Defence Minister Floats Idea of Canada Command Print
Peace News
Wednesday, 06 April 2005 09:05

Defence Minister Floats Idea of Canada Command

PEJ News:
I sat in a "defence community" conference today where Minister Graham gave an address. During the question period following his 'ho-hum' speech, Minister Graham mentioned that the creation of a "Canada Command" or CANADACOM was in the works. As he briefly explained, CANADACOM would be responsible for bringing together all of the branches of the Canadian Forces - Navy, Army, and Air Force - under one command for the defence of Canada. Does this sound familliar? It might because this is the approach the United States took after 9/11 when they created Northern Command, or NORTHCOM.

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To: < This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it >
Subject: Graham raises CANADACOM at conference today
Date: Wed, 6 Apr 2005 19:28:42 -0400

In fact, Minister Graham specifically said that the creation of CANADACOM would compliment the US's NORTHCOM and help the defence of North America.

A simillar mirroring in Canada of US developments occured when Ann McLelland's Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness was set-up to provide a Canadian counterpart to the US Department of Homeland Security. So maybe this military development was only a metter of time?

I asked if CANADACOM would be one of the results of the Binational Planning group - the Canada-US ad hoc committee recently set-up within NORAD that is expected to call for an expansion of NORAD to include land and sea role, in addition to its air defence role, when it reports back next year.

Minister Graham said it had nothing to do with the Binational planning group, but it was an idea brought forward by General Rick Hiller - the new Chief of Defence Staff (who has been described as very US-friendly).

At this point Graham backed away from the topic, explaining that Gen. Hillier would have more to say about CANADACOM. He stressed that it was only in the discussion phase right now...

Some reporters I spoke with said that this was not news and that Gen. Hillier has been talking about a Canada Command (the Toronto Star's Bruce Campion-Smith said that he had covered it before), but honestly this was the first time I had ever heard it, and besides that, has the Canadian public heard about this?

It appears that CANADACOM, despite what the Defence Minister says, is an idea imported into Canada from the United States. Has Canada been pressured to set-up such a commmand by the Pentagon? Certainly I have never heard Canadian defence experts complain that our domestic military forces needed to be placed under a single joint command patterned on the US's NORTHCOM.

This raises many questions. There may be more in the papers on this tomorrow (watch for something by the National Posts' Mike Blanchfield).

If folks have any more insights on this, please share them.

Best,

Steve

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 April 2005 09:05