I was pretty hard on Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland back in the early days of the Trudeau government, but if what she is quoted as saying in the Globe and Mail is substantially correct then I take it all back ~ well most of it, some of it, anyway. The key points from her major address to parliament which, the Globe snd Mail says is aimed at “setting the table for Wednesday’s release of a new blueprint for Canada’s military,” are:
- “The Liberal government will make a “substantial investment” in the military because Canada can no longer rely on Washington for global leadership in the face of threats of Russian adventurism and the need to combat the “monstrous extremism” of Islamic State … [because] … many Americans cast their votes to “shrug off the burden of world leadership.”“
- “Canada has been able to count on the powerful U.S. military to provide a protective shield since 1945 … [but, now] … this country needs to significantly build up the Canadian military with “a substantial investment” to help confront strategic threats to liberal democracies;”
- “To rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state,” … [and] … “Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes requires the backing of hard power”“
- “Ms. Freeland listed North Korea, the civil war in Syria, the Islamic State, Russian aggression in Ukraine and Baltic states and climate change as major threats to the global order;” and
- ““We will make the necessary investments in our military, to not only address years of neglect and underfunding, but also to place the Canadian Armed Forces on a new footing – with new equipment, training, resources and consistent and predictable funding,” she said.“
It may be that the Trump effect actually worked but the Trudeau regime is covering itself against a charge of breaking another (implicit) promise to “hold the line” on defence spending by citing a loss of American leadership. We will listen with great care to Defence Minister Sajjan’s speech.