(Ottawa) The debate over Canada’s participation in the U.S. ballistic missile defense program has been revived. Defense Minister Anita Anand says the option, which was rejected by former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin in 2005, is back on the table. According to him, the war in Ukraine completely changed the game in terms of the security of the North American continent.
Released at 5:16 p.m.
Minister Anand pointed out that this option would be evaluated as part of the defense policy review announced in the last Federal Budget following Russia’s occupation of Ukraine. This review will also modernize NORAD, the North American space defense command.
At a time when elected officials in Washington are once again showing impatience with Canada’s reluctance to increase its military spending in order to fulfill its obligations to NATO, the minister has rekindled the debate in the country on this thorny issue.
“We are deeply exploring this option to determine the steps that need to be taken to ensure the security of the continent. We’re going to say a lot about it in the next few months. […] The war in Ukraine makes this exercise even more necessary today, ”the minister said on Tuesday, following a speech on the future of security at the Canadian Institute for Global Affairs.
In a unanimous statement issued in June 2014, the National Security and Security Council stated, “In order to protect Canada’s sovereignty, security and national interests, the Government of Canada has entered into an agreement with the United States as a partner in ballistic missile defense, but the Trudeau government has not acted on this recommendation.
This comment of the Minister caused many political repercussions. The Conservative Party soon extended its support to Canadian participation in the US anti-missile armor.
According to MP Pierre Paul-Hus, Canada has no choice but to join the program if it wants to work with the United States to ensure the full and complete security of the North American continent.
“In the Conservative Party, we have been saying for years that we should be part of this plan. When we were partners with NORAD for 65 years, it was a historic mistake not to be a partner from the beginning of the show. ” Paul-Huss announced.
He recalled that in 2018, following the threat posed by North Korea on the continent, the House of Commons National Security Council considered the issue.
“I went to the NORAD base in the United States to discuss it, and at that time I asked what the U.S. forces would do if a missile was fired into Canada. The Commander’s response was very clear:” You are not in the program. We have to be part of it and pay our share if we need protection, “said Paul-Huss.
Bloc Québécois, for its part, justified such a review by its geopolitical context. “The current global environment, devastated by the Russian occupation, prompts us to look at the obsolescence of our military security, especially in the north of the region and in terms of air defenses. The spokesman pointed out.
“Above all, the government must examine the organs of Canada’s final member in the US program to ensure that taxpayers’ money is spent more efficiently and profitably on Quebec’s economy, the world leader in space.” She added.
The New Democratic Party (NDP) reiterated its opposition to such an initiative. “There is no change in our position on this,” said NTP vice-president Alexandre Bouvereis.
Dave Perry, president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, praised the Trudeau government’s decision to reconsider its desire to participate in US missile armor.
“The world is very different from the last time the Canadian government spoke out on this issue in 2005,” Perry said.
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