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.