The defence lobby wasted no time.
Within hours of the lights being shut off at Stephen Harper's election-night victory celebration in Calgary, Toronto readers were hit with the opening salvo in a renewed campaign to get Canada back to George W. Bush's missile defence table.
"Formal participation in a ballistic missile defence system would be in Canada's national interest," wrote Conference of Defence Associations director Colonel Alain Pellerin in the Toronto Star.
During the election campaign, Harper played to his Conservative base and defence lobby backers by pledging to hold a free vote on missile defence in Parliament.
The defence lobby's kissing cousins, the big business lobby, were happy to hear that. If joining Bush's faulty missile shield would help resolve the softwood lumber problem and keep the border open, then sparking a new arms race on earth and in space is a price worth paying, by their accounting methods.
But having won only a minority government and facing three centre-left parties, Harper could come to regret his missile defence pledge.
He will take control of a military already edging closer to the Pentagon. The 2005 federal budget pumped $12.8 billion into military spending over five years. Defence spending fuels military integration. Without billions of dollars, the military can't afford to buy the high-tech weaponry required for joint operations with the Americans, the most lethal and technologically advanced fighting force in history.
The Conservatives pledged to move the Liberals' military build-up and integration agenda farther faster, tacking an extra $5 billion over five years onto their allocation.
Most analysts agree that will not pay for the three icebreaker warships, huge military transport planes and thousands of additional troops Harper wants. The Conservatives will also implement the Liberals' plans for Canada's war-fighting role in Afghanistan, the proving ground for Canada-U.S. military integration.
Had Harper won a majority, he could easily have implemented all his plans.
But Jack Layton is opposed to missile defence and is demanding a debate and vote on Canada's role in Afghanistan. The Liberals will be no help to Harper on missile defence, and the Bloc Quebecois is the most skeptical of all on military spending increases.
Without a doubt, Canada's defence lobby is urging the Bush administration to formally request new talks, to which Harper would be forced to respond favourably.
The unenviable result will be that any deal struck after those talks will have to be put before Parliament, as Harper promised.
Harper will be unable to avoid a humiliating defeat at the hands of the three anti-missile defence parties holding the balance of power.
While Bush's missile defence system may be lousy at shooting down incoming missiles, it is incredibly dangerous for Canadian politicians. Stephen Harper may be its next victim.
Steven Staples is director of security programs at the Ottawa-based Polaris Institute.