Phil's Editorials
Canada’s Extended Mission to Fight ISIL

April 20, 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has conducted a campaign of unspeakable atrocities – beheadings, rape, slavery – on the most innocent of people, all because they think differently from ISIL.

ISIL has also made it clear that it targets Canada and Canadians.  And the brutal attacks last fall related to extremism in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and in Ottawa are a strong reminder that Canada is not immune to the threat of jihadist terrorism. Our Conservative Government continues to offer our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the members involved, and we honour the memory of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.

These attacks on Canadian soil, and more recent attacks in Australia and France, make clear that terrorism is a global threat. They are a reminder that we must remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us, but Canada will not be intimated. These senseless acts of violence strengthen our resolve as Canadians to safeguard our values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

Canada is doing our part to combat ISIL. With our allies and partners, we have helped push ISIL back.

Our Conservative Government remains in strong condemnation of the actions of ISIL.  With the support of Parliament, our Government is extending and expanding Canada’s military contribution to the fight against ISIL.

We are extending Canada’s air combat mission for up to 12 months. With our allies – the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and others – we will continue to launch air strikes against ISIL.

Canada is contributing one air-to-air refuelling aircraft, two Aurora surveillance aircraft, and the necessary air crews and support personnel.  And now, we are expanding Canada’s air combat mission to join our allies attacking ISIL in Syria.

In addition, our Government is extending the deployment of the Canada’s Special Forces, who will continue to advise and assist security forces in Iraq, in a non-combat role.

Canada is also responding to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq. Our Government is taking strong action to provide humanitarian assistance to the growing number of civilians displaced and suffering because of the ongoing violence. We have dispatched relief supplies for refugees including tents, blankets, and kitchen and hygiene kits with the help of the Red Cross.  In addition to providing supplies to those displaced by the violence, we are also providing medical supplies to health facilities, and helping with emergency repairs to water and sanitation facilities.

If left unchecked, this terrorist threat will only grow.  Canada will not stand on the sidelines, we will do our part.  Our Conservative Government is standing up for the safety and security of Canadian families and innocent civilians around the world.