Ottawa Will Allow US Troops to Enter Canada in Emergency

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Wed Dec 11 00:16:59 MST 2002

Canada will welcome troops in emergency

By Colin Nickerson in Montreal
December 11 2002

A pact signed by Canada and the United States may allow US armed
forces to be deployed on Canadian soil in the event of a terrorist
attack or big emergency.

For the first time Ottawa has agreed in principle that US troops
could enter Canadian territory to help police and firefighters in an

The plan agreed on Monday is controversial in a country sensitive to
any sacrifice of sovereignty to its superpower neighbour, but the
Defence Minister, John McCallum, said in Ottawa that Canada had
little choice but to work closely with the US.

The pact "puts us in a position to work with the United States on
plans to defend North America - plans the United States would
otherwise be developing without us", he said.

A recent report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Canadian
cities were likely to become prime targets for Islamic terrorists if
the US attacked Iraq.

Many Canadians are unsympathetic to a US campaign against Iraq. In a
poll published at the weekend more than a third of respondents said
they regarded President George Bush as a greater threat to world
peace than Saddam Hussein.

In the poll, by Ekos Research, 41 per cent said they did not want
their country to lend support to the US in a Middle East war, and 65
per cent wanted the US to stop badgering Canada to beef up its

The US has repeatedly urged Canada to increase military spending, but
the Liberal Party Government of the Prime Minister, Jean Chretien,
has slashed the budget and size of the armed forces over the past
seven years.

As a result of spending cuts, army units operate at half strength,
naval ships are routinely forced to remain in port for want of
qualified crew or because of mechanical breakdowns, and military
helicopters date to the 1960s and are regarded as unsafe.

Greenland's main party has formed a home-rule government with Inuit
nationalists that could threaten US plans to include the world's
largest island in its missile defence strategy.

The Social Democratic Siumut party and the left-wing Inuit
Ataqatigiit have formed a coalition seeking greater independence from

The US plans to upgrade radar at a Greenland military base as part of
Mr Bush's missile defence plans. The Inuit Ataqatigiit strongly
opposes the plan.

The Boston Globe and agencies


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