The Canadian government unveiled its plan to reboot Canada’s involvement in UN peacekeeping, committing to a specific range of troops and rebranding hundreds of millions of dollars in international programs. The government said it will spend $450 million over three years on a peace and stabilization fund. The fund is not all new money; it replaces an existing Global Affairs Department task force.
As part of the initiative, the RCMP will see its international peacekeeping fund renewed and topped up to almost $47 million.
Some questions were left unanswered, such as where the up to 600 troops and roughly 150 police officers might be headed, and what sort of conditions will be put on Canadian involvement in war-torn regions.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan acknowledged some of the missions under consideration have the potential to be dangerous. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said more homework and consultation with allies was necessary before deciding which UN missions would receive Canadian troops, leadership or equipment.
The government’s challenge will be to avoid getting the country dragged into intractable conflicts with no clear objective or exit strategy.
The Liberal government, which made a return to peacekeeping one of its core themes in last year’s election, was required to commit in writing the number of soldiers it would make available should the UN ask for volunteers as missions arise.