Norad shot down an “unidentified object” over Yukon on Saturday, an act Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he ordered after the object violated Canadian airspace
“Canadian and U.S. aircraft were scrambled, and a U.S. F-22 successfully fired at the object,” Trudeau said in a statement on Twitter.
“I spoke with President Biden this afternoon. Canadian Forces will now recover and analyze the wreckage of the object. Thank you to NORAD for keeping the watch over North America.”
Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand also confirmed that the object had been shot down, saying on Twitter that she discussed it with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “and reaffirmed that we’ll always defend our sovereignty together.”
Conservative MP and foreign affairs critic Michael Chong, meanwhile, criticized the federal government for having to rely on a U.S. jet to take down the object.
“So it’s just confirmed th at this ‘object’ over Canadian airspace was taken out by a U.S. F-22 jet. We do not have the capacity to defend ourselves and our sovereignty. Hard questions need to be asked about the state of the Canadian armed forces,” he said in a tweet on Saturday
Norad, or the North American Aerospace Defence Command, confirmed in a statement to CTV News earlier on Saturday that it was monitoring a high-altitude airborne object flying over Northern Canada.
“Military aircraft are currently operating from Alaska and Canada in support of North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) activities. NORAD confirms that we have positively identified a high-altitude airborne object over Northern Canada,” Norad and the U.S. military’s Northern Command said in a statement.
“While we cannot discuss specifics related to these activities at this time, please note that NORAD conducts sustained, dispersed operations in the defence of North America through one or all three NORAD regions. NORAD is a United States and Canada bi-national organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for North America.”
This comes a day after the United States shot down another unknown high-altitude object about the size of a small car off the coast of Alaska on Friday near the Canadian border.
Anand said in a statement to CTV News on Friday that the object did not fly into Canadian airspace.
She added that Canada supported the U.S. “taking action” to take down the object. Trudeau also said Friday night that he supported the decision after being briefed on the matter.
Recovery efforts are now ongoing at a reportedly frozen stretch of the Beaufort Sea.
The incident comes after the U.S. downed a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the Atlantic Ocean on Feb. 4 after it spent a week moving across Canada and the United States.
With files from CTV National News Parliamentary Bureau Reporter Annie Bergeron-Oliver and CTVNews.ca writer Daniel Otis