Canada and the Cold War
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Canada and the Cold War
The Scrapping of the Avro Arrow
The project had cost the government over $340 million.
It was thought that Canada, as a "middle power", could not afford the same state-of-the-art technology that the United States could.
Defense budgets shrank as a result of the costly project.
There was no foreign orders on the planes.
The Americans and British admired the planes but had to support their own aviation industries before Canada's.
A..V.Row Canada, the company in charge of the project, was "a ramshackle, disorganized company"
The American Bomarc anti-airfcraft missile was introduced to Canada and was a cheaper alternative to the Avro Arrow.
At the same time the Avro Arrow was being introduced to the public, the USSR launched Sputnik, which cast a shadow over the achievements of Canada.
It was the most advanced aircraft of its type in the world.
The plane was capable of flying at Mach 2, and could have been the fastest plane ever.
Cancelling the project was a huge blow to the Canadian aviation industry.
14,000 Canadians would lose their jobs and subsequently move to the United States for work.
Another 46,000 Canadians' jobs were indirectly tied to the project.
Scrapping the project wasted hundreds of millions of dollars.
Canada's Acceptance of Nuclear Weapons in 1963
Canada's position between two world superpowers made it a target for Soviet missiles.
Bomarc missiles, which Canada had accepted in lieu of the Avro Arrow, would be essentially useless without nuclear warheads.
The United States urged Canada to accept nuclear weapons to fulfill its role in NORAD and NATO.
Not accepting nuclear weapons would injure Canada-US relations.
The Conservative minister of defense argued that accepting nuclear weapons was important to deter communist aggression towards Canada.
Canada was part of the United Nations, which worked for nuclear disarmament.
By not accepting nuclear weapons Canada would set a good example for other countries in the UN to follow.
Any incidents with the weapons could cause massive short-term and long-term effects. (ie the Chernobyl disaster in 1986)
It was unanimously accepted that war fought with nuclear weapons would mean global destruction.
As a middle power, some suggested there was no need for Canada to possess the military strength of the United States or the Soviet Union.
Canada's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis
FOR (Canada plays a role in crisis)
The United States, Canada's closest ally, was counting on Canada's support in the crisis.
Canada-US relations were strained with Canada's reluctance to support its ally in the crisis.
The ballistic missiles the Soviet Union had planted in Cuba were capable of hitting Canadian cities.
Avoiding the conflict would leave many Canadians wondering if the government was competent to deal with a crisis of its own.
The majority of Canadians supported the Americans and felt Canada should play a role in the crisis.
AGAINST (Canada avoids role in crisis)
The Bay of Pigs disaster in 1961 left hundreds of men dead in Cuba; a new conflict against Cuba and the Soviet Union could kill thousands.
The Cuban Missile Crisis was solely between Cuba, the United States, and the Soviet Union.
Canada had already gotten involved in three foreign conflicts in the past fifty years (WWI, WWII and the Korean War) that had left tens of thousands of Canadians dead.
Canada did not want to bow to the United States' interests at its arbitrary will.
Canada playing a role in the crisis may have provoked the USSR to attack Canada.
Canada was a closer target for Soviet missiles and poorly defended compared to the United States.
Prime Minister Diefenbaker preferred a United Nations "fact-finding" mission to investigate Cuba first before becoming involved in the major conflict.