Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Wednesday March 23, 2022
What the Liberal-NDP deal could mean for ‘aggressive options’ on defence spending
The prospects for a significant increase in Canadian defence spending in the coming federal budget looked a little less likely as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was set to head to Europe after announcing a stunning political deal with the New Democrats.
The Liberal government had been hinting that it was looking at aggressive options for injecting more money into the Canadian military in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Canada has been under heavy pressure to meet the NATO military alliance’s target, set in 2006, of spending at least two per cent of its national gross domestic product on defence, as a growing number of allies have since promised to do.
Trudeau was largely noncommittal on Tuesday as he announced the new confidence and supply agreement with the NDP, which will see the fourth-place party support the Liberal minority government through to 2025 in exchange for new investments in other areas.
Those include the creation of a dental-care program for lower-income Canadians, national pharmacare, affordable housing and phasing out subsides for fossil fuels, among others.