North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) meetings were held in Poland yesterday, Justin Trudeau was on board to discuss Canada’s role, United States President Barack Obama said on Saturday countries need to step up and contribute more, he didn’t name any countries but was talking about Canada. “Everybody has got to step up. Everybody has got to do better.” Said Obama.
NATO is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949, Canada is by far the worst offender in the alliance, ranking 23rd out of 28 countries. Its spending on defence dipped below one per cent according to statistics published by NATO last week.
The U.S., Britain and Germany quickly signed on to similar leadership roles in neighbouring countries, but negotiations to get Canada on board took much longer. Canada only confirmed its participation one day after Obama told Parliament three times that he hoped Canada would do more for the alliance.
After the two-day summit ended Saturday, Trudeau deflected a question about whether this was because Canada had been reluctant to undertake the mission.
“We have consistently demonstrated a willingness to contribute, to deploy our troops in various places, and the opportunity to be part of the multinational framework by the leading efforts in Latvia was exactly something we saw as an opportunity for Canada to contribute security and stability,” Trudeau said. “We have been very positive about this from the very beginning.”
Canada has been criticized by some in Ukraine for the Trudeau government’s willingness to discuss security issues with Russia.
Canada under the Trudeau government has been known to be soft on war, with more money being spent towards aid in Syria to help injured soldiers and Syrian civilians, Trudeau pulled his jets out of Syria and replaced them with $1.3 billion in aid spending and help.
Canada announced $465 million in additional aid to Afghanistan Saturday at the NATO leader’s summit. About $270 million of the money, to be distributed over three years, will provide economic and social assistance to Afghans. The rest of the money will assist Afghanistan’s armed forces and police who remain locked in a bloody fight with the Taliban.