Canada FM says Canada must do more as US leadership wanes

by Frankie Norman June 8, 2017, 1:39
Canada FM says Canada must do more as US leadership wanes

Echoing complaints made recently by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chrystia Freeland told Canada's House of Commons that Washington is no longer committed to its position of world leadership, forcing Canada to invest in its own armed forces to defend liberal democracy....

The speech is meant to foreshadow the release of Wednesday's defence policy review, which is expected to make the case for billions in new military spending.

She also outlined the three main tenets that will guide Canada's foreign policy, and they all appear to be expressly created to withstand Trump's America First policy.

And she added that, unlike the United States under Trump, Canada would not reject global alliances, and would continue to "work with other like-minded people and countries who share our aims".

Rather, she said Canada must start preparing now for a future in which it can maintain its national security and trade interests without the help of the superpower to the north.

"What minister Freeland was saying is that we recognize the importance of our commitment to our military", Morneau said. To say this is not controversial: "it is simply a fact", Freeland said in a speech to parliament.

But she added that to depend totally on the USA protective umbrella would make Canada a "client state".

Freeland said Canada played a major role in shaping the global order after the Second World War because of the country - including her own family - suffered heavy losses in two world wars.

First, Freeland said, Canada should "robustly support the rules-based global order". Indeed on Wednesday, one day after the speech, the Trudeau administration announced a $62.3 billion plan to bulk up the Canadian military with troops and equipment over the next 20 years.

"To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power".

"If middle powers do not implicate themselves in the furtherance of peace and stability around the world, that will be left to the Great Powers to settle among themselves", Freeland said.

She said that notwithstanding the "incredibly good relationship" with the U.S., Canada can not just rely on American military protection.

"We will actively seek new trade agreements that further Canadian economic interests and that reflect our values, ' Freeland said".

Freeland acknowledged that trade negotiations are always "tough", saying she expects the discussions to be "robust".

Freeland highlighted Canada's past roles on the world stage, in diplomatic circles and battlefields, from Europe to Korea to Afghanistan. She outlined three specific ways to do this.

She repeated Canada's disappointment with the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, also highlighting threats to global stability such as civil wars, poverty, drought and natural disasters that "spawn globally destabilizing mass migrations". Her words reflected an unusual distancing between the United States and Germany, who have been allies since the post-World War II era.

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