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  #2081  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 6:30 AM
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FWIW, here was PMJT's mandate letter to Dion way back in 2015 ... which I guess you could say was his vision of what GAC should have been doing:
Quote:
Dear Mr. Dion:

I am honoured that you have agreed to serve Canadians as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

We have promised Canadians a government that will bring real change – in both what we do and how we do it.
...
As Minister of Foreign Affairs, your overarching goal will be to restore constructive Canadian leadership in the world and to advance Canada’s interests
...
Improve relations with the United States, our closest ally and most important economic and security partner, and strengthen trilateral North American cooperation with the United States and Mexico.
...
Ensure a close link between defence policy, foreign policy and national security.
...
Revitalize Canada’s public diplomacy, stakeholder engagement, and cooperation with partners in Canada and abroad.

Reenergize Canadian diplomacy and leadership on key international issues and in multilateral institutions. This would include:
...
working with the Minister of National Defence, to increase Canada’s support for United Nations peace operations and its mediation, conflict-prevention, and post-conflict reconstruction efforts;
...
Increase Canada’s educational and cultural interaction with the world.
...
IMHO, I don't think GAC has delivered much on this since 2015.
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  #2082  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 6:36 AM
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^^ Unfortunately, within the Canadian context - and the mind of the electorate - I think GAC may hold a lower level of interest than even DND.

I would expect that the only time Canadians even hear or think about GAC is when they (or their family members) need evacuation from some war zone.
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  #2083  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 10:13 AM
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GAC lost a lot of credibility within the Public Service when this happened:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...rson-1.3308271

(especially in hindsight)

Canada needs to conduct a comprehensive Foreign Policy review.
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  #2084  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 11:27 AM
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Elephant in the room at NATO summit: The return of Trump
Think Canada faces pressure now to spend more on military? Wait 'til next year, Trump allies warn

Alexander Panetta · CBC News · Posted: Jul 10, 2024 5:00 AM ADT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-...ysis-1.7258865

No more foot dragging JT. Time to lay off the virtue signaling and social justice activism and spend more time dealing with the issues that really matter, like foreign affairs, defence, and national infrastructure......
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  #2085  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VANRIDERFAN View Post
GAC lost a lot of credibility within the Public Service when this happened:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...rson-1.3308271

(especially in hindsight)

Canada needs to conduct a comprehensive Foreign Policy review.
Given the acrimonious relationship between the Conservatives, there's probably a number of departments where Trudeau might have gotten the same reception in 2015. Let's not forget that the Conservatives were going full bore on cutting embassies, diplomatic residences and even foreign postings for the Foreign Service at the time.

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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
Elephant in the room at NATO summit: The return of Trump
Think Canada faces pressure now to spend more on military? Wait 'til next year, Trump allies warn

Alexander Panetta · CBC News · Posted: Jul 10, 2024 5:00 AM ADT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago
https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/trump-...ysis-1.7258865

No more foot dragging JT. Time to lay off the virtue signaling and social justice activism and spend more time dealing with the issues that really matter, like foreign affairs, defence, and national infrastructure......
A while back, Anand had given Cabinet a plan to meet the 2% target. She got shuffled off for it. They should dust off what she was working on here:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ana...ding-1.6387361

Also, if they want a bit more credibility on the file, they should bring her back. Nobody trusts Billy:

Quote:
https://x.com/NoahGairn/status/1810795040316477873?s=19
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  #2086  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 11:49 AM
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[QUOTE=shreddog;10242255]FWIW, here was PMJT's mandate letter to Dion way back in 2015 ... which I guess you could say was his vision of what GAC should have been doing:IMHO, I don't think GAC has delivered much on this since 2015.[/QUOTE

They were solid in terms of the relationship with the USofA, but otherwise I don't think there's much to show.
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  #2087  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 12:06 PM
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At this point I don't think there's any point to a comprehensive Foreign Policy Review. It will be another excuse to put off spending. Indeed, whatever this lame duck government does is basically pointless. I'm more curious about what the Conservatives' plans are to meet these targets.
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  #2088  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
At this point I don't think there's any point to a comprehensive Foreign Policy Review. It will be another excuse to put off spending. Indeed, whatever this lame duck government does is basically pointless. I'm more curious about what the Conservatives' plans are to meet these targets.
There needs to be some determination of what we want foreign policy to accomplish than alignment of resources with those goals. "Canada is back" is not a foreign policy.
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  #2089  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by shreddog View Post
^^ Unfortunately, within the Canadian context - and the mind of the electorate - I think GAC may hold a lower level of interest than even DND.

I would expect that the only time Canadians even hear or think about GAC is when they (or their family members) need evacuation from some war zone.
One of GACs problems is that they have never bothered to cultivate a domestic constituency. People, other than some academics and NGO types, have virtually no idea what they do. This is especially the case for their "political officers" (i.e. actual diplomats), as opposed to immigration, trade, and foreign aid officers.
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  #2090  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 12:47 PM
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There needs to be some determination of what we want foreign policy to accomplish than alignment of resources with those goals. "Canada is back" is not a foreign policy.
"Canada is back" was just as meaningless a platitude as "sunny ways" was.

What a buffoon JT has been.

In what way is Canada a better place now than 10 years ago (aside from legalized pot if that is important to you)???

JT HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!
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  #2091  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Given the acrimonious relationship between the Conservatives, there's probably a number of departments where Trudeau might have gotten the same reception in 2015. Let's not forget that the Conservatives were going full bore on cutting embassies, diplomatic residences and even foreign postings for the Foreign Service at the time.
Still not a good look on an apolitical professional civil service. Just think if JT was boo’d while visiting deployed troops. And while many of us in the CAF would like to, we swallow the urge and carry on.
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  #2092  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:29 PM
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Originally Posted by VANRIDERFAN View Post
GAC lost a lot of credibility within the Public Service when this happened:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/tru...rson-1.3308271

(especially in hindsight)

Canada needs to conduct a comprehensive Foreign Policy review.
Thanks for posting. I love Julie Van Dusen!
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  #2093  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:32 PM
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Is it? I have never seen a public protest or organized campaign against defence spending. I don’t think any political party objects to more defence spending. Opinion polling shows strong support for more defence spending.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pol...o%20per%20cent.

I just think Trudeau, like Harper, has little interest in international affairs. The staffers come from provincial politics or constituency offices and see international affairs in domestic policy terms. Trudeau undertakes few official trips abroad, most of his key ministers take few trips abroad.

Part of it is Canadians, unlike Brits, Americans, Australians, etc. have little overseas exposure, but even in that context Canadians also don’t have much objection to international involvement.
The thing is when it comes to contributing to global security and foreign aid, we're actually more selfish and insular than we like to think, and are more than happy to let others do the heavy lifting for us.

We'll surf on that for as long as we can.
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  #2094  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:43 PM
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
One of GACs problems is that they have never bothered to cultivate a domestic constituency. People, other than some academics and NGO types, have virtually no idea what they do.
FIP changing the name from DFAIT was part of that. Even though Harper had made cuts, at least people could understand "Foreign Affairs and International Trade". (.i.e. not Canada and let's sell some stuff) Whereas what the hell does "Global Affairs" mean anyway? Only things that affect the globe as a whole?
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  #2095  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:45 PM
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The thing is when it comes to contributing to global security and foreign aid, we're actually more selfish and insular than we like to think, and are more than happy to let others do the heavy lifting for us.
Truer words ... the only reason we went to Mali was for the ego boost of getting onto the UNSC. Since then ... crickets ...
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  #2096  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 1:53 PM
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Originally Posted by VANRIDERFAN View Post
Still not a good look on an apolitical professional civil service. Just think if JT was boo’d while visiting deployed troops. And while many of us in the CAF would like to, we swallow the urge and carry on.
Booing is very different than cheering. If we had a new government recomitted to a strong defence you can bet that they would get a cheer as well. Imagine someone like Rick Hillier is the new Defence minister.

Agreed it was childish and just feeds into the Conservative narrative that bureacurats are all Liberal. Talking to the ones I know many are voting Conservative next election even knowing it will hurt their own bottom line. That's like oil workers voting for the NDP (which also happened) because it was just time for the governmetn to go.

[QUOTE=kwoldtimer;10242311]
Quote:
Originally Posted by shreddog View Post
FWIW, here was PMJT's mandate letter to Dion way back in 2015 ... which I guess you could say was his vision of what GAC should have been doing:IMHO, I don't think GAC has delivered much on this since 2015.[/QUOTE

They were solid in terms of the relationship with the USofA, but otherwise I don't think there's much to show.
Solid US relationship is priorty 1 2 and 3 so not a total fail. Especially with a strong anti-Trump and even anti-American sentiment in the Liberal party. Still it's decades of a strong foundation by politicians and diplomats that allowed us to weather the Trump storm.
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  #2097  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 2:04 PM
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Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
"Canada is back" was just as meaningless a platitude as "sunny ways" was.

What a buffoon JT has been.

In what way is Canada a better place now than 10 years ago (aside from legalized pot if that is important to you)???

JT HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!
Government by slogan.
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  #2098  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 3:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MonctonRad View Post
"Canada is back" was just as meaningless a platitude as "sunny ways" was.

What a buffoon JT has been.

In what way is Canada a better place now than 10 years ago (aside from legalized pot if that is important to you)???

JT HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!
Isn’t Moncton loads better today than it was ten years ago?

Immigration being a big part of that explosive growth and development.
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  #2099  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 6:31 PM
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Poilievre says he wants to restore the military while cutting spending — how would th

A good well balanced articel from CBC (noteworthy in itself)
Cutting aid as we discussed above a potential pathway to more defense spending?


https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/poi...nato-1.7258338

Conservative leader says he would work toward NATO spending targets but offers no timeline

Listen to Pierre Poilievre list his top priorities — cutting taxes, building homes, reducing the federal budget and fighting crime — and you won't hear a specific mention of Canada's military.

The Conservative leader has pledged to change the culture of the Canadian Armed Forces from what he calls a "woke" culture to a "warrior" one. He has suggested he's prepared to increase the military's resources. But what exactly would defence policy under a Poilievre government look like?

The current federal government is facing growing pressure to spend billions of dollars more to meet NATO's military spending target for member nations — two per cent of GDP. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is confronting that pressure as he meets with leaders of other NATO countries in Washington this week.

The Conservative leader faces a different kind of pressure. He has to square his vows to "bring home control of our country and our defence" and "work towards" NATO's spending target with his core pledge to cut government spending with an eye to balancing the budget.

"That's pretty tricky math to accomplish in a short time frame," said Dave Perry, president and CEO of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

A $50 billion gap
A Conservative government would have to increase the defence budget by somewhere between $10 and $15 billion five years from now — above and beyond the commitments already made by the Liberals — in order to meet the NATO target, Perry said.

In the meantime, the Conservatives also would look to slash deficit spending — pegged at nearly $40 billion in the most recent Liberal budget.

Poilievre also has called for a cultural shift within the Armed Forces. "We're going to end the woke culture and we're going to bring back a warrior culture," he told a reporter earlier this year.

It's a shift that some members of the Armed Forces are eager to see, said Peter MacKay, who served as defence minister from 2007 to 2013 under Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"There has been a feeling that there was a bit of an overcorrection, I think, in the last number of years," MacKay said when asked how he interprets Poilievre's comments.

Long-time Conservative Peter MacKay waves to delegates at the Conservative convention in Quebec City.
Peter MacKay acknowledges the Harper government never met NATO's spending target. He argues the Canadian electorate is more willing now to spend money on rebuilding the military. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)
Poilievre's "woke" versus "warrior" language is not meant to signal a rejection of the military's high-profile efforts to stamp out sexual misconduct, he said.

"I think there's a blazing red line between anything that would be deemed abuse or sexual harassment and what is more in the area of overemphasis on appearances, overemphasis on changes to uniforms, to the relaxation of certain what used to be called the Queen's orders and regulations within the military," MacKay said. "And I think that that's where members are bristling, particularly long-serving members."

The Canadian military recently backtracked on a move to loosen personal grooming standards. In 2022, the Forces removed most restrictions on hair length, hair colour, nail length and facial tattoos. The changes were introduced along with new gender-neutral uniforms.

'Large proportion' of military disliked relaxed rules on personal grooming, survey finds
ANALYSISThe philosophy — and politics — behind Canada's reluctance to meet NATO's spending target
Canada risks 'diplomatic isolation' if it fails to meet NATO spending target, business leaders warn
Retired lieutenant general Michel Maisonneuve delivered a speech to the Conservative Party policy convention last fall. In it, he railed against a "woke movement" he accused of working to destroy Canadian values and accused the Trudeau government of "apologizing for who we are and how we came to be."

CBC News asked Poilievre's office to explain the meaning of his "woke" versus "warrior" comment but did not receive a direct response — only general remarks about the Conservatives' desire to "stand up" for the military.

Perry agreed there needs to be a "rebalancing" within the military to put more emphasis on core functions.

But striking that new balance, he said, requires money, not words — investments in core combat capabilities through purchases of fighter jets, ground vehicles, tanks and warships.

Just how much a Poilievre government would be willing to invest in those core capabilities remains to be seen.

Working 'towards' the NATO target
In response to a reporter's question in February, Poilievre argued that Canada is too dependent on the United States for its defence.

"That puts America in charge of Canada's future. I don't want that. I want to bring home control of our country and our defence," he said.

Does that mean a government led by him would spend the billions of additional dollars required to meet the NATO target?

Poilievre's office provided a statement which says the party will "restore" the military, "work towards meeting Canada's NATO spending commitment ... and restore Canada as a reliable partner to our allies."

"[Poilievre's] language isn't all that forceful," said Perry. "It's certainly not as strong as the commitment that the Government of Canada signed up to a year ago [at the NATO summit in Lithuania], but in the interim has demonstrated absolutely no intention of actually reaching."

WATCH: Elections, defence spending set to dominate NATO summit

Elections, defence spending likely to dominate NATO summit
2 days ago
Duration1:51
Recent elections in the U.K. and Europe as well as the upcoming U.S. election are one issue expected to dominate the agenda at the 75th NATO summit. The other will be defence spending — including Canada failing to meet a two per cent spending target.
Canada currently has a plan to get its military spending up to 1.76 per cent of GDP.

MacKay acknowledged that the government he served in never brought military spending up to the 2 per cent mark. But times have changed, he argued — wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, along with other sources of global tensions, have shifted the political terrain.

"It's fair to say that more recently the public are much more informed and I think much more behind efforts to invest in the military. Mr. Poilievre, should he form a government, I think will have more wind in his sails to make those type of investments," he said.

Asked whether he thinks Poilievre should commit firmly to meeting the NATO target, MacKay said he thinks the Conservative leader is "reserving some space to see the state of play" on government spending.

"I personally believe, and I have spoken to him about this, that he is very inclined to invest more in our military and get us to that two per cent level," he said.

Poilievre has offered a few hints to how he might approach military spending.

Could cuts to foreign aid boost the military's budget?
He has said he would "cut wasteful foreign aid" to "dictators, terrorist and multinational bureaucracies" to free up funds for the Armed Forces. He also has pledged to cut back on bureaucracy and reinvest in resources for troops, and to improve the military procurement process to stop "wasting billions of dollars" on defence contractors.

Poilievre's office did not directly answer questions about how much foreign aid he expects to cut.

Redirecting some of the roughly $16 billion Canada spends annually on international development assistance would get Canada to the NATO targets, said Perry.

"But that's not taking away some of the money going to autocracies you might not like. That's not tweaking the development assistance budget. That's redirecting it almost in its entirety," he said, adding that the federal development assistance budget includes billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine.

Canadian pilots at the controls of a C-130J flying over Europe, airlifting aid for Ukraine.
Canadian pilots at the controls of a C-130J flying over Europe, airlifting aid for Ukraine. (Chris Brown/CBC News)
Both Perry and MacKay said they couldn't make out what Poilievre meant by "wasting billions" on defence contractors.

Both noted that by acting more swiftly on procurement decisions, the Canadian government could save significant sums of money lost to inflation as prices creep up over time.

While Poilievre has outlined some of his approach to military policy, he has left many questions unanswered.

"Mr. Poilievre has spent very little time discussing what he would do with the Armed Forces or the future of Canadian foreign policy or their diplomatic establishment, our intelligence services, beyond some aspects of foreign interference," said Perry.

Poilievre hasn't said what sorts of roles he sees the Armed Forces taking on, or identified the regions of the world he considers priorities for military operations, he added.

"I think pretty much most of Mr. Poilievre's international agenda remains to be fleshed out at this point."
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  #2100  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2024, 8:31 PM
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PP could bring our civil service back to the size it was when Trudeau took office. That would be a cool $10 billion without any reduction in actual civil service pay rates. The size of the federal civil service has soared by 40% since Trudeau took office. Anyone here feel gov't services have improved by 40% in the last 9 years?.......ya, I thought not.

As for military spending, it is one of the very few things that I agreed with Trump on. Canada signed on the bottom line to increase military spending to 2% of GDP decades ago and we have been breeching that contract ever since. We have this mentality that we want the security of being a NATO country and then letting everyone else pay for it.

For those who do not want to see an increase in funding to DND or even want a reduction as they feel the money could be better spent elsewhere then that is fine BUT we should hence withdraw from NATO. We can't have it both ways and if we don't live up to our LEGAL obligations of defense spending then Canada should unceremoniously be kicked out.
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