The mayor of an Ontario city says U.S. military planes flying overhead have traumatized residents and disrespected Canada's sovereignty.
Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley has written to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland seeking answers as to why two A-10 Thunderbolt II planes, nicknamed "Warthogs," have been flying along the Canadian side of the border and over his city, according to CBC News.
Bradley told the Port Huron Times-Herald his office keeps fielding calls from scared residents.
"We had a call from a woman whose mother survived a World War II bombing. She's in her 90s, and this frightened her," he said.
It's the principle of our sovereignty.Mike Bradley, Mayor of Sarnia
Bradley said the issue came up back in 2010, prompting him to write to then-foreign affairs minister Lawrence Cannon.
He received an apology and a promise it would never happen again from the commander at the Selfridge Air National Guard Base, which is located about 61 kilometres south of Sarnia, according to the Times-Herald.
"It's the principle of our sovereignty," Bradley told CBC News.
He said the Canada-U.S. border has been militarized beyond what is necessary and has become more "unfriendly."
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No complaints to MP
Tech-Sgt. Chelsea E. Barber, who is stationed at Selfridge, told the Sarnia Observer Tuesday that Canadian and American military aircraft are not forbidden from flying across the St. Clair River, which runs between Ontario and Michigan.
"Sometimes, crossing over borders cannot be avoided based on weather patterns or traffic conditions," she told the paper, adding that the military wants to make sure it is a "courteous" neighbour.
Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu told the Sarnia Observer her office hasn't received any complaints about the jets so far, but that she will raise the issue with Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan now that she's aware of the mayor's complaints.
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