Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan talks with reporters on the way to the morning session as the Liberal cabinet meets in St. John’s, N.L., Wednesday.

Will Canada ante up for peacekeeping summit?

OTTAWA — There are growing signs that Canada won’t meet the criteria for attending a November peacekeeping summit in Vancouver, even though it is the host country.

The price of admission is clear in leaked UN documents obtained by The Canadian Press: Defence ministers attending must be ready to pledge specific forces to the UN, if they haven’t already done so.

Canada has yet to make any definite pledge, despite being the host of this year’s summit, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wouldn’t commit Wednesday to a decision before mid-November.

The uncertainty over Canada’s plans before the meeting has prompted renewed frustration and disappointment from the UN and various allies, some of whom are losing faith in the Liberal government’s promise to support peacekeeping.

The UN documents lay out the overarching agenda and goals of the defence ministers’ two-day meeting, which starts Nov. 14.

Those include looking at ways to better prevent conflict, protect civilians and ensure soldiers and police officers on peacekeeping missions are well trained.

The summit will also put a heavy emphasis on increasing the number of female peacekeepers and incorporating gender perspectives into operations.

Yet the real focus of the meeting will be on taking stock of the specific pledges those countries in attendance will have already made, or are prepared to make, to UN peacekeeping operations.

That is why participation in the summit, the third of its kind after the inaugural event in Washington in 2015 and last year’s meeting in London, is only open to those countries that have made pledges.

“The participants of the 2017 ministerial will be defence ministers from all member states that have pledged and progressed capabilities … or that are ready to make a new pledge,” the document says.

It goes on to detail the specific equipment and troops that the UN needs for various missions, with “critical gaps” in the peacekeeping missions in Mali, South Sudan and Haiti.

Trudeau said Wednesday that Canadians expect his government to take its time before sending troops in harm’s way and he wouldn’t commit to a decision before the time of the Vancouver meeting.

“We need to make sure that we’re doing it right, that we’re doing it in a thoughtful way and that it’s the right mission,” he said in St. John’s, N.L. “We will take the time necessary to do it properly.”

The Trudeau government announced with much fanfare last year that Canada would provide up to 600 soldiers to future UN peacekeeping missions, but it has yet to spell out any details.

Early signs pointed to Canada sending a large number of troops to Mali and trainers to various other African countries to help their militaries become better at peacekeeping.

Just Posted

Thousands expected at memorial for fallen police officer in Abbotsford, B.C.

ABBOTSFORD, B.C. — The streets of Abbotsford, B.C., will be lined with… Continue reading

One person dead, five others injured in early-morning crash in Kingston, Ont.

KINGSTON, Ont. — A man who was checking the damage on his… Continue reading

Gus is a special, collaborative art exhibit inspired by motherhood

The portrait display by mother and son is showing in Red Deer

Robotics challenge sparks student interest in Red Deer

Student-built robots compete in fun challenge

Accused murderer tells all to Mr. Big undercover officer

Joshua Frank tells undercover police officer he shot the Klaus family

WATCH: Central Middle School students’ Christmas tree

A group of Central Middle School students are set to show off… Continue reading

Chicken crosses B.C. road, stops traffic

Rooster makes early morning commuters wait in Maple Ridge

Red Deerian honours her brother who died in a motorcycle collision

Houaida Haddad is encouraging Red Deer residents to donate blood

Red Deer County firefighters to be recognized for Waterton help

RCMP brass will give formal recognition Monday

Ron James tries to lighten humanity’s load through humour

The comedian returns to Red Deer for shows Dec. 1 and 2

100+ Women Red Deer donate to Christmas Bureau

About $14,000 will help with Christmas hampers and toys

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

After 70 years, Red Deer veteran still remembers his traumatic war experience

Frank Krepps feels lucky to have survived the Second World War

Merritt Mountie charged with assault

Charges are in relation to an incident in May at the detachment, B.C. Prosecution Service said

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month