Ballistic missile defense (BMD) is continuing to gain significant support in Canada.

On June 17, the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defense unanimously recommended that Canada enter into an agreement with the United States to fully participate in BMD efforts.

The committee’s judgments represent another important and necessary move toward shifting Canada’s current BMD posture, one that The Heritage Foundation has greatly encouraged.

The need for Canadian BMD is stark, as rogue states such as North Korea and Iran have expanded their long-range ballistic missile capabilities, and both have nuclear aspirations. U.S. intelligence has assessed with “moderate confidence” that North Korea has nuclear weapons capable of delivery by ballistic missiles.

Although the Canadian government recognizes the growing missile threat to North America, Ottawa has remained hesitant to cooperate with the U.S. on BMD.

It is essential that Canada continue toward meaningful participation with its European and American partners in BMD. This could include the contribution of financial resources or territory to U.S. missile defense efforts, as well as joint technical research.

No matter what steps are taken, further cooperation is vital. The missile threat is only going to get more acute.

Yet the committee acts only in an advisory role. Ultimately, only the prime minister has the final say.

The Canadian government should heed the committee’s advice. Until Canada becomes a full participant in NATO’s BMD architecture, Canada is at risk of ballistic missile attack.

Harrison Menke is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, pleaseclick here.