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Trudeau commits to increase Canada’s military presence in Latvia
Politics

Trudeau commits to increase Canada’s military presence in Latvia

Jul 2, 2023

The Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised to double Canada’s contribution for a NATO mission to Latvia. He committed $2.6 billion over three years, and as many as 2,200 Canadian soldiers to be deployed permanently.

 

The announcement was made at a press conference in Riga, Latvia on Monday with Latvian Premier Krisjanis Karins and Defence Minister Anita Anand.

 

He said, “This is how modern defence will be done in the future.” “Nearly a dozen NATO countries are cooperating, training and working together and learning valuable lessons that will make our collective defense stronger.”

 

The largest Canadian overseas mission is the battle group led by Canada in the Baltic. It includes about 800 Canadian Armed Forces.

 

Trudeau said that the additional personnel, which he met with Latvian president Edgars Rinkevics on Monday, will enhance and reinforce Canadian land, naval and air capabilities, and support special operations throughout central and eastern Europe.

 

The Prime Minister also pledged that Canada will procure and preposition critical weapons systems, and assist with intelligence and cyber activities.

 

 

Trudeau said, “Canada, and all other countries, must be clear about the fact that Russia’s unprovoked attack on an independent, free, and democratic Ukraine is a threat against freedom, international law and human rights, and to all of the democratic values shared by generations of soldiers who have fought for their defense.”

 

Anand announced last month that a Leopard 2-tank squadron consisting of 15 tanks and 130 personnel will join the mission this fall.

 

NATO is increasing its military presence in the vicinity of Russia to counteract Russia’s continued assault on Ukraine.

 

The number of battlegroups in the area has been doubled since the beginning of the war. There are plans to expand some of these groups to become combat-ready brigades.

 

Anand’s joint road map with her Latvian counterpart outlines three phases of scaling up the Latvia Battle Group to a Brigade. They aim to finish the buildup by 2025.

 

The document states that “by 2026, Canada will have completed the full implementation” of brigade capability to Latvia.

 

NATO leaders including Trudeau are expected to gather in Lithuania’s capital on Tuesday for the annual NATO summit.

 

Trudeau is expected to meet some Canadian Armed Forces personnel stationed at the Latvian base later on Monday, before departing for Vilnius.

 

Leaders and businesses in Saskatchewan call on Trudeau for an end to the B.C. port strike

 

 

Many organizations in Saskatchewan have called on the federal to resolve the ongoing Port Strike on the West Coast.

 

The British Columbia port workers have been on strike for over a week now, and there are growing concerns among industries who rely heavily upon exports.

 

The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce is focused on the economic implications.

 

Prabha Ramaswamy is the CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. She said that about 44 percent of Saskatchewan’s trade passes through the Vancouver-Fraser Port, which accounts for $17 billion worth of commodities.

 

Ramaswamy stated that there are no other ports in the world with the same capability to transport the volume of goods that the province exports. Options like rerouting through the United States will result in higher costs for the exporters.

 

Ramaswamy said, “We have what the world wants, but getting it into international markets has always been difficult. The strike has made the problem even more challenging.”

 

The provincial ministers for highways, Jeremy Cockrill and trade, sent a warning to the federal government on June 20th about the consequences of a strike. They said that a labour dispute could cause bottlenecks along the supply chain and lead to shortages of goods and higher costs for business.

 

The letter addressed to the federal government stated: “We urge you to investigate all avenues possible to prevent a labor disruption as the consequences will be far-reaching, and detrimental to our province and country as a entire.”

 

 

Scott Moe said in a tweet that “the federal government must explore all options” to end the costly and damaging strike.

 

Brad Sigurdson, with the Saskatchewan Mining Association said that now the strike is in full swing, a prolonged strike could result in curtailment or shut downs.

 

Sigurdson stated that “we can’t get products to the market without these ports, and to have constant disruptions is very disheartening; it’s very disruptive for workers and everything else.”

 

The Chamber of Commerce and the Mining Association, which are both part of the Saskatchewan government, have echoed the province in asking the federal government to consider options for a mutually beneficial agreement to end the strike before any further economic problems arise.

 

Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, said that the Federal Government will continue to put pressure on both sides in order to end the strike.

 

Trudeau acknowledged the “impact” of the strike on Prairie businesses, and said that the best bargain can be made at the negotiation table.

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