Canada won't consider more Libya jets until May

Fri Apr 15, 2011 11:08am EDT
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will not decide whether to contribute more fighter jets to NATO operations over Libya until after the May 2 federal election, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Friday.

Britain and France are urging other NATO allies to provide more planes capable of hitting Libyan ground forces after the United States cut back its role in the operation.

Canada has six fighter jets in the region and Harper said he wanted legislators to have a say over any further deployment. The House of Commons does not sit during an election.

"In terms of any requests for additional participation, we will not make those kinds of commitments during an election campaign ... (that) would require the Parliament of Canada to be sitting and to be discussing these matters," Harper told reporters.

Polls show the ruling Conservatives are set to retain power in the election.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Conservative leader and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper listens to a question during a campaign stop in Saanich, British Columbia March 28, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie</p>