Accompanied by Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Mr. Harper introduced the “Canada First Defence Strategy,” which includes pledges of long-term stable funding, new equipment and the recruitment of new troops and reservists.OK, not new, so much. As Harpie himself admitted, he was just cobbling together a bunch of announced plans but making it into a "long-term plan." Now that's cause for puttin' on a big show and changing the subject matter from Bernier, Guergis, Elections Canada storming your HQ...you almost can't blame the guy for wanting a staged p.r. event, heh...:)
“If a country wants to be taken seriously by the rest of the world, it needs to have the capacity to act. It's just that simple,” Mr. Harper said Monday during a press conference at the Halifax Armoury, where he was flanked by regular Canadian Forces personnel and members of the Princess Louise Fusiliers, a reserve infantry regiment that has sent some of its members to Afghanistan.
Much of the Conservative strategy has been announced before and there were few new details Monday. (emphasis added)
But this notion that we can only be taken seriously around the world if we have a big military...can't say I agree with that. We earned plenty of respect by NOT going into Iraq with the Americans. This military first view of the world is something Canadians are going to have to think about. Is that the kind of nation we want others to perceive us as?
And don't you love that "Canada First" thing...as if the "homeland" is somehow in jeopardy. At least that's the way I take it, that we're putting ourselves "first" implies everyone else is second. Hold on with your plight, as long as Canada's first, we might have time for you...
Update 6:00 p.m.: In case you haven't seen the pictures from today's Harpie announcement, please do check them out. Giant Canadian flag in the backdrop and neatly dressed Canadian forces members organized neatly by shirt type behind him. Echoes of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" style photo op yes. And use of the Canadian military as a prop for his announcement, inappropriate. I'm sure the military are pleased with the series of announcements but they shouldn't be used in this manner when the PM is clearly seeking to get political mileage out of it.