By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Prime Minister Stephen Harper must recall Parliament before a decision is made allowingCanadato take any military action inSyria, say local Hamiltonians.
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek NDP MP Wayne Marston said a military strike against the Syrian government will be “horrific” for the surrounding countries who are already dealing with a flood of refugees in what is now a civil war in the country.
“There is a certain responsibility to protect, but under what circumstances?” said Marston. “You have the United Nations. It’s their responsibility.”
Marston, along with other local politicians, including Chris Charlton, NDP MP for the Hamilton Mountain, Paul Miller NDP MPP Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Mayor Bob Bratina, and Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie all led the Hamilton and District Labour Council’s Labour Day Parade Sept 2 past about 50 members of the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War, who were holding a demonstration in front of the federal building on Bay Street. Their demonstration received a handful of applause and derision from marchers.
They demanded Harper keepCanada’s “Hands off Syria,” while also characterizing him on signs as a “warmonger.”
Marston said Harper has stated he will not get Canada involved military inSyria.
“I’ll take him at his word until something changes,” he said.
But if military action is necessary, Marston, along with NDP leader Thomas Mulcair and Liberal leader Justin Trudeau have urged Parliament be recalled to debate the issue.
“That was the commitment we were given last time (with Afghanistan),” said Marston. “This is the kind of stuff that you get to say ‘folks lets put the partisan stuff down’.”
Canada’s foreign minister, John Baird, has already stated that the country should stand by its allies in any strike against Syria. He has stated that it is fruitless to seek a resolution from the United Nations Security Council because Russia has a veto, while supporting the Bashar al-Assad regime.
The United States says it has confirmed that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus Aug. 21, killing about 1,400 people, including children. U.S. President Barack Obama said Sept. 31 he will seek Congressional approval for a military strike againstSyria.
The HCSW, a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance, stated they want a diplomatic resolution to the conflict to bring the Syrian government and opposition together.
Even though the Canadian government has stated it has no plans to get involved militarily, the HCSW stated “he has lied before” referring to Canada’s commitment in Afghanistan.
Marston says Canada should continue with its humanitarian support to the surrounding countries, such as Turkey, to assist in the refugee crisis. Canada since January 2012 has provided about $158.5 million emergency food and nutritional supplements, shelter, to Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon.
“Help these people through humanitarian groups,” he said.