Mr. Speaker, with regard to (a) and (b), the letter in question requested Canada’s assistance in the form of Canadian planners and liaisons to work with U.S. Central Command, special forces personnel to advise and assist Iraqi security forces, and support to airstrikes, such as combat aircraft, aerial refuelling and aerial surveillance.
With regard to (c), prior to October 3, 2014, Canada received two direct requests for assistance: one from the Republic of Iraq and one from the U.S., which is leading the multinational coalition against ISIS at the request of the Republic of Iraq.
With regard to (d), the U.S. requested Canada’s assistance including for support to coalition air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS.
With regard to (e), the Department of National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces, DND/CAF, have consulted appropriate experts to ensure that there is a sound legal basis for all CAF operations against ISIS.
With regard to (f), the estimated incremental costs for the Canadian military operation in Iraq, known as Operation Impact, for the 2014-15 fiscal year that ended March 31, 2015, were approximately $122 million. The total incremental costs for this period will not be fully accounted for until the end of May or June 2015 at the earliest.
With regard to (g), DND/CAF only publishes incremental costs as they provide a more accurate picture of the additional costs incurred during an operation or mission. Full costs include incremental costs, in addition to other costs that are incurred regardless of the operation or mission. These include the salaries of regular force personnel, equipment depreciation, command and support cost, and operating costs of some major equipment within normal planned activity rates.
With regard to (h), Canada received formal authorization from the Government of Iraq to deploy CAF members to Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi security forces on 7 September 2014.
With regard to (i), Canada is not engaged in ground combat operations in the Republic of Iraq.
With regard to (j), a status of forces agreement, SOFA, is a binding, treaty-level international commitment between Canada and one or more other countries. It is one of several different mechanisms available to Canada to ensure appropriate status and legal protections for CAF members conducting operations abroad. Given the complexity of formalizing a SOFA, however, they are not routinely developed to support time-sensitive international operations. While Canada does not have a SOFA with Iraq, the Government of Canada has worked directly with the Government of Iraq to secure appropriate protections for CAF members participating in coalition operations against ISIS.