Elizabeth May demands a debate in Parliament on Ukraine

OTTAWA – Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada and Member of Parliament for Saanich – Gulf Islands, issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Canada will deploy 200 troops to Ukraine:

“The decision to send 200 of our soldiers abroad into an entrenched conflict with no end in sight should not have been taken lightly. The support all parties have expressed for the rights of Ukrainians to protect their sovereignty must not be used to minimize the gravity of any decision to send our soldiers into a dangerous conflict zone.

“If Stephen Harper believes there is an argument to be made to send our troops to Ukraine, he should make it in Parliament. With the information Parliament currently has received, there seems to be no compelling reason to engage militarily in this region. Despite avenues for more constructive involvement in this terrible conflict, it appears Mr. Harper would rather sabre-rattle than work towards diplomacy.

“Meanwhile, the terms of the agreement to share militarily useful information with the Government of Ukraine obtained from the RADARSAT-2 satellite has yet to be released, even while we cannot afford enough data for our own military’s needs. The Harper Conservatives have refused to provide details about this arrangement, both in Question Period and in an answer to a question on the Order Paper. The existence of a Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and Ukraine was not denied when I raised it in the House, but it was not confirmed nor has Parliament seen it.

“In total, Canada has committed $578 million to help Ukraine. Where has the debate been? This unilateral decision-making without so much as informing Parliament is characteristic of the contempt that we have come to expect from the Conservatives. All parties wish to support Ukraine, so I ask Stephen Harper: why does he not hold a debate in Parliament?”