Regarding Neil Horner’s nostalgia opinion piece entitled, Let’s get back to the Canada we fondly remember, I am not one of the “we” Mr. Horner is presumably speaking for.
My Canada goes back a little further perhaps. It was a country of self-reliance, individual responsibility, smaller government and a high level of community volunteerism.
Yes we had a great reputation abroad (and still do) but this was largely because of the selfless sacrifice of our armed forces in WWII and Korea. Visit Holland and Normandy.
While peace-keeping is an admirable activity, it requires two parties that want peace to be kept. Seldom is this circumstance seen in the modern world.
Where it is, it is largely carried out by nations from the area of the conflict, eg: Africa, by the countries of the African Union. Many of their soldiers have been killed in this duty.
Mr. Horner’s comment about the Harper government taking part in “pretty much every adventure initiated by our neighbours to the south is unfair.
In Afghanistan we are participating as a member of NATO, (a long-standing and honourable member), in a mission supported and endorsed by the UN.
Sensibly the federal government is removing our troops from an active combat role after 10 hard years of sacrifice by our men and women.
This you may remember was a mission approved by the previous Liberal government.
I assume he was also referring to the current commitment by Canada to supporting the engagement of our forces in Libya. This is another NATO mission, but it was not initiated by the U.S.
I can’t recall any other adventure initiated by the U.S. that we have joined in other that smaller missions involving other members of NATO, primarily of a humanitarian nature.
Mr. Horner also alleges Canada lost it’s seat on the Security Council because of our support for Israel. Others may conclude it was because the EU decided it wanted two more members on the council and actively supported Portugal.
Besides, isn’t Canada’s support for the democratic forces attempting to over-throw Ghadaffi in Libya a demonstration of a broadening interest in supporting the Arab Spring?
Given the challenges we face, with our rising debt, and aging population, I hope we get a majority government that will have the courage to talk to Canadians about real problems and real solutions.