An open letter to the Defence Minister

February 24, 2008

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of National Defence
National Defence Headquarters
Major-General George R. Pearkes Building
101 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1A 0K2

Dear Sir:

I was alarmed to learn via the National Post that Canada is currently
negotiating an agreement with the United States to allow American
troops on Canadian soil and vice versa for the purposes of mutual
assistance during civil emergencies.

There is no question that the US and Canada as part of NATO must
rehearse and communicate coordinated military maneuvres and strategy.
American troops on Canadian soil, even in the event of an emergency,
is an entirely different — and to me, horrifying – prospect and unless
the locality affected by the disaster (ie province, municipality)
specifically asked for the assistance and expertise of the US military
and coordinated the request with the federal government, not to be

Why do we want US troops on Canadian soil when they mismanaged the
Katrina response so badly that the US became the shame of the
developed world?  Civilian Canadian responders were on the ground in
the lower lying parishes faster than the US military anyway.

As a citizen of Canada and resident of BC, the first thing I thought
when I read that is that we’re going to have US troops walking up and
down the streets of Whistler in full combat gear during the Olympics
in 2010.  I can think of other, equally gloomy and distasteful

Unless the full text of the agreement is publicized prior to
government approval (I am assuming that this will be passed by an
order in council rather than being exposed to the harsh light of
parliamentary democracy) this proposed coziness with the American
military is a looming disaster for Canadian civil rights and

Please publicize the details of the agreement.  Perhaps I’m upset over
nothing — but at this point I can hardly be sure.

Yours very truly,

Allegra Sloman

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

2 thoughts on “An open letter to the Defence Minister”

  1. Thanks for posting your letter. I look forward to you receiving a response to this letter AND hopefully the action you request.

  2. I have received a postcard from the defence department indicating that they’ve received the letter. I am not expecting any kind of prompt response.

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