Canada May Revisit Stance on U.S. Missile Defense Cooperation

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Global Security Newswire Staff
May 9, 2014, 7:55 a.m.

The Ca­na­dian gov­ern­ment wants to re­vis­it its po­s­i­tion re­gard­ing an­ti­mis­sile co­oper­a­tion with the United States, a par­lia­ment mem­ber said on Thursday.

Then-Ca­na­dian Prime Min­is­ter Paul Mar­tin in 2005 de­cided not to col­lab­or­ate with the United States in de­vel­op­ing a mis­sile shield to pro­tect their coun­tries against pos­sible long-range bal­list­ic weapon at­tacks out of con­cern that do­ing so would be destabil­iz­ing to the glob­al geo­pol­it­ic­al or­der, Agence France-Presse re­por­ted.

However, the time has come for the Ca­na­dian Sen­ate and House of Com­mons to re­con­sider that po­s­i­tion, said James Bez­an, who serves as the de­fense min­istry’s li­ais­on to the Ca­na­dian par­lia­ment. He cited con­cerns about the “ac­cur­acy” of mis­siles un­der de­vel­op­ment by cer­tain coun­tries that could wind up strik­ing Ca­na­dian ter­rit­ory even if they were meant to hit the United States.

An­oth­er con­cern is that Ot­t­awa might be “side­lined” in any po­ten­tial U.S. plan for how to re­spond to a bal­list­ic mis­sile launched against North Amer­ica.

“The gov­ern­ment hasn’t made any de­cision” on re­vers­ing its po­s­i­tion on mis­sile de­fense co­oper­a­tion and in­stead is wait­ing for feed­back on how to pro­ceed from par­lia­ment, Bez­an said.

Jack Har­ris, a par­lia­ment mem­ber with the op­pos­i­tion New Demo­crat­ic Party, said he did not sup­port an­ti­mis­sile col­lab­or­a­tion: “Threats haven’t been out­lined suf­fi­ciently at this point for us to change our po­s­i­tion.”

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