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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.
 

daftandbarmy

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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…

The OAG reported on this issue, and others, a few years ago. It seems that these issues persist:

Report 5—Canadian Armed Forces Recruitment and Retention—National Defence​


Overall message​

5.11Overall, we found that the total number of Regular Force members had decreased, and that there had been a growing gap between the number of members needed and those who were fully trained. In our opinion, it is unlikely that the Regular Force will be able to reach the desired number of members by the 2018–19 fiscal year as planned. We also found that although the Canadian Armed Forces had established a goal of 25 percent for the representation of women, it did not set specific targets by occupation, nor did it have a strategy to achieve this goal.

5.12We found that although the Regular Force had mechanisms in place to define its recruiting needs, those needs were not reflected in recruitment plans and targets. Instead, recruitment targets were based on National Defence’s capacity to process applications and enrol and train new members. Furthermore, we found that the total recruitment targets had been met by enrolling more members than had been set as targets in some occupations, leaving other occupations significantly below the required number of personnel.

5.13This is important because the Canadian Armed Forces needs a sufficient number of trained members in the right balance of occupations to maintain its military capability and accomplish the missions set out in the Canada First Defence Strategy.

 

Furniture

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To busy doing their 3rd Master degree. They don’t have the time to take care of the house.
I was going to bring this up earlier...

I was recently told that to be competitive as a PO1 I should be working on getting a degree. Not because after 21 years as a Met Tech a degree would make me a better leader, or better forecaster/inspector, but because it's extra points on the scrit.

Leaders can't/don't actually focus on their jobs, because the CAF is too busy encouraging them to do the "extras" required to advance.
 

MilEME09

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I was going to bring this up earlier...

I was recently told that to be competitive as a PO1 I should be working on getting a degree. Not because after 21 years as a Met Tech a degree would make me a better leader, or better forecaster/inspector, but because it's extra points on the scrit.

Leaders can't/don't actually focus on their jobs, because the CAF is too busy encouraging them to do the "extras" required to advance.
And extras shouldn't be requirements...
 
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Furniture

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And extras should be requirements...
office space flair GIF
 

kev994

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I was going to bring this up earlier...

I was recently told that to be competitive as a PO1 I should be working on getting a degree. Not because after 21 years as a Met Tech a degree would make me a better leader, or better forecaster/inspector, but because it's extra points on the scrit.

Leaders can't/don't actually focus on their jobs, because the CAF is too busy encouraging them to do the "extras" required to advance.
It’s not about whether you can lead troops in battle, but whether you can organize the base commander’s golf tournament.
 

Halifax Tar

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I was going to bring this up earlier...

I was recently told that to be competitive as a PO1 I should be working on getting a degree. Not because after 21 years as a Met Tech a degree would make me a better leader, or better forecaster/inspector, but because it's extra points on the scrit.

Leaders can't/don't actually focus on their jobs, because the CAF is too busy encouraging them to do the "extras" required to advance.

Preach Mon Ami!
 

Navy_Pete

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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.


I absolutely hate the innovation stuff. Not because it's not necessary, but because it gets the spotlight, resources and efforts whiile we are still struggling to implement things from 10-15 years ago.

I can't buy off the shelf items for basic safety equipment and get them sent to units because we lack bodies to process the demands and each time we get close more hoops get added on, but some assclown has 'dashboards' and all sorts of other flashy nonsense.

Maybe we can innovate by not adding additional layers onto existing processes. Maybe we can innovate by listening to our internal expertise the first time, instead of paying consultants to look at a problem and identify the same solution 2-3 years later (with a fancy dashboard report). Maybe we can innovate by having our big giant heads as external organs.

Or maybe I'm just bitter, I don't know.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I think we have misconstrued "Innovation for the sake of appearing innovative" with genuine innovation.

A lot of the new policies and directions we are heading are kind of a rehash of what we already have been doing/other forces have done previously. Its the "iPhone 12 is new (compared to iPhone 11)" but is functionally just catching up to a Samsung Galaxy. No new capabilities, functionality, or improvements; just new ad campaigns and a sleek new appearance.

New dress regs/culture shift look good for a fleeting moment, especially in the sea of bad headlines about Sexual Misconduct et al; the problem is it doesn't address a lot more of the issues that cause organizational problems. Those cost a lot more time and money to fix, plus a lot of personal capital to be expended by Senior Officers and DMs.

If we want to become a new fighting force for the 21st century, it's going to take a lot of people planting seeds in a garden they won't ever see bear fruit. That, unfortunately, doesn't yield immediate gratification for politicians or people looking for a quite place in NDHQ to be put out to pasture.
 

WLSC

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New dress regs/culture shift look good for a fleeting moment, especially in the sea of bad headlines about Sexual Misconduct et al; the problem is it doesn't address a lot more of the issues that cause organizational problems. Those cost a lot more time and money to fix, plus a lot of personal capital to be expended by Senior Officers and DMs.
This has been a ''hot topic'' for at least 5-6 years. It will get that shinny subject of the way like it did for the boots and beard. Granted, it still need to be enforce and this where we are having a hard time because, being a cool and popular leader is so nice...

Culture will always be there, it's part of the change (a real change, not an artificial one for PER points). I was in the ''Pepsi generation'', then after that the ''Nintendo'' etc. We had the integration of woman in combat arms, SHARPE, OP HONOUR, and I'm missing some. The young leaders will need to adapt quickly and not fight it so they don't go thru an other culture change each 10 years.

The time we spend trying to get it right each time, is time lost to train the troop.
 

Furniture

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I think we have misconstrued "Innovation for the sake of appearing innovative" with genuine innovation.

A lot of the new policies and directions we are heading are kind of a rehash of what we already have been doing/other forces have done previously. Its the "iPhone 12 is new (compared to iPhone 11)" but is functionally just catching up to a Samsung Galaxy. No new capabilities, functionality, or improvements; just new ad campaigns and a sleek new appearance.

New dress regs/culture shift look good for a fleeting moment, especially in the sea of bad headlines about Sexual Misconduct et al; the problem is it doesn't address a lot more of the issues that cause organizational problems. Those cost a lot more time and money to fix, plus a lot of personal capital to be expended by Senior Officers and DMs.

If we want to become a new fighting force for the 21st century, it's going to take a lot of people planting seeds in a garden they won't ever see bear fruit. That, unfortunately, doesn't yield immediate gratification for politicians or people looking for a quite place in NDHQ to be put out to pasture.
I'm working on a job that should have been initiated by people in my current position 22 years ago. It should have been resolved before I put up my first chevron, but the people who got into the job wanted to relax for their last few years in Winnipeg/Ottawa.

Not all of the problem is the people in the HQs, some of it is the processes that have been developed over the years because we as an organization are terrified of risk. There is kit in use by Nav Canada, and ECCC that we can't get approved for use because it hasn't been tested by the CAF. The CAF will fly to those airfields using their weather data, but we can't use the same kit for our own airfields.

If I was Emperor of Canada I'd be spending some of the new defence budget on buying the Nav Canada HWOS (automated/staffed weather station) for all of our airfields, and sending our Met Techs to Cornwall to learn how to use it. It would free up pers to be used in more operationally impactful jobs, and free up bandwidth at the HQ levels for finding better kit for deployed operations/support.
 
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KevinB

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This has been a ''hot topic'' for at least 5-6 years. It will get that shinny subject of the way like it did for the boots and beard. Granted, it still need to be enforce and this where we are having a hard time because, being a cool and popular leader is so nice...
There have always been "Hot Topic" issues for the CAF - that tend to detract from the actual job of the CAF...
Culture will always be there, it's part of the change (a real change, not an artificial one for PER points). I was in the ''Pepsi generation'', then after that the ''Nintendo'' etc. We had the integration of woman in combat arms, SHARPE, OP HONOUR, and I'm missing some. The young leaders will need to adapt quickly and not fight it so they don't go thru an other culture change each 10 years.
Change is normal - having suffered through many CAF changes from 1987 to 1994 I know the CAF wasted a slew of time in make work projects that sounds like a good briefing point - and could have been implemented much easier but was made increasingly stupider and more worthless as they went on.

The time we spend trying to make it LOOK RIGHT each time, is time lost to train the troop.
Fixed it.
The CAF spends an incredible amount of time on very simple concepts that if actually enforced would be over and done with.
But the desire to make it look more like something is being done usually interferes with something actually being done.
It really isn't hard to make directives, and enforce them.
1) Don't torture prisoners
2) Don't be a racist
3) Don't be a sleazy douchebag
4) Don't accept the above in your units

But no all sort of training is made uo to appear to be doing something. Commands are added and more PY and budget is taken away from the coalface.
Bored troops cause issues, well equipped troops who are conducting useful training or deployed with a clear mission are not.
 

WLSC

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There have always been "Hot Topic" issues for the CAF - that tend to detract from the actual job of the CAF...

Change is normal - having suffered through many CAF changes from 1987 to 1994 I know the CAF wasted a slew of time in make work projects that sounds like a good briefing point - and could have been implemented much easier but was made increasingly stupider and more worthless as they went on.


Fixed it.
The CAF spends an incredible amount of time on very simple concepts that if actually enforced would be over and done with.
But the desire to make it look more like something is being done usually interferes with something actually being done.
It really isn't hard to make directives, and enforce them.
1) Don't torture prisoners
2) Don't be a racist
3) Don't be a sleazy douchebag
4) Don't accept the above in your units

But no all sort of training is made uo to appear to be doing something. Commands are added and more PY and budget is taken away from the coalface.
Bored troops cause issues, well equipped troops who are conducting useful training or deployed with a clear mission are not.
Absolutely bang on.

Everything is cosmetic when you know, the Master degree take son much time. So many intelligent people and yet so blind.

Ops is everything but a to big portion forget that the main reasons ops will derail is people. It will derail not because of tactical error but because of event like you said. It's generating the never ending circle. Simple notion like ''lead by exemple'' and drinking/living by the Cool-Aid of the POA should mitigate the risk of a culture change every 10 years.
 

McG

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The case that 2% of GDP is in fact not enough for the CAF right now (spoiler: it is for rust-out and not because of Putin’s war).
Of course, while this may be true, DND lacks the capacity to spend the money that it has let alone additional money that is still needs.
 

WestIsle

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Does anyone have the actual
The case that 2% of GDP is in fact not enough for the CAF right now (spoiler: it is for rust-out and not because of Putin’s war).
Of course, while this may be true, DND lacks the capacity to spend the money that it has let alone additional money that is still needs.
I feel like much of this is not an honest argument that is made. There is a lack of ammo, support positions with no money to fill them, most of the gochi goes don't happen anymore, field pay hasn't changed much at all, and everyone is still getting the whole "stop spending money" message at the start of the year from DND. That is also to say nothing of the ancient infrastructure, disgustingly bad PPE, and other minor capital projects that could be done with a change of lines but cant apparently. We cant spend money that they don't let us. Its more an issue that no one at NDHQ has gone and fallen on their sword in public to speak out about what has been happening to the CAF or how the "new spending" really isn't defense spending or how the 1.4% the government says we spend on defense is more like 0.9% as the actual budget for the CAF hasn't seemingly grown despite the "accounting" going on. Generals and the like used to do this back in the day but now no one has the spine to it seems
 

suffolkowner

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Does anyone have the actual

I feel like much of this is not an honest argument that is made. There is a lack of ammo, support positions with no money to fill them, most of the gochi goes don't happen anymore, field pay hasn't changed much at all, and everyone is still getting the whole "stop spending money" message at the start of the year from DND. That is also to say nothing of the ancient infrastructure, disgustingly bad PPE, and other minor capital projects that could be done with a change of lines but cant apparently. We cant spend money that they don't let us. Its more an issue that no one at NDHQ has gone and fallen on their sword in public to speak out about what has been happening to the CAF or how the "new spending" really isn't defense spending or how the 1.4% the government says we spend on defense is more like 0.9% as the actual budget for the CAF hasn't seemingly grown despite the "accounting" going on. Generals and the like used to do this back in the day but now no one has the spine to it seems
There's been lots of growth at NDHQ under Vance and somehow they can sit there and think that was an appropiate use of limited funds. I know Finance/Treasury limits much but when countries with a third or a quarter of our population can give more to Ukraine than us, that cant be hidden
 

Czech_pivo

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There's been lots of growth at NDHQ under Vance and somehow they can sit there and think that was an appropiate use of limited funds. I know Finance/Treasury limits much but when countries with a third or a quarter of our population can give more to Ukraine than us, that cant be hidden
Please don’t underestimate the power of ‘warm thoughts/feelings’ and the solid ability to convene meetings and agendas. A lot of our NATO partners are unable to perform these difficult tasks.
 

OldSolduer

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Please don’t underestimate the power of ‘warm thoughts/feelings’ and the solid ability to convene meetings and agendas. A lot of our NATO partners are unable to perform these difficult tasks.

Sox. They need fancy sox to teach those nasty Russians a lesson.

He is an intellectual lightweight with the sense of a flea.
 
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