No one in the House of Commons is really asking the government what six CF-18 fighter jets, a cargo plane, and HMCS Regina will contribute to NATO’s military buildup in eastern Europe. The fighter jet mission includes, in the military’s own words, “a lot of uncertainty,” and no one will disclose the Canadian frigate’s destination. Presumably, these mysteries will eventually be revealed, one way or another. But the opposition said nary a word about the file yesterday, and a Tory backbencher, not a curious New Democrat or Liberal, prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to announce Regina’s deployment to the region.
Philippe Lagassé, a University of Ottawa associate professor who comments on defence policy, was taken aback. “Genuinely surprised that the opposition is not even demanding a take note debate on Canada’s military contribution to eastern Europe,” he tweeted. Indeed, given the opposition’s genuine interest in Ukraine as events unfolded earlier this year, even a casual observer might be confused by this relative silence. This morning, the Ottawa Citizen plastered its front page with the mission’s uncertainty. That could do the trick.
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