Opposition parties in Ottawa want details on China ball

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Opposition parties in Ottawa want details on Chinese ball

A missile fired by an F-22 fighter killed the Chinese balloon, which was floating above the Atlantic Ocean. (File photo)

Opposition parties in Ottawa believe that Canadians have a right to know more about the Chinese balloon's incursion into Canadian territory, while the federal government is sparing of comments on this issue. /p>

The various political formations made the call on Monday, shortly after the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) revealed that shortcomings in the mainland alert system have prevented authorities from detecting other balloons in the past.

National Defense Minister Anita Anand has confirmed that the Chinese balloon that was shot down in the United States last weekend violated Canadian airspace, but the government declined to provide details on the incident. time and place the balloon flew in Canada.

Defense Minister Anita Anand (File photo)

This choice contrasts with Washington's decision, which provided several details about the flight of the balloon, which went through Alaska, then through Canada to then enter the continental United States. It was finally shot down off South Carolina on Saturday.

“The Pentagon and the White House have been much more open in discussing what happened.

—James Bezan, Conservative National Defense Critic

As a country whose airspace has been violated by the Chinese Communist Party, we deserve answers, he argued.

Opposition parties also want to know why the public did not learn of the balloon's existence until it had already left Canadian airspace, why it was not arrested earlier and what measures are being taken to prevent and punish China's espionage efforts.

“It is time for the government to take action to counter Chinese influence and modernize Canada's defense systems.

— Christine Normandin, Bloc Québécois National Defense Critic

This event must be clarified and the government must offer answers to the population as to the impact of this spy balloon, she added.

The Chinese balloon was seen over Billings, Montana on February 1, 2023 .(File photo)

The US military first confirmed the presence of the Chinese balloon after it was spotted over Montana on February 1. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin later revealed that it was first detected in US airspace in Alaska on January 28.

While Beijing claims it was a stray weather research balloon, Ottawa and Washington allege it was used to spy on sensitive military sites. /p>

NORAD Commander US General Glen VanHerck told reporters that similar balloons had escaped detection by America's aging warning system North in the past due to a lack of knowledge of this area.

“So we had the opportunity to go out and gather information to better understand what these balloons actually do and what they are capable of. ”

—US General Glen VanHerck, Commander of NORAD

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby confirmed on Monday that the #x27;US military had begun to take possession of the balloon debris.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh, meanwhile, insisted that Canada should be part of any investigation into what will be recovered from the ball.

It's a story that strikes the imagination, this Chinese balloon affair that violated American and Canadian airspace. Is this espionage or provocation? Interview with Guy Saint-Jacques, former Canadian ambassador to China and associate at the Montreal Institute of International Studies, and Michel Juneau-Katsuya, former CSIS agent and national security expert.

People are afraid that Canada's economic and security advantages will be compromised, Singh said in a statement. Canada should take an active role in investigating the purpose of the craft and locating any intelligence it has gathered.

The Minister Anand's office did not respond to questions about when the balloon entered Canadian airspace from Alaska, or how long it stayed in Canada before returning to the United States. United States over Idaho.

National Defense Department spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier only explained that after seeing that the balloon did not pose a threat, Canadian and American officials decided to reveal the presence of the balloon at the appropriate time, considering operational security.