War is something that warrants talking about

October 1, 2014   ·   0 Comments

There is no decision that a country can make which is greater than that of going to war when it has not been attacked nor directly threatened.  Entering into a situation that is expected to last for years and is arguably a civil war, an internal struggle for power between various religious/tribal factions with a shared heritage, makes it an even more problematic decision.

So far, Canadians have been getting only snippets of news about where we’re heading with the situation in Iraq and Syria through the foreign press and an interview our Prime Minister had at a business conference at Goldman Sachs in New York.  He has not seen it fit to be interviewed by the Canadian press nor discussed this matter in Parliament or on Canadian soil.  Initially he was evasive and we were not even told how many Canadian military personnel we had already dispatched to Iraq, or what their mission was.

There have been no revelations of our plans, intentions or even our thought processes in Parliament and, in another interview in New York, Mr. Harper revealed he had not yet made up his mind or had discussed this in Cabinet.  Yet it has been revealed he has asked President Obama, “what more can we do?”

When three times the government was asked straightforward questions in parliament about Canada’s positions in this Iraqi conflict, there where flippant answers given by Tory MP Paul Calandra, who took these serious questions as an opportunity to try to score some cheap political shots.

When Mr. Calandra showed his disrespect (to cheers and wild applause of his fellow Tories) for the Opposition, his party showed their disrespect for the Canadian people.

The situation in Iraq and Syria is largely a war amongst mid-eastern people, but we recognize that one side is truly odious and sadistic, committing acts of barbarism and genocide.

Some of our allied countries in the region are run by dictators and despots who supress girls and women, non-believers and demands for democracy.

We rightly joined in, without hesitation, to make war in Afghanistan when our American ally was attacked by the factions in control in that country.

The first time we were invited to participate in an Iraqi venture we wisely declined because we did not see the grounds for doing so.  This time, the situation is not so clear cut.  We have one side that can be rightfully described as “evil” and the other, Iraqi side as perhaps merely oppressive, but the desperate people trapped in between need our help.

We need to decide our actions as a people, not just by the “big man” in in the PMO.  Liberals do not completely rule out sending jet fighters in the future, such as when Canada sent six CF-18s to take part in airstrikes in Libya in 2011.  Said Justin Trudeau recently, “I think that’s something we could certainly talk about, but it would be an escalation of Canada’s role right now. I truly believe that Canada’s role needs to primarily be what it’s been laid out as: humanitarian support for civilians, help on a refugee basis, but also providing training in a non-combat mission, non-combat role, to the local troops.”

We need to think and talk this through and we need the Canadian people behind our actions.  We need full disclosure and debate in Parliament.

George denHaan

Director Communications

Dufferin-Caledon Federal

Liberal Association


An important program 

An important fire safety program is in place in Orangeville and communities across Ontario throughout Fire Prevention Week October  5-11, 2014, and extending over the entire month.  I am writing to make all parents aware of the initiative and how they can help.

Fire departments are working with teachers to educate children about the importance of properly functioning and installed smoke alarms.  Watch for “Test and Replace Your Smoke Alarm” homework kit in your child’s backpack, which includes a home fire escape plan and “Test and Replace” Fire Safety Checklist.  The packages are designed to work in tandem with the website

It is critical to know that working smoke alarms installed correctly throughout your home, double the chances of surviving a catastrophic house fire.

To ensure your families safety from fire, you MUST TEST YOUR SMOKE ALARMS MONTHLY to confirm they are in proper working order.   Smoke alarm batteries must be replaced with fresh ones at least once per year.  Also, smoke alarms do not last forever.  If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old it must be replaced.  Outdated alarms might not provide the protection you count on.  Some new models feature 10-year lithium batteries which never need to be changed and last the full life of the alarm.

Please be fire safe and ‘Test and Replace Your Smoke Alarms’ this Fire Prevention Week.

Tadeusz (Ted) Wieclawek

Ontario Fire Marshal

and Chair, Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.