That, given that ISIS has taken responsibility for recent deadly attacks in Paris, Beirut, and Africa, and has declared war on Canada, this House: (a) acknowledge that now is not the time for Canada to step back and force our allies to take on a heavier burden in the fight against ISIS; (b) remind the government of its obligation to our NATO partners and its responsibility to protect the freedom, democracy, safety, and security of Canadians; (c) call upon the government to maintain the air-combat mission of the RCAF CF-18 fighter jets; (d) express its appreciation to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in the fight against terror; and (e) reconfirm our commitment to our allies to stop ISIS.
Mr. Speaker, although it is not my first time standing in this new Parliament, I do want to congratulate you on your election as Speaker. I would like to congratulate all MPs for their respective elections. I would in particular like to thank the people of Parry Sound—Muskoka for returning me to office for the fourth consecutive time.
I am sure all colleagues would agree that it is a great honour to be here, under any circumstances. We look forward to this Parliament over the next few years.
Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Selkirk—Interlake.
The basis of our motion today is a straightforward one. Canada must always stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies. We believe that the government needs to maintain our commitment to the air combat mission against ISIS and to leave our CF-18s in the fight. While our coalition partners are stepping up their efforts to degrade and defeat ISIS, the Liberal government is stepping back.
The Canadian Armed Forces and the Royal Canadian Air Force have been carrying out both training and air strikes successfully in the region for almost a year. Our troops have been making a difference. Pulling them out of the fight now is not only contrary to the interests of Canada and our coalition partners, but it is an insult to our women and men in uniform; and to suggest that their role has been insignificant is perhaps the greatest insult.
Our troops have damaged ISIS and slowed its progress. That must continue.
The Conservatives have said that in order to stand shoulder to shoulder with its allies, Canada needs to maintain its commitment to the air combat mission against ISIS and leave its CF-18s in the fight. That is why the leader of the official opposition is urging the Liberal government to reverse its decision to withdraw the CF-18s. We fully support that change.
The Prime Minister still has not explained how withdrawing Canada's CF-18s from the fight against ISIS will help our coalition partners.
The brutality of ISIS has no bounds. It is an unadulterated evil scourge that must be confronted with full force and without hesitation. Unfortunately, recent history tells the horrific tale.
In San Bernardino, California, on December 2, 14 people were killed and 21 injured in a terror attack consisting of a mass shooting and an unsuccessful bombing at the Inland Regional Center by supporters of ISIS.
In Paris on November 13, a series of coordinated terrorist attacks claimed the lives of 130 innocent people.
On November 12 in Beirut, Lebanon, two suicide bombers killed at least 43 people. The attack in the south suburb of Beirut is one of Lebanon's deadliest in recent years. ISIS targeted civilians, worshippers, unarmed people, women, and the elderly. It only targeted innocent people.
On November 4 in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, at least four police officers were killed when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle full of explosives next to a police club in northern Sinai.
In the Sinai Peninsula on October 31, after a Russian plane crashed in the mountainous part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, a Sinai-based group affiliated with ISIS claimed responsibility for planting the bomb on the plane. There were 224 people killed.
In Aden, Yemen, on October 6, ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a luxury hotel hosting Yemeni officials and a gulf military base in Yemen's cosmopolitan port city of Aden, as well as a mosque bombing in the Yemen capital of Sanaa. At least 15 troops were killed, including four UAE soldiers.
In Sanaa, Yemen, on September 24, ISIS militants targeted Shiite Muslims who were praying during the religious holiday of Eid and killed 25 people at a mosque in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa.
Then there are the ISIS executions. The full scale of ISIS' year of terror has been detailed in a recent report that claims the jihadist group has executed more than 3,000 people in the past 12 months, a tally that includes 74 children.
According to a report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, produced to mark the first anniversary of the establishment of the group's so-called caliphate, ISIS has carried out 3,027 execution killings in a year. Among the thousands of Arab and Kurdish civilians executed by the group in Syria last year, 86 were women.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child released a report in February, documenting the many horrors ISIS has imposed on children who are Kurdish, Yazidi, Christian, and Muslim. Children, even those who are mentally challenged, are being tortured, crucified, buried alive, used as suicide bombers, and sold as sex slaves, according to this report, and there is no reason to doubt its veracity.
The international community and our allies are at one. Here is what some of the leaders around the world, our coalition allies, have to say about the fight against ISIS.
David Cameron, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, stated:
ISIL has brutally murdered British hostages. They have inspired the worst terrorist attack against British people since 7/7 on the beaches of Tunisia, and they have plotted atrocities on the streets here at home. Since November last year our security services have foiled no fewer than seven different plots against our people, so this threat is very real. The question is this: do we work with our allies to degrade and destroy this threat, and do we go after these terrorists in their heartlands, from where they are plotting to kill British people, or do we sit back and wait for them to attack us?
The President of the French Republic, François Hollande, has had quite a bit to say about this.
He has said that France would battle ISIS “without a respite, without a truce... It is not a question of containing but of destroying this organisation”.
President Obama stated, “ISIL is the face of evil. Our goal, as I’ve said many times, is to degrade and ultimately destroy this barbaric terrorist organization.”
It is evidently clear where our allies stand on this issue, but, sadly, Canada's position, once clearly defined under our previous Conservative government, is now hazy and hesitant. Canadians can be extremely proud of the efforts of the women and men of the Canadian Armed Forces in Operation Impact. Our special operations forces have been able to train over 1,100 peshmerga forces, allowing them to combat ISIS more effectively on the ground.
For nearly a year, the Royal Canadian Air Force has been working with our allies and successfully launching air strikes against ISIS' fighting positions, weapons caches, training facilities, IED facilities, critical infrastructure, and command centres.
I have to say this. Regrettably, we have no plan from the Liberals on what our mission against ISIS would look like. There was no mention of what our plan will be in the throne speech. Canadians support the fight against ISIS. They deserve to know why we are stepping back.