May 19, 2012 - No. 20
NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20-21
Get Canada Out of NATO! Dismantle NATO!
for an Anti-War Government!
• Get Canada Out of NATO! Dismantle
NATO! Fight for an Anti-War Government!
• NATO Presents the Gravest Threat
to World Peace and Security
• Commitment to
Expansion and Consolidation of War Preparations
Canada First Defence
• Harper Government's Service to U.S.
Imperialist War Aim
• Treasonous Measures to Continue
Placement of U.S. Troops in Canada
• U.S. Pushes Harmonized
Regulations on Operation of Unmanned Drones
NATO Summit in Chicago, May 20-21
Get Canada Out of NATO! Dismantle NATO!
Fight for an
The annual Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) is being held this weekend
(May 20-21) in
Chicago. The U.S. as host country has made clear that the Summit is not
about securing peace in the world, but on how to keep U.S. and
NATO troops and bases in Afghanistan, and update and expand
NATO military capabilities. U.S. Secretary of State
Clinton, in statements preceding the Summit, pointed out that a main
purpose of the
U.S./NATO war in Afghanistan is to build an international, integrated
expeditionary military force under U.S. command for future wars.
War plans against Iran are also being advanced. May 14,
prior to the
NATO Summit, the Canadian Parliament, with all-party agreement,
so-called take-note debate on human rights abuses in Iran. The
was based on massive imperialist disinformation on Iran, emanating from
same imperialist covert subversive agencies, parading as human rights
organizations, which manoeuvred to get the U.N. Security Council to
its so-called humanitarian intervention against Libya. That
intervention too was carried out by
with Canada playing the role of commander of bombing expeditions. Such
debate can only be used to justify NATO attacks against Iran that the
imperialists deem necessary to
destroy that country so as to secure their domination over Asia. The
concerns about the Iranian regime's abuse of power are fully revealed
one appreciates the silence of the Parliament of Canada at the abuse
power of the Charest regime in Quebec and the invocation of police
powers against the Quebec students and people. The
opposition to fee hikes objectively opposes the Charest government's
neoliberal vision for society and the opportunity is being used to
conscience of all Quebeckers and outlaw any demonstration in Quebec not
the liking of the private monopoly interests the Charest government
serves. So too the existence of Iran outside the imperialist system of
states blocks the U.S. from achieving its aim of dominating Asia. This
striving of the U.S. also sharpens their contradictions with the big
powers of Europe.
Since NATO was established in 1948
as an aggressive
in the service of the United States its main aim has been to oppose the
of the peoples of the world for empowerment. It established
the political stranglehold of the U.S. over western Europe against the
the European peoples to establish people's democracies which favoured
them. From that time the peoples of the world, Canada included, have
and demanded it be dismantled.
Today, without the excuse of the Cold War and rivalry
with the Warsaw
Pact for world domination, the U.S. is using its ever-expanding
military alliance to
embroil its member countries and so-called partners all over the world
and demand they bear the
costs for its
wars of aggression and domination and to compete for domination with
big powers of Europe and others who have joined it for this purpose.
yeoman service to U.S. imperialism as it strives for world domination
advance the cause of the global monopolies it champions so that they
war. It is unacceptable.
TML calls on
the Canadian working people to take note of
is up to, what Canada is doing and oppose the war preparations now. All
to establish an anti-war government in Canada so as to realize the
desires of the Canadian and Quebec people for peace. It was for this
the people of Canada and Quebec sacrificed their lives in World War One
and World War Two. The
is now to make their deepest aspirations a reality by creating a
that opposes imperialist war aims.
NATO Presents the Gravest Threat
to World Peace and
Mass demonstration against NATO summit in
Portugal in November 2010
With NATO's brazen attack on Libya, the U.S.
imperialists, joined by
Canada and other NATO allies, are actively destroying any standards and
principles of international law and diplomacy. Instead they are trying
countries which are independent of the imperialist system of states in
of seizing an opportunity to intervene and impose the interests of the
monopolies and the governments waging war on their behalf.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
characterized NATO and what will be achieved at its coming Summit this
way: "NATO is and will remain a transatlantic Alliance, but when it
security, the Chicago Summit will show that NATO is also partner of
for world peace and security." A massive police operation is already
underway against Americans who oppose NATO and the U.S. imperialist war
aims. This shows the kind of security and peace NATO protects.
NATO's invasion of Libya, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan and
involvement in Iraq, are not
contributions to world peace and security by any stretch of the
Libya is still in a state of war as its people try to find a way
ridding themselves of a puppet government that is operating in place of
foreign occupation; the resistance to occupation in Afghanistan
grow; Iraq has been turned into a permanent war zone; and the proud
of Yugoslavia will never forget the destruction of their
its ensuing division at the hands of the U.S. imperialists.
Who feels more safe or secure in these countries as a
result of NATO's presence? Even the
quickly descended like vultures after the kill cannot say that they are
secure. In places like
these monopolies have private armies to protect their executives and
To its shame, notably since the invasion of Yugoslavia
1999, Canada has
played a steadily bigger and more aggressive role in NATO's operations.
time the Canadian government has continuously further integrated its
forces, technology and territory under NATO's command. In the most
case of Libya the Harper government brags how Canada "punched above its
weight," reportedly dropping $25 million worth of bombs onto a people
supposedly "protecting." No one will forget the medieval image of
Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird signing a bomb to be
on the Libyan people. This is becoming the new image of Canada
internationally -- a thug which hides behind the military might of the
NATO will never provide peace or security anywhere
because this is not
its aim. Its aim is to use military might to crush the desires
of the world's people to forge their own independent
ways of life free from foreign
It is up to the Canadian working class and people to
redouble their efforts
to get Canada out of NATO once and for all. It was never an instrument
peace or security and it never will be. It is the armed terrorist wing
imperialism and it cannot be permitted to continue destabilizing and
other countries. Canadians want fraternal relations with all countries
peoples, including those of the United States, based on equality,
and non-interference in one another's affairs. It is based on upholding
principles in practice that Canadians can contribute to world peace and
Commitment to Expansion and Consolidation of
Anti-NATO demonstration on streets of
Chicago May 18,
2012 ahead of the summit.
The May 20-21 the Summit of the North Atlantic Treaty
(NATO) is the first following its destruction of the Libyan
and imposition of the rebels that it armed, financed and organized as
new government. The Summit will be the biggest meeting NATO has ever
organized, with around 60 countries and organizations represented.
The three main themes to be addressed at the Summit are:
how to continue
NATO's counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, ensuring NATO member
states and its current partners continue to invest in war preparations
austerity programs so as to ensure a fully integrated aggressive
and increasing the network of states under NATO's military and
Addressing demands to prolong the NATO mission in
Afghanistan and a
commitment from NATO members who may be vacillating due to public
opposition, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen repeated that
NATO is simply on a training mission: "We will complete our
mission by the end of 2014 -- but we will remain committed to a
long-term partnership with the Afghan people." "I expect NATO
train, advise and assist Afghan security forces; that will be a new
a new role for NATO," he added. He did not speak about U.S.
demands for special forces from Canada and Australia to
alongside the U.S. in Afghanistan, which reveals the fraud of the
Towards further integrating the militaries and
territories of NATO member
countries, Rasmussen stated, "In Chicago, we will launch between 20 and
other multinational projects, including for better protection, better
and better maintenance. Our goal is NATO Forces 2020 -- an alliance
that is fit for the next decade and beyond. And the way to get there is
Defence -- a renewed culture of cooperation that allows all Allies to
provide more security for our citizens even in an age of austerity." An
example of these "multinational projects" is the establishment of a
NATO missile bases in Europe called
defense" batteries. This gives the impression that they are not
nature. In addition, NATO is establishing common surveillance
among NATO countries to be operated and controlled by NATO, which in
effect means the U.S.
NATO is integrating more countries and
militaries into its
aggressive alliance. As part of the Summit NATO will hold an expanded
meeting of the International Security Assistance Force (the
multinational force put in
NATO to carry out the invasion of Afghanistan) that will include 22
non-NATO "partners" and a separate meeting with a group of 13 "partner
to recognize their important contributions to current and recent NATO
in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Libya.
Summing up the significance of the Summit for NATO,
"NATO is and will remain a transatlantic Alliance, but when it comes to
security, the Chicago Summit will show that NATO is also partner of
for world peace and security."
Rasmussen does not mention the large
operations being prepared in Chicago precisely to prevent the people of
States from expressing their political opposition to NATO and the
peace and security that it represents. Clearly the peace and security
that Rasmussen refers to is not for
the people but for the private monopoly interests it represents and the
governments that serve them.
Canada First Defence Strategy
Harper Government's Service to
U.S. Imperialist War Aim
On May 9, 2012 a debate was
held in the Parliament on
the main estimates
for spending on the Canadian military for the coming year. During the
various aspects of the Harper government's ongoing military
were discussed. The transformations are part of the Harper Government's
Canada First Defence Strategy announced by the Harper government in
Amongst other things the debate reveals that while very
are being made by the government, it refuses to discuss openly why
making any of these changes. Instead it simply claims they are needed
protect Canadians. It pretends to discuss how much money it
spending on these transformations, but then provides only misleading
information, using Enron-style accounting to hide the real costs.
The government constantly repeats the refrain that under
the Liberals the
military was underfunded but under the Harper government it is being
provided with what it needs to "keep soldiers safe" and "protect
Canadians." This talk hides moves to use billions of Canadians'
product to create an expeditionary military fully integrated under NATO
Command and to militarize civilian life at home in response to
people's growing opposition.
These transformations reveal the importance of
disinformation about "supporting the troops" and "keeping Canadians
which is all smoke and mirrors to hide moves to embroil Canada in
adventures against the interests of the peoples of the world.
Harper Government Minister of Defence Peter MacKay
opened the debate:
"We are currently in the
fourth year of implementing our
20 year Canada First Defence Strategy announced in Halifax by the Prime
Minister in 2008. As I told a Senate committee on security and defence
week, even though we are still in the early implementation years of
visionary strategy, we have already delivered some impressive
across all four pillars of personnel, equipment, infrastructure and
He explained that since the Harper government took
office it has moved $1 billion each year from other areas of the
national budget to the
National Defence budget. "We now have an annual budget of roughly $20
billion and we have in our employ over 133,000 committed Canadians,
civilian and military," he said.
Then, in the face of
Canadians' concerns for the state
of public health
care, and the need for more investments in it, he highlighted
on health care for Canadian Forces as an example of what this increased
funding is providing: "We have added $100 million to the base health
of the Canadian Forces since 2006, bringing the annual health budget up
well over $450 million."
He then went on to give a brief summary of what the
spending has "gotten" Canadians. "We believe they have made a direct
contribution to the outstanding operational success of the Canadian
recent years. Our investments and support helped our men and women in
uniform provide emergency assistance to the people of Haiti in January
even while they were helping secure the Vancouver Olympics and the G20
G8 venues in Ontario. They have helped us to stop the Gadhafi regime
attacking its own people in March of last year, even while our combat
were fighting insurgency in Afghanistan."
He then spoke about big unknowns about the future and
impending crisis so as
to create the impression that all the military investments are required
Canadians safe: "Although the conclusion of our combat operations in
Afghanistan and of NATO operations in Libya may have temporarily
us with an opportunity to catch our breath as an institution and focus
longer-term priorities, there is simply no way to know where or when
major crisis -- or series of crises -- will occur that might test the
flexibility or readiness of our forces."
Debate on the Purchase of New Fighter Jets
debate the following exchange took place between NDP MP Mathieu
Minister of Defence Peter MacKay and Associate Minister of Defence
Fantino about the aims of Canada's intention to purchase a new "fifth
generation" fighter aircraft:
Mathieu Ravignat: "The Associate Minister has to
there are planes other than the F-35s that can [enhance the
of Canada's fighter aircraft beyond the current CF-18's]."
Minister of Defence Peter MacKay responded:
is not correct. What separates some aircraft from others is stealth.
"There are aircraft that have the ability to avoid
detection by radar. There
is on-board equipment that pertains to the aircraft's operations and
communications, but most of all, it is sensors that are on board with
to leaving a radar signature. That is essentially the stealth
capability that is
found in a fifth generation aircraft."
Ravignat: "It sounds like they chose the F-35s
just because they
are stealth aircraft."
MacKay: "No choice has been made."
Ravignat: "...if we really do need stealth
aircraft, what imminent
threats is Canada facing that point to the need for a stealth aircraft?"
Fantino: "I believe that we are all people of the
should, therefore, be wise and aware of the threats that are inherent
but moreover, we have an obligation to ensure Canadian sovereignty. We
obligations with NATO and NORAD and other circumstances that require us
to have a fully capable, competent and effective military service,
includes our Royal Canadian Air Force."
Neither MacKay nor Fantino say that the
government desires to purchase military
aimed at participating in "first strikes" against other countries in
the name of defending
Canadian sovereignty. Otherwise why when Ravignat raises "stealth
capability" does he get no straight answer? Clearly the
government does not want any discussion about its continued
aggressive war which Canadians oppose.
Increasing Missions Abroad
The Parliamentary Secretary to
the Minister of National Defence, Chris Alexander highlighted the
of Canadian Forces around the world as a requirement to keep Canadians
In all his remarks of course he did not mention what illegal and
actions Canada's special forces have been involved in working alongside
of the U.S.
"All honourable members may not know that there are
Forces members deployed around the world, not just in Afghanistan, but
"Right now, 57 Canadian Forces personnel are stationed
in the Middle
East, a critical region where the Canadian Forces have been present
Suez crisis in 1956.
"These troops are
participating in four operations: in
the Sinai Peninsula
with the multinational force and observers, created by the 1979 Camp
and Washington peace treaties; on the Golan Heights; in various other
East locations with the United Nations organization responsible for
the truce; and in Jerusalem and on the West Bank with the Office of the
United States Security Coordinator. What are we doing with the United
in those places? The Canadian Forces are overseeing and training
Authority security forces and helping coordinate security issues
and the Palestinian Authority.
"The future of the Middle East depends on creating a
climate of peace and
stability. Canada is helping to make that happen.
"In Africa, the Canadian Forces are making an important
various UN missions. For example, 14 CF personnel have been assigned to
Operation Soprano, Canada's contribution to the United Nations mission
South Sudan. Nine members of the Canadian Forces are participating in
Operation Crocodile, Canada's contribution to peacekeeping in the
Republic of Congo.
"Maritime operations are still under way. Only last
year, the members of
the Canadian Forces on board HMCS Charlottetown participated in the
mission off the coast of Libya. Now, they are part of NATO's Operation
Active Endeavour to prevent the movement of terrorists and weapons of
destruction in the Mediterranean Sea.
"The fact that HMCS Charlottetown is now in the Arabian
Sea region is
proof of Canada's perseverance and its ongoing determination to
maritime operations abroad. Five Canadians are still in Haiti, two
The Parliamentary Secretary then outlined how the Harper
government is preparing
to join in the war preparations of the
U.S.'s so-called "Asia Pivot:"
have to adapt in today's complex security environment. We have to
to new and evolving challenges, the growing importance of the
region in the global economy, threats in emerging domains like space
cyber, the human rights of populations under threat from conflict,
institutions, or repressive regimes."
Alexander repeated the Harper government line that
Canadians should be
fearful of an uncertain future. Instead of working out together how
with it, they should rely on the Harper government and its NATO allies
"We cannot know all of the potential threats that Canada
may face in the
future, so we must continue to expect the unexpected. That is exactly
Canada first defence strategy has tried to do. That is exactly what
estimates seek to support, sound and balanced investments across the
pillars of military capability: equipment, personnel, infrastructure
Canadian Bases Abroad
Minister of Defence Peter MacKay
then outlined Canada's moves to establish forward operating bases on
allies' territory to support Canadian participation in NATO military
adventures around the world:
"Mr. Chair, specifically, in April 2009 the Canadian
Forces established a
proof of concept hub in Spangdahlem, Germany. This was done on May 13,
2010. The Canadian Chief of the Defence Staff ordered the establishment
seven operational support hubs worldwide to enable enhanced logistics
reinforcement of international missions. This is an important step
by the Canadian Forces. The engagement and dialogue with host nations
progressing. We continue to develop appropriate instruments to
operational support hubs worldwide. The engagement and dialogue with
nations will allow us to have these operational hubs, which we feel are
important in a volatile and changing world.
"On February 14 of this year, the German defence
minister and I
announced the move of the European operational support hub to
airport. This initiative is about supporting funds more effectively,
this network of hubs is going to be there and available for us. It
simply using a corner of an airfield, a hangar, for storage purposes
but it will
allow Canadian Forces to improve its operational capability, to get
needs to be quickly. As I said, challenges and flare-ups can occur, as
seen in places around the world. This is very much about the Canadian
having a footprint in places and regions where we know that Canadians
be able to play an important role, where the world is looking to Canada
more, and we are ready to shoulder that load."
He also added a number of military training missions
which are part of
Canada's moves in the Americas to integrate Latin American and
countries into U.S. Homeland Security:
"The Canadian Forces are also part of successful
operations such as
Operation Jaguar, which completed its mandate in November of this past
with respect to counter-narcotics missions. Operation Jaguar began with
request from the government of Jamaica to deploy assets, both aviation
naval assets, in assisting in the mandate to conduct essential training
search and rescue operations, which we were speaking of a moment ago.
"Also, we have had the privilege of announcing the
participation of HMCS
St. John's and its shipborne CH-124A Sea King helicopter in Operation
We have seen the Canadian Forces contribute as well to
Martillo, a binational joint inter-agency and multinational
with the western hemisphere."
Military Procurement in Support of Foreign
Conservative MP Ted Opitz, who an Ontario Superior Court
judge ruled May 18 did not win his seat in the 2011 election, is
a member of
the Armed Forces and commanding officer of a reserve infantry unit,
the Harper government's ongoing procurements towards ensuring that the
military is able to deploy at a moment's notice anywhere in the world:
"This is something that the government has recognized
since the day it
took office in 2006. At the time, our troops were dealing with a fierce
insurgency in the Kandahar region. To ensure their safety and
success, we acquired critical capabilities, like the C-17 Globemaster
strategic lift aircraft, Chinook helicopters and Leopard 2 tanks. These
acquisitions have made a difference to our campaign against the
and have saved Canadian lives.
"Through CFDS, we continue strengthening the Canadian
providing them with the right mix of capabilities across all three
on land, on water and in the air. On land, we have invested $1 billion
upgrade our fleet of third generation LAV [Light Armoured Vehicles] III
fighting vehicles which form the backbone of our mechanized infantry.
"The upgrade of the LAV III is one of the components of
investment in our family of land combat vehicles program through which
will acquire other capabilities, fleets of close combat vehicles and
armoured patrol vehicles. We are giving the army the tools it needs to
effectively and safely conduct operations ranging from combat missions
counter insurgency to peacekeeping and domestic crisis response.
"To renew our capabilities at sea, we established a
procurement strategy, a $33 billion investment to replace our aging
and equip the Royal Canadian Navy with a new generation of surface
combatants, joint support ships and Arctic off-shore patrol ships. This
allow our sailors to continue their critical work of exercising our
protecting our coasts and defending our interests abroad.
"To ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force has the
tools it needs to
operate in the 21st century, the government is looking to replace the
aging CF-18s with a fighter aircraft that will give the Canadian Forces
flexibility to meet the challenges of the evolving uncertain and
security environment of the next decades.
"That is why we committed to purchasing a next
capability in the Canada first defence strategy, and we remain true to
"We have also increased our investments in our third
Having the right training facilities, landing strips, roads, docks,
utilities and accommodations is absolutely essential to the work of the
Canadian Forces. That is why, as part of the Canada first defence
committed to replace or refurbish approximately 25% of our holdings
10 years and 50% within 20 years. In line with this commitment, the
Department of National Defence has announced over $3 billion in defence
infrastructure projects across the country since March 2009."
Budget Implementation Act
Treasonous Measures to Continue Placement
Troops in Canada
On May 14, Bill C-38 An Act to Implement Certain
Provisions of the
Budget Tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 and Other Measures passed
of Commons by a
vote of 149 in
favour, 132 opposed. The omnibus legislation is now being reviewed by
Standing Committee on Finance before it returns to the House of Commons
for Third Reading and then on to the Senate before being adopted.
New legislation within Bill
C-38 would make
permanent the placement
of U.S. military and police agencies on Canadian territory. The
entitled: An Act to Implement a Framework Agreement on Integrated
Cross-Border Law Enforcement Operations between the Government of
Canada and the Government of the United States of America.
The arrangement would permanently allow the RCMP to
forces which can enforce Canadian laws in Canada. This is likely a
to having U.S. forces enforce U.S. laws in Canada. Currently known as
"Shiprider," U.S. Coast Guard officers which are part of the U.S.
be designated by Public Safety Canada as cross-border officers on a
basis to operate on Canadian vessels operated by the Coast Guard or the
RCMP and enforce both Canadian and U.S. laws.
The Harper government has used "pilot projects" and
testing cases which they refer to as "baby steps" in order to prepare
population for this move towards complete annexation into U.S. Northern
Command. Shiprider was first openly tested during the Detroit Super
February 5, 2006, just one day before Harper assumed office as Prime
in his first minority government. In that case, U.S. Coast Guard were
on Canadian vessels and vice versa on the Detroit River and were
on a temporary basis, to enforce Canadian laws. At that time the claim
that the bi-national nature of Super Bowl tourism and security required
exceptional measures. However, now it is clear that this arrangement
of an ongoing plan to create one security force for North America.
Revealing this deliberate and treasonous approach to
used to annexation, on May 14, RCMP Chief Superintendent and Director
General for Border Integrity Joe Oliver, told the Senate Committee on
Security and Defence: "We recognized early that this approach
raise concerns about sovereignty, of privacy, and civil liberties of
Canadians." He added, "We said 'Let's take baby steps, let's start with
the concept, let's demonstrate to Canadians and Americans that such an
approach might work.'"
RCMP Deputy Commissioner Mike Cabana also gave a clear
the Committee that permitting the U.S. Coast Guard to operate on
vessels in the Great Lakes was the first step to having U.S. forces on
soil. "First of all, the discussion started with respect to marine
And secondly, baby steps," he said. A marine-based version "was seen as
probably the most logical place to start to explore the possibilities,"
Pilot-projects to place U.S. forces on Canadian land and
in the air are
already in the making and were presented in the Security Perimeter
Plan released by the two governments earlier this year. According to
the RCMP has said that a land-based program could give U.S. Federal
of Investigation (FBI) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents
legal ability to pursue "suspects" within Canada. The same reports
the government "is not ruling out that aerial police surveillance over
occur as a result of the current amendments." This likely means the use
U.S. unmanned drones in Canadian airspace which is currently being
by the U.S. government in its airspace.
While underhanded methods are used to sneak into law
arrangements as an omnibus budget bill and other regulatory
that do not even get approved by Parliament, at every opportunity
have opposed such moves towards security integration with the United
In fact, in the Harper government's consultations for the Security
its final report revealed that nearly half of all individual
submissions said they
opposed any further security integration with the United States. At
First Nations groups also affirmed their sovereign national rights
attempts by the Canadian and U.S. governments to impose new continental
arrangements onto the First Nations in violation of their hereditary
rights in both jurisdictions. Despite this opposition, the Harper
claims it has a mandate to put in place these treasonous
This anti-national arrangement is a serious violation of
sovereignty and all the arrangements established since the war of 1812.
It exposes as cheap the talk of the Harper government about
defending Canadian sovereignty in the north or standing up for
Budget to Legalize Checkpoints in Canada
In addition to arrangements to place U.S. forces in
C-31 also amends the Customs Act to give power to the
of Public Safety to establish checkpoints in Canada, which could also
operated by U.S. forces enforcing Canadian immigration law. The
on the change in the government's summary of the legislation says it
"allow the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to
a portion of a roadway or other access way that leads to a customs
that is used by persons arriving in Canada and by persons travelling
Canada as a mixed-traffic corridor. All persons who are travelling in a
mixed-traffic corridor must present themselves to a border services
state whether they are arriving from a location outside or within
The wording indicates that roads "used by...persons
Canada" can be declared mixed-traffic corridors by the Minister of
Safety and immigration checkpoints established. A serious concern is
whether this will be used to establish checkpoints
political protests in which vehicles and people can be arbitrarily
claiming they are looking for foreign terrorists.
U.S. Pushes Harmonized Regulations
on Operation of
One of the areas under
negotiation by the Regulatory
(RCC) as part of the establishment of harmonized regulations for the
States of North American Monopolies is regulations on the
unmanned drones in both Canada and the United States. When it released
action plan in December of 2011, the Council indicated that it was
"establish a mechanism to share experiences on regulations related to
unmanned aircraft systems, with a view to aligning regulatory
According to the Council unmanned drones are "aircraft weighing
than 35 kg used for flight testing, aerial photography, filming for
documentaries, or offshore geophysical surveys."
In February shortly after the RCC released its action
plan, U.S. President
Barack Obama signed a law calling for the integration of unmanned
into national airspace by 2015. In a notice published in March, the
Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said it is seeking advice on how to
places around the country that will be used for testing how to safely
in the same area as traditional planes. The U.S. is reportedly hoping
can be used for all sorts of civilian activities, however the military
activities are not highlighted as part of this push.
"These test sites will help us ensure that our high
safety standards are
maintained as the use of these aircraft becomes more widespread," U.S.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a statement.
Until now, the FAA has banned the widespread use of
drones because of
concerns that the unmanned planes cannot see other planes and could
crash. As a result, the FAA currently requires potential users to pass
a lengthy authorization process.
The FAA is currently asking for input on how to appoint
a board that will
select the testing sites, and what criteria should be used. The site
According to reports, possible testing sites include:
airspace along the
Canadian border near the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks,
south of Winnipeg, and airspace near New Mexico State University in Las
Cruces, N.M., among other areas already used for testing drones for the
military, NASA and the Department of Homeland Security.
The University of North Dakota was the first school to
offer a four-year
degree in piloting unmanned aircraft and is close to Grand Forks Air
Base that is home to Air Force Global Hawk and Predator drones as well
two Predators flown by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
New Mexico State University uses Pentagon research
funding to test new
types of drones at its flight test centre along the Mexican border.
On March 9, it was reported that the U.S.
government has taken
the first step toward allowing drones to fly alongside passenger
airplanes in the
U.S., possibly near the Canadian border.
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