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DEFENDING NORTH AMERICA
Canada's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis
Missile stations in Cuba put Canada in grave danger since the medium-range missiles had the capability of reaching several cities. Canada needed to take a military stand to ensure the protection of its citizens.
The missiles should have been treated as communist aggression. It is Canada's duty to fight against communist threats not only as a member of NATO but to also to protect our own democracy.
The United States wanted support from Canada as an ally of the NORAD. If Canada supported the United States in the conflict then there would not have been any damage done to Canada-US relations
The Halifax naval unit would have possessed the capacity to monitor the Soviet submarines operating in the north Atlantic. This would have been a tremendous advantage for the allies.
80% of Canadians felt that Canada should have assisted the Americans immediately and they were extremely angry when this did not happen.
Canada portrayed itself as being weak and afraid when it did not follow the lead of the United States' ordinant dictations immediately. If they had involved themselves, Canada could have gained acknowledgment from other countries for having a dependable military force.
Another nation entering into the conflict would have only deepened the crisis and increased the danger of war. By placing Canada's military on alert we would provoke the Soviet army to launch an attack against us.
It is crucial that Canada preserves its own interests and independence. Prime Minister Deifenbaker did not want to draw Canada into a conflict that centered around American policies and issues.
US President Kennedy did not offer conclusive evidence on the presence of Rusian nuclear missiles in Cuba.
The United States did not consult with the Canadian Government when the crisis started so why should Canada get involved in the first place? This was another reason why Diefenbaker was angry with Kennedy and did not want to have military involvement.
Canada's Acceptance of Nuclear Weapons in 1963
Nuclear weapons would serve as a powerful negotiating tool. Going to war against a country with nuclear weapons would eventually result in mutual destruction. This could actually prevent wars from happening in the first place as countries would think twice about the consequences.
Canada has participated in making and storing nuclear weapons, so, it would make sense if we were able to have some of our own for protection against foreign threats.
The United States was willing to sell Bomarc missiles to Canada and felt that it should accept these nuclear weapons if it wanted to fulfill its role in NORAD and NATO. Refusing Nuclear weapons could potentially damage trade and investment from the United States.
Canada's defense minister at the time insisted that nuclear weapons were a necessity to protect Canada from communist aggression. If the defense minister believed this, then there was definitely logical reasoning behind attaining nuclear weapons.
Canada was urging the United Nations to work towards disarmament so it would be extremely hypocritical if Canada were to accept nuclear weapons from America
If Canada acquired Nuclear Weapons, then the chances of a nuclear war happening would have increased significantly. By arming ourselves with Nuclear weapons we could have been leading towards global suicide.
Nuclear Armament would have potentially made Canada a target for future Soviet attacks. If we were to obtain nuclear weapons, the Soviet Union would see us as a threat and this would pose a serious risk towards our safety.
Even the Minister of External Affairs from the Conservative party felt that Canada should maintain its position as a non-nuclear nation. This would help keep Canada's image as a peaceful country.
The Scrapping of the Avro Arrow
The costs had gone over budget and had almost reached the price of $4 million per plane. It meant the Arrow was six times more expensive than its American counterparts
It would be smarter if the Government invested money in other projects. Diefenbaker had the same sentiment when he stated that Canada could not afford to spend the bulk of its defense budget on doubtful strategic value
There wasn't any demand for the planes by the United States or Britain, so building them just for Canada would be a significant waste of money
When the superpowers developed long-range missiles, interceptor fighter planes like the Avro Arrow were becoming obsolete. There would be no point in investing such an immense amount of money into something that would not be used in the future.
The Avro Arrow would have served as an incredibly efficient way to shoot down Soviet aircraft if an attack were to occur. Refusing such an advantage was quite foolish.
It was the first plane to accomplish many new aviation feats such as being the first aircraft to be data-link flyable from the ground. There was an immense amount of potential in this type of technology.
The Avro Arrow was entirely designed and built in Canada. Many Canadians thought that this would have established Canada as a leader in technology
With the virtual destruction of the Avro Arrow came the loss of the entire Avro company, which was among Canada's top airplane manufacturers. This eradicated the potential that the company had to build extraordinary projects