"Canada-U.S. pact allows cross-border military activity"


Well-Known Member
Nov 5, 2007
From the Vancouver Sun:
Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other's borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.

Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas.

The U.S. military's Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation in a civil emergency.

The new agreement has been greeted with suspicion by the left wing in Canada and the right wing in the U.S.

The left-leaning Council of Canadians, which is campaigning against what it calls the increasing integration of the U.S. and Canadian militaries, is raising concerns about the deal.

"It's kind of a trend when it comes to issues of Canada-U.S. relations and contentious issues like military integration. We see that this government is reluctant to disclose information to Canadians that is readily available on American and Mexican websites," said Stuart Trew, a researcher with the Council of Canadians.

Trew said there is potential for the agreement to militarize civilian responses to emergency incidents. He noted that work is also underway for the two nations to put in place a joint plan to protect common infrastructure such as roadways and oil pipelines.

"Are we going to see [U.S.] troops on our soil for minor potential threats to a pipeline or a road?" he asked.

Trew also noted the U.S. military does not allow its soldiers to operate under foreign command so there are questions about who controls American forces if they are requested for service in Canada. "We don't know the answers because the government doesn't want to even announce the plan," he said.

But Canada Command spokesman Commander David Scanlon said it will be up to civilian authorities in both countries whether military assistance is requested or even used. He said the agreement is "benign" and simply sets the stage for military-to-military co-operation if the governments approve.

"But there's no agreement to allow troops to come in," he said. "It facilitates planning and co-ordination between the two militaries. The 'allow' piece is entirely up to the two governments."

If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military, Scanlon added.

News of the deal, and the allegation it was kept secret in Canada, is already making the rounds on left-wing blogs and Internet sites as an example of the dangers of the growing integration between the two militaries.

On right-wing blogs in the U.S. it is being used as evidence of a plan for a "North American union" where foreign troops, not bound by U.S. laws, could be used by the American federal government to override local authorities.

"Co-operative militaries on Home Soil!" notes one website. "The next time your town has a 'national emergency,' don't be surprised if Canadian soldiers respond."

Scanlon said there was no intent to keep the agreement secret on the Canadian side of the border. He noted it will be reported on in the Canadian Forces newspaper next week and that publication will be put on the Internet.

Scanlon said the actual agreement hasn't been released to the public as that requires approval from both nations.
I see this trend occurring at great speed. It will not be long before the Mexican troops are also allowed on US soil. There is already a heavy military presence in Ciudad Juarez (border town with El Paso, TX) that has relieved the local police departments.

It won't be long before they too cross over to alleviate the rush of crimes that are sure to seep in.
I understand the concerns about a "North American Union", but I don't see it as imminent, at least not within our lifetimes. There's no real advantage to it; there were advantages to the European Union, and there are potential advantages to the African Union, but there's already free trade and stuff between the North American countries. I don't think an NAU is something Canada, the U.S., and Mexico stand to gain from. Even in the EU, each country has it's own government and laws.

Still, it's kind of a step in that direction, which is kind of scary.
this doesn't have to do with letting armies just go across the border whenever they want, or creating some kind of joint military unit right? if it's supposed to help make it easier to help each other more quickly when there's an emergency, i don't think there's anything wrong with it.
I don't have a problem with cross-border assistance if requested in a time of crisis, per se. The problem (or the potential problem) here is that it's one more step away from national sovereignty and toward world government.
I don't have a problem with cross-border assistance if requested in a time of crisis, per se. The problem (or the potential problem) here is that it's one more step away from national sovereignty and toward world government.
I agree... help in crisis great.. general day to day activities no.... World Government to me = Bad for all society.