July 19, 2024
This week, Politico called us “an outlier” among the 32 member nations and noted that even Belgium has a plan to get to two per cent by 2035. Canada? We’re still waiting.

Trudeau taking the heat from NATO allies for cheaping out on defence spending

Expect world leaders to call the prime minister out this week, as he rightly deserves

Canada is a cheapskate. We’re that friend who always “forgets” their wallet when they join you for dinner, who never splits the bill evenly because they “only had an appetizer,” who never treats their pals to a round but always drinks when someone else buys. Most us have had friends like this, and after a while, you stop inviting them out, leaving them to stare at the walls of their studio apartments alone.

Or, if you’re military allies, you don’t invite them to join the AUKUS defence pact. You slam their defence spending targets, like then-U.S. president Donald Trump did in 2019, when he jeeringly asked Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, “What is your number?” And you rip them on the eve of NATO’s 75th anniversary, like U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson did on Monday, when he called Canada “shameful,” and rightly accused us of “riding on America’s coat-tails.”

And it’s about to get a lot worse. This week, Trudeau is in Washington, D.C., for NATO’s 75th anniversary summit. At a time when NATO is essentially at war with the unholy triad of Russia, China and Iran, all member nations must pull their weight to ensure democracy survives. And that means spending the expected NATO target of two per cent of GDP on defence, to both meet existing threats and deter future ones — like China’s prospective invasion of Taiwan — from happening.

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