Have ‘peace’ operations been voted on by the Commons?

It’s unclear whether the Trudeau government will hold a vote in the House of Commons for its planning peace operation(s).

Although I don’t think they should for the reasons I’ve outlined here, here, and here, I suspect that the government ultimately will bring this mission(s) before the House for a vote.

The political advantages of holding the votes are many and the downsides are few in the short-term.

For the record, though, it’s important to recall that the Harper government only held votes for missions that were explicitly involved offensive operations.

Here’s a sample of Canadian military missions that weren’t brought to the Commons for a vote under the Harper government, because they weren’t combat operations or were tied to allied obligations:

The CAF training mission to Kabul, Afghanistan, 2011-2014 (Operation Attention).

The CAF’s support to French counterterrorism efforts in West Africa, 2015.

The CAF’s ongoing training mission in Ukraine (Operation UNIFER).

The deployment of naval forces and CF-18s to Central and Eastern Europe (Operation Reassurance).

The initial deployment of the CAF units to advise and assist local forces in Iraq, August-September 2014.

Were the Trudeau government to not hold a vote for a ‘peace’ mission, it would therefore be following the precedents set by its predecessor.

And I would also note that, despite what’s often assumed, the Liberals didn’t press for a vote on the advise and assist to Iraq in August-September 2014. They supported the mission without a vote until the issue of air strikes arose.

 

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