Mr. Speaker, Canada also benefits greatly from American intelligence, technology and expertise, all of which help us maintain essential military capabilities. We must not forget that NORAD is a cost effective exercise for Canada.
Our annual contribution to NORAD is only 10 per cent of total costs. Should it decide to assume alone its aerospace defence, the costs to Canada would be prohibitive.
Moreover, only 12 per cent of NORAD's total operation costs are related to headquarters. The rest is directly related to NORAD's operational activities. In other words, NORAD uses its resources efficiently.
In conclusion, shared values and interests have made Canada and the United States trusted friends and allies. Our defence partnership stands out in this respect. Our defence relations have been close and always successful. NORAD is a case in point. The challenge of co-ordinating activities of two air forces against a wide range of threats has never been easy but NORAD has proven equal to the task.
NORAD's success can be traced above all to its flexibility. Although its basic objectives have endured over the years, NORAD has responded to an evolving strategic assessment. Canadian forces personnel associated with NORAD have performed an essential national service over the years with skill and dedication. This new agreement gives them the opportunity to continue this service.