in office since 2015, the time for blaming Harper or comparing yourself to Harper has long past!
It's what they always do, even though they have had 8 years almost, it's still because of the previous government. We are reaching that apathy point though of when voters will want change, especially with all the economic turmoil. However unless a split between the NDP and the liberals happen, I dint see an election any time soon
 
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