Cornwall ON – “Canadians are waiting for a clear, detailed position from the government. Citizens have the right to know what the government intends to do clearly with respect to our engagement in 2011.” For once, Ignatieff has it right; we do deserve to know before, not after the decision is officially recognized by NATO.
No one is foolish enough to believe that just days before a key NATO meeting that the government is still examining its options for the extension of the Afghan mission. This decision was finalized by the Prime Minister days, if not weeks ago. For Lawrence Cannon to stand and pretend we still don’t know what we are doing is a sham. That type of bluffing (most likely directly by PMO) is not only silly but disrespectful of the House and the public.
One could also question why it is Cannon answering questions about a NATO military deployment. While all the reporters are focused on whether or not MacKay is leaving, has anyone asked him why Cannon is in charge of the file? Has anyone asked him if he and our military agree with this particular deployment and our new role in Afghanistan?
Extending our mission may be the right thing to do, but it is a decision that is going to have a strong impact on our country, and more specifically on the men and women of our armed forces and their families.
Because it is so important, it is one of those occasions in politics when Ignatieff and Rae should have been briefed by the government. Both are members of the Privy Council and as such could have been fully briefed in complete confidence. This would have lessened the tone of the debate and shown a government not only intent on doing the right thing in Afghanistan but also on the home front.