The United States government has spent more than $239 billion – a massive weapons industry corporate subsidy – on the so-called ‘Strategic Defense Initiative’ since it was first announced by then-US president Ronald Reagan in March 1983.
Tucked in the Joint Statement issued by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and US President Donald Trump earlier this week was the line, “We will work to modernize and broaden our NORAD partnership in these key domains [aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning], as well as in cyber and space.”
The Toronto Star reports, “Canada decided more than a decade ago not to join the ballistic missile defence program being developed at the time by the U.S. But that decision is getting another look as the Liberal government reviews its defence priorities.”
In her book Too Close for Comfort: Canada’s Future within Fortress North America, Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow observed, “The decision not to join George Bush’s ballistic missile defence plan was popular with the Canadian people.”
In April 2016, the Ottawa Citizen reported, “Missile defence had been largely off the public and political radar since then-prime minister Paul Martin famously opted not to join the U.S. program following a heated and extremely divisive national debate in 2005. However, the military and others have been pushing for years for Canada to re-consider the decision.”
That article notes, “Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan stood by the Liberal government’s plan to re-examine ballistic missile defence following a flurry of NDP references to Star Wars — both the movie franchise and Ronald Reagan’s controversial plan to militarize space. The issue erupted on the floor of the House of Commons, after the Ottawa Citizen revealed that the government’s defence review includes questions about whether Canada should join the U.S. in building a shield to protect it from foreign-launched missiles.”
On January 21, The Guardian reported, “[Trump] said he intends to develop a ‘state of the art’ missile defense system to protect against attacks from Iran and North Korea. It did not say whether the system would differ from those already under development, specify the cost or say how it would be financed.”
The Toronto star now reports, “NORAD is weighing sweeping upgrades to its sensors and tactics to better protect North America against increasingly capable missiles being fielded by Russia and North Korea, [says] Gen. Lori Robinson, the U.S. commander who oversees the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). Robinson declined to talk about possible Canadian involvement, saying any contribution would be a decision for Ottawa.”
In 2004, Council of Canadians founder Mel Hurtig wrote Rushing to Armageddon: the Shocking Truth About Canada, Missile Defence, and Star Wars, which explained his opposition to the missile “defence” plan and the weaponization of space.