Canada does Trump’s bidding with massive new defence spending.

SajjanDefence Minister Harjit Sajjan released Canada’s new defence policy today and here are the highlights:

–          A 70% increase in defence spending over the next 10 years

–          A staggering 62 billion dollar increase over the next 20 years

–          An increase in the number of fighter jets to be purchased from 65 (under Harper) to 88

–          An increase in personnel in both the regular and reserve forces

–           The acquisition of armed drones for “precision targeting”.


The Trudeau Liberals did not campaign on, and have no mandate for, significant increases in the defence budget. There has been no change in the international security environment since their election to justify such astronomical increases. The only change has been the election of Donald Trump.

While there are positive elements of the new policy – particularly Canada’s engagement in support of UN peace operations – the new funding envelope is nothing short of a total capitulation to the American bully, President Trump.


See the Friday, June 9th blog for more detailed analysis of the policy and its implications for Canada.

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29 Responses to “Canada does Trump’s bidding with massive new defence spending.”

  1. Gute ErmäßigungJune 16, 2017 at 6:39 am #

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  2. Douglas RJune 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm #

    My first impulse was outrage. How dare Trudeau fall for the lure of arms, drop peace-loving Canada into the embrace of the military-industrial complex just because the Trumpster hollered for more spending by his NATO partners? Felt like a swindle somehow.
    But, upon further review, Canada is a NATO signatory. If the USA is compromised, become a toady for Russia and most of us suspect strongly that it has, what other recourse does Canada have but to step up its spending on arms as a deterrent to Putin/Russia the singular and main foe of NATO.
    Their are parts of this deal that we should protest and assurances demanded:
    Our Drone force should never be used against civilians in the bogus ‘war on terror’; None of these weapons should be bought from the US without significant assurances, IN WRITING, that our trade agreements will be honoured;
    Canada should put all purchases to tender and where possible bought elsewhere so that Trump can’t crow about ‘bringing back jobs’ or boosting the economy from holding the world ransom;
    Finally, Canada should make clear its goal in boosting Canada’s military. Is it part of its NATO obligation or is it part of this generic war on terror. Personally, I have no problem if it is the former. Our European allies depend on us to help safe guard their freedom from Russian aggression in much the same way we have benefited from America’s military umbrella for decades. If the latter, however, we should politely decline.
    Canadians have been safe to travel the world precisely because we are seen to embrace peace and tolerance. That has been our protection. Neither drones, jets nor rockets can improve on that track record. I would urge the PM to think clearly and speak wisely on these matters.

  3. Catherine RubingerJune 9, 2017 at 7:08 am #

    Increasing military spending is not merely a serious lack of wisdom, bad for Canada in the numerous ways the previous commentators have described, but is no doubt very pleasing to all those seeking to undermine, devalue and destroy what is best in us.

    • AdamJune 9, 2017 at 4:25 pm #

      Catherine, what?
      It undermines what’s best in us? Like sending the military to various parts of the country for disaster relief? Or aiding other countries with disaster relief? Or your cliché “peacekeeping”? Or doing for to fight terrorist the #prayers and Facebook profile picture overlay?

      Don’t freak out and go look for” nazis” to punch or assault. None of the budget takes affect until after the next election, by that point it’ll change. This is merely an attempt to draw conservative voters in.

      • Howard DoughtyJune 14, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

        If it’s a way to draw Harperites into the Liberal fold, then the people around Mr. Trudeau are in for a bit of a shock.

        The entire (empty) premise of the Trudeau campaign was that he wasn’t Harper. This (pace Jason Kenney) wasn’t just a matter of “branding” and “tone”; it was also an expression of the fact that the majority of Canadian voters despised Mr. Harper for many reasons including his bellicosity, They voted “strategically” for Trudeau partly because they were suckered into believing that: (a) only he could beat Harper; and (b) Mulcair had slid to far to the centre that any policy differences between the centre-left Liberals and the left- centre NDP were negligible.

        If (and it’s a very big “if”) the NDP comes up with a competent leader and a principled program (cf. Bernie Sanders & Jeremy Corbyn – never mind the memory of Tommy Douglas), the Liberals’ decision to renege on their most solemn promises (amend Bill C-51, undertake electoral reform, stand up for aboriginal rights and the environment, etc., etc.) will result in a lot of their “leftish” votes bleeding to the NDP, while few Conservatives will get over their visceral dislike for the Selfie-in-Chief.

        It’s too early to predict that Trudeau will be a one-hit-wonder, but if he thinks he can attract Conservative voters with his arms deal with Saudi Arabia, his foot-stamping about Ukraine, his consideration of going back into Afghanistan and so on, forget it. The Tories now have a leader who’s almost as opportunistic and unprincipled as the best the Liberals have to offer. In a battle of empty promises and cherubic smiles, Trudeau can still beat Andrew Scheer, but not by enough to win another majority.

        After all, Trudeau got a smaller percentage of the vote in 2015 (39.5%) than Harper did in 2011 (39.6%). Neither he nor Harper had an authentic mandate to do anything with their artificial majorities. In 2019, it would be delightful to see a minority government – regardless of whether the nominally governing party was Liberal, Conservative or (just maybe) NDP.

  4. C. L. CookJune 8, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Has Canada’s threat assessment changed to justify increased military expenditures of this order? If the increased risk is terrorism, how will jets and ships, etc. address that threat? Isn’t it more likely, military actions, like NATO’s destruction of Libya, and US proxy destruction of Syria, inspire more terrorist actions, as Jeremy Corbyn suggests, making us less secure?
    Also, one line item on this militarist shopping list spending spree includes armed drones. If any single bit of military kit has inspired more fear and loathing wherever it is deployed that is armed drones and the remote-control, indiscriminate killing they engender.
    After all, this announcement is more public acquiescence to both Donald Trump’s demands of a greater political role for militarists and war profiteers and signal to the World of where Canada stands vis-a-vis the “long war” than seriously considered public policy.

    • CDHJune 8, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

      Excellent questions and commentary, C. L. Cook..

  5. SaskGuyJune 8, 2017 at 8:18 am #

    Are any of you people looking at the numbers?
    Try this site and you’ll get an idea of what the spending has been over the past while.

    If you check it out you’ll see that the expenditure as a percentage of GDP is .2 greater than Switzerland. A very small country that is neutral. The men and women that serve this country are sometimes using equipment that their parents would have used. So do people here think that it is OK to ask our people (neighbours, friends, daughters and sons) to go into harms way for us with equipment that is 30 years old?

  6. Louise SlatteryJune 8, 2017 at 8:04 am #

    Very disappointed in this government. Justin and his gang are completely out of touch with the will of Canadians. Unfortunately, we are connected at the hip to the warmongers south of us but let’s not support their everlasting wars of aggression and indifference to the suffering they cause in their own country and abroad. Canadians want to be a peacekeeping nation, caring, strong, independent, diplomatic and neutral.

    • Canada JoeJune 8, 2017 at 9:10 am #

      No they really don’t want that.

      • DemetriosJune 8, 2017 at 11:33 pm #

        No Joe. It’s you who doesn’t really want that. You would prefer to have this madness continue. It’s in your blood, and you will always come up with justifications to warrant your military psyche.

        The only people who agree with you are the arms producers, the big corporations and those Canadians who’ve been hoodwinked by the media and the Liberals.

        • Canada JoeJune 9, 2017 at 12:34 am #

          Oh tsk tsk. Seems the Tories and the NDP are onboard too.

          I guess that leaves you out in the cold then.

  7. Anne StreeterJune 8, 2017 at 6:38 am #

    Sunny Ways indeed! Trudeau is trying to play with the big boys (the ones that get us into so much trouble) and it is embarrassing! Trudeau (with the help of Chrystia Freeland) is flying by the seat of his pants – breaking promises left, right and centre , spending our money like a Saudi prince and taking us in places where Canadians do not want to go. There is more than enough war mongering going around without Canada piling on. Shape up or ship out!

  8. Colleen ElliottJune 7, 2017 at 10:18 pm #

    Since when does military spending improve life on planet earth.? have spent some time in Uganda and Zambia and it sure broadened my global view of life. I would love if we took care of First Nations people here before we foolishly waste tax dollars on war! In my opinion, it is not our place as Canadians to use our tax dollars unless we are helping others! Humanitarian aid is worth more to build up the citizens on planet earth. It will only take 4.4 billion to help those starving in Africa right now. When I was younger (in my 20’s) I valued travelling and living in different parts of the world as a Canadian- please let us not take over the policing of the world like our neighbours to the south have tried to do and failed miserably. Vietnam and Central America/ wars in the Middle East for oil…). Can we learn from our past?

  9. Angie MorrisJune 7, 2017 at 10:14 pm #

    Not only do I strongly disapprove of this excessive expenditure on the military I am also dismayed that Canada is not taking part in the international discussion on the limitation of nuclear weapons. Canada should be at the table to take part on these critically important treaty discussions.

  10. Ed LehmanJune 7, 2017 at 9:31 pm #

    Last year Canada, according to the Voice of Women for Peace, Canada already spent 28 billion on the Department of National Defence making it the 7th highest spender on the military among NATO members. This was at a time when Canada spent only 1.5 billion for the Department of the Environment and Climate Change. Canada is going in the wrong direction by spending more on the military. We need to spend more to curb climate change, and the creation of greater inequality and poverty in Canada and around the world.

  11. Jocelyn ChouinardJune 7, 2017 at 9:25 pm #

    I did not and never would vote for Justine Trudeau. He has absolutely zero qualifications for the responsibilities of a Prime Minister! He also lied about every electoral campaign promise, and is beyond incompetent in every decision he has made to date while putting our country in a crippling state of debt! Investing MORE of our hard earned tax $$ on completely unnecessary arms and weapons! This is truly the icing on the cake a of complete incompetence!!!

  12. Jesse-Blue ForrestJune 7, 2017 at 8:23 pm #

    I will fight this with tooth and nail. We will not let you turn Canada into the USA military economy and become a war nation! Canada is a peace nation not to be sold out to the bully down south of the border. You have lost my vote !!!

    • Canada JoeJune 7, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

      Canada’s a peace nation? Since when? What the hell does that even mean?

      • Lou HammondJune 8, 2017 at 9:31 am #

        Canada was known as a peacekeeping nation until Stephen Harper changed Canada to a warring nation. Canada had a good reputation as a peacekeeping nation and was much admired. Not any more.

        • Canada JoeJune 8, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

          Really? According to who? Think the military saw themselves as that……people bought into, well not a lie, but not the whole truth.

          • Douglas RJune 13, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

            Canada Joe, of all the things that Canada does and can do to effect positive change in the world, you maintain that becoming more militaristic is the best course. Please explain.
            and while you are at it, please explain “…people bought into, well not a lie, but not the whole truth.” when answering the observation that were a peace keeping nation.
            Bear in mind that Americans would place Canadian flags on their knapsacks because it made them feel safer. Did they too buy into a half lie?

  13. Carol PickupJune 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm #

    This is disgusting-the Liberals are going along with Trump and his insane policies!! Justin Trudeau and his government should be voted out of power next election-they are not the change that Canada needs.

  14. Jana Lynne WhiteJune 7, 2017 at 6:40 pm #

    Mr. Trudeau:

    You’re slippery slope just got a lot more…slippery!

    I – and many others – who voted for you – will TAKE TO THE STREETS to fight you on this decision. I will RESIST your WAR MACHINE mentality, brought to you by the TRUMPITY DUMPITY ignoramus, who will soon FALL off his wall.

    Remember your Father? Remember his values? Cow-towing to the US – was never on his agenda.

    WE are peacemakers, lovers of the Earth. WE ARE CANADIANS!!!!!

    Don’t make us regret our belief in your VALUES. And don’t forget them.

    • Canada JoeJune 7, 2017 at 8:15 pm #

      Like when PET lied about nuclear weapons being based in Canada?

    • Pete SnidalJune 8, 2017 at 10:14 am #

      PET was Nixon in drag. Junior is Michael Jackson in drag! Next time, Canada, don’t use the same criteria for your politicos as you use for your TV picks! 8-(

  15. Kay OsatenkoJune 7, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    This is dire news because we all know where the money is going to come from — us. And we all know who is going to profit – weapons manufacturers and dealers.

    Trudeau’s government does not have a mandate to double war spending. The only mandate they have is to invest in infrastructure, in health and education as well as to ensure all Canadians are represented. What happened to collaboration and leading in diplomacy. “Canada’s back”? Hollow words.

    Ceasefire is in the best place to draft an action that Canadians can get behind and stop this madness. This Liberal government is out of touch with Canadians. We are proud of our healthcare and of our history of diplomacy. Militarism is creeping back and we know who benefits. Something along the lines of ‘You promised to build and now you arm to destroy…?

  16. Howard DoughtyJune 7, 2017 at 5:23 pm #

    Today’s Toronto Star featured an editorial entitled “Stepping up to fight Trump.”

    It gushed approvingly about the Chrystia Freeland’s announcement of massive investment in a rejuvenated military. It celebrated Ms. Freeland putting our money where Stephen Harper’s mouth used to be.

    Ms. Freeland spoke of strong, renewed engagement in a world in which the USA was retreating from its role as “leader of the free world.” She claimed growing independence from American hegemony and declared our new-won status as a vassal state. Once more, we could cheer as we became a vibrant, robust “middle power.” Huzzah!

    Last week, the critical media revealed how the Saudis has “played Trump like a fiddle,” using flattery to exact from him exactly what it wanted as a prelude to the kerfuffle in Qatar and the terror bombing in Teheran. This week, by contrast, President Trump took control and “played” Mr. Trudeau, Ms. Freeland and their associates with as much skill as the Royal Family of Arabia played him.

    Either that or the Star was displaying a rich sense of irony/self-satire rarely available in the print and broadcast media. In any case, there can be no doubt: the Toronto Star and the Liberal Party are, as always, on precisely the same page.

    Anyway, perhaps we can take some solace in the likelihood that none of the big ticket items – jet fighters, naval destroyers and the like – will be secured by the time Mr. Trump becomes just an unpleasant memory. By then, as well, fresh faces may have taken over in Ottawa … or so we can hope.


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