ontario news watch

Canadian military can work in Europe, Asia at same time: defence minister

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada can walk and chew gum at the same time, as she faced questions today about whether the Canadian military is stretched too thin.

The questions followed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement in Thailand that Canada’s new Indo-Pacific strategy will include increasing the military’s role in Asia.

The government has already started to move in that direction by deploying two warships to the Pacific since the summer.

At the same time, Canada doesn’t have any warships in European waters for the first time in eight years.

Speaking at an event in Halifax, Anand says Canada’s contributions to European security extend beyond warships and include various contributions to the NATO military alliance and Ukraine.

Anand also defended Canada’s continued refusal to spend two per cent of its GDP on the military, a target that all NATO members have agreed to meet in the face of growing security threats in Europe and elsewhere.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press