Country should be cautious about stretching horizons

Canada’s defence minister announced huge future military expenditures

To the editor,

Between a U.K. election that went off the rails, and a U.S. Senate circus with the fired FBI director, there were statements from Ottawa that were almost lost in the 24-hour-news-cycle shuffle.

The foreign affairs minister envisioned Canada emerging from the shadow of its southern neighbour, and flexing some muscle on the world stage; she assumes that America First policies recently adopted in the White House would exclude the U.S.A. from its customary role as global cop. Next day, Canada’s defence minister announced huge future military expenditures, ready to take on the bad boys of our little blue planet. There were no indications how the battle-ready billions would be paid for – presumably by cutting some existing programs, or by raising more taxes, or even by charging for selfies to those eager to pose with our photogenic PM.

Both ministerial announcements are little more than a rehash of past promises that have never been kept. A dozen years ago Liberal PM Paul Martin made very similar declarations about Canadian pride and influence and his defence minister promised military might. Just a few years afterwards, Tory PM Stephen Harper promised a ‘Canada first’ military strategy with huge defence spending, but that was stymied by federal deficits. Maybe the new double-barrelled Canadian strategy attempts to gain that coveted seat on the U.N. Security Council. No news yet on the long-promised 600 strong peacekeeping force to an unnamed African country, but there is a Canadian Forces deployment to Latvia to poke the Russian president in his eye.

With unkept promises from the federal Liberal’s 2015 election campaign – infrastructure spending and aiding desperate indigenous communities, to name but two of many – Canadians may think it best to spend money taking care of home turf, before venturing too far over the horizon. Especially in light of how our high-profile participation in disastrous NATO missions to Afghanistan and Libya have left both of those countries in far worse shape than ever before.

Bernie Smith, Parksville

Just Posted

Police on motorcycles tap on windows of distracted drivers

Nanaimo RCMP Supt. Cameron Miller said a police motorcycle has been effective in enforcement

VIU, City of Nanaimo collaborating on geese management

City staff have not discussed cull with council

VIDEO: Canada C3 celebrates Canada 150, raises subject of reconciliation

Research icebreaker, travelling the country’s oceans as part of 150 celebrations, docks in Nanaimo

Kellers Jewellers in Lantzville suffers damage in break-in

Incident happened around 5:30 a.m. Oct. 21, says Nanaimo RCMP

Petroleum spill temporarily closes crab fishing dock

Dock closed for public safety after oily sheen forms on water off Maffeo Sutton Park

V.I. Raiders win B.C. football championship

Nanaimo’s junior team defeated the Westshore Rebels 21-7 Saturday on a rainy night in Victoria

Nanaimo Clippers win back-to-back games on home ice

The Clips defeated the Coquitlam Express 4-3 and the Prince George Spruce Kings 5-2

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Campbell River teen has been missing almost a week

Public is asked to circulate images of Jordan Holling, 17, who went missing Monday

Island college instructor describes ‘unprecedented’ astronomical discovery

Comox Valley instructor’s research involves explaining the production of chemical elements in stars

Jewelry store smashed up with crowbar, silver and gold stolen

Owner of Kellers Jewellers said the most expensive items were locked away in a safe

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Most Read