North American defence ministers to tackle drug trade in Ottawa meeting

Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay speaks at a press conference at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
The Canadian Press
OTTAWA - Defence Minister Peter MacKay and his U.S. and Mexican counterparts wrap up a two-day meeting in Ottawa today that has focused on shared North American security threats.
Drug trafficking, cyber attacks, intelligence sharing and border security are some of the issues MacKay has discussed with U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Mexico's Secretary of National Defence, Gen. Guillermo Galvan Galvan.
Defence officials say the three defence officials are expected to announce new measures today to support the fight against narcotics.
MacKay's communications director, Jay Paxton, says the objective is to co-ordinate security to "assist the ongoing counter-narcotics strategies in our countries."
The so-called war on drugs has many critics, but U.S. government officials stress that the bold firepower of drug cartels means no one country or agency can go it alone.
The United Nations estimates that the drug trade in the United States, Canada and Mexico is now worth at least $147 billion a year.
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Last changed: March 27. 2012 2:00AM