Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Liberals Dodged Iraq Questions (Hamilton Spectator)

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Liberals Dodged Iraq Questions (Hamilton Spectator)

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Liberals dodged Iraq questions


An editorial from the Hamilton Spectator, published July 4 :

Liberals dodged Iraq questions

It was absolutely the right decision delivered in absolutely the wrong way.

Last Thursday, days after Parliament took its summer break and with most Canadians distracted by the country's upcoming 150th birthday celebrations, the Trudeau Liberals announced they are extending Canada's military mission in Iraq by two years.

It was as if they hoped no one was listening.

This was a major foreign policy commitment that should have been made in Parliament and for reasons that go far beyond the $371.4 million in taxpayers' money being spent.

First and foremost, it means the lives of Canadian soldiers and aircrew will be at risk for a much longer period of time, as they continue to challenge the brutal and vicious Islamic State.

Second, it rededicates Canada to the international alliance working to defeat the Islamic State, the extremist group that has butchered thousands of people, enslaved thousands of women, persecuted religious minorities and imposed its rigid, intolerant reign of terror over a large swath of the Middle East.

If there is ever a time to stand up to this totalitarian bully, it is now, especially with the Islamic State steadily losing the territories it had captured.

The Liberals should have been more direct and forthright in explaining all this to Canadians.

And they should have been willing to answer opposition party questions about the matter openly, in Parliament.

What made this tricky was the Liberals' promise in the 2015 election campaign to "end Canada's combat mission in Iraq," along with recent evidence that the current mission does, in fact, include combat activity. …

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