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Budget woes will slow Canada's hard power build-up

Monday, June 12, 2017

Significance

Ahead of the rollout of the Liberal government’s new defence white paper, Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland delivered a speech in the House of Commons arguing that Canada’s membership of NATO and history of peacekeeping are core elements of its internationalist foreign policy. The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wishes to finance greater Canadian involvement in multilateral security missions and institutions of liberal global governance.

Impacts

  • Defence issues are not politically salient to Canadian voters, but government backtracking on policy is.
  • High polling support for peacekeeping would probably evaporate in the event of Canadian losses abroad.
  • Operational setbacks could see Trudeau’s Liberals bleed support to their New Democratic and Conservative rivals.
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