POLITICS

A selection of quotes from Commons statements on the question of war in Iraq

10/03/2014 03:57 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - A selection of quotes from Friday's statements in the House of Commons as Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a motion that would see Canada join allies in a campaign of airstrikes against militants in Iraq:

"Let me be clear on the objectives of this intervention. We intend to significantly degrade the capabilities of ISIL, specifically, its ability to either engage in military movements of scale, or to operate bases in the open." — Harper.

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"Let me assure Canadians that the government is seized with the necessity of avoiding a prolonged quagmire in this part of the world. ... Indeed, we and our allies are acting now precisely to avoid a situation that was clearly headed to a wider, protracted and much more dangerous conflict." — Harper

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"I urge all members to consider and to support the motion we have presented. I do this in recognizing that in a democracy, especially one approaching an election, there is rarely political upside in supporting any kind of military action and little risk in opposing it." — Harper.

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"ISIS has thrived in Iraq and Syria precisely because those countries lack stable, well-functioning governments capable of maintaining peace and security within their own borders. Canada's first contribution should be to use every diplomatic, humanitarian and financial resource at our disposal to respond to the overwhelming human tragedy unfolding on the ground and strengthen political institutions in both those countries." — NDP Leader Tom Mulcair.

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"The prime minister insists that this mission in Iraq will not be allowed to become a 'quagmire.' But isn't that precisely what our American allies have been facing in Iraq for the last ten years? Will Canada be stuck a decade from now, mired in a war we wisely avoided entering a decade ago?" — Mulcair.

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"Unlike the prime minister, Liberals believe Canada can make a more helpful contribution to the international effort to combat ISIL than aging war planes." — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

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"I think Canadians have a lot more to offer than that. We can be resourceful, and there are significant, substantial, non-combat roles that Canada can play." — Trudeau.

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"The Liberal party of Canada cannot and will not support this prime minister's motion to go to war in Iraq." — Trudeau.

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"In this region of the world, if there was ever proof for the adage that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, we have it in spades." — Green party Leader Elizabeth May.

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"I completely support all of the prime minister's intentions. We cannot allow these horrific crimes go unanswered. But we must make sure whatever we do doesn't make matters worse." — May.