MP Dan Albas.

Lacking coherent position on Middle East

Local MP Dan Albas says Liberal government in Ottawa needs to rethink planned withdrawal of CF-18s from aerial assault campaign in Syria.

  • Sat Jan 23rd, 2016 6:00am
  • News

By Dan Albas/MP for Central Okanagan/Similkameen/Nicola riding

This past week the world was horrified to learn of yet another terror attack, this time in Burkina Faso where roughly 30 citizens, including six Canadians from Quebec, were brutally murdered in a senseless act of violence.

What is particularly disturbing is that these Canadians were all serving in the region as humanitarian workers helping those who are less fortunate.

This terror attack has again renewed calls on the Liberal government to state a clear and coherent position on the allied campaign against terrorism.

As many citizens will recall the Liberals made a promise to immediately withdrawal Canada’s CF-18’s from the allied aerial campaign against ISIS if they were elected. With the election over last October, the Liberal government has stated it will honour this promise, however, to date our CF-18s continue to be a valuable part of the coalition air campaign against ISIS.

This week there is a meeting of our allied defence ministers in Paris specifically on this subject where it has also been widely reported that Canada has not been invited.

Although the Liberal government has been clear it intends to withdrawal our CF-18 aircraft, the government has also stated it will instead implement other measures that have yet to be announced.

The Conservative Party believes that Canada should continue to stand with our allies in the war against terror as it has long been a Canadian tradition to stand with our allies to fight for those who are less fortunate or unable to stand against tyranny and oppression.

This remains a challenging subject and one that can be divisive as I hear frequently from citizens who strongly support the mission but I also hear from those who are upset that our CF-18’s are still actively bombing in spite of promises they would be withdrawn. I will continue to provide updates on this subject as they become available.

On an entirely different subject, late last week the Supreme Court announced that it will extend the deadline for Parliament to provide a legislative response to the assisted suicide ruling from last year.

Although the government requested a six month extension, the Supreme Court granted four months to reflect the time Parliament was dissolved as a result of the recent election.

There is roughly 12 weeks the House of Commons will be sitting over the next four months, so this will be a subject that will likely feature prominently once Parliament reconvenes sitting sitting next week.

Although much of my time will be spent in Ottawa over the next few months I welcome your comments, questions and concerns. One of the highlights of my time in Ottawa is hearing directly from constituents on issues of importance to our local communities. In turn I am often able to share this information in member’s statements, speeches and question within the House of Commons. I am truly excited for this next Parliament to get underway and to begin raising issues of concern in Ottawa. Ultimately this is how we help build a stronger Canada. I can be reached at Dan.Albas@parl.gc.ca or by phone at 1-800-665-8711