March 6th, 2018

NDP Statement on Liberal Failure to Contribute to Peacekeeping Missions

Helene Laverdière, the NDP Critic for Foreign Affairs, and Randall Garrison, the NDP Critic for National Defence made the following statement:

“Following media reports that a plan to send a Canadian military team to participate in a UN peacekeeping mission in Colombia fell through due to delays on the part of our government; we condemn the Liberals’ consistent failure to contribute to specific peacekeeping missions around the world.

The fact that this team was not deployed, even though it was trained and on standby, speaks volumes of the government’s commitment to respect their own promises on peacekeeping. Documents uncovered in the media shows that Canada was alerted to opportunities to contribute to particular missions, including in Mali, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Requests to participate have so far been turned down by the Liberals. If the government was not able to successfully deploy peacekeepers to Colombia, where there is already a peace process in place, one must question Canada’s ability to deploy to more dangerous situations.

Despite clear election promises, two and a half years in power and a months-old announcement that made a series of peacekeeping pledges, there is scant evidence of the government’s intention to follow through on their promises. And once again, in Budget 2018, no money was included for peacekeeping. At the end of December 2017, Canada had as few as 43 peacekeepers deployed on various missions, a record low since the 1950s, when Canada first began contributing to peacekeeping.

Through these delays, Canada is not only letting down our international partners in the European Union and the United Nations, who have been requesting Canada’s involvement in peacekeeping missions, but we are also letting down civilians around the world who in many cases desperately need protection. The course the Liberal government has set us on is shameful. It is time for immediate action on peacekeeping."