U.S. calls out Canada’s lack of military spending
The United States has once again called out Canada’s underspending on defence.
Sources told Global News that the U.S. government recently sent a “blunt” letter to the Department of National Defence calling out Canada’s lack of spending on military, failing to meet the NATO target of two percent of GDP.
The Liberal government has won a minority under Justin Trudeau, returning to the House of Commons as the party in power.
While the government has celebrated victory in what can only be described as a disastrous campaign after it became public the Prime Minister had worn blackface more times than he could remember, the nation should be wary about the rather large number of broken promises coming back with the Trudeau Liberals.
According to the Trudeau Metre, the Liberals broke 67 promises throughout their first term, accounting for 29 percent of all promises made.
These broken promises include massive campaign planks such as electoral reform, failing to properly restore the veteran’s pension system, and the continuation of massive deficit which put a balanced budget potentially decades into the future rather than 2019.
With the minority governments in Canada rarely lasting more than two years, it will be interesting to see what the government attempts to do in order to keep both previous promises made and new ones brought forth during the campaign. The Liberals must make compromises with other parties.
With both the NDP and Greens cash-strapped but needing wins, and the Conservatives facing an inner-party revolt against the current leader, we will likely see a relative calm as parties adjust followed by a truly harsh period as weakened parties attempt to regain ground lost in 2015.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Senate point men have tendered their resignations. Senator Peter Harder, the Government’s Representative in the upper chamber, and Government Liaison Senator Grant Mitchell made the announcement Friday.
“The start of a new Parliament is the best time to welcome a new face in the role of Government Representative,” Harder said in a statement.
“With the Senate now well advanced on the path to becoming more independent and less partisan… it simply made sense for me to pick this moment: a new cabinet has been sworn in, new Senate groups are emerging along non-partisan lines.”
According to Harder, his term as the Senate’s government rep will expire on Dec. 31, 2019 while Senator Mitchell said he would remain in his liaison role, previously called Government Whip, until Trudeau finds a replacement for Harder.
“Serving in this role has truly been a highlight of my career. It has been a privilege to have been so directly involved with Prime Minister Trudeau’s initiative to create a more independent Senate,” said Mitchell.
For nearly 150 years, senators were appointed by the sitting prime minister, and for the most part showed unbroken partisan loyalty to their caucuses. But that all changed in April 2014 when Trudeau cut existing Liberal appointees in the Upper Chamber from the national caucus.
The decision has factionalized the Senate with both Senate Conservatives and Liberal castaways coalescing in various groups, including the Independent Senators Group and a pair of nascent upstarts; the Canadian Senators Group and Progressive Senators Group.
Harder, who is a “non-affiliated” senator entered the upper chamber in April 2016, as the first “independent” appointed senator under a purportedly, non-partisan selection process. Mitchell was appointed to the Senate in 2005 by Prime Minister Paul Martin.
Known as the “chamber of sober second thought”, the Senate is intended to provide regional oversight for government bills as well as the power to introduce laws unrelated to spending.
Canadians like to think of ourselves as living in a sovereign nation, to the extent that we are in control of our own destiny and make our own decisions.
However, that has become increasingly doubtful.
An important aspect—probably the MOST important aspect—of being a sovereign country is having the ability to defend your own nation.
If you don’t have that, nothing else really matters.
For a country like Canada, having a strongly-equipped armed forces wouldn’t really be much of a challenge, considering our high relative wealth and high level of technology.
And yet, our armed forces are in a state of disrepair.
We have pilot shortages, we have recruitment problems, our air force is flying 40-year-old leftover planes other countries don’t want, our navy is miniscule, and the strategically valuable north is practically undefended.
In short, Canada lacks the ability to defend ourselves, placing the burden of defending our own citizens on our ally, the United States.
The issue is that it’s both unfair to the United States, and unfair to Canadian Citizens for our government to outsource our national defence.
It’s unfair to the U.S. because we should be pulling our own weight in our alliance with them, not putting it all on their shoulders.
And it’s unfair to Canadian Citizens because our own country is put at risk by being reliant on others to do the job we should be doing ourselves.
Unfortunately, Canada’s political establishment is unwilling to take any of this seriously.
In a dangerous world, Canada’s politicians continue to ignore the defence of our nation, just hoping that things will magically “work out” and we will never be faced with any real danger.
Of course, the world doesn’t work like that. The world is becoming increasingly dangerous, with China and Russia building up their arctic forces, and China’s military expanding at an alarming rate.
In that threatening environment, hoping for the best could lead to total disaster for Canada.
That’s why we need to start seeing this as the crisis it really is. The weakness of our armed forces is becoming a bigger and bigger threat to the future of Canada, and that threat must be addressed now.
For that reason, building up our military must take precedence over balancing the budget.
It’s a simple political reality that any party that proposed making big cuts to social spending in order to build up the military would be destroyed in an election campaign. There simply isn’t any appetite for that trade-off. So, that leaves deficit spending as the only politically-feasible path to building up our armed forces.
Considering that the budget deficit is at about $20 billion, considering that we spend roughly $25 billion on our armed forces today and that doubling that number would be a huge boost to our national defence, we would be looking at deficits of roughly $45 billion if we immediately embarked on a military build-up, while keeping other spending on the current trajectory.
$45 billion is a large deficit, but it is smaller than the deficits run by the Harper government during a portion of the 2008 financial crisis aftermath.
Additionally, much of that increased deficit would be going towards wages for more members of the armed forces, military-focused research and development at Canadian universities, and a huge surge in domestic manufacturing, all of which would strengthen our domestic economy, boost GDP, and make it easier to balance the budget down the road as the economic benefits spread throughout the nation.
The final point is this: It’s usually a bad idea to run budget deficits, but there are exceptions. And the crisis facing our nation due to our inability to protect our own territory is one of those exceptions. Canada needs a military build-up, and we need it now. And if that means running bigger deficits for a while, then that’s a price we must be willing to pay to ensure our nation is secure.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself—sort of.
At 10:54 am on Wednesday, Trump unveiled a gem to the world; a photo of himself, photoshopped on the body of Rocky Balboa.
The photo, which is actually of Sylvester Stallone from the poster for Rocky III, received a warm reception from his supporters and screeching hatred from the never-Trump crowd.
A flurry of memes from those who didn’t seem to get the joke came in, with many of them pointing out that Trump is actually overweight.
This is the latest in a series of Trump tweets that have utilized Photoshop.
Trump previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself putting a paw-shaped medal around the neck of Conan the terrorist-slaying dog, which led to joyless organizations like the New York Times to fact check the post, as if it wasn’t clearly photoshopped.
The photo, made by the team over at Daily Wire, became a thorn in the side of the Times, as they ran a headline reading “Trump Tweets Faked Photo Of Hero Dog Getting a Medal.”
“The dog appeared to have been edited over a 2017 Medal of Honor recipient,” stated the Times’ article, which has since reached a fine ratio of 516 Retweets to over 2,800 replies.
Trump also previously tweeted a doctored photo of himself with larger hands, which has roots from comments made by former Republican Presidential candidate Marco Rubio, wherein Rubio said Trump had small hands.