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April 5th, 2019

New Democrats Continue to Call on Liberal Government to Extend Mali Peacekeeping Mission

OTTAWA – New Democrats are responding to the Standing Committee on National Defence’s report on Canada’s Task Force in Mali tabled in the House of Commons today, which calls on the Government of Canada to extend the mission in Mali to avoid a gap in operations between Canada’s departure and the arrival of Romanian forces.

“The committee has heard from United Nations and Malian officials that a gap in medical evacuation services threatens the success of ongoing peacekeeping efforts, since contracted civilian helicopters will not enter combat zones and cannot operate at night,” said Randall Garrison, the NDP Critic for National Defence. “Civilian contractors simply cannot provide the capability that the Canadian Armed Forces have been able to.”

New Democrats remain critical of the Liberal and Conservative members of the Committee for turning a blind-eye to UN requests in failing to recommend supporting a modest extension to Canada’s mission in Mali.

“It took the Liberal government over two years to announce participation in a peacekeeping mission, and now this very modest contribution will not be extended despite a capability gap which could have a serious impact on the protection of civilians,” said Garrison. “While the Government of Canada has pledged on many occasions that Canada was back on the international stage, it is clear these are more empty words by the Liberals.”