Keep 'Em Coming: Marc Garneau

I would like to take a moment to give an extra large applause to Marc Garneau, the liberal candidate for Westmount-Ville-Marie, who has a blog post on his website that not only focuses on Darfur; he also mentions STAND Canada as a source of inspiration! While it's always nice to be complemented, it's even nicer for us to hear the sort of things that Mr. Garneau goes on to say about the importance of preventing genocide and maintaining peace in Sudan and the rest of Africa.

Some of the key highlights of his (Liberal) position are:
1. appointing a high-level regional envoy to work with the UN on resolving African conflicts;
2. promising more resources to purchase important helicopters for the joint UN-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur;
3. re-start the US-Norway-Canada-UN contact group to engage China and push the rebel groups together for a more viable peace process;
4. assist the International Criminal Court in bringing criminals to justice in the case of Sudan;
5. highlighting Darfur as a situation that falls under the Responsibility to Protect doctrine adopted by the UN in 2006

Some of these positions are very close to Stand policy recommendations, which may be why I like them. While we at Stand call for a Sudan-specific Special Envoy, the Liberal-proposed regional envoy is a good step in the right direction, a step that is probably more likely to receive broad support from all parties within the government. And while it would be great if Canada itself could provide helicopters to the mission in Darfur, we realize that the Canadian military is currently tied up with other engagements and doesn't actually have any to spare. Resources are definitely better than nothing, especially if they are backed by diplomacy.

Which brings me to my next point - a diplomatic push. As I've mentioned before, a contact group is a great way to develop a consistent and coherent international strategy towards Sudan. Well done to the Liberals for recognizing that.

Finally, it's always encouraging to see support for the Responsibility to Protect (the idea that if people are dying in huge numbers and their government isn't doing anything, the world should intervene), a doctrine that Canada helped develop and should definitely be taking the lead on.

In conclusion, thank you to Mr. Garneau for clarifying the Liberal position on Sudan and helping to make it an election issue. And a big thank you also to the members of Stand's McGill chapter for making sure Darfur stays in the forefront this election season.

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