OttawaThe Prime Minister should honour his commitments when it comes to Canadian participation in armed conflicts, according to Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes. 

Hughes took part in an emergency debate on sending Canadian troops to Iraq Tuesday evening after it became obvious the Conservatives were not going to put the mission before parliament.  The move is an about face for the Prime Minister who made clear promises on the subject on numerous occasions as recently as 2009. 

Hughes expressed frustration that the government is using the struggle against ISIL terrorist to divide MPs on the democratic process needed to allow Canada to assist the Iraqi government. 

“The whole issue is that the government is again sending in our troops without really defining the mission, which is very problematic.”

Hughes says that New Democrats are not asking for anything more than the proper use of our democratic institutions which can’t be tossed aside for convenience sake – or to try to make the opposition look bad.

“Tonight's emergency debate is focusing on the fact that parliamentarians should have the opportunity not only to discuss, but also to vote on this issue,” said Hughes.   “The government promised parliamentarians that it would give us that opportunity with respect to missions.”

Hughes says that MPs deserve to know the facts and the story from the government is anything but clear to this point.  She also expressed her dismay that Tom Mulcair was the only party leader to take part in the debate.

“A request was made for humanitarian aid, including water, hygiene kits, shelter and other pressing needs,” said Hughes.  “All of a sudden the government is sending in troops instead of humanitarian aid.”