Contrary to a widely popular feel-good myth, Canada did not reject participation in the U.S.-led "Ballistic Missile Defence" (BMD) weapons program. Unfortunately, BMD is still very much alive and well and thriving in Canada. In fact, Canada has been complicit in BMD for many years. Our contributions to BMD have even surpassed the efforts of many other nations that have, at least, been honest enough to admit their involvement.
So, although Canada has not "officially" joined this "Coalition of the Willing," it has long been deeply engaged in creating, designing, researching, developing, testing, maintaining, and operating numerous crucial BMD systems. Billions of Canadian tax dollars have been spent aiding and abetting domestic war industries, government scientists, and military personnel that are thoroughly embedded in U.S., NORAD, and NATO-led BMD efforts.
Since February 2005, when the corporate media parroted our government's nice-sounding but completely meaningless proclamation against BMD, this myth has been repeated ad nauseum by a compliant media, and, sadly, by some key peace movement activists. In fact, our government never actually did a thing to prevent Canada's further entrenchment in the biggest weapons-development program in world history. Neither have any steps been taken to slow down, let alone halt, these ongoing Canadian examples of complicity in BMD.
Since August 5, 2004, when Canada initiated an amendment to the NORAD treaty, we have supported this pact's BMD mission with money and armed forces personnel. However, the NORAD link to BMD is probably the least offensive of Canada's many contributions to this weapons program. In fact, NORAD's BMD efforts help to trick the public into supporting BMD by deceiving them with the myth that these weapons are for defending North America from attack by terrorists and rogue states.
Far more troubling is Canada's little-known contribution to NATO's BMD efforts. Just weeks after Canada’s spurious "no" to BMD in February 2005, the media all but ignored NATO's announcement that it was building its own Theatre BMD system. The bigger story, also still ignored by the mainstream media, is that Canada was among the handful of nations leading NATO's decade-long BMD efforts through projects called CAESAR and MAJIIC. These efforts to increase “interoperability” among NATO's leading military nations have repeatedly used simulated data from Canada's RADARSAT-2 satellite during major BMD war-games, in preparation for future war-time use of BMD technologies.
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT)
Two days after Canada "just said no" to BMD, then-Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew told CBC Radio that Canada supported America’s “missile defence” choice. Furthermore, he said he would “be very pleased” for Canadian companies getting BMD contracts. For many decades, DFAIT has proudly helped Canadian corporations obtain billions in lucrative U.S. war contracts.
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
The CSA funds Canadian industries involved in militarizing space, including BMD efforts. Its crowning achievement was sponsoring the $600-million RADARSAT-2 for launch this December. Unique technology aboard this space-based radar was developed by Canadian scientists in collaboration with America's Ballistic Missile Defence Organization (BMDO). Top U.S. war-fighters consider it the "Holy Grail" for future Theatre BMD applications and eagerly await using its targeting functions in pre-emptive, first-strike attacks against alleged “enemy” missile sites.
Industry Canada (IC)
This department has handed $5 billion to Canadian war industries, including some involved in BMD. At a 2004 war industry conference/arms bazaar in Alberta, IC's “senior investment officer [for] defence industries" ranked BMD as first among five “strategic business opportunities," and gave industry delegates the name and e-mail of IC's “BMD officer.” While Industry Minister David Emerson (now International Trade Minister) spoke glowingly of BMD's corporate benefits in 2000, he was a director of MacDonald Dettwiler & Assoc. (MDA), then owned by major BMD rocket-maker America's Orbital Sciences. When Canada's billion-dollar RADARSAT program was privatized to MDA, its data was sold to Pentagon and CIA buyers by another Orbital subsidiary run by retired U.S. military men who had spent decades promoting BMD weapons.
Department of National Defence (DND)
A jointly-funded DND-Dutch program has created an infrared weapons sensor called SIRIUS that firmly wedges Canada’s foot in the BMD door. DND wants SIRIUS aboard Canadian warships to ensure deeper integration into the U.S. Navy's AEGIS system, the backbone of America's sea-based BMD weapons.
Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC)
For decades, our government has spent billions funding military scientists developing technologies to fulfill our allies' military needs. At DRDC's six world-class laboratories, our war scientists work closely with their U.S. counterparts on important BMD projects like infrared sensors, high-frequency radar, and RADARSAT-2 data exploitation.
National Research Council
Scientists at this Crown corporation collaborate with U.S. BMD agencies on cutting-edge, space-based Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors that enable BMD weapons to distinguish between missiles and decoys.
Canada Pension Plan (CPP)
The CPP still forces Canadians to invest billions in many of the world’s top weapons producers, including “The Big Four” BMD contractors: Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.
Most, if not all, of the following Canadian war industries involved in the BMD weapons program have enjoyed extensive financial support from our government:
ATCO Frontec Corp.: Arctec Services (a jointly-owned creature of Calgary’s ATCO Frontec and Alaska's Arctic Slope World Services) does all the "operations and maintenance" support services for the world’s most important BMD radar stations. This U.S. network, called the Solid State Phased Array Radar System (SSPARS), is used to track, assess, and target ballistic missiles. There are five SSPARS facilities in three countries: the U.S. (California, Massachusetts, Alaska), U.K. (Fylingdales) and Greenland (Thule). Since 1999, the company has received $41 million annually “to manage, operate, maintain, and logistically support” these SSPARS sites.
AUG Signals Ltd.: Toronto-based AUG Signals produces signal image and data-processing equipment for target recognition. A 2002 issue of Micronet News said AUG’s equipment is used for “early missile warning, detection recognition, and tracking, [and] anti-ballistic missile defense.” AUG has received funding from four Canadian government agencies: the Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council, Defence Research and Development Canada,
the Department of National Defence, and the Canadian Space Agency. Its president, George Lampropoulos, was described by Ottawa Life Magazine as being "well known in certain circles for having developed high-precision multi-sensor systems for military [and] homeland security. . . applicable to maritime surveillance [and] battlefields” (March 2005).
Bristol Aerospace Ltd.: Bristol Aerospace of Winnipeg, a part of Magellan Aerospace Corp., produces target rockets, including Excalibur and Black Brant, for testing two major U.S. BMD-weapons systems and training the army units that fire them. Since 1999, Excalibur, a two-stage rocket, has been used in U.S. "live-fire" BMD war-games to test advanced Patriot missile systems that detect, track, and classify ballistic missiles. In 1999, Excaliburs were used at NORAD’s “Roving Sands Air Defence Firing Exercise” in New Mexico in “the first-ever Theatre Ballistic Missile target engagement.” They have been used in annual BMD exercises ever since. In 2002, Bristol designed a new Excalibur motor and announced a renewed five-year contract for U.S. Army tests.
Bristol was first contracted to create the Black Brant rocket in 1957 by a government agency called the Canadian Armaments Research and Development Establishment. The Black Brant has since been used by the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force. Since 1998, the U.S. has used Black Brants to collect data on tracking and targeting BMD weapons called Theatre High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). Black Brants have been regularly used in tests funded by the BMDO at New Mexico's White Sands Missile Range. They were also used at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia (2002-2003) to test air-, land-, space-, and sea-based sensors for future BMD weapons being developed by the U.S. Missile Defence Agency (MDA).
CAE Ltd.: Since 2002, CAE of Montreal has had a BMD contract with Boeing to make computer-simulation products called STRIVE, ITEMS, and RAVE. Boeing, the “lead systems integrator” for the entire U.S. “missile defence” weapons program, is using CAE's products to design, create, assess, test, evaluate, and develop BMD weapons. This "simulation based design" or "computational prototyping" has put Canada at the leading edge of a global revolution in industrial design which, in this case, is fuelling the very creation of BMD weapons.
Probably best known as the world’s top war-technology simulation company, CAE makes synthetic environments for training war-fighters to use virtually every major weapons system in the U.S. arsenal. For this, CAE has been heavily subsidized by Canadian taxpayers, including at least $200 million from Industry Canada.
One top CAE executive, Donald Campbell, joined the company after 36 years in Canada’s DFAIT, where he was Liberal Deputy Foreign Minister, a Deputy Minister for International Trade, Jean Chrétien’s representative at G-8 Summits, and ambassador to Korea and Japan.
Another former CAE executive, and major cheerleader for the BMD-weapons program, is Derek Burney, a former Canadian ambassador to the U.S. who was Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s chief of staff.
CMC Electronics Cincinnati (CMC EC): Located in Mason, Ohio, this company makes “infrared detectors, imaging sensors, missile warning systems, space-launch vehicle products, and spacecraft electronics” (C4ISR Journal, June 21, 2004). Since at least 1998, it has been a supplier of electronic components for rockets used to test BMD-weapons. Between 1988 and 2004, CMC EC was owned by CMC Electronics of Montreal (formerly the Canadian Marconi Company). During that time, CMC EC and its parent company were controlled by Onex Corporation, Canada’s fourth biggest company.
Gerry Schwartz, the billionaire chairman, president, and CEO of Onex (which still controls CMC Electronics) was Paul Martin’s top fund-raiser, bringing in $11-million for his leadership campaign, including $4 million during one dinner in 2003 that CTV called “the largest political fund-raiser in Canadian history” (Dec. 10, 2003).
Cognos Inc.: Ottawa’s Cognos has, since 2001, provided "business intelligence solutions" for Boeing, which oversees the whole corporate BMD program. Cognos software handles “all aspects” of Boeing’s “financial and manufacturing operations,” including “cost management,” “financial planning,” “staffing,” and “factory management” (Cognos media release, Oct. 22, 2001).
Some may say that Cognos isn't strictly a war industry, and--technically--that's true. But Cognos does ensure that Boeing can smoothly manage such a colossally-complex industrial enterprise as the BMD weapons program. During World War II, International Business Machines wasn’t really a war industry, either, but it helped the Nazi war machine all the same. IBM supplied the "business intelligence solutions" that allowed Germany to identify millions of victims to be targeted, transported, and exterminated. Without IBM, the Nazis’ "final solution" would not have been possible. Similarly, Boeing could not possibly oversee the entire “missile defence” weapons-development program without the latest "business intelligence" from Cognos.
COM DEV Ltd.: In its 2004 annual report, fully loaded with images of smiling parents and babies, and ethnically-diverse classrooms with happy children, COM DEV proudly listed “missile defence” as one of the uses of its products. No, this Cambridge, Ontario, high-tech firm doesn't really make anything related to kids. COM DEV is actually a major producer of satellite-communications equipment. For example, it makes key components for the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Military Satellite Communications program, to which the former Liberal government allocated some $554 million. This program is essential to nuclear-war fighting and the use of “missile defence” weapons.
COM DEV was the only Canadian company acknowledged in U.S. Space Command’s mission statement of 1997, Vision for 2020, which infamously outlined American ambitions to create space weapons -- not for defensive purposes, but explicitly for fighting future resource-based wars on Earth.
DRS Technologies Canada Inc.: DRS of Carleton Place, near Ottawa, produces a “Naval Infrared Missile Defence System” called SIRIUS. This infrared sensor can detect Theatre Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) at launch hundreds of kilometres away, or as they re-enter the atmosphere at an altitude of 70 km. These qualities make SIRIUS extremely useful for targeting “missile defence” weapons. Since 1995, DRS (then Spar Aerospace Ltd.) has played a central role in creating and developing SIRIUS sensors for the Canadian and Dutch governments, for use aboard these governments’ warships. The Canadian government estimates that, by 2009, it will have spent $270 million to develop SIRIUS.
Mark Newman, the company’s CEO, has noted that DRS is “a key supplier of systems for missile defence that are critical for Canadian and allied international fleet operations” (Business Wire, May 2, 2000). DND will purchase SIRIUS sensors for our warships so the Canadian Navy, if requested, will be able to participate in U.S.-led “missile defence” operations.
Scientists at three DRDC facilities have earned their government pay-cheques by working on SIRIUS technology.
EMS Technologies Canada: The Space and Technologies branch of this company, based in St. Anne de Bellevue, Quebec, makes electronic subsystems for the world's biggest BMD weapons contractors. The company was recognized for this crucial work by the influential business magazine Forbes (August 2001). Forbes highlighted three firms that it said would benefit most handsomely from President George W. Bush’s ardent support for the “missile defence” weapons program:
1) DRS Technologies (whose Canadian subsidiary builds SIRIUS), 2) L-3 Communications (which has since bought CMC Electronics), and 3) EMS Technologies. Forbes noted that the Quebec branch of EMS Technologies makes “hardware for space and satellite communications, radar, surveillance, and military countermeasures.”
The EMS website lists only four clients for its “Space & Technology” products. These clients are none other than the “Big Four” prime contractors for “missile-defence” weapons: “Boeing, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman rely on EMS to provide critical components for radar, secure communications, and electronic warfare systems.”
In 1998, EMS (then Spar's Satellite Products division) won a $90 million contract from MacDonald Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) for the Synthetic Aperture Radar antenna and radar electronics package for RADARSAT-2, a Canadian satellite with "missile defence" applications.
ITS Electronics Inc.: Since at least 1998, ITS Electronics of Concord, Ontario, has built “low-phase noise amplifier products” for at least two major “missile defence” weapons: The ExoAtmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) and Theatre High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD). And, since 1999, when DRDC gave ITS about $200,000, the company's role in the development of these BMD-related products has been directly--and proudly--supported by the Canadian government. The DRDC Annual Report for 1999-2000 notes that this DND R&D agency's projects “have resulted in” the ITS targeting products being used in both EKV and THAAD. These are the most high-profile, land-based “missile defence” weapons systems.
Nine of ITS's top 13 corporate clients are BMD-weapons contractors.
Over $1 million in government financing has flowed to ITS through at least three Canadian government agencies: DRDC, Industry Canada’s Technology Partnerships Canada, and NRC.
Lockheed Martin Canada (LMC): LMC is a subsidiary of the world’s biggest war industry, and the second biggest “missile defence” contractor. Its facilities in Ottawa and Montreal produce VISTA, an interactive weapons training and simulation system. Since 1998, LMC has been the sole-source supplier of VISTA to the U.S. It is used to train personnel on Lockheed Martin’s AEGIS Weapons System, which forms the backbone of the U.S. Navy’s entire “missile defence” weapons program.
VISTA was originally paid for with $90 million from Canadian taxpayers, for use aboard Canadian warships. It is now also used by Japan, Norway, South Korea, and Spain, whose navies are preparing for integration into U.S. “missile defence” operations. Like Canada, they have acquired BMD-compatible technologies and are taking part in BMD wargames. Although for many years Canada has also been doing all this, and much more, at least these other governments have admitted their part in the BMD “Coalition of the Willing.” Canada's government, however, is still in the closet and belongs instead to the “Coalition of the Unwilling-to-Admit-Involvement in BMD.”
MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates (MDA): MDA is the Vancouver-based company that took control of RADARSAT when the Liberal government privatized this satellite program. RADARSAT is probably Canada’s largest single contribution to the militarization of space and to U.S. war-fighting. It started under the Conservatives in the 1980s as a U.S.-Canadian government effort. Since then, Canadian taxpayers have paid almost 90% of $1.15 billion bill for these two satellites.
One of RADARSAT-2's future roles, once it is launched in December of this year, will be to target alleged ballistic missile sites for first-strike attacks by U.S. weapons. Such pre-emptive "counterforce" operations of Theatre Missile Defence will feature largely in future wars.
Meggitt Defence Systems Canada: For the past eight years, this Medicine Hat, Alberta company (formerly called Schreiner Target Services Canada) has been exporting its Uninhabited Aerial Vehicles to the U.S. military. These drones, called “The Vindicator II,” are used as targets in U.S. war-games staged to test the accuracy of the U.S. Navy's AEGIS BMD-Weapons Systems and their radar-tracking systems. Since 1999, Meggitt Canada’s targets have been used in at least 17 of these BMD weapons tests, which it calls “tracking and missile firing events.” These BMD "events" were conducted at U.S. weapons-testing ranges in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, California, and Virginia.
NovAtel Inc.: Between 2001 and 2003, NovAtel had three Advanced-Technology-Development contracts to export “Missile and Space Systems” to the U.S. government for the “Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation” of BMD-weapons systems. Novatel produces Global Positioning Systems (GPS). In its 2003 annual report, NovAtel revealed that its GPS technology was being used “in many military applications such as training, logistics, and missile tracking.”
Not surprisingly, much controversy has surrounded the U.S. MDA's use of targets containing GPS beacons. This is simply because, as a Pentagon official reluctantly admitted to Defense Week in 2001, “real warheads in an attack would not carry such helpful beacons.” Although in 1996, California-based physicist Nira Schwartz blew the whistle on U.S. war-industry giant TRW for faking “missile defence” tests, and was promptly fired, BMD testing still involves GPS beacons.
Since 1998, NovAtel has been owned by CMC Electronics. In 2001, controlling interest in CMC and NovAtel was taken over by ONEX Corp. This is the company run by Gerry Schwartz, a top Liberal party fund-raiser and advisor to Paul Martin.
In 2002, Industry Canada (IC) invested $17 million in CMC to assist its GPS program. Over the past three decades, IC programs have awarded over $100 million to CMC and its predecessor, Canadian Marconi, the parent company of Novatel.
QWIPTECH: Although QWIPTECH is a California-based company, it is wholly owned by Canada's QWIP Systems in Edmonton, Alberta. QWIPTECH makes Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs). QWIPs are extremely useful for targeting BMD weapons because they can detect missiles in space. Most importantly, space-based QWIP sensors can distinguish between real missiles and the decoys used to foil BMD weapons-targeting systems.
Dwight Duston became QWIPTECH’s chief scientist in 2000. He had worked for U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative Organization and its successor, the BMDO. NRC’s Dr. H.C. Liu also joined QWIPTECH in 2000, when he was appointed to its “Scientific Advisory Board.” Liu and other Canadian scientists at NRC and DRDC began working on QWIPs with their colleagues in the U.S. BMDO during the late 1990s. Since 2001, QWIPTECH has had “an exclusive worldwide license” for BMDO-funded QWIP detectors developed by NASA.
Telemus Inc.: Among the electronic-warfare instruments produced by Ottawa’s Telemus is something called the “Coho simulator.” This product is used in the design and testing of BMD-warhead targeting systems. Telemus has bragged on its website that this “Radar Target and Electronic Countermeasures simulation” equipment has been used in “applications in the development of seekers for ballistic missile defence.” "Seekers" are the homing or targeting systems used in the warheads of smart missiles. The Coho simulator is used by weapons designers who are developing targeting devices for the nose-cones of “missile defence” weapons. This Telemus equipment mimics the kind of radar signals emitted by the ballistic missiles that are to be targeted.
Telemus owes its very existence to the Canadian government's military agency DRDC, which funded its initial contracts in the mid-1980s. DRDC was then generous enough to hand over to Telemus the rights to various profitable patents and licensing agreements for publicly-funded war technology. Telemus is now owned by Northrop Grumman, the world’s fourth-largest BMD contractor.
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Obviously, Canada is very involved in the BMD weapons program. The Canadian government's sham “no” to BMD was a duplicitous, hypocritical PR ruse cleverly designed, like a sleight-of-hand trick, to hide its BMD collaboration, defuse protests, quell internal Liberal Party dissent, and temporarily boost a faltering minority government.
Eager to claim victory, the NDP and some naive peace activists immediately welcomed the government's "no" without bothering to verify whether it had any substance. Since then, they have continued to spread the false but feel-good report that Canada rejected BMD. This trusting naiveté undermined and all but eliminated opposition to BMD in Canada.
To resuscitate Canada's anti-BMD movement, we must face the government's lie and stop living in myth-shrouded denial.
Until the mythology of Canada’s supposed rejection of BMD is thoroughly exposed and debunked, Canadians will have absolutely no chance of slowing down, let alone halting, Canada’s deep complicity in the offensive, war-fighting, BMD weapons program.
(Richard Sanders is the coordinator of the Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade [COAT] and editor of its magazine Press for Conversion! This article summarizes some of his original research on Canada’s complicity in “missile defence,” which has been published in the last three issues of the COAT magazine. For subscriptions, please phone 613-231-3076, e-mail [email protected], or write to COAT, 541 McLeod Street, Ottawa, ON K1R 5R2. Check the COAT website, and the online slideshow about Canada's role in BMD, at http://coat.ncf.ca.)