Minister Anand provides an important national security update. 


Good evening.

As Minister of National Defence, my top priority is the safety and protection of Canadians. 

Working in collaboration with our partners, including the United States, NORAD and other departments, Canada was tracking a high-altitude object over Central Yukon.

North American Aerospace Defense Command detected this object and launched Canadian and US fighter aircraft to investigate. The object was visually identified using fighter aircraft assigned to NORAD.  

This exemplifies what NORAD is and what NORAD does best – and I was pleased to discuss this operation earlier today with my colleague, United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. 

Today, at the direction of the Prime Minister, aircraft assigned to NORAD successfully took down this high-altitude airborne object at approximately 3:41 pm Eastern Standard Time

To the best of our knowledge, this was the first time that a NORAD operation has downed an aerial object. 

The object was flying at an altitude of approximately 40,000 feet, had unlawfully entered Canadian airspace, and posed a reasonable threat to the safety of civilian flight. The object was downed approximately 100 miles from the Canada, United States Border, over Canadian territory, in central Yukon. 

Recovery operations are underway and will be supported by the Canadian Armed Forces, in coordination with the RCMP. This coordinated operation will allow a further investigation into this object.

We have no further details about the object at this time, including any description of its capabilities, purpose, or origin. It appears to be a small, cylindrical object, smaller than the one downed off the coast of North Carolina.

I also spoke today with Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai and conveyed that we’ll continue to work hand in hand with the Territory. 

I, and our government, will continue reaching out to Indigenous peoples potentially affected by this incident to provide information and updates as needed, out of respect for reconciliation. 

Today is a historic day.

Canada and the United States continue to work together through the bi-national command of NORAD to defend our two nations, and I will recognize again the importance of this extremely close relationship we have with the United States. 

Just yesterday, I met with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon to reaffirm that North American air sovereignty is a key priority, which is why we continue to work in partnership with the United States, NORAD and the broader security community to protect Canadian and U.S. interests. We will continue our work to modernize NORAD and ensure the protection of our air sovereignty — and I’ll be seeing the Secretary again next week. 

Through NORAD, we will continue to work hand in hand with our closest ally to ensure the protection of our continent — as we showed today. I thank all members of our military, and the United States involved in this operation.  


Thank you, Merci.

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