June 29th, 2017

Mulcair Statement on Iraq Mission Extension

On Thursday, NDP Leader Tom Mulcair issued the following statement:

"Today, the Defence Minister announced a two-year extension to Canada’s military mission in Iraq without debate, and without a vote in Parliament.

This major extension comes amid serious questions about the nature of the mission. Reports that Canadian snipers have shot and killed at least one opponent from great distances, and that our troops are operating close to the front lines in Mosul cast doubt on the government’s claim that this is a non-combat mission.

Canadians will remember that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the previous government for misleading the public about the nature and duration of the military mission. He then promised that his government would not take part in a combat mission in Iraq. Now, his definition of combat seems to have changed.

Canadians can be confident in the excellent capabilities of our Canadian Forces and the honourable work they do abroad. Canadians also expect honesty and accountability from their government – particularly when it comes to decisions on military deployments. Unfortunately, with respect to the mission in Iraq, the Liberals have not lived up to their obligations.

It is deeply troubling that the Liberal government made this announcement after the House of Commons has adjourned for the summer. If the Prime Minister truly cared about accountability and transparency, he would not have made a two-year commitment on behalf of our troops before this matter was presented to Members of Parliament in the House of Commons for consideration."