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Kenney open to joining BMD

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OTTAWA—Canada’s last Conservative defence minister says he’d look favourably on a proposal to join the United States’ missile-defence program.

Jason Kenney said the country seriously should consider the idea—should it receive a formal request from the U.S. to do so.

He said he never received such a detailed request during his time as minister, noting the issue never got much beyond speculative chatter.

But Kenney said he finds the argument for missile defence compelling: that Canada already participates in missile detection with the U.S. in NORAD and should have some say in where an incoming missile gets shot down.

The debate over missile defence could be re-opening—more than a decade after a previous Liberal government rejected a request to fully participate in the system.

The new Liberal government has included the issue in its wide-ranging defence review.

There are signs military officials favour joining.

Transition briefing documents prepared for Defence minister Harjit Sajjan say the strategic importance of missile defence has increased in recent years, as North Korea builds up its nuclear-attack capability.

Kenney said that within the department, there was institutional support for joining the program.

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