House of Commons Hansard #10 of the 35th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was agreement.


Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Is that agreed?

Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

Some hon. members


Questions On The Order PaperRoutine Proceedings

3:35 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

I wish to inform the House that because of the ministerial statement, Government Orders will be extended by 13 minutes.

The House resumed consideration of the motion.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

March 11th, 1996 / 3:35 p.m.


Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, first I want to tell this House that I support the motion tabled on March 5 by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on the importance of the role of the

North American Aerospace Defence Command, better known as NORAD.

I do support the government's intention of renewing the NORAD agreement with the United States for a further five years.

I support the motion, but I also want to propose some major changes to this strategic defence alliance, with a view to promoting a pan-American integrated alliance. As we know, the first NORAD agreement was signed on May 12, 1958. Since then, the agreement has been renewed seven times.

We all agree that the international situation is very different now, and that NORAD should adjust to the new reality. Let us first look at the political aspect. It is important to ensure that Canada is represented effectively. To that end, it is absolutely necessary that the Canadian government come up with a new defence policy that is sound, detailed and practical, given our international commitments as well as the state of Canadian public finances.

The government must assume its responsibilities by clearly stating its position in that regard, while also reiterating its commitment to NORAD. From a strategic point of view, the geopolitical context is changing at an accelerated pace. That evolution must not necessarily be viewed as the portent of a new era of peace in the world, quite the contrary.

The bloody conflicts that occur everywhere on the planet should make us aware of the need for this type of co-operation and for the development of new military alliances that are better integrated.

It would be illogical to think that, because of the disappearance of the bipolar world that came into existence after the second world war, we must stop playing a role in strategic alliances. On the contrary, we must develop such alliances, for they have served us well so far. It is through them that Canada, a middle power, has achieved a measure of credibility around the world.

Through our membership in NATO and our partnership with the U.S. as part of NORAD, we have developed a multilateral approach to the defence and security of North America.

We are working with our partners and allies to promote peace and stability because we know that we cannot do much on our own.

This, however, does not prevent us from reviewing our role in current alliances and redefining our mission within these alliances, in light of the changes dictated by today's realities and in anticipation of the new data that may affect us later.

I would now like to make a few points. Contrary to what many Canadians and Quebecers may think, NORAD is not an agreement for the integrated defence of North America but a bilateral defence agreement to develop a joint Canada-U.S air defence based on a unified command structure.

Earlier this week, we met with defence and foreign affairs officials, who told us that NORAD is costing Canada around $300 million a year. We pay about 10 per cent of the costs, which puts the total for both Canada and the U.S. at a little less than $3 billion.

Canada allocates 700 person-years to NORAD, while the U.S. assigns some 12,000 troops.

For the Canadian government, NORAD has always been the cheapest way to monitor and defend Canada's vast air space since implementation costs are shared.

Yet, since the early 1980s, the purpose and content of the NORAD agreements have changed in ways that have broadened the geographical area over which facilities are scattered and especially the nature of the equipment's surveillance and interception mission. It must be understood that times have changed, technology has evolved and NORAD has had to adapt.

The review process put in place when the agreement was last renewed, in 1991, concluded that NORAD "was not obsolete" in the unstable context of a world "still equipped with nuclear weapons posing enough of a threat to justify maintaining collective air and space surveillance".

The 1994 white paper on defence goes along the same lines. That is why the government undertook to take "a close look at areas that may require updating in view of new challenges to continental security".

The Bloc Quebecois is pleased with the government's decision to allow a debate to be held on the renewal of the NORAD agreement. This perfectly meets the expectations we has expressed in our dissenting report on the review of Canada's defence policy.

It must be understood that this House of the Canadian Parliament is the only elected House in Canada. It is therefore important that this kind of matter, that accords or agreements like this one, between Canada and the U.S. first be submitted to this House, and not the opposite, where we would be consulted after a decision was made. That is what I call phoney consultations, and that is unacceptable.

However, I think that, contrary to the way things were done in 1991, this time, as part of the renewal process, the new role of NORAD in the context of the post-cold war era should be examined much more openly.

The government could take this opportunity to redefine the primary role of NORAD, as promised in its 1994 white paper. On this subject, I would like to ask a few basic questions to this House and to the minister.

Today, in 1996, against whom does NORAD protect us? Does NORAD's initial role reflect the new dynamics of the post-cold war era? Why should we continue spending billions of dollars on defence if Canada is no longer threatened by any direct military threat? In all parts of Quebec and Canada, our constituents all ask the same think: What is the use of defence?

If the concept of security has really changed, would it not be wiser and more positive to put our limited resources to use for new purposes, within new structures and more appropriate alliances?

Given that NORAD was set up during the cold war, it goes without saying that the agreement served a different purpose then than it does now. In my opinion, NORAD no longer concerns exclusively Soviet military power.

This is what brings me to discuss the need to redefine NORAD's mandate and to make a proposal to the minister, namely that NORAD's new mandate should promote a pan-American integrated alliance. That alliance would essentially set up a joint detection and surveillance network to monitor the skies, lands and waters of the whole continent.

NORAD's mandate could be extended so as to include other partners from the American continent. The agreement could be a precious tool to link our economic and commercial interests to military alliances that can ensure some continuity to the political stability that is emerging in some Central and South American states.

In short, the time has come to develop a defence policy that is responsible, turned to the future and, above all, that reflects Canadian democratic values. I do not claim to know the future any more than you, Mr. Speaker, the minister, or any other member of this House. Only time will tell whether Russia pursues its journey toward democracy and a market economy, or whether it opts for a more menacing type of regime.

I did not even attempt to speculate on the impact that a military conflict could have in regions that have been enjoying relative stability in recent years, including China and the Indian sub-continent.

I will only say that the relative peace that has been ours for over 40 years is a blessing for all. Developed countries must absolutely not take peace for granted, mainly because of the tensions caused by the worldwide increase in population and pollution.

One thing is for sure: should a major threat hang over the North-American continent, Canada will always be asked to take part in an alliance such as NORAD, and its citizens will always expect concrete action from their government.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.


John Bryden Liberal Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canada and the United States had to share the most intimate secrets in the context of the NORAD agreement. Of course, Mexico was not included. Does my Bloc Quebecois colleague believe that the United States would like to share a highly confidential agreement such as NORAD with a third country, like a separate Quebec?

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.


Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for the question. If Quebec were to become a sovereign state it would be most interested in being part of NORAD because NORAD is part of North America and we are part of North America.

The world is changing tremendously. I hope the member agrees that the Americans are one part of the world we must organize today. It could be the new mission of NORAD to organize this part of the world.

When there is a conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina some people say that Europeans should take care of it, should deal with it. If there is ever to be regional conflicts in the Americas of which Quebec is part, the Americans should be asked to send blue berets to that part of the world to take care of them in a very specific way.

I said in my speech that we no longer have the money to go around the world on these missions. I believe it would be wise for Canadians, Quebecers, Americans, and perhaps Mexicans and others, to have a regional organization of the Americas in which we could take care of them.

Like I said, it seems important to me to review the role of NORAD. This agreement will be renewed in 1996, but it will have to be reviewed again later on. I think now is the time to start thinking about that and about the kind of arrangement we could have. The organization of NORAD is important. It has changed over the years, and I think its future role could be to defend the Americas. That is the point I am trying to make.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

3:50 p.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario


John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Mr. Speaker, I compliment the member on his presentation. I thought it was enthusiastically put forward and I understand his commitment.

Does the member have any specific points which would enhance the present negotiations and would make the treaty more current and relevant than he suggested earlier?

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.


Jean H. Leroux Bloc Shefford, QC

Mr. Speaker, in its minority report on the defence committee, the Bloc Quebecois made suggestions to improve NORAD's performance, if I may use the term.

We feel that regional defence structures require a new framework for our continental defence agreements. As you know, NORAD is a military organization. The decisions are made by members of the military. I think that, in a changing world, it would be interesting to also have a civilian NORAD organization that could participate in the decision making process.

As I said earlier in the other language, the beautiful language of Shakespeare, I think that NORAD should be the ultimate organization for the Americas. In order to achieve this goal, we will have to develop our relations.

Later, one of my colleagues will talk about the economic and trade implications, etc. He could elaborate on this. The Bloc Quebecois also feels that the Canadian government should do an in-depth analysis of the consequences of all its defence agreements with the U.S.

As you know, there are over 800 defence agreements in effect between Canada and the U.S. There are also 149 working committees and subcommittees. I think what matters is to have a consistent, affordable defence policy, which is what Canadians and Quebecers expect from us.

We are currently enjoying a climate of relative peace and I think we must never forget that every dollar we spend comes from the pockets of Canadians and Quebecers. We must always think of why we spend this money: to ensure the best possible protection and security for our taxpayers.

We support the NORAD agreement because it is not costing us a lot of money. We receive a great deal in return for paying about 10 per cent of the costs. I think that $300 million is a reasonable amount to pay to enjoy safer air space. I think it is quite reasonable.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

3:55 p.m.


Mary Clancy Liberal Halifax, NS

Mr. Speaker, I will be splitting my time this afternoon with the hon. Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It is a delight to be participating in today's debate on the renewal of NORAD. As many members are aware, Canada and the United States have a long history of friendship. Our political, economic, social and cultural ties are the most extensive of any bilateral relationship existing in the world today.

Our defence ties are far reaching. Although we have always had and will continue to pursue an independent foreign defence policy, our geography, our history, our trust and our shared beliefs have made the Americans our close partners in the defence of our common continent. They have also made us natural allies in the pursuit of international peace and security.

NORAD is one of the pillars of this defence relationship but our co-operation does not end there. Members should be aware of the extent and importance of our military partnership. As it evolves to meet new demands and challenges this partnership will continue to play a major role in ensuring Canadian security and in enhancing international stability.

Canada and the United States have maintained a close security relationship since the end of the 1930s, when President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Mackenzie King united our two countries in a continental defence partnership for the first time.

During the second world war, our defence relationships expanded and deepened. That is how, under the Ogdensburg accord of 1940, the permanent joint board on defence was established.

As for the Hyde Park declaration of 1941, it united the Canadian and U.S. economies to counter aggression.

After the war as the east-west confrontation took root, the relationship continued to develop. As years passed, new bilateral agreements and arrangements, NORAD being the most famous, were added to the list. Today this list is very long. Our military partnership now includes 60 formal bilateral defence agreements, 200 memoranda of understanding and numerous service to service understandings. These agreements and arrangements cover virtually the entire sphere of military activity: joint planning and operations, combined exercises, defence production, logistics, communications, research and development, and intelligence. In all, there about 600 Canadian military personnel serving south of the border.

Canada and the U.S. consult in roughly 150 bilateral forums that require regular consultation, discussion and meetings. In addition to NORAD, this includes the permanent joint board on defence. The PJBD is the senior advisory body on continental security. It meets twice a year providing an opportunity for diplomats and military officials from both countries to discuss important and sensitive bilateral and international defence matters. There is also the military co-operation committee established in 1945. This forum allows our respective military staffs to meet and carry out combined military planning for the defence of North America.

Canada-American defence co-operation also includes an extensive network of defence production research and development arrangements which provide the framework for our close economic ties in this sphere.

The defence production sharing agreement signed in 1956 sets out the terms of bilateral trade in defence material. It allowed Canadian companies to compete with American companies on the American market.

The defence development sharing agreement signed in 1963 helps Canadian companies develop products for use by the U.S. armed forces and promotes research and development in Canada.

Trade in defence goods between the two countries amounts to almost $2 billion Canadian every year. Our longstanding industrial co-operation has resulted in a highly integrated defence industrial base.

We also have the Canada-U.S. test and evaluation program, allowing our countries to test important weapons systems at each other's military facility. This cost effective and flexible arrangement has become an integral component of our defence relationship.


And, naturally, Canada and the United States are tied by their membership in a variety of multinational organizations, including the UN, NATO, the organization responsible for security and co-operation in Europe as well as the Organization of American States.

Recently, we participated in a number of multilateral operations, such as the United Nations mission in Haiti and the activities conducted under NATO in Bosnia by the peace plan implementation task force, or IFOR.

Closer to home, Canadian and American military personnel have a long tradition of working closely with each other in operations and training exercises. At sea, Canada-U.S. co-operation involves the surveillance and control of vast ocean areas on both coasts and in the Arctic. We exchange information in support of search and rescue and any narcotic operations, co-operate in humanitarian emergencies and hold regular bilateral exercises at sea.

Canada-U.S. defence co-operation, having lasted through more than 50 years of evolving challenges, continues to thrive. The Canadian government believes that this co-operation still serves the fundamental interests of Canada. Although the world has changed dramatically in recent years, we must always be ready to co-operate with our American allies in the defence of North America. There may be no direct military threat to our continent at the moment but there are no guarantees for the future.

The government would like the Canadian Forces to be able to continue to work closely with the U.S. armed forces under various circumstances. We must bear in mind that there are other immediate benefits to maintaining a close relationship with the U.S. for defence purposes.

For example, extensive training and operational experience are gained by Canadians. We retain a useful degree of influence in critical areas of United States defence policy that directly affect us. We gain access to important defence related information. Canadian companies benefit from access to important technologies and the large U.S. defence market.

If the Canadian government remains firmly committed to its defence relationship with the U.S., we also understand this relationship must continue to evolve. Although Canada and the U.S. are cutting back on some continental defence activities, we are also looking into ways to preserve the Canadian-American defence relationship. NORAD is a perfect example.

Given the current international environment and urgent domestic priorities, it might be tempting for us to turn our backs on a longstanding co-operative agreement, but the lessons of history teach us that this would be shortsighted. While still conducting an independent foreign and defence policy, we must continue to work with the U.S. to meet the challenges of the coming century and to preserve our relationship as a source of stability in a turbulent world. The benefits of our defence partnership far outweigh the costs, all the more so since activities have been scaled back to deal with today's realities.

The Canadian and American governments must also show vision and imagination in ensuring this partnership has the capability to meet future demands. This new NORAD agreement being debated today offers clear proof we are following a wise path. That is what this government does best: it follows wise paths and gives good government.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:05 p.m.

Cape Breton Highlands—Canso Nova Scotia


Francis Leblanc LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure for me to take part in this debate on the renewal of the NORAD agreement between Canada and the United States.

Earlier today, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Canadian government, clearly indicated the government's preference and its intention to renew the NORAD agreement, knowing that it could contain significant changes to its objectives in order to reflect new geopolitical realities in North America and throughout the world.

I am happy to see that both opposition parties agree with the government on this issue and support the renewal of the NORAD agreement. I am also happy to see that opposition parties, particularly our friends in the official opposition, recognize the importance of the relationship between Canada and the United States as

shown by this agreement. I will even say, if I may, that it shows how important it is that Canada be a united country that has the respect not only of the United States, but of the entire world. That is why we were able to build with our partners to the south such a close and strategically sound relationship as the NORAD agreement.

In the course of their day to day lives, Canadians carry out their affairs blissfully unaware of the existence of the NORAD agreement between Canada and the United States. That speaks well of the smooth way in which the agreement has worked between our two countries for the last 37 years since it was first instituted in 1958.

As others have said today, NORAD is a good deal for Canada. Canada contributes about 10 per cent of NORAD's total annual operating costs, or $320 million a year. That is a bargain because every country with the ability to detect and intercept unknown aircraft does so. No country that can prevent it lets unknown aircraft overfly.

If there were no NORAD, Canada would have to monitor and be prepared to defend the world's second largest land mass on its own. This would be an onerous task for our country with its relatively small military resources. In order to monitor and defend our own air space with only our own resources we would need an air force several times larger than the one we have. We would need more radar installations and the manpower to run them and interpret the data. By the way, if we had no agreements with the United States in other defence spheres, this would also require an army and a navy much larger than the ones we now operate.

There would be two alternatives in a situation without NORAD: let the Americans do it, or do not do anything. After all, things are relatively peaceful in this part of the world and who would want to hurt us? The Americans are our friends, so why not let them do what they think is necessary to defend North American air space?

If we abdicated our responsibility in that way, we would have no say in the policy governing our own defence. We would have no say if there were plans afoot to intercept aircrafts which were carrying nuclear weapons or missiles over our territory. We would have no say about what foreign ships and aircraft were doing in our country. We would have no agreements governing the routes used by U.S. nuclear powered vessels travelling in our waters. We would become a passive client state. This would represent a steep descent from the heights we reached on the scale of pride and independence 50 years ago.

In World War II our efforts to defend freedom were far out of proportion to our population. We had the world's fourth largest navy at the end of the war. During the war our military personnel died in combat at a rate per population that was 1.5 times greater than that of the United States military. We have always been proud of the sacrifices we made for freedom. We paid a high price to win World War II.

If on the other hand we chose to let foreigners' aircraft fly where they wished and we depended on their good intentions and responsibility to conform with Canadian law, including environmental law, we would lack one of the prime indicators of a modern nation state. These are unthinkable alternatives as I am sure everyone in this House would agree. Therefore in the domain of aerospace surveillance and warning we have the North American aerospace defence command. This brief look at the continent without NORAD would have made clear for all of us that we need this organization to protect our sovereignty.

The system begins with the world's most modern technology centred at the Cheyenne Mountains installation. There are regional NORAD centres that contribute to our security in Alaska, in North Bay and in Florida. Members will have heard in the budget speech that some NORAD functions in Canada will now be centred in Winnipeg, close to the centre of the country. In addition to the installations I have mentioned there are radar stations throughout the north and on both coasts feeding information into the NORAD networks.

The north warning system consists of 15 long range radars, 11 in Canada, 39 unattended short range radars and nine associated satellite communications systems. The north warning system is deployed across the Alaskan north slope, northern Canada and the Labrador coast and provides surveillance of the northern approaches to North America. Data gathered by the system is sent by satellite communications to the appropriate regional centre at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska or North Bay where tracking, identification and interceptor control are handled.

The Canadian portion of the system is operated and maintained by civilian radar contractors under contracts managed by DND. With the end of the cold war system costs have been reduced resulting in a lower level of operations and fewer staff at the radar locations.

In NORAD we have a system that uses the most advanced technology to defend Canada against terrorism and surprise attack by nuclear, chemical or biological weapons carried by missiles or aircraft. In addition, it detects drug smugglers and terrorists. This is a multi-purpose system and its effectiveness is tested frequently. Canadian NORAD pilots fly some 800 training missions a year. I find this reassuring.

The NORAD agreement that I have just described is only one of many agreements and arrangements that Canada has with the United States. We have some 239 bilateral agreements covering everything from water quality of the Great Lakes to trade. Between

Canada and the United States there is one of the most extensive, broad ranging links between any two countries in the world.

The trade between Canada and the United States is greater than between virtually any other two countries in the world. The range of bilateral arrangements and co-operations on multilateral fora is as extensive as that between any other two countries.

By taking advantage of the NORAD renewal in this area of strategic aerospace defence we are building on the strong relationship we have shared with our neighbour to the south and from which we in Canada have benefited. There will be disputes. We have disputes with the United States at the present time on a number of issues but that should not obscure the important friendship and ties that we share and wish to maintain as a united country on the North American continent with the most powerful country in the world.

I appreciate the opportunity of speaking on this matter. Once again I am pleased to see the degree of agreement the government's proposals have this afternoon. We also look forward to constructive suggestions opposition members may have for the government as it prepares to continue this very important agreement with the United States.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:15 p.m.


Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to speak in the debate on the North American Aerospace Defence Command.

The question before us is whether as a country Canada should contribute to NORAD for the next five years. I believe that Canada should. NORAD has served our country and North American security extremely well.

The first thing we must realize is that the post cold war era is not safer than times past. In fact the world is more unstable and fragile than what has gone before. The duel between two superpowers, the former U.S.S.R. and America, has unshackled a number of countries which were in conflict and has given rise to rabid nationalism that is a major and potent destabilizing factor in the world.

I might add that we have been ill-equipped, ill-advised, ill-prepared and unable to deal with the major security threats that are now occurring. An example is the rise of ethnic nationalism along the lines of Mr. Zhirinovsky, a very dangerous creature in the former U.S.S.R.

Many former Soviet Union countries are very unstable. One need not look any further than Chechnya or Tadzikhistan to see the conflicts that are brewing there. I need not remind the House that many of these former Soviet Union countries are nuclear capable.

There has been a proliferation of countries with ballistic missile technology. Despite our best efforts to control nuclear technology and biological weapons, a number of countries, some of which are renegades in some aspects of their foreign policy, may already have nuclear capability or are pursuing this capability. As has been seen in recent times this capability can be utterly devastating. We need look no further than at what happened in Japan last year. If we expand on that there is no reason why that cannot land on our doorstep one day.

There is a myth that the United States is the only superpower in the world. That is simply not true. One need not look any further than the China-Taiwan conflict that is occurring today to see that there is another superpower, China.

Fueled by a superheated economy, China has gone on a spending spree, the likes of which has not been seen or taken into full account in recent memory. It has purchased a lot of very powerful aircraft, intercontinental ballistic missiles and weaponry, including nuclear powered and nuclear capable submarines and ships. In other words, it has built up perhaps the second most powerful military force in the world.

China also has a very different political ideology from us. That political ideology is very dangerous. We need not look any further than the China-Taiwan conflict to see the extent to which China is willing to pursue its goals. Fuelled by its ability to get Hong Kong and Macao under its wing, it now sees Taiwan as another possibility that it can bring into the fold. However, it is doing this in a way that flies in the face of the norms of international co-operation and international agreements.

It is up to the international community to deal with this in a way that will be productive. NORAD has given us this capability.

I bring up the Taiwan-China situation to show that here is a situation very close to our borders where nuclear weapons can potentially be used. Therefore, NORAD needs to continue and it needs to continue with our co-operation.

Another aspect not heard much about in terms of NORAD is that apart from continuing on as it is today, it can be made an even better system. Part of what could considered is a global warning system.

What I propose is something that has been talked about before in some circles. NORAD could be integrated into a global warning system with other allies in the north. Their warning systems could be integrated with NORAD to have a surveillance system, an early warning system and also a system which can be acted on should possible dangers be faced. Not only will it be good for the furtherance of NORAD, but it will also be good for international co-operation among our allies, a level of co-operation that we are going to need in the future.

As I have said before in the House, Canada's security is intimately entwined with the security of every other country in the world. Therefore, Canada has to pursue a course of action that lends itself to international involvement, co-operation and endeavours that are going to make our collective security stronger. To do it alone is impossible. For Canada to do it alone is absolutely ludicrous because we simply do not have the money and the power to monitor a land mass the size we have been given.

On a related topic, I might add that the $800 million that has been taken from the defence portfolio, while it is welcomed, I would warn the minister of defence that removing it from procurement is wrong.

The situation at present is that we have a Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of National Defence who appear to be pursuing courses that is not in sync. Canada has, correctly so, pursued a course of peacekeeping and peacemaking in our foreign policy. It is something that we can do very well and one that we ought to continue. If the men and women in our armed forces are to be obligated to do this, then they have to be provided with the tools. To send them out in the field in peacekeeping and peacemaking without the proper tools is putting their lives in potential danger and that is unforgivable. The men and women in the armed forces must have the tools to do the job properly.

Peacemaking and peacekeeping is not a benign endeavour, it is combat pure and simple, and they must be armed for combat if they are going to do the job well and if they are going to protect themselves from possible danger. Anything less would be putting our people in danger and this House cannot under any circumstances let that occur. We have that obligation to them.

There are a couple of other aspects of the China-Taiwan situation that I would like to talk about. I was thankful to see that the Americans took the initiative by taking a battle force into the Straits of Taiwan. The larger resolution of this problem and others like it are going to need international co-operation.

Apart from the China-Taiwan conflict there is the potentially volatile India-Pakistan conflict, two nuclear powers glaring at each other across the Himalayas. This has been going on for a long time. It is heating up and one day this can prove to be a very problematic and devastating geopolitical event. It is one that is as preventable as is the one between China and Taiwan.

How is this going to be done? It will not be one country that does this but it will require international co-operation. I believe, and many of my colleagues here in the House that I have spoken with also agree, that Canada has a unique opportunity and a unique responsibility in the international family. We are one of the few countries that has the ability and the reputation to take a leadership role in revamping the international security organizations to become more effective.

Foreign policy in this world has taken on a reactive tone. We do not deal truly with peacekeeping or should I say conflict prevention. We deal with conflict management. That is what peacekeeping and peacemaking is all about.

Instead of incurring the terrible costs that conflicts occur, not only in terms of human costs but also the devastation wracked upon a country that descends into civil war, we must address our endeavours into preventing those conflicts from occurring. To do this we have to identify the precursors to conflict and co-ordinate international efforts.

Who is going to do that? It will not be the United States because that country, for better or for worse, is mistrusted in many spheres. Few countries can do this. Canada is one of those along with probably a half a dozen other Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand.

I am happy the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that he would be very happy to hear suggestions from the House. I would suggest that the Minister of Foreign Affairs convene a meeting with other like-minded nations to develop a common foreign policy to revamp international organizations such as the United Nations and international financial institution.

Through a concerted effort we can make change. The way to do this is to speak in terms of self-interest. When a country blows up, when a country descends into civil war such as what happened in Bosnia, the international community is left spending billions and billions of dollars to try to reconstruct the economy and the infrastructure in these countries. It also has to try to push down the ethnic discontent and hatred that has descended in these countries. We need to look at it far before this occurs. We need to look at it before the killing starts because once the killing begins the seeds of ethnic discontent are there for the future. It is very difficult to produce long term peace if that occurs.

All we need do is look at Bosnia today and see the fracturing occurring in the Bosnian federation, a situation I believe will fracture. We hope it will be done in a peaceful way at the negotiating table and not at the end of an assault rifle.

Canada must involve itself with the Nordic nations to do a number of things. It must revamp the United Nations. The security council must be revamped and expanded. We need to get rid of the security council veto for any country. Any endeavours by the security council ought to be made on a two-thirds majority vote.

Another aspect is the revamping of international financial institutions. The IFIs can be a potent, non-military lever to addressing the precursors to conflict. The precursors to impending conflict, such as with Nigeria and Bosnia, are often brought forward by individuals trying to manipulate ethnic hatreds for their own end, usually for power. The IFIs can bring down on them a

number of non-military restrictions such as not renegotiating loans, withholding foreign aid or giving them foreign aid if they are prepared to enter into diplomatic solutions to their problems. It is low cost and effective.

You need money to drive a war. Without the money you will not have war. The countries that will potentially explode in the future are some of the most impoverished in the world, often relying heavily on international financial institutions for their money. As a country we can work with other countries to revamp the IFIs to make them a more effective tool for preventing conflict.

Another aspect we can use along with our involvement in NORAD is the pursuit of a stronger international arms registry. An arms registry will add a measure of transparency to the very murky world of arms sales. If we can find where arms are being built up through sales we can use that as a potential indicator of a precursor to a conflict about to happen. It will send out warning signs.

The other thing we need to do is revamp the UN crisis centre to make it an effective conduit of information to the UN security council. By doing that we and our neighbours can have a better idea of potential conflicts on the horizon.

These are some of the endeavours that we can pursue. I think it is incumbent upon us to do that. Our past reactive foreign policy is costly, myopic and leads to much human suffering that is entirely unnecessary in our world. Not only do we have the likes of China and Taiwan, Indian and Pakistan to deal with, but also other countries such as Tadzikhistan, Chechnya, Rwanda, Burundi, Nigeria and many others that are potentially explosive.

Why deal with them after? Why not deal with them now before the conflict? Our approach historically has been weak. It has been the policy of appeasement, waiting to see what happens. Time has shown this to be ineffective and inhumane.

One of the fallacies of foreign policy has been that we tend to negotiate with the leaders of certain countries who do not necessarily have the best interests of their people at heart. Generally speaking, wherever we are the average civilian wants to live in peace and harmony and have a good life.

Politicians in certain countries are willing to sacrifice that for their own end. It is very important for us to realize that when we are negotiating with these individuals.

I have an aside on the topic of Bosnia. If we believe the implementation force is to be the be all and end all of Bosnia, we are sadly mistaken. The different groups within Bosnia, the Bosnian Serbs, Muslims and Croats, are starting to polarize. The leadership in the Bosnian Serb camp is starting to once again stir the ethnic discontent and hatred that started this problem in part in the first place. We must head this off. We must head off the misinformation taking place there now.

Furthermore, the implementation force does not buy us peace. The implementation force merely buys us a window of opportunity so peace can occur. First, along with providing a safe haven within which civilians can live temporarily, the international community must get together with the European Union to rebuild the economic infrastructure within Bosnia. If a country's civilian population is without an economy, if there is a desperate and a poor population which already has the seeds of ethnic hatred, there are all the precursors of a conflict. Bosnia will descend into conflict again unless we recognize that.

We need to keep abreast of the fact these groups are splintering. Let us make sure they splinter at a negotiating table in a peaceful way and not at the end of an assault rifle.

Our policy on Cuba has been perfectly correct. The Americans are wrong. It is a parsimonious policy driven by the rich Cuban expatriate community in the United States that is manipulating politicians in America to do what it wants. If we do not help Cuba in terms of bilateral trade and bilateral economic activity, we will be left with a desperate population in Cuba. When Mr. Castro dies there will be a power vacuum that will lead to conflict. Then we will have Haiti II in the Caribbean. That is what will occur.

I strongly encourage the foreign minister to speak to Mr. Clinton and to tell him to support our policy of active engagement with Cuba. When we do that, when we build up the economy for the people of Cuba, we build up a middle class, we build up a political power structure that will one day take over from Mr. Castro in a peaceful way. We would not be left with a potential second Haiti in our midst. That would not only be unfair to the people there but would create a political and geopolitical problem in our area.

We support the NORAD involvement into the future.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:35 p.m.


John English Liberal Kitchener, ON

Mr. Speaker, I welcome the comments of the hon. member which were enlightened and sensible. Not surprisingly, I agreed with much of what he said.

He made several excellent suggestions such as co-operation among the polar nations, expansion of NORAD in some respects to work with other polar nations in terms of surveillance. He made some important suggestions in terms of UN reform. He said Canada's security is intertwined with the security of every other

country in the world and that Canadians must take a leading role in establishing the precursors to peacekeeping.

I agree with these sentiments. They are wise sentiments. However, we are talking today about NORAD and the advantage is surely that it does save Canada a great deal of money. We work with the United States in activities such as surveillance. We have based our defence policy on co-operation.

Many of the hon. member's suggestions would cause Canada's defence budget, indeed its foreign affairs budget, to rise dramatically. Does the hon. member believe his party, his constituents, his province and Canadians in general would support the kind of increase in the defence budget and foreign affairs budget that such policies would seem to suggest as necessary?

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.


Keith Martin Reform Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca, BC

Mr. Speaker, I thank my hon. friend for the very important question. There is no way we in this party would support an increase in spending in foreign affairs and in defence.

I do not accept the hon. member's premise that it will cost us more to do the things I mentioned. They do not all have to be done at the same time but can be worked into our foreign policy and our defence policy over time.

The cost of inaction today is far greater than the cost of preventing a situation. If we had been involved in the Rwanda situation with other countries earlier it would not have cost us the hundreds of millions of dollars it has today. Similarly it would not have cost us the billions of dollars in the former Yugoslavia if we had gone into the situation earlier and prevented those conflicts.

The key is prevention. We might spend a dollar today but we will save much more in the future. These costs are involved in a number of different areas. When a conflict occurs we have the migration of populations to our shores. This costs us in terms of immigration claimants, in terms of foreign aid, in terms of our defence and foreign affairs budgets if we do not address these problems in a preventive fashion. As we all know, the costs of getting involved in a conflict are far greater than the cost of preventing those conflicts.

My hon. friend has made many interesting and wise suggestions in the House. I am sure we will get together sometime in the near future to discuss this further. The bottom line is prevention is better than waiting for a conflict to occur and action after that. Furthermore, our involvement in prevention is predicated on the fact that other countries will involve themselves in prevention as well.

I reiterate that these involvements are in a multinational fashion, done with other countries and therefore will be much less expensive than in reacting to conflicts in the future.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:40 p.m.


John English Liberal Kitchener, ON

Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the member for Nipissing.

I welcome this opportunity to participate in the debate on NORAD renewal. As the House has heard, NORAD was originally formed 39 years ago to provide for the common air defence of North America, and the first NORAD agreement was signed in 1958.

The original purpose of NORAD was to counter the Soviet bomber threat of the 1950s, but soon after its establishment we faced an additional challenge, Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles. While these remained the principal threats of the 1960s and 1970s, the introduction of sophisticated cruise missiles into the Soviet inventory meant further adjustments to NORAD in the 1980s.

With all these changes NORAD evolved to meet changing threats and it also adjusted its facilities and infrastructure. For example, outdated radar facilities were replaced or closed, operation centres were consolidated and the number of aircraft available to NORAD was significantly reduced.

Adjustments such as these ensured that NORAD remained efficient and effective in both an operational and financial sense as the command matured and adapted to changing circumstances. For NORAD flexibility, effectiveness and efficiency are established traits which continue to serve the national security interests of both Canada and the United States in ways which would be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve unilaterally. As we have seen in the 1996 renewal negotiations, these traits continue to be a critical feature of NORAD.

The command and control structure of NORAD has also evolved over the years into the integrated structure that it is today with binational representation throughout. This means that at NORAD bases in both nations Canadian and American military personnel work side by side at all levels of organization.

The headquarters of NORAD is located at Colorado Springs. The commander in chief is an American four star general while the deputy commander in chief is a Canadian forces lieutenant general. This is an excellent example of co-operation between our two nations.

There are also three regional headquarters: the Alaska NORAD region at Elmendorf Air Force Base outside Anchorage; the Canadian NORAD region at 22 Wing North Bay, which will move to Winnipeg as announced in the recent federal budget; and the continental United States region at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. The regional headquarters in the United States are commanded by American air force major generals with Canadian brigadier generals as deputies, while the Canadian region is

commanded by a Canadian major general with an American air force brigadier general as deputy.

This is a remarkable achievement and there is no other bilateral command in the world that is so fully integrated as NORAD. To the men and women who serve within NORAD, the national insignia on the uniform is immaterial in their day to day activities providing for the aerospace defence of North America. Yet despite this integration, NORAD today enhances rather than diminishes our sovereignty.

Air sovereignty and air defence operations have been enduring missions for NORAD since its genesis. Last year NORAD monitored over 400,000 flights entering North American air space. More than 400 of these flights could not be correlated with known flight plans and required further investigation, including in some instances the launch of fighter interceptors.

Approximately 200 fighter launches take place each year to investigate unknown contacts. About one-third of these result in interception. Generally the remaining two-thirds are identified by other means prior to interception. Although the bulk of these interceptions are innocent in nature, in the past a small number involved either Russian aircraft or suspected drug smugglers.

Assisting law enforcement agencies and countering suspected drug smugglers has been a NORAD responsibility since 1991. As I mentioned earlier, in addition to air sovereignty, since the 1960s NORAD has been responsible for missile warning for North America. While the end of the cold war has certainly reduced the risk of missile attack in North America, we must remember there are approximately 20,000 nuclear weapons in existence around the world.

As the defence white paper noted, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the technology for delivering them over long ranges is an issue of growing concern. Accordingly the missile warning capability of NORAD remains an important part of North American defence.

NORAD has specific responsibility to provide warnings of an intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine launch ballistic missile or cruise missile attack on North America. Global missile events are detected by American satellites. Currently there are some 100 launches into space each year, most having to do with the launch of military and civilian satellites. In the late 1980s annual launches numbered approximately 300. NORAD monitors all areas of strategic interest seven days a week, 24 hours a day.

The greatest benefit the Canadian and American governments derive from NORAD is the ability to share not only the responsibilities but also the resources for continental security. It would be militarily impractical and economically impossible for Canada or the United States to perform NORAD's current missions or function unilaterally.

As I said earlier, NORAD was signed in 1958 and it built upon post war defence arrangements and of course on wartime co-operation. Prior to the war there were defence discussions between Canada and the United States in the 1930s which built up the precedent for the permanent joint board of defence that a member earlier mentioned.

It is worth remembering that prior to 1930, Canada's defence planning was developed with the view of countering attacks from the United States or even in some wild moments thinking of small Canadian invasions of the United States. It seems ludicrous to us today that Canada should have the United States in its defence plan as a possible enemy, but within the last 60 years that had been the case. What changed the situation was Canadian and American leaders working together recognizing that greater threats were outside this continent than within. Working together they achieved the kind of co-operation that marks Canadian and American relationships today.

Paradoxically, through co-operation we have shown that we can preserve our sovereignty better than through conflict. In the case of NORAD the existence of NORAD made our voice louder in Washington rather than softer when we objected to American policy on the ABM treaty. It made our voice louder in Washington when we objected to aspects of the so-called star wars policy of the Reagan administration in the 1980s.

In summary, the NORAD agreement transcends defence co-operation between two nations. Its most visible manifestation is the broad based co-operation between two countries. It is a model for other countries in the world that face conflict and believe that such conflict cannot be transcended.

NORAD remains well postured to assist both nations in responding to current and future aerospace security challenges.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mr. Kilger)

Before the resumption of debate, it is my duty, pursuant to Standing Order 38, to inform the House that the question to be raised tonight at the time of adjournment is as follows: the hon. member for Frontenac-Agri-food sector.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:50 p.m.


Bob Wood Liberal Nipissing, ON

Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the opportunity to address an issue which is of great importance to my riding of Nipissing and that is the renewal of the North American aerospace defence command agreement. I know my colleagues will agree that NORAD is the most visible and important feature of the bilateral partnership that exists between Canada and the United States. The Canadian NORAD region is headquartered in my riding.

Although the NORAD agreement has been renewed at least every five years since its first signing back in 1958, the text of the agreement has not been revised since 1981. Moreover, NORAD's present objectives date back to 1975. These objectives are: to assist each nation in safeguarding the sovereignty of its air space, and this also includes counter-drug operations; to contribute to the deterrence of attack on North America by providing capabilities for aerospace surveillance, warning and characterization of aerospace attack, as well as defence against air attack; and, should deterrence fail, to ensure an appropriate response against attack by providing for the effective use of our respective forces available for air defence. With these objectives in mind, I will summarize the results of the NORAD renewal negotiations.

Early in 1994 the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Minister of National Defence directed their officials to consult with the United States on the future of NORAD. These consultations took place between April 6 and October 18, 1994 under the auspices of a bilateral group consisting of four agencies: from Canada, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Department of National Defence; and from the United States, the Department of State and the Department of Defence.

Out of these consultations emerged the report "Options for Canada-U.S. Co-operation in Aerospace Defence" signed by both countries on October 18, 1994. This report established the broad framework for the subsequent renewal negotiations.

While a working group was conducting its analysis and preparing its report, the special joint committees of Canada's defence and foreign policies were also examining Canada's future participation in NORAD, albeit within a larger context. The NORAD renewal consultations and the parliamentary reviews all recommended Canada's continued participation in NORAD. Not surprisingly, this view was also reflected in the 1994 defence white paper.

Early in 1995 the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Minister of National Defence approved Canada's renewal objectives. At the end of July last year, Canada and the United States together agreed on the general objectives for renewal. Canada then crafted the first draft and exchange of notes between our countries, which formed the basis for negotiations within the United States. Negotiations of the final text of the exchange of notes took place from August to November 1995. The text was then presented for national approval.

In Canada the review and approval process for NORAD renewal includes today's parliamentary debate followed by cabinet consideration. In addition, the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veterans Affairs also examined the technical aspects of NORAD's renewal last October.

I will now spend a couple of moments on Canadian negotiating objectives for NORAD renewal and discuss the degree of success we have achieved so far. I should mention here that Canada's objectives took full account of the excellent work of the special joint committees on Canada's defence and foreign policies as well as the NORAD renewal working group. Needless to say, the government's 1994 defence white paper provided critical direction.

As I mentioned earlier, the NORAD agreement was last rewritten in 1981 and at that time it kept the objectives set out in 1975. As the agreement is now written, it does not reflect current strategic circumstances. Canada's first negotiating objective therefore was to update the language of the NORAD agreement to reflect current and projected geostrategic circumstances. This first negotiating objective has been fully achieved. The new draft agreement explicitly recognizes the changed security environment of the post cold war era and its effect on North American aerospace defence.

Specifically, the new agreement acknowledged that there is a significant decreased threat from manned bombers; that there is the potential for deep cuts in nuclear arsenals as a result of arms control measures; that nuclear weapons capable of striking North America remain in place; that the role of space will take on greater significance in the future; and that a proliferation of sophisticated cruise missile technologies could pose a threat to North America in the future. In short, the new agreement places traditional threats in their proper post cold war context while making a prudent assessment of future challenges.

Given the tremendous changes in the world since 1975 and the potential challenges facing us in the years ahead, Canada's second renewal objective was to articulate clearly NORAD's current and future roles. I am happy to report that this objective has been achieved.

In the revised NORAD agreement, NORAD's missions are specified as aerospace warning and aerospace control. An example of aerospace warning is the detection and assessment of missile launches such as the well publicized scud missile launches that occurred during the gulf war. An example of aerospace control is the use of ground based radars to detect, track and assist in the identification of unknown aircraft in or approaching Canada's air space.

Canada also wanted to ensure that the NORAD agreement allows for bilateral examination of potential areas of mutual interest between our two countries. Therefore, Canada's third negotiating objective was to ensure that the NORAD agreement facilitates the examination of new or enhanced mission areas and does not close off any options that may be in the interests of Canada and the United States.

The third negotiating objective has also been fully achieved. Nothing in the new agreement would commit Canada or the United States to any specific programs in this context, but it would provide the flexibility to explore areas of mutual interest in the future. It is important to understand that changes to NORAD activities can only take place with the agreement of both countries at the appropriate levels.

It is critical that Canada is able to exert some influence on developments in aerospace defence that affect Canadian security interests. Canada's fourth negotiating objective therefore was to include a consultative mechanism to ensure that any future developments affecting the aerospace defence of North America would be the subject of prior consultations. Once again, this objective has been achieved. Wording has been incorporated into the new agreement that will provide for this consultation. Moreover, this consultation will serve to underscore the central role of NORAD in North American aerospace defence.

During the negotiations, Canada also argued that a clause on the environment should be included in the revised agreement to protect the environmental interests of both countries. This was not a stated Canadian objective but the government did attach importance to it. The new agreement stresses the importance of protecting the environment and commits both parties to reveal the environmental dimension of NORAD operations to the permanent joint board of defence. The procedures for this environmental review will likely be the subject of a separate agenda item at the next meeting of the PJBD in April this year. This additional negotiating objective has been fully met as Canada and the United States will consult at a higher level on NORAD's role in protecting the environment.

In closing, we are on track for a highly successful renewal of the NORAD agreement this spring. All of Canada's negotiating objectives have been achieved. The renewal of NORAD this year will represent the most significant revision of the agreement since 1981.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

4:55 p.m.


Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Madam Speaker, I am very pleased to take part in this debate on the renewal of the North American Aerospace Defense Command agreement, commonly known as the NORAD agreement.

It is important to remember that Canada signed this agreement for the first time in 1958. Canada and the United States have renewed the agreement seven times and are expected to renew it again this year, which explains the debate we are having today in this House.

First of all, allow me to review the historical background to the NORAD agreement, and then to propose to extend the NORAD agreement in order to include our economic partners from the rest of the Americas.

To properly understand how such an important organization got its start, I would like to quote from a document prepared in the back rooms of National Defence, which summarizes NORAD's main objectives.

According to this document, NORAD's groundwork was laid out before the cold war, when Canada and the United States joined together to triumph over Europe-Japan axis powers. The concept of joint defence activities between Canada and the United States was officially mentioned for this first time in the 1940 Ogdensburg Declaration. In February 1947, after the second world war, both Ottawa and Washington announced the principles for future military co-operation, including air defence.

In 1954, the Chief of Staff of the Royal Canadian Air Force and the commander of the United States Air Forces Air Defence Command held formal discussions. They concluded that air defence for both countries could be best provided by a single organization under one command. In 1957, the Canadian Minister of National Defence and the U.S. Defence Secretary announced the signing of a binational agreement to establish an integrated air command based at Colorado Springs, U.S.A.

Since May 12, 1958, the two countries have been renewing this agreement every five years.

This brief introduction or historical overview shows the importance of this agreement as far as the air defence of North American, more specifically of Canadian, air space is concerned. But there are also economic reasons, in addition to the historical ones.

I shall stop for an aside here, reminding you that Canada pays for only approximately 10 per cent of the costs of defending North American air space, and the Bloc Quebecois is in favour of renewing the NORAD agreement. At the same time, however, it does propose major changes.

The Bloc believes that, unlike the situation in 1991, renewal of the agreement now ought to trigger debate and a far more transparent evaluation of the role of NORAD in a post cold war context. The threat of the U.S.S.R. no longer hangs over Canada and the U.S. The traditional threat of nuclear conflict is, to all intents and purposes, no longer present. There are still other threats, however, such as the emergence of regional powers with nuclear weapons, and the rise in terrorism. Both of these could have been discussed in a far more transparent fashion here today in the House.

North America's air defence role can, and must, change to keep pace with international geostrategic fluctuations. The Bloc Quebe-

cois is convinced that decisions on renewal could have been shaped by such considerations, but here again everything points toa done deal.

According to February 24's Le Devoir , the Minister of Foreign Affairs has apparently already endorsed the final version of the new NORAD agreement. The Minister is supposedly going to sign it on March 13 or 14 with his American counterpart, according to this report.

What disrespect on the minister's part. Disrespect for the members of his own party, who get up and speak while knowing full well their minister has already negotiated the clauses of the agreement with the U.S. behind the scenes. Disrespect for the House as well, scoffing at the importance of the debate that has been going on here and the opinion of the members of all parties. I trust that the Minister of Foreign Affairs will not get into the habit of throwing such roadblocks in the way of the workings of this House, for his credibility will suffer if he does.

The Bloc also regrets the fact that the government did not use the occasion of the renewal of the agreement to redefine the primary mission, as it said it would in its 1994 white paper on defence. The proposed changes to the new agreement are relatively minor. Another promise by the wayside, but we are used to that.

There is one basic point we would have wanted raised in the negotiations for NORAD's renewal. It has to do with opportunities to expand the agreement to include new economic partners in the Americas. The Free Trade Agreement has become the North American Free Trade Agreement. Three countries have interests in this huge continental market, and Chile is waiting in the wings. All of the Americas have agreed to open borders within a specific time frame. Given this opening up of commercial markets and the countless economic networks, a complete redefinition of NORAD seems inevitable and must take this new pan-American reality into account.

The Bloc Quebecois feels that a renewed NORAD should be the basic means of linking our economic and commercial interests to military alliances, which may ensure the longevity of the incipient political stability in Central and South American countries.

On many occasions, we have seen how a country's political stability depends on its economic prosperity. I think it would be beneficial to all the Americas to have this stability apply to the entire continent, north and south.

The proposal to expand NORAD should first be made to Mexico, which is already a NAFTA partner. It would then be appropriate to invite other countries in the OAS to take part in a joint continental defence project.

The dispute between Cuba and the United States provides a patent example of the complexities in the relationships among the

countries of the three Americas. The Bloc Quebecois, like the government, condemns the action of the Cuban air force, but leaves it up to the ICAO to investigate and reach its conclusions. However, the Helms-Burton bill, through its extraterritoriality, violates international law and impinges on Canadian sovereignty in the area of foreign relations. This conflict also reveals the close weave of political, economic and commercial ties among the various trading partners on the continent.

The question we are asking on this side of the House is whether such a tragic event should lead us to wonder about the continent as a whole given the links between the countries which make it up. Do economic interests stay separate from political interests for long? This is a issue that highlights NORAD's importance within the context of the global market.

Cohesion is essential in this era of interdependency and, in my opinion, seems to be a priority in the renewal of this key agreement between two players faced with a increasingly changing chess-board.

To remain up to date, a new NORAD could allow for an extended partnership, as we have seen with NATO, which would serve as a support to co-operation for peacekeeping as well as for democracy or the respect of human rights.

We are under the impression that with the assistance that the United States and Canada give to Haiti, to give only one example, a preventive air mission could be conducted under the auspices of NORAD. Many countries in South America are working toward democracy or trying to protect human rights. These countries could also benefit from such assistance.

We firmly believe that, with some sort of regional alliance, issues such as the Haitian problem or the trafficking of drugs from Colombia would be substantially different. By making overtures to these countries which are not part of the western bloc, an expanded NORAD could develop linkages with the south, bringing us to more open-mindedness and creating new opportunities for Latin American countries.

With regard to technology, NORAD offers several alternatives through co-operation, which would narrow the gap between north and south and could result in the export of specialized jobs to the south. Technological transfers would revitalize the economy in the countries involved. Chili, where Canadian exporters are investing millions of dollars, is a case in point. Several other countries in South America are interested in technology making quick inroads into their markets.

On an American continent open for business, it would to the benefit of every one to have partners with a healthy economy and a healthy political life. Human rights, respect for democracy and open trade are in North America major values, which are becoming

increasingly present in the south. These are several elements which would warrant a closer monitoring of the continent.

Nobody likes to trade at the expense of human rights. It is up to us to uphold these fundamental values. Moreover, by increasing the number of its military partners in the Americas, Canada would no longer be alone to protect its sovereignty against the United States. Multilateral agreements would result in American decisions with regard to air defense having somewhat less weight.

One must realize that, with around 10 per cent of the budget and an even lesser percentage of forces, Canada is far from having the last say within NORAD. By increasing the number of participants and decision makers, and by involving emerging democracies in the decision making process, Canada will improve its reputation in this part of the world, which is becoming increasingly familiar to us.

In conclusion, I would say that we are convinced that NORAD's mission should be broadened in order to include our economic partners in the rest of the Americas. This would provide a new direction for NORAD more in tune with the major economic, social and political challenges of the next century.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.

Perth—Wellington—Waterloo Ontario


John Richardson LiberalParliamentary Secretary to Minister of National Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs

Madam Speaker, I have a question for the member for Terrebonne. In his speech-

-the description of NORAD was well defined in the early part of the hon. member's speech. The preamble to that led me to believe that he was looking at this as a collective security agreement, which it is.

Then it got into something like it was the United Nations with all kinds of different aspects to it that were not under the umbrella of the existing mandate for NORAD. As a consequence it was sucked into the Organization of American States and other areas of co-operation, like NAFTA.

The reality is a aérospatial collective agreement. It is nothing else but that. It is two countries coming together for collective security to bring some stability and peace of mind in case there is the need to activate it in full force again.

What does the member see in the defensive aspects of the-

-North American Aerospace Defence Command as being positive?

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:10 p.m.


Benoît Sauvageau Bloc Terrebonne, QC

Madam Speaker, I thank my colleague for his question, which gives me the opportunity to explain some elements of my speech he thinks were not perfectly clear. Please excuse me for that, dear colleague.

The only thing I was trying to say is that Canada and the United States signed, in 1958, an agreement on the defence of North American air space mainly because they were the two major economic and political partners in America and in North America for that matter.

Given the opening up of markets, given the ties being created between Mexico and Chile, given also the conclusions of the last trip the Prime Minister made to South America where he said to the Organization of American States that we wanted a common market 25 years from now, I believe defence of the air space should be extended not only to Canada and the United States, but to all of the Americas.

The basis for NORAD, that is defence against the eastern bloc during the cold war, because NORAD came a short while before the cold war but was mainly established during the cold war, has evolved and changed over the years. Should the NORAD bases now be reoriented according to the geostrategic realities of the Americas? I believe so.

As my colleagues have said previously, we support the renewal of the NORAD agreement, like our Reform and Liberal friends. On that no one disagrees, everybody agrees: NORAD is profitable for Canada. Nobody disagrees, everybody agrees.

However, in their 1994 defence white paper, the Liberals said that what was needed was a thorough redefinition of NORAD orientations; but in the renewal agreement such as it is proposed, we can see that its principles have not been redefined at all. The only thing I want to say to my hon. colleague is the following: yes, NORAD is good, but NORAD needs to evolve with the course of events, economy and trade trends and all ties that bind all countries of the Americas together.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:15 p.m.


John Bryden Liberal Hamilton—Wentworth, ON

Madam Speaker, I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak during this debate. I may be able to add something to it. Everyone in the House was given a briefing book from national defence on NORAD and I would like quote one sentence from that document: "Following the second world war in February 1947, both Ottawa and Washington announced the principles for future military co-operation, including air defence". I will comment on that February 1947 agreement because it involved much more than settling the principles we needed for a collective air defence.

Canada shared with Britain and the United States the most intimate military secrets. At the end of the war they knew about radar, they had done the most intimate experiments in chemical and biological warfare research and they shared communications intelligence. Canada was directly linked with the United States and

Britain in intercepting radio signals and decrypting them, as well as decrypting diplomatic signals.

Canada also ended the war as the second nuclear power in the world. Nearby in Chalk River the second nuclear reactor outside of the United States started up in 1945, precisely at the same time that Igor Gouzenko, the famous Soviet cypher clerk, defected to Canada and actually launched the cold war. It was Gouzenko who warned the British and the Americans that the Russians were not allies at all but were planning world domination. That led very directly to the secret accord of February 1947.

The details of that agreement are still unavailable in the archives of Canada and the United States although various historians have been able to piece together what it consisted of. It dealt in the sharing of communications intelligence and signals intelligence. It included the sharing of biological and chemical warfare research. Canadians undertook on behalf of the allies to do most of the chemical warfare testing at Suffield near Medicine Hat.

The agreement also included the setting up various intelligence organizations in Canada which did not exist before. These included the joint intelligence committee which was the clearing house of secret intelligence, and the joint intelligence bureau which examined topographical intelligence, geography and that kind of thing.

Once the threat had been appreciated, that Stalin was a dictator much along the lines of Hitler, it was realized that the United States was the next likely target. The Americans decided that the attack was likely to come over the Arctic. Therefore, Canada in a very real sense had no choice but to co-operate with the United States in setting up some sort of air defence plan in the Arctic.

I have actually seen a document in which the former prime minister, Mackenzie King, advised his deputy minister of foreign affairs that Canada had to come to an agreement with the United States because American planes were already mapping Canada's Arctic and if Canada did not come to a military agreement on the defence of North America with the United States it would be a serious erosion of our sovereignty.

However, the agreement for the defence of North America, which finally took place in 1957, was not that hard to come by in the sense that Canada, the United States and Britain were already intimate allies in terms of secret intelligence. We shared then, as I hope we still do now, the most intimate military secrets without question. I can give you an example of that actually, Madam Speaker, and I will in a moment.

When the North America air defence system was set up it consisted primarily of three lines: the DEW line, the distant early warning line which was a series of radar stations in the high Arctic that looked over into the Soviet Union as far as they could go. The idea was to spot the masses of Soviet bombers as they approached Canadian territory. Then there was the mid-Canada line which was a series of automatic radar stations that would indicate which direction these masses of bombers were flying, whether they were going to Chicago, New York or wherever. This was followed by the pine tree line with one station up near Barrie, not very far north of Toronto. That line was designed to zero in on the interceptors. We had aircraft stationed at North Bay that were designed to shoot it out with the incoming Russian bombers. That was the situation toward the end of the 1950s.

It was apparent that this was a very expensive thing to put together. What I have to stress again is that this required the most intimate co-operation between the Americans and the Canadians. By 1960 it became apparent that it was going to be very difficult to shoot down the masses of bombers. It was at about that time, in the early 1960s, that the Canadian government under Diefenbaker decided to abandon the famous Avro project which was the fighter bomber that the Canadians had developed which was a superb aircraft, no doubt about it, in favour of Bomarc missiles. Canada, at the pine tree line level, became armed with Bomarc missiles. These were the most modern missiles of their time.

Madam Speaker, I am going to tell you something that you do not know. These Bomarc missiles which were stationed in various places in Canada were equipped with nuclear warheads. At the time, the government denied that there were nuclear warheads on Canadian territory but in fact the archives just down the street will show that Canada actually did have nuclear warheads on the Bomarc missiles. The reason for this was that if the bombers came down in waves then a small nuclear warhead could shoot down 30 or 40 bombers rather than trying to bring them down individually.

I mention this to illustrate how absolute was the exchange of secret intelligence between the United States and Canada at that time and how absolute was the confidence that the Americans had in Canada because it actually permitted another foreign country to have missiles on their soil which were capable not just of shooting down Russian bombers, but also capable of attacking the United States. Given the American isolationist or independence mentality, to have that much trust in another country is quite remarkable.

That leads me to why I am glad to have the opportunity to rise during this debate because now we come to the present. The threat has changed and it is a different threat. It is not the Soviet Union perhaps but there are cruise missiles, biological warfare weapons, nuclear weapons going around the world who knows where. The threat still exists so there is good reason to want to renew this NORAD agreement with the Americans.

Earlier in this debate several of my colleagues from the Bloc spoke very strongly for the agreement and felt it could be extended to the rest of North America. It cannot be extended. The history of secret intelligence in Canada has been an exchange of information between the United States and actually less so with Britain.

Those who would argue that we can separate this country and not lose some essential things are wrong. I can suggest the one thing that we would lose, certainly a separate Quebec would lose, is the ability to be a partner in the secret intelligence arrangements that have existed for 50 years between the United States and Britain. I suggest that type of isolation would not only be unfortunate for a separate Quebec, it would be very dangerous.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:25 p.m.


John Maloney Liberal Erie, ON

Madam Speaker, I am pleased to speak in the debate on the renewal of the North American Aerospace Defence Command, commonly known as NORAD. Canadians are frequently reminded that we have differences with the United States and indeed we do.

The media tells us of the disputes with the U.S. over the inside passage between the Canadian mainland and Vancouver Island. They tell us that we differ over the export of grain, eggs, pork products and softwood lumber under our trade agreements and we differ over how we should deal with Cuba. We differ as friends and participation in NORAD has done much to foster this friendship.

The list of things that Canadians and Americans have in common is much longer and this list begins with NORAD. Created in 1958 the first agreement covered 10 years and has been renewed seven times since. Each time the Parliament of Canada has fulfilled its responsibility in debating the merits of a further extension. Indeed with the debate today we are once again exercising these responsibilities.

NORAD has evolved over the years from its original purposes for a binational command structure for fighter defence against long range Soviet bombers to attack warning in the mid-sixties in response to intercontinental ballistic missiles. In the mid-1970s the current objectives of NORAD were defined which included assistance in safeguarding sovereignty of airspace which now includes counter drug initiatives, contributing to deterrence of attack by surveillance and warning and if deterrence fail to ensure an appropriate response to attack.

These agreements have never been static. They changed to meet the changing needs of Canada. The House will note that the first NORAD agreement was for 10 years. This was too long between reviews. We needed to look over the forms of our continental defence effort in the context of changing times and times changed rapidly in the sixties, seventies and eighties and even faster in the nineties.

Each renewal has taken place in an atmosphere created by the times. During the Vietnam war some Canadians believed that we should not renew NORAD at all. Overall our differences have stood the fact of our common North American home, the fact of our shared history and the rock bottom inescapable fact of our generally similar values.

Our overriding interest since 1958 has been in preserving our heritage from attack by a system with which we shared little. However, with the end of the Russian empire we have discovered that we have more in common than we knew with the peoples of that region. We have discovered that we do have some things in common with the Russian people. With the disappearance of their repressive and expansionist system of government times have changed.

This time consideration of NORAD renewal takes place in an atmosphere underlined by a greater degree of international calm than at any time in the past. At a time when vicious little wars and the mass murder of prisoners and civilians have brought terrible suffering to the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda we in Canada face our own insecurities. We are safer now from attack from abroad than at any time since the second world war. This security is founded to a large extent on NORAD. Developments only this decade are helping to foster greater confidence that the world will not end in a nuclear holocaust.

This system is led by the UN and includes some important regional groupings such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the Organization of African Unity, the Organization of American States and many others.

The system that defends North America, European security and defence interests is that led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO. On this side of the Atlantic the two NATO partners, Canada and the United States, are allied bilaterally under NORAD. NORAD defends the aerospace of the North American region of NATO. Canada is co-operating with a military and economic superpower in the defence of this continent.

It would be foolish to pretend we bring equal resources to this task. The U.S. is the senior partner. This is reflected by the fact that the NORAD commander in chief is always an American and a four-star U.S. air force general. His deputy is always a Canadian, a three-star general.

The U.S. is the one remaining military super power. As I indicated earlier, despite our differences of view on some important matters we have relatively few important differences on the defence of this continent.

We all know the cold war is over but we should remember there are still thousands of nuclear weapons in the world and thousands more people who would like to detonate them in this part of the world.

There is also a need to remain vigilant against terrorists and drug smugglers. NORAD continues to do this. We must continue to protect this continent from threats. There is no question that Canadians and Americans share the view that drug smuggling and terrorism are threats serious enough to warrant the use of NORAD's resources.

NORAD continues to symbolize the things Canada and the United States share. Consideration of NORAD renewal in 1996 takes place in circumstances quite different from previous renewals. This time there is a residual threat from nuclear weapons in addition to drug smuggling and terrorism, and there is a nuclear, biological and chemical threat combined with terrorism that flows from the existence of states that inhabit a place outside the intercourse of the civilized world.

These are the countries that work to gain control of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and at the same time striving to increase the capabilities of their rockets. Some of these weapons can now reach parts of North America.

Let us not forget China's continued testing of nuclear weapons and its present bellicose activities mere kilometres off the coast of Taiwan. These are countries that show no sign of changing their outlaw ways and there will continue to be a threat from them. NORAD will continue to scan North American aerospace as a defence against attack from this kind of threat.

Canada has benefited from its participation in NORAD and will continue to do so. There are practical benefits to be considered. In intelligence sharing with the United States, the leading nation of the free world, we are the first among equals when linked with this nation. We also have shared access to leading edge technology which alone we cannot even dream of being able to afford.

The operational value of Canadian forces interacting with U.S. forces in complex situations is most beneficial for our military. NORAD is simply a good deal for Canada when one realizes the cost to our country is a mere 10 per cent of the total budget while we receive a shared 100 per cent of the benefits attributable to this agreement. It is good value for our Canadian dollar.

NORAD also provides Canada an opportunity to develop space power. The exploitation of space for military purposes is inevitable. There is a new objective in the proposed agreement, one that is most welcome, enhanced environmental protection. NORAD activities will now be undertaken with the protection of environmental interests of both nations.

We have learned from the difficulties of the clean-up of the environmental harms done by the DEW line, whose clean-up will

be started this year. This is a step forward, as the previous agreement did not address the issue of environmental protection.

All these things serve to remind us of how much we have in common with the United States. There are times to celebrate differences and times to recognize shared values. It is a time to renew NORAD and to acknowledge our good fortune in having good neighbours.

Since 1958 NORAD has served the citizens of Canada and the United States as the first line of defence against an aerospace attack on our homeland. It has provided through its warning capabilities a clear deterrent to any aggressor. Through outstanding co-operation and cohesiveness this organization has proven itself in strengthening the security and sovereignty of Canada and the United States through its role of watching, warning and responding.

By adapting to a changing world and positioning itself to anticipate future challenges NORAD will continue to play a critical role in the defence of Canada and the United States. I urge all members of the House to support continued participation in NORAD.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.


John Richardson Liberal Perth—Wellington—Waterloo, ON

Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order. There being no further speakers, I seek the unanimous consent of the House to call it 6.43 p.m., which I believe is the scheduled time of adjournment, and that we then move directly to the adjournment debate if members are present and ready.

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

The Acting Speaker (Mrs. Ringuette-Maltais)

Is there unanimous consent?

North American Aerospacedefence CommandGovernment Orders

5:30 p.m.

Some hon. members


A motion to adjourn the House under Standing Order 38 deemed to have been moved.