Not only was there no vote, there was no debate either.
Attendence : Out of a possible 308 MPs:
- 58 Conservative MPs, dropping to 14 after O'Connor finished
- 21 Liberals but dropped to 102
- 2Bloc Quebecois
- 8 NDP, rising to 20
Especially as Canadians are divided about 50/50 over whether we should be there at all.
Here is one reason we are just a bit concerned:"
"Canadian soldiers could be charged with war crimes in the International Criminal Court because of an agreement the government approved on the handling of detainees captured in Afghanistan," warns UBC international law professor Michael Byers.
University of Ottawa Prof. Amir Attaran, a constitutional human rights law specialist, agrees.
Under international law Canada has an obligation to ensure any detainee is protected against torture, not only when they are transferred into Afghan custody but if they are sent onwards to a third nation, such as the U.S.
Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor said last week he is satisfied with the pact, as is Opposition leader Bill Graham, who was the Liberal's defence minister when the agreement was signed in Kabul in December.
Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier signed the agreement even though the Afghan government's own human rights commission warned in 2004 that the torture of prisoners is "routine."
So far, more than 100 detainees from Iraq and Afghanistan have died in U.S. custody.
Canadian military officers, however, have continually said they are confident any detainees turned over to the U.S. would be treated humanely."
Here's another reason, from the Government of Canada National Defense website :
"On November 29, 2005, Camp Julien, which was the Canadian base of operations in Kabul, officially closed. Canadian Forces personnel in Afghanistan, were relocated to Kandahar in the southern region of Afghanistan as part of the United States-led campaign against terrorism known as Operation ENDURING FREEDOM ( OEF )."
And Defense Minister Gordon O'Connor had the unmitigated gall to open the proceedings with Bush's "Fly-paper" analogy :
"Fighting terrorists in Afghanistan is better than waiting until they show up in Vancouver, Montreal or Ottawa, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor told the Commons on Monday."Canada is in Afghanistan because it is in our national interest,'' he said. "Our security begins very far from our borders.'' "