The world is changing fast and Canada needs to set its own course as the US pulls back from global leadership, the country's foreign minister warned in a speech Tuesday. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told lawmakers that with American voters "animated in part by a desire to shrug off the burden of world leadership," Canada needs to invest more in its military to help defend against global threats, the Washington Post reports. "The fact that our friend and ally has come to question the very worth of its mantle of global leadership puts into sharper focus the need for the rest of us to set our own clear and sovereign course," she said.
"To put it plainly: Canadian diplomacy and development sometimes require the backing of hard power," Freeland said, per the Toronto Star, warning that Canada can't rely on getting a "free ride" from US military power. The minister, who promised there will be a "substantial" investment in beefing up the Canadian military, tells the CBC that to defend its values, its allies, and the "rules-based international order," Canada needs to have "strong muscles" as well as "good manners." She adds that Canada still plans to "double down" on keeping a good relationship with the US, though Ottawa will be "firm and resolute" in defending its economic interests.