Freeland is pushing Trudeau to spend heavily on ‘defense research’ in Alberta to meet NATO obligations

Privately, Freeland has been critical of Trudeau's domestic economic development priorities.

Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is now largely presumed to be Prime Minister Justin Trudeau‘s planned successor, is preparing to bring a mammoth new infrastructure proposal to Cabinet in her new role as Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

The initiative is being tentatively dubbed ‘Area 53’ and is motivated, in part, to meet Canada’s North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spending obligation of 2% of GDP by amply funding a slew of new defense research programs in the economically hard-hit Province of Alberta.  Canada currently spends less than 1.3% of GDP on defense.

The initiative would construct a $10 billion federal research campus south of Edmonton, on a vast swath of land adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Highway and the Edmonton International Airport.  The massive federal investment would be intended to quell separatist sentiments in the western interior of Canada, where the Liberal Party was unable to win a single riding in Parliament.

Freeland believes that the federal government has an obligation to “restructure and diversify Alberta’s economy beyond oil and gas extraction,” and has been prodding Trudeau to take bold steps to heal region rifts.

NATO Leaders Summit Takes Place In The UK - Day Two
Senior figures in the Liberal Party increasingly believe that — in the event that Trudeau’s relationship with President Donald Trump becomes too sour — Freeland may have to step into the office.

Sources familiar with her thinking say that the campus would be operated jointly by the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Industry, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.

Target research areas will include artic warfare, energy storage, and transport security; carbon-less defense systems; cyber warfare and cybersecurity; and ariel surveillance.

Sources say that Freeland will be requesting a $2 billion annual operating budget to fund the campus, which is projected to include 5,000 research scientists. But Freeland believes that the real economic impact on Alberta’s economy will come from commercializing the technology that is developed out of the research campus, and subsequently incubated into startups and developed to industrial scale.

“To get beyond the oil and gas industry from a political standpoint, we need to turn Alberta into Silicon Valley so that they see a carbon-light future as their future, too,” the former staffer at the Ministry of Global Affairs explains.  “Freeland is trying to invent our next export industries, and to do so in a way that strengthens our position in the NATO alliance.”

JasonKenneyStandingAlberta
Alberta Premier Jason Kenny has been calling for reforms to the federal government’s system of transfer payments known as ‘equalization’.  Alberta transfers more than $21.8 billion in revenue to the federal government than it gets back, but only a portion of that is due to equalization. 

3 Comments

  1. Have you ever heard Freeland make an intelligent statement? Neither have I. As if the Liberals have any interest in NATO. When asked yesterday by Trump what Canada was contributing to NATO, Trudeau didn’t know – he had to turn to an aide, who couldn’t give a definite number. “…funding a slew of new defense research programs …” Trudeau has neutered the defense forces – Canada can’t fight it’s way out of a paper bag. Alberta has the third largest proven oil reserves in the world – there is no way Albertans will leave it in the ground. You can’t govern a country based on ideology. Makes no difference if Trudeau or Freeland wear the moniker of prime minister – Gerald Butts is driving the bus. The plane that flew Trudeau and his entourage to the NATO summit has broken down. Another plane was flown from Canada to bring them back – now it too has broken down in London.
    You can’t make this stuff up!
    Canada – the latest Banana Republic
    #WEXITNOW

  2. Albera, play the QC game and start repatriating all Federal “services”. You can then start employing people by your own gov’t. The tanker bill that “protects” Canada’s west coast while leaving Canada’s east coast ipen to tankers shows that Eastern Canada doesnt care if you are unemployed. And making this research centre is unnecessary and undesireable, because it will be another source of corrupt funding that could go to the existing military.

    Make Canada Great again!

    In the meantime I suggest Alberta make nice with Manitoba and SK and get both independence and the port of Churchill with icebreaking oil tankers a future reality.

  3. The Trudeau government needs to solve the immediate problem of jobs. This form of appeasement for job creation disgusts me. In order to launch a campaign to bring our military standards to defend our borders and air space… ESPECIALLY Airspace would require trillions of dollars. Our budget, comparatively speaking, would be in pesos not dollars. 😂
    It’s sad our provincial government has to make cuts to local union jobs, now the federal government wants to spend more money on something we couldn’t possibly hope to sustain??
    We are not the United States!

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