Protesters gathered on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill to voice their displeasure as President Joe Biden met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday.
Protestors chanting “stop the war machine” and “Creepy Joe has got to go,” gathered outside the Canadian Parliament building on March 24 as the two world leaders reaffirmed a strong relationship between the two North American countries.
Anti-Biden protest happening at Parliament Hill pic.twitter.com/MJXxubv1Yq
— Noah Jarvis (@noahrjarvis) March 24, 2023
“Canada and the United States always will have each other’s backs,” Biden said in a joint press conference, as reported by NBC News. “We’ve unleashed an economic potential of our people and our partnership — the partnership that generates more than $2.5 billion in trade every single day.”
During the bilateral meeting, Biden and Trudeau focused on defense spending and commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as well as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), USAToday reported. Following the meeting, Canada announced they would be investing $6.96 billion to modernize surveillance systems designed to provide early warnings for objects entering North American airspace. Another $7.3 billion was promised for airfield improvements to “ensure NORAD’s ability to deter and defend against emerging threats … and compete with China and Russia for years to come,” the outlet reported. (RELATED: Congress Stuffs $12 Billion In Ukraine Aid Into Government Funding Bill: REPORT)
Of China’s “increasingly assertive” presence on the world stage, Trudeau stated the United States and Canada must “double down” and stand together with “resilience, perseverance and strength,” Politico reported.
Canada’s promise to do more comes almost two months after the United States shot down a Chinese spy balloon that flew over parts of Canada before it was spotted in the U.S. Canada promised to invest $3.6 million to modernize NORAD in June 2022, paid out over a period of six years and has failed to live up to the 2% GDP target for defense spending set by NATO, Reuters reported.
As NATO ramps up support for Ukraine, with Biden proposing more funding for the beleaguered country, protests have erupted across Western European nations calling for a peaceful settlement to the year-long conflict. While critics have stated that anyone who “does not stand by Ukraine is on the wrong side of history,” protestors have argued for negotiation, not escalation claiming the conflict is driving the world closer to a possible third World War, according to Reuters.