Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday August 24, 2017
Canada won’t join U.S. missile defence, send troops to Afghanistan, Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has thrown cold water on suggestions the Liberal government wants to sign onto continental ballistic missile defence, or that it might send troops back into Afghanistan.
The question over whether Canada should be part of the U.S.’s continental missile-defence shield has been rekindled in recent days amid concerns about North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal.
Canada opted out of ballistic missile defence in 2005 following a divisive national debate, but many defence experts and parliamentarians, including some Liberals, want the issue reopened.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump’s plan to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan has also resurrected questions about whether Canada will be asked to follow suit.
Speaking in Montreal on Wednesday, however, Trudeau appeared to close the door on both ideas.
“On those cases, we will always take the decisions in terms of what is the best interests of Canadians,” Trudeau told reporters after a meeting with federal and provincial immigration officials.
“And our long-standing positions on those two issues are not going to be changed any time soon.”
The comments on ballistic missile defence were the strongest yet from the Liberal government, which had largely sidestepped questions about its intentions in recent weeks. (Source: Toronto Star)