Russian Bear Pokes Canada
Often, under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, moral relativists bemoaned the lack of UN engagement and suggested his principled and vociferous opposition to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Ukraine was mere political posturing. The annual Arctic Tour Harper started in 2006 was labelled a public relations exercise by critics who failed to recognize the importance of this coast to our nation’s sovereignty.
We have a new prime minister-designate — Justin Trudeau — who denigrated Putin’s dangerous and provocative actions in Ukraine as simply motivated by a “hockey loss.”
His first act was to tell our American ally he is going to pull our CF-18s out of the fight against ISIS. This group of terrorists are the most vile, barbaric and ritualistic murderers the world has witnessed and Trudeau is choosing to stand on the sidelines.
It is by no coincidence — more by design — that the expansionist Putin regime announced plans Thursday for three new military bases in the Arctic. The Russian defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, boasted: “This is a really large base that was never seen during the Soviet times, and it has modern equipment, all of the needed equipment for these boundaries.”
So what say you, prime minister-designate Trudeau?
The Russian Bear is poking Canada and what do you plan to do?
There is a lot at stake in the Arctic — mining, exploration, new shipping channels and the territorial integrity of our country. There is also an enormous amount of international interest in the Arctic, that’s why the UN set up the Arctic Council to try and assess the merits of all the competing claims.
We have learned from Putin’s past behaviour that, if unchecked, an inch turns into miles. And if we consider occupation to be nine-tenths of ownership, Putin is laying the groundwork for squatters’ rights.
The safety and security of North America are clearly laid bare by Putin’s bold moves. Three functional, large and operational military bases in the Arctic could be seen as similar a manoeuvre as the Soviets establishing bases in Cuba.
As his first act as prime minister-designate, Trudeau pulled out of the coalition fight against ISIS and signalled to bullies like Putin that Canada is now a nation of pushovers.
During the election campaign, Trudeau promised to tell Putin off “directly to his face.” So has he made that phone call? Has he called in the Russian ambassador? Has he reached out to Arctic Council members? Has he done anything to respond to the world’s bully?
Here is your first test to show that you are an adult at the grown-up table, prime minister-designate Trudeau. What say you?
SARA MACINTYRE, Guest Columnist