Canada column for Sunday, March 29/15
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
Canadians “cannot stand on the sidelines” in the war against the Islamic State in Syria, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said.
It’s not appropriate to do nothing while fighters commit “atrocities in the Middle East and promote terrorism in Canada and against our allies,” he told the House of Commons.
In presenting a motion to “extend and expand Canada’s military mission,” Harper said the country must continue with its allies to fight Islamic jihadism that “threatens national and global security.”
The initial goal was modified as Harper said the plan now is based on a belief that Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has lost control of the country, allowing extremists to pose a clear threat to the international community.
If approved by Parliament, in which Harper’s Conservatives have a majority, the new plan would expand airstrikes into Syria and extend the mission by a year.
New Democratic Party Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau both oppose the terms of Canada’s involvement in the war.