The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, issued the following statement on the 75th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

“For 75 years, NATO has been the cornerstone of transatlantic security. Created in the aftermath of the Second World War, it unites 32 countries around collective defence – the principle that we are stronger together. On this milestone anniversary, we celebrate the Alliance and our fellow Allies for their contributions to protecting freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.

Canada was a founding member of NATO in 1949. Since then, we have deepened our role in the Alliance by participating in nearly every NATO operation. From the violent aftermath of Yugoslavia’s collapse to the response to the tragic events of 9/11, NATO has come together again and again. And today, with the accessions of Finland and Sweden, the Alliance’s solidarity remains resolute.

“In response to Russia’s illegal aggression against Ukraine, starting in 2014, NATO has undertaken the greatest collective defence efforts in a generation to promote security and stability in Central and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is fighting for its land, its culture, and its right to self-determination, but it is also fighting for democracy – and NATO stands steadfast in support of Ukraine. To support our Allies on NATO’s Eastern Flank, Canada has deployed over 1,300 Canadian Armed Forces members to Europe under Operation REASSURANCE, and we are committing to significantly increasing this number to 2,200, strengthening what was already Canada’s largest active overseas military operation.

“Today, Canada is the seventh largest financial contributor to the Alliance, and we know there is more to do. That’s why we are modernizing the North American Aerospace Defense Command and making massive investments in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, including through the purchase of new warships, maritime patrol aircraft, and F-35 fighter jets. As we tackle the threats of today and tomorrow, we must, and we will, invest even more in Canada’s defence capabilities – helping make sure NATO remains agile, strong, and ready.

“Canadians know that we are stronger together. Canada and the NATO Alliance will always stand up in defence of peace and freedom. Today, I encourage all Canadians to learn more about our collective defence efforts and celebrate NATO’s contributions to security. As we mark 75 years of NATO, let’s reaffirm our work to strengthen the Alliance and to stand up for freedom, justice, and democracy around the world.”