Canada's Liberals put forward Afghanistan motion

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Liberal Party of Canada have put forward a motion to re-ensure Canadian soldiers will be pulled out of Afghanistan two years from now in February.

Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre says the Liberals "just don't believe them [the Conservatives] when they say the deadline is February 2009" and if Canadian soldiers were to be pulled out they "will still be there for development and diplomacy."

The NDP, who support an immediate withdrawal, say they will not support the motion. The Bloc Québécois are expected to support the motion.

In May of 2006, the Conservative government received approval by parliament to extend the mission in Afghanistan until February 2009, by a slim margin of four votes. Thirty Liberals supported the extension but the majority of them opposed. The NDP and Bloc Québécois ordered their members to vote against the extension.

The Conservatives argue that the length of the Afghanistan mission is not within the purview of Parliament in any case.

Coderre also states the government have been buying military equipment and that could mean extending the mission. The Conservative government have recently said they want to stay in the country until the job is done and that could mean a longer extension.

The Liberal motion was defeated in parliament, Tuesday afternoon, by a vote of 150 to 134, with both the Conservatives and NDP voting against.