NDP Statement on Expansion of Canada's Military Role in Iraq

NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière (Laurier—Sainte-Marie) released the following statement:

“The NDP believes Canada has an important role to play in addressing the threat that ISIS poses to the global community and in alleviating the suffering of civilians caught in the conflict. Instead of playing a military combat role, we have long argued that Canada should focus on stopping the flow of arms, funds and foreign fighters – including improving anti-radicalization efforts here at home.

“We are concerned that the Liberal government has chosen to place Canadian Forces personnel deeper into an open-ended combat military mission in Iraq – a mission that fails to even define what success would look like. And while we welcome the government’s announcement today of increased humanitarian assistance to the region, we are concerned that this aid is being linked to the military mission.

“The Trudeau Liberals promised to end the Conservative government’s mission and said we need a clearer line between combat and non-combat. Today’s announcement actually blurs these lines even more.

“Liberals are tripling the size of so-called advisors to the Iraqi military, with some forces working in a ‘battlefield context’ and others working to ‘enhance in-theatre tactical transport.’ Additionally, our forces will still be directly supporting the bombings through refueling and targeting support.

“With so many unanswered questions, it is crucial that Canadians get better answers than we heard today. We expect the government to have a full debate and vote in the House of Commons.”