Canada and Ballistic Missile Defence,
1954 - 2009
Centre for Defence and Security Studies, University of Manitoba
Since the mid-1950s, successive Canadian governments have grappled with the issue of Canada's participation in US ballistic missile defence programs. Until Paul Martin's Liberal government finally said 'no', policy-makers responded to US initiatives with fear and uncertainty as they endlessly debated the implications -- at home and abroad -- of participation. However, whether this is the end of the story remains to be seen. In his new book, James Fergusson draws on previously classified government documents and interviews with senior officials to assess Canada's policy deliberations and rationales for avoiding a definitive commitment in response to five major US initiatives. He argues that successive Canadian governments have failed to transform the debate over ballistic missile defence into an opportunity to define Canada's strategic interests both at home and on the world stage.
James Fergusson is the Director of the Centre for Defence and Security Studies, a Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba, and a Senior Research Fellow with the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute. He has written several reports for the Department of National Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs. He has also testified on several occasions before the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Standing Committee on National Defence and Veteran's Affairs. He is a member of the Defence Science Advisory Board, and the Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies.