Ottawa spends more on military history amid criticism over support for veterans

Seems a bit of a unidimensional celebration of Canada’s history in the lead-up to 2017:

The commemorative budget includes roughly $32-million for the Department of National Defence over seven years and nearly $50-million over three years at the Departments of Veterans Affairs for public education, ceremonies, events and remembrance partnerships, according to figures compiled by The Globe and Mail. The budget also includes several million dollars through the Department of Canadian Heritage, the figures show.

This funding is not a complete tally and is in addition to the tens of millions of dollars the Conservatives already dedicated to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, the conflict with the United States the government billed as “The Fight for Canada.”

National Defence has created a special program called “Operation Distinction” to oversee a spate of commemorations, chiefly important anniversaries of the First World War and Second World War. The initiative spans all the way to 2020, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the Second World War’s Victory in Europe Day and Victory over Japan Day.

Ottawa wants to use these occasions to build a “greater understanding that Canada’s development as an independent country with a unique identity stems in significant part from its achievement in times of war,” according to a January 2014 memo from Chief of the Defence Staff General Tom Lawson obtained under access-to-information law.

The government has made boosting appreciation of Canada’s military tradition a priority, in part to fashion a more conservative national identity. It’s cultivated an image as pro-military since taking power but in recent years has alienated a vocal group of veterans and their families, upset over what they consider insufficient federal support.

Ottawa spends more on military history amid criticism over support for veterans – The Globe and Mail.

And:

Return to old-style uniform insignia costs Canadian Forces millions

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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