Madam Speaker, it is my privilege to rise today and add my voice to those who support the government's new strategy to combat ISIL.
I want to stress that I am very proud of the work that Canadian Armed Forces members have done in this fight. They served their country with distinction and did Canada proud on the world stage.
Make no mistake. This new strategy would ensure that Canada continues to take the fight to ISIL. This new approach would bolster Canada's role in the coalition and help make our collective military mission more effective and ultimately more successful.
Under this new approach, Canada will increase its military personnel on the ground, so we can better support our partners with planning and executing military operations.
We will triple the size of our train, advise, and assist mission to help Iraqi security forces. This will help the government and local authorities better defend themselves and improve security in the region. We will deploy Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel to help train Iraqi security forces.
Under this new approach, Canada will expand and improve its contribution to the international effort. Our contribution will better complement the efforts of our international coalition partners and will better align with our joint effort to defeat ISIL.
However, unlike the approach taken by the previous government, this new strategy recognizes that defeating ISIL should not be an end goal in itself.
We must work to restore security and stability in this region, to give those who live there a better future. That is why we have clearly realigned our military contribution to that of the international coalition against ISIL. We have gone from participating in active air strikes to training local forces, so that they are able to take over the security of their own country.
As Chief of the Defence Staff General Vance said, air strikes alone against ISIL are not enough. We also need to train those who will defend their own country against these threats to security and ensure long-term stability.
This was also confirmed by Colonel Steve Warren, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, who said that we cannot forget about training. He said that everyone is focusing on air strikes, because people can see attention-grabbing videos that show explosions. He emphasized the importance of training local ground forces as a pillar of this operation.
Along the same lines, in order to equip and support those who live in the region and will need to rebuild for a better future, Canada will also contribute more to the coalition's non-military efforts.
We are taking steps to combat terrorist financing, curb the flow of foreign fighters, combat ISIL propaganda, and support long-term stability in the region.
I am proud that our new approach represents a return to a long and rich tradition that has made Canada a leader in the area of development and peace on the international stage.
This new strategy will enhance our contribution to the joint effort to defeat ISIL. It will also strengthen stability and security in one of the most volatile parts of the world with a balanced strategy that includes refocused military efforts, ongoing political action, and considerable investment in humanitarian and development aid.
We will increase funding for programs that promote security and stability in the region, thereby helping our partners strengthen their capacity to fight terrorism, extremist violence, and other threats. This will also contribute to stabilizing conflict zones and enabling displaced people to return home.
We remain resolutely committed to this fight not because ISIL is a threat to Canada, but because we are fundamentally opposed to the violent extremism that characterizes this group and that it seeks to perpetuate in the region and around the world.
The damage inflicted by ISIL is the legacy of a series of political, economic, and social crises that has been afflicting the region for generations. These crises are not new, and they will not be resolved from one day to the next. Unfortunately, what they all have in common is their disastrous impact on the region's most vulnerable people. By using our resources and expertise strategically and working with our local and international partners, we can improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of conflict-affected people.
Stopping the spread of terrorism and violent extremist groups such as ISIL requires a long-term commitment and an approach that balances military efforts, capacity building, and humanitarian assistance.
Our government's new policy leverages the expertise and resources of numerous departments within the government, measures Canadian expertise with that of our coalition partners, empowers regional governments and local authorities so that they are better able to defend themselves, and helps those who have been most cruelly affected by the violence to rebuild and work toward a better future.
This new policy reaffirms Canada's international role. Canada is a nation that stands against terrorism and violent extremism, that stands ready to protect the most vulnerable, that works with those who have endured overwhelming hardship, that helps them defend themselves, rebuild, and work toward a better future.
This new approach is comprehensive, balanced, and clearly geared toward increasing stability and security in the region over the long term.
Canadians can be very proud of the government's new strategy, and I am proud to support it.