Where the responsibility belongs - Macleans.ca

Where the responsibility belongs


The House is debating today the Bloc motion on Afghanistan. In his remarks this morning, the NDP’s Jack Harris recalled a private member’s bill that would have subjected all peacekeeping missions to debate and a vote in the House. The mover of that bill was Chuck Strahl, the current Minister of Transport.

Bill C-295 is a good idea, worthy of all party support because it would not cut off or even reduce Canada’s peacekeeping role in the world. Rather, it would affirm and institutionalize the role of peacekeeping in Canada’s foreign policy and strengthen Canada’s place as a leader among the United Nations.

Neither would it reduce the power of the government to make decisions about the deployment of Canadian troops. The bill deals strictly with peacekeeping and allows cabinet full authority to act on a temporary basis. However, it also places the responsibility for our long term commitments squarely where it belongs, in the capable hands of the Canadian people through their members in the House of Commons.


Where the responsibility belongs

  1. Training != Peacekeeping

  2. As an aside… it's worth checking out Ken Dryden's statement in the house today with regard to this motion.

  3. 'Harper and Ignatieff: Errand boys for America' I read today.

    I'd have said 'bum-boys' but I suppose the Star can't.

  4. I would have said Taliban Jack, bum-boy of Castro…too far?

  5. No, just silly.

  6. That's because you're a homophobe and Mr. Siddiqui, presumably, is not.

  7. So the Bloc is looking to embarass the Liberals by forcing a vote that is already a foregone conclusion.

    Good to know that our politicians are hard at work on the nation's business.

  8. Ahhh 'christmas cheer' before it's even Dec.

  9. You can't blame Mr Strahl here; that was a long time ago.
    1994 Stephen Harper might have supported that idea too.
    2010 Stephen Harper? Well, it depends. How many seats it would help win?

  10. Only if we're training them for peace….which we aren't.

  11. They are getting quite adept at it, as the vote on the F-35 showed. No news on that one by Wherry yet. Must have been in the bathroom at that moment!

    Oh, silly me, this is the Liberal channel, all good news all the time!

  12. Got a link?

  13. When you see an equal sign preceded by an exclamation point, it means "not equal to".

  14. No, just caught his talk as I was headed out the door on CPAC. I doubt it's up anywhere yet. Worth listening to, though. Delayed my departure.

  15. And your point is….?

  16. Strahl was right and so is Harris. There really must be a vote on major CF deployments (peacekeeping or training or war)–otherwise when things go bad, the government alone takes the rap rather than the majority of MPs. Essentially we should only send troops abroad if t6here is substantial support for this. Yes, the PM and Cabinet can legally do so on their own, but no PM should.

  17. Duuuuuuuuuude

  18. My point is: Never try to explain anything to Emily.

  19. In fairness, Danby, most of his 2010 moves are about how many seats can I avoid losing?

  20. Well since I was agreeing with john g, it mystifies me what you think needed explaining.

    Perhaps if you weren't always looking for nits to pick?

  21. Dog ; tricks.

  22. Now that's comedy!

  23. Just another day in the rock house. I'm glad I'm not a Nortel pensioner.

  24. Mmmm high school humour

  25. Those who vote either have a short memory, or simply aren't paying attention in the first place. After working near the system for a while, I know where I'm placing my bet.

  26. Are we still calling Jack Layton Taliban Jack? I mean, the move that earned him that nickname has since been endorsed by Stephen Harper. I don't here anybody calling him Taliban Steve.

  27. The opposition wants to have a say in everything and the government wants to be able to call the shots on some issues.

    I'm with the government on this issue: screw having to vote for everything.

  28. Wait… what???

  29. Why does Bob Rae not get to be called an errand boy for America?

    What's more, now that Bush is gone do Canadians really have a big problem carrying some water for Barack Obama?

  30. Also, in fairness, I'm not sure the 180 on Afghanistan can be called a vote-getter exactly!

  31. It was the title on an article I read….I wouldn't have left Rae out either.

    President's have changed, the policy has not. We aren't carrying water, Canadians are still getting killed.

  32. answer to question 1: No, only Conservatives are bad and do bad things.

    answer to question 2: You should not let incovenient facts get in the way of blind, mindless, knee-jerk Anti-Americanism.

  33. So what about what we were doing in Congo, in Haiti and in Kosovo? All under UN peacekeeping missions, all involved risk to our soldiers, all involved training.

  34. That's because he's nobody else's anti-democrat.

  35. Nearly 200 Canadian soldiers have been killed on peacekeeping missions, Emily. More will get killed in the future.

    Are you advocating we get out of the peacekeeping business altogether? Or just stop doing what we've done when it gets "dangerous"?

  36. Who's talking about "everything"?

  37. Invading and occupying a country under a NATO call-out is not peacekeeping.

    And the numerous excuses used since to stay there….building dams, educating women, bringing democracy, and now the most hilarious one of all….'teaching them to defend themselves'….don't make it peacekeeping either

  38. Elections?

  39. OK, sure, we get it. You don't think we should EVER have gone in there, even though it was approved by the UN and the prior government was slaughtering Afghanis left-right-and-centre and the biggest terrorist group in the world was given free room and board there. So nothing we could ever do in Afghanistan would ever be acceptable to you. Got it.

    But surely you can accept that training – something we have done a number of times as part of our peacekeeping work for the UN – is a legit part of peacekeeping?

  40. Don't use the UN for cover. We were on a NATO call-out by the US to help them find bin Laden. There was never any peace keeping involved.

    Once that mission ended we should have come home.

    We aren't 'training' Afghans for peace, we are training them for war ….something they don't need.

    Canada should ONLY be in the peacekeeping business….not in the invading and occupying business.

    We call it 'peacekeeping' as a short form….but first you have to make the peace, then keep the peace, then observe the peace….and then exit.

    We aren't doing any of those things in Afghanistan.

  41. Dryden's speech was dead on. anyone who has paused for even a moment to think about the answer to the afghanistan question, should hear what dryden said today

  42. Democracy…such an annoyance. All those in favour of getting rid of it, hands up…

  43. fair enough.
    But would Mr Harper have "about faced", if Messrs Ignatieff and Rae had not paved the way?
    Public sentiment seems to be against further deployment to Afghanistan. Would Stephen have risked such a move if he had to face the wrath of the voters solo?

  44. I did not know that. Thanks for educating me.

  45. Hansard will be up with it tomorrow, I imagine. So, could the first person who notices put the link up?

  46. I agree with this post of yours, Emily.

    And while we haven't made the peace, we are now moving to keeping the peace (by training others to do so). So why are you saying it is time to exit?

    By the way, I do agree we should have gotten out when we stopped trying to find bin Laden–the reason we went in there. And I figure that was right around the time the Americans decided Iraq looked more interesting. But the thing is, we didn't get out then. So now we need to keep whatever peace might be found in Afghanistan–and sadly, it isn't the whole country. Then we can observe the peace and get the hell out.

  47. I can't stand that I am on the same page as you on this issue, after you framed it like that.

    How about, sometimes, cabinet has to know things all parliamentarians cannot know, and all citizens most assuredly cannot know. So, as with when and where to deploy our troops, it isn't so much not letting parliament vote on the issue, as it is not being able to give parliament the knowledge that would lead to an informed vote.

  48. It's time to exit, because our mission was over years ago, we've just had 'mission creep'….now to the ludicrous idea we are training them to defend themselves….Iggy's latest remark.

    Seems to me Afghans are defending themselves just fine.

    Plus there is no peace to keep in Afghanistan…it's a war zone

    The 'make the peace, keep the peace, observe the peace then exit' was what should be SOP for any peacekeeping mission we may be on in future…..it wasn't meant for Afghanistan, since that isn't a peacekeeping mission to begin with.

  49. Emily != sane person

  50. Stop pretending everyone that disagrees with you is insane.

    That in itself is insanity.

  51. The Bloc & Layton are policticing as they have nothing to lose. Empty vessels made the most noise.

  52. Nice.