What Happened To Canada’s Self-Preservation Instinct?

Profiting from our natural resources, having a strong national defense, and ensuring we can defend our own territory shouldn’t be controversial.

Should a country have a military capable of defending its territory?

Should a country be able to assert its sovereignty over the land comprising the nation?

Should a country utilize its natural resources in order to enrich and benefit the population?

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that you said ‘yes’ to all of those questions.

After all, you are likely someone who values common-sense.

Yet, as a whole, our nation seems to have lost our survival instinct.

While this problem is most visible in the actions of the current Liberal government, it goes back quite a long way, and indeed appears to be quite widespread in the population.

Despite our experience as a nation in two brutal world wars, and conflicts since then, much of our population and political leaders have neglected some of the basic pillars of national strength.

Biting the hand that feeds

Most countries in the world would feel tremendously blessed to have the abundance of natural resources we possess here in Canada.

Yet, the attitude in this country is often one of shame rather than gratitude.

Our country treats our energy sector as something dirty that should be held back, rather than as something that provides tremendous wealth and enables our Citizens to have a higher-standard of living.

This is part of the reason why our per capita GDP is closer to that of advanced countries that lack abundant natural resources (such as Germany), rather than being in the highest tier along with resource-rich advanced economies like the United States, Qatar, Norway, Australia, and a few others.

We are much poorer than we should be, and this means we are saddled with higher taxes, weaker government services, dilapidated infrastructure, and a declining standard of living.

By not fully utilizing our energy resources – and by putting barriers in place that block the development of those resources – we are in effect choosing to be a weaker and poor nation than we otherwise would be.

Additionally – rampant hypocrisy among ‘Environmental, Social and Governance’ meant money went towards countries like Russia rather than towards Canada:

“CIBC noted that the focus on carbon emissions has led ESG funds to make the “shocking” decision to load up on Russian energy firms.

“In the most shocking example we have come across to date, the ESG fund universe owned twice as much Russian oil and gas as Canadian oil and gas at the end of last year,” they said.

“Clearly, the concept of aligning investments with the values and ethics of responsible corporate citizens was significantly outweighed by simple, backwards-looking carbon metrics.”

CIBC noted that the big four Russian energy companies – NK Lukoil, Novatek, Gazprom and NK Rosneft – accounted for about 0.2 per cent of the global ESG holdings, about twice that of Enbridge Inc., TC Energy Corp., Suncor Energy Inc. and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.”

Deprived defense

Choosing to be poorer is one manifestation of our enervated survival instinct.

Our lack of a national defense is another.

I’ve gone over this in detail before, but suffice it to say that Canada has long been underfunding our military – putting it last among all other priorities over and over again.

As noted by The Dorchester Review, military spending didn’t change much even under the Harper government:

“Consider that broadest measure of defence performance: how much national treasure is devoted to defence. Despite the promises to invest more, the Conservatives spent nine years in power without shifting the dial on defence spending. In 2005, the defence budget was $16 billion, or approximately 1.1% of gross domestic product. But by 2015, Canada was spending $19 billion — which, when adjusted for inflation, amounted to $16.1 billion, or 1% of GDP.”

Things of course haven’t changed under the Liberal government, as promises to spend more have been pushed back and back and back, leaving our armed forces largely bereft of the modern equipment needed to defend our country and fulfill our NATO obligations.

Our country has for all intents and purposes decided that we will simply hope that we never need a strong military, and ‘plan’ accordingly.

This has left us so weakened that not only can we not truly fulfill our obligations to our allies, but we can’t even defend our own country.

Arctic fears

Canada is the second largest nation on earth.

That means we have a lot of territory to cover.

Thankfully, we have some support in doing so, since we are close allies with the world’s strongest military power.

Still, we should have the capability to fully protect our own national territory.

When it comes to the arctic, we are simply unable to do so given the long-term underfunding of the armed forces.

Meanwhile, Russia has been rapidly building up their presence in the arctic, and China is a potential threat there as well:

“Kevin Hamilton, director-general for international security policy with Global Affairs Canada, noted there is potential for “co-operation” between Russia and China — which describes itself as a “near-Arctic state” — in the far north.

“China may indeed seek to leverage a lot of the new infrastructure the Russians have built in their High Arctic,” said Hamilton. “So we see the two countries as distinct and having distinct interests, but there are areas of convergence that we’re concerned about.””

Further, we cannot assume that the arctic will remain conflict free:

“Hamilton said the invasion by Russia of Ukraine hasn’t changed Canada’s “military analysis” for the Arctic, but it does raise questions.

“It does make us have a second thought of Russia’s view of the world, and Putin’s intent. He’s made it very clear he is running a regime that is expansionist,” Hamilton told the senators.

“That is something we have to be worried about not just in the European context but also in respect to our own Arctic.””

Countries must decide to survive

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.”

That is as true for countries as it is for people.

And especially so when it comes to national defense.

No country can survive simply by hoping for the best, countries must decide to survive and do what it takes to survive.

For a country like Canada, we must realize that the world is still a dangerous place, and that peace and security are best achieved through a combination of strong alliances and military strength.

Our country has long been willing to defend our existence and defend our values, and for much of our history we had a strong military.

We must rekindle that survival instinct and re-arm our country to ensure that our nation and our values survive for many decades and centuries to come.

Spencer Fernando

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