Statement by Liberal Party of Canada Leader Justin Trudeau

TORONTO – The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Canada’s involvement in the mission in Iraq:

“Prime Minister Harper has a duty to be upfront and a responsibility to be truthful. This should be especially the case when Canadian Forces personnel are being sent into harm’s way. For them and their families this is a matter of life and death.”

“Tonight’s report that Mr. Harper misled Canadians at this very serious time is very troubling.”

“Mr. Harper must come clean to Canadians about his intentions in Iraq. Canada cannot be blindly drawn into an unexpected mission in the Middle East.”

“It now appears as though the Prime Minister omitted a key detail about the American request for further Canadian participation in Iraq. It was not the U.S. asking Canada for help. It was the other way around.”

“It was Mr. Harper who first contacted the U.S. to offer further Canadian aid for the mission in Iraq. President Obama then sent a letter back, in response to Mr. Harper’s offer.”

“The Prime Minister should not be playing coy political strategy games and fudging the truth when the lives of our soldiers are on the line. It is unacceptable.”

“Any change to Canada’s non-combat mission in Iraq must only be made with rigorous and effective Parliamentary oversight.”

“We expect the Prime Minister to answer all questions pertaining to this deployment fully and openly in the House of Commons in front of Canadians.”

“Prime Minister Harper must be clear with Canadians. He must present his plan for our involvement in Iraq. He must tell the truth.”