Da Legal Stuff...

All commentaries published on Web Talk are the opinions of the contributor(s) only and do not necessarily represent the position of any other individuals, groups or organizations.

Now, with that out of the way...Let's Web Talk.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Are the Lives of our Soldiers Worth Less than those from Quebec?

Are the lives of our soldiers worth less than those from Quebec?

It’s a question people are asking more and more in light of increased casualties coming out of Afghanistan.

For most of us there are certain lines we simply won’t cross. In my case for example, I’ll never tell my wife she looks like crap in that new dress she bought and I’ll never swear on my dear Mother’s life, not unless I’m damn sure I’m right.

There are those who say Harper, Hearn, Manning and the rest crossed that line when they shafted Newfoundland and Labrador, maneuvered the province into an Efford like Atlantic Accord and kept it a secret until exposed by an independent analyst. They’re probably right, but that’s nothing to what the Harper government is said to be considering now.

While the war rages on in Afghanistan Stephen Harper is greedily eyeing the next election and a potential majority. The PM knows that in order to take a strangle hold on power he has to pick up ground in Quebec. This has led to the question, “Can it be done if Quebec troops are at risk on the front lines?”

The issue revolves around the Van Doos regiment based in Val Cartier, Quebec. While the regiment is scheduled to ship out to Afghanistan in August political observers are saying that if Harper can get a bump in the polls, he may engineer an early election so he can win, with Quebec’s help, before deploying them.

When did it become acceptable for a party to play politics with the lives of Canadian soldiers? If it is, then we clearly have a Prime Minister who is the most callous and cold hearted SOB ever to disgrace Parliament Hill, and that’s saying something.

Analysts and pollsters note that any upswing in casualties, something likely to happen this spring and summer, will be reflected in the polls. It will also be a serious political liability for the Conservative government in Quebec if the bodies of fallen soldiers from that province are being shipped back.

Recently Col. Michel Drapeau, a respected military analyst, was asked for his thoughts on why the Quebec regiment hadn’t already been deployed. His response was that he was, “…surprised by it.”

Drapeau went on to say, “Either they weren't ready for it, or it could simply be a political decision for whatever reason one could imagine."

I don’t know about Col. Drapeau but I for one don’t want to imagine what that reason might be. I’m not immoral or underhanded enough to have the slightest idea what happens in the backrooms of a political party, especially the Conservative/PC/Reform/Alliance Party, but there are three things I know beyond doubt:

- Nobody in Quebec or elsewhere wants to see additional fatalities in Afghanistan no matter where the soldiers come from.

- Voters will never condone a government playing political games with the lives of brave young soldiers.

- Newfoundlanders and Labradorians may not count for much in Ottawa but the lives of soldiers from this province are damn well worth as much as those from anywhere else and a hell of a lot more than a few extra Conservative votes.

Are the lives of our soldiers worth less than those from Quebec?

I guess the answer depends on who you ask. I doubt anybody in Ottawa would be willing to ask the families of those Newfoundland and Labrador soldiers who have already made the ultimate sacrifice.

Mr. Harper had better be very careful of his actions in the days ahead. In the world of politics perception is often reality and if the Canadian public catches even a whiff of something underhanded surrounding troop deployments winning a majority will be the least of Stephen Harper’s problems.

44 comments:

Starrigan said...

I'm not sure the word disgusting is strong enough. Steve seems to be more than a little out of touch with reality. His behavior is not surprising.

Michael said...

I wish I could say I'm surprised but unfortunately I'm not.

Harper will do almost anything to sieze power and get full control of Canada.

The evidence of this was his attack on equalization. Instead of using the 100% solution so he could do what was best for all of Canada (as proven by the AIMS study) he decided to pander to the Ontario/Quebec lobby in order to gain favor from the voters there.

To hear he might sell troops for votes is not a surprise to me and shouldn't be to anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Funny but just the other day I was having this same conversation with some friends from Quebec and they have pretty much the same opinion. Once Quebec troops start taking casualties Harpers support will free fall in Quebec.

Anonymous said...

Patriot- Do you even know what you are talking about??

Apparently not.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the Newfoundland troops in Afghanistan are the worst for drunk and debauchery behaviour.

Anonymous said...

I read that too!

It's a real problem....but where are they getting the booze in the first place?

Then again...I guess a Newfie can sniff it out anywhere.

Anonymous said...

OOOOH AS IF BOOZING WAS ENDEMINC ONLY TO NEWFOUNDLANDERS AND LABRADORIANS. YOU MUST BE IN THE ONLY PART OF CANADA WHERE BOOZING ISN'T PRACTISED?

I WOULD HOPE TO SEE IN THE VERY NEAR FUTURE LESS NEWFOUNDLANDERS AND LABRADORIANS ENTERING THE MILITARY. CAN WE GET THE WORD OUT THERE FOR THEM NOT TO ENLIST? COME ON ALL OF US, LET US TRY!

Starrigan said...

So anonymous where exactly did you read such tripe?

I'm surprised you would make such an ignorant attack on our soldiers given the seriousness of this article. You might want to check your military history. The most famous regiment in this country is the Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

Oh and by the way you really are a huge a$$hole after those cheap shots.

Anonymous said...

Looks like some of these posters don't support the troops or is it you just don't like the idea of Newfoundlanders doing your fighting for you.

If you seriously think Newfoundland soldiers are a bunch of alcoholics then you owe them an apology and you owe it to yourself to grow up...

Starrigan said...

I'm really surprised at the level of insult, given the topic. It's one thing to poke fun but that stuff is extreme.

Anonymous said...

Of those 2300 hundred soldiers currently serving in Afstan 400 of them are from NL. Comprising 20% from a province that will be getting 1.5% of the per-Capita funding from here on in.

These same troops can't even claim the cost of the marine atlantic for the one trip home a year with their LTA leave Travel Allowance.

These same troops will have a very slim chance of ever being posted to a base in this province NL because NL doesn't have one operationally manned military base.

WJM said...

Of those 2300 hundred soldiers currently serving in Afstan 400 of them are from NL.

Where'd that figure come from?

Comprising 20% from a province that will be getting 1.5% of the per-Capita funding from here on in.

Isn't that the correct amount that the province should be getting in per-capita funding, or pretty close to it?

Anonymous said...

Artfull Dodger said....

In response to the anon poster who alledged the CF forces from Newfoundland & Labrador were a bunch of boozers, I would surely love to see you make that remark to the family members of those CF personnel serving in Afganistan. You are basically a coward hiding behind a computer to spew your venom.

You sir/madam are a disgrace!

Anonymous said...

These posters who attack NL at every opportunity seem to think they will break our spirit and make us stop speaking out. They won't.

All they do is prove what people here are saying all the time, that we are not really accepted in Canada and are treated like second class citizens.

Keep up the ignorant and slanderous posts if you must. You are only proving our point and making us more determined.

Even the ignorant serve a purpose. It's better to not bother responding to them as it only encourages them. It is also good to remember their words and use them to prove to others how we are treated here.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I didn't write the article.

Maybe you should lift your heads out the sand once in a while and stop looking at NL with rose-coloured glasses.

It's the army. These are rough, tough men who are trained to kill. This is not a garden party.
They drink, they curse, they are smelly and vulgar most of the time.

I'm retired military myself so don't tell me that I'm attacking the Services.I was no innocent myself in the day, but I do not lie or make things up.

If the Newfoundlanders have a reputation for boozing and partying it's because they brought it on themselves. That's it, that's all.

All the ones I knew spent copious amounts of time sneaking booze and looking for booze.
Who can blame anyone in the army doing that??

Some people are just more obvious than others.

Starrigan said...

You keep referring to this "article", where was it published and by who?

Starrigan said...

Ottawally, pretty dumb questions, even for you. A$$hole.

Anonymous said...

So much for Harper building support in Quebec. The following just hit the newswires:

"The federal Conservative government has shown "lack of leadership" and should develop a plan to ensure Canadians have access to government programs in both official languages, the official languages commissioner says.

In his first official report, released Tuesday, Graham Fraser targeted Stephen Harper's government for its decision in September 2006 to scrap the court challenges program, which provided funding to minority groups to challenge government policies in court.

The government violated the Official Languages Act by getting rid of the program, Fraser said, because minority language groups are no longer getting access to the courts to guarantee their linguistic rights...

Vive le Canada!!!

WJM said...

Ottawally, pretty dumb questions, even for you. A$$hole.

So stupid you can't answer them, apparently.

What's so stupid about them?

Anonymous said...

Of the soldiers who have died so far in Afghanistan (info from the department of defense website)

18 from Ontario 33% of total deaths (population 13 million; 38.8%)

8 from Nova Scotia 15% of total deaths (population 1 million; 2.8%)

7 from Alberta 13% of total deaths(population 3 million; 10.5%)

6 from New Brunswick 11% of total deaths (population 0.7 million; 2.3%)

6 from Newfoundland Labrador 11% of total deaths (population 0.5 million; 1.7%)

4 from Saskatchewan 7 % of total deaths (population 1 million; 3.0%)

2 from British Columbia 4% of total deaths (population 4 million; 13.2%)

2 from Quebec 4% of total deaths (population 8 million; 23.4%)

1 from Manitoba 2% of total deaths (population 1 million; 3.6%)

Anonymous said...

That is so unfair for Newfoundland and Labrador. Just 1.7 per cent of the total population of Canada, yet its personnel suffered 11 per cent of the Military deaths.

Newfoundland and Labrador, again is shouldering far more in this case than its fair share.

WJM said...

What's "Newfoundland Labrador"?

Anonymous said...

You think that the number of soldiers who die from each province is unfair????

WAR IS UNFAIR YOU IDIOT!!
My God, now I've heard it all.
So now Canada is picking and choosing which soldiers are to die ...is that it??

My God, you people here are stupid.

Listen to yourselves.

Anonymous said...

OH MY GOd ,Patriot ,if anything is able to make me feel even more ashamed of being from canada ,hearing the posts from some people here has actually caused me to "PRAISE AMERICA" even more .

"GOD BLESS GEORGE BUSH,AND GOD BLESS AMERICA"

Canada truely is a sick socialist country .Thank god my family escaped when canada invaded Newfoundland.Goof Luck Mr Patriot.

Anonymous said...

No need not call anyone an idiot. The figures themselves show the inequity when a province with 1.7 per cent of the population has to endure 11 per cent of the Military deaths. That is only one other figure that shows the inequity that exists with the Federation of Canada.

Anonymous said...

How is it Canada's fault that so many NL'ers flock to the military??

(I'm sure you'll come up with some ridiculous reason)

In case you haven't noticed, there is no Draft---these NL'ers are signing up on their own.

Anonymous said...

anonymous from 8:44 said,

"How is it Canada's fault that so many NL'ers flock to the military??

(I'm sure you'll come up with some ridiculous reason)

In case you haven't noticed, there is no Draft---these NL'ers are signing up on their own."

You asked and since you clearly don't understand how this works I'll answer that question for you.

All you have to do is realize that in Canada, the US and any modern nation, most people join the military from areas that are suffering from hard economic times and where little work can be found.

For example, if you look at recruitment in the U.S. military you will find that large numbers of personnel come from the poor, mostly black neighborhoods of Detroit (as one example).

In Canada the highest unemployment in the Country is in NL (by far). This is becuase our province has not been permitted to utilize it's resources for our own benefit. The result is a much larger percentage of people in the military than you would expect for a population our size.

There may not be a draft as such, but in reality the fact that our economy here is allowed to flounder with unemployment at a much higher rate than anywhere else has resulted in a situation where there might as well be.

Do you honestly think that so many NLers are in the military simply because they woke up one morning and said, Gee, I've got all kinds of opportunities but I love Canada so much I think I'll join the army and get shot at.

Anonymous said...

Patriot,This Anon,May 16, 2007 9:37 AM should get a medal for telling the thruth .

Whoever he/she is ,has just described the path my life has taken.
As for the rest of the posts placed here on your Blog ,as a servive memeber I would like to say one thing.That I am shocked by some of the posts that I see here.Maybe the separtist's are right ,maybe this country is not worth saving.
Anyway I have ,g/d,soon so enjoy the summer NL ,thinking of you ,with all my love.
Cpl.C.Barrett 1st Royal Canadain Dragoons

Patriot said...

Hello Cpl Barret,

It's wonderful to have a member of the military weigh in on this discussion. I agree with you whole heartedly that the anon from 9:37 deserves a pat on the back (if not a medal).

Unfortunately it seems some people have a kind of tunnel vision when it comes to how things work and why people like yourself have decided on your direction in life.

Living in NL I have seen many young people who have opted for the forces as a way to get an education and a career in a place where both are too often out of reach.

Keep in touch and keep on keeping on.

Cheers,
Myles

Anonymous said...

You Anon who said: "How is it Canada's fault that so many NL'ers flock to the military?

If you don't know it is because all the resources from here have been exported from Newfoundland and Labrador to enhance the economies of the other provinces, and the only choice our people was given was the military? Whether this was done on purpose or not I do not know? I know that Newfoundlanders and Labradorians flock to the Military because the jobs are there. But if it had been seen to that not one ounce of nickel went to Sudbury or Thompson for processing, but instead remained in Labrador, our people would have been able to work in their own province. If not one gallon of oil went to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick for processing, but instead remained in Newfoundland and Labrador for processing, our people would have been employed here. If not one kilowatt of the Hydrolectric power from the Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Energy project didn't have to be exported to Quebec so that they could market the power, our people could work in their own province, with their own resource. If not one quota of fish had to be given away for someone else's use, then our people would have jobs in their own province.

So if you can get the picture from what I just wrote Sir or Madam, you will extract the answer as to why so many Newfoundlanders and Labradorians flock to the Military. It is because Canada saw that the resources of Newfoundland and Labrador were not kept where they should have been to create economies where they should have been created and thus to have created jobs for the people who should have been working with the economies from their own resources.

DO YOU GET IT SIR or MADAM?

WJM said...

This is becuase our province has not been permitted to utilize it's resources for our own benefit.

What's with the passive voice?

"Not permitted" BY WHOM?

WJM said...

If not one kilowatt of the Hydrolectric power from the Upper Churchill Hydroelectric Energy project didn't have to be exported to Quebec so that they could market the power, our people could work in their own province, with their own resource.

What would the power be used for? Where?

If not one quota of fish had to be given away for someone else's use, then our people would have jobs in their own province.

Which quotas were given away, and to whom?

It is because Canada saw that the resources of Newfoundland and Labrador were not kept where they should have been to create economies

Agnes is it? Or one of those planted DannyFans with a name starting with A. For some reason you keep using the word "economies", plural. Odd.

Anonymous said...

The power could be use for creating manufactured goods. We could use it for smelting alumunium, or whatever it is used for in other places.

Well if it is more than one economy, would you not call it economies, isn't it?

If we have an economy in Wabush, an economy in Goose Bay, an economy in Nain, an economy in Gander, an economy in St. John's and so on, wouldn't you call that the combined economies of Newfoundland and Labrador. I would, maybe, I am wrong? I will apologize if it isn't correct to say economies. Is there an expert out there in the English Language who can set it straight.

Edward G. Hollett said...

"It is because Canada saw that the resources of Newfoundland and Labrador were not kept where they should have been to create economies where they should have been created and thus to have created jobs for the people who should have been working with the economies from their own resources."

Part of the problem with the nationalist mythology is that it leads to the this entire thread of perverse thinking.

Newfoundlanders and Labradorians join the CF for a variety of reasons.

This comparison of Newfoundlanders and labradorians to African Americans is a sort of twisted reverse racism or in this case, reverse ethnicism. It displays a complete misunderstand of the situations in the two countries and, most of all, it is grossly insulting to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.

However, to then fo further and suggest what this "anony" does is simply nonsense. People from Newfoundland and Labrador joined amries and navies long before 1949 and they will continue to do so.

But let's make no mistake about: what this anon has stated as fact is nothing but untrue, false, wrong, nonsense and any other polite word for bullshit.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador controls natural resources in the province just as it always has. Full stop. End of story.

Something called "Canada" did nothing of the sort alleged in this comment.

I challenge this or any other anonyposter- since you all continue to lurk in the darkness - to give one single example of what you allege occurred in this post.

Just one.

The sooner we get rid of foolsihness contained in this comment, and set the record straight, we'll have made a huge leap forward.

Something tells me, though, that no one will take up the simple challenge.

Anonymous said...

ED: Sorry it IS as it IS. The method in which the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's resources were meted out was wrong. It caused so much destruction in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador that I doubt if we will ever recover from it. I personally will place a lot of the blame on Ottawa.

Sorry! Since I know you do not want to hear that, but it is the truth.

Anonymous said...

The trajectory and the carbon footprint, of where and who consumed the resources, of Newfoundland and Labrador are so obvious. It is as plain as the noses on our faces.

WJM said...

The power could be use for creating manufactured goods. We could use it for smelting alumunium, or whatever it is used for in other places.

Aluminum?

Labrador and Newfoundland have no meaningful amounts of bauxite.

It would have to be imported from elsewhere. Isn't that bad?

Well if it is more than one economy, would you not call it economies, isn't it?

If what is more than one economy?

For any given unit under consideration - a place, a segment of society, or whatever - there is one economy, not multiple ones.

If we have an economy in Wabush, an economy in Goose Bay, an economy in Nain, an economy in Gander, an economy in St. John's and so on, wouldn't you call that the combined economies of Newfoundland and Labrador.

No, you would call it the combined economy, singular, of Newfoundland and Labrador.

I would, maybe, I am wrong?

You are definitely wrong.

Anonymous said...

WJM said: Labrador and Newfoundland have no meaningful amounts of bauxite.

What to you mean by meaningful amounts?

WJM said: For any given unit under consideration - a place, a segment of society, or whatever - there is one economy, not multiple ones.

What do you mean by unit, what kind of unit?

WJM said: No, you would call it the combined economy, singular, of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So are you saying that it is a single economy?

WJM said: Isn't that the correct amount that the province should be getting in per-capita funding, or pretty close to it?

What do you consider "pretty close to it"?

I could go on but you get the idea.

WJM said...

What to you mean by meaningful amounts?

Amounts worth mining for the purposes of the aluminum smelting industry.

What do you mean by unit, what kind of unit?

Of geography or population.

So are you saying that it is a single economy?

A province, qua province, has one economy, yes.

What do you consider "pretty close to it"?

Population of NL: 508,548.

Population of Canada: 32,777,304.

Percentage of NL/Canada: 1.55%.

Like I say: Pretty close to it.

I could go on but you get the idea.

No, I don't. What's "the idea"?

Anonymous said...

Ohhhh, Wallace (WJM) I was afraid for a second that you might let me down, but of course you didn't.

I'm surprised you actually answered some questions but of course, true to form you ended up with another idiotic question, as in: No, I don't. What's "the idea"?

So sad.

WJM said...

Why surprised? Unlike most of the anonymous cowards cowering here, I'm not afraid of questions.

What's "the idea"?

Edward G. Hollett said...

"Sorry it IS as it IS. The method in which the province of Newfoundland and Labrador's resources were meted out was wrong. It caused so much destruction in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador that I doubt if we will ever recover from it. I personally will place a lot of the blame on Ottawa.

Sorry! Since I know you do not want to hear that, but it is the truth."

Anon, you made the same comment on another thread and I will repeat the challenge here. You seem to be ignoring it on the other thread.

Would you please explain what you mean by the province's resources being "meted" out?

The Government of NL controls today all the resources in controlled prior to 1949. in the case of offshore oil and gas it controls resources it didn't have in 1949.

If I understand what you seem to be driving at, then I would say you aren't speaking truth so much as unadulterated nonsense.

Perhaps you'd like to make it clear what you meant so we can have a discussion.

I am not afraid of truth, so speak away. What I do have a problem with, though, is somebody making a statement claiming it is truthful when it may well be just another fairy tale.

Anonymous said...

The problem I see here, is that we have federal liberal shills who will spin things in a manner that fortifies their own agenda, I think those federal liberal shills here know who they are.

Edward G. Hollett said...

Would that be the anonymous posters who attack the credibility of people who make comments here, all the while hiding behind the coward's cloak of anonymity, anonymous?

Would that be the anonymous posters who can't offer evidence to back their points?