Soon after he took power in 2006, Prime Minister Harper was wrong in extending our military involvement in Afghanistan into the dangerous south of that country.
He was wrong for three reasons:
First, he knew Canada did not have the necessary helicopters to transport our troops into such dangerous points of engagement.
Second, he knew we did not have proper armoured ground vehicles to carry our men to such battlefields.
Third, he knew Canada did not have a proper commitment from 90 per cent of the other NATO nations to deploy troops into the dangerous south yet Mr. Harper recklessly committed our troops, leaving them exposed.
Mr. Harper simply wanted to please President Bush of the USA.
This month General Lewis McKenzie has confirmed the area needs 10,000 more NATO troops. As a result of Mr. Harper’s wrong decision in the two and a half years since he took power in 2006, we have lost 89 soldiers and triple that in casualties. In the four years prior to 2006, Canada lost eight soldiers in Afghanistan.
This reckless decision by Mr. Harper must be condemned and corrected.
The PC Party calls for a statement from each of the other party leaders that they, if elected to be PM, will support our withdrawal and to that end, will put a referendum question to the Canadian public as to whether we should continue our involvement in Afghanistan if there is not a further commitment by NATO nation’s of 10,000 troops to the danger area of Afghanistan within three months of the date of the referendum.
The PC Party will support such a referendum.
Hon. Sinclair M. Stevens
Progressive Conservative Party of Canada