New Democrats are concerned about the recent escalation of violence in Syria, in particular recent fighting in Damascus that is putting many civilians at risk and causing a refugee crisis in the region. This unfolding tragedy has already seen over 14,000 killed, most of them civilian bystanders and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that as many as 30,000 refugees have crossed into Lebanon in the past 48 hours alone. Around one million people have been forced to flee their homes since the conflict began.
New Democrats are urging the government of Canada to condemn the use of heavy weapons against civilians.
The government must redouble its diplomatic efforts with Russia and China to hold the regime of Bashar Al-Assad to account, after the two nations have again blocked UN Security Council resolution aiming to end the violence. Working with international partners, we believe Canada can play an important role in helping to bring about a ceasefire and restoring peace.
We regret that the Canadian government has not done more, particularly in terms of taking every opportunity to engage Russia directly on the unfolding crisis. Our government must send a strong signal that it recognizes the human rights crisis unfolding in Syria and will make this a top priority.