Canada extends military missions in Ukraine and Mideast, allies with Trump in refugee crackdown
23 March 2019
In a series of announcements barely reported in the media, Canada’s Liberal government has intensified its right-wing, militarist and anti-refugee policies.
The Liberals’ budget, delivered Tuesday, confirmed that Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) military training operations in the Middle East and Ukraine will be extended, for two and three years respectively. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Minister for Border Security, Bill Blair, has revealed he is in talks with Washington to fast-track the expulsion of refugee claimants who flee Trump’s brutal anti-immigrant crackdown by crossing into Canada.
Tuesday’s budget commits Ottawa to investing some $1.39 billion over the next two years to maintaining Canada’s participation in the US-led war in Iraq and Syria, and in advancing Canadian imperialist interests throughout the oil-rich region. Since Canada joined the latest Iraq-Syria war in 2014 under the previous Conservative government of Stephen Harper, it has played a critical role in facilitating the death and destruction wrought by US-led military operations in both countries. This includes abetting deadly air strikes that claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and the almost total destruction of Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, and Raqqa in Syria.
Conscious of the widespread opposition to the Mideast war, the Trudeau government in February 2016 recalibrated the mission, ordering the withdrawal of fighter jets and the deployment of additional Special Forces troops and command personnel. Deployed to northern Iraq in what was ostensibly a “training” mission, the Special Forces troops provided frontline advice and…