News, Politics

Canada Sends Troops To Middle East

Jean Chretien. Image: Joe Howell
Jean Chretien. Image: Joe Howell

One of the most important decisions the leader of any country has to make is whether or not to fight to uphold the country’s values.

Sometimes that means deciding whether or not the country will send troops to help out in a war in another country.

Jean Chretien was Canada’s prime minister from 1993 to 2003. In a recent column in the Globe and Mail newspaper, he urged Canada’s current prime minister, Stephen Harper, to send help, not fighters to the Middle East.

Harper made the difficult decision to send Canadian military airplanes there to fight against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a terrorist organization. His decision was backed by a vote in Parliament.

Eighty-five members of Canada’s Armed Forces flew to the Middle East last Thursday. They will join 70 Canadian soldiers as well as fighters from the United States and the UK who are already there. Six hundred more Canadian troops will follow.

Chretien says Canada should instead be concentrating on helping the people who are fleeing ISIS—the “refugees.”

“Canada should be on the front line, addressing the humanitarian crisis,” Chretien writes in the Globe and Mail. “The Islamic State has created a massive humanitarian crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Neighbouring countries are dealing with floods of refugees. The World Food Program is almost out of funds and winter is approaching.”

Related links
Chretien’s column in the Globe and Mail.
This article in the Globe and Mail provides more information about Chretien’s statement.

By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Stephen Harper and Jean Chretien have different beliefs about how Canada should help facing the difficult situation in the Middle East. With whom do you agree and why?

Reading Prompt: Demonstrating Understanding
At times, TKN takes on intermediate subject matter, such as war and conflict. When difficult issues are discussed, the language in the article often reflects that. Were you able to understand today’s article?

Retell today’s article, in your own words, in order to demonstrate your understanding.

Demonstrate understanding of increasingly complex texts by summarizing important ideas and citing a variety of details that support the main idea (OME, Reading: 1.4).

Language Feature: Homophones
Homophones are words that sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings. For example, “pair” and “pear” are homophones as are “see” and “sea.”

Find at least three homophones in the article above. Write a word that sounds the same, is spelled the same, and has a different meaning for each.