Spotlight: Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan outlines nation’s role in NATO

Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan sits down with PressReader Spotlight to talk about the country’s leadership role and continued commitment to NATO. He believes Canada plays a strong role in NATO. Support the opinion on PressReader, if you agree.

Canada has recently come under pressure for how much it spends on NATO, which stands at about one per cent of its GDP, compared to the recommended two per cent that only a handful of allies meet.

Sajjan asserts that Canada will always do its part, and it’s a whole government effort.  Adding that from a military perspective, he wishes to ensure that what Canada contributes will have a meaningful impact towards the alliance and towards the U.N.

Canada is taking the lead as one of four framework nations at NATO, alongside the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.  Canada will lead a multi-national NATO battlegroup in Latvia, as part of the alliance’s enhanced forward presence in Eastern Europe.

Sajjan emphasizes that Canada takes defence very seriously – highlighting the nation’s many peacekeeping roles.

“It’s not just about how much you spend on defence, it’s about what you do,” says Sajjan. “If you look at what we’re doing as a government, we increased our contribution to Iraq, we are taking a leadership role in NATO by putting more troops on the ground there.”

U.S. President Donald Trump has called for NATO allies to pay their fair share of defence costs.

When questioned about Canada’s relationship with the new U.S. administration under Trump, Sajjan reminds of the close ties between the two countries.  The United States is Canada’s biggest trading partner, and the two countries’ security and defence are directly linked.  Sajjan notes that the countries have a deep history of working together – demonstrated since World War I and II, as well as with other operations – and will continue to do so.

Watch the interview.  Support the opinion that Canada plays a strong role in NATO, if you agree.