…. the Kind of Tools Our Soldiers Need.
From Rick Mercer
There’s no doubt about it; Canadians have been very generous in Haiti. People in this country have given an incredible amount of money. But once again it’s members of the Canadian Forces that are doing the heavy lifting. Because really by the time most of us realize just how devastating this situation was, by the time most of us sat down at our laptops and made a donation, a thousand Canadian soldiers were already on their way to Haiti. And a thousand more show up this week.
Imagine if that was your job. Just drop everything and go to Hell on Earth and you have no idea when you’re coming home to your family. Because I don’t know what it’s like where you work, but people at the CBC complain when the elevators are on the fritz. But that’s soldiers for you. That’s what they do. And that’s why we admire them. And that is why soldiers make the perfect political prop. In the old days politicians loved to get their pictures taken with babies. These days, it’s soldiers. Which is why this past July, 300 Canadian soldiers were given a mission. They were told to drop everything and show up at Canadian Forces base Gagetown, in uniform in front of the cameras and clap and cheer as the Minister of Defense announced that this government was finally buying them new armored vehicles which we know they so desperately need.
And so it was perfect timing this past week, when every headline was dominated by the humanitarian crisis in Haiti that the government let it slip out very quietly that the purchase of armored vehicles is now on “permanent hold” or what a civilian would call cancelled. Turns out it was just a photo op and perhaps a new low in Canadian politics. You know, it’s one thing for the government to order soldiers to put their lives at risk for Canada. That’s their job. But to drag them out and use them as a political prop, that’s going too far. At least babies can scream or throw up on a politician. Soldiers, they don’t get that option.
The country had fallen into a state of moral putrefaction, with corruption running rampant throughout the government ranks.