Defence Minister Misleading and Evasive On Anti-ISIS Meeting

JANUARY 19, 2016

OTTAWA–Conservative Defence Critic James Bezan and Associate Critic Pierre Paul-Hus commented today on reports that Canada has not been invited to take part in a key anti-ISIS coalition meeting this week, as well as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan’s misleading comments about his attendance.

“Last week on CBC’s Power and Politics, Minister Sajjan said he wasn’t going ‎to the anti-ISIS meeting of coalition partners in the fight against ISIS because he had ‘multiple meetings that are coming up with (Canada’s) NATO partners down the road’. He also said, point blank, that he didn’t see the need to be at that meeting.”

“It turns out the real reason he isn’t ‎going to the meeting is that according to media reports, Canada has not been invited. Minister Sajjan’s excuse was not just misleading and evasive, it was patently false. For a government which talks about openness and transparency, this is extremely disconcerting.”

‎”In July 2015, under the leadership of Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson, Canada proudly hosted a meeting of the anti-ISIS coalition. Fast forward six months under the Trudeau government, and Canada is deliberately being excluded because of this Liberal government’s decision to withdraw our CF-18s from the mission against ISIS. This is not ‘Real Change’.”

“Once again, this development demonstrates that the Liberal Party’s policy on fighting ISIS is incoherent, and the decision to withdraw Canada’s CF-18s is seen by our allies as stepping back, rather than standing shoulder-to-shoulder with them.”