Cost of 'Canada 150' commemorations to come out of military's operations budget | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Cost of 'Canada 150' commemorations to come out of military's operations budget

March 13, 2014 - 1:21 PM

OTTAWA - The cost of six years of military commemorations surrounding Canada's 150th birthday is to come out of existing Canadian Forces operational budgets.

Almost 300 pages of documents obtained by the Liberal party under the Access to Information Act detail something called "Operation Distinction" — a campaign mandated by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that will include dozens of events through the year 2020.

Promoting Canada's military history has been a Conservative government priority since it came to office in 2006, and planning for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 has kicked those plans into overdrive.

But after the Harper government spent $30 million celebrating the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 while cutting budgets for services to veterans, the documents show the government has become gun-shy about public perceptions of the next wave of military commemorations.

The Canadian Forces planning documents stress repeatedly that the army, air force and navy will have to eat the cost of the many military events demanded by the government — costs that the documents say will have "significant resource implications."

Liberal defence critic Joyce Murray calls it "utterly irresponsible" for the prime minister to expect the Canadian Forces to spend its limited funding on commemoration events rather than equipment, training and medical personnel.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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