Patrick Doyle The Canadian Press “You see how NORAD, Canada and the United States are taking these potential threats seriously. We will know more when we analyze the object that we find on the ground,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a brief statement to the media on Sunday morning in Ottawa.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau traveled Sunday night to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, where a flying object was shot down by a NORAD fighter jet on Saturday for “violating Canadian airspace” .
The United States has identified the object as a small surveillance balloon.
“Citizen safety is our top priority. That's why I made the decision to shoot down this unidentified object,” Prime Minister Trudeau said in a brief statement to the media Sunday morning in Ottawa, before departing for the Yukon.
< p>This visit by the Prime Minister to the Yukon capital was already planned, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of the Council of Yukon First Nations.
Search teams were dispatched to the Yukon to find the remains of the flying object, referred to as a “balloon”, by Chief of the Defense Staff General Wayne Eyre the previous day when he accompanied the Minister of National Defence, Anita Anand, to take stock of the situation.
“We still have a lot to learn. That's why the analysis of the object will be important, “said the Prime Minister.
Trudeau is scheduled to meet with Yukon Premier Ranj Pillai in Whitehorse on Monday, where he will also hold a media briefing.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) has publicly revealed the presence of the object over the Canadian far north on Saturday afternoon and it was an American F-22 fighter plane that shot it down.
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told ABC on Sunday that U.S. authorities believe the object downed in the Yukon, and the one downed Friday in Alaska, were smaller surveillance balloons than the first. who had flown over North American territory two weeks ago.
Trudeau on the ground
“Tonight (Sunday), I will meet aboriginal leaders, including leaders who may be affected by the object's descent and tomorrow morning I will speak to the Premier of the Yukon,” said Mr. Trudeau before his departure for the Yukon.
“You see how seriously NORAD, Canada and the United States take these potential threats. We will know more when we analyze the object that we will find on the ground, “said the Prime Minister.
Justin Trudeau reiterated that he had discussions with the American President, Joe Biden, concerning this new incident in North American airspace, as he first reported in a series of tweets on Saturday.
At a press conference Saturday night, Minister Anand said it's too early to know for sure if the “cylindrical” object that was shot down over the Yukon on Saturday came from China, but she hinted anyway. that it could indeed be another Chinese “spy balloon”.
“Early indications are that this object is potentially similar to the one that was shot down off South Carolina, albeit smaller and cylindrical in shape,” Ms. Anand said, referring to the Chinese balloon that was destroyed on the ship. February 4 by the United States.
While Ms. Anand referred to a “cylindrical object” throughout her press briefing, General Wayne Eyre referred to the object as a “balloon” during of the same meeting with the journalists.
A fourth “unidentified object” was shot down on Sunday while he was was flying over Lake Huron. It was therefore the third object in as many days to be shot down by the American air force.
“Today (Sunday) a high altitude object was detected in US airspace over Lake Huron. NORAD sent Canadian and US aircraft to investigate and the object was shot down in US airspace by US aircraft,” Minister Anand tweeted.
So it was of the fourth object to violate North American airspace in the past two weeks.
An alleged Chinese 'spy balloon' had returned to the United States after flying over Alaska and parts of from western Canada two weeks ago, before being publicly identified on February 1. The balloon was shot down off South Carolina on February 4.
A second object was shot down after flying over Alaskan airspace on Friday, then a similar situation arose. produced on Saturday, this time in the Yukon. In both cases, the authorities indicated that these objects were smaller in size than the first Chinese balloon.