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Canada to purchase U.S. missile defence system for Ukraine

Canada to purchase U.S. missile defence system for Ukraine

We did speak to defense minister Anita Anand earlier today about a couple of pieces of the news that Karina was just telling us about there in particular that missile air defense system that um that the United Ukraine rather uh had been waiting for here’s my conversation with defense minister Anita Anand Minister we know that this air defense.

System is something that Ukraine needs desperately how soon do you expect the system will actually be in use in Ukraine well first of all we’re very pleased to be able to be donating surface-to-air missile system to Ukraine after purchasing it from the United States which is what I announced today for.

Approximately 400 million dollars and we are working with the United States to get it to Ukraine as soon as possible just like all of the other equipment and material that we have donated to date cargo staff anti-type weapon systems M triple sevens ammunition for both this is a priority for us and we’ll make sure it gets there as soon as possible do you.

Have a rough sense I mean is this I imagine it you know it’s it’s no small donation are we talking weeks months well that is exactly what we’re discussing with the United States right now we have a very close working relationship with the United States and in particular I’m very close with my colleague secretary Lloyd Austin uh and.

So our teams are deliberately speaking about this uh over the next few days to iron out the details of the transfer you have to remember that we’re not just donating the nasam system we’re also donating Munitions and so there may be multiple shipments involved and that’s exactly what we’re ironing out in terms of details but as you know I am very.

Determined to get Aid to Ukraine as soon as possible we’ve put on the table over one billion dollars of military aid and we have been thanked routinely by my very dear friend Minister Alexei resnikov for this Aid yeah I’m sure you were happy to make that a particular phone call today just so Canadians understand what this commitment is you.

Talked about the fact that it’s Munitions as well that it could be multiple shipments we don’t know how long this console is going to last is this essentially a one-time thing or an unlimited commitment to keep providing munitions we are always keeping all options on the table and my way of operating is to have.

Direct conversations with minister rasnikov to hear from him specifically about what he is seeking that’s why we sent 39 armored vehicles from gdls that’s why we’ve sent cameras for drones and winter clothing in fact because these are all items that Minister resnikov has asked for similarly with the air defense missile systems we’re.

Doing the exact same thing and we are with Ukraine in the short and the long term and so I will just say all options will always be on the table in terms of our support for Ukraine and our Allegiance as well to our allies especially around the NATO table obviously the situation in Ukraine is unique the needs are urgent but we have.

Been talking on this program about the domestic needs as well can you can the Canadian military you know no air defense capability scrambling to obtain some the fact that you were able to do this it seems relatively quickly should that provide hope to uh General Air other members of the Canadian Armed Forces in terms of.

What Canada can do with its air defense well I will say we have the defense policy review coming up and we are examining exactly what capabilities Canada needs in addition to those that are set out in our defense policy strong secure engaged so we will continue to ensure that the Canadian Armed Forces have what they need to protect and.

Defend this country and that’s why we are purchasing and rolling out the Arctic offshore Patrol ships and that’s why we’re procuring the Canadian surface combatants and that’s why I announced yesterday the procurement of 88 f-35s for the rcaf this is a very urgent time for the Canadian Armed Forces we need to rebuild in terms of personnel and.

Capabilities and that is my full-time job 24 7. let’s talk about those f-35s obviously an announcement that received a lot of attention a full Squadron though won’t be operational until 2029. the fact that this took seven years do you think that that jeopardized the military’s combat readiness well what we needed to ensure Catherine.

Is that we had a fair open in robust competition a competition that Canadians could have confidence in a process that was run with integrity and it was independent and that’s what occurred and that’s what has allowed us to reach this important decision to purchase the f-35s we will continue as I said to make sure that the Canadian Armed Forces have what.

Is necessary to fight and defend this country including in the Arctic that’s why we put on the table almost 40 billion dollars for NORAD modernization over a 20-year period and we’re working on that as well very closely with the United States in terms of our Continental defense so this is an ongoing process and we’ll make sure we.

Are there every step of the way for the forces I can appreciate why uh you you say that your job is to ensure that the forces have what is necessary but we can’t for instance participate in air policing in Romania this year because we’re upgrading the cf-18 so we the military doesn’t necessarily have what is necessary right now right I mean.

You’re working to get it I appreciate that but surely a robust process doesn’t have to take seven years well a robust process and needs to ensure that we receive the best plane at the best price for Canadians and that had to take seven years it needed to make sure that there was not political interference and I came.

Into this job in late 2021 and my goal was to deliver for the Canadian Armed Forces and that’s one of the reasons I was very pleased to make the announcement yesterday about the purchase of the 88 aircraft and as I said this is an ongoing process Catherine and we’ll keep going there a lot of folks are looking at that clip of.

Justin Trudeau in 2015 saying this is the wrong plane you are now saying it is the right plane what do you say to Canadians who are trying to make sense of that in 2015 the F-35 was in its early stages and we have had now a fair rigorous competition and in fact many of our allies have since chosen the F-35 eight.

Countries in particular so what we are seeing now in 2023 is a more mature aircraft where many of the technical issues have been ironed out and we do expect by the time the first four aircraft arrive in 2026 that these technological issues will will be ironed out we have confidence in Lockheed Martin in this respect I just want to.

Make sure I understand your stance on this Minister your stance is that it was the wrong plane but this new iteration is the right plane no my stance is that in order to ascertain the best plane for Canada a fair rigorous and open competition which had multiple bidders needed to be in place and that was what public services.

And procurement Canada was able to deliver for our government and as minister of National Defense I’m very pleased to be able to move forward after they made that decision we are really up against the clock but there’s one other matter I’d like to ask you about and this is about Canada’s potential involvement in Haiti U.S national.

Security adviser Jake Sullivan said that Canada had expressed an interest in taking on a leadership role in a multinational security support Force for Haitian police is Canada considering a boots on the ground mission in Haiti we need to make sure that whatever Aid we provide to Haiti is Aid that is welcomed by Haitians and that is what we.

Have been discussing uh with our allies to make sure that any Aid that we provide is useful and is respectful we are very prudent at this time and that is why our ambassador to the United Nations Bob Ray made a visit to Haiti so that he could provide us with information about how we can be helpful so those are decisions that we are.

Taking now and I’d be pleased to have further conversations with you once those decisions are made so can so Mr Sullivan says Canada is considering taking a leadership role what I believe I hear you saying is it is too sensitive to say whether that is is accurate you you heard me say exactly what I said that these are issues that are being.

Under our consideration right now we’ve been in very close talks with our ambassador Bob Ray uh with Ambassador Kirsten Hillman and uh it’s a cross-government conversation and as I said the decisions are to come and I’d be happy to have a further conversation when that occurs we would be happy to have that conversation as well Minister.

We we welcome having you back when there’s some news on that thank you so much for your time thank you so much take good care you too

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