Canada ‘slightly delinquent’ on alliance military spend, cracks ‘payment plan’ joke: Trump-Trudeau at NATO talks London
Canada is “slightly delinquent” when it comes to defence spending, said United States President Donald Trump during a face-to-face meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau ahead of NATO talks in London Tuesday.
According to NATO figures, vis-a-vis individual members’ benchmark defence spending at two-percent of their Gross Domestic Product, Canada rang in below that level for 2019 at approximately 1.3 percent.
Boris Johnson has agreed to allow China’s massive telecom company, Huawei, to take part in Britain’s 5G network. He made the decision despite the U.S. asking Britain not to include the company in the next-generation communications for fears that they will have too much access to sensitive information.
According to CBC, Johnson has decided that Huawei can only access “non-sensitive” information and can only have 35 percent involvement in the 5G network.
The company would not have access to the core of networks or any sensitive locations like military bases according to the British government.
Donald Trump and the U.S. administration will not be content with the decision as they fear the company could be used by China to access secret information. The U.S. said that they would possibly reduce intelligence cooperation with London.
The new 5G network with its unprecedented speeds is said to be among the largest innovations since the internet was introduced.
After a meeting led by Johnson, Nicky Morgan, the British Communications Secretary said, “This is a U.K.-specific solution for U.K.-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now.”
Cybersecurity officials in Britain have noted that Huawei is always handled as a “high risk” business.
The White House has not yet responded to the actions taken by Johnson.
On Tuesday Huawei’s vice-president, Victor Zhang said, “Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track.”
“This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future. It gives the U.K. access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.”
Huawei has claimed that the U.S. does not want the company in Britain because they cannot compete as Huawei is the largest producer of telecom equipment in the world.
Within the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network, Canada is the only country that has not decided whether to work with Huawei on 5G networks.
As Canada continues its rocky relationship with China, things remain uncertain. Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou has finished the first stage of extradition hearing but China still has two Canadians detained.
The U.S. has claimed that as the 5G networks grow and evolve, Huawei’s access to different parts of the network will be harder to monitor.
The Trudeau government spent over $1.4 million in legal costs in their failed attempt to prosecute Vice-Admiral Mark Norman. Normal was exonerated and has since retired.
The Canadian Press reports that the revelations came in a written response by Justice Minister David Lametti to a question from Conservative MP Erin O’Toole. “Lametti did not provide any further details about the costs—including whether the figure included Norman’s legal fees, which the government has said it would pay.”
“To the extent that the information that has been requested is protected by solicitor-client privilege, the federal Crown can only reveal the total legal costs related to the case,” Lametti wrote in answer to O’Toole. “Based on the hours recorded, the total amount of legal costs incurred amounts to approximately $1,425,389.68, as of Dec. 9, 2019.”
The number that was spent on the RCMP investigation is unclear.
Vice-Admiral Norman was charged with breach of trust in March 2018. He pled “not guilty” and his lawyers maintained that the case against him was politically motivated.
Eventually, the charges were dropped after Norman’s lawyers presented evidence to crown prosecutors that convinced them that there was no reasonable chance he would be convicted.
Conservative Defense Critic James Bezan condemned the Liberals for the use of taxpayer’s money, calling the treatment of Norman a “witch hunt” and adding: “Canadians deserve to know how much was paid in compensation both to cover his costs as well as damages for this malicious mistreatment of vice-admiral Mark Norman, one of our top-ranked officers who was just doing his job.”
President Donald Trump has released his Middle East peace plan after long months of speculation. The peace plan proposes a two-state solution, whilst not uprooting any Israelis or Palestinians from their homes.
The announcement was made Tuesday in Washington with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump stated that his peace plan “could be the last opportunity” for the Palestinian people.
The proposal has already been rejected by Palestinians, as many took to the Gaza strip early Tuesday after Israel deployed the IDF to the West Bank.
“Today, Israel takes a big step towards peace,” said Trump concerning the deal— labelled the “deal of the century.”
The plan was organized by President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of Ivanka.
“Palestinians are in poverty and violence, exploited by those seeking to use them as pawns to advance terrorism and extremism. They deserve a far better life,” said Mr. Trump of the matter.
Netanyahu praised the deal and Trump, calling the president “the greatest friend that Israel has had in the White House.”
“The deal of the century is the opportunity of a century, and we’re not going to pass it by,” he said.
Netanyahu is penned to travel to Moscow tomorrow to discuss the plan’s proposals with Vladimir Putin.
The plan also received praise from Israel’s official opposition leader Benny Gantz, who met Trump yesterday and called the plan “a significant and historic milestone.”
The “plan of the century” was rejected by Palestinian leaders in advance, as many believed it would permanently leave the West Bank in the hands of Israel.
“The US administration will not find a single Palestinian who supports this project,” the Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday. “Trump’s plan is the plot of the century to liquidate the Palestinian cause.”
An emergency meeting of Palestinian leadership Tuesday.
Palestinian leaders have not been in contact with the Trump White House since the end of 2017, when President Trump made the move to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving the US embassy to there from Tel Aviv.
Trump has also said the plan promises $50 billion for the Palestinian people, and that the US would open a Palestinian embassy in “eastern Jerusalem.”
A new report by the Fraser Institute shows that any province can force other provinces and the federal government to renegotiate the constitution.
In what will be a welcome report to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, the Fraser Institute made a particular note of equalization payments—finding that the payment system could be restructured.
Speaking to the Fraser Institute, Professor Rainer Knopff stated, “If Alberta charts the correct course, it can bring otherwise reluctant governments to the table to discuss fiscal federalism.”
Equalization has long been a point of contention between Western Canada and Ottawa—so much so, that Premier Kenney is considering a provincial referendum on the subject of removing equalization payments from the constitution. If Kenney is successful, the referendum may trigger the “duty to negotiate” is there is also an element of succession.
Last year, the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Yves-Francois Blanchet, suggested that Quebec had disproportionally sent money to Quebec to pay for pipelines. In reality, Alberta got the short end of the stick, despite unemployment skyrocketing and industry leaving.