Defence minister still dodging questions on anti-ISIS mission
A plan to re-orient Canada’s role in the fight against the so-called Islamic State is coming, the defence minister says, but it’s not ready just yet.
In a weekend interview with The West Block’s Vassy Kapelos, Harjit Sajjan dodged repeated questions about the nature, scope and timing of Canada’s revised mission, saying it’s too soon to make the information public. Sajjan also refused to say if the specifics of the mission would be ready in time for the next meeting of anti-ISIS coalition partners on Feb. 10.
The minister did confirm, however, that the plan will be broad-reaching and touch not only on Canada’s relations with international partners but also involve multiple government departments within the Canadian context.
“This is not just strictly about bringing a military capability or increasing a military capability, it’s about how do we work with Global Affairs and with CIDA as well,” he said.
Government officials have been refusing to provide any specifics for weeks, with various ministers and Parliamentary secretaries – along with the prime minister – promising that an announcement is set to be made within “weeks” or “soon.”
Sajjan suggested that in addition to the increased military training of Iraqi troops that the Liberals promised during the election campaign, Canada could also be upping its intelligence gathering work in the region.
“I can’t be just giving up everything right now because we have to make sure that we have the right consultation within our government before we bring it to the House.”
See the full interview above.
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