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Prime Minister and Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Jens Stoltenberg visit Alberta and Nunavut

Press Release

August 26, 2022

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, welcomed the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, to Canada from August 24 to 26. With stops in Edmonton, Alberta, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, and Cold Lake, Alberta, the two leaders advanced progress on shared priorities, and focused on threats to transatlantic security and the rules-based international system. They also discussed continuing to support Ukraine in the face of Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion, as well as the impacts of climate change on defence and security.

On August 25, in Cambridge Bay, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General visited one of the sites of the North Warning System, which is part of a network of sensors that enable the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to safeguard North America. The two leaders also visited the Canadian High Arctic Research Station to witness the work being done to study the impacts of climate change on permafrost, weather, and the ecosystem and understand their consequences.

The Prime Minister and the Secretary General met with Cambridge Bay residents, community leaders, and Indigenous Elders, to hear first-hand about how a warming climate is changing Canada’s Arctic and to discuss the key role Northerners play in Arctic security. The leaders also visited Canadian Armed Forces personnel deployed to Cambridge Bay as part of Operation NANOOK.

On August 26, the Prime Minister and the Secretary General travelled to 4 Wing Cold Lake, one of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s bases that support NORAD operations and serve as a hub for domestic and international fighter deployments, including NATO enhanced air policing under Operation REASSURANCE.

While in Cold Lake, Prime Minister Trudeau and Secretary General Stoltenberg held a bilateral meeting to advance shared priorities including Canada’s ongoing commitment to NATO and additional support to the Alliance’s eastern flank, continued assistance to Ukraine, the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA), taking ambitious climate action, and the establishment of the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence in Montréal. The leaders also discussed Canada’s recently announced plan to modernize its continental defence, including $38.6 billion over the next 20 years which will bolster NORAD capabilities, and thereby strengthen NATO’s western and northern flanks.

Quote

“Keeping people safe is our top priority. From helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia’s brutal invasion, to taking ambitious climate action, Canada and NATO are working closely together to advance our shared priorities. Canada will continue to work with NATO and our Allies to fight climate change, improve Arctic defence and security, support Ukraine, and reinforce the rules-based international system. Together, we will build a safer, more peaceful, world for everyone.”

The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

Quick Facts

  • This was Secretary General Stoltenberg’s first official visit to Canada’s Arctic. The Secretary General last visited Canada in July 2019.
  • The Prime Minister and the Secretary General were joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Dan Vandal, Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, and Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre.
  • At the latest NATO Summit in Madrid, the Prime Minister announced Canada’s intention to host NATO’s North American Regional Office of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA). DIANA will concentrate on new emerging and disruptive technologies that NATO has identified as priorities including artificial intelligence, big-data processing, quantum-enabled technologies, autonomy, biotechnology, novel materials, and space.
  • At the NATO Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau also announced that the NATO Climate Change and Security Centre of Excellence will be located in Montréal.
  • Spread across the Canadian North, the North Warning System is a chain of radar stations that provides aerospace surveillance of Canadian and United States northern approaches.
  • Operation NANOOK is the Canadian military’s signature northern operation comprising a series of comprehensive activities designed to exercise the defence of Canada and to secure our northern regions.
  • Canada is currently contributing to the following NATO operations, missions, and activities:
    • Supporting NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe through Operation REASSURANCE. This includes:
      • leading NATO’s multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia, as Framework Nation, since 2017;
      • providing a General Officer and staff to Multinational Division Headquarters – North in Latvia;
      • providing CF-18 fighter aircraft to conduct surveillance and air policing activities in Europe; and
      • providing two Kingston-class maritime coastal defence vessels to Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1.
    • Supporting training and capacity building efforts in the Middle East under Operation IMPACT, including through NATO Mission Iraq; and
    • Deploying personnel to NATO’s Kosovo Force through Operation KOBOLD.
  • Canada has placed 3,400 Canadian Armed Forces personnel across all branches of the service at a higher state of readiness to deploy to the NATO Response Force in Eastern Europe, should these forces be requested by NATO.
  • Canada is providing two CC-130 Hercules aircraft, operating out of the United Kingdom, to support Allies’ bilateral donations to Ukraine.
  • On June 20,2022, the Government of Canada announced its plan to modernize NORAD. With dedicated funding of $38.6 billion over the next twenty years on an accrual basis, this is the most significant upgrade to Canadian NORAD capabilities in almost four decades.

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