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Canada Unprepared Deal with Global Threats

[:en]Last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally barred Huawei from Canada’s 5G network.

It only took him three years to do it.

To ban Huawei is a no brainer. Security experts, including our own intelligence agencies, have been warning about the dangers posed by Huawei’s close ties to China’s communist government for years. Our Five Eyes allies have all banned Huawei from their networks and have been begging Canada to do the same.

For years, China has hit Canada with cyber-attacks, engaged in espionage and intimidated citizens of Chinese origin. They have taken our citizens hostage and banned Canadian goods. Still Justin Trudeau dithered.

This Prime Minister needs to understand that China is not our friend.

Could it be that Justin Trudeau’s expressed admiration of China’s basic dictatorship renders him unable to see the obvious threat posed by Communist China?

Whatever the reason, Canada remains vulnerable. Banning Huawei is a good first step, but China is far from the only threat Canada is facing in a quickly changing security landscape.

Russian aggression and expansionism, culminating in the current war in Ukraine, poses a danger to Europe but also to the rest of the world—particularly those countries who rely on Ukraine as the “breadbasket” of Europe. Russia’s ability to weaponize food—one of the oldest military strategies in the world—could see Russia’s influence in developing nations increase; as a benefactor to some and the cause of starvation for others.

Closer to home, for years, Russian forces have been revitalizing their bases in the far north, resulting in a significant military buildup in the Arctic region. The Trudeau Government has, once again, failed to take this threat seriously. Canada’s severely limited presence in the region renders us completely unable to deter Russian aggression or expansion and leaves our resource-rich territory, essentially, undefended.

The threat posed by Russia and China has been present for decades, there is no excuse to be in the position we are currently in. However, an alarming new threat is likely to exacerbate the dangers they pose.

Security officials (and other experts) are sounding the alarm at a new and quickly rising threat: the instability of our neighbor to the South.

Deep political divisions, largely driven by media propaganda and online misinformation and disinformation via social media—much of it originating in Russia—have led to an alarming rise in domestic extremist groups, both on the far left and far right.

While we are not, yet, experiencing this to the same level, Canada is not immune to this phenomenon. As I expressed in my column last week, Justin Trudeau’s efforts to import divisive issues from the US into Canada—to advance his own political and ideological agenda—only serves to further destabilize our own already deeply divided nation.

This increase in domestic threats has seen intelligence agencies shift their focus from international targets and re-focus resources and personnel on internal concerns. Not only is the domestic terror threat heightened but, by pulling resources, intelligence agencies are allowing more room for international terror groups and criminal entities to operate.

A divided and weakened America, no longer willing—or able—to deal unilaterally or judiciously with global threats means nations must now be prepared to stand on their own two feet to defend their sovereignty.

Like other western nations, Canada’s severely depleted military and intelligence services means we are truly vulnerable.

Taking three years to respond to an obvious threat shows a government that is not serious about security and woefully unprepared to deal with global threats.

Canada’s Conservatives understand the threats facing our country and what it will take to meet them head on. We will continue to raise the alarm and call on this Liberal Government to act swiftly and responsibly when it comes to our national security.