03.22.2017 05:41 PM

The part of the budget that suggests to me that this isn’t the full budget

From the Globe:

Despite calls from the United States for Canada to increase its contributions to international military efforts, there is no increase in defence spending in the 2017 budget. In fact, the Department of National Defence is reallocating $8.48-billion that it expected to spend on capital projects, such as planes, ships, trucks and large infrastructure, before 2036 to future years when it will be used to purchase fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft and new light-armoured vehicles.

That’s quite a stark contrast from the military-industrial complex fiscal orgy that the Unpresident kicked off a few days ago with his “budget.”  From the Times:

President Trump put both political parties on notice Monday that he intends to slash spending on many of the federal government’s most politically sensitive programs — relating to education, the environment, science and poverty — to protect the economic security of retirees and to shift billions more to the armed forces.

The proposal to increase military spending by $54 billion and cut nonmilitary programs by the same amount was unveiled by White House officials as they prepared the president’s plans for next year’s federal budget.

No increase in spending up here, $54 billion down there. Given that Agent Orange has threatened to kill NATO to save itgiven that he has said (perhaps appropriately) that all NATO countries need to pull their weight – I don’t see how Canada’s 2017 budget can possibly be the last word on defence.

Unless we want to enrage the lunatic to the South, we will need to spend more. I think that today’s Parliament-hallway noises about some sort of a long-term defence spending plan mean that Messrs. Trudeau and Moreau plan to do just that: spend more on guns and tanks and fighter jets and whatnot.  Why be Neville-Chamberlain-like with the Unpresident for two months, and then abruptly piss it all away in a single budget?  Makes no sense.

Trump will eventually win what he wants from Canada, even if it didn’t seem that way today.

Oh, and Obama wanted it too, folks.


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    Robert Frindt says:

    “Despite calls from the United States for Canada to increase its contributions to international military efforts, there is no increase in defence spending in the 2017 budget. ”

    Attributing calls for increased defence spending from the United States, or something recent due to Trump, is incorrect. The increase to two percent of GDP was a commitment that all NATO countries, including Canada made from 2014 (and actually before that)


    When it comes to NATO, there are about five countries that are pulling the wagon, with one horse doing about two thirds of the pulling. The rest of them are riding in the wagon, and complaining about the direction and speed of the horses that pull.

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      Warren says:


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        Robert Frindt says:

        Touche !

        Thinking more about this, Trudeau must be deliberately trying to provoke Trump.

        It would be easy to promise all kinds of spending in 2022-23, or whatever, and make cosmetic gestures in the meantime.

        Instead we get what appears to be a deliberate, in your face stiff arm.

        the question is why ?

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    MississaugaPeter says:

    As I told the folks around Trudeau when I was in with them years ago (now on the outs) before drones were the be-alls, spend it all on Canadian companies focused on drone technology.

    Protect all our borders by cheap drones vs. expensive $B planes.

    Infrastructure spending and creating a product that could be sold worldwide.

    Other idea would be robotic soldiers on guard. We have plenty of companies in robotics.

    If not companies, spend $B’s in university grants to do the above. I know that both UWaterloo and RyersonU would do incredible things with it and partner with Canadian companies.

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    sean mclaughlin says:

    We really do need to rebuild our naval capacity, soon and significantly. We’ve got oceans for neighbours on three sides, but no longer have a blue water navy. Get British, Canadians, and take to the high seas.

    So, what sort of reception will Trumpmenbashi get in Belgium in May? His team suggested a foreign visit?

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    Charlie says:

    I don’t understand this notion that Canada must construct a budget largely on the basis of the policy direction down south. Yes, trade issues will present challenges, but will be dealt with when they arise. I’m willing to assume that if some concessions are made, they will be made mutually as neither Canada nor the US can afford to come away at a weaker position or allow the existing trade relationship to crumble.

    All that aside, this incessant narrative that this “budget-lite” is an acceptable preamble to whats to come later on in a complete cop-out on the part of the government. Even with the trade relationship with America slightly favouring us, our economy sucks in comparison. Unemployment, underemployment and the stagnation of the market economy is not something the Liberals can just hang on what Trump does. The Canadian government is obligated to ensure that a) its delivering on its key promise to revive the economy and b) ensure that Canadians are able to accumulate wealth at a faster rate than the cost of living rises.

    This budget makes a shit-load of promises — promises that the Liberals already made during the campaign — but does nothing to tangibly achieve the objective in the immediate future.

    I’ll echo something some smart people have been saying today: Canadians are fine with the government spending left and right and don’t care about the deficit if that spending can yield the results that have been intended. If it turns out to be the case that Trudeau’s Liberal prick-tease Canadians until 2019 on some very important stuff, its gonna hurt the Liberals more than they can make up for in 100 refugee welcome parties.

    Also: I love the tax on Uber. Tech companies need to stop being treated like religious institution and be subjected to the same rules as businesses.

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    Kelly says:

    The EU can protect itself. It’s the biggest economy in the world. Junk NATO, its screwing around in places it doesn’t belong (look at the mess they made of Libya and Afghanistan.)

    Will never happen though because it’s an instrument of American empire.

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      dave constable says:

      I’m still in a grumble about NORAD, the joint air command that defended North American air space in September , 2001.

      To me, NATO has always been a tool of Washington policy, and under the idea of common weaponry, a great boon to USA weapons manufacturers.

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    MetisRebel says:

    I think it’s much simpler than all that.

    I expect Trudeau, being a teacher and having met Trump, is well aware that Trump is batsh*t crazy. With all the pressure on him, Trump is descending into paranoia and unintelligibility so for the Canadian government, I expect all they have to do is wait while Trump’s entire administration, implodes.

    You can’t reason with the unreasonable.

    If Canada concedes to Trump’s threats, then he will increase his demands. That’s been his pattern so far and it’s not going to change.

    Better to slam the door on it and deal with a small backlash now, than toady to the demands as they steadily increase.

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