Thursday, March 23, 2006

Richter Report - March 23, 2006 - Where Is Our Military Heading?

Canada's military used to be known for Peace Keeping as our Business.Has something changed? When did it change to:

"Boots on the Ground. U.S.-Canada Relations: Security is our Business."?

The above Canadian Government paid poster ad in a public Washington DC Metro Center Metrorail station states just that. It is obviously spinning Canada's military support. It also has a link displayed to go to on the same poster.

I don't know about you, but I wonder if this is the message Canadians really want to be selling. Do Canadians even know about this message?

Quoted on the Canadian Ally website: " is an electronic newsletter maintained by the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC, designed specifically for an American audience. The goal of this e-publication is to bring together pertinent defence and security information from a variety of government departments, agencies, military commands and bi-national organizations. The intent is to give American citizens a better sense of the scope of Canada's role in North American and Global Security and the War on Terror."

Sounds and smells like our Canadian Government is trying to sell a definitely more aggresive military message to the Americans - a message that Canadians may not be aware of or even in agreement with.

The photo and quotes are all from DCist blog based out of Washington DC written by Martin Andres Austermuhle who in his post on Canada's military advertisement says:

"We're not ones to question the allegiances of our neighbor to the north. But we are curious as to why they are looking to promote their security policy and close alliance to the U.S. to Metrorail passengers transferring from the Red Line to the Orange and Blue Lines. Has that ever been in doubt? We do suppose it's good to know they're there if we need them..."

I support peace-keeping and I respect and support our Canadian forces in their peace-keeping roles wherever they are. But, I have become increasingly uncomfortable with this government's move away from peace-keeping and into a more aggressive military presence. In fact, as a mother of three teenage children, I find this less than subtle shift very disturbing and I wonder where it's heading.

We used to be respected internationally as peace-keepers. Is this role changing and why?

If you are at all bothered by this poster in Washington or have questions, call your MP and ask for an explanation. See if they are comfortable with this or even aware of it. I will be asking our MP in Langley for his opinion on this advertising and I'll let you know what he has to say.

Kim Richter is in her 3rd term as Langley Township Councillor and also is a Professor of Business at Kwantlen University College. She holds a masters degree in health administration and was a health care management consultant.

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