Trudeau Hasn't Sent Any of the Promised Soldiers, Police Officers or Military Equipment to Any Peacekeeping Missions
Early Wednesday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office released a glowing statement paying homage to the “strong Canadian tradition” of peacekeeping, despite his government’s complete stall in terms of deploying peacekeepers.
The Liberals pledged in August 2016 nearly half a billion dollars and up to 600 soldiers toward United Nations peacekeeping operations, following an election promise to steer the country back toward its international reputation as a peacekeeping stalwart.
“Under [previous prime minister] Stephen Harper, Canada has dramatically scaled back its involvement in peace operations – a decision that could not come at a worse time,” the Liberal election platform read.
“As the number of violent conflicts in the world escalates, demand for international peace operations has never been greater.”
At one time, peacekeeping was almost synonymous with Canada; former prime minister Lester B. Pearson is sometimes credited with spearheading the notion of peacekeeping (and won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the area).
Today, however, after more than a year and a half of promises, neither Trudeau nor his cabinet has taken the step of actually sending any of the soldiers, police officers or military equipment to take part in a mission – despite a pledge to have done so by the end of last year.
The UN asked Canada last year to contribute much-needed transport helicopters for its mission in Mali, where roadside bombs and other improvised explosives pose significant dangers to peacekeepers.
When Canada failed to make a decision, other countries such as Belgium and Germany moved to fill the gap on a short-term basis to buy time for Canada to finalize its plans.