Canada to vote on extending the mission in Afghanistan




 
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May 17th, 2006  
Yoman
 
 

Topic: Canada to vote on extending the mission in Afghanistan


http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/natio...e05162006.html
Quote:

Harper says Afghan debate important for Canada

Last Updated Tue, 16 May 2006 23:45:54 EDT CBC News
Prime Minister Stephen Harper will lead off Wednesday's debate on whether to extend Canada's military mission in Afghanistan.The debate, scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET, will decide whether Canada's 2,300 troops will come home next February or stay in Afghanistan until early 2009.
On Tuesday, Harper said the mission is a vital one."What we are doing there is not just protecting our national interests, but [we are] providing international leadership and providing real advancement to the standard of living and human rights of the Afghan people. These are important things for which Canada should stand."

The opposition parties believe that if Canada extends its stay in Afghanistan it won't be able to respond to other trouble spots such as Darfur, Sudan.

"Did [the prime minister] realize that this would render Canada incapable of responding to other situations in the world?" asked NDP Leader Jack Layton.

Harper says that, for Canada, the priority is Afghanistan.

"We understand that a commitment of this magnitude creates some real constraints on our ability elsewhere," he said.

Casualty count raises questions
On Wednesday night, after a six-hour debate, MPs will vote on a motion for a two-year extension of Canada's diplomatic, development, civilian police and military personnel in Afghanistan, including funding and equipment.

Increasing casualties, including the deaths of 15 soldiers since 2002, have caused many Canadians to question how long Canada should be in Afghanistan.

The Liberals suggest that may be why Harper is putting it to a vote now so that the mission extension is dealt with well before a possible election looms next year.

"It's not about whether or not the mission should be until February 2009," said Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh. "Now the question is whether or not it should be extended."

Layton also says MPs haven't been given much time to prepare.
"What we don't know is the nature of the extended mission. Canadians have not been told about it. MPs have not been told about it, yet they're going to be asked to vote on it after a few speeches on the House of Commons."

But Harper says MPs have had lots of time to decide.

"Members of this House, the parties of this House, have had five years to decide what their position is on this mission. We want to be sure that our troops have the support of this Parliament going forward."

Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay has just returned from a trip to Afghanistan. He says Afghan President Hamid Karzai has asked about Canada's involvement after next February.

"They want to know that Canada is going to be there," said MacKay.
The NDP have already said they won't support extending the mission. Which leaves the Bloc Quebecois and the Liberals to decide the fate of the mission. The goverment needs the support of just one of these parties to extend the mission until February 2009.
May 17th, 2006  
Italian Guy
 
 
Afghanistan, uh? Why shouldn't the Liberals want it extended?
May 17th, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 
I doubt the ruling party of Canada (Conservatives) would let this happen
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May 17th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
I'm going to wait and see how this plays out before I make any real comment. I will say that losing Canada in Afghanistan will be a loss. Working with those guys was a real pleasure, top notch and very professional.
May 17th, 2006  
Yoman
 
 
http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/servlet/A..._afghan_060517
Quote:
The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday that the government's sudden decision to call a debate and vote was in part because NATO wants Canada to take over command of the entire Afghan mission in 2008.
http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/servlet/A..._afghan_060517
Quote:
As MPs prepared to debate and vote on whether to extend Canada's mission in Afghanistan, an Ottawa think tank slammed the government for "virtually abandoning UN peacekeeping."

In a report released ahead of Wednesday's six-hour Commons debate, the Polaris Institute said Canada had already spent $4.1 billion on Afghan operations since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Polaris analyst Steven Staples told an Ottawa news conference that Afghanistan accounts for 68 per cent of the $6.1 billion spent on international missions between the fall of 2001 and March 2006.

Staples said operations in the war-torn country were "consuming all available resources" and preventing vital resources being diverted elsewhere, such as in Darfur.
"It's clear that we have virtually abandoned UN peacekeeping today," he told reporters, adding that Canada ranks 50th out of 95 countries currently contributing military personnel to UN missions.
May 18th, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 
Just passed!

Canada will stay there until 2009, and in year 2008 it may also take the entire command of the Afghan operations from NATO
May 18th, 2006  
Yoman
 
 
That's what you call a close vote. 149-145.
May 18th, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoman
That's what you call a close vote. 149-145.
Indeed. Communist NDP and Socialist liberals inflict damage upon the crediblity of Canada in the world
May 18th, 2006  
Yoman
 
 
I find it interesting that the Liberals decide to let their members vote freely. For those who support the extension, we were lucky.

On a second note. PM Harper would of extended it 1 year anyways even without the approval of the House of Commons.
May 19th, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoman
I find it interesting that the Liberals decide to let their members vote freely. For those who support the extension, we were lucky.

On a second note. PM Harper would of extended it 1 year anyways even without the approval of the House of Commons.
PM Harper is a good man