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Should Canada extend its mission in Libya?

Categories: Canada, World

Canada's contribution to the NATO-led air mission in Libya is scheduled to end Sept. 27, although Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is keeping the option of extending Canada's mission past that date.

Canada has sent CF-18 fighters to Italy to join the NATO mission. Canada has sent CF-18 fighters to Italy to join the NATO mission. (David Common/CBC) "This is quickly coming to an end. It's not over yet. Canada will obviously be there in theatre to support the Libyan people," Baird told host Evan Solomon on CBC's Power & Politics.

"Canadian Forces, as long as our NATO allies are on this UN-sanctioned mission, are there to ensure that we continue to protect civilians," he said.

Canada's contribution to the mission was extended once before. In June, the House voted 294-1 to extend the mission, with Green Party Leader Elizabeth May being the lone member of Parliament to vote against.

At the time of the vote, then NDP Leader Jack Layton said his party would only support one extension to the mission.

NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar says Canada shouldn't extend its military commitment beyond Sept. 27, but move to more diplomatic efforts.

"There is not one person, even on the military side, who thinks that the goals will be achieved through military means. Let's acknowledge that and let's not sleepwalk into another ongoing conflict," Dewar said after a Foreign Affairs briefing in August.

NATO continues to hit targets within Libya even after the deposition of Moammar Gadhafi. On Tuesday, NATO flew 38 strike sorties, hitting six tanks and more than a dozen armed vehicles, as well as radar installations and other facilities.

Should Canada extend its commitment to the NATO-led air mission beyond Sept. 27? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Libya

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