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Harper: Canada to fund Afghan Army

Shah Marai/AFP/Getty ImagesCanadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has told NATO that Canada will help fund the $4.1 billion per year price tag to building the post-2014 Afghanistan army, the amount of which will be said on Monday, after his NATO meetings in Chicago. So much for accountable financing…

Defense Minister Peter MacKay hinted that as Canadian troops leave the region, the funding would be Canada’s way to remain involved with the mission. He told reporters that the sustainability of the Afghan army was a key element of the discussions. He announced that instead of providing them our troops, he would give them the resources they need to make progress on their own.

“That doesn’t necessarily mean troop contributions or trainers,” MacKay said.

“That means giving the Afghans the resources that they need to continue to make progress and hold the fort,” he said.

It is funny how the Conservatives think that they can preach to the world about how to do things and get involved in their affairs. At home, our economy is ailing, 10% of Canadians don’t have access to food, and as part of austerity measures, Harper has plans to cut old age security by raising the age of retirement to 67 from 65.

Before Canada should say anything to any country about how to do things, Canada should clean up its act first, one that is being seen as a disgrace on the world stage. On the environment portfolio and now human rights, Canada has received a failing grade and beneath the propaganda about economic stewardship, Harper told Canadians to prepare for a major labor shortage, forcing EI recipients to get jobs outside their domain. An insult, a slap in the face, all because there is no money… but now, there is money to fund a foreign army?

Before the next government, the one that defeats Harper in the long term, raises taxes, they better eliminate all of the new and wasteful spending Harper has implemented within his decade of power by the time the next election comes around. It is impeccable to believe that a government can be this incompetent and corrupt to the extent that ministers think that they are entitled to their benefits. This message is clear and simple: no tax hikes until the government has been cleansed of all of the Conservative waste. Get the budget back in order first.

But to make things worse comes the possibility that a government that formed in 2006 on the basis of accountability could have been elected using illegal and fraudulent means. This is simply the last straw for Canadian democracy and society.

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