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Trudeau shows “remarkable seriousness” on defense, says Bill Blair

Photo: Sean Kilpatrick The Canadian Press Bill Blair came to the defense of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

As pressure mounts for Canada to increase its military spending, federal Defense Minister Bill Blair has come to the defense of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying he is demonstrating “remarkably serious about defense.”

Testifying before a packed room Monday morning, the minister was reacting to a comment by retired Lieutenant General Andrew Leslie, who recently told the National Post that the current Prime Minister minister “is not serious about defense”, as are many members of his cabinet.

Ottawa will invest $8.1 billion in over the next five years and 73 billion over the next 20 years for its national defense. But these investments will still not make it possible to achieve NATO's famous target, which wants its members to devote more than 2% of their GDP to defense.

The government estimates that the new commitments will increase spending to 1.76% of GDP by 2029-30.

“The Prime Minister's actions speak for themselves,” replied Minister Blair, saying the government has doubled military spending since coming to power.

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His comment comes days after a group of 23 American senators sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asking him to keep his commitments to NATO. The senators even claimed to be “deeply disappointed” by the government's recent projections.

“Canada will fail to meet its obligations to the Alliance, to the detriment of all NATO allies and the free world, without immediate and significant action to increase defense spending,” they wrote to the First minister.

“The budget we have just presented to Parliament will see our defense spending increase by 27% next year compared to this year. “That brings us a lot closer to that 2%,” the minister said Monday.

Earlier this year, former President Donald Trump warned that “any country that does not pay its share, the United States will not come to help it defend itself.”

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116