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Conservatives Want Canada To Join Ballistic Missile Defense

(Photo: David Krayden/The Daily Caller)

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief

Canada’s official opposition Conservatives say it’s time Canada joined the U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) system. Conservative Member of Parliament James Bezan told The Daily Caller Thursday that Justin Trudeau’s government needs to immediately begin discussions about joining BMD and “making it an integral part of NORAD.”

Bezan said the Liberal’s defense policy released this summer is already out of date, given the evolving nuclear threat of North Korea.

During their nine years in government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Conservatives steadfastly ignored U.S. offers to join BMD. However, the man who was defense minister for most of that time, Peter MacKay, recently said that he erred in not pushing harder to join the system.

“We are unequivocally urging the government to join in missile defense — but we need to start that conversation with the Americans first and get the door opened, because there is no open invitation to participate,” said Bezan, adding that “the threat from North Korea is real.”

Bezan, in a joint statement with MPs Erin O’Toole and Pierre Paul-Hus, said the world has changed rapidly in the last two months: “In these uncertain times, Canada cannot afford to have any gaps in our national defense. By ignoring major foreign threats in their defense policy review and delaying important procurement projects, Justin Trudeau has impeded the abilities of the Canadian Armed Forces. It is time for the Prime Minister to take Canada’s national defense seriously and to start working with our allies to fill existing gaps.”

The three Conservatives all pointed to the alarming statements from NORAD’s deputy commander, Canadian LGen Pierre St-Amand, who frankly told a House of Commons defense committee last month that the U.S is under no obligation to defend Canada in the event of a missile attack.

“Other witnesses confirmed that North Korea has the ability to strike continental North America. Pyongyang has specifically threatened Canada’s allies including Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Canada has a role to play in ensuring the defence of North America and supporting our democratic allies — it is time we stepped up to the plate.”

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