Trudeau defends military spending ahead of NATO summit

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is defending Canadian military spending after a new NATO report this week showed Canada heading in the wrong direction.

Canada and other members of the NATO military alliance agreed in 2014 to increase their defense spending to two per cent of their national gross domestic product.

But the new report released by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday estimates Canadian defense spending will actually drop as a share of GDP this year.

Ahead of a NATO summit in Spain, where the issue of defense spending will be front and centre, Trudeau says Canada is investing more money in new fighter jets and North American defences.

He also says Canada has repeatedly proven its commitment to the military alliance by stepping up with deployments in Latvia and elsewhere.

The prime minister sidestepped a question over whether Canada is prepared to send more troops to Latvia, as NATO seeks to double the size of its forces throughout the Baltics.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 28, 2022

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