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

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."

May 9, 2014
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The Canadian government wants to revisit its position regarding antimissile cooperation with the United States, a parliament member said on Thursday.