By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday September 27, 2014
Stephen Harper more open with Americans, UN than with Parliament
Stephen Harper made an important announcement Wednesday about Canada’s willingness to do more in the battle to stop Islamic State fighters in Iraq.
You might have missed it, though, because the prime minister let it slip during a question and answer session before a business audience in New York City.
Harper told an interviewer that Canada will consider stepping up its contribution to the US-led effort to stop ISIS, apparently at the direct request of the Obama administration.
“The United States just recently, in the past couple of days, has asked for some additional contribution,” Harper said, before deflecting questions about what kind of support was being sought.
“Since they didn’t release the letter publicly I’m not going to do that,” he went on. “I’ll just say the government of Canada will make a decision on that very shortly.”
Canadian government sources indicated later that the request is “not for combat” troops. So as information goes, it’s a shred.
But it’s more detail than what the Conservatives have shared in the Commons, where opposition parties can barely get the government to divulge anything about the role Canadian Forces personnel already are playing in northern Iraq, or even how long those soldiers might stay.
Harper also didn’t mention the U.S. request at a news conference on Monday, when a reporter asked what concrete action Canada would take in response to new threats from ISIS to target Canadians.
Now, this isn’t the first time Harper chose to announce significant government policy overseas. Canadians first learned of the plans to make them wait longer to collect Old Age Security from a speech the PM gave in Davos, Switzerland in 2012.
When it comes to an audience, Harper obviously prefers barons of business to members of Parliament. (Continued: CBC News)
Who needs Parliaments when you’re a medieval King? #ISIS #cdnpoli http://t.co/mOgCWbFVGv pic.twitter.com/JH6ZOcCOWh
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