OTTAWA — Expectations are high as Defense Minister Anita Anand prepares to unveil the federal government’s plans to upgrade North America’s aging defensive systems.
The announcement at an Ontario air force base on Monday morning comes amid warnings from US and Canadian military officials and experts about the state of Norad, particularly in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Anand has been promising for months that the government was weighing a robust package of investments for Norad, the jointly commanded system tasked with detecting incoming airborne and maritime threats to North America.
Those promises were reiterated earlier this month, when Anand and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Norad headquarters in Colorado, though neither offered any specific details at that time.
The government has said some of the $8 billion in new military funding in April’s federal budget would be spent on Norad, which is expected to include a new long-range radar system capable of detecting threats coming from the Arctic.
Anand also said last month that the government was weighing whether Canada should finally join the US in actively defending against intercontinental ballistic missiles, which it opted against doing in 2005.