Following U.S. Defence Secretary, James Mattis’, uncompromising warning to NATO allies, Canadian Minister of Defence Harjit Sajjan has assured that Canada is set to make significant investments in defence, in accordance with the defence policy review set to be released soon.
Speaking from Brussels, following the NATO defence ministers meeting last week, Sajjan addressed the future of Canadian defence spending.
“Obviously we did discuss [spending] in terms of the resources required for the impact that we want to have in NATO, and every nation is doing their part towards that,” said Sajjan.
Sajjan also pointed out that Canada is contributing to NATO in other ways including leading the multinational NATO mission in Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE.
Earlier in the week, Sajjan’s American counterpart warned NATO members there could be a harsh consequence if other countries did not step up their spending.
“America will meet its responsibilities, but if your nations do not want to see America moderate its commitment to this alliance, each of your capitals needs to show support for our common defence,” said Mattis at the closing of the NATO session.
Currently, Canada spends just over one per cent of its national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). NATO encourages its members to spend two per cent.
Sajjan mentioned during Thursday’s teleconference with the media that the defence policy review provides insight as to what investments need to be made and looks 20 years out into the future.
“We knew that spending by the previous government was low and the defence policy review allowed us to do a thorough analysis of what was required.
“Based on the outputs, this allows us to determine what in defence investments is required. So, yes we will be investing,” added Sajjan.
While in Europe, Canada’s minister of defence has met with a host of leaders on a variety of issues. He recently attended a meeting with a counter-ISIL group led by Mattis and held bi-literal meetings with the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and ministers from Australia, France, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.
Sajjan attended the 2017 Munich Security Conference in Germany this past weekend.