I recently came across this spelling of "defense/ce" in a Canadian newspaper:
Canada is a close U.S. military ally and the top U.S. export market, more than the U.K., Japan and Germany combined. It sells the U.S. more steel and aluminum than anyone else, in part because of deeply integrated auto and defense sectors [emphasis added]."
According to all dictionaries I have looked at, defense is solely an American spelling, and the spelling defence is officially used in Canada.
My question is this: Are there any Canadians, or people familiar with Canadian English, that can comment on whether the defense spelling is also common in Canada, or whether this example is simply a one-off? I have so far been unable to find any sources that confirm any occasional use of the -se spelling of defense in Canadian English. I have a hunch that The Canadian Oxford Dictionary might have something to say on this, but I do not have access to it.