No CF-18s to Eastern Europe 
Thank you for copying me on your letter to the Prime Minister about Canada sending CF-18 fighter jets to Eastern Europe as a “show of strength.” It boggles the mind that we have gotten to the point where the Prime Minister deems it appropriate to send a mission of over 200 soldiers without first consulting Parliament. We used to live in a country where we took missions like these seriously and where the constitutional supremacy of Parliament was recognized in making decisions of this importance. In contrast, Members of Parliament only heard about this after the decision had been made.
Canada used to play a crucial role on the world stage. We used to be the honest brokers, known for our success in diplomacy when it seemed that force was the only option. We are now transitioning towards a nation that sends fighter jets to flex our muscles and to intimidate, not thinking about how that will affect our diplomatic credibility. Though it is the Harper Conservatives who are pushing this agenda, the other opposition parties have also signed on. Even when Parliament is allowed the courtesy of a vote on our military missions, as in the vote to extend the military mission in Libya, mine was the only dissenting vote.
In sending these jets, not only was the democratic process not respected, it is also very unclear what the terms of the mission are. In the words of Lt.-Gen. Yvan Blondin “There is a lot of uncertainty about what we're going to be doing over there.” We know that we are sending jets, we just are not exactly sure why.
While we should be pushing for dialogue and diplomacy, we are sending an open-ended mission with unclear terms. Instead of playing a key role in resolving the crisis in Ukraine, we are opting for empty force. Parliament could have told Harper this. If only he had asked.
Thank you again for writing.
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