'The buck stops with MacKay'

The NDP has just now asked that the Defence Minister tender his resignation tout suite.

Full press release after the jump.

New Democrats call for Defence Minister’s resignation

OTTAWA – Defence Minister Peter MacKay has repeatedly misled Canadians about detainee abuse in Afghanistan and must resign, say New Democrats.

“Every day new revelations contradict what MacKay has told Parliament,” said New Democrat Defence Critic Jack Harris (St. John’s East).  “Canadians have no confidence in this minister and we call for his resignation.”

Since Richard Colvin’s explosive testimony at the Afghanistan committee, MacKay has called the senior diplomat a Taliban dupe, misrepresented the facts, intimidated committee witnesses and undermined parliamentary access to uncensored documents.

MacKay claimed that he had never seen Richard Colvin’s memos, but evidence shows he had been copied on some of the memos and received others in his briefing book.

He claimed that the Red Cross never warned Canada about the prison conditions in Afghanistan, but documents reveal that at two meetings in Kandahar the ICRC took unprecedented steps to warn Canada about abuse in Afghan prisons.

He claimed that detainee transfers were halted by Canada because Afghans were not respecting an agreement on transfers that it signed with Canada, but internal government memos showed that Afghans themselves halted transfers because of lack of evidence of wrongdoing by those detained.

“MacKay has zero credibility. First he misleads Canadians and when he’s caught he blames Canadian Forces officials and diplomats,” said New Democrat Foreign Affairs Critic Paul Dewar (Ottawa-Centre).  “But the buck stops with MacKay and he has to go, and the Prime Minister must call a public inquiry into this cover-up.”

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