MP Guy Lauzon writes: As a Member of Parliament and your voice in Ottawa, there are a wide variety of responsibilities that I have: supporting policies that create jobs and economic growth, assisting constituents with navigating federal programs and services like CPP, OAS, and Canada Revenue Agency.
However, I firmly believe there is no greater burden in my role than to make a decision regarding the deployment of our brave men and women into dangerous parts of the world. It is one that I, and all Parliamentarians, take very seriously.
Last Tuesday, our Government passed a motion asking the House of Commons to confirm its confidence for our Government’s decision to join our allies and partners: The United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and others, in launching air strikes against ISIL.
Our Government is committed to the safety and security of all Canadians. ISIL has established a self-proclaimed “caliphate,” at present stretching over a vast territory in Syria and Iraq, from which it intends to launch a terrorist jihad, not merely against the region, but on a global basis.
ISIL has specifically targeted Canada and Canadians, urging supporters to attack “disbelieving Canadians in any manner,” vowing that that we should not feel secure, even in our homes.
In the territory ISIL has occupied, it has conducted a campaign of unspeakable atrocities against the most innocent of people; it has tortured and beheaded children; it has raped and sold women into slavery; it has slaughtered minorities; captured prisoners, and innocent civilians whose only crime is being or thinking differently from ISIL.
On September 5, Prime Minister Harper announced that members of the Canadian Army, in a non-combat role, would advise and assist security forces in Iraq battling the terrorists. And we indicated that Canada was prepared to do more.
We will also contribute one air-to-air refuelling aircraft, two Aurora surveillance aircraft, and the necessary air crews and support personnel. In addition, we are extending the deployment, in a non-combat role, of up to 69 members of the Canadian Army to continue advising and assisting security forces in Iraq. It is important to note there will be no ground combat mission, which is explicitly ruled out in the resolution. These contributions are for a period of up to six months.
The frank reality is this: if this terrorist threat is left unchecked, it can only grow – and grow quickly.
We should be under no illusion. If Canada wants to keep its voice in the world and we should since so many of our challenges are global, being a free rider means you are not taken seriously. As a Government, we know our ultimate responsibility is to protect Canadians, and to defend our citizens from those who would do harm to us and to our families. And when our allies recognize and respond to a threat that would also harm us, Canadians do not stand on the sidelines. We do our part.
I am proud of our Canadian Forces. I am proud of our decision to stand up for our safety and security.
Most importantly, I am proud to be a Canadian as we step up to the plate and play our fair role in protecting those who need it the most today.
Member of Parliament