Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, the Minister of National Defence, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, provided pre-recorded remarks during the Rīga Conference 2021. The Minister’s remarks focused on grey-zone battlespace, illustrating the importance of being prepared to address complex threats such as the use of harmful cyber activities, disinformation, propaganda campaigns, and intelligence operations by our adversaries.
In his statement, Minister Sajjan highlighted the sophisticated nature of threats below the threshold of armed conflict, and the vital importance of collectively standing up against and staying ahead of these harmful activities. In particular, the Minister underscored that below threshold cyber activities pose defence and national security challenges that require militaries and government agencies to jointly respond.
To help counter such evolving threats, Canada continues to lead one of NATO’s four multinational enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups in the Baltic region. The Canadian Armed Forces has more than 800 personnel stationed across Central and Eastern Europe contributing to security and deterrence measures alongside our Allies. Minister Sajjan emphasized the importance of working with our partners and allies – including NATO, NORAD, Five Eyes, and the United Nations. NATO is central to Canada’s international security policy, reflecting the values of democracy, good governance, and the rule of law.
“Hostile activities below the threshold of armed conflict aim to weaken the institutions and alliances that defend our security and way of life. In this rapidly changing environment, Canada is ready to take on the challenge shoulder-to-shoulder with NATO and our partners and allies. Collectively, we need to stay a step ahead of those seeking to harm our interests and continue developing the capabilities we need to keep pace with emerging threats.”
The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence