Chrystia Freeland's proclamation that "to rely solely on the U.S. security umbrella would make us a client state,” is both Orwellian and a Trumpian alternative fact reflecting the reality that Canada is in its fourth Harperite term. The proposed 70% increase in defence spending of the Liberal government is aimed at meeting Trump's demand that NATO members increase their defence spending to 2% of their GNP or face his wrath. The $62.3 billion rise in military spending over 20 years, including an increase from 65 to 88 fighter jets at an alleged (when have military procurements ever not surpassed their estimated costs?) cost of $15-19 billion and 15 combat ships for $56-60 billion do very little to address the modern problems of failed states and terrorism.
Canada fits the definition of client state perfectly: "a state that is economically, politically, or militarily subordinate to another more powerful state in international affairs". (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Client_state) In fact, Canada has been a client state (or colony) since Confederation, either of Britain until WWII and the US since.
With the regard to NATO, the US through NATO has now requested Canada contribute soldiers or RCMP to train Afghanistan soldiers and police. The US usually do not make these requests public unless they have already got a yes answer. After our previous experience in Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq what could possibly be go wrong?
The increased role and funding for NORAD seems to also meet no military needs in a post-Soviet world other than once again meeting Trump's demands.
Nothing illustrates the extent to which Canada acts as client state, while pretending otherwise, than its proposal to move military pensions and the Coast Guard under the military budget after many decades of being placed elsewhere in order to help in the process of increasing military spending along with the above increases on the books from .99% to 1.4% of GNP. This at best accomplishes nothing other than make us look closer to Trump's 2% of GNP demand and allowed him to tweet a boast that his demand has forced Canada to increase military spending 70%. The accounting shift for military pensions and the Coast Guard could even lead to reductions in funding for these as generals never consider these expenditures core military activities. This accoounting shift has been approved by other NATO states because many of them are already doing the same thing.
Proclaiming that one has no intention of being a client state, is exactly what client state governments do. Fully independent governments don't need to pacify the natives with such statements and the dominant state does not object to such statements as long as the client does what is demanded because it recognizes the client state must attempt to retain some credibility with its own population.