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To bomb or not to bomb


Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau plans to pull Canada's fighter jets out of the anti-ISIL campaign.

Jessica Klaver | Interrobang | News | November 2nd, 2015

Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau campaigned on real change. He made many promises such as bringing in 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of this year, legalizing marijuana and electoral reform. However, his first act as Prime Minister was to move forward on his promise to end Canada’s contribution to the combat mission against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

In Trudeau’s first news conference following the sweeping majority Liberal victory, he said that he had spoken with US President Barack Obama. It said they discussed Trudeau’s intention to pull Canada’s fighter jets out of the anti- ISIL campaign.

“I committed that we would continue to engage in a responsible way that understands how important Canada’s role is to play in the fight against ISIL, but he understands the commitments I’ve made around ending the combat mission.”

Canada currently has six CF-18 fighter jets in the US led coalition against ISIL and 70 special forces troops on the ground training Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq.

Trudeau has stated that we will continue to be “a strong member of the coalition”, but our focus will shift to humanitarian aid and military training.

In 2007, Canada ranked seventh on the Humanitarian Response Index out of 23 countries. Within four years under the Harper government Canada fell to 14th.

Trudeau has received a lot of criticism on his decision to pull out of the combat mission. However, studies show that air strikes kill civilians more often than not. In 11 months, from August 2014 to June 2015, there were just under 600 non-combatants killed, at least 100 of these were children, and another 400 were injured by air strikes.

Former British International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said in an interview with The Guardian, “We have to acknowledge that killing innocent civilians acts as a significant recruiting sergeant for the terrorists.”

Canada was a country known for humanitarian relief, but this has not been true as of late. Under Trudeau’s plan Canada will once again become that country.

As Trudeau said at a rally for supporters on Oct. 20, “Many of you have worried that Canada has lost its compassionate and constructive voice in the world over the past 10 years. Well I have a simple message for you, on behalf of 35 million Canadians, we’re back.”
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