On Thursday May 5th, Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason gave testimony before the House of Commons Standing Committee on National Defence, during its hearings on the defence of North America.
Her are some of her arguments against Canadian participation in ballistic missile defence (BMD):
The American BMD system (called GMD or ground-based mid-course missile defence) is not reliable despite 30 years of investment and billions of dollars spent.
Strategic BMD is an incentive for Russia and China to build ever more and better offensive systems in order to overwhelm these defences, in case they should ever work and be directed at them.
There is no threat to Canada from either North Korea or Iran.
There is very little likelihood that Canadian participation in missile defence would give Canada the much sought after “seat at the [American] BMD table”.
There will be significant financial costs to Canadian participation.
Click here for her opening statement, which begins at the 9:49:29 mark, followed by that of David Perry, a BMD proponent. The rest of the audio clip includes their answers to questions from Committee members.
Comic relief is provided at the very end of the audio clip at 10:38:35 when ever-clueless Conservative MP and Vice-Chair of the Committee Cheryl Gallant accuses the Rideau Institute of ties with Iran and North Korea, because of a standard drop-down menu used by virtually every online donation site.
Cheryl Gallant – Does Rideau Institute get funding from North Korea?
Amanda Connolly, the iPolitics national security reporter, wrote about these outrageous accusations here: Cheryl Gallant accuses Rideau Institute of ties to Russia, Iran, North Korea. Later, the Broadbent Institute did a little research of their own and found that Gallant’s own riding association had used the same drop-down menu, not to mention the Heritage Foundation and countless others. See their hilarious article here: Does Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant’s riding association have ties to North Korea too?
Press Progress – Where did Cheryl Gallant’s Easter hams really end up?
On May 10th, at the outset of the hearings for that day, NDP member and Vice-Chair Randall Garrison gave Cheryl Gallant an opportunity to apologize for her baseless accusations against the Rideau Institute, but she declined to do so. That exchange can be heard at the very beginning of the testimony recorded here. The same day, at the 9:55 am mark, the opening remarks begin of Rideau Institute Board member and Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law (UBC) Michael Byers.
Mason – Canadians must say no to this costly, destabilizing and technologically flawed BMD chimera.
It is discouraging that the Liberal government has re-opened the question of Canadian participation in American BMD, as part of its Defence Policy Review. Once again it will be up to the Canadian public to let the government know we want no part of the costly, destabilizing, and technically flawed BMD chimera.
Photo credit: Library of Parliament