Mr. Speaker, New Democrats have been raising concerns for over a year about sectarian violence in Syria and Iraq and the best way for Canada to help.
Sadly, Canadians have been misled from the start by the Prime Minister. He promised that our troops were being sent to “advise and assist”, not to accompany Iraqi forces. Now, six months later, Canada is conducting air strikes and our forces are exchanging fire on the front lines. Tragically, a member of the Canadian Forces has been killed.
The Prime Minister cannot claim that he wants to prevent atrocities when his planned expansion into Syria will aid and abet Bashar al-Assad. As Paul Heinbecker said, any direct or indirect alliance with Assad would be the “ultimate betrayal of the Syrian innocents”. Meanwhile, Liberals claim to oppose this mission, yet refuse to commit to ending Canada's combat involvement in this war.
In October, Canadians will have a clear choice. Only a vote for the NDP is a vote to end the war and a vote for an effective Canadian role to stop the spread of violent extremism.