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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 

Federal New Democrat Caucus Proposes Amendment To Harper's Libya Motion Which Would Prohibit Canadian Ground Forces

The House of Commons today is debating the following motion, put forward by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird:

No. 1 — June 9, 2011 — The Minister of Foreign Affairs — That, in standing in solidarity with those seeking freedom in Libya, the House unanimously adopted a motion in the Third Session of the 40th Parliament on March 21, 2011, authorizing all necessary measures, including the use of the Canadian Forces and military assets in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; and given that the House unanimously agreed that should the government require an extension to the involvement of the Canadian Forces for more than three months from the passage of the said motion, the government was to return to the House at its earliest opportunity to debate and seek the consent of the House for such an extension; therefore the House consents to another extension of three and a half months of the involvement of the Canadian Forces in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1973; that the House deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime against the Libyan people, including the alleged use of rape as a weapon of war by the Libyan regime; that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Standing Committee on National Defence remain seized of Canada's activities under UNSC Resolution 1973; and that the House continues to offer its wholehearted support to the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces who stand on guard for all of us.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar has proposed the following amendment:

That the motion be amended by replacing everything after the word "that" with:

in standing in solidarity with those seeking freedom in Libya, the House unanimously adopted a motion in the Third Session of the 40th Parliament on March 21, 2011 authorizing all necessary measures, including the use of the Canadian Forces and military assets in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973; and given that the House unanimously agreed that should the government require an extension to the involvement of the Canadian Forces for more than three months from the passage of the said motion, the government was to return to the House at its earliest opportunity to debate and seek the support of the House for such an extension; therefore, with the objective of protecting civilians, the House supports another extension of three and a half months of the involvement of the Canadian Forces in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1973; the House supports an increase in Canada's humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis and efforts to strengthen Canada's support for the diplomatic efforts outlined in UNSCR 1973 to reach a ceasefire leading to a Libyan-led political transition, and supports the government's commitment to not deploy Canadian ground troops; that the House deplores the ongoing use of violence by the Libyan regime against the Libyan people, including the alleged use of rape as a weapon of war by the Libyan regime and supports Canada's participation in the international efforts in investigating, preventing and prosecuting these alleged crimes; that the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Standing Committee on National Defence remain seized of Canada's activities under UNSC Resolution 1973, and appreciates the government's full and continued cooperation on committee meetings and the sharing of information in accordance with the highest levels of transparency practiced by our partners in the operation; and that the House continues to offer its wholehearted support to the brave men and women of the Canadian Forces who stand on guard for all of us.
David Akin



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