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Conservatives To Unveil $5.5B Defense Plan

Burrows

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This is Great!  5.5 Billion over 4 years and 25 000 jobs by 2008
Enjoy!
Burrows
Here is the link for the article http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=a2f42f1a-f92d-4b08-b00e-a55476fbe644
Conservatives to unveil $5.5B defence proposal
Tories, Liberals in 'statistical tie': poll
 
Sean Gordon, Robert Fife And Jack Aubry, With Files From April Lindgren
CanWest News Service


May 31, 2004


Prime Minister Paul Martin laughs with a supporter as he leaves a rally at a campaign stop in Quebec City during the weekend.
CREDIT: Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press



OTTAWA - The Conservatives will unveil a four-year, $5.5-billion defence plan today that would add another 25,000 troops by 2008.

Stephen Harper's Tories, who have pulled into a "statistical tie" with the Liberals in the latest public opinion poll, will promise an immediate addition of $1.2- billion a year to the military, and another $1.2-billion for each of the first three years of a Tory first term. In the fourth year, it would boost spending by $1.6-billion.

The platform also provides for greater parliamentary involvement in the military and in decisions to deploy soldiers overseas.

"A Conservative government will set a long-term target of 80,000 personnel, along with simultaneous increases in reserve personnel levels," reads the policy outline.

The Canadian Forces' current strength is about 52,000 uniformed personnel. The defence budget is at almost $13-billion.

The Conservative plan also provides for a new method of parliamentary oversight of military deployments abroad.

All missions that involve sending Canadian troops on combat missions overseas would have to be ratified by Parliament, and the House of Commons' defence committee would be given broader powers to review annual spending and vet senior staff appointments.

"This is about enhancing our security and sovereignty," the party policy document says.

The Tories' defence plan is the first in a series of policy announcements the party is expected to make this week. "We're going to have pretty much one [announcement] a day, just like vitamins," an unnamed Conservative campaign official said.

Mr. Harper will announce the details of his military plan in Trenton, home to one of the country's largest air bases.

Mr. Harper has long said he wants Canada's military spending to rise to meet the NATO average of 2% GDP, but insists he has no intention of trying to accomplish that goal in one mandate.

Canada currently devotes 1.2% of GDP to military expenditures, and most experts predict it will take a decade of reinvestment to meet the NATO average.

Party officials say Mr. Harper will spend the bulk of the next seven days in Ontario. After Trenton, he will head into the all-important "905" area, the clutch of about 20 ridings that ring Toronto and stretch into the Niagara Peninsula.

Conservatives hope to further narrow the gap with the Liberals in Ontario -- where party strategists believe they can scoop up as many as 30 seats.

A new opinion survey, conducted by SES Research for the Parliamentary television channel CPAC, suggests the party may want to set its sights even higher.

The nationwide poll, conducted on Friday and Saturday, suggested Liberal support has plunged seven percentage points to 34% since the May 23 election call, while the Conservatives were listed at 31% among the 600 people surveyed.

The poll has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, meaning the two parties are in a virtual tie, said pollster Nikita Nanos. The poll put the NDP at 19% and the Bloc Quebecois at 12%.

Mr. Nanos attributed the falling Liberal fortunes to Dalton McGuinty, Ontario's Liberal Premier, who broke an election promise not to raise taxes and imposed higher health care premiums in his budget this month.

"There is obviously some spillage on what is happening provincially to federally. It has to do with trust and the Liberal brand," he said.

"Federally, the Liberals have just come off the advertising scandal. Now in the week they have launched their campaign, the provincial Liberals broke many of their campaign promises. So you have a conjunction of Liberals and trust and really bad timing."

The Conservative party's growing hopes of winning a possible minority government has some members thinking beyond the June 28 vote. Peter MacKay, the party's deputy leader, suggested yesterday that the Tories might be prepared to consider some arrangement with the Bloc Quebecois.

"I believe you have to approach that on a case-by-case basis," he said on CTV's Question Period. "You have to look at the issue."

The Liberal drop in opinion polls has prompted calls within the party, including from two former Liberal Cabinet ministers, for Paul Martin to make sweeping changes to his election campaign team.

Herb Dhaliwal, the former natural resources minister, yesterday urged the Prime Minister to clean out his election team, which he said has been running a bad campaign.

"I've said right from Day One that we are looking at a minority government," said Mr. Dhaliwal, who is not running in this election. "[Mr. Martin] has serious problems, no doubt about it, and he has got to show that he is going to make changes."

Brian Tobin, another former minister in Jean Chretien's Cabinet, also said Liberal election prospects are not looking good.

Mr. Dhaliwal, a Chretien supporter, said the Martin team made a serious mistake in raising public expectations of the new Prime Minister in the early days of the government but "he [Mr. Martin] has not met those expectations.''

Mr. Dhaliwal said Mr. Martin's initial unwillingness to reach out to Chretien loyalists is causing serious internal rancour, and levelled part of the blame on David Herle, the Liberal campaign co-chairman.

He said Mr. Herle should never have advised the Ontario Premier on the budget that jacked up health care premiums as high as $900 per person. Mr. Martin has admitted Mr. McGuinty told him in advance about his plan to break an election pledge and impose the higher premiums.

Yesterday, Mr. McGuinty said he spent just ''20 seconds'' giving the Prime Minister advance notice of a new health care tax in Ontario's budget and that Mr. Martin did not comment on the measure.

''I did not spend any more on the matter of our budget than possibly 20 seconds, simply giving the Prime Minister a courtesy heads-up,'' Mr. McGuinty said.

''It [the conversation] was not with a view to eliciting any kind of reaction or advice, it was just to let him know that I'd made a very difficult decision,'' Mr. McGuinty told reporters.

Liberal MPs say the fallout from the Ontario budget has hurt them and other polls suggest party support is crumbling in the province where the Liberals won 98 of the 103 seats in the last election.

One well-known southern Ontario MP, a strong Martin supporter, said he has been receiving panicky calls from fellow Liberals upset at Mr. Herle and his team.

"They're a bunch of juvenile delinquents who don't seem capable of shooting straight. I'm not quite sure who the brain might be -- well I'm not quite sure there are any brains," said the MP, who asked not to be named.

Mr. Dhaliwal said Liberals are also in trouble in his native British Columbia, where they had initially hoped to win all 36 seats in the province. "Now they are down, according to the polls, to 10 [seats] and I think they will be lucky if they win a seat," he said.

However, John McKay, a Toronto-area Liberal MP, said the situation is not as dire as it seems, although he admits people are angry about the Ontario budget.

"You get up in the morning and you read the newspapers and you say: 'Oh man, this is going to be a tough day,' and then you go walk the streets and knock on doors and it doesn't turn out to be so tough after all," the Scarborough-East MP said.

He said voters come around after he explains Mr. Martin's record of lowering taxes, eliminating the deficit and improving Canada's productivity.

© National Post 2004
 

scm77

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Another article.

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/1086005002833_3/?hub=TopStories

Harper plans $1.2 B per year boost to military
CTV.ca News Staff

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper wants to boost the number of Canadian troops by nearly 30,000 and give MPs new powers to authorize deployments.

Speaking at a news conference in the military community of Trenton, Ontario, Harper said he is "embarrassed" by Canada's antiquated equipment, which has left troops vulnerable.

"The Liberal government has shown that it doesn't care and doesn't listen -- not to its own parliamentary committees, not to the auditor general, not to academics, not to retired military personnel, not to its soldiers," Harper said, noting that there have been $20 billion in cuts to the military under the Liberals since 1993.

"As a result, we have fewer personnel, older equipment and are increasingly dependent on the United States," he said.

The Conservatives' defence platform "seeks to close the gap between rhetoric and resources," Harper said.

It includes:

An immediate infusion of $1.2 billion per year over four years, which would bring Canada's military spending in line with NATO's European average;
An increase in troop levels from 52,400 to 80,000;
A review of a plan to replace Canada's tanks with lighter vehicles;
New powers for Canada's Coast Guard;
More Parliamentary control over troop deployment and military equipment.
"We are not going to fix all of the military's equipment and troop strength deficiencies overnight," Harper said.

While the state of Canada's military has yet to emerge as a major election issue, funding shortfalls and the aging equipment used by troops have been the focus of much debate in recent years.

But Harper said that with the global threat of terrorism, it is now more important than ever to invest in the military. "It is naive to believe that Canada is immune from the threats that challenge other free nations," he said. "In fact, there is enough proof for all Canadians to be concerned."

Last week, Harper said the Liberals have put the lives of Canadian troops at risk by not funding the armed forces at levels that can afford appropriate equipment. In particular, the Iltis jeeps used in Afghanistan have been blamed for not protecting Canadians from mine accidents.

"We don't want to go over the top and start pointing the fingers at particular individuals and saying they are guilty for deaths, but hopefully as political figures we'll take our responsibilities towards citizens, towards our troops seriously," Harper said.

In the 2004 budget, the Liberals promised to increase spending on the military by $600-million over five years.

But the Liberals have used Harper's stance on troop deployment -- in the Iraq war in particular -- as part of their plan of attack.

Harper was a vocal opponent of Ottawa's decision to stay out of the U.S.-led invasion last year.

A series of ads launched before the election call quoted Harper as saying: "We support the war effort and believe we should be supporting our troops and our allies and be there with them doing everything necessary to win."

The commercial went on to ask: "He said he was speaking for the 'silent majority' of Canadians ... Was he speaking for you?"

Speaking to reporters Monday, Harper stood by his stance on the war, saying the Liberal government owed the U.S. its "unequivocal support," and that it "failed in its moral responsibilities."

Harper will spend this week campaigning in vote-rich Ontario, buoyed by the health premiums recently announced by Liberal Premier Dalton McGuinty -- premiums which came despite an election pledge by the Ontario Grits not to raise taxes.

"I think it's obviously helped us," Harper told reporters over the weekend. "It goes back to the central issue of this campaign. The central issue is accountability, and closely linked to that, trust and credibility."
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"A review of a plan to replace Canada's tanks with lighter vehicles"
:eek:Good Idea.

 

Pte.Nomercy

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I'll believe it when I see it! This just sounds like a campaign promise more then anything really, a bunch of "vote getting" empty promises. Besides, anyone remember what it was like having the Conservatives in power last time and what they did to the CF? Such great examples of the "Rank Freeze" of 1990 is a good one!

I find their new deployment mandate interesting, seems they what to follow the rules of Parliament this time around, or maybe just learned from what Mulroney did/fucked up for the Somalia mission.

Also, to be honest, 5.5B sounds nice, but it really will only stop the â Å“bleedingâ ? and will only set little room for us to evolve and grow. Things are getting better in the CF, let's all hope that this â Å“campaign promiseâ ? is legitimate.

 

Kirkhill

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http://www.conservative.ca/english/index.asp
http://www.nato.int/docu/handbook/2001/hb090804.htm

This is as close as I can link you the Conservative Defence Policy.  I have also linked the latest NATO figures on GDP that I can find.

Harper's commitment should probably increase defence funding to about 1.7% of GDP or about a 50% increase in funding over the life of his government.

For those that want to believe this could be positive. For those that are that completely cynical, I am sorry. Myself, I would rather trust the person who MAY lie to me but may surprise me and keep his promises, than the guy who has demonstrated numerous times he doesn't keep his promises.

By the way Colonel Michel Drapeau (Retired) commenting on CBC Newsworld says that it is all a load of CR*P, what is really needed is further study.  Jack Layton says Steven Harper is a war-monger.  Paul Martin is silent.

Cheers. I choose to hope.

PS To Slim, George and Franko  ----  Note modest reference to "Tanks, Tanks, Tanks" ;) 8)

PPS To all serving members - which would improve morale and recruiting most, another study or new kit that works and new bodies?


 

Nicholas Cressman

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Kirkhill said:
For those that want to believe this could be positive. For those that are that completely cynical, I am sorry. Myself, I would rather trust the person who MAY lie to me but may surprise me and keep his promises, than the guy who has demonstrated numerous times he doesn't keep his promises.
Are you saying that Harper is more likely to lie to us, or Martin? the way that you said it confused me, is all.
 

Sheerin

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I personally don't trust either of them.
However, I have to, reluctantly, agree with Joe Clark in that the Devil we know is better than the Devil we don't.

And am I the onyl one who thinks that Jack Layton is a moron?

 

casing

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ToRN said:
Kirkhill said:
For those that want to believe this could be positive. For those that are that completely cynical, I am sorry. Myself, I would rather trust the person who MAY lie to me but may surprise me and keep his promises, than the guy who has demonstrated numerous times he doesn't keep his promises.
Are you saying that Harper is more likely to lie to us, or Martin? the way that you said it confused me, is all.
He's saying the Martin (and Chretien) government has already proved its dishonesty.  Time to give someone else a chance.  They might be lying, but they might not.  Paul Martin and company have been lying all along, so why would you give them the opportunity to lie to you some more?
 

Nicholas Cressman

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OK, that's what I thought, I agree, that Harper and the Conservatives can only do better. (not to mention that they support the military, so they can't be that bad   ;))
 

sgt_mandal

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Are you saying that Harper is more likely to lie to us, or Martin? the way that you said it confused me, is all.

You know things are bad when you have to start comparing about which politician lies more then the other.
 

scm77

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Martin will lie less! No No No Harper will lie alot less then Martin. :D
 

tabernac

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Right now I am all for the Consevatives. All else they have talked about is good stuff, but the 5.5 billion they plan to inject into the CF if elected, is the icing on the cake. I sure hope they trounce the liberals.
 

Kirkhill

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Casing   wins the coconut for figuring out what Kirkhill meant.   Sorry about that Torn. ;D

If I continue to be this good at confusing the issue I may have to consider a career in politics >:D

Yeah what I was saying is that I know Martin doesn't keep his promises.   Harper might.   That would be a "Good Thing". Layton might too.   That would be not so good.

I live by a number of words of wisdom imparted to me by my dear departed Dad.   Amongst them are "Fool me once, shame on you.   Fool me twice, shame on me."   :( :rage: and "When picking up the soap in a communal shower keep your back to the wall." :eek:


Cheers.
 

Nicholas Cressman

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Your dad was a smart man, I hate it when I forget to back to the wall :eek: ....I mean, the liberals screwed us, and damned if we're gonna let them do it again.

Just kidding about the shower thing, really. :blotto:
 

Spr.Earl

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Every whant's to leave live here but no body whant's to pay the rent. :mad:
 

T.I.M.

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While I (obviously) support more funding for the CF, I place a very strong caveat on that money being applied through a clear and coherant plan.

Let's be brutally honest with ourselves here.  We all know the CF has some. . .  problems. . .  with fiscal responsibility, and just hurling billions at NDHQ is asking for a boondoggle far worse than adscam or gun registry.  The fact is, that while the CF is underfunded, if we're talking "value for money" the CF could also do a lot better with what it has.  The Aussies spend about the same as we do on national defence, but after their ruthless pruning of the dead wood and re-organization of the effectives a few years back, they get a lot more bang for their buck than we do.

Money spent on defence needs to be very carefully spent, and spent on what Canada and the CF need.  The defence review is a good idea.  To commit to major changes to the CF before it is completed is not.
 
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