Nobody likes a freeloader: the type of person always in the washroom when the collective bill arrives.
Sadly, that’s what Canada’s becoming in regard to the defence of our shores. Such a tragic affair, for a country that once stood so proudly on the world stage, is courtesy of the current prime minister, along with his sycophantic Liberal colleagues.
The unspoken truth is today we rely almost exclusively upon the U.S. for our national defence. We know if some hostile power menaces Canada, our southern cousins would jump to martial attention in a heartbeat, given such a threat would put their own country at risk.
Sure, the U.S. is the world’s most dominant military power, but for the same reason you shouldn’t let the richest fellow always pick up the tab, as a country we should step up and take seriously the responsibility of defending ourselves.
A few years ago this might not have appeared quite so urgent. But today we’re witnessing another brutal conflict in Europe’s heartland, reminding us peace is always brittle.
So Canadians should heed our own national anthem and stand on guard. (How long that particular line remains in O Canada is anyone’s guess, given the current Grit fascination with obliterating all prior cultural symbols, replacing them with those cobbled together since Justin Trudeau took control.)
But it isn’t just the U.S. with a right to roll its eyes at the paltry amount we spend on defence. Our partners in NATO are equally entitled to ask serious questions about Canada’s commitment to that organization as well.
Spurred by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, NATO is pressing member countries to make defence spending two per cent of GDP the absolute minimum. Yet, last year, Canada’s spend reached a paltry 1.2 per cent. We’re currently in a race with Belgium, Slovenia and Luxembourg to see who can spend the lowest ratio of cash to GDP but the most time hiding in the washroom when the check’s delivered. We’d need to invest another $18 billion a year to reach that minimum NATO benchmark
Despite such embarrassment for a country once renowned for its military prowess and commitment to freedom – ask the Dutch why Canada once mattered – our prime minister barely bats an eye.
A serious intelligence leak in April allowed a glimpse into discussions about future NATO funding and we discovered Trudeau telling fellow leaders Canada wouldn’t hit the two per cent of GDP figure today, tomorrow or anytime in the future.
Yes, he pledged this on behalf of Canadian prime ministers not yet born to his no doubt bemused colleagues. The arrogance is remarkable.
We did get a glimpse of Trudeau’s attitude when first elected prime minister in 2015, announcing Canada was now back, as though our country had been absorbed into some deep, dark hole in space ever since his dad was in power. So now he’s declaring his current national defence spending policy will endure forever. It’s mind-boggling, though perhaps not quite so surprising to Calgarians as it is to Canada’s allies.
Is it any wonder the Canadian Armed Forces finds difficulty attracting recruits? The defence ministry appears more concerned with inclusivity than equipping those serving with modern, functioning weaponry.
Meanwhile, it’s 13 years since the Stephen Harper government agreed to buy those F-35 stealth jets. Heaven knows if they’ll ever arrive. Meanwhile, we’ve four cast-off British submarines to patrol three surrounding oceans. One, the Arctic, is increasingly interesting to both Russian and Chinese navies.
But you don’t have to be some NATO head honcho to judge how the military wind blows in Canada. Just grab yourself a new issue passport. The illustrative page featuring the imposing Vimy Ridge memorial in France, commemorating the famous 1917 battle that solidified Canada as an independent and proud nation, is gone. In its place is an image of a squirrel eating a nut.