Liberals must be transparent with Parliament on military action in Latvia

July 12th, 2016

Liberals must be transparent with Parliament on military action in Latvia

Ottawa –New Democrats are calling on the Liberal government to make good on their commitments to work with and consult opposition parties in parliament regarding military deployment to Latvia, and to present a comprehensive diplomatic and political plan to address the current stand-off with Russia.

“Instead of taking the opportunity to engage opposition parties and build a consensus around a full approach to dealing with Russia, the Prime Minister chose to go it alone without consulting Parliament,” said NDP Leader Tom Mulcair. “This decision goes against what he called for only a short time ago and it goes against the principles of transparency and openness he so recently espoused.”

Last year, Justin Trudeau said “the Liberal Party cannot support any military mission when the arguments to support it have not been presented in an open and transparent manner.” The Liberal government did not consult Parliament nor other parties in order to present the arguments for the mission in Latvia in an open and transparent manner.

“Our military is already under significant operational pressure. The government has not explained how this open-ended mission impacts our other global commitments,” said New Democrat Defence Critic Randall Garrison. “A multilateral security approach is important to dealing with the threat posed by Russia, but it will fail if it’s not paired with a strong push for a political resolution to the crisis.”

NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière underlined the importance of a comprehensive approach to dealing with Russia that avoids dangerous escalation. “Military posturing will not bring an end to this conflict. Canada should be using a full range of tools – including sanctions on well-connected individuals, legislation to freeze assets and ban visas of Russian human-rights violators, and action through the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe – to respond to Russian aggression,” she concluded.