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Defending North America
The Scrapping of Avro Arrow
The Avro Arrow was very expensive. The original cost was estimated to be 2 million a piece but later on rose to 12.5 million a piece.
The Soviets strategic environment was changing, manned soviet bombers were replaced by ballistic missiles and bombers were no longer North America’s biggest threat by the soviets.
There were very few orders for the bombers. Originally there were 600 ordered by the Canadian government but in 1953 that number dropped to 100 units.
It made more sense to purchase a combination of American-made jets and interceptor missiles (nuclear-tipped BOMARCs)
Test flights of the prototypes proved that the aircraft was not safe. Basic things such as the landing gear failed during testing.
If the aircraft had gone in production it could have put Canada among a small group of nations that could claim they had built a line of supersonic jet fighters
Scrapping the plane destroyed the company. Many of the engineers and scientists working on the plane moved to US and this renewed Canada’s dependence on the US for aircrafts. More than 14,000 employees were fired. Many Canadians bemoaned the devastation of Canada’s aircraft industry.
If the aircraft had been built it could have been the world's fastest and most advanced interceptor
It could have used as a primary interceptor in the 1960’s and could have been used as a threat to the soviets bombers.
Canada's Role in the Cuban Missile crisis
Canadians believed that Canada should do everything possible to help the Americans in the missile crisis.
Canada started making it's own decisions instead of being the shadow of the US.
The world was brought to the edge of nuclear war and prime minister John Diefenbake was hesitant response to the crisis. He should have taken more offensive instead of being hesitant to get involved
Canada had sent troops but only after their relationship with the US was damaged
Canada hurt it's relations with the US after hesitating to send troops after Kennedy advised Diefenbake to
Canada's delay in sending troops demonstrated that they could not take initiative and lead in critical conditions
Canada's P.M. wanted a fact finding mission to Cuba because he did not believe the USA's photos.
Diefenbake went against the public's opinion about the situation and approached the crisis his way.
Canada's Acceptance of Nuclear Weapons in 1963
Many believed that nuclear weapons would better help it's protection against communist aggression.
Canada and US and fixed their relationship after the Cuba crisis and this was done through nuclear weapons. They established a united front with them but with any action considered to be Anti American could have been costly to international relations and their economy.
After cancelling the Arrow project Canada bought Bomarc missiles instead. These missiles were ineffective without the use of a nuclear head.
In order for Canada to be a effective partner in NATO and NORAD, Canada would need to accept nuclear weapons
Nuclear weapons were a large risk. If anything went wrong with the reactors or facilities, thousands of lives could be at risk and would have a negative on Canadians.
Many feared that it would result in contributing to global suicide.
Canada's foreign affairs minister Howard Green felt that accepting nuclear weapons was hypocritical and against foreign policy. As Canada's involvement with the United Nations was working towards global disarmament.