Tuesday, November 09, 2004

What's in a 'Dis'?

"I am here, I admit it, I admit it, because we have to reverse the disinvestment that you have experienced." - Paul Martin speaking to members of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and the Royal 22nd Regiment Van Doos in Valcartier the other day.

Disinvestment is a much more genteel 'dis' word than disable, disarm, disarrange, disarticulate, disassemble, discerption, discredit, disdain, disembowel, disengage, disesteem, disequilibrium, dishabille, dishearten, dishonest, dishonour, disillusion, disincentive, disinclination, disinformation, disintegrate, disinterest, disjoin, disloyal, dismantle, dismay, dismember, disparity, dispirit, disregard, dissolution, dissonant, distort, distress, and my favourite, disingenuous. I haven't even touched on the 'dit's such as dither. Look up any of the above 'dis' words and you will see a description of some aspect of the way that the Canadian Forces has been treated by Government.

The Prime Minister also said that "I bear a certain responsibility as finance minister", just before he tried to slough it off to Jean Chretien and Brian Mulroney. He certainly does bear the responsibility to fix what he, and others, broke. His feel good words to disenchanted members of the CF are meaningless unless he follows them up, and right now, with a hard commitment to increased defence spending. Commitments to replace the Sea King are hardly news, notwithstanding that over a decade of mismanagement has left that still not a done deal. Commitments to increased personnel strength are meaningless without a long-term plan and lots of extra dollars to make it happen. It simply cannot happen within the current and projected funding envelope.

Will the Prime Minister call off the dogs from John McCallum's Department of Revenue who are looking for yet more disinvestment? If he won't publicly do that, and immediately, then all of his soothing words to members of the CF will simply continue the Liberal disgrace in the areas of national defence and security. It will lead to more and more members of the CF leaving in disgust and will accelerate us towards the disaster that Canada does not deserve.

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