Biden, Trudeau promise upgrades to Arctic defence

$7 billion to go to surveillance system modernization; $7.3 billion to aircraft modernization

U.S. President Joe Biden, left, speaks alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after addressing Parliament on Friday. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

U.S. President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have committed billions of dollars in spending to bolster defence in the Arctic.

The announcement came in a joint statement Friday following Biden’s address to Parliament, the first president to speak before Parliament since Barack Obama in 2016.

The spending includes $7 billion for surveillance-system modernization and acquiring new over-the-horizon radar systems.

Biden and Trudeau also announced $7.3 billion to go toward aircraft modernization, including preparation for Canada’s purchase of F-35 fighter jets.

In his wide-ranging speech to Parliament, Biden touted the importance of defending the Arctic through improvement and modernization of the North American Aerospace Defence Command, or Norad.

“We’re working in close co-ordination to steward and protect the northernmost regions of our world,” Biden said.

“Soon, Norad will have a new next-generation over-the-horizon radar to enhance our early warning capacity, upgraded undersea surveillance systems, modernized infrastructure necessary to host the most advanced aircraft.”

Over-the-horizon radar has the capability to detect targets hundreds of kilometres beyond the scope of ordinary radar.

“I’m looking forward to continuing to work in close partnership with Canada as we deliver on these needs so that our people can continue to rest soundly knowing Norad is on the watch,” Biden continued.

His speech received a standing ovation from the audience of MPs and invited dignitaries.

Trudeau echoed Biden’s comments on Arctic security.

“We’re continuing our work to meet the evolving security challenges we face today,” Trudeau said in a press conference after the speech.

Strengthened northern security was a concern for the MPs from Nunavut and Nunavik ahead of the presidential address. Nunavut Sen. Dennis Patterson said so directly to Biden, in a greeting line on Parliament Hill Friday morning.

“We’re going to modernize Norad and guard North America for you,” Patterson said while shaking Biden’s hand.

Biden covered several topics in his speech.

The war in Ukraine was top of mind. The president reaffirmed the U.S. and Canada’s support for the country in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Biden also used his speech to touch on trade, resource extraction, job growth, and Canada and U.S. involvement in the ongoing conflict in Haiti.

The speech held an overall optimistic tone for the future of the Canada and U.S. relationship.

“The world needs Canada and the United States working together with our partners around the world to rally strong and effective global action,” Biden said.

He also threw a humorous jab at the Toronto Maple Leafs, saying that as a Philadelphia Flyers fan the Leafs are the only Canadian NHL team he doesn’t like.


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(11) Comments:

  1. Posted by Money on

    $14,300,000,000 to big corporations for aircraft we will never fly in and for watching the sky. Just for perspective, that works out to about $375,500 for each Nunavummiut.
    I bet Nunavut could be “captured” by anyone offering houses, food and jobs.
    How many houses will be built in Nunavut, how much food will be made available in Nunavut, how many jobs will be created in Nunavut with that $14,300,000,000?
    Will those F35s keep the houses, food and jobs out of Nunavut?
    Will anyone offering housing, food and jobs be accused of being supported by “the enemy of the day”?
    Secret message from secret government to Ottawa: “We want Nunavut. How much?”
    Secret message from Ottawa to secret government: “$5,000,000,000.”
    Secret message from secret government to Ottawa: “Agreed.”
    Secret message from Ottawa to secret government: “Here is deed to Nunavut and our check for $5,000,000,000. Now it’s your responsibility.”

    • Posted by Uhh on

      Maybe time for some geopolitics 101

  2. Posted by art thompson on

    Apparently Inuit were not at the table as PJ pajama boy wanted. I mean who was going run all that sophisticated Norad equipment and fighter jets?

  3. Posted by Dual Citizen on

    Oh, great. Those clowns. We need to take away their checkbooks!

  4. Posted by Johnyboy on

    Letter to my president, omg I think we spent too much Justin, lets take the rest of the money and run,or go bankrupt after we finish our last can of Molson Canadian

  5. Posted by Build a Wall on

    I do not want our country entangled and inseparable from the US. Please work on distancing us from the infernal idiots. Their sick mentality is already creeping north e.g. the Freedom Convoy. They haven’t cleaned up their toxic garbage in the Arctic from the Cold War. Keep the US out!

    • Posted by Friends with Benefits on

      During WW2 the US created a Special Warfare unit and based it in Colorado. It was called the 10th Mountain Division and it specialized in mountain warfare.
      The 10th Mountain Division still exists. Today the 10th Mountain Division specializes in Urban Warfare and is based in the northwestern Adirondacks, about a 90 minute drive from Ottawa.
      Yes, Canada has nice friends.

    • Posted by oh ima on

      Freedom Convoy is conceived in Canada by a ranking member of the KKK, Tom King. The convoy is a white supremacy movement that has no influence from the US, stop pretending Canada is a tolerant place.

      • Posted by One Trick Pony on

        The centrality of victimhood to your personal identity animates the endless procession of boogeymen through the meadows of your mind.

  6. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    I’d like a leopard tank chassis for summer romping around the tundra.

  7. Posted by Confused on

    Are we just going to forget about the UFO’s?


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