Peggy Mason on Canada being shut out of the anti-ISIS coalition meeting

Defence Ministers pose for a family photo at the French Defence Ministry in Paris as they gather to examine ways to build on gains made against Islamic State

Rideau Institute President Peggy Mason discusses the reasons behind Canada not being invited to the anti-ISIS coalition meeting in Paris on 20 January.

An anti-ISIS coalition meeting is taking place in Paris on 20 January. Defence ministers from France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Australia, and the Netherlands joined U.S. Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter to discuss the future of the fight against ISIS. Canada has not been invited to the meeting.

Some claim that Canada has been snubbed because of incoherent messaging from the Liberal government. As reported on CBC, conservative defence critic James Bezan said this is an indication that Canada has not been a reliable partner: “[If] we were serious about taking the fight to ISIS […] we should be at these meetings.”

For Peggy Mason, this is not surprising at all. Speaking on the Ed Hand Show on 1310 News on 19 January, she argues that Canada’s absence at the meeting suggests that the United States believes Trudeau’s government will follow through on its commitment to end airstrikes in the region shortly.

If you look at the composition of [the meeting], it looks like it involves those countries that are engaged directly in airstrikes, or, in the case of Germany, providing support through refueling the airstrikes. […] I think this is a reflection of the fact that the Canadian government is going to carry through, sooner rather than later, with pulling us out of the airstrike part of the coalition.

Whilst some suggest that, in the wake of the Paris attacks, the Liberal government should reconsider its election promise to end the airstrikes, Mason argues that this is symptomatic of the “do-something” approach that often emerges after a dramatic incident, when focus shifts to an immediate, very visible reaction rather than the long, hard slog of diplomacy. Rather than focusing on an imaginary snub to Canada, we should be asking how Canada can effectively contribute to the UN-led peace process aimed at ending the civil war in Syria.

Peggy Mason on the Eric Drozd Show on 570 News, on 20 January:

The problem with bombing is that if you kill civilians you are breeding more terrorists. […] I would very much like Canada to not be distracted by a very problematic bombing campaign […] and focus its attention on how it can play an effective role. […] That leaves things like governance – I would like to have our government looking at what we can do on the ground in order to create a situation where the people that have the most to lose, the Iraqi people, […]believe enough in their government that they want to fight against the Islamic State.

Support for bombing is by no means shared by all Canadians. Since January 14, 2016, the Rideau Institute has received almost 2500 letters from Canadians all over the country calling on the Prime Minister to end the bombing, as he repeatedly promised to do during his election campaign.

Canada will have an opportunity to put forward its views at a much more important meeting when all of the coalition members from NATO countries meet on February 11th on the margins of a meeting of NATO Defence Ministers.


You can listen to the full interview on the Ed Hand Show here (January 19 Hour 1, at 15m 00s) and on the Eric Drozd Show here (January 20th 11am, at 21m 08s).

To sign the letter calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to stop the bombing, click here.


Image credit: Reuters/Jacky Naegelen

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16 Responses to “Peggy Mason on Canada being shut out of the anti-ISIS coalition meeting”

  1. Another PersonJanuary 21, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    I’m also not in the military, nor am I trying to “persecute” you. Sending fighters to Syria? I’m honest, I have no idea how to react. And once again, I’m telling you that I’m not “getting my kicks on you peaceniks”, like you accused me of earlier. I’m just presenting the other side, or what I think. And yeah, since you kept on accusing me of that, you are sort of insulting me. Not as much as I thought, thinking back now, but still a certain amount.

    • Another PersonJanuary 21, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

      Fair enough, I have bias. Every person on this planet has one. I know that you think that there’s a better way than military action. So I’ll tell you what I think. Diplomacy should always come first and constantly persist. However, in the events that it doesn’t work, military action is required. So Canada’s military should always prepare for the worst case scenario, no matter how far-fetched it seems.

  2. Canada JoeJanuary 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm #

    Hey Dimitri, Moscow called they have a gay for you to beat, he’s Jewish too.

    Another Person is trying to raise some much needed questions for this little delusional band of traitorous peaceniks.

    I can’t claim to take such I high road. I simply despise people like you.

  3. Janet VickersJanuary 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm #

    Thank you Peggy and Ceasefire. Your wise words will be shared.

  4. Another PersonJanuary 21, 2016 at 8:10 am #

    Canada Joe, now I’m starting to know why you make comments like that now after dimitri’s response. I still don’t plan to do that in the near future.

  5. PJ RobertsonJanuary 20, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

    Thank you for a mature, considered response.

    • Jacob RempelJanuary 21, 2016 at 3:27 am #

      Thank you. Peggy. However, I want us all, and especially politicians and governments to acknowledge that the ISIS existence is a consequence of wars of aggression by the US Regime and all allies. Only defensive war is internationally legal, whereas not even one of all the present victim countries has attacked the USA or any NATO country such as Canada. WE are the aggressors on behalf of “our” mineral and oil corporations seeking help to secure the sources of oil and minerals. Having accepted our culpability, we all need to pull out and help our United Nations to restore the well-being of the devastated victim countries.

      • Another PersonJanuary 21, 2016 at 8:08 am #

        Didn’t the US try that on Afghanistan but it didn’t work? Still, I think we should keep on trying.

  6. Jeffrey SimpsonJanuary 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

    Thank you for this statement. Well said! Cheers to bringing the jets home.

  7. Anne StreeterJanuary 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    Canada’s response to being left out of the meeting is childish. In fact it is embarrassing. We should do the right thing and stop the bombing – now!

    • Another PersonJanuary 20, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

      Still, we should leave our refueling and surveillance craft in there. Wasn’t that a condition for pulling out of the air strikes? And bombing is still going to happen until Iraq is strong enough from the training to take out ISIS by itself. And the bombing of important ISIS oil infrastructure is causing effects now. ISIS cut salaries of their men by half.

      • dimitriJanuary 20, 2016 at 9:29 pm #

        That’s right AP, we should stop the bank robbers by making sure the getaway car is fueled up and ready. Got any other bright ideas?

        Are you ever going to tell us if you are in the military or connected to it?

        The fact that Canada has not been invited to the anti ISIS conference is a complement. You don’t/can’t grasp that Canadians want to be part of this situation as PEACEMAKERS not purveyors of more war. Don’t you get that? That’s a principle reason why we voted in this new government.

        So lets hear what inane response you have for us. We know it’s coming. Every time you write something on Ceasefire, it only vindicates to us what is right, you silly person.

        • Another PersonJanuary 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm #

          And I have devil horns and a heart of stone, etc, etc, because I have a tendency to support military-related stuff. OK, cool, that’s your opinion. All I said was that smarter air strikes are more efficient in the battle, but that’s debatable, I’ll admit that. Remember what I said that one post? You know, about how I came here to see if a compromise can come between those who support defence and those who highly vaunt peacekeeping? I still hold true to that. They are my intentions, to see the other side of the story. I was hoping to see a debate in which you calmly express why you think differently, rather than mostly insulting me every time I make a comment of the sort. Since this is and not like the defence blogs I used to read, I really thought that everyone would be respectful. If any of my comments are bashing and insensitive (which they shouldn’t be hopefully) I apologize.

          • Canada JoeJanuary 21, 2016 at 1:55 am #

            Another Person makes some valid points. Now why don’t you get your Jew-hating, Moscow-kissing ass out of here. Go beat a gay like a good little Ivan.

            Stupid ‘peaceniks’ they never learn.

          • dimitriJanuary 21, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

            Ooh, so now Joe Canada has jumped into the fray. Well AP, your first remark makes me think you may have a persecution complex, because what I said isn’t even remotely nasty.

            “I came here to see if a compromise can come between those who support defence and those who highly vaunt peacekeeping”…

            Let me get this right. You’re saying that sending fighter bombers to Syria is for the defense of Canada? Now I’m convinced more than ever that you (and CJ) are in the military and basically, get their jollies by disturbing the ‘peaceniks’ every chance they get, and tenaciously I might add. There’s no use in trying to show you guys that there’s a better way because you fellas will never change your bias, but I’m not the one going to your websites creating a stir, so go ahead, knock your socks off, you silly persons.


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