MP Brad Butt speaks on Renewing and Expanding Canada’s Contribution to the Coalition Flight Against ISIL
On March 26, 2015, Brad Butt, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Streetsville, rose in the House of Commons during debate and spoke about renewing and expanding Canada’s contribution to the coalition fight against ISIL. the following is MP Butt’s speech;
Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members.
I am pleased to speak in support of this important motion concerning Canada’s continuing response to the situation in Iraq.
As we have heard, the terrorist organization the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, has killed thousands of innocent people,
Seized significant portions of Iraqi territory over the last year, and threatens to further destabilize the region.
In fact, were it not for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and coalition allies, they would continue to spread.
Mr. Speaker, in early March I visited the Kurdistan region of Iraq as part of a delegation of One Free World International. This was my second visit to the region and gave me a first-hand view of the ISIL attacks.
I met with government officials, Peshmerga troops and victims and refugees and I personally heard their stories. Young women who had been captured and brutalized by ISIL shared their horrific experiences with us and reinforced why this barbaric group must be eliminated.
Amid the unfolding crisis, Canada is committed to helping the Iraqi people and assisting Iraq’s security forces.
As the direct result of military action by Canada and our coalition allies, ISIL’s alarming spread and expansion has stopped and they are currently on the defensive.
We cannot back down, Mr. Speaker. We need to continue degrading ISIL until they are no longer a threat not only in the region but to Canada.
Doing so is not only a moral imperative, but is also a continuation of the strong leadership role Canada has taken in many international operations.
From responding to natural disasters, to defending unarmed populations, our nation’s interventions are guided, in part, by our moral compass and our determination to assist those in need.
And the moral imperative we face in this mission is clear.
The death cult ISIL has declared war on Canada. They have called explicitly for attacks against Canadians.
The savage brutality of ISIL is one that requires us to act. They are military and expansionistic in their scope.
They are genocidal and they are merciless. They disproportionately target religious minorities, women, anyone who disagrees with their savagery.
This is not a distant fight that we can debate in the abstract.
This is not an enlightening philosophical examination of our role in the world.
This is a fight that is very real, right here at home.
These terrorists hate our society and the Canadian traditions of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
They have called for attacks against Canadians. They have called for attacks in our streets against innocent bystanders with the deliberate intent of making us all feel unsafe.
They are doing this by preying on those who are vulnerable, on our most impressionable, on the isolated and the young, through their network of disgusting propaganda and turning them against us.
This is the nature of the evil we face.
There is no reasoning with an evil like ISIL.
There is no reasoning with a death cult that wants to massacre, rape, and pillage the developed world.
We cannot condescendingly dismiss this threat as “not our fight.”
They have declared war on us, they have called for attacks on us, they have inspired attacks on us.
There has already been blood spilled in Canadian streets because of ISIL.
That’s we cannot say that this is not our fight.
We owe that to all of those who have been affected by this death cult.
We owe that to all of those who fear for their sons and daughters being brainwashed by ISIL propaganda.
We owe that to those who live under the tyranny of ISIL right now.
I can assure the members of the Opposition, who have suggested that we refocus our efforts on humanitarian aid that there is indeed a strong role for Canada in providing humanitarian aid in response to this very troubling situation.
But this is not an “either/or” scenario.
Our ability to provide food, to provide education, to provide shelter to those in need can only be done effectively if ISIL is being pushed back.
Yes, there is an Iraqi Security Force. But we cannot give this fight to them alone.
Canada has the capacity to make a difference in this fight, and the first 6 months of this mission have demonstrated it.
ISIL continues to be on the defensive. A welcome new trend.
ISIL’s recent attempts to regain territory in northern and central Iraq both failed, as their onslaughts were successfully fended off by our coalition.
By keeping ISIL out of these areas, we are saving lives.
Because we know the difference that they make, because we know so well what ISIL is doing:
We have all heard about mass executions.
We have all heard about the rape and sexual violence.
We have all heard about the horrors that they wage.
We have discussed these already, in this very place.
And this is why we cannot let ISIL have a base of operation from where they are unchallenged.
ISIL cannot have a safe haven.
The last 6 months in Iraq has shown that our coalition has the capability to counter this evil, head-on.
We have decided to join our allies who have been attacking ISIL in Syria without resistance from the Syrian government.
The United States and other coalition partners have had 6 months of experience attacking ISIL targets in Syria. We will conduct air strikes against ISIL in Syria on the same legal and operational basis as our Allies have been doing.
ISIL fighters and equipment have been moving freely across the Iraqi-Syria border.
ISIL has been consolidating and moving some of their heavier equipment into Syria because of the significant impact that Coalition airstrikes have had on ISIL operations in Iraq.
We have had success attacking ISIL targets in Iraq and will now expand to where ISIL is consolidating.
The Canadian Armed Forces’ record on the world stage is truly impressive.
The men and women who serve in our military continue to demonstrate their skill and dedication.
Thanks to the readiness and agility of the Canadian Armed Forces, Canada is able to provide strong leadership and support to the international community.
And it is because of our commitment to promoting international peace and security that we are assisting the people of Iraq.
This is why, Mr. Speaker, I am proud to support the government’s motion.