Elizabeth May to vote ‘no’ on military campaign in Iraq, Syria

(OTTAWA) March 8, 2016 – Today in the House of Commons, Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands) will vote against a motion to support the government’s military contributions against Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.

“While I support an end to our direct participation in ineffective, destructive air strikes, and an increase in humanitarian and diplomatic aid for some of the 4.6 million people displaced by these conflicts, I cannot support a motion in which Canada continues to prop up a bombing campaign using Canadian refuelers,” Ms. May said.

“We need to work with our international partners to cut off Daesh’s funding and address the radicalization of Canadians at home and abroad. I await a more robust debate on Canada’s contribution to the Middle East region, and hope we can return to our previously proud role as a peacekeeping nation.”

Lisa Barrett, Green Party International Affairs critic, said respect for international law and international conventions is not only the baseline for moral activity but is, in fact, the foundation of a just and secure world.

“This is why we opposed the bombing of Iraq and Libya and now oppose any Canadian role in supporting further bombings of Syria,” Ms. Barrett said.

“International humanitarian law is clear under The Hague and the Geneva Conventions, especially under the principles of distinction and proportionality to protect civilians. Canada has the experience and talent to provide the parties to this proxy war with support on the ground through recognized international humanitarian organizations like the International Committee of the Red Cross, and as mediator to broker an end to the conflicts.

“We can rebuild Canada’s previously respected role by leading with peace-building, peacekeeping, and international diplomacy,” Ms. Barrett concluded.

Watch Ms. May’s full statement in the House of Commons on the fight against Daesh here.