Shipment term

Canada announces new arms shipments to Ukraine amid growing calls for industry to adopt ‘war footing’

Defense Minister Anita Anand announced Wednesday that Canada will send C$9 million worth of replacement barrels for the M-777 artillery pieces it sent to Ukraine earlier this year. On the sidelines of a Brussels meeting of U.S.-led Ukrainian Contact Groups, the latest shipment brings the total Canada’s Liberal government has spent on military aid to Ukraine to C$147 million since the tabling of its 2022-2023 budget in early April.

In this budget, the Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau, supported by the NDP, pledged to supply Ukraine with half a billion dollars in armaments by March 2023.

As part of Operation Unifier, the Canadian Armed Forces played a major role in training and reorganizing the Ukrainian military to prepare for war with Russia (Photo credit: DND)

Wednesday’s meeting underscored that as Ukraine’s military posture deteriorates and hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers lose their lives daily, the Western imperialist powers are determined to further intensify their involvement in the US-NATO war with the Russia. The Biden administration, which on Wednesday pledged an additional $1 billion in weapons for kyiv, is determined to “break Russia’s back”, to reduce it to semi-colony status, to seize its resources and to intensify the strategic encirclement of China by imperialism.

Canada, which has depended for more than eight decades on a close military-strategic partnership with Washington to advance its own predatory global ambitions, fully agrees with this reckless agenda, including the provocations Washington is mounting against China in Asia-Pacific, even waging war on Russia.

Anand made it clear in remarks following Wednesday’s meeting that the imperialist powers foresee a long period of military conflict. Making a direct appeal to arms manufacturers and other industrial companies to increase production, Anand said: “There is a continued need to provide equipment and military aid to the Ukraine, and governments around the world have only limited stocks. And so the next step is for the industry to see itself as having a role to play.

Anand continued, “We see the need for further industry expansion. So, for example, in the field of ammunition, this is a key area where we need the industry to continue to strengthen.

What Anand is saying is that the Liberal government and its American allies are planning many months, if not years, of war with Russia, regardless of the number of casualties suffered by Ukrainian and Russian soldiers. This incredibly reckless policy increases the danger that the conflict could turn into a direct confrontation between Russia and the United States and its NATO allies fought with nuclear weapons, threatening the lives of millions of people across Europe. and beyond.

Discussions about the need for a dramatic expansion of war production have been going on among Canada’s political elite and senior military ranks for some time. Canada’s Chief of the Defense Staff, General Wayne Eyre, told the CBC in early May that Canadian industry needed to adopt a “war-base.” Eyre said: “I think what it has shown is that we need to increase the capacity of [the] defense industry. Given the deteriorating global situation, we need the defense industry to adopt a war stance and increase its production lines to be able to meet existing needs, be it ammunition, artillery , rockets, etc. There is a huge demand there.

Eyre is working closely with Anand and Deputy Defense Minister Bill Matthews to develop a comprehensive rearmament plan, including acquiring new fleets of warplanes, warships and submarines. Anand told a Global Affairs Canada conference in early May sponsored by arms manufacturers: “We meet daily, sometimes twice a day. This is the type of team that I enjoy leading and this is the type of team that will continue to deliver in this area.

In its efforts to increase war production, the Canadian government would rely on its close ties to the union bureaucracy to maintain labor discipline in heavy industry and arms manufacturing. The Trudeau government has experience in this area, having worked with Unifor to secure the supply of C$15 billion in armored vehicles to the blood-soaked Saudi dictatorship to wage its brutal war in Yemen, which claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people. civilians and plunged millions of people into hunger and starvation. When extremely limited criticism of this arms deal was raised by New Democrats during the 2015 federal election, Unifor President Jerry Dias stepped in to tell Social Democrats in no uncertain terms to shut up – a demand with which the pro-war NDP quickly complied.

Canada’s important role in escalating the war with Russia builds on its longstanding support for the far-right regime in kyiv. Ottawa was a leading supporter of the fascist Maidan coup in 2014, which deposed pro-Russian president-elect Victor Yanukovych and brought a pro-Western puppet regime to power in Kyiv. Canada then deployed military trainers to Ukraine, who helped train the far-right Azov Battalion and other fascist groups as they were integrated into the country’s armed forces. At the same time, Ottawa joined in the massive expansion of NATO’s military strength in Eastern Europe, agreeing to lead a NATO battalion in Latvia, one of four forward battle groups in NATO in the Baltic republics and in Poland.

Earlier this month, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly confirmed that Ottawa was implementing the planned increase in its military contingent in Latvia. “We had 700 soldiers and now we are increasing that number by 450. We are now 1,300 soldiers in Latvia. We have also increased our presence by making sure there is a frigate in the Baltic Sea,” she told The Canadian Press.

Canada will send six CF-18 fighters and 200 troops to Romania next month to support NATO air provocations against Russia. Bordering Ukraine to the south, Romania sits on the strategically critical Black Sea.

As Ottawa joins in the rapidly escalating hostilities with Russia, it is also increasing tensions with China. Following the lead of the Biden administration, which seeks to provoke Beijing into conflict by reversing the decades-long policy of strategic ambiguity toward Taiwan, Canada has conducted a series of aerial reconnaissance missions designed to provoke a response from Beijing. . Supported by Australia, the United States and Japan, Canadian aircraft took part in reconnaissance missions ostensibly aimed at enforcing UN sanctions on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program between April 26 and May 26. A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Defense accused Canada of using the “excuse” of applying UN resolutions to carry out operations that “endangered China’s national security and the security of the front line staff on both sides”.

Earlier in May, the Trudeau government confirmed in a long-awaited announcement its decision to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from the country’s 5G and 4G networks. The aggressive move, part of a US-led campaign to cripple major Chinese tech companies, underscores Ottawa’s support for Washington’s diplomatic, economic and military moves against Beijing aimed at blocking the rise of the China as a strategic competitor.

The Trudeau government’s aggressive role as the attack dog of US imperialism around the world enjoys unanimous support within the political establishment. Social Democratic New Democrats reached a “confidence and supply” agreement with Trudeau in March to guarantee his minority government a parliamentary majority until June 2025. The explicit purpose of the agreement was to ensure the “political stability”, i.e. the ability to pursue unpopular policies of war against Russia, rearmament and attacks on working conditions and living standards to pay for massive bailouts of super -wealthy during the pandemic and the tens of billions needed to fund Canada’s preparations for World War III. NDP votes secured passage of the Liberals’ latest budget, which included an additional C$8 billion increase in military spending on top of the massive defense spending hike first unveiled in 2017.

Any criticism of the Trudeau government within the political establishment on these issues comes from the right. In a statement on the Huawei ban, the NDP complained that the move was “long overdue” and accused the Liberal government of dragging its feet on the issue. “It took three years for the Liberal government to make this decision while other Five Eyes countries made their position known much earlier. This delay,” he continued, “has only raised serious questions at home and among our allies about the Liberal government’s national security commitments and has hampered the internal telecommunications market.

Opposition Conservatives are demanding that the Trudeau government take an even more belligerent stance against Russia and have repeatedly accused the Liberals of being “soft” on China, if not placating them.

The media, led by the Globe and Mail, and the Conservatives and New Democrats, launched a campaign against the Liberal government earlier this week following sensationalized “exposure” that a low-level official at Global Affairs Canada, the Canadian ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the Russia Day celebrations at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa last week. The “outrage” expressed by opposition parties forced Trudeau to declare the official’s participation “unacceptable” and to promise that it would never happen again. “Conservatives have long called on the Liberal government to do more to isolate Putin’s regime from the world, including expelling Russian diplomats, as our allies have done,” said interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen.