Advertisement

Canada needs to spend billions on military, can’t rely on U.S.: Chrystia Freeland

Click to play video 'Freeland explains why ‘Canada First’ is the wrong approach' Freeland explains why ‘Canada First’ is the wrong approach
WATCH: Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland explained why in the view of the federal government an isolationist "Canada First" policy is not correct – Jun 6, 2017

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canadians need to spend billions on “hard power” military capability because they can’t rely on the U.S. or others for protection.

In a major foreign policy speech in the House of Commons today, she doesn’t mention Donald Trump by name, but makes an unabashed pitch for the international rules-based order that the U.S. president’s America First policy is attacking.

READ MORE: Why did Donald Trump attack the Canadian dairy industry?

The speech is also meant to pave the way for the release of Wednesday’s defence policy review, which is expected to make the case for billions in new military spending.

She says Canada doesn’t need a “Canada First” foreign policy, but given that the U.S. is now questioning the worth of its global leadership, it is more important than ever for Canada to plot its own course in the world.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Canada’s plan to increase defence spending delayed until after major NATO summit

The speech affirms Canada’s support for multilateralism and rules-based international systems, human rights, gender equality, fighting climate change and spreading economic benefits more widely.

She says Canada played a major role in shaping the world order after the Second World War because the country – including her own ancestors – suffered heavy losses fighting two world wars.

WATCH: Many voted for Trump to shrug off burden of world leadership, Freeland says

Click to play video 'Freeland: Many voted for Trump to shrug off burden of world leadership' Freeland: Many voted for Trump to shrug off burden of world leadership
Freeland: Many voted for Trump to shrug off burden of world leadership – Jun 6, 2017