OTTAWA - New Democrat Defence critic Jack Harris today slammed Conservative plans to cut danger pay for Canadian soldiers serving in Afghanistan and the Middle East. In the face of public outcry, the Prime Minister’s Office has now indicated that it’s reviewing the decision.
“Canadian soldiers are serving in a dangerous mission, regardless of what this Minister thinks,” said Harris. “We ask our soldiers to put their lives on the line to serve Canada in some of the most dangerous parts of the world. This is yet another example of the Conservatives’ failure to support our Canadian Forces members.”
Cuts would see more than 900 soldiers serving in Afghanistan lose $500 a month in danger pay. The department proposed these cuts because it considers the combat training mission in Afghanistan to be less dangerous than Canada’s previous operations.
However, a recent uptick in insurgent attacks on NATO troops has drawn international attention. Just last week, three American soldiers, two US civilians and an Afghan doctor were killed by a suicide bomber.
“It’s inexcusable to blame bureaucrats for this move. The Minister needs to take full responsibility and commit to protecting the benefits our soldiers receive when they are serving on dangerous missions aboard,” concluded Harris.