HEY IT'S GOOD TO BE BACK HOME AGAIN:

Tories quietly expand NORAD (BRUCE CAMPION-SMITH, 4/29/06, Toronto Star)

Stephen Harper’s government has quietly committed Canada to “indefinite” participation in NORAD and agreed to give the military alliance new responsibilities to watch for a terror attack by sea.

Fresh off his softwood lumber truce, Harper’s government yesterday gave another boost to Canada-U.S. relations when it signed off on the renewal of the landmark North American Aerospace Defence Command treaty.

Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor and David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador in Canada, signed the new pact at a “ceremony in Ottawa,” according to Janelle Hironimus, a spokesperson with the U.S. State Department.

U.S. hails new era after deal (GRAHAM FRASER, 4/29/06, Toronto Star)

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins yesterday called the softwood lumber deal the proof that Canada matters in Washington, and the precursor of a new era of co-operation between the two countries.

“Leadership matters,” he told a Public Policy Forum conference in Ottawa. “Call it a breath of fresh air, a new effort, new energy, a renewed momentum, whatever term you want to describe it — but there is a sense, in my opinion, both in Washington and in Ottawa, that we are entering a positive, productive stage in our relationship.”

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