September 8, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA – This week, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is attending the United Nations Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in London. James Bezan, Official Opposition Critic for National Defence, and Pierre Paul-Hus, Associate Critic for National Defence, issued the following statement today:
“It is extremely disappointing that despite the Liberals’ commitment to deploy up to 600 Canadian Armed Forces members to United Nations peacekeeping operations, Canadians still do not have a clear understanding of the role our troops will play. This week’s meeting in London was a perfect opportunity for the government to be clear with Canadians and our international partners about how Canada plans to contribute. Sadly, the Liberals have so far failed to do so.
“Minister Sajjan has acknowledged that traditional peacekeeping no longer exists, however his week-long tour of Africa left Canadians with far more questions than answers. The Liberals must answer basic questions such as when and where will our troops be deployed? What will the mission entail? What are the rules of engagement? Who will we be working with? Will there be a vote in Parliament?
“There is no doubt that the members of the Canadian Armed Forces are capable of performing any task asked of them expertly and professionally. However, operations must focus on securing, protecting and defending Canada’s national interest. During the more than 40 defence roundtables Conservatives held over the summer, peacekeeping missions were never raised as a priority. Instead, Canadians across the country agreed that the primary focus of the Canadian Armed Forces must be defending Canada and our allies.
“It is unfair to Canadians, our allies, and most importantly to our troops for the Liberals to blindly pledge 600 Canadian troops to a ‘possible deployment’. Any use of the Canadian military must be in our national interest, not to secure a position on the United Nation’s Security Council or to fulfil the Prime Minister’s political aspirations. The Liberals must clearly lay out the details and risks of the mission before deploying Canadian personnel to a war zone.”
Canadians Deserve Answers Before Troops are Deployed to War Zones