Harper to ask Parliament to extend, expand mission against ISIL

By on March 19, 2015


PM Stephen Harper meets "with the York Regional Police to discuss ways to better protect Canada from evolving threats of terrorism and extremism." (Facebook photo)
PM Stephen Harper meets “with the York Regional Police to discuss ways to better protect Canada from evolving threats of terrorism and extremism.” (Facebook photo)

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he intends to ask Parliament next week to extend and expand Canada’s participation in the war against Islamic extremists in Iraq.

And Harper isn’t ruling out that the expansion could include engagement in Syria.

Last fall, Parliament approved Canada’s participation in air strikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq for six months and time is running out.

Harper says the request he will put to Parliament next week will outline what comes next.

The prime minister says this request will address the issue of whether the campaign ought to extend into Syria, something the government ruled out in the past, saying that needed an invitation from the Syrian government.

Sources have previously told The Canadian Press that an extension would likely involve a commitment of more than six months, in part so it doesn’t expire during the fall election campaign.