During Question Period in the House of Commons on Sept. 30, Opposition Leader Thomas Mulcair wanted some precision from Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the extent of the mission of Canadian Forces Special Operations Forces (CF SOF) who would be on the ground in northern Iraq.
Speaking in French, Mulcair asked: ” Mr. Speaker, the Prime Minister said that the rules of engagement are to advise and assist the Iraqis, but the question is, assist them how? For instance, are Canadian soldiers currently going on patrols with Iraqis or Kurds?” (This English translation I’m using here is the one that is published in Hansard, FYI)
The Prime Minister began his reply in French — “Mr. Speaker, I said ‘advise and assist the Iraqis’ ” — but then he switched to his first language, English, to finish the answer. The emphasis here is mine: “If I could just use the terminology in English, it is quite precise. It is to advise and to assist. It is not to accompany. I think that was laid out before the parliamentary committee.” Continue reading Harper versus Nicholson: Advise, assist — and accompany — in Iraq