Friday, 9 May 2014

National Day of Honour 9 May 2014

Today on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, we mark the end of the 12 year campaign in Afghanistan. An impressive military display and 700 men and women of the Armed Forces have gathered for this ceremony. We remember our 158 dead and thousands of injured and the 40,000 who participated in this long war.

Greetings and thanks where sent by our Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II and a Royal Proclamation was made by the Commander in Chief and Governor General the Right Honourable David Johnstone to mark this day.
H.E. The Governor General David Johnston in the Hall of Honour of Parliament.

Though we were told this mission was one of Peace Keeping it quickly became a war, the longest one fought by Canadians in a foreign land. We may well ask for what?  No one knowns what the future holds for Afghanistan and what benefit if any will come of this war. We can only hope for the best.

We can be proud of our soldiers who did their very best in often very difficult circumstances and thank them.

Afghanistan Service Medal worn by Canadian Soldiers

Canadian Soldier in Afghanistan saluting our Flag.

The last Canadian flag to have flown at Canadian HQ in Kabul, Afghanistan was brought back to Canada and a special baton was designed for it. A relay was organized from Canadian Forces Base Trenton to Ottawa. The team of runners were injured and handicap Canadian Armed Forces personnel. There was some political controversy as to whom would be receiving the baton on Parliament Hill. By right the Commander in Chief and Governor General should receive this flag from the veteran runners however the Prime Minister had managed to present himself as the recipient. At the last moment, with mounting protests from various Canadians, protocol was respected and the GG as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces received the flag which will now be displayed in the Hall of Honour of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa.   

Handicap and injured Canadian Forces Veterans carrying the Baton containing the last Canadian Flag 


  1. The federal government's honouring of those who served in Afghanistan would be more believable if they weren't simultaneously trying to give wounded vets the shaft.

  2. I could not agree more Deb, indeed smarmy Harper today with Fantino such a disgrace.

  3. By any chance do you know how much Canada spent last year on the military, vs. how much they spent on health care?

    1. Big question, Health is a Provincial responsibility so each province has its own budget and the Federal Gov also chips in. The most populous provinces Ontario 13.5 million people and Quebec 8.5 million is the bulk of the country's population. Health care in Canada is a sacred cow and politicians know not to touch it, it would be political suicide. Health care in any election is always top of the agenda and people vote for the guy who will do the most in health care. In Quebec per example last year specialized doctors got a 40% increase in salary. People still believe that doctors are gods here. Ontario will be spending 50 Billion $ for its population of 13.5 million people in 2015. Quebec spent 32 Billion $ for its population of 8.5 million people in 2013. This is 42% of the total budget of the province for the year. It includes infrastructure and also gearing medical care towards an aging population. No there is no private hospitals or clinics and what is not covered by the Provinces is things like cosmetic surgery, botox treatment and other things that have nothing to do with good health in general. The one weakness is psychiatric or psychological counselling. Funding for that part of health care is low and many people cannot afford to see a shrink at $75 dllrs per hour. You can get some refund up to a certain limit which is low around $1000 dllrs. per year.

      The 3 services of the armed forces, army, navy, air force have a total budget of 20 Billion in 2013 cut down to 18 billion in 2014. Our combined armed services is 75,000 men total. The budget does not include hardware purchases but since our purchases for planes F-35 and other equipment is stretched over 20 years it changes constantly. Canadians are allergic to anything military.
      So you can see our priorities are very different from the USA but then again we are not the police of the world and not a superpower.

  4. I am surprised to hear MDs are seen as gods: one of the bogeys given out to scare Yanks out of any sort of 'socialized medicine' is the notion under such a system MDs would be treated and seen no better than McDonald's staff.

    1. Sadly in the USA a lot of politicians are playing on people's fears and ignorance. It is pointless to say look at other countries they do not know anything about other countries and prefer myths to truth. Oh well so is life.