NEWS

Iraq air combat mission: MPs debate 6-month deployment

10/06/2014 11:03 EDT | Updated 12/06/2014 05:59 EST
MPs will today debate the Conservative government's plan to deploy six fighter jets and 600 troops to support an air combat mission against ISIS in Iraq.

The government isn't required to hold a vote on combat missions, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledged to do so.

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A vote on the mission to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS or ISIL, could come as soon as today. CBCNews.ca will carry the debate live, starting at noon ET.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who was Canada's ambassador to Afghanistan through part of the Afghan war, is one of the cabinet ministers who will lead the debate on behalf of the government. The House will also hear from:

- Defence Minister Rob Nicholson.

- Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

- Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney

- Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre .

- Minister of State for Western Economic Development Michelle Rempel.

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will lead the debate for his party, followed by foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar, defence critic Jack Harris and international development critic Hélène Laverdière.

The Liberals have foreign affairs critic Marc Garneau kicking off their debate, followed by defence critic Joyce Murray.

Harper outlined last Friday the details of the Canadian contribution: up to six CF-18 fighter jets, two Aurora surveillance planes and one heavy-lift plane to carry equipment. The Canadian deployment will include approximately 600 personnel, and the mission will only fly over Iraq, unless the Syrian government invites Canada to bomb ISIS in its territory, too. The deployment will be limited to six months.

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