For Immediate Release
January 28, 2008
Iraq no place for Canadian military officers: Green Party
OTTAWA – The Green Party today expressed its strongest possible objections that another Canadian general has been dispatched to Iraq as part of a military exchange program with the United States. Brigadier-General Nicholas Matern is the third Canadian officer to have joined the command group of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It is highly inappropriate for Canadian soldiers to be participating in the United States´ illegal military occupation of Iraq,” said Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “The U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was in violation of international law and Canada has rightfully abstained from the war. Canadian service personnel should have no part in this illegal occupation.”
Ms. May said that shipping Canadian soldiers to Iraq is incongruent with Canada´s abstention in the war and that the practice should end immediately.
“It is troubling that Prime Minister Harper allows these exchanges to continue,” said Ms. May. “Mr. Harper owes it to Canadians to clarify his stance on the illegal Iraq war. He voted against a 2003 motion that Canada should stay out of the Iraq invasion and occupation and is now allowing Canadian soldiers to participate in the war via exchange programs.
“Defence Minister Peter MacKay also spoke in favour of Canada joining the `coalition of the willing´ when he was in opposition. Mr. MacKay has a responsibility to explain the Canadian military presence in a command role in Iraq,” added Ms. May.
“The invasion of Iraq was built on lies and has been widely condemned by the international community. Our country should have no part in this continuing occupation and the Green Party demands that General Matern be reposted and the exchanges to Iraq be terminated.”
613-562-4916 ext. 244