Defence Minister meets with U.S. Secretary of Defense

19 November 2022

National Defence Minister Anita Anand hosted her counterpart, United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III for a bilateral meeting in Halifax, during the Halifax International Security Forum.

Canada and the U.S. share an important and valued bilateral relationship, which includes a close defence partnership. This relationship is underscored by a shared commitment to working together to ensure the defence and security of North America, including through the binational NORAD.

Minister Anand and Secretary Austin reaffirmed their countries’ strong support for Ukraine, as its Armed Forces fight to defend their nation from Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion. Minister Anand thanked Secretary Austin for his country’s leadership in hosting the Ukraine Defense Contact Group – in which Canada has participated since its founding earlier this year, and at which Minister Anand announced $34 million in additional military aid for Ukraine at this week’s meeting.

Minister Anand further highlighted the recent announcements that Canada will extend Operation UNIFIER in the United Kingdom through the end of 2023, and that Canada has allocated an additional $500 million in military aid for Ukraine, bringing its total commitment to over $1 billion since February 2022.

Also discussed was North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) modernization. Canada’s contribution to NORAD modernization, supported by an investment of $38.6 billion accrual basis, is a significant contribution to the aerospace defence of North America. In particular, Anand underlined the Royal Canadian Air Force’s working with the United States Air Force to refine plans to establish a cutting-edge network of Over-the-Horizon radar sites in Canada and the U.S. These sites will significantly improve our ability to detect incoming threats at longer ranges – including over the Arctic. Canadian defence scientists have been working with U.S. counterparts to identify initial priorities for research and development, including how hypersonics, quantum technology, and space-based capabilities will shape new and emerging threats – and how NORAD can respond to them.

Minister Anand also updated Secretary Austin on Canada’s soon to be released Indo-Pacific strategy. The Minister and the Secretary discussed Canada’s Operation PROJECTION and Operation NEON, and Minister Anand noted that Canada will increase its military presence and enhance its defence and security relationships with partners in the region, through the forthcoming strategy.

The situation in Haiti was discussed and the two agreed to continue collaborating on the matter. The leaders concluded by highlighting the vital importance of the Canada-U.S. bilateral defence partnership, which benefits both Canadians and Americans, and supports the security of our NATO Allies.As a reliable partner in the defence of North America, the Canadian Armed Forces conducts combined continental operations; participate in training exercises with U.S. forces; and remain interoperable with the U.S. military, including within NORAD.

Canada and the U.S. are committed to modernizing and better integrating NORAD’s capabilities, including through investments that will enhance situational awareness, modernize command and control systems, upgrade capabilities and infrastructure, and leverage collaborative research, development and innovation opportunities.

The Canadian Armed Forces regularly collaborates with American military forces during Arctic operations and exercises, including Operation NANOOK and Exercise ARCTIC EDGE.

On 18 Nov 2022, as part of the upcoming release of Canada’s Indo-Pacific Strategy, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced measures to expand trade, investment, and supply chain resilience in the Indo-Pacific to benefit people in the region and Canada alike.