New top soldier warns Canada needs to be ready for ‘the threats that are coming’ (Toronto Star – July 19, 2024)

Gen. Jennie Carignan said the military must be ready to face potential threats to Canadian territory within the next five years.

OTTAWA—The shadow of potential war — and the need to avoid it — was invoked early and often at Thursday’s change-of-command ceremony, where Gen. Jennie Carignan became the first woman to take command of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Addressing reporters at the Canadian War Museum, in a large display room packed with forest-green tanks and other war machines, Carignan said the military must be ready to face potential threats to Canadian territory within the next five years.

Read more

No one in Washington believes Trudeau’s empty NATO promises anymore – by John Ivison (National Post – July 12, 2024)

Trudeau has lost his power to seduce and Canada’s standing has been lost, as allies far poorer than this country live up to their promises

Justin Trudeau is so schooled in the art of denial that he now tries to deflect inescapable truths. In Washington Thursday, at the conclusion of the NATO summit there, the prime minister unveiled what his defence minister, Bill Blair, called a “credible, verifiable path to two per cent” spending of gross domestic product on defence by 2032.

Let’s leave aside the fact that the plan is neither credible nor verifiable. Trudeau was asked if he was worried that the political problems that have dogged him this week will now hang over this country for the next eight years.

Read more

Under pressure, Justin Trudeau announces when Canada expects to hit military spending commitments to NATO – by Alex Ballingall (Toronto Star – July 12, 2024)

“Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, said this week that it is “shameful” for Canada to keep riding his country’s military coattails.”

WASHINGTON — After enduring criticism over Canada’s level of defence spending during this week’s NATO summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dismissed the alliance’s key metric for military contributions — which several allies have touted as a vital reflection of each country’s agreed fair share — as little more than a “crass mathematical calculation.”

In a heated justification of Canada’s defence policies, Trudeau pushed back against the suggestion that the amount spent on military expenses by his government has been a “political problem” at the summit. He said Canada has “stepped up massively” and committed more than $175 billion to defence — much of it over the next two decades — since he took office in 2015, and expressed skepticism in the relevance of the NATO benchmark that asks all members to spend at least two per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) on defence.

Read more

Opinion | Canada Is a NATO Scofflaw – by The Editorial Board (Wall Street Journal/ – July 11, 2024)

The Trudeau government free rides on everyone else’s defense dollars, even as threats in the Arctic grow.

Canada is a member of the G-7 group of leading democracies, but why? Prime Minister Justin Trudeau isn’t leading anything, and he won’t even commit his country to meet its minimum obligation as a member of NATO.

When we wrote last year about Canada’s status as a defense scofflaw, it created a stir in Ottawa. But the Trudeau government remains as much a deadbeat as ever.

Read more

Opinion: The U.S. has a 3D problem with Canada — Dairy, defence and digital tax – by Goldy Hyder (Financial Post – June 12, 2024)

The Canada-U.S.-Mexico trade agreement is up for review in 2026. We need progress on three irritants that unite American politicians

Back in 2022, I wrote on this page that American political leaders from across party lines were increasingly viewing Canada through “3D” glasses. Their perception of Canada was being coloured and distorted by three cross-border disagreements: dairy quota allocation, digital taxes and defence spending. The analogy was intended as a warning.

These same 3D irritants have taken on added urgency in what has become an extremely contentious 2024 U.S. election cycle. At a time when American political divisions are widening, groups of Republicans and Democrats are joining together to voice shared frustration with Canada’s refusal in these areas to align itself with its most important ally.

Read more