Just a day after the motion passed, here's Peter MacKay refusing to commit to follow the terms of the motion if the extra troops required aren't provided:
Mr. Paul Dewar (Ottawa Centre, NDP):Of course, the original motion was on its own terms "expressly on the condition" that additional troops would be provided. But the Cons haven't wasted any time in declaring that an extension is now a done deal - with no reference to the preconditions contained in the motion which haven't been met.
Mr. Speaker, it is not yet a foregone conclusion that Canada will be at war in Afghanistan for another three years. For the extension to come into effect, NATO needs to come up with an additional 1,000 soldiers and the deployment of medium and heavy lift capacity. To date no official announcements have been made on additional troops committed to the war or planned procurement of airlift capacity.
Will the Minister of Foreign Affairs clarify today that if these conditions are not met, Canada will not extend its combat mission in Afghanistan?
Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank the member, no, I cannot thank the member for his support for the motion last night.
Last night the Parliament of Canada took the position that Canada would continue in Afghanistan. We would continue a whole of government approach which does include, of course, giving our men and women in uniform the necessary equipment to carry out this mission, to execute the security perimeter that will allow for greater development, and greater efforts at the humanitarian relief that is taking place in that war-torn country.
Canada should be very proud of that effort. We are looking forward, with the support of the Liberal Party, to seeing this mission continue...
It remains to be seen whether the added troops are indeed a fait accompli based on information which has been withheld from the public. But even if not, it now looks like a distinct possibility that the Cons will be happy to claim that the motion authorizes another two years of combat in any event. And that can only offer one more indication as to the harm being done by the Libs' refusal to stand up to Deceivin' Stephen.