Troops Out of Iraq and Syria Now

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Prime Minister Trudeau promised to end Canada’s participation in combat in Iraq and Syria. However, rather than ending the bombing, the Prime Minister is extending it indefinitely, despite the fact that the Canadian military has been accused of killing civilians in the conflict.

According to the CBC, “As of now, under Trudeau’s new Liberal government, Canadian Forces are not just engaging in combat, they are engaging in the largest combat mission in Iraq in some time… military sources say it will take a decision from cabinet or a letter from the prime minister to alter the Canadian Forces mission in Iraq. Until that arrives, it’s business as usual.”

Rather than keeping the promise to end Canada’s participation in combat, Prime Minister Trudeau plans on expanding the presence of Canadian ground forces under the auspices of “training”. In reality, soldiers sent to train are in fact combat troops and are in the line of fire. Any expansion of trainers is a dangerous example of mission creep.

Sign the petition to bring the troops home now.

Peace After Paris

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,

Since the horrific attacks in Paris, many are calling on the Canadian government to renege on its commitment to bring Canada’s bombers home from Iraq and Syria and to cancel plans to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada. We cannot let the attacks create more war and racism.

I call on the government of Canada to:

- Immediately end all bombing by Canada and bring the CF-18 fighter jets home from Iraq and Syria now. Bring Canadian soldiers home and cancel plans for more trainers to be deployed to the area.

- Open the borders and maintain the commitment to bring 25,000 refugees into Canada by the end of this year.

- Cancel the $15 billion arms shipment to Saudi Arabia.

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Party Positions on Peace and Justice

The Canadian Peace Alliance asked the four main parties what their positions were on key issues of peace and justice.

The Green Party, Liberal Party, and NDP generally oppose the combat mission in Iraq and Syria and would also pursue a stronger approach to nuclear disarmament.

Unfortunately, the parties’ positions on key questions of reducing military spending (currently at its highest level since WWII) and cancelling the arms deal with Saudi Arabia, are deeply unsatisfying. No response was received from the the Conservative Party to any of the CPA’s questions.

Any of the opposition parties would be a welcome change from the Harper government’s belligerence on the world stage. But whichever party, or constellation of parties, forms the next government, there is much work ahead for the peace movement. Strong action for peace and prosperity not war and austerity in Parliament will require taking action in the streets.

MILITARY SPENDING

GREENS: Would review peacekeeping operations and look into strengthening military capabilities. Won’t commit to reducing military spending.

LIBERALS: Wouldn’t choose between military spending and job creation, protecting the environment. Won’t commit to reducing military spending.

NDP: Won’t commit to reducing military spending.

IRAQ & SYRIA

GREENS: Opposes current mission in Iraq and Syria, would withdraw all troops.

LIBERALS: Would re-orient the combat mission to training more Iraqi soldiers and increase humanitarian assistance.

NDP: Would end the current combat mission in Iraq and Syria and redirect the resources to saving lives of displaced civilians.

UKRAINE

GREENS: Opposes the military mission, especially without Parliamentary approval. Would withdraw all troops.

LIBERALS: Supports Canadian Armed Forces’ participation in a non-combat training mission in Ukraine.

NDP: No comment provided.

NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT

GREENS: Committed to working towards a ban on all nuclear weapons and elimination of existing stockpiles.

LIBERALS: Supports complete elimination of all nuclear weapons.

NDP: Committed to working towards a ban on all nuclear weapons and elimination of existing stockpiles.

ARMS TRADE & SAUDI ARABIA

GREENS: Would make sure Canada doesn’t engage in arms agreements with dictatorships and human rights violators. No clear commitment on cancelling arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

LIBERALS: Supports the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty, but had no comment on the arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

NDP: Will stand up for human rights but won’t cancel arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

ISRAEL & PALESTINE

GREENS: Opposes Canada’s current one-sided support for Israel’s Netanyahu government. Supports a two state solution, recognition of a Palestinian right to statehood, an end to the blockade of Gaza and settlement expansion. Supports the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated and agreed-upon borders.

LIBERALS: Supports a two state solution.

NDP: Supports the right of both Israelis and Palestinians to live in peace in viable, independent states with negotiated and agreed-upon borders.

The Canadian Peace Alliance asked the four main parties whether they would commit to the following:

  • an immediate withdrawal of our troops from the combat missions currently underway in the Middle East and the Ukraine;
  • redirecting military spending toward job creation, expanding public services, and reducing climate emissions;
  • active support for international nuclear disarmament initiatives;
  • legislation that would ensure that Canada not engage in arms agreements with dictatorships and human rights violators such as the agreement with Saudi Arabia;
  • end the Canadian government’s one-sided support for Israel’s ongoing occupation of Palestinian lands, illegal settlement expansion, and the blockade of Gaza.

The full responses can be read here:

Sign the declaration calling on the next Parliament to work for peace and prosperity not war and austerity.

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