Canada to extend air transport for French forces in Mali
Published Thursday, February 14, 2013 4:20PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 14, 2013 10:23PM EST
OTTAWA -- Defence Minister Peter MacKay says a heavy-lift Canadian air force transport plane will continue to assist French forces in Mali for another month.
The commitment involving the C-17 Globemaster, which has been shuttling war material, vehicles and troops between France and the Malian capital of Bamako, was set to expire Friday.
MacKay confirmed the extension outside of the House of Commons on Thursday following question period.
The request for the additional flights came through military channels a few days ago, but MacKay says the Conservative government wanted to consider how it would impact Canadian operations before giving it the green light.
The extension caught Opposition members off guard.
NDP foreign affairs critic Paul Dewar says the government promised to consult the House about the mission, but beyond a set of Commons committee hearings, he says there has been almost no dialogue.