57144
134746

Canada  

Missing in action?

Federal officials have yet to figure out how to make good on the Trudeau government's 18-month-old promise to provide up to 150 police officers to peacekeeping missions, despite a shortage of such personnel on many UN operations.

The Liberals first pledged the police officers in August 2016 at the same time they said that Canada would contribute up to 600 soldiers to UN missions as part of a renewed commitment to peacekeeping.

The government has since put meat on its promise of troops by committing military helicopters, aircraft, trainers and a rapid-reaction force, with talks between National Defence and the United Nations about possible missions underway.

But Public Safety Canada spokeswoman Karine Martel told The Canadian Press that the government "continues to explore options to increase police officer deployments up to 150." She did not provide a timeline for a decision.

In the meantime, the number of Canadian police officers deployed on UN missions has plummeted in the 18 months since the Liberals made their pledge; 20 were in the field — all in Haiti — at the end of January, compared to 84 in August 2016.

The shrinking contributions and lack of a plan has several peacekeeping experts scratching their heads, as the UN has been asking the international community to contribute more police officers.

A quick glance at the peacekeeping missions in Mali and South Sudan, for example, show those missions are missing hundreds of police, which are considered essential for building long-term peace and stability in countries.

"Many missions are desperate for police," said Walter Dorn, an expert on peacekeeping at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto. "There's a big need."

In addition to those in Haiti, there were 26 other Canadian police officers assigned to non-UN missions at the end of January, including 18 in Ukraine, five in Iraq and three in the West Bank.



More Canada News

Canada
134457
Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
56309
Recent Trending
49333
Okanagan Oldies
58227
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada
58213



57280
134509