Tories say Liberal plan to bring home CF-18s makes Canadians look like “cowards”

Conservatives used their first full opposition day in the House of Commons to turn up the heat on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's to withdraw CF-18 jet fighters from the bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

OTTAWA — Conservatives used their first full opposition day in the House of Commons to turn up the heat on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s to withdraw CF-18 jet fighters from the bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

The sometimes acrimonious debate on Thursday hit a sore spot for the Liberals, who’ve faced growing criticism that the planned refocusing of the military mission amounts to cutting and running in the fight against extremists.

In lieu of bombing, the Liberals have promised a more robust training mission, but have yet to articulate what that would look like.

That has left the door wide open for the Conservatives to frame the impending changes as a retreat and to bring forward a motion calling on the government to keep the war planes in place.

It is a crafty bit of political theatre since a Liberal majority prevents the motion from going anywhere.

At one point in the debate, Conservative MP Kellie Leitch said the Liberal policy is making the Canadian military look like “cowards” on the international stage.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan told the Commons the government’s new approach — being crafted in consultation with allies — will be a “meaningful contribution” that takes in not only the military but other elements including de-radicalization of those who would join ISIL.

James Bezan, the Conservative defence critic, said the country’s allies have been asking for more military involvement, not less, and he went on to accuse the Liberals of demeaning the contribution the CF-18s have made so far.

Going into last week’s NATO meeting, Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said Canada was responsible for just 2.4 per cent of the air strikes and the country could make a more “meaningful contribution.”

Just Posted

BREAKING: Alberta election set for April 16

Premier Rachel Notley makes announcement on Tuesday morning

Camper found in good health at Pinto Lake

Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue respond

Red Deer city council to consider starting a bike registry

Coun. Buck Buchanan suggested it would help police return recovered stolen property

Rimbey-area landowner believes earthquake damaged his electricity supply

Underground line was damaged at same time quake hit, says landowner

Reliance on equalization not a factor in Quebec’s low productivity rate: author

MONTREAL — Despite low unemployment and a strong economy, Quebec continues to… Continue reading

WATCH: Celebrating francophone Canadians at the 10th annual Red Deer Winter Carnival

The event was hosted by the Red Deer region of the French-Canadian Association of Alberta Saturday

Andreescu rockets to No. 24 in WTA Tour rankings after Indian Wells title

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has rocketed to No. 24 in the WTA Tour… Continue reading

Canadian figure skaters looking to reach new heights at world championships

Nam Nguyen, Alaine Chartrand and Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro all have… Continue reading

Man linked to largest art heist in history freed from prison

HARTFORD, Conn. — A reputed Connecticut mobster who federal authorities believe is… Continue reading

Florida Georgia Line, Glorious Sons headline concert series at Canadian Open

HAMILTON — Florida Georgia Line and the Glorious Sons will headline a… Continue reading

Family: Time to shed winter clothes and inhibitions

It has been a long, crazy cold winter. But, if the thermometer… Continue reading

Chelsea Carey rink registers two wins at world women’s curling event

SILKEBORG, Denmark — Canada’s Chelsea Carey rebounded nicely Sunday at the world… Continue reading

Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title, winning BNP Paribas Open

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Canadian Bianca Andreescu has her first WTA title.… Continue reading

‘Captain Marvel’ soars even higher with stellar 2nd weekend

LOS ANGELES — “Captain Marvel” has continued to dominate the global box… Continue reading

Most Read